King James In OKC: Previewing Sunday's Thunder/Cavaliers Matchup

Saturday, February 20th 2016, 9:56 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger

It’s always one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, and it will be here again on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 when the Thunder host the Cavaliers inside of Chesapeake Energy Arena. Here are a few things to know about the matchup:

Cavs/Thunder Pt. 2

It was a very intense and heated matchup, but the Cavaliers came out on top when the two teams squared off back on December 17 in Cleveland. OKC was down by nine points with three minutes left and fought back to get within three, but ultimately lost 104-100.

Oklahoma City was without shooter Anthony Morrow in the game, but Cleveland had its injury problems as well with Mo Williams and Iman Shumpert sitting out.

One thing about that contest that sticks out is the fact LeBron James pummeled into PGA Golfer Jason Day’s wife, Ellie Day, who was sitting courtside at the exact spot LeBron was diving for a loose ball. There was a stoppage in play for her to be carted off the floor and sent to the hospital where she was treated.

LeBron vs. KD

Both LeBron James and Kevin Durant are two of the best players in the world, and anytime they’re on the floor at the same time it’s must see basketball. LeBron got the better of KD back in December when he totaled 33 points compared to KD’s 25 points, so don’t be surprised to see Durant come out firing on Sunday afternoon.

There’s been somewhat of a rivalry built up between the two players ever since Durant led the Thunder to the finals to face LeBron’s Heat back in 2012, but The King has won two NBA titles since then compared to zero for Durant, so it looks like the OKC sharpshooter has some work to do.

New coach in Cleveland

Last time the Thunder saw the Cavs they were still being coached by David Blatt, but despite Blatt leading the Cavs to the best Eastern Conference record at the time, GM David Griffin opted to let him go and promote assistant Tyron Lue to head coach.

Lue is 8-3 since taking over as headman and some of those wins include victories over the Spurs, Pacers and Bulls. It’ll be interesting to see how much improvement the Cavs show once they have more of a sample size with Lue in charge.