3 Keys To The Game For The Thunder To Get A Win Against The Team That Sent Them Home In The Playoffs (Video) – BlackSportsOnline
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3 Keys To The Game For The Thunder To Get A Win Against The Team That Sent Them Home In The Playoffs (Video)

Tonight the Thunder play their first game against the team that sent them home in the playoffs and pretty much turned the franchise upside down. It’s not the same Thunder team but there are plenty of key guys that played and remember what happened. Here are the three keys to the game that will help the Thunder get a win.

1. CONTAIN DAMIAN LILLARD AND/OR CJ MCCOLLUM

This is a lot easier said than done. Dame and CJ are one of the best backcourts in the NBA and right now and are currently the second highest scoring duo in the league at 54 points a game. That accounts for almost half of the teams 113 points they score a game. Containing one of these guys could be enough to get a win. In their two losses this season one of the two were contained enough for the opposing team to get a win. In their two wins both guys got going and shot a combined 50% or better from the field. Whereas in the two losses those two guys shot a combined 38%. The thunder have to play good smart defense and not let either guy get going because when they get hot there’s no stopping them.

2. CONTROL THE BOARDS

This one shouldn’t be an issue due to the Thunder ranking 2nd in rebounding. The main reason it’s key to continue being a great rebounding team is because the Blazers rank 8th with only three rebounds a game behind the Thunder. The team that controls the boards will have the advantage in this game. With no Steven Adams tonight, it makes this even more important. When he plays, he gets a huge chunk of the rebounds. Since he is resting his left knee confusion, guys like Noel, Bazley, Ferguson, Gallinari, and Patton or Muscala will have to help fill the void.

3. MOVE THE BALL & LIMIT TURNOVERS

The thunder are currently 28th in assist/turnover ratio with 18.3 assists and 18.5 turnovers per game. Turning the ball over once for every assist they get. Additionally, they only average 18.8 assists on their 37.5 shots made per game. The shots made per game rank 14th whereas the assists per game rank 21st. That’s not terrible, however those assists need to go up and turnovers need to go down. Moving the ball is essential. It not only creates better shots for everyone but it also makes the defense move and helps limit turnovers. Limiting turnovers against a team like Portland is key. The Blazers are typically a team that is in the bottom half of fast break points but in games where they create a lot of turnovers, they’re fast break points rise and it helps their guys get going. If the Thunder can move the ball and limit turnovers, they will have a strong chance to win.

The Blazers are on a back to back so this is a great opportunity to get a win. This however does have the potential to be one of the games the Thunder come out flat and end up getting blown out. Playing the team that sent you home should give them some type of urgency though.

Flip the page to see Nerlens Noel give a preview of the game and Hamidou Diallo talk about the impact of Chris Paul.

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