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Game #59: Bobcats @ Thunder Preview

Who: Oklahoma City Thunder vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Thunder Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Oklahoma City 44-15 107.5 (6) 100.3 (4) 97.6 (11)
Charlotte 27-31 99.0 (26) 100.7 (6) 95.3 (21)

Previous Meetings:
12/27/14 – 89-85 Thunder

Oklahoma City: Thabo Sefolosha (OUT), Kendrick Perkins (OUT)
Charlotte: Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Thunder Bobcats
PG Russell Westbrook Kemba Walker
SG Jeremy Lamb Gerald Henderson
SF Kevin Durant Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Serge Ibaka Josh McRoberts
C Steven Adams Al Jefferson
6th Man Reggie Jackson Gary Neal
  • Game #2 of this grinding stretch of games for the Bobcats. With a day of rest after the loss in San Antonio on Friday night, Charlotte should have to legs to get up-and-down the floor with OKC tonight – that being said, going up against a title contender is always a headache and the Bobcats will probably need a near perfect effort in order to win tonight
  • The Thunder have begun to trend in a slightly different direction as of late – partly thanks to the return of Russell Westbrook and part due to the injury to Kendrick Perkins. OKC is taking 26 3FGA/game in their past 5 (+5.1 on season avg.) and playing a lot faster since Westbrook was re-inserted into the lineup – 99.7 PACE in their past 5 (+2.1 on season avg.). So, not only does Westbrook obviously look to push the tempo, but the Thunder have been forced to play smaller with the injury to Perkins – result: quicker tempo.
  • It’s stating the obviously that Charlotte will want to slow this game down as much as possible, avoid turnovers and make the Thunder execute in the half-court on both ends. The Bobcats lead the league in turnover ratio at 11.9 and have been even better than that in their past 10 games – averaging just 11 TO/game.
  • Charlotte will have to be much better on the offensive end tonight than they were in San Antonio on Friday – the Bobcats shot just 36.7% (33-90) from the floor + 17.6% (3-17) from behind-the-arc on Friday.
  • OKC rookie center Steven Adams will have his hands full with Al Jefferson tonight. Adams is a big + physical anchor who moves well, but the old-school approach of Jefferson’s offensive arsenal tends to get the better of younger players in this league. Pop and the Spurs blitzed Jefferson with double-teams on essentially every post-entry on Friday, so it will be interesting to see what Scott Brooks and OKC elect to do.
  • If this game is tight going into the 4th, you obviously go for the win. If it’s a blowout then Clifford needs to sit his starters – the team will have to travel to Miami after this game to matchup with the Heat tomorrow night.