Stephen Curry was the centre of attention throughout last season, when Golden State Warriors took on big teams of the NBA. But, with the inclusion of Kevin Durant this season in their team, the former Oklahoma City Thunder has also been bagging headlines, and all eyes are on the Warriors' number 34 in their next match as he prepares to shine for his new team against his former franchise at Oracle Arena on Thursday.
It is not only about Durant playing against his former team, but also him going up against Russell Westbrook as they formed a splendid partnership during their days in Thunder. The two players have not spoken to one another after Durant's move to Warriors, and the star informed about his big transfer to Westbrook via a message.
Durant, despite his relationship not being healthy after his departure from Thunder, loves to watch Westbrook play. He is looking forward to the game against the Thunder.
"The thing is, I'm not a hater. Russ is a great basketball player. I love watching him play. I'm a fan of his game. I don't wish bad things on people. That's not what I'm about. I've always supported him and will continue to support him. Of course I'm looking forward to the game. We're competitors," ESPN quoted Durant as saying.
Both the players have moved on, and Westbrook has shouldered responsibility for Thunder this season, helping them win four matches on a trot. They have not lost a single game in the competition. Westbrook will be keen to keep that winning streak alive, with the hope of outdoing Warriors and co.
Thunder come into this match with a massive win against Los Angeles Clippers, which will give them further confidence. Westbrook might have been the only player to score double figures against the Clippers, but other players like Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo need to contribute more and relieve their superstar from the pressure.
Even a decent game from the trio might not be enough against the formidable opponents in the form of Warriors at home. Besides Durant and Curry, who will be both be desperate to register their fourth straight win, they also have Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, making them look even strong. All these four players have it in them to help Warriors single-handedly.
The Warriors, after being outplayed by the San Antonio Spurs, have played some good basketball, defeating Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans in their last three matches. With players like Curry, Durant and Thompson, such results comes as no surprise, but the trio will also be aware that the Thunder are going to be their biggest test after the Spurs game.
The focus for the contest will be on Durant and Westbrook, but the game of basketball is not a one man sport, hence there is a serious need for the rest of the players to take their game to another level on Thursday.
Where to Watch Live
Golden State Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder is set to begin at 10.30pm ET (3.30am BST, 8am IST next day). Live Streaming and TV guide for the NBA match is given below.
India: TV: Sony Six and Sony Six HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.
USA: TV: TNT. Live Streaming: TNT Overtime.
UK: TV: BT Sport. Live Streaming: Watch BT Sport.
Australia: TV: ESPN
Philippines: Basketball TV
International: NBA Online.