The Oklahoma City Thunder will continue the second half of the season with game two as they play host to the Knicks as the Thunder are short-handed all ready to start the second half of the NBA season. In this game, the Thunder will not have their star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who is out with a leg contusion. Darius Bazley (Shoulder), George Hill (Thumb), Josh Hall (Knee), Trevor Ariza (Not with the team), Hamidou Diallo (groin/Trade not official yet) are all out as well for the OKC Thunder. Safe to say, the Thunder will be shorthanded in this game against the Knicks, and with the Thunder playing a back-to-back tomorrow, Al Horford will likely join them in sitting out.
The Thunder will roll out a starting lineup against the Knicks that features Theo Maledon as the point guard, Lu Dort will start as the shooting guard but will be staggered as the point guard with the second unit, Aleksej Pokusevski earns his second start this time playing the small forward position, Isaiah Roby will finally get to play power forward as Al Horford rounds out the starting five at the center position.
The Knicks will be without Austin Rivers, Mitchell Robinson, Derrick Rose, with Elfrid Payton listed as questionable. The Knicks play stellar defense, in fact, they are the best defensive team in the NBA right now, so the young guns in the Thunder starting group will be in for a tough test in this special 1 p.m. tip-off.
The Thunder will tip-off at 1 p.m. tomorrow as well, and today’s game against the Knicks will be broadcasted on NBATV, the closest thing the OKC Thunder will get to a Nationally Televised game this season.
The Thunder are four-point underdogs, and for Locked on Thunder listeners, the bet of the day is Knicks -4. The Moneyball pick of the day is Theo Maledon.
In this game I am interested to see Isaiah Roby at the four, a spot I have clamored for him to play all year long, I think he is a better athlete than are giving him credit for and can actually thrive in this new role as a power forward. Aleksej Pokusevski, especially without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the floor, will be the “head turner” for the Thunder. All eyes will go on this year’s first-round pick throughout this game.
With how short-handed the Thunder are, I expect Mark Daigneault to empty the bench and play Mike Muscala, Justin Jackson, and Darius Miller in this contest, all three did not play a single minute in the second-half opener against Dallas. I would think Muscala is a lock to play today.