Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers (10-10) vs. OKC Thunder (16-4) Preview


The Oklahoma City Thunder will look for their eighth straight win tonight at home against the .500 Indiana Pacers.

The Thunder have been on a tremendous roll this season shooting lights out from the field as they lead the NBA in offensive efficiency and true shooting percentage.

The Pacers play a different brand of basketball with the fourth slowest pace in the league and third worst offensive efficiency. They rely on defense to win games especially with last year’s leading scorer Danny Granger still sidelined.

Indiana is first in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season but tonight will definitely be its toughest test on the road against the Thunder.

Kevin Durant will likely be checked by Paul George who is coming into his own as a very solid player in this league. Durant has been every bit unstoppable this season though and it will take a great effort from George to slow him down. The Thunder played the Pacers once last season and lost by five but Durant did go for 44 that night.

Russell Westbrook has also been on a tear of late and George Hill will have a tough time staying in front of him. Westbrook’s coming off his last game where he scored 27 points and made five 3-pointers in the first half vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Pacers are getting 28 points and 16 rebounds a night from David West and Roy Hibbert. The matchup of the bigs will be a key one tonight and if Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins can match those two statistically, it will be very tough for Indiana to win.

The Pacers are a top 10 offensive rebounding team in the league right now and will need to do work on the offensive glass tonight to stay with OKC.

It’s the kind of game where the Thunder will need to stay aggressive going to the rim to ensure a victory. The Pacers defense is too good to just sit outside and shoot threes all night, even though the Thunder have been pretty good at doing just that this season.

Good offense usually beats good defense in this league and we have a matchup of the best of both tonight. At home, the Thunder are always tough and shots seem to fall more often than not.

With Indiana’s offense struggling so much this season and the fact that they aren’t particularly careful with not turning the rock over, it’s hard to imagine them putting enough points on the board to outlast the Thunder no matter how well they play defensively.

The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. EST tonight.

Tags: Indiana Pacers Oklahoma City Thunder