Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Brooklyn Nets
Time: 6:30PM CST
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
The Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Brooklyn Nets tonight on the road, taking on a banged up team looking to turn against a downward trajectory. The Nets, since losing Caris LeVert in November, are on a current 2-10 slide, most recently falling to the Cavaliers.
The Thunder, coming off an impressive win over the Pistons, look to continue their dominance against sub-.500 teams, but is tonight’s game a trap? OKC has relied on consistent, tough defense during its current 3-game win streak, and the Nets have struggled offensively. However, now would not be the time for the defense to get complacent and have the team thinking they can rely on their shooters to pull through for a victory. OKC’s offense is still mediocre, middle of the pack and they are looking for more consistency from Russell Westbrook and Paul George, in particular.
While both Russ and PG have been effective, it’s hard not to conclude Westbrook is still not 100% healthy while George’s outside shot comes and goes. That said, their offense appears committed to better habits than a year ago, and so tonight will be about reinforcement of good habits rather than sliding into bad ones.
Look for the Thunder to start the game inside-out, as young Jarrett Allen will be matched up against Aquaman Adams, with the latter having significant advantages. While OKC has struggled offensively in the first half of games, their interior talent has been consistent, and should set up OKC for their strength, which is the 3rd quarter.
There are no ‘gimme’s’ in the NBA. If the Thunder come in unfocused and sloppy, this game could get ugly. Rather, if they continue to focus on their defense, transition, and generating open looks, the Nets will likely struggle to keep pace.
Who do you think will win tonight?
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