The Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2) will face the Minnesota Timberwolves (2-3) for the second time in five days.
It could be a good opportunity for the Thunder to immediately revenge the controversial Sunday’s loss. On Monday the NBA officials released the last two minutes game report. It confirmed that there were a couple of miscalls in the last five seconds, which led to Andrew Wiggins’ buzzer beater. If one of these two miscalls had been called, now the Thunder would have a winning record.
October 22nd – Oklahoma City vs Minnesota 113-115
Keys To The Game
Take control early – The Thunder are in the best position to win when they take control of the game from tipoff. Russell Westbrook is the floor general. He needs to play the way he wants, and the way he is capable of, from the beginning. If they let Minnesota take control of the tempo, like in the previous matchup, Oklahoma City might find itself chasing all game long. That’s never good.
Andre Roberson Position – Roberson’s defensive presence is very important for the Thunder. He has the ability to stop Butler and Wiggins at any time. However, in order to play he needs to be more effective on offense. Not necessarily as a scorer, but he must be a threat. Last Sunday, the Timberwolves put Jeff Teague on him and Roberson “sat” most of the time in the corner behind the three points line. Everybody knows that he is not dangerous from there, this allowed Teague to leave him open, and to help the center lane while taking away all the space created by the shooters. Roberson needs to keep on moving and to keep his defender engaged. If this doesn’t happen he might lose some minutes to Josh Huestis, who showed already a good potential on both ends of the floor.
Smart Offense – The Timberwolves are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA so far, this season. They allowed 113.8 points per game (26th in the league), and they have a defensive rating of 114 (30th in the league). On the other side, The Thunder have a stellar firepower, but they should use it correctly (i.e. ball movement, pick and roll, no contested shots early in the clock) and there is no doubt they will win this game. Obviously, it is easier said than done, but the way Oklahoma City played against the Pacers two days ago, showed that they can definitely do it.
Oklahoma City Thunder
- Jimmy Butler (Illness – Game time decision)
- Justin Patton (Foot – mid-November)
Oklahoma City Thunder
PPG 104.8 – OPP PTS 97.5
FG% 45.3 – 3PT% 33.3 – FT% 67.5
APG 23.3 – RPG 41.0 – TOV 17.0
PPG 104.4 – OPP PTS 113.8
FG% 46.1 – 3PT% 37.4 – FT% 77.4
APG 22.2 – RPG 39.0 – TOV 15.0