Dec 31, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) handles the ball as Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews (2) runs into a pick set by Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

OKC Thunder (25-6) vs. Brooklyn Nets (10-21) Preview

 

Oklahoma City Thunder
Offensive efficiency: 106.6 (5th)
Defensive efficiency: 97.5 (2nd)
True shooting percentage: 56.0 (4th)
Offensive rebound rate: 26.3 (11th)
Turnover rate: 14.3 (18th)
Pace: 98.9 (5th)

Brooklyn Nets
Offensive efficiency: 101.9 (17th)
Defensive efficiency: 106.7 (29th)
True shooting percentage: 53.8 (12th)
Offensive rebound rate: 23.0 (25th)
Turnover rate: 14.1 (16th)
Pace: 94.6 (25th)

What have they done lately?

In their last game, the Thunder lost at home vs. Portland. The Thunder were leading by as many as 16 points in the third quarter. This is the second time in as many meetings that the Blazers have beaten the Thunder this season. Kevin Durant had 36 of his 37 points in the first three quarters of the loss.

Brooklyn is heading in the wrong direction this season. They’ve won just one of their last seven games. Most recently, they lost at San Antonio two nights ago 113-92. High expectations at the start of the season have gone out the window while Brook Lopez’ season-ending injury hasn’t helped matters.

The matchup

The Thunder really shouldn’t have much trouble with Brooklyn tonight. Playing at home and looking to rebound from a disappointing loss should help give the Thunder the edge they need to win this one.

Brooklyn isn’t strong on the offensive glass, used to playing at the Thunder’s pace and is second-worst in the NBA in defensive efficiency. This should therefore provide the Thunder with an ideal opportunity to get back on track offensively and defensively.

Prediction

I think the Thunder win this one with relative ease. Nothing has been going right for the Nets and the Thunder are still very formidable despite Russ’ absence. Look for the likes of Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson to have good offensive games. Kevin Durant should continue with his recent tear as well. It’ll take a hit outside shooting night for the Nets to keep it close. I doubt they get one in the Peake.

Projected starters

Thunder
PG: Reggie Jackson (12.5 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.9 rpg)
SG: Thabo Sefolosha (6.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
SF: Kevin Durant (28.8 ppg, 4.8 apg, 8.5 rpg)
PF: Serge Ibaka (14.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg)
C: Kendrick Perkins (2.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

Nets
PG: Deron Williams (12.5 ppg, 7.1 apg)
SG: Joe Johnson (15.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
SF: Paul Pierce (12.6 ppg, 2.9 apg, 5.0 rpg)
PF: Mirza Teletovic (8.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
C: Kevin Garnett (6.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg)

How to watch

The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. CST and air on NBATV and FSOklahoma.

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder

comments powered by Disqus