OKC Thunder depth and speed key vs Orlando Magic: game preview

OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
2 of 3
OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder depth:

The OKC Thunder can be lead by anyone. Whether it’s one of their star point guards, valiant big men or rookies’ like we witnessed in Luguentz Dort on Wednesday. Whoever is on the floor is always striving to inspire energy and contribute in any way they can.

That brings us to one key to the game which is Thunder depth. In each of their last six wins, four or more players have scored in double-digits. This means there isn’t pressure on one player to do all the work. And is important for success because the opposition could be hampering a Thunder player but in the next phase of the game, they have other teammates who are heating up.

It can become taxing for opponents as they have to keep up. This is one of the areas where OKC has an advantage.

Orlando’s victory in LA proved when they implement the same all-round contribution they were able to come out on top. They had six players score 10 or more points in that game as Markelle Fultz starred with a 21 point, 11 rebound, and 10 assist triple-double.

Magic need offensive rhythm:

It was Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier who led the Orlando Magic in scoring when they defeated the Hornets. They were efficient and combined for 11 of 14 from the 3-point line.

This is more like it for the Magic because it’s this accuracy complemented with the unyielding defense that allows the game to slow down for them.

If Aaron Gordon can get into an offensive rhythm, he’ll cause problems for OKC especially considering they are undersized with injuries to Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel.

He’s one of the players in the league who hasn’t reached his true potential yet but you know he’s on the verge of it. There’s no doubt he’s got the amazing skillset and by asserting himself more he’ll be hard to stop.

Finishing the marathon:

It is clear that when OKC plays, they are in it the whole way through. So there really is no other way for opponents than to just play well for every minute of the game. If you start slow, they’ll capitalize, if you go on a scoring spree they’ll only come back to dominate in the clutch.

So it’s safer to come out firing on all cylinders. They won’t always be able to do this. Some days they’re off and some days they’re on, it’s just the nature of the game but if everyone has the same mindset and is willing to be committed on both ends of the floor that will be dangerous.

Magic defense:

More from Thunder News

The Orlando Magic is one of the best defending teams which means they will be all over the Thunder. Their size gives them an advantage so OKC will need to find a way to get around this.

When the Houston Rockets began to target the rim more after Adams left the game, OKC found this coverage to be tough. That will be a place where the Magic are sure to earmark.

Size replaced with speed:

Adams and Noel are currently reported as being evaluated day to day. So if they are out in Orlando the same persistent effort attacking the boards is needed by OKC. During practice ahead of the match, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said “obviously size is a big thing in the game today but we like to counteract with our speed.”

That speed will be put on display once again as the OKC Thunder look to push for the sixth spot in the West.