The Portland Trail Blazers have been solid to start the season as they look to make the playoffs. On the flip side, the Oklahoma City Thunder are still outside of even the play-in picture.
These two teams will face off at Paycom Center tonight, which will be the first of two contests this week. The Thunder will host Portland in back-to-back games on Monday and Wednesday.
The Thunder enter the day as 3.5-point underdogs to the Blazers, and the total over/under is 230.5 points.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Following a shorthanded win over the Memphis Grizzlies, the Thunder will hope to get Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey back tonight, although they’re currently listed as out entering today. Those two are the heart of Oklahoma City’s offense and critical to the team’s success.
Portland has a ton of firepower on offense, most notably with Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons. As such, the Thunder’s perimeter defense will be key in this game. Look for Lu Dort to spend most of his time defending those two guards.
The inability to defend the 3-point line has been detrimental for Oklahoma City over the past week. The Blazers are one of the most efficient teams in the NBA at shooting from beyond the arc, meaning this trend could continue.
If it’s a battle of 3-point shooting in this contest, Portland will have the upper hand.
Oklahoma City Thunder (12-18) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (17-13)
Monday, Dec. 19, 2022 at 7:00 PM CT
Paycom Center – Oklahoma City, OK
Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBA League Pass, 98.1 FM The Sports Animal
Following this contest, the Thunder and Blazers will be right back at it on Wednesday night once again in Oklahoma City.
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