There is nothing more exciting to a basketball fan than a good match-up between two teams who are fighting for the same position, goals, and aspirations. This game tonight, is nothing short of must-see TV. I will be glued to the screen, in hopes to see just as much of a game as we saw last week (11/13) with the Clippers pulling out the win in the closing minutes 111-103 in LA. The Thunder left that game with a bad taste in their mouth, most notably for losing Serge Ibaka in the first half on a heavily criticized ejection after tussling with Blake Griffin and confronting Matt Barnes (who was also ejected as well). Some analysts said the Thunder would have won that game with Ibaka in the fold, and that might be the case.
There is bad blood between both teams and it prompts the kind of story line and rivaly that could make the NBA season special. The Clippers are trying to find their defensive identity as the Doc Rivers system is still taking time to develop on the team. Meanwhile, it is always good to have arugabley the best point guard in the NBA today in Chris Paul on a mission and record setting hot streak. Last night in Minnesota, Chris Paul became the first NBA player to average a double-double in the first 12 games of a season since Magic Johnson set the mark back in 1990-1991 season.
The Thunder also have been making some noise as of late and are trying to find their groove with Westbrook back after missing the first week of the season. Durant has been averaging 33.8 points against the Clippers over the last three games. He will need another big night against the Clippers in order to have a chance to win this game.
The Pick: My hopes for this game tonight is that we are all getting a preview of maybe the Western Conference Finals match-up. Tonight only plays a part in the intensity that will be elevated if these teams were to meet in the playoffs. I believe the Thunder will take this game and I think Durant will have a huge night. I have the Thunder winning this game 102 – 99.
National TV: TNT
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET