Preview: Cavs at OKC…tip-off at 7

Projected Starting Lineups:

Oklahoma City Thunder…

PG – Russel Westbrook
SG – Thabo Sefolsha
SF – Kevin Durant
PF – Jeff Green
C   – Nenad Kristic

Cavaliers…

PG – Mo Williams
SG – Anthony Parker
SF – LeBron James
PF – J.J. Hickson
C   – Shaquille O’Neal – Q

Game Notes:

Shaq made the trip, participated in shoot-around and is currently listed as questionable.  If I were Mike Brown, I’d start Anderson Varejao at the center position if Shaq can’t go, but obviously Z may get the nod here instead if Shaq’s eye is too much of a problem…

Durant is 3rd in the NBA in scoring at 28.3 ppg and also leads the team in rebounding at 7.2 per game, and if you didn’t know, he’s 6’10″ and can handle the ball well on the NBA’s perimeter also…in short, he’s a ridiculous stud that I would think LeBron will have to guard tonight, and if so, he should push the King some on that end….

Big test for Hickson tonight who’s been dominated of late in the low post defensively, first by Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies, and then more recently by LaMarcus Aldridge and his Blazer front court mates.  As a reminder, Hickson was pulled early in the half for Varejao and did not return against Portland on Friday…

Beyond Durant, Russel Westbrook will be the biggest test for Cleveland tonight, and he will be yet again another handful for Mo Williams to contend with defensively.  Westbrook is leading the team in assists at 6.9 per game, and is also averaging over 16 points and nearly 5 rebounds…he’ll be an All Star one day soon, I just hope its not tonight…

I was watching the UCLA game last night and they showed a stat saying that if recent early NBA entrants had stayed a Bruin, Kevin Love would be a senior, Jrue Holiday a sophomore, and Russel Westbrook a junior…that team would be good, no? Instead they’re (2-7)…

And after OKC Thunder – sitting at 12-9 –  tonight, as Jacob over at WFNY  pointed out this morning, the schedule doesn’t get any easier during the latter part of this month…

 

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Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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