The Thunder held a 24-17 record at home last season. The Cavaliers should be ready to blitz SGA when turning past every screen to get the ball out of his hands. Even with that, this outing could turn into a duel between SGA and the Cavalier who isn’t defended by Dort. The preference would be to attack OKC’s young frontcourt again to get them in foul trouble and prevent the Thunder from controlling the pace.
OKC is an emerging squad that should surprise nobody if they get close to 50 wins. The Thunder take this game.
Golden State only lost eight games at the Chase Center in 2022-23. Containing Curry’s off-ball activity is the toughest challenge because he doesn’t stop moving on the perimeter and cutting inside. The Cavaliers will need to trap the handoff if it’s from Green. In man-to-man defense, Strus will be in a mismatch dealing with Andrew Wiggins’ speed and hops.
Warriors get payback from their loss on Nov. 5.
Sacramento can throw out Kevin Huerter and Davion Mitchell in full-court press to slow down the ball and use Harrison Barnes up top.
Guarding Sabonis will be a great test for Mobley and Allen, dealing with his strength on post ups and keeping him off the glass. The more significant concern is how the backcourt manages De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk’s acceleration. Both of the Kings’ guards can dust defenders without a screen and get to open mid-range shots or attract help. Forward Keegan Murray, who canned 208 3-pointers last season, will receive many open looks caused by dribble penetration.
Mitchell, Garland and Strus must target Sabonis in drop coverage, avoid low percentage trays and limit turnovers. In 2022-23, the Kings were seventh in fastbreak points, scoring 14.9 points a night.
In Sacramento, the Kings keep the beam lit.