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Thunder, Clips Only Undefeated Teams Left In West

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Associated Press Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY -

After Wednesday night, there will be only one team in the Western Conference without a loss.

Granted, we'll be only four games into the new season so we still can't really gauge how exactly the final 78 games will go after the Thunder face the Clippers on Wednesday.

Steven Adams will play most of the game on DeAndre Jordan, meaning either Domantas Sabonis or Enes Kanter will have to defend Blake Griffin. And Blake is crushing right now.

Averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds, the Clips have their two man game working well right now with Chris Paul averaging 20 points and seven assists. On top of that, JJ Reddick can still stroke, Austin Rivers isn't terrible, and guys like Jamal Crawford always seem to burn the Thunder. That combo of an inside game from Griffin and Jordan and the ability to stretch and shoot from deep can get the Thunder in trouble.

Thunder have been pretty good so far defending the three, allowing only 22.6 percent average a game against. On anything inside the arc, though, OKC gives up almost 52 percent a game. It'll take a much better effort on the defensive end to keep the Clippers from getting loose deep or on a pick and roll.

The most interesting wrinkle now is does Billy Donavan bench Sabonis for newly acquired Jerami Grant? Grant's a third-year player and Sabonis is barely averaging a quarter's worth of playing time. At Gonzaga Sabonis only shot 14 three's in his career so a 64 percent field goal percentage isn't worth much for a dude who takes most of his shots from 18 feet and in. Grant is certainly not a lights out shooter from deep but he's not trying to get a feel for the game.

All in all, Russ can hang with anybody in the league. Andre Roberson can lock anybody down. The Stache Bros. can run with run with Griffin and Jordan. But the Clips have a clear advantage off the bench. I think it'll be an interesting game but the Clippers will stay undefeated.

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