The Oklahoma City Thunder are set to face the Portland Trail Blazers on the back end of a back-to-back. The Thunder will be interested in bouncing back after a 140-103 blowout against the Suns last night.
In the game against the Suns, two plays stood out: Theo Maledon and Aleksej Pokusevski. Maledon broke his career-high in scoring by scoring 33 points. Maledon displayed impressive scoring ability and showed off intriguing potential by making a couple of deep-range threes. Pokusevski made multiple contested threes and completed difficult passes in a 20 point effort.
The Trail Blazers are coming off of a 127-109 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Trail Blazers lost due to a 47 point, 12 rebound double-double from Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks.
The season series is split 1-1 between the two sides this season and 25-25 all-time.
The Trail Blazers are heavy favorites (-11.5) but the Thunder have shown all season long that they are capable of pulling off upsets. Against the Suns, the Thunder struggled without an elite primary playmaker in the first quarter which caused them to fall behind. In order for them to beat the Trail Blazers, they will need someone to step up and have a good night facilitating the offense.
In order for the Trail Blazers to win they should rebound the ball well. With Moses Brown gaining more minutes the Thunder have been able to rebound the ball much better recently. The Thunder outrebounded the Raptors 64-35 and was able to win by double-digits, however, against the Suns last night the Thunder were outrebounded 41-38 and lost. Since the Trail Blazers rank 25th in the NBA in rebounds per game, they will need to crash the glass in order to take down the Thunder.
The Thunder will be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Foot), Darius Bazley (Shoulder), Mike Muscala (Ankle), and Lu Dort (Concussion) in this contest. Portland will miss Derrick Jones Jr. and Zach Collins, while listing Nassir Little as questionable.