- When: Wednesday, 03 January 2018 at 9:30 pm CST
- Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
- TV: ESPN/FSOK
- Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
- Line: OKC -5.5 | O/U – 214
As the Oklahoma City Thunder embark on a new year, the ship seems to be sailing in a much more positive direction than it just a month ago. The defense is still playing at a high level, while the offense seems to have figured most of itself out. Russell Westbrook appears to be over his late November/early December slump that saw him uncharacteristically look like he was questioning his every move on the court. Carmelo Anthony looks to have discovered what his role with this team will be and seems to be reveling in that role. Paul George seems to still be teetering with his role, but has found enough of an identity to average 27 points per game in his last 4 games played. And Steven Adams looks intent on making the Big 3 a quartet with his surprisingly good play in the first two months of the season. Continue reading Thunder @ Lakers preview (Game 38 of 82)
Fred Katz (Norman Transcript) says the Thunder could end up with three of the league’s best defenders: “It’s rare that three teammates make the All-Defensive Team in the same season. The most recent trio to do it was Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups of the 2005-06 Detroit Pistons. What could help the Thunder, though, is that the rest of the league is going right for them, too. Many of the usual All-Defensive candidates around the NBA have had some unfortunate luck.”
Heather Koontz (Thunderous Intentions) looks back at some of the giving the Thunder did during the holiday season.
Brett Dawson (NewsOK) says defense is limiting Alex Abrines’ effectiveness: “Abrines has remained a steady shooter for the Thunder, but his defensive deficiencies have become more apparent, to the point that it’s becoming difficult for coach Billy Donovan to keep him on the floor. In four of the past six games, Abrines has played 10 or fewer minutes.”
Dawson also reports that Andre Roberson will miss all 3 games of the upcoming road trip.
Erik Horne (NewsOK) looks at the year that was for Russell Westbrook: “Before his nine 3-point attempts against Milwaukee with George injured, Westbrook had averaged 1.9 per game in his last seven. The Thunder went 6-1 and Westbrook shot 55.5 percent from the field. “Russell was the MVP last year and he’s having to play different,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Carmelo, an incredible scorer and an elite player in this league for a long time, he’s had to change. Same thing for Paul, Patrick Patterson or any of these guys. Everybody’s had to change a little bit for the betterment of the team.”
The Jordan Fly Next shoes may actually be Russell Westbrook’s first signature shoe.
Paul George has no regrets about the “Lakers’ chatter” earlier this offseason.
Don’t forget to vote for all your favorite Thunder players for the All-Star game. Vote via Twitter and NBA.com.