Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder have been brilliant early in the season. Neither team has lost in the league, with Clippers and Thunder having won all their three respective matches so far. So, it goes without saying, they are on top of their game, and are in confident going into the Clippers-Thunder massive western conference clash at Staples Center on Wednesday.
The Clippers have defeated teams like Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns quite easily, but this match-up against the Thunder is a different ball game together. The home team will need their star players including Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan to star during the contest else it might be difficult for them to challenge Thunder, who boasts of one of the best players in the NBA, Russell Westbrook.
Though Thunder have lost one of their big players Kevin Durant to Golden State Warriors, Westbrook has been unperturbed, playing some top-notch basketball. Griffin, like many basketball fans, is looking forward to the massive challenge.
"(Westbrook is) an unbelievable player. Just the impact he has on the game in so many different areas and just the pressure he puts on defences just alone is crazy. But you kind of know that's his personality, to just go and destroy and take over. But it will be a fun challenge," Stats LLC quoted Griffin as saying.
However, both the players cannot do it all alone, they need some support from their team mates as well. Griffin will need some big plays from Paul while Thunder's Victor Oladipo will see that his star team mate Westbrook gets strong hand from him as well. Even though the supporting cast will be needed, Griffin and Westbrook, who have been solid for the respective teams so far, will be the players to watch.
Thunder were a splendid team last season as well, and they are not going to be any different this time around. After victories against Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, they have two massive matches coming up. They also face Warriors on Thursday.
Hence, this game against Clippers is going to be of huge importance. If Thunder manage to defeat Clippers, they will go into the Warriors match with their heads held high, and play their best basketball against the top team of the league.
"This gives us an opportunity really early in the season -- in the fourth game and the fifth game -- to find out really more about ourselves against two outstanding teams," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.
Where to Watch Live
Los Angeles Clippers vs Oklahoma City Thunder is set to begin at 10.30pm ET (8 am 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: ESPN. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Philippines: Fox Sports
International: NBA Online.