Thunder Set To Take On Kevin Durant & The Warriors

Tuesday, January 17th 2017, 3:58 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger

After getting blown out by the Clippers in Los Angeles on Monday, the Thunder will attempt to bounce back on Wednesday when they take on the Golden State Warriors.

Related: Thunder Struggles Without Adams In Lopsided Loss To Clippers

Our Thunder Reporter, Steve McGehee, will be inside of Oracle Arena covering the game, but until then here are a few things to know about the matchup:

Remember that KD guy?

Following his suspicious departure this past summer to join the Warriors, Kevin Durant is set to face his former franchise for the second time on Wednesday. With the game scheduled to air on ESPN, it’s no surprise to see the worldwide leader salivating over the tasty matchup between Durant and Russell Westbrook.

It’s no secret that Westbrook didn’t take Durant’s decision lightly, and the superstar point guard has stated on multiple occasions that he still hasn’t spoken to his former Thunder Buddy.

Just like the first go around, seeing the two former teammates square off will be weird for most Thunder fans to watch. OKC poured their heart into cheering for Durant over the past nine seasons, and seeing him draped in enemy colors may never feel normal for those in the 405.

That being said, it’s likely both Durant and Westbrook will want to put on a show on this big stage. While they won’t guard each other every possession, Golden State does switch on screens when on defense, therefore Westbrook will have more than a few opportunities to seek retribution.

Round 2

Not only will the Thunder look to avenge Durant’s decision, but OKC remembers what happened the last time these two teams met.

Durant exploded for 39 points back on Nov. 4, while the Warriors dominated in the second quarter on the way to a 122-96 blowout. It was OKC’s first loss of the season, and there’s no doubt it wasn’t easy to have it come the way it did.

“The Warriors were doing a lot of trash talking,” Westbrook said after the game. “Apparently, I guess they talk a lot of trash now. We’ll see how that goes.”

Westbrook went on to stress that OKC will see the Warriors again, and his confidence only builds on the hype for Wednesday’s matchup.

No Steven Adams

After smacking the back of his head on the hardwood in Sunday’s win over the Kings, Thunder big man, Steven Adams, will miss his second consecutive game with a concussion.

This is a major blow for the Thunder, seeing OKC struggled to defend the paint in Monday’s loss to the Clippers while Enes Kanter continually got caught out of position. Billy Donovan opted to start Jerami Grant in place of Adams in Los Angeles, and its likely Grant will get the nod against the Warriors due to his versatility on the defensive end.

OKC’s one advantage over Golden State was its post players, so Adams’ absence from the lineup couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time.

You can follow Brett on Twitter: @BrettCope