Time: 6:00 PM CT
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (30-20) has won eight straight ahead of tonight’s game in Washington D.C., sitting 10 games above .500 and just a half-game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for fourth place in the Western Conference. The Thunder will look to extend the winning streak against a Wizards (27-22) team that will be far less formidable than it was when the teams squared-off last Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
The Wizards will be without All-Star point guard John Wall, as he’s set to miss up to two months after a knee scope procedure scheduled for tomorrow. Washington will be led by the other All-Star in its backcourt, Bradley Beal, who dropped 41 points on the Thunder less than a week ago. He will look to exploit an OKC defense that no longer features Andre Roberson.
Tip-off is set for 6:00 PM CT and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. The Thunder is currently a 4.5-point favorite according to OddsShark.
- Andre Roberson: Out — Knee
- John Wall: Out — Knee
- Sheldon Mac: Out — Achilles
Wizards: Thomas Satoransky, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat
|Team||EFG%||FTA Rate||TOV%||OREB%||OPP EFG%||OPP FTA||OPP TOV%||OPP OREB%|
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Thunder O & D
Wizards O & D
1/25: OKC 121, WAS 112 [BOX SCORE]
No Wall. On a night that’s sure to feature far too many wall references, the Wizards will go to war without John Wall — a monster blow to a team that has been mired in recent struggles. Wall was recently named to the All-Star Game, averaging 19.4 points and 9.3 assists per game. As the catalyst for most everything the Wizards try to accomplish, the drop-off between him and his backup, Tomas Satoransky, is quite large. Satoransky is averaging 5 points and 2.6 assists this season, but shooting 43 percent from downtown on a little more than one attempt per game. He had 11 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes against the Hawks last Saturday, so it wouldn’t be totally shocking to see him perform admirably tonight. Random guys have a historical tendency to play well against the Thunder.
Solo Bradley Beal. Bradley Beal will become the focal point of the Washington offense, and he comes in averaging 23.9 points per game on 37 percent shooting from downtown. He hit the Thunder for 41 points on 15/26 shooting last Thursday and will certainly enjoy life without Andre Roberson. However, roughly 23 percent of his made baskets this season have come on assists from Wall. When it comes to three-point shooting, Wall has assisted on about 40 percent of Beal’s makes. He will get plenty of opportunities but they shouldn’t come as easily as they did last week.
Russell Westbrook. Over the current eight-game winning streak, Russell Westbrook is averaging 29 points, 9 rebounds and 10.3 assists on 48.7 percent shooting. He had 46 points on 19/29 shooting against the Wizards last week and that was with John Wall on the floor. He always has the green light but it will be even brighter with Satoransky as his primary defender.
Defending the Three. The Wizards used 16 three-pointers last Thursday night to nearly erase a 19-point Thunder lead. Washington has the NBA’s fourth-best overall three-point percentage at 37.7 percent, but again — a lot will change for them offensively in Wall’s absence. Both Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. played poorly against OKC last week and will likely make a bigger impact tonight. They’re both extremely capable shooters from long range.
Khal Adams. Steven Adams has been superb recently, averaging 14.6 points and 9.4 rebounds in 2018. He will again be matched-up with Marcin Gortat, who just isn’t quite athletic enough to keep up with the Thunder’s big man. Adams had 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Wizards last week, grabbing seven offensive rebounds to help drive the Thunder offense.
Replacing Roberson. The Thunder figures to again start Terrance Ferguson in place of Andre Roberson, but it will be interesting to see how the rotation goes from there. Ferguson, Josh Huestis and Jerami Grant all received healthy playing time in Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, but it was Grant who stood out and played down the stretch. I maintain a strong desire for more Patrick Patterson but who knows — this situation should remain fluid for some time.