There is only one game on ESPN tonight. The Chicago Bulls travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks one night after blowing out the Spurs.
It will be interesting to see how the Bulls play on the second night of a back-to-back. They are a better team on the road this season. The Mavericks are a tough home team that is rested. It should be a high scoring game and is worth the watch.
The game of the night might be the Oklahoma City Thunder @ Atlanta Hawks.
The Thunder are on a four game winning streak and are two games above .500. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are playing great basketball recently. Durant is averaging 27 ppg, 9 rpg and 4.8 apg in his last five games. Westbrook is averaging 20 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 9.0 apg in his last five games.
The Hawks have won 14 games in a row. They are the league’s best team and they have the league’s best defense. Their last lost was actually at home on December 26, 2014. They are on a seven game home stand. They have beaten some good teams during this winning streak.
Oklahoma City is on a five game Eastern Conference road trip. They had a great win on Wednesday at Washington in overtime. They are still three games back of the Phoenix Suns for the eighth seed. Three games is a lot in the Western Conference.
Atlanta is a team that loves to share the ball. They are second in the league with 26 assists per game. In their last five games they have had a different leading scorer. There is no true superstar on the roster, just a bunch of guys who play very well together.
The matchup of Russell Westbrook and Jeff Teague will be good. Both guys are having career years in terms of scoring. For Teague he is averaging a career high in assists as well. Teague might be the most underrated point guard in the league. Westbrook will continue to attack the basket but expect Teague to also attack Westbrook.
The frontcourts of both teams might decide this game. The Thunder leads the league in rebounding while the Hawks struggle on the boards and sit at 25th in the league. Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams must attack the glass for the Thunder. Both guys average 2 offensive rebounds per game.
Al Horford and Paul Millsap are good enough shooters to keep Ibaka and Adams away from the basket. Millsap shoots the three pointer well enough to make sure Ibaka does not roam around for weak side blocks. Millsap is a good rebounder and he needs to have a good game on the boards.
The Thunder do a good job of guarding the three point line. It will be interesting to see how they guard Kyle Korver, a guy who is shooting 53% from beyond the arc.
It should be a great game that the Thunder really needs to gain ground in a tough Western Conference. The Hawks have a six game lead in the Eastern Conference so a lost would not hurt them as much.