The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Oklahoma City to take on Kevin Durant and the West-leading Thunder tonight. The Cavs pulled off a one-point win in their last game thanks to the heroics of Kyrie Irving. The Thunder are an incredibly talented team, so this one could get messy...
Song Of The Day: Thunderstruck - AC/DC
Will Cleveland get Thunderstruck tonight?
Cleveland Cavaliers (14-23) at Oklahoma City Thunder (31-8)
I watch the Thunder play pretty frequently. They are one of my favorite teams to watch and I absolutely love their core of players. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden are all some of my favorite players in the entire NBA. Furthermore, they do ridiculous things. The other night all three of them scored 30 or more points. That's insane. These three guys are going to be absolutely impossibly difficult for the Cavs to stop tonight.
For your viewing pleasure:
As I was looking at the Thunder stats some more before writing this, I was kind of surprised by how good they actually are. I mean, I watch them all the time but 31-8 is just ridiculous. Similarly, they're 17-1 at home. You think a 14-23 team without its second best player is going to give them their second loss at home? Yeah, didn't think so.
This may go without saying, but Kevin Durant is REALLY freaking good. And he's just 23 years old. Durant is the two-time defending scoring champion and is only getting better. This guy can be the best player in the NBA for the next 10 years if he really wants to be. Now that I have sufficiently fawned over how amazing KD is, let's see how it relates to the Cavs: who the heck is going to guard this scoring machine? Omri Casspi? No way; it's got to be Alonzo Gee. As good as Gee has been at taking on the opposing team's best wing scorer, KD is a whole other monster. He's nearly 7-feet tall and an incredible shooter. I love Alonzo Gee, but Durant is poised to drop 35 points on any given night.
I'm not trying to just talk up the Thunder, I'm really not. But everywhere I look, there is a potentially catastrophic mismatch for the Cavaliers. Serge Ibaka on Antawn Jamison could be illegal in 18 different states. Ibaka is the NBA's block leader and his ungodly athleticism can cause tons of problems for Jamison.
James Harden is one of the more underrated players in the league and with Anthony Parker guarding him, could have a career night. Goodness.
Seriously, if any of you can think of reasons to be optimistic for tonight's game, let me know in the comments.
Russell Westbrook vs. Kyrie Irving
This is possibly the only area that the Cavs could have an advantage. Westbrook is undoubtedly the better player at this point, but he's fairly volatile and could have a bad shooting night plagued with a bunch of turnovers. Kyrie has been pretty consistent in his overall performances -- giving him a chance to outplay Westbrook tonight.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Thunder win 111-84