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Game 32 Preview: Thunder vs Hawks

Tonight, The Oklahoma City Thunder will play again at home, this time against the Atlanta Hawks.

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This will be a key game for the Thunder to give continuity to their improvements. At the moment Atlanta is the worst team in the league with a 7-24 record. The Hawks lost seven of the past ten games and they are only 3-13 on the road.

The Thunder are coming into this game after a solid win against the Jazz and an 8-3 record in the past eleven games.


Keys to the game

Keep Pushing – The Thunder are definitely the better team in this contest, there is no doubt about that but to succeed, they have to keep on pushing their tempo and to play their game. A lot of time Oklahoma City played the level of their opponents, which is good if they play against a top team, but very frustrating if it’s a bad one. Stick to the game plan and everything will turn out alright.

Attack The Glass – The Hawks are one of the worst rebounding team in the league with an average of only 39.8 (28th overall). As a result of this Atlanta is allowing other teams to score 14.1 points on second chances (29th overall). The Thunder will have to stay active also on the offensive glass, missing shots might turn out in extra possessions.

Defense – The Thunder are the best defensive team in the league right now with a defensive rating of 100.8. If they put the same effort they did against the Jazz in the last game, then there is no way the Hawks can beat OKC. Everyone has to stay engaged,  cover the weak side, and help each other. Timing, as a bad steal attempt, will be the difference between a good or a bad defensive possession.


Injury Report

Oklahoma City Thunder

Atlanta Hawks

  • DeWayne Dedmon – Leg (Expected to be out until at least Dec 23rd)
  • Mike Muscala – Ankle (Expected to be out until at least Dec 27th)
  • Dennis Schroder – Ankle (Game time decision)

Teams Stats

Oklahoma City Thunder

PPG 102.1 – OPP PTS 99.5
FG% 43.8 – 3PT% 34.8 – FT% 71.3
APG 20.7 – RPG 44.0 – TOV 14.9

Atlanta Hawks

PPG 103.1 – OPP PTS 108.4
FG% 45.5 – 3PT% 37.9 – FT% 78.9
APG 23.7 – RPG 39.8– TOV 15.6

Cover Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

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