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Thunder at HEAT: Pregame Primer

Thunder at HEAT: Pregame Primer



Oklahoma City Thunder (5-5, 3-2 road) vs. Miami Heat (7-2, 5-1 home)

TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, DirectTV 679, UVerse 753)
Stream: Click Here
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 97.1 FM Tulsa)
Time: 6:30 CST

View from the enemy: Hot Hot Hoops

Offensive Rating: Thunder – 101.9 (25th), Heat – 105.9 (16th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 99.5 (4th), Heat – 99.2 (3rd)
Pace: Thunder – 90.9 (25th), Heat – 90.8 (26th)

Can someone tell me why the HEAT always capitalize their name? I’ve always wondered this but never wanted to ask. So I am now. Why do they shout their name at us? Anyone?

Anycrap, Oklahoma City travels to Florida for a two-game tilt in Miami and Orlando. Right on time too because the weather decided to get extremely cold here in Oklahoma. So enjoy your sun boys. This is a game last year where I watch only to hope to see a competitive team. I watch just to hope it finishes in single digits. This year, I’m not EXPECTING a win, but I’m watching because I realistically could see one.

Any game the Thunder has had a let down so far this year, they’ve responded extremely well. After a lackluster game against Portland, the Thunder took the World Champion Lakers to the brink. After playing flat in Houston, OKC came home and obliterated the Magic. After dropping a semi-bad one in Sacramento, the Thunder beat the Clippers on the road in a gritty win. So with losing a really bad one at home against the Clippers, one might assume the Thunder plays well tonight in South Beach.


Both teams sit in the top five in defensive efficiency, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this game is played in the 80s. It could definitely be a grind.

Once again, the Thunder will rely on Thabo Sefolosha to shut down the opposing team’s No. 1 option. And the thing is, Thabo has played some solid defense on Dwyane Wade before. So that’s encouraging. I guess Quentin Richardson will be matching up with Kevin Durant, which is definitely a good thing for the Thunder.

Michael Beasley against Jeff Green is kind of a carbon copy match with both guys playing a little out of position and possessing inside-outside qualities. And I would think Russell Westbrook would have the leg up on Mario Chalmers, though Chalmers is a very savvy defender, even for a a second year guy. However, he’s questionable for tonight’s game and if he can’t go, Carlos Arroyo is the backup. The Heat bench is basically Udonis Haslem and Daequan Cook, which isn’t to say the bench is bad, just not deep.

This is a tough back-to-back for the Thunder and I really wouldn’t expect anything more than coming back home with two losses. But if there is any way to split, this might be the better chance of the two. The Thunder matches up relatively well with Miami and plus, this will be the night OKC has fresh legs. Not saying the Heat aren’t good, but keep in mind, their seven wins are against teams a combined 19-36. Their two losses came at the hands of the Suns and Cavs. Their best win (and it’s a good one) is over the Nuggets. So I don’t know if that means anything. If anything, it means that the Thunder are exactly the type of team the Heat beat. So… yeah.

Tip at 6:30. Go THUNDER.