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Thunder Begins Three-Game Road Trip Against Lakers

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Associated Press Associated Press
LOS ANGELES -

The Lakers own wins over the Rockets, Hawks, and Warriors but come into tonight's game hosting the Thunder having lost a consecutive pair.

Don't bet on tonight's game, which tips at 9:30 here in OKC, as going any differently than any of the Thunder's other games.

It will be tight. It will be intense. Russ will push it to the brink. The fourth quarter will make people wonder whether or not a November game is worth staying up for. This is the world we live in now.

Everybody on Earth knows what Russ is capable of. It's not a surprise to see him threaten Oscar Robertson's full-season triple-double record like it is to imagine that of James Harden. We all know Steven Adams can go for 15-15 every night. We all know Enes Kanter can also go for 15-15 every night and can't (not won't) play defense.

But we don't know how the rest of the roster will perform. In a four-game stretch, Victor Oladipo shot 33 percent, 67 percent, 24 percent, and 67 percent. He's topped five rebounds in a game only twice. The inconsistency throughout the roster is infuriating. But, like I said, this is the world we live in now.

The Lakers still don't have one guy who can win a game, like the Thunder have Russ. They've got a couple of guys who can make a difference in any given game, like D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Luol Deng.

But as we saw against the Pacers on Sunday night, it doesn't have to fall on the face of the team to single-handedly win a close game. With Paul George out, Jeff Teague ripped off eight of his 30 points in overtime.

I know it's tough to do when we haven't seen consistent enough play from a majority of the roster but Oladipo, Alex Abrines, Andre Roberson, Jerami Grant, and the rest need to be trusted to get the job done. Not just by fans but by the team, from the end of the bench to around the corner in Clay Bennett's seat and all the way up to Sam Presti's box.

If the organization doesn't/can't/won't trust the guys surrounding their known quantities, Presti needs to start buying out apartment leases.

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