Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Orlando Magic
Time: 6PM CST
Location: Amway Center, Orlando
Counterpart: Orlando Pinstriped Post
Erik Horne tweets that Steven Adams (ankle sprain) and Terrance Ferguson (back spasms) are out of action tonight:
Steven Adams (right ankle sprain) and Terrance Ferguson (mid-back spasms) are both out tonight against the Magic. Nerlens Noel and Hamidou Diallo will start.— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) January 29, 2019
While it makes sense for Nerlens Noel to get the nod, Hamidou Diallo is puzzling, as he has hit the proverbial “rookie wall” and has not played well as of late. While Abdul Nader has been hit or miss, he at least represents an offensive threat. Billy Donovan has already shortened his bench, and he will have to shorten it some more tonight.
The Oklahoma City Thunder take their winning streak on the road to Orlando for a quick turnaround stay in the Sunshine State (Miami is Friday), and a good thing too as a polar vortex creeps across the midwest.
The Thunder just wrapped up the most impressive week of their season, going 5-0 with wins over the 76ers, Trail Blazers, and Bucks. Orlando meanwhile has started out the new year going 3-11, including one for their last seven games.
Which means tonight represents the most fearsome of things for longstanding Thunder fans:
What say you, Admiral Ackbar?
Generally speaking, this thing could go 2 ways:
- The Thunder approach Aaron Gordon tonight similarly to how they defended Giannis Antetokounmpo. They cut off the lane, keep Nikola Vučević off the glass, and rotate aggressively to prevent too many open threes. The game, while sloppy, eventually tilts OKC’s way by virtue of Paul George and some timely 3rd quarter shooting.
- OKC gets lazy and relies on their newfound stellar 3-point shooting to try and build a lead, but pay little heed to keeping the Magic from getting open shots. While it works for a while, their failure to knock Orlando out of an offensive rhythm begins to snowball as the Magic use a burst of threes and offensive rebounds to turn the tables in the 4th.
Do I have that about right?
Defend. Rebound. PG. Move on. Not that hard.
Or is it?
Who do you think will win tonight?
This poll is closed