Preview 40 of 82: Thunder @ Suns
Time: 7:00 PM CT
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (22-17) found its offense in Los Angeles, defeating the Lakers and Clippers behind an explosive 130 points per game. The Thunder will look to keep it rolling tonight in Phoenix, as the three-game road trip comes to an end against the Suns (15-26).
The Thunder will be without Andre Roberson and Alex Abrines yet again, so rookie Terrance Ferguson will draw his third-consecutive start. Tip-off is at 7:00 PM CT and televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Oklahoma City is currently an 8.5-point favorite according to OddsShark.
- Andre Roberson: Out — Knee
- Alex Abrines: Out — Groin
- Brandon Knight: Out — ACL
- TJ Warren: Questionable — Illness
- Alan Williams: Out — Knee
- Isaiah Canaan: Questionable — Adductor
Suns: Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Josh Jackson/TJ Warren, Marquese Chriss, Tyson Chandler
|Team||EFG%||FTA Rate||TOV%||OREB%||OPP EFG%||OPP FTA||OPP TOV%||OPP OREB%|
Click to Enlarge
Thunder O & D
Suns O & D
Torching the Suns. Phoenix comes in with the league’s worst defense, giving up 112.4 points per game. Oklahoma City has caught fire recently, putting up 130 PPG during the wins over the Lakers and Clippers. If the Thunder offense continues firing on all cylinders, there’s very little to suggest the Suns will have any means to stop it.
Defending Devin Booker. The Suns have the second worst three-point percentage in the NBA at 33.5 percent, but the Thunder defense will need to focus on Devin Booker in order to keep Phoenix at a safe distance. The 21-year-old sharpshooter is averaging 24.8 PPG this season, hitting 39 percent of his three-pointers in the process. The Suns may not be overly dangerous from beyond the arc as a team but Booker can catch fire and carry the offense by himself. With Andre Roberson set to miss his fourth consecutive contest, Booker will get his looks.
TJ Warren. The Suns’ second-leading scorer is TJ Warren at 19.6 PPG but he’s currently listed as questionable versus the Thunder due to illness. He missed Friday night’s loss to San Antonio but could provide a monster boost for the Phoenix offense if healthy tonight. Rookie Josh Jackson will draw the start if Warren is indeed unavailable.
The New Guy. Terrance Ferguson exploded onto the scene in Los Angeles, averaging 17.5 PPG in the wins over the Lakers and Clippers. With him scheduled to make yet another start and getting the lion’s share of the minutes at shooting guard, he could be in for another strong outing if he can get in rhythm. The recent production won’t last but he’s taken 12 shots in each of the last two games — the opportunity is there.
OK3. Over the last 10 games, the OK3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are averaging 71.2 PPG on 52.6 percent shooting and 44.9 percent from downtown. The Thunder is 8-2 in the span and the offense appears to be growing into its potential. The Phoenix defense should get all it can handle from the star trio tonight.