All eyes will be on Metta World Peace and James Harden when the lights go on and the ball is tipped for tonight's opening game of the Lakers-Thunder series. There's just no way around it.
While there are many other stars and even legends playing tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena, the tension between Harden and MWP will be hard to ignore after the hit and ensuing suspension that everyone is talking about. But how will the other players respond? How will OKC use it as a possible motivator? J.A. Sherman says one player can control the Thunder's response:
When MWP walks onto the court tonight, we have an idea of the type of reception he will receive from the OKC fans. We do not yet know how he will be received by the Thunder players though. If we're talking about exacting revenge however, there is only one guy on the court who has the ability to do it, and it just so happens to be the guy MWP will be guarding - Kevin Durant.
The lust of revenge is natural. The longing for a win must be greater. The Thunder have had several days to watch and wait and they are likely ready with their response. It will be interesting to see if KD can dominate against MWP and to what level he takes his game.