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Preview 23 of 82: Thunder @ Nets

Preview 23 of 82: Thunder @ Nets

Time: 6:30 PM CST

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Game Notes: Thunder / Nets

The Oklahoma City Thunder (15-7) are on the road in Brooklyn tonight, facing the Nets (8-17) at the Barclays Center. The Thunder will be looking for their fourth-consecutive victory — which would be their 16th in the last 19 contests — against a Nets team that has dropped seven straight and gone just 2-9 since losing leading scorer Caris Levert to injury on November 12.

Tip-off is at 6:30 P.M. CST and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. The Thunder are seven-point road favorites according to Odds Shark.

Injury Report


  • Andre Roberson: Out — Knee


  • Joe Harris: Probable — Groin
  • Caris Levert: Out — Ankle
  • Treveon Graham: Out — Hamstring

Probable Starters

Nets: D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Allen Crabbe, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jarrett Allen



Four Factors:


What to Watch For

Centers Against Brooklyn. The Nets are notoriously bad when trying to defend the center position, as they give up an NBA-worst 21.5 points per game to opposing fives. Making matters worse, they also surrender another NBA-worst 15.8 rebounds to opposing centers. This bodes well for Steven Adams — who is coming off a 21-point performance in Monday’s dismantling of the Pistons. Look for the Thunder to feed him early and often, as Jarrett Allen and the Nets big men have yet to prove they can do anything about it. Double-double very much on the table for Big Kiwi in this one.

Relative Health. For the first time in a couple weeks, Andre Roberson is the only Thunder player on the pre-game injury report. With Terrance Ferguson and Hamidou Diallo now back and available for Billy Donovan, he has full access to the roster OKC will carry (barring a trade) until Roberson (hopefully) makes his return sometime in 2019.

Defensive Intensity. OKC suffocated the Pistons on Monday night — holding them to just 33 percent shooting in the 27-point victory. With arguably the best defense in the NBA, the Thunder will look to impose their will against a Nets team that doesn’t feature a great deal of weaponry. Without Levert’s 18.4 PPG, it’s D’Angelo Russell and his 18 PPG that will try to lead Brooklyn to the upset. Spencer Dinwiddie is next in line with 15.7 PPG, followed by Joe Harris and his 12.9 PPG on 44 percent shooting from long range.

Offensive Identity. With the defense in mid-season form, the Thunder will look to get their offense clicking against a Brooklyn defense that gives up 111 PPG. Despite blowing out the Pistons on Monday, it took a nuclear third quarter to finally crack the game open. Prior to that, the Thunder struggled to get much going as Russell Westbrook turned the ball over and Paul George struggled with his shot. With an increase in schedule difficulty on the horizon, it’s time the Thunder settles into an offensive identity that can be consistently trusted over the course of 48 minutes.