Even in a season in which the Golden State Warriors are the lead story in the NBA universe every time they hit the floor, tonight’s matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder is circled on the schedule in Sharpie.
As Draymond Green sees it, that’s exactly the way it should be with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sharing the court for the first time since last summer’s Western Conference Finals.
“Will the emotions be the same as any other game? Absolutely not,” the forward said during his weekly appearance on The Draymond Green Report on 95.7 The Game.
“If your emotions are the same as any other game, then you’re just emotionless and I’d rather not be around you at all. So, [Durant’s] emotions will definitely be different.”
“In turn, our emotions will be different for it because at the end of the day he’s going to want to beat them [and] they’re going to want to beat him. So, we’re going to want to win that game for him.”
Westbrook rolls into Oakland having put together a start to the season the likes of which have never been seen. The Thunder guard went for 100+ points, 30+ rebounds and 30+ assists in his first three games to become the first player in NBA history to accomplish that feat.
The Thunder also present a particularly challenging matchup for the Warriors as a team. While the Dubs are still finding their bearings on the glass, Oklahoma City has made a habit of dominating the boards.
The Thunder are third in the league in rebounding in the early going and posted historic numbers last year. While leading the NBA in rebounds, the Thunder put up the fourth-highest differential per game (8.4) since rebounds became an official stat in 1950.
Schedule Smiles on the Dubs
While the Thunder will be playing the second leg of a back-to-back against the Warriors, the hosts will be fresh as can be after not practicing — much less playing — on Wednesday.
Myers not concerned with Klay
No stat better embodies Klay Thompson’s quiet start to the season than his three-point percentage, which hovers just below 11 percent.
Thompson has dropped in just three shots from beyond the arc in the Warriors’ opening three games, but general manager Bob Myers believes Thompson’s early struggles are mental not physical.
“He gets down on himself, and Klay would admit that,” Myers said during his weekly appearance on 95.7 The Game. “He just has such a high standard for what he expects of himself and that’s what’s made him who he is.”
One theory is that Thompson, who’s now the Dubs’ third fiddle behind Steph Curry and Durant, simply isn’t getting his looks.
The numbers indicate that isn’t the problem. Thompson has averaged 16.5 shots per game, while Durant and Curry check in at 17.0 and 18.8, respectively.
“We’ll have other issues. I promise,” Myers said. “But it won’t be that Klay Thompson can’t shoot the basketball. That should be a non-issue.”