Do not get your hopes up Nugget fans. There is no chance that the Oklahoma City Thunder sit their big three tonight. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green are all going to play.
I get it, you scoff at the idea that Durant, Green and Westbrook should be considered a formidable big three combo? Well, consider this. Over their previous seven games they are averaging a combined 70.6 points, 21.7 rebounds and 11.0 assists. They are also shooting 48.0% from the floor as well so this is not just a result of volume shooting. As a comparison in the two games since Melo returned the three Nuggets with the best stats are Melo, Nene and Kleiza. Over those two games they have put together cumulative averages of 63.5 points, 21.5 rebounds and six assists.
I have another average for you to consider and that is 20.7. What is that you ask? That is the average age of the Thunder threesome and they appear to be maturing awfully fast.
Obviously the difference between the two teams are after the Thunder Threesome Oklahoma City does not have a lot of talent where the Nuggets have players like Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith whom we have not even mentioned yet. However, the Thunder are playing hard and are starting to overcome that first hurdle that shows a team is becoming competitive and that is winning consistently at home.
We all recall how the Nuggets escaped a disappointing loss earlier in the season at the hands of the Thunder when Melo threw in a desperation three pointer at the buzzer to pull out a 122-120 victory. Since that night he Thunder are 5-2 at home and have defeated Utah and Detroit easily during that stretch. Well, that is doing them a disservice. They demolished Utah.
Tonight both Chauncey and Kenyon are game time decisions, Chauncey because of his ankle and Kenyon due to strep throat. (I am no doctor, but are we sure we want Kenyon on an airplane with the rest of the team for two hours with all of them breathing that re-circulated air? Can we have him hang his head out the window or something?)
Melo has been great offensively since returning and he will have to have a big night again tonight, even if Chauncey does manage to play. I think we will be in for another exciting game and do not miss the chance to watch Durant play. He already is, as George Karl would say, special.
Previous Matchup: Game 34 – Den 122 OKC 120