On Thursday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. on NBA League Pass.
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The headline matchup in this one comes from the two point guards facing off, rookie Collin Sexton and former MVP Russell Westbrook.
Sexton drew plenty of comparisons to Westbrook coming out of college because of the high-energy style of play they both bring every time they step on the floor. When Sexton was asked about being compared to Russ, who is one of his favourite players, he stated, "I just like the energy he plays with night in and night out. He doesn't take any plays or games off."
Around the time the Alabama-product was in the process of making an NCAA tournament run, Westbrook was asked about his thoughts on Sexton being compared to him:
Russell Westbrook gives his thoughts on Collin Sexton#RollTide pic.twitter.com/cwJyEAtRd1- Alabama Roundball (@BamaRoundball) March 15, 2018
Although Westbrook sent some praise Sexton's way a few months back, I wouldn't expect the same treatment when they're competing on the same floor. This season he's faced off against De'Aaron Fox twice, who also claims Westbrook as one of his favourite players, and it resulted in Westbrook creating his 'rock the baby' taunt:
Russ on a heater.- Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 20, 2018
Backs down De'Aaron Fox, points at him, rocks the baby. pic.twitter.com/dX0ZaKBngV
It's more likely you see something along those lines tonight. When the Cavaliers and Thunder met earlier this season Westbrook was out with a sprained ankle, so this will be the first matchup between the two explosive guards.
Sexton has been terrific as of late for the Cavaliers - over the last nine games since becoming the starting point guard he's averaged 18.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 47.7 percent from the field, 47.6 percent from three and 84.2 percent from the free throw line. Three of the Cavaliers' four wins have came in those last nine games, including back-to-back wins over the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers in which Sexton had 29 and 23 points, respectively.
As for the Thunder, they've won seven of their last 10 games and are 12-3 since starting 0-4. They're coming off of a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets despite a triple-double performance from Westbrook and have not lost back-to-back games since their four-straight losses to start the year.
Westbrook is averaging 23.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game through 11 games played. Oklahoma City is 7-4 in games that Russ has played.