The Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the Houston Rockets again on Wednesday in their baseball-series week. This game will wrap up their series with Houston before a back-to-back against the T-Wolves later this week, and a baseball-series with the Lakers earlier next week.
The Thunder will try to rebound after a blowout loss against the Rockets Monday but will have to do so without the face of their franchise, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA is sidelined with a Knee injury (Left Knee Sprain), he had an awkward injury on Monday but stayed in the game after Mark Daigneault took him out of the contest to evaluate him, SGA went on to play the rest of the contest. This injury was first found out on the 7:30 NBA injury report, so Mark Daigneault will have more updates on this pregame. Be sure to follow along for that on Twitter.
The OKC Thunder will also be without starting guard George Hill (Thumb) as he will miss at least four weeks after having surgery on that thumb injury.
With the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander injury, and George Hill out, coupled with the Thunder sending four to the G-League Bubble, Oklahoma City has ten active players tonight. Mark Daigneault has enjoyed a ten-man rotation to this point, so that couple spells Darius Miller minutes tonight against Houston. Either way, we will see some wacky lineups in this contest.
The Thunder will not be the only team short-handed in this contest, as the Rockets are missing starting point guard John Wall who is out with load management on his Achilles recovery. Wall poured in 18 points Monday and went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. The Rockets will once again miss David Nwaba in this game. Nwaba started eight games for the Rockets and missed Monday’s contest as well.
Theo Maledon will not only be in the start lineup, but he will be the starting point guard tonight. If you had to predict the Thunder starting five, I would say Theo Maledon, Lu Dort, Hamidou Diallo, Darius Bazley, and Al Horford.
The biggest thing to watch for in this game for the OKC Thunder is who will make up for the lack of ball-handling. If they do start Diallo, the bench has no ball-handler, should the team start Justin Jackson instead? Starting Justin Jackson would at least keep Hamidou Diallo as the bench’s lead ball-handler. It is a bind that Mark Daigneault has been put in. I would expect more ball handler minutes for Darius Bazley, who already got some of those minutes on Monday.
The Thunder are five-point underdogs right now, and I am taking Houston minus-5. The money ball pick to lead the team in 3-pointers this game is Mike Muscala. I think Muscala will have a hot-night off the bench.