This evening, the undefeated Atlanta Hawks come to town and will give the Thunder their second straight matchup against an undefeated team. There are only three undefeated teams left in the league, so I guess maybe we should be thankful that tomorrow night's game isn't against the Lakers.
The Hawks will be playing without Josh Smith their starting power forward and one of their leading scorers. This is a significant loss for the Hawks, but they played the majority of their game on Friday against the Raptors without him and still managed to pull off a decisive 110-92 victory.
The Thunders job tonight is to prove that they can play a full game of basketball and not just a few quarters. They had a huge first quarter against the Celtics and then fell apart. Their second half against the Jazz (34 points in both the 3rd and 4th quarters) was insane but by that time they were so far out of the game it really didn't matter. OKC needs to avoid the big blowout quarter where they only score around 15 and the other team gets 30. If they give up a quarter like that to the Hawks, then this one is over.
Another question that might be answered tonight is whether or not Jeff Green is actually stepping into the much needed role of 3 point shooter. Green is 6 for 9 beyond the arc this season. All of those shots have come in the last three games, and he's increased the number of 3's made each game (1 against Minnesota, 2 against Boston, and 3 against Utah). If Green can increase his attempts to 5-8 per game and make 40-50% of his three point shots, he can increase his value to the team by becoming the one guy starting to break away from the Thunder norm of three point futility. I'm not sold on the idea that Green can become this guy for the team, but I'd love to see it happen none-the-less.