Daily Thunder’s game day coverage is sponsored by Anthem Brewing Company
7pm @ Fiserv Forum, ? ESPN/Fox Sports Oklahoma
Projected starting lineups:
|PG: Chris Paul
|PG: Eric Bledsoe
|SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
|SG: Wes Matthews
|SF: Lu Dort
|SF: Kris Middleton
|PF: Abdel Nader (your guess is as good as mine)
|PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
|C: Steven Adams
|C: Brook Lopez
3 Big Things:
- Guarding Giannis: The Thunder has already listed Danilo Gallinari as OUT for tonight’s game. No surprise here given that he has rested on the second night of back-to-backs all season (OKC’s next game after tonight isn’t until March 3rd so a good bit of rest coming for Gallo). But this does leave OKC in an interesting spot to say the least. With no Gallo, and no Darius Bazley who starts on Giannis? OKC has one option, small ball. SGA, Terrance Ferguson, Lu Dort, Terrance Ferguson, Abdel Nader and Hamidou Diallo will all likely see minutes on Giannis. OKC has had success in the past sending an early double-team at the Greek Freak and I would expect to see more of that tonight. Also, if any of you are between 6’8″ and 7’0″ you might need to suit up.
- Defending the 3: The Bucks have prolific three-point shooters at every position up and down their roster. They rank 4th league-wide in both makes per game and total the season. With OKC likely doubling Giannis early and often, sharp rotations will be key in slowing down the Bucks at home. In their two-point win back in November the Bucks went 11/28 (39 percent) from deep. A couple positives for the Thunder tonight is having Steven Adams and Lu Dort, both of whom were unavailable when the Thunder and Bucks played in OKC.
- Transition Offense: OKC is rolling right now, playing with so much confidence as the go for win number six in a row. BUT… the deck is stacked. If OKC comes out victorious tonight transition points will play a big factor. Milwaukee has the best halfcourt defense in the league and it hasn’t been close for most of the year. But one area the Bucks can be had is in transition where they rank 18th overall. OKC only averages 9.1 fastbreak points per game which is last in the league, but look for Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder to push the pace for early offense after defensive rebounds and turnovers.
Comment of the Night
“i think we should all take a moment and be glad that luke walton is not coaching the thunder.” – @justin_mia