Last time these two teams met at the Prudential Center, the game went into three overtimes before the Kevin Durant-less Thunder took down the Nets. Here are some keys for tonight’s rematch in OKC:
Russell Westbrook is Awesome: Yeah, and the Thunder have Durant too. But last time, Westbrook took advantage of the Nets being without Devin Harris and scored 38 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists. Avery Johnson threw a number of different defenders at Westbrook, including most curiously Travis Outlaw. The Nets need to have a much better gameplan tonight or they’re going to get romped.
Who’s the Third Option? This isue has been ongoing all season for the Nets. On Monday, Brook Lopez and Harris accounted for 50 percent of the team’s offensive output. I realize that Anthony Morrow is still injured and will continue to be for a while, but somebody else has to step forward as a consistent scorer for this team. Outlaw is the most likely candidate, but he’s apparently a lost cause in the first year of his five year deal.
You Got to Get Meaner than That Brook: The last time these two teams met, the Thunder were forced to play Nenad Krstic in overtime, and Lopez did very little to distinguish himself in the post. This is the kind of match-up Lopez needs to thrive on, rather than get sucked into Krstic’s game of playing away from the rim.