Thunder Bolts: What to watch for in OKC vs Golden State

Cameron Jourdan

Sports Blogger

@CJourdan81

Rebounding

Last season, OKC led the league in rebounding and dominated the board against Golden State in the playoffs. The Thunder leads the league early this season in rebounding. Golden State is struggling on the offensive and defensive glass. Outside of Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, the Warriors aren’t getting offensive rebounds like coach Steve Kerr wants them to. OKC will need to secure rebounds on both sides of the floor if it wants to win.

 

Size

The Warriors’ loss of centers Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Maureese Speights has hurt Golden State on the defensive end. Although they signed Zaza Pachulia, the Warriors have been outrebounded in their first three games this season, and lack of size is a big part of it. The Thunder have plenty of big men on the bench who can out-muscle anyone on the Warriors’ roster. Look for centers Steven Adams and Enes Kanter to have the ball in the low post against the weak Warriors post defenders.

 

The Thunders' Russell Westbrook faces off against former teammate Kevin Durant on Thursday. (Keith Allison, Flickr)
The Thunders’ Russell Westbrook goes up against former teammate Kevin Durant on Thursday.
(Keith Allison, Flickr)

Westbrook vs Durant

Kevin Durant faces his former team Thursday night. (Bridget Dukes, Flickr)
Kevin Durant faces his former team Thursday night.
(Bridget Dukes, Flickr)

This will be the first matchup between the two superstars since Durant left this summer to join the Warriors in free agency. Many wonder if Westbrook will try to outshoot Durant, or if Durant will throw shade at Westbrook in press conferences. This will be a matchup you don’t want to miss Thursday night, especially when Durant and Westbrook are guarding each other.

ozone@ocolly.com

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