If you had to make me pick one word and one word only to describe the season series so far between the Golden State Warriors and The Oklahoma City Thunder (tied at 1 game a piece) it would be “sensational”, and that word might not even do the description justice.
The Warriors (25-15) are heading into Friday’s match-up against the Thunder (29-10) (the third and final match-up of the regular season) looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s 123-116 loss against the Denver Nuggets in what was a high scoring affair.
Both games between the Warriors and the Thunder so far this season has had almost every aspect of basketball that every basketball purist salivates over.
- Superstars? Check
- Great Shooting? Check
- Great Passing? Check
- Big Shots? Check
- Great Defense plays? Check
- High Scoring? Check
- Game winning shots? Check (Two of them)
November 14th the Warriors hosted the Thunder in Oracle arena in what was a back and forth game, the Warriors conceded a double digit lead in the 4th qaurter and Thunder Point Guard Russell Westbrook converted on a deep three pointer that put the Thunder up 115-114 with 2.3 seconds left, only to be one upped by Andre Iguodala’s game winning shot at the buzzer to give the Warriors a 116-115 win.
November 29th’s rematch in Oklahoma City was arguably just as entertaining. The game went into overtime and The Warriors took a 112-110 lead with 45.1 seconds left on a Harrison Barnes reverse lay-up. After a missed shot by Durant with 10 seconds left, the ball was last touched out of bounds by Warriors guard Klay Thompson. On the next play after Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka missed a potential game tying jump shot, the ball was kept alive again and saved to Russell Westbrook in the corner and made an incredible 3 point shot with .1 seconds left on the clock, this time, he gave the Warriors no time to respond and the Warriors lost 113-112
Heading into the third installment of this season series, hopefully tonight’s game in OKC will live up to the same high level of play the two previous games have shown.
If the Warriors want to win the season series Friday night they need to tighten things up on defense after giving up 123 points on 54% shooting from the field in Wednesday’s loss to the Nuggets, a loss that left Coach Mark Jackson disappointed in his team’s defensive effort,
“Defensively, that’s as bad as it gets.” Coach said after the loss.
Although the Thunder will be without Russell Westbrook until the All-star break, the Warriors still need to key in on who is considered the second best player on the planet in Kevin Durant who is having a career year averaging 30.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg (career high) and 5.0 apg (also a career high) and while his shooting percentage is down he has still elevated his play with Westbrook out.
“Kevin Durant is still as good as it gets” Mark Jackson said today “His ability to put everybody on his back. His ability to score, and make everybody a live weapon. We’ve gotta be able to contain and attempt to make him work.”
The Warriors will try to give Durant multiple looks on defense, but mainly Durant will be seeing a heavy dose of Andre Iguodala, but the Warriors still have to also be alert of the other potential threats that OKC still has on their roster and Coach Jackson knows that,
“We’ve gotta be aware of the other guys on the floor, but it’s still a very good team that is very well coached and it’s going to be tough for us.”
We are in for another high flying and exciting game in this encore.