The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the midst of a 3-7 stretch and although are 40-26 on the season, need to turn things around to be a factor in the playoffs. They are 22-9 at home facing a Brooklyn Nets team that is 35-33, seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Comparing the teams statistically, the Thunder are very strong in scoring (2nd) and rebounding (4th), while middle of the pack in points allowed and turnovers. Their biggest weakness is three-point efficiency, ranked 24th in that department. The Nets are a top ten rebounding team and are near the middle of the league in three-point shooting, scoring and scoring defense. When the Nets lose, it's generally due to sloppy ball handling, as they ranked 24th in turnovers.
D'Angelo Russell leads a balance Nets scoring attack, averaging 20.4 points per game, while hitting a solid 37 percent from beyond the arc. Spencer Dinwiddle offers a solid second scoring option, dropping 17 per game. Perhaps the biggest threat for the Thunder to defend is Joe Harris, hitting 47 percent from three-point range. Chris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll and Jarret Allen complete the group that score in double digits, while Allen is tops on the team in rebounding at 8.5 per game.
The Thunder have one of the top duos in the league in Paul George and Russell Westbrook. They can take over any game, averaging a combined 51.5 points per contest. George is the sharpshooter from beyond the arc, at 39 percent, while Westbroook is a triple-double machine, averaging 11.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game. Steven Adams also provides strong help on the boards, hauling in nearly ten, while Jerami Grant and Dennis Shroder are good secondary scoring options.
Oklahoma City won the first meeting between the teams by two points on the road. Brooklyn is a much improved team from a year ago and should give the Thunder another tough game. Oklahoma City needs to get back on track and what better way than at home. After a hard fought game, expect the Thunder to edge the Nets and keep pace in the Western Conference.