Thunder Stories

Game 9 Preview: Thunder vs Trailblazers

After Friday's controversial lost against Boston, the Oklahoma City Thunder (4-4) will try to bounce back in Portland tonight against the Portland Trailblazers (5-4).

The Thunder lost six straight games in Portland and their last win there is dated February 11th, 2014. A very long time ago.

Plus, this season, Oklahoma City lost all three matchups against teams in the West. All four wins, so far, have come against Eastern Conference teams.


Keys to the Game

Defense – The Thunder will need a solid defensive performance to win in Portland. The Blazers have one of the best back-court in the league and they are 3rd in the league for three points percentage. Lillard and McCollum can score from everywhere and they can catch fire in any moment. On offense, Portland can also count on center Jusuf Nurkic. The big Bosnian is averaging 15 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Box out – Oklahoma City is allowing almost eleven offensive rebounds per game (10.8), 24th in the league. Meanwhile, Portland is one of the best offensive rebounds teams this season at 12.4 (2nd). The Thunder need to focus on boxing out, keep the Blazers away from the glass, and avoid to give up second-chance points. This will require a full team effort because any little distraction might ruin the whole defensive effort.

Avoid Iso Offense – When they move the ball and everyone is involved, the Thunder are one of the most dangerous teams in the league. They showed it on Friday during the first half against the Celtics. A great offensive motion. Unfortunately, when the shots stopped falling, also OKC stopped moving the ball and went full isolation basketball. It wasn’t the first time this season. Moving forward, the Thunder need to avoid this trend and keep on trusting each other, even when they have trouble in scoring.


Injury Report

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • N/A

Portland Trailblazers

  • Al-Farouq Aminu (Ankle – Out until mid-November)
  • Meyers Leonard (Ankle – Out until mid-end November)
  • Wade Baldwin IV (Thumb – Out until early December)
  • C.J. Wilcox (Knee – Out until early December)

Teams Stats

Oklahoma City Thunder

PPG 104.9 – OPP PTS 96.3
FG% 45.6 – 3PT% 31.8 – FT% 74.4
APG 23.0 RPG 43.1– TOV 15.3

Portland Trailblazers

PPG 107.7 – OPP PTS 101.1
FG% 42.9 – 3PT% 39.7 – FT% 82.2
APG 19.3 – RPG 49.1 – TOV 14.3

 

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