Brooklyn Nets: How to stop red-hot Oklahoma City Thunder

Brooklyn Nets Joe Harris. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Joe Harris. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets square off against the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night, a team that has won 15 of its last 18 games after an 0-4 start.

The Brooklyn Nets fared well in their two matchups against the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, with the Nets winning one against the Thunder in a game played in Mexico City and dropping one in Oklahoma City 109-108.

The loss at OKC featured a last-second miss from Spencer Dinwiddie, which nobody can still figure out how it did not go in.

Clearly the Thunder are now without Carmelo Anthony and the Nets are without Caris LeVert due to injury, but much of the two teams are the same.

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The past couple of weeks, post-Levert injury, have reminded Nets fans how difficult it can be to win games without one of your best players. But there is a formula for the Nets to win a game at home against the Thunder Wednesday night.

Force Westbrook into difficult shots

Easier said than done, yeah I know.

If the Nets can even force Russell Westbrook to take a bunch of shots, that should play in the Nets’ favor.

Westbrook took 27 shots in each meeting against the Nets last year, making 10 in the Nets’ victory and 12 in the Nets’ loss. In that Nets loss, the game was decided by one point, so those two makes from Westbrook “decided” the game.

If the shots are there for Westbrook, he will take all of them, as he is a sporadic player that is going to show flashes of being a top player in the league, but also show flashes of forcing shots when they aren’t even there.

Take care of the basketball

The Thunder are No. 1 in the NBA in defensive efficiency (100.5 rating), and are No. 1 in steals per game as a team.

They have great length from players like Nerlens Noel, Paul George and Jerami Grant, making the opponent’s life hell while the Thunder are on defense. The Nets need to take advantage of this and use pump-fakes to get these guys to jump in passing lanes where passes aren’t even going.

Deflections are the Thunder’s strength, so use their strength against them.

Force Westbrook into turnovers

Force Westbrook into playing hero-ball, because we all know he loves to do so.

Making Westbrook do everything on the offensive end will force turnovers for Brooklyn, transitioning to easy baskets on the offensive end.

If the Nets can take care of the basketball and force some turnovers on the defensive end, this game will decided by a couple of plays down the stretch.

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The Thunder are riding high into Brooklyn as the Nets keep tumbling, but that all can change on one night. Hopefully that night is Wednesday night for Nets fans.