Happy Sunday everyone! As most sports fans will be watching week 14 of the NFL season, NBA League Pass nerds like myself are treated with an intriguing cross-conference NBA game that doubles as one of the more likely 2014 NBA Finals matchups you could toss out there. The Eastern Conference leading Indiana Pacers wrap up a Western Conference road trip at Chesapeake Energy Arena when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. I know that not everyone who checks out Saving The Skyhook has NBA League Pass. I’m here to serve as the authorial Flavor Flav of this matchup and hype it up so even if you have to illegally stream the game and struggle through horrible picture quality, you’ll attempt to go down that route.
Two of the top four MVP candidates, who happen to play the same position, are going to be going toe to toe, shot for shot, and mean mug for mean mug tonight. Look, if you can’t geek out over the thought of Paul George and Kevin Durant battling down the stretch of a tight game, then I’m going to suggest that you leave this webpage ASAP. George’s ascension to the top tier of NBA talent has been the big story over the first 40 or so days of the NBA season. The popular opinion seems to be that calling Paul George the third best player in the NBA wouldn’t really be an overstatement, and I can’t make a strong argument against that narrative. His progression offensively from just last season to now is tremendous, and he remains one of the elite perimeter defenders in the NBA. To be expected of a player of George’s caliber, more often than not he plays like and carries himself like the best player on the floor, which he usually is.
Kevin Durant plays with that same kind of confidence and swagger. For a few years now Durant has held down the second best player in the world title that some suggest George is now contending for. That may be very “prisoners of the moment” of us. After all, Durant remains the best pure scorer in the NBA and an improving defender and facilitator. It seems pretty safe to assume his spot as second best player behind LeBron is secure for now.
The Pick: Indiana is ending a tough road trip and they have a showdown with Miami to look forward to on Tuesday. Oklahoma City has won 9 of their last 10 and has yet to lose at home this season. I’ve got Oklahoma City defeating Indiana 100-94.
National TV: None
Local TV: FSMW (Indiana) and FSOK (Oklahoma City)
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST