- When: Tuesday, 23 January 2018 at 7:00 pm CST
- Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
- TV: FSOK
- Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
- Line: OKC -10.0 | O/U – 213
The Set-Up: The Oklahoma City Thunder have had some impressive victories against the upper echelon of the NBA. They’ve beaten the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and, most recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers in pretty convincing fashion. It’s what they’ve done after those games that has been disappointing. The inconsistencies the Thunder have shown this season really shine in the games after the “big” games.
After the Warriors game, the Thunder went on to lose their next three, with two of those losses coming against lottery bound teams by double digits. After the Christmas day win against the Rockets, the Thunder went on to lose 2 of their next 3 to finish out the calendar year. Now comes the games after the Massacre in Cleveland.
For much of the season, the inconsistencies on this team could be attributed to chemistry issues in regards to new personnel and the adjustments those players have had to make. But three months into the season now, those excuses start to sound more and more like hot air. Most of the players on the team have adjusted to their new roles and the team has shown it can more than get up for prime time matchups. If the team is looking to make a move in the standings, now is the time to do it. But history suggests this game will be another struggle for a team that should be making quick work of these types of opponents.
Previous Meeting: Brooklyn beat Oklahoma City 100-95 in Mexico City. The Thunder were playing with Paul George and Jerami Grant that evening due to injuries.
Looking At The Numbers
1. Three-pointers – In this 3-point heavy NBA, the Nets, surprisingly, are sitting at the cool kids table. They are second in both 3-point attempts and 3-point makes. Their 3-point % leaves a lot to be desired (34.8%, 27th in the league), but their offense is predicated on spreading a defense out with all their attempts. Players like Spencer Dinwiddie and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have feasted on the space allowed to them with this offense.
2. Turnovers – The Nets have a tendency to turn the ball over (25th in the league at 15.7 per game), while the Thunder are the best team in the league at generating turnovers. The Thunder have been a lot more keen on transition opportunities and this has increased their pace of play over the past month. Look for them to try to continue this tonight.
3. All-Star Reserves – The NBA will select it’s reserves for the All-Star game tonight. The Thunder should get at least two players into this year’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles. The two being the native Angelinos. Russell Westbrook is a lock to get in. Paul George is a near lock. Could Carmelo Anthony also squeeze in there? Maybe under the sympathetic “this could be his last All-Star game” vote. Unfortunately for Steven Adams, I don’t think the hype train is enough this season for him to warrant a spot.