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January 24: Oklahoma City Thunder vs Atlanta Hawks

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Oklahoma City look to maintain their winning ways

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City play against Atlanta tonight who are one of the worst teams in the league. The Thunder have done really well of late and the team’s record since Thanksgiving stands at 20-8. That is a seriously impressive mark for a team that many of the NBA’s national media thought would miss the play-offs at the start of the season.

Oklahoma City come into this game on the back of a good away victory against the Orlando Magic. Dennis Schroder had the hot hand in that game and I expect to see Schroder playing at a high level against his former team. Atlanta won their last game against the Clippers in Georgia in a game where both teams were significantly under-manned. The Hawks relied on a strong game from John Collins, the Wake Forest forward, to push them past one of the better teams in the league. In that game, Atlanta were without Trae Young but Young will play against Oklahoma City as an All-Star for the first time in his career. Young comes back to the state of his birth as a certified baller and will look to put on a show in front of the crowd he was part of during the halcyon days of Westbrook and Durant.

Thunder Injury Report:

Terrance Ferguson (Personal Reasons)

Abdel Nader (Ankle Sprain)

Steven Adams (Ankle Contusion from the collision with Clint Capela)

Nerlens Noel should be back in the Thunder rotation tonight but it depends on how the Thunder medical staff feel about his health before the game.

Atlanta Injury Report:

Jabari Parker (Shoulder Injury)

DeAndre Bembry (Personal)

Alex Len (Back injury but probable to play against the Thunder)

Chandler Parsons (Car Crash)

Notables:

Chris Paul, Luguentz Dort and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all attended the Oklahoma City Blue game last night. This has become a regular occurrence for Paul and SGA to attend G-League games. Both guys are hoop junkies and have built a strong relationship off this mutual affection

Steven Adams is bandied around in trade rumours, this time in relation to the Dallas Mavericks. Dwight Powell, Mavericks’ centre, went down with an Achilles injury and will be out for the season. There has apparently been more urgency from the Mavericks’ front office to find a capable starting big man. Dallas have been heavily linked with Andre Drummond and Steven Adams. I think the smart move for Dallas would be to trade for Aron Baynes, a low-cost option, and sacrifice the Golden State second-round pick which will likely be 31st pick in the draft this season.

Andre Roberson got an All-Star vote from one of his fellow players. My money is on Steven Adams as both players have a tight-knit relationship.

Tip Off is at 8:00 (EST)