Preview 37 of 82: Mavericks @ Thunder
Time: 6:00 PM CT
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (20-16) had its six-game winning streak snapped on Friday versus Milwaukee but will look to redeem itself tonight against the Dallas Mavericks (12-25). The Thunder will be without Paul George and Andre Roberson, as both are currently listed as “Out” due to knee ailments. It’s yet to be determined who will replace both men in the starting lineup.
Tip-off in this New Year’s Eve showdown is set for 6:00 PM CT at Chesapeake Energy Arena and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
UPDATE: After initially being listed as out, Paul George will be available for the Thunder.
- Paul George: ACTIVE — Knee
- Andre Roberson: Out — Knee
- Seth Curry: Out — Leg
- Dorian Finney-Smith: Out — Knee
- Josh McRoberts: Questionable — Leg
- Nerlens Noel: Out — Thumb
Mavs: Dennis Smith Jr, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Maxi Kleber, Dirk Nowitzki
|Team||EFG%||FTA Rate||TOV%||OREB%||OPP EFG%||OPP FTA||OPP TOV%||OPP OREB%|
11/12: OKC 112, DAL 99
11/25: DAL 97, OKC 81
Rotation. With Andre Roberson expected to sit out, the starting lineup and rotations will come into focus. Despite his recent string of weak play, Alex Abrines figures to slide into the starting spot at shooting guard.
The Defense. The defense will struggle in the absence of George and Roberson — and the Mavericks are really good at protecting the basketball. Dallas comes in averaging an NBA-low 12.6 turnovers per game and is led in scoring by Harrison Barnes at 18.3 points per game. His life will be much easier with OKC’s two best defenders on the sideline.
Streaking Mavs. Dallas has won three straight ahead of tonight, with wins over Toronto, Indiana, and New Orleans. The Mavs made a franchise-record 22 three-pointers in the win over the Pelicans, with Dennis Smith Jr. dropping his first career triple-double in the process.
Don’t Beat Yourself. The Thunder paid dearly for avoidable mistakes on Friday versus Milwaukee. OKC got down by 22 in the first quarter and missed several huge free throws down the stretch. A consistent effort + better free throw shooting = better odds of winning.
Home for the Holidays. Tonight will be the seventh game out of the last eight that the Thunder has played at home. OKC’s record is 5-1 at home during that span, with the only loss coming on Friday night to the Bucks.