Here are three notes for tonight’s game:
1. How will OKC follow up their worst performance?
The Thunder had their worst performance of the season against the Lakers, a team sitting LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and shooting guard Danny Green. In a game that many thought would be an easy win for OKC, the Lakers took advantage of their underdog status and punched OKC in the mouth right off the bat and never looked back, essentially winning the game in the 1st quarter.
The Lakers brought the energy and intensity and the Thunder didn’t. The sluggish performance could be partially blamed on physical and emotional fatigue — this was OKC’s fourth game in six nights and was the first game since the emotional Rockets game that saw Russ’ return to OKC. But the players weren’t going to use that as an excuse.
Luckily for OKC, their next game happens tonight in Minnesota and the Thunder could redeem themselves after the reality check the Lakers handed them, and Minnesota didn’t exactly fare well against that Rockets team, which bounced back by beating the Wolves by 30.
2. Will KAT play?
Karl-Anthony Towns has missed the last 12 game due to a left knee sprain. His status for Monday’s game will be made clear today. If Towns misses this game, OKC’s chances of winning this game skyrocket. But the same thing was said last game when LeBron James and Anthony Davis was absent, so who knows. Towns is averaging 26.6 PPG and 11.7 RPG this season.
3. Defending the Three
The Timberwolves are 3rd in the NBA in 3PAs a game at 39.4 but are 29th in 3P% at 32.2. They love taking the three but aren’t very efficient at it. This could play in the Thunder’s favor.
Obviously you don’t want to give up a ton of threes against the opposition so if OKC can limit the amount of good looks they get it from distance then they should be in good shape to win on the road.
Who do you think will win tonight?