The Oklahoma City Thunder have played six out of their nine games on the road to begin the 2013-14 NBA season, going 6-3 in those nine games. They start a six game homestand tonight when they host the Denver Nuggets.
The Thunder are usually good on the road, but everyone knows how hard it is to defeat them on their home floor. Chesapeake Energy Arena — better known as “Loud City” — just seems to bring out the best in this team.
Their next six games will prove if they are still top level contenders in this league. If you want to win a championship in the NBA you have to be great at home. There’s no way around it. Home-court advantage throughout the playoffs is usually a direct result of good teams handling their business at home.
After their game against the Nuggets tonight, the Thunder have another shot at the Los Angeles Clippers, who beat OKC in the Staples Center just last Wednesday. This time the Clippers are coming into dangerous territory against a Thunder team that’s out for revenge.
The Thunder also have a chance at redemption in a Friday night matchup against the Golden State Warriors. No one can forget what happened last Thursday when Andre Igoudala crushed the Thunder with a game-winning jumper.
Even though they’ll have home-court advantage over the next six games, those games won’t be against easy opponents. I’ve already mentioned their matchups with the Clippers and Warriors, and neither of those teams are the Thunder’s biggest threat this week. The San Antonio Spurs are tied for the league’s best record, and they’re coming to OKC on Wednesday in what will surely be a very entertaining game.
To make things even tougher, the home-stretch ends with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves — a team who embarrassed the Thunder earlier in the season. The only difference this time is that Russell Westbrook will be on the floor so don’t expect the same outcome this time around. With more than a few tough matchups, mostly against teams who have already defeated the Thunder, this week will be all about redemption.