It’s a clash of two interesting squads with similar paths. Both are built with a young and promising core, and currently building a nice streak. This should be a hard-fought battle.
Catch the game tomorrow at 8:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Oklahoma City Thunder (33-35, 20-15 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Josh Giddey
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (day-to-day) / Isiah Joe
- Jalen Williams
- Lu Dort
- Jaylin Williams
Though outside of the play-in spots, there’s momentum in the Thunder locker room, just in time for the crucial part of the playoff push. OKC has now gone 5-1 in its last six games (SU and ATS), averaging 118.2 points per game with a +6.9 net rating.
All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was rested in Monday’s game against the Kings, so he’s most probably back for tomorrow. As always, he’s expected to be huge, as seen in his top five-ranked 31.2 PPG output on the season. Co-starters Josh Giddey (16.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 6.2 APG) and Lu Dort (13.8 PPG) will be someone to watch out for as well, the two, along with SGA, each scored 20-plus in the 112-102 win over the Nets last January, granted it was a very different Brooklyn team.
Rookie Jalen Williams, who now plays a significant role, should be in that mix as well. The first-year guard is boasting all-around numbers in his last eight: 22.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.1 steals on an efficient 58.3% shooting, including 50% from downtown on three attempts per game.
AWAY: Brooklyn Nets (39-29, 20-17 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Spencer Dinwiddie
- Cameron Johnson
- Mikal Bridges
- Dorian Finney-Smith
- Nic Claxton
Trend-wise, the Nets are on the same path as the Thunder. They are also 5-1 in their last six contests, putting up 115.7 points per game with a +7 net rating in that span. The solid stretch actually began in that huge victory vs. the Boston Celtics last week, where they erased a 28-point lead to win – the largest comeback in the NBA this season.
All over this current run, as you all probably know, is their forward of the future: Mikal Bridges. His coming out party will continue all season long. He’s now 13 games in as a Net, posting 25.7 points with shooting splits of 50.9% / 47.9% / 89.9%. We can expect such production and efficiency tomorrow.
Aiding Bridges is the combination of floor general Spencer Dinwiddie (18.3 PPG since returning in BKN), double-double machine Nic Claxton, and classic ‘3 and D’ weapon Cameron Johnson (16.8 PPG as a Net). All are capable of having big games any given day.
The Nets have won six straight ATS, and also five in a row on the road, also ATS.
Handicap: The Thunder (-1.5) win an entertaining battle, hopefully topped off by an SGA-Bridges duel.
Over/Under: The total hits the over (225.5).