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Game #10: Oklahoma City Thunder (5-5) vs. Miami Heat (7-2)

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Anybody got a funny caption for this...?

 

The Heat will conclude their 5-game homestand tonight when the Oklahoma City Thunder rolls into Miami.  So far it's been a very pleasant start to the season at the AAA; a win would move the Heat to 6-2 at home.  Miami is coming off of their worst shooting night of the young season, hitting only 39% of their field goals, and that was in a game that was supposed to be a ‘bounce back' game for the Heat after their rough loss to Cleveland. 

After barely getting the ‘W' against the winless Nets, Miami will now face a Thunder team looking for their 3rd straight win on the road.  They are another favorable matchup for the Heat, as OkC scores just 93 points/game while allowing their opponents to score 105.  True to their numbers, the Thunder are coming off of a home loss to the Clippers in which they scored 93 points, 40 of which came from Kevin Durant

Durant leads a promising but underachieving young core for Oklahoma City.  In just 3 short years he has become one of the more exciting swingmen in the league and will be a handful for Quentin Richardson, who is more then likely going to draw Durant as a defensive assignment.  In 10 games this year he is averaging 28.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing in over 40 minutes a game. He's 5th in the NBA in scoring just 1.6 points behind Dwyane Wade who sits in 4th

Russell Westbrook is another very young and very talented player that the Thunder have the pleasure of developing. Westbrook is on that short list of point guards taken before Mario Chalmers in the 08 Draft, and you know how much Rio loves proving how good he is against the guys chosen instead of him.  Russell had a very successful rookie campaign and is already building on those numbers, but Westbrook still has some work to do with his jumper.  He's shooting just 32% in his last five games, but is a good rebounding PG and still averages 7.4 assists/game, which is ridiculous.

GAME NOTES

  • After their lowest scoring and worst shooing game of the season, then having 2 full days off to practice, expect the Heat to attack attack attack.
  • As a team, Oklahoma City has shot under 44% from the field in 7 of their 10 games this season. 
  • The Heat are 6-0 this year when holding their opponent to 90 points or less. 
  • Miami is expecting to get Jermaine O'Neal and Mario Chalmers back for tonight's game.  O'Neal sat out against the Nets because of a bruised hip he suffered against the Cavs (thanks LeBron) and Chalmers missed most of the Nets game after straining his right shoulder in the 1st quarter.
  • This will be the 1,700th regular-season game in Heat franchise history.
  • After taking a season low 15 foul shots against the Nets, the Heat will likely be driving the ball a lot.  And why not?  Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green aren't exactly defensive studs, and they'll be the ones guarding the paint. 
  • A win would match the best 10-game start in Heat history. 

Tipoff from the AAA is 7:30 and I've got a feeling that tonight the giant black curtains will be covering the balcony seats.  Even with a 7-2 start, the Thunder aren't drawing a big crowd on a Tuesday in November (or March for that matter)