The Thunder (42-26) played horribly against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went 3-11 against the Lakers and 3-13 against the Grizzlies. Those are ugly numbers for a player that the Thunder relies upon to score the ball, and he’s being counted on heavily since Dennis Schroder left the team Monday for the birth of his child.
Head coach Billy Donovan chose to err on the side of caution and didn’t play Steven Adams against Memphis after taking a nasty fall against the Lakers, which may have hurt OKC’s chances of winning.
There were also without Mike Muscala (concussion) on Wednesday.
Adams, Muscala, and Schroder are listed as day-to-day.
The Wizards (24-45) lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 118-107, who played without Zion Williamson.
Washington is looking to get their first win in the Bubble since going 0-5 in the restart.
So, why should OKC do to bounce back?
First thing OKC, who are 2-2 since the restart, should play Danilo Gallinari more. He only played 19 minutes, and if he’s a viable option to help the offense score buckets, he should be utilized and on the floor, especially if you’re down four critical players.
Another thing for the Thunder to do is not turning the ball over, which it seems the team has struggled with in their games against the Denver Nuggets.
In their game against the Nuggets, OKC turned the ball over 16 times. They also struggled with fouls, committing 32 total fouls. Against the Grizzlies, the Thunder seemed to throw up the ball, hoping it would fall into the basket. The Thunder made 7 of 13 3-pointers in the first quarter and then turned ice cold, going 6 of 30 from behind the arc.
The Wizards are currently sitting tenth in seeding but are only a point behind the Hornets, so they sit on the cusp of missing the playoffs. The Thunder are now sitting sixth in the West and are only 0.5 games back against the Houston Rockets. They are third in the Northwest Division.
Hopefully, OKC can try to play in top form and should win comfortably against Washington.
The Wizards are the only winless team left in the Bubble as they have been defeated in their first five contests. Many expected the Wizards to be the worst team in the Bubble when the news of their top two leading scorers in Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans was opting out dropped.
Washington has the worst Net Rating in the Bubble at a putrid -10.4. The Wizards’ best players in Orlando have been Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown Jr. Bryant is averaging 20.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks a game on efficient shooting. Brown Jr. has taken advantage of the extra offensive responsibilities up for grabs with Beal and Bertans not playing as the second-year guard is averaging 16.8 points, 5.2 assists, and 7.2 rebounds a game in the Bubble.
As mentioned earlier, Washington has been the worst team in the Bubble, and the Thunder should comfortably win this game. Oklahoma City’s biggest goal in this game should be having an excellent bounce-back performance after falling for the trap game against Memphis. The Thunder will need to put this one away early to avoid playing their starters heavy minutes as they will have another game on Monday against the red hot and undefeated Suns for their back-to-back set.
When: Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
Watch: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio: 98.1 FM (OKC) and 97.1 FM (Tulsa)
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Oklahoma City Thunder