Thunder Stories

Game 18 Preview: Thunder vs Pistons

After the convincing victory over the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder (8-9) will face tonight another strong opponent, the Detroit Pistons (11-6).

The Pistons are off to a surprisingly great start, they are now second in the Eastern Conference behind only the Boston Celtics.


Keys To The Game

Rebound – One of the main aspects the Thunder should take care of is without a doubt the rebounding battle. Both teams are averaging around 42 rebounds per game, but the Pistons can count on Andre Drummond, one of the best rebounders in the league. The Detroit’s center is currently averaging 15.3 rebounds per game (1st in the League), with 5.7 of these coming from the offensive glass. Boxing out and not letting the Pistons go for second-chance points will be fundamental to the Thunder’s success.

Defend & Run – The Thunder are the second best defensive team in the league so far and they are also leading the NBA in steals per game with 10.7. Tonight, as they did perfectly against the Warriors, Oklahoma City should lock in defensively and take every possible chance to run in transition. The Pistons are playing at a slow PACE (98.13, 26th in the Leauge): keeping the rhythm high should obtain priority for the Thunder.

One Possession At A Time – A key factor will also be the management of the game. Oklahoma City will certainly try to keep up with what they did so good on Wednesday night. However, trying to replicate last games dynamics might put them in a difficult position: the game plan that worked so well against the Warriors could be easy to battle for the Pistons. This game will be won one possession at a time. Solid defense will lead to a smart offense: the Thunder should let the game come to them, the rest will take care of itself.


Injury Report

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • N/A

Detroit Pistons

  • Jon Leuer (Ankle, game time decision)

Teams Stats

Oklahoma City Thunder

PPG 103.5 – OPP PTS 98.1
FG% 44.4 – 3PT% 34.9 – FT% 73.5
APG 20.8 – RPG 42.4 – TOV 14.9

Detroit Pistons

PPG 104.0– OPP PTS 102.1
FG% 45.4 – 3PT% 38.5 – FT% 75.3
APG 22.4 – RPG 42.8– TOV 14.6

Cover photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

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