LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (9-3) are heading to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder (5-5) on Wednesday. The game is slated to tip-off at 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Southwest.
Here are some things Thunder fans should know beforehand:
The last time the Lakers and Thunder faced each other was while in Orlando when the league was playing in a bubble, Dion Waiters was wearing a Lakers jersey, and Chris Paul was still a member of OKC.
Well, things are going to look different Wednesday:
- Waiters is contemplating retirement and enjoying his NBA title.
- Paul is with the Phoenix Suns.
- The NBA is not playing in a bubble.
On Wednesday, the reigning NBA champions make their way to OKC to face the Thunder, who have the fourth-worse offensive rating - the Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have it slightly worst.
Currently, the Lakers head into Wednesday’s game with the second-best defensive rating in the league (104.7), while OKC is ranked 13th with 108.2 defensive ratings, according to the NBA.
On the other hand, the Thunder are ranked 28th in points per game with 104.6, just behind the Knicks (100.1) and Cavaliers (98.9).
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads OKC with 20.9 points per game and 6.3 assists. Before Tuesday’s loss against the Spurs, SGA only lost twice when he scored more than 20 points - he led the team with 20 points on Tuesday. He scored 23 points against the Orlando Magic in a losing effort.
SGA also led the team in every game this season for OKC in assists. George Hill dethroned SGA on Tuesday with a team-high five assists.
Al Horford, Darius Bazley, Hamidou Diallo, and SGA have switched back and forth on rebounds in their first 10 games.
Although the Thunder are doing much better now before starting the season 1-3, the Lakers have many weapons. The Lakers are third in points allowed (105.7), rebounds (48.8), and blocks (6.7). If OKC wants to win Wednesday, they will have to step up big time defensively.
Prediction: Lakers by 20.