Washington Wizards (3-7, 1-4 road) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (6-6, 2-3 home)
View from the enemy: Truth About It
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 102.3 (25th), Wizards – 103.7 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 100.4 (7th), Wizards – 106.4 (18th)
Pace: Thunder – 91.2 (24th), Wizards– 92.2 (18th)
This one doesn’t feel as good as it did three nights ago. At that time, the Wizards were hurt again and limped out to a 2-7 record. But Wednesday, Washington put a beating on the Cavs and actually looked as good as their roster indicates. Now, of course that was at home and they’re 1-4 on the road, but still. I think we learned last week nothing is a gimme right now.
And let me tell you, I like riding the teeter-totter around .500. It’s fun. Sure beats the heck out of staring at 1-16 and knowing there is absolutely zero prayer to come anywhere close to it. But this is a big game for the Thunder. They’re still mired in this crappy stretch where most games are on the road and they get tossed a bone at home. But with two toughies ahead in L.A. and Utah, getting to 7-6 heading into that trip is big. Especially when you SHOULD beat your opponent AT HOME.THE MATCHUPS
It’s Zero versus Zero. Gilbert Arenas is such a fun player to watch that I’m really looking forward to how Russell Westbrook does in his first matchup with him. Arenas is a scoring point guard, built a lot in the same mold Westbrook is. Except Arenas has a consistent shot.
The dangerous matchup here is Antwan Jamison against Jeff Green. Green hasn’t played very well the past week and Jamison can tear it up. He did exactly that last year against OKC, scoring 29 in both games. Right now, he’s averaging the quietest 31 and 10 I’ve ever seen. Jamison is a guy I always assume is hurt, but he never really is. This guy should get an underrated card. I think he deserves it.
Mike Miller already has one gamewinner against OKC under his belt, but he did it last season with Minnesota. I like Thabo matching with him and both Caron Butler tonight. Brendan Haywood is a rebound first center, and nobody knows him better than Etan Thomas, who played in D.C. for the bulk of his career.
This game is about hitting shots. Open ones will be there as the Wiz aren’t that great of a defensive team. But they have scorers so the Thunder D will be tested. And coming off a poo poo effort in Orlando Wednesday, the defense better get some of that mojo back or we could be looking at riding that teeter-totter down to the low end. Which isn’t nearly as fun.
Tip at 7:00 CST. Go home crowd.