Brooklyn Nets(36-33) Vs. OKC Thunder(41-26)
NBA: Thursday, Feb 7, 8:00 PM ET @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
Spread: +7 Nets/ Money Line: BKN: +240/ OKC: -280 /Over/Under: 110
Free NBA Pick Brooklyn Nets vs OKC Thunder
The Nets clash with the OKC Thunder in a highly unanticipated and high stakes matchup. Last season, the OKC split their regular season series with the Nets. However, the Nets have progressed since last season and are currently in playoff contention.
The Brooklyn Nets lately have been performing poorly lately and have held on to the 6th position in the Eastern Conference. This season the Nets have pulled major wins against the 76ers, Grizzlies, and even the Nuggets. When the Nets play well they can compete with any team in the NBA. While the Nets are an average offensive team, they have the second highest scoring bench in the NBA. The Nets rely on the depth of their team to generate offense and to win games. Because the Nets have 8 players that average over 9.5 points per game, beating the Nets requires more than stopping one player. And this is what makes the Nets such a tough opponent.
The Thunder are currently ranked third in the Western Conference this season and they have demonstrated that they are capable of beating any team. Paul George has been having a sensational season and has entered the MVP conversation. Currently, Paul George is averaging 26.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 4.0 APG. Russell Westbrook is also averaging a triple double again this season.
Offensively, the Thunder are one of the top 5 teams in the NBA in points scored per game. The OKC starters average over 83 PPG and their bench has performed better this last season. Currently, their bench averages over 30 points per game. On the defensive end of the court, the Thunder are one of the best in the NBA. They lead the league in opponent turnovers per game and are one of the best teams at guarding the three point line.
This Sunday night matchup between the Nets and OKC Thunder should be interesting considering that both teams are so potent defensively and good at rebounding the basketball. Both teams have elite point guards in Russell Westbrook and D’Angelo Russell. Both teams have dominant centers. Both teams hustle on the defensive end of the court. However, OKC relies heavily on Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Dennis Schroder, and Steve Adams. While the Nets rely depth of their roster and defense to win games.
The Nets generally struggle to win on the road. This season alone they have lost 53% of their road games; many of these games were to less formidable opponents than OKC. The OKC Thunder are a bear of an opponent and have won nearly 71% of their games at home. And against Eastern Conference teams, the OKC Thunder have won over 73% of their games at home this season.
In their last matchup, OKC beat the Nets at home. This was despite the Nets shooting better from three point range and having a higher free throw percentage in that game. OKC even had a record 13 turnovers in the game. OKC still managed to have roughly 50% more assists and rebounds in the game than the Nets. Russell Westbrook, Steve Adams, Dennis Schroder, and Paul George were unstoppable in that game. Russell Westbrook had 21 points, 17 assists, and 15 rebounds. Paul George was equally impressive and had 47 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 assists. Steve Adams even scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds with 2 assists. Dennis Schroder had 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Russell Westbrook, Steve Adams, Dennis Schroder, and Paul George were responsible for 83% of OKC’s points, 66% of their rebounds, and 90% of their assists.
Despite what experts may believe, I expect Thunder to be too tough of an opponent for the Nets on the road. I predict that the Nets are going to pull off an upset and walk away with a hard fought win on the road!
Pick: Brooklyn Nets +7