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Steve's Thunder Notes: Playing In the Bay

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OAKLAND, Calif. -

I exited the plane in Denver and I see my gate to Oakland straight ahead, kind of fitting.

The Oklahoma City Thunder is next in line to try and beat the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena, so far no one has the season. The Denver Nuggets were close --- losing in overtime 111-108 on January 2.

2/5/16: Thunder vs. Warriors Preview

The Golden State Warriors have proven they're the best team in the NBA right now.

The San Antonio Spurs lost by 30 in Oakland, even more impressive? A Warriors dismantling of Cleveland in the Buckeye State, winning 132-98.

So here comes the Thunder with two of the top five players in the league, Kevin Durant (clutch shooting) and Russell Westbrook (triple-doubles), rest assured they're up to the challenge. Russ is athletic enough to frustrate sharp shooter-precision passer Steph Curry. That matchup alone is worth the price of admission.

Since Golden State plays small in the middle with rising star Draymond Green, (another triple-double monster) that brings up the question: Do you start Steven Adams at center and go big on the Warriors-- the Russ-Stache (Westbrook-Adams) pick and roll seems to be working-- or does Serge Ibaka or KD slide to the paint with more hustle to get down the floor faster?  I have a feeling we will see all three.

Curry and Klay Thompson can turn their three-point shooting into an effortless shot and make it look like a layup line, that has to be the biggest concern going in.  Oklahoma City has a tendency to leave an open opponent open behind the line, that can't happen too much tonight, if so, it will turn into a three-point contest.

Oklahoma City has the horses and are young enough to race up and down the floor with the Warriors. Sure, playing good defense will be key, but in a game like this you have to score and score some more, if Oklahoma City fails to score at least 110 points the Warriors will stay unbeaten at home. In the last meeting against Golden State, OKC won 127-115 at Chesapeake Energy arena.  That total of 127 tonight should do the trick tonight, right?

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