Thunder @ Pistons preview (Game 49 of 82)

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  • When: Saturday, 27 January 2018 at 4:00 pm CST
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -3.5 | O/U – 207.5

The Set-Up: The last time the Oklahoma City Thunder had a 6-game win streak, injuries (and a bad call) brought that tumbling down. In December, the Thunder were hitting on all cylinders during a streak that saw them beat division opponents, Houston, and Toronto. Then Paul George goes out with an injury (and the refs blow an egregious call on a game-winning play) and the streak comes to an end. 

Fast forward to this current 6-game win streak. As the Thunder approach what could be the 7th game in a win streak, the team is completely healthy (save for a sprained wrist on Patrick Patterson) and in much better shape now than it was in November and December. The offense is a lot better and the chemistry within the team is in a much better place. The players know their roles and now they are starting to excel in said roles.

But much like we’ve seen around the league, especially today, things can completely change with an injury. Here’s hoping the injury juju stays away from the Thunder so they can continue this current hot-streak.

Previous Meeting: The Pistons beat the Thunder in late November 99-98 in Oklahoma City. This will be the final meeting of the regular season between these two teams.

Looking at the Numbers

1. Streaking – Both teams enter this contest streaking. Except from opposite directions. The Thunder come in having won 6 in a row. The Pistons come in having lost 6 in a row.

2. Pace – Both teams play in the slower third of the league. But the Thunder are more equipped to play at a quick pace. Since the beginning of the calendar year, the Thunder have played with the 12th fastest pace in the league. If the Thunder can push the pace, they may force the Pistons to play in a style that isn’t what they are used to.

3. Rebounding – The Thunder are the best team in Offensive Rebound Percentage, while Detroit is 9th in the league at Defensive Rebound Percentage. In the end, this stat probably comes down to the Steven Adams vs. Andre Drummond match-up. Whoever wins that will likely go a long way to deciding who wins this match-up.

4. Three-point defense – The Pistons are the third best 3-point shooting team in the league at 37.7%. The 3-point shot accounts for over 31% of the Piston’s offense. If the Thunder want to do well on the defensive end, they have to defend the 3-point line.

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