Tonight’s NBA program will be filled with high scoring and exciting games, especially in the last two matchups Pelicans @ Warriors and Thunder @ Nuggets. It is not like these teams are weak on the defensive end, but their talent on offense is just overwhelming. Durant and Westbrook consist the highest scoring duo this season for example, Curry and Thompson are not far from that standard, New Orleans has high level of talent in its starting lineup and Denver is just a team that has historically been dominant on the offensive end.
New Orleans Pelicans (11-11) @ Golden State Warriors (13-12)
The Pelicans will be missing both Evans and Davis for this game. It is a question should the duo return earlier than expected just to help the team on their current road-trip. Their absence was clearly felt in the loss against Dallas and by words of coach Monty Williams both players are nearing full condition. Evans admits he returned to early from ankle injury and Davis had a tremendous season before he broke his hand. He played on All Star level and has a double-double average.
Golden State was hit by misfortune when Iguoadala suffered that hamstring injury because he was a true all around swingman early in the season. Iggy was the glue that held all the pieces in the puzzle. I’m not saying that Curry is not the leader of the team, but the veteran that came from Denver this summer was helping the team win with his intense D, assists, steals and leadership. There was one good thing in this negative situation and that is the greater playing time of high profile prospect Harrison Barnes.
Key matchups will be on the PG and SG positions. You have two pairs of completely different players that organize the play on both sides. Curry is a score first type of player and his game differs greatly from Jrue Holliday’s playmaking style of play. On the SG position Thompson and Gordon are players that have excellent shooting technique and can drive to the hoop. On the other side their stat sheet is very low in other categories like assists and rebounds
Oklahoma City Thunder (19-4) @ Denver Nuggets (14-9)
Nobody thought that Denver will be above the .500 mark anytime in this season. There were lots of trades that hurt the team and coach changes, but I guess that people didn’t believe as much as they should in Brian Shaw. He is the mastermind behind this team and it looks like he is one of most prosperous coaches in the NBA. Sometimes the methods that Shaw uses are unique, but it looks like they’re efficient (no junk food before games). Leaders of this Denver squad is the Faried-Lawson tandem that works perfectly this early in the 2014 NBA season.
Oklahoma didn’t look as good early in the season with coupe of surprising loses like the blowout against Minnesota, but I guess that Durant just waited his partner in crime to return to the courts. Westbrook returned early from his knee operation and he is again proving that he is a key member of Thunder’s squad. The team has great presence in the paint good role players and few prospects that are proving to be worth the wait like Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and rookie center Adams.
Wilson Chandler just returned from injury and it will be hard for him to guard Durant because he is so much faster and agile than Chandler. There is a real mismatch in size on the PG position and Westbrook will need to play with the back to the basket often in this one against Lawson.
- Thunder-Nuggets Preview (nbcsports.com)