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Game 2 Pregame Primer: Thunder @ Rockets (0-1)

Game 2 Pregame Primer: Thunder @ Rockets (0-1)

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ESPN preview


2:30 PM @ AdventHealth Arena, ? ESPN

Projected starting lineups:

Oklahoma CityHouston
PG: Chris PaulPG: James Harden
SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander SG: Eric Gordon
SF: Terrance FergusonSF: Danuel House Jr.
PF: Danilo Gallinari PF: P.J. Tucker
C: Steven AdamsC: Robert Covington

3 Big Things:

  • Shake Up the Starting Lineup. Without Lu Dort, the Thunder’s options for the starting lineup are less than ideal. That said, Terrance Ferguson was not the answer. Number 23 has never fared well in the post-season and continues to appear overwhelmed and tentative. OKC should avoid starting Dennis Schröder because it would completely deplete the bench. Instead, they should opt to give Darius Bazley the nod. Perhaps starting could be too much for the rookie, but Bazley’s length and athleticism give the Thunder their best chance to defend the Rockets.
  • Force More Turnovers: The Rockets walked out of Game 1 with just seven turnovers, a low count they are seldom limited to. Great for Houston, not so great for Oklahoma City. The low number of giveaways is tied with the Celtics for the fewest so far this postseason. OKC must get into the passing lanes and disrupt the Rockets, because limiting their shot attempts is one of the best ways to curb their quick-fire offense.
  • Break Out the Energy: Oklahoma City seemed a step slow on Tuesday and it showed in the boxscore. The team recorded only two fast break points–only the Sixers have scored that little in transition during the 2020 playoffs. The occasion marked the first instance the Rockets have held their opponent to two or fewer fast break points the season. Including this match, Houston is 10-5 when holding opponents below 10 fast break points. The Thunder must buck the trend and get out on the break in order to get on the board in this series.

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