The last time the Thunder and Blazers played, just five days ago back in Oklahoma City, Blazers forward Gerald Wallace posted a game-high 40 points on OKC. Wallace made 16 of 28 shots on an array of jumpers and drives to the basket. Thunder forward Serge Ibaka started out on Wallace in that game, and Brooks said Ibaka will be the first defender again tonight if the Blazers start a small unit once again.
Although it was a clear mismatch, Brooks said that in reviewing the film from the last game Wallace scored only seven to nine points on Ibaka.
“It was on everybody,” Brooks said of Wallace’s scoring barrage. “He was being very fair with it. He was spreading it around.”
Kevin Durant, Brooks said, also is likely to get a good dose of defending Wallace.
“I like Kevin playing him,” Brooks said. “I like Kevin playing some good offensive players. It’s good for him. It challenges him.”
BREAK OUT THE BROOM?
The Thunder enters tonight’s game 3-0 against the Blazers.
Perkins said that alone will make tonight’s contest a tall task.
“For one thing they’re at home,” Perkins said. “But another thing is with our season series being 3-0, a team takes pride in guys coming in trying to sweep them. So by no means do I think this is going to be an easy game or a blowout. We’re going to have to come out here and be prepared and ready to fight for 48 minutes. It’s not going to be easy. We’re on the road. It’s going to be a lot of downs in this game. It’s going to be a lot of ups, too. But we just got to stick together.”
KEY TO VICTORY
Brooks wants his team to match Portland’s physicality. If the Thunder does that, Brooks thinks his guys will give themselves a good chance to win.
“We did a good job of that the last game,” Brooks said. “They’re a physical team. They’re an every possession team. And this home crowd is a great advantage that they have. But we played them well all three times because we matched their physical toughness.”
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