Preview 4 of 82: Pacers @ Thunder
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)
If you’re like me, you spent the last two days hating basketball after TWO incorrect calls on Sunday night stole the Thunder victory and soured Russell Westbrook’s explosive fourth quarter versus Minnesota. Tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers will be the perfect opportunity for the Thunder to redeem themselves and simultaneously renew my hope in basketball.
Paul George will face his former team for the first time, and hopefully it will inspire a better performance than Sunday. Against the Timberwolves, George shot 6-for-20 from the field, 1-for-8 from three, and had a plus-minus rating of -2. He’s getting plenty of open looks playing off Westbrook, it’s just a matter of those shots falling.
The Pacers are off to a 2-2 start and led by Myles Turner (OUT) and former Thunder shooting guard, Victor Oladipo. Indiana’s roster is severely lacking defensively and should be no match for the Thunder’s All-Star talent.
- Glenn Robinson III: Out — Knee
- Myles Turner: Out — Concussion
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- Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo make their return to the ‘Peake tonight. Through four games, Sabonis is averaging 13 points and 9.5 rebounds on 72 percent shooting. Victor Oladipo has a stat line of 23.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 47 percent from the field and 38 percent from three.
- The Thunder mantra this season is “let the defense create the offense.” The Pacers are coming off 130 points and a franchise record 66.7 percent from the field versus the Timberwolves — an exceptional outlier for a team whose only other win came against the Nets on opening night.
- Though their roster looks lean, the Pacers are averaging 118.5 points per game over their first four contests. Indiana’s second leading scorer, Turner, missed the last two games with a concussion and is listed as out for tonight.
- In the final five minutes of Sunday’s game, Westbrook reverted to “Revenge Tour Russ,” hitting three 3’s in the clutch and kicking out to Melo for the almost-game-winner. If tonight’s game goes down to the wire, give me all Russ, all the time.
- The Thunder is still waiting for Patrick Patterson to break out. He’s yet to score in a Thunder uniform, but last season he shot 40 percent from the field for the Raptors. If you’re reading this PPat, tonight’s your night. I believe in you.
Paul George on facing his former team. Via Royce Young.
Russell Westbrook’s availability after today’s shootaround. Via Fred Katz.