Thunder @ Lakers preview (Game 56 of 82)

okc logoatlakers logo

  • When: Thursday, 08 February at 9:30 pm CST
  • Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • TV: TNT/FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -3.5 | O/U – 216.5

The Set-Up: For many teams, the game after the trade deadline is a battle of attrition. The players that were traded away, of course, will not be available for their old team. And, unfortunately, because of travel and needing to get physicals, won’t be available for their new teams either. With injuries and transacted players, some teams are left with rosters the size of playoff rotations.

The Los Angeles Lakers will find themselves in that position tonight. Two members of their regular rotation were traded away and, of course, will not be available for the Lakers. In addition, rookie point guard Lonzo Ball will miss the game. He has played the Thunder the same number of times I have this season.

On the other end of the court, the Thunder may be without Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony who are both nursing ankle sprains. The Thunder were not involved in any transactions over the deadline and will have all their available players at their disposal.

Previous matchups: This will be the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Thunder and Lakers. In their first two meetings, the Thunder beat the Lakers by an average of 30.5 points. But in their last meeting, a Super Bowl Sunday matinee just 5 days ago, the Lakers beat the tired Thunder 108-104.

Looking At The Numbers

1. Julius Randle – The Kentucky power forward did a number on the Thunder in their last meeting. He scored 19 points, grabbed 6 boards, and dished out 4 assists, all while frustrating Carmelo Anthony to the point of near-ejection. Look for Patrick Patterson to play a little more when Randle is in the game.

2. 71.4 – The scoring average for the available Lakers players.

3. 43.3% – The three-point percentage of the Lakers in their last game against the Thunder. The Lakers were the worst shooting team from deep prior to that game five days, and they still hold that title today. The Lakers are shooting just 33% from deep. If the Thunder can keep them at or near their average, they should be in position to win.

 

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