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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Portland Blazers

Portland Path Blazers (5-4) vs. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder(Four-Four)

Sunday, November 4th - 6:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Meyers Leonard (out), Al-Farouq Aminu (out)
Thunder injuries: None

SBN Affiliate: Welcome to Loud Metropolis
The Blazers are coming off a 113-110 victory on the expense of the Los Angeles Lakers. Lillard Time made a really welcome look, however a three-point victory over the Lakers didn’t go away lots of people satisfied.
The Thunder have had a combined begin to the season, profitable half of their video games. Victory in convincing vogue over the Milwaukee Bucks on the street offers cause for optimism. Alternatively, giving up an 18-point halftime lead at residence to the Boston Celtics additionally reveal that the Thunder aren’t an elite staff within the West—but.

What to look at

  • Can the Blazers decelerate Russell WestbrookWhen Westbrook has recorded a triple-double this 12 months, the Thunder have received. When he hasn’t? The Thunder are Zero-Four.
  • Turnovers. The Thunder are tied for greatest within the NBA at forcing turnovers from their opponents at 18 per sport. The Blazers, not a lot at 13.7. They’ve been a top-5 staff at defending the ball nevertheless, so the turnover battle is one to look at. The Blazers will give themselves a fantastic likelihood if they'll match OKC’s depth on that entrance.
  • Can the Blazers generate any offense within the paint? Oklahoma Metropolis leads the league in stopping factors within the paint, permitting a paltry 36.Three level per sport. The Blazers are fifth-worst within the league at scoring within the paint at 39.eight. Portland doesn’t have to be wonderful on offense close to the ring to have an opportunity, but when Jusuf Nurkic can have one other robust efficiency on the offensive finish like he did in opposition to Los Angeles, count on the Blazers to have an excellent evening general.

What they’re saying

The Thunder have a tough activity getting their three stars to mesh, however all Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have incentive to make it work in accordance with Jonathan Tjarks of the Ringer:
The largest factor Oklahoma Metropolis has going for it's that each one of its stars have one thing to show. Westbrook needs to point out he can play effectively with others. Carmelo needs to win: He has performed within the convention finals solely as soon as in 14 seasons within the NBA, and he didn’t make the playoffs in his final 4 years in New York. George has by no means made an All-NBA staff. He slipped off the radar of the informal fan following a grotesque leg harm and Indiana’s slide into mediocrity. None of them will look good if the Thunder crumble this season.
Royce Younger of ESPN.com offers his tackle the place the Thunder are after blowing a lead in opposition to Boston.
As one staff staffer stated earlier than the sport in Milwaukee, it may not be till Christmas that the Thunder actually type out their identification. That appears like a very long time, however Westbrook is adapting -- fairly effectively, principally -- whereas Anthony and George are discovering their means alongside the reigning MVP. They wish to be an elite defensive staff, letting that finish of the ground carry the day whereas they determine the offensive facet. That formulation, for no less than the primary 24 minutes, was on full show. As soon as the protection slipped, so did every little thing else.
The key to the success of OKC’s bench is... Raymond Felton? Jack Maloney explains:
By means of the Thunder's first seven video games, Felton is averaging eight.Four factors and a couple of.7 assists, and having a profession season taking pictures the ball -- 52.5 % from the sphere general, and even greater from Three-point land, the place he is flattening 55.5 % of his makes an attempt, which is 23 share factors greater than his profession common. ...Not solely did he put within the work earlier than arriving in OKC, however his makes an attempt are just about all large open due to the eye that Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George draw.
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