Arena: Paycom Center
Home Floor: Oklahoma City Thunder
As if injuries themselves didn’t hamper NBA rosters, COVID-19 is also having its prominent say since the start of the week. Still, the league has ensured that the season keeps going and is planning to give teams options for signing replacement players for each four absences due to COVID-19. Anyway, in this game, the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Los Angeles Clippers in a Western Conference affair. Thunder has lost 19 of its 27 games while the Clippers have 16 wins and 13 losses. Can Clippers edge out the struggling Thunder? To see “Total” prediction, go to the “Expert Betting Tips” section. To get a simple overview, visit “Notes”.Get Your Sign-Up Bonus!
Comparisons: Clippers are batting, Thunder too young
Recent Form: Thunder is on a three-game losing streak and all the losses have come at the team’s home floor. If we take a look at the wider picture then Thunder has lost eleven out of the last 13 games. Thunder has not lost the last six home games and is going to struggle bagging 20 wins with the current trajectory. The Clippers lost their last game against the Jazz but had won four in a row earlier. Two of the wins were without Paul George and one of them against a formidable Phoenix team. How are the Clippers going to fare if George ends up missing another game, is that a chance for the Thunder to snap the losing streak?
Offensive comparisons: Thunder’s offense is highly reliant on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, if he fires they can go as far as 100, if he is misfiring they struggle to even reach 100. What does this imply? A lack of scoring depth and overdependence on just one player. The Thunder squad has notched 110 or more in three of the last five games and with Giddey improving his offense and the bench being more effective, the Thunder has an improved offense compared to November.
Clippers have been seeing different players step up in the absence of George. Veteran Marcus Morris has particularly made a difference with his 20+ points production these days. Before running into a tough defensive team in Jazz and scoring 103, the Clippers had scored 111 and 114 points in two games. Still, don’t be fooled by those numbers, usually, the LA Clippers like to keep it in the 102-107 points and pull out wins using their experienced defensive unit.
Defensive comparisons: Thunder was doing a much better job on the defensive end earlier in the season. The defense was doing a good job especially during the first couple weeks of November when the squad restricted even high-scoring teams to 90-102 points but then the defense has crumbled since then. The team has conceded 110 or more a bunch of times and even though on some nights, the defense can still show up, the going has been rather inconsistent.
Clippers have earned a lot of their wins through disciplined defense which did take a hit at the beginning of December but has done a much better job since then. The team has restricted opponents in the 90-104 points range before the unstoppable Jazz poured 124 on them. Still, the Clippers can eke out quality defensive plays and they like games that don’t go too high in terms of overall Total.
Here are the quick hitters related to the game:
- Clippers have scored 103, 111, 106, 114, 102,in the last five games;
- Clippers have allowed 124, 95, 104, 111, 90 in the last five games;
- Thunder has scored 110, 84, 95, 110, 114 in the last five games;
- Thunder has allowed 113, 103, 116, 109, 103 in the last five games;
- Thunder has won only four and has lost 10 games at home. The team has lost five in a row at home;
- Clippers have won four games and have lost six games away from home;
- Paul George has missed the last four games. He leads the team in scoring with around 25 points a game. Clippers have won three and lost one game without their leading scorer;
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has scored 26 or more in three of the last five Thunder games;
- Marcus Morris has scored 24 points in each of the last two games;
- Josh Giddey has dished 7 assists in two of the last three games;
- Paul George and Nicholas Batum are questionable for the Clippers. Terance Mann and Luke Kennard are starting in their stead;
- Luguentz Dort has been listed as questionable for the Thunder. He is averaging close to 17 points a game;
- Do go through the injury list before placing your bets.
Expert Betting tips
Points Range: Oh, this can be a tricky one to predict in terms of Total. I say that because both teams have been up-and-down in terms of offense. Both teams have potential to shut it out for 105 points or less, but I’d say the Clippers are more likely to do that these days than the Thunder. I think this will not be a high-scorer but it will not be a low-scorer either. I define Low scorers as both teams scoring under 100, which I think will not happen. I believe the points range here is 204-214.
Prediction: No team in the NBA can be taken lightly during any night and yes some are more intimidating but the most intimidating can lose to the most lukewarm ones during some nights. It isn’t like that the Clippers have exactly been an elitist team but yes, the experience and defensive discipline seems more instilled in the outfit. If Paul Goerge plays I give the Clippers a 72% chance of winning and if he doesn’t, I give the Clippers a 62% chance of bagging this one. Still, in this pandemic world, you never know who gets claimed by the COVID-19 phantom. All in all, I opt for the Clippers to win this 108:94.
- Los Angeles Clippers - Total Points Over 106.5 for 2.00;
- Total Under 208.5 for 1.96;
- Team Props: OKC Thunder Under 102.5 for 1.86.