This one is going to be tough.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without both Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert on Thursday night as the squad faces off against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that seems to have, finally, found its rhythm.
Of course, the Thunder have faced their own injury issues this season, but after the early-year bumps in the road, Oklahoma City has caught the attention of the rest of the league.
These two teams split games in each of the last three seasons, with Cleveland winning 108-98 at home in the most recent tilt. Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday night’s East-West matchup:
Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015
Time: 8 p.m ET
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
TV Channel: The game will be nationally broadcast on TNT.
Line: Cleveland opened as 4-point favorites per OddsShark.com
Live Stream: TNT Overtime
Game Preview: Get ready Cleveland, the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook hype-train is coming into town.
Despite a slow start to the season, the Oklahoma City standouts have found their mutual and collective footing over the past few games, coming into Thursday night’s primetime matchup as, possibly, the hottest duo in the entire league.
The Thunder are riding a six-game win streak, winning 10 of their last 12, and are fresh off a 106-90 victory over Portland on Wednesday. The lopsided victory allowed OKC to rest, meaning that both Westbrook and Durant will be well rested against the Cavs.
Over the course of the streak, the Thunder’s defense has been lockdown, holding opponents to 40.5 percent from the floor and keeping the last seven teams they’ve faced under 100 on the scoreboard.
Still, this is Oklahoma City, so offense is to be expected and Durant has answered that call. He’s averaged 25.5. points during the streak, shooting an almost ridiculous 58.4 percent from the field. His 112.2 offensive rating this season is already better than the numbers Durant put up during his 2013-14 MVP year.