Game 17 Pregame Primer: Thunder (7-9) @ Suns (8-7)
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8PM @ Phoenix Suns Arena, Fox Sports Oklahoma ?
Projected starting lineups:
|PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander||PG: Chris Paul|
|SG: George Hill||SG: Devin Booker|
|SF: Lu Dort||SF: Mikal Bridges|
|PF: Darius Bazley||PF: Jae Crowder|
|C: Al Horford||C: Deandre Ayton|
Live tweeting & commenting:
- Daily Thunder beat writer Brandon Rahbar covers every game live
- Olivia Panchal is running the Daily Thunder Twitter handle tonight
- The comments section below will be open until the final buzzer
Three big things:
The student versus the teacher. As Joe Mussatto (The Oklahoman) wrote the other day, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul developed a close relationship last season. But this season, SGA has fully come into his own as the Thunder’s leading scorer and playmaker. This will be the first time Shai and CP3 have met each other since CP3 was traded to Phoenix, so has the student passed the teacher?
Chris Paul the Closer? Last season, Paul was one of the league’s best in clutch time, as the Thunder were one of the league’s best in close games. This season, the Suns struggle in the clutch (4-6 record in games with a margin of 5 points or less over the final five minutes), and have the worst fourth-quarter offense in the NBA. OKC, on the flip side, has excelled, possessing the 7th-best record in the clutch-time games.
The Road Well Traveled. OKC wraps a five-game road trip tonight, going just 1-3 over the first four. Until this latest road trip, OKC was 5-1 away from Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder have shown they are comfortable as the visitor and have a chance tonight to improve on their strong start with a victory in Phoenix.