After an overtime loss to the Pelicans, the Thunder are back tonight, hosting the San Antonio Spurs. We’ll preview the game and get into which team I’ll be backing as well.
The 11-22 San Antonio Spurs enter tonight fresh off a win last night against the Utah Jazz, which brought their record in the previous ten games to an even 5-5. In that ten-game stretch, the Spurs are ranked 16th in the league in offensive rating, but their overall NET Rating is -5.6, which is ranked 27th.
Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell led the way in last night’s win, as they both had over 21 points. In his previous ten games, Johnson averaged 22 points per game and shot 43.9% from the field. The offense has hardly been the problem in San Antonio's last ten games, as the Spurs have put up a defensive rating of 119.1 in that span which is 28th in the NBA.
Oklahoma City has had the exact opposite strengths and weaknesses over their last ten games. The Thunder rank eighth in the league in defensive rating with a 111.2 rating, but their -2.3 NET rating is due to recent offensive struggles. OKC has put up the worst offensive rating in the league over this recent ten-game stretch, and if it were not for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s recent play, the Thunder could be looking at a much worse record than 4-6 during that time.
The Thunder have put up an effective field goal percentage of 51.7% as a team, which is the fifth worst in the league over the previous ten games. However, in their most recent loss, the Thunder were able to shoot 46% from the field and 37% from three, so we’ll see if they can continue to break out of their recent shooting slump tonight.
Oklahoma City are currently listed at -7 point favorites, and they are my best for this one. The Spurs are 1-4 ATS this season when playing on no day's rest, and they are 1-5-1 ATS in the last seven games between these two teams. I like the way OKC looked on offense in their most recent loss, and I think this is a good spot for them to continue their shooting performance from last game.
The Spurs have allowed the highest three-point percentage in the league this season, and opponents have an effective field goal percentage of 57.4% against them, which is also the highest in the league. A big reason why the Spurs allow such a high effective field goal percentage is the average of 54.8 points they allow in the paint each game. This number is ranked 29th in the league and bodes well for the Thunder, who are fourth in the league paint scoring this season.
Oklahoma City is 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games, and I expect that trend to continue tonight, especially with how much the Spurs have struggled with back-to-backs.
OKC Thunder (-7)