Game 35 Preview: Thunder vs Raptors

Tonight, the Oklahoma City Thunder will play against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference: the Toronto Raptors.

Oklahoma City is entering tonight’s game on a five games winning streak while Toronto lost last night against the Dallas Mavericks. Despite the surprising loss in Dallas, the Toronto Raptors are still seconds in the East, and they have won eight of their past ten games.

Keys to the Game

Defensive Pressure – The Raptors are one of the best offensive teams in the league, they score an average of 110.8 points per game (4th overall), and they have an offensive rating of 110.0 (4th overall). However, Toronto is on the second night of a back to back. The Thunder have to put pressure on the Raptors from the tip-off, try to keep them out of rhythm, contest their shots, and make every possession a struggle. Obviously, it’s easier to be said than done. It will be a big challenge, but this Thunder team already showed its defensive potential.

Pace & Ball Movement – The Thunder should take advantage of the fact that Toronto played yesterday. Oklahoma City should speed up the pace and the tempo, move the ball, move without the ball, and keep the Raptors’ defense engaged all the time. Not only it will be good for the offense, but this will make the Raptors even more tired.

Rebounds – Most of the games are decided by who wins the rebounding battle. Tonight is not an exception. The Thunder need to stay aggressive on both ends of the floor, box out on defense, and attack the offensive glass to get extra possessions. Steven Adams is leading the league in this category: he is averaging 5.1 offensive rebounds.

Injury Report

Oklahoma City Thunder

Toronto Raptors

Teams Stats

Oklahoma City Thunder

PPG 102.9 – OPP PTS 100.0
FG% 44.3 – 3PT% 35.6 – FT% 71.4
APG 20.8 – RPG 43.8 – TOV 14.8

Toronto Raptors

PPG 110.8 – OPP PTS 102.3
FG% 47.4 – 3PT% 35.2 – FT% 79.4
APG 22.8 – RPG 42.5– TOV 14.2

Photo Cover by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images

  1. On the mark preview!


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