Blogtable: Looking ahead to Thunder-Warriors on Thursday

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Time to move back 3-point line? | More remarkable: Spurs’ run or Curry’s shooting? | Who needs win more in Warriors vs. Thunder?



VIDEORelive the last Thunder vs. Warriors matchup

> It’s a Thunder-Warriors rematch Thursday night (10:30 ET on TNT). Who’s more in need of a victory here, the Warriors to keep their 73-win season hopes alive? Or the Thunder, to show they can actually beat this Warriors squad?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comOklahoma City needs this way more than Golden State. The Warriors only have to go 19-4 the rest of the way to break the Bulls’ record for best regular season, and you’ll notice that I didn’t put “only” in quotation marks because 54-5 makes 19-4 seem pretty darn breezy. But the Thunder have gotten 130 points from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in two games against Golden State — and lost. They limited the Warriors to 7-of-26 on 3-point attempts their first meeting — and lost. They held them to 103 points through four quarters, 12 below average, in the second meeting — and lost, giving up 18 in five minutes of OT. OKC needs some positive reinforcement, fast, to carry with it should the teams meet in the postseason.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comYou don’t ever “need” to break a record. And things do have a way of changing once the playoffs begin. But I think the Thunder would like to show themselves that they can close the deal on the Warriors.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com The Thunder. Golden State can keep its hope for 73 alive even with a loss. It starts to become a mental thing for OKC, though, if the losses in the series pile up. Not that the Thunder should want to see the Dubs in the playoffs either way.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com For so many reasons, the Thunder need this more. Even though they’ve played the Warriors close this season, their confidence mainly is at stake. To be able to crack the mystique of the Warriors, even for one night, might go a long way. As for the Warriors, their remaining schedule, loaded with home games, will still give them a solid chance at 72-plus wins.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com It’s more important to Oklahoma City. The Warriors want 73 wins and that mark would obviously cement their place as one of the best teams in NBA history, but they know who they are, one loss isn’t going to break their stride, and winning a championship is still more important than winning 73 games. With Kevin Durant’s contract situation, this has been a critical season in the Thunder, who need to show their star that they can compete for a championship this year or in the near future. Saturday’s loss at home had to be pretty deflating for OKC, who are clearly on a tier below Golden State and San Antonio. A win over the champs, especially in the building where they’ve won 43 straight regular season games, would be a huge boost of confidence for OKC, and give Durant reason to believe that his team can compete with the champs in a seven-game series.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: I think the Thunder need the win more, just to prove to themselves that they can finish the job against the team that has overtaken them as the next big thing in the Western Conference and the league. (Remember, just a few years ago, the Thunder were supposed to be the team of this decade). Win or lose, the Warriors still have 73 in their sights.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: This outcome is going to directly impact the Warriors’ pursuit of the regular-season record. But it will neither enhance nor diminish OKC’s chances in the playoffs. Whatever happens in the postseason is going to be influenced by injuries and the unique dynamic of a seven-game series. So if the 73-win season means something to the Warriors, then that makes this rematch more important to them.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogAt this point, the Warriors have nothing left to prove. They might finish with 73 wins, or 70 wins, or whatever — we are certain that they’re one of the greatest teams in NBA history. I know the Thunder have played the Warriors pretty well in two games this season, narrowly losing both, and I think they could use a W against the Warriors for their own good, so they know that they can not just play them close but have what it takes to knock them off.

14 Comments

  1. tony says:

    OKC will win as long as Westbrook is sideline the fourth quater

  2. kenny b says:

    To comment on “Test”, Westbrook is the best point guard to ever play. How can you say he is a stat hog. PLEASE!!! The dude averages almost a triple double each night. Russell makes everyone better around him. For you to say that reveals to everyone that you probably never played a game of basketball in your life. Which is okay, but don’t make a negative comments about a player who will go down as the best point guard to ever play the game. Players like Westbrook only come along once in a lifetime.

    • rp says:

      Test is right. And I’ve played basketball for 40 years.

    • John says:

      Westbrook? Best point guard ever?

      I’ll name a few that are better. Magic Johnson, The big O, Jason Kidd, Isaiah Thomas, Chris Paul ..thats just to name a few

  3. Conde says:

    The golden state warrior coach already notice that he have nothing left and other team already know how to beat the warrior.

    This strategy he is trying to use now will not be enough without Stephen curry and igoudala they will lose tonight. By 20 points

    Coach Kerr want the players to trust themselves without iggy and curry, too late for that.

  4. Tan tk says:

    Even if the warriors finish 73-9, the 72-10 mj bulls will always in my memories the greatest team ever. Steph at this point in time is basically a 2 season wonder. Mj brought it on from his rookie season averaging 28 ppg from the start

    • C4 says:

      A two season wonder? Is there such a thing? I agree that i respect the Bulls more peobably, but i don’t think your showing enough respect to what Curry and GSW is doing.

  5. Curry should play so he could light up that arrogant dude westbrook lol

  6. Pops says:

    If the Warrios ever have a game Ref’d by Marc Davis again you can bet they won’t ever set any record for Wins. He and his crew didn’t call a Single foul on the Hawks for the complete 3rd Quarter. It’s obvious there are a few factions that don’t want to see the Warriors repeat as NBA Champs. As long as they stay Healthy, Draymond can get a bit more Arc in his 3 pt Shot and learn to calm that mouth of his down a biit, Kerr can use all of his bench more wisely before the playoffs start, they can repeat as NBA Champs.

  7. John W says:

    OKC will be on the back end of a back to back, with a game they need to win even more tonight vs. the Clippers if they want to gain a stronger grip on the three seed. If they leave it all on the court tonight, the Warriors will be an even taller test tomorrow than usual.

  8. Lovins says:

    OKC needed Saturday’s game, they were at home and led most of the game, they should’ve won that game. Thursday they will not be expected to win anyway. Warriors not just chasing 73…they’re still trying to stay in front of San Antonio for that 1 seed.

  9. test says:

    Westbrook must become a team player not a stat hog, let KD be the OKC star

  10. Olawale says:

    Hope you guys haven’t forgotten that the Warriors are also in pursuit of the Bulls home winning streak. Just one shy of the record so it’s something the golden would want as they would like to break anything related with bulls owning a record. Again, once they loose the game on Thursday, remember they still have two to three tough match ups as they still need to play the spurs and clippers. So loosing the game on Thursday would put their chase for the 73wins on jeopardy.