Struggling Thunder Look to Heal Against Nets
Wednesday’s ESPN double-header tips with the Oklahoma City Thunder hosting the Brooklyn Nets. The Thunder (41-26 SU, 35-32 ATS) have dropped eight of nine ATS since the All-Star break, while the Nets (36-33 SU, 37-32 ATS) have covered just three of their last nine games.
This is a particularly important game for Brooklyn. They’re in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race after three straight losing seasons. They are holding down seventh place at the moment. The Thunder are comfortably in the middle of the pack in the West. They’re 3-6 SU since the break, with two of those wins coming in overtime. They better shape up or they will be falling out of the pack.
The return of Paul George should help Oklahoma City regain their focus, if he’s healthy. George missed three games during this slump with a strained rotator cuff. He has shot the ball poorly since his return, hitting 31.3% of his field goals and 8-of-32 from beyond the arc. The Nets have close to their full lineup on the courts. Spencer Dinwiddie is back in action after missing five weeks recovering from thumb surgery. Shabazz Napier (personal) is expected to rejoin the club after sitting out Saturday’s 114-112 win over the Atlanta Hawks (+5 at home).
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Nets look to post their fifth straight victory when they open a seven-game road trip on Wednesday night. The Nets were outstanding on Monday night. They held the Detroit Pistons to an NBA season-low 27.8 percent from the field during a 103-75 thrashing.
Brooklyn climbed up to sixth in the Eastern Conference thanks a 28-15 stretch. They definitely looked like a serious playoff contending team during the dismantling of Detroit. Oklahoma City has been sputtering and Monday’s 98-89 road win over the Utah Jazz was just its fourth in the past 11 games.
Brooklyn held Detroit to 19 or fewer points in three quarters the other night. They did this while playing superb on both sides of the ball. Defense is what is promising as that wins playoffs games. Backup point guard Spencer Dinwiddie scored 19 points and is averaging 23.3 ppg over the last three games. D’Angelo Russell is just 11-of-36 shooting over the past two games.
Dennis Schroder scored 24 points against the Jazz. The talented backup had several key second-half baskets while Utah was attempting to recover from a 13-point halftime deficit. Russell Westbrook had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. He topped 20 points in five straight games and nine of the past 10. Paul George scored 47 points, one shy of his career high, as the Thunder posted a 114-112 road win over the Nets on Dec. 5.
PREDICTION: Thunder 111, Nets 108
NBA Betting Odds & Trends
|Brooklyn is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games|
|Brooklyn is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Brooklyn’s last 5 games|
|Brooklyn is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games on the road|
|The total has gone OVER in 10 of Brooklyn’s last 15 games on the road|
|Brooklyn is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Oklahoma City|
|Brooklyn is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Brooklyn’s last 6 games when playing Oklahoma City|
|Brooklyn is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Oklahoma City|
|Brooklyn is 6-18 SU in its last 24 games when playing on the road against Oklahoma City|
|Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Oklahoma City is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games|
|Oklahoma City is 15-8 SU in its last 23 games|
|Oklahoma City is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Oklahoma City’s last 9 games|
|Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home|
|Oklahoma City is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Oklahoma City’s last 6 games at home|
|Oklahoma City is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Brooklyn|
|Oklahoma City is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Brooklyn|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma City’s last 6 games when playing Brooklyn|
|Oklahoma City is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Brooklyn|
|Oklahoma City is 18-6 SU in its last 24 games when playing at home against Brooklyn|
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