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Brooklyn Nets at Oklahoma City Thunder Game Preview and Prediction

The inter-conference foes will meet at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday when the Brooklyn Nets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder, hoping to extend their winning streak to five games and looking to open the seven-game road trip with a victory, while the hosts returned home from a four-game road trip and are eager to wrap up the season series with a win in front of their own crowd. Oklahoma City has been a better rival when it comes to the recent H2H duels as they won four of the last five encounters including the previous three at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder snatched a narrow 114-112 victory when the teams met in Brooklyn in December, and the Nets will be looking to get revenge in this one. NBA: Wednesday, March 13, 2019, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 7:00 PM ET

 

Brooklyn Nets allowed season-low 75 points in a blowout win over Detroit

Brooklyn was in a bad form of three consecutive defeats but they managed to respond with four straight victories, including the massive one over the Detroit Pistons at home. The Nets now improved to the 36-33 record and are currently sitting in the 6th position in the Eastern Conference with 14 wins behind the conference leaders Milwaukee Bucks and 12 wins behind the Atlantic Division rivals Toronto Raptors. Brooklyn has an excellent chance to make it to the playoffs this year as they are five wins ahead of the Orlando Magic, who are in the 9th place at the moment, but the Nets will need to prove their worth on the upcoming seven-game road trip.

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets in a 103-75 win over the Pistons with 19 points off the bench; Allen Crabbe posted a double-double of 14 points and team-high ten rebounds along with four assists, RodionsKurucs added 13 points and game-high three steals, Joe Harris and Caris LeVert scored 12 apiece, while D’Angelo Russell finished the game with 11 points, game-high seven dimes and a couple of thefts. Brooklyn displayed the best defensive performance in years as they limited Detroit to just 27.8 percent from the floor, which is the lowest percentage of an NBA team in three and a half years. The Nets were up by 26 points at halftime and the Pistons couldn’t do anything to avoid a massive defeat after scoring miserable 35 points in the opening 24 minutes.

DeMarre Carroll suffered a hyperextended left knee on Monday vs. the Pistons and didn’t return, and if he is unable to go against the Thunder, Rodions Kurucs will have a higher floor, while the Nets may turn to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who has been in the doghouse recently.

The Nets have the 18th offense in the NBA that averages 111.8 points per contest, while their defense is the 17th in the league as it allows 111.8 points per game. Brooklyn’s rebounding is above average as they are recording 46.1 boards per game (10th), while they are worse when it comes to assists per contest with 23.9 dishes a night (19th). Brooklyn is 22nd in field goal percentage as they have 45.1 percent from the floor and 14th from downtown with 35.3 percentage, while they are 6th in the NBA with 12.5 three-pointers made per game.

Oklahoma City Thunder swept the season series with a road win over Utah

Oklahoma City is not playing well in the past month as they suffered seven defeats in the previous 11 games but they bounced back from a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with a win over the divisional rivals, the Utah Jazz, sweeping the season series in the process. The Thunder improved to the 41-26 record and are in the 4th place in the Western Conference with four wins behind the conference leaders Golden State Warriors and two wins behind the Northwest Division rivals Denver Nuggets. Oklahoma City is with one foot in the playoffs as they have eight wins more than the Sacramento Kings, who are in the 9th position right now, and they will likely battle the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 4 seed in the West.

Dennis Schroder led the Thunder in a 98-89 win over the Jazz with 24 points and seven rebounds off the bench; Russell Westbrook posted a double-double of 23 points and 11 boards along with game-high eight assists, Paul George recorded a double-double of 14 points and game-high 11 rebounds along with four dishes and team-high three thefts, while Steven Adams and Jerami Grant contributed with 12 points apiece. Oklahoma City played excellent defense, particularly in the second quarter when they allowed only 16 points to Utah, while they held the Jazz to 36.4 percent from the floor. Westbrook had heated verbal altercation with fans prior to the game but it seems that the unpleasant experience only motivated Russell to give his best.

Markieff Morris left Monday’s game vs. the Jazz with neck soreness and did not return and given his history with neck injuries, the previous one forced him to sit out two months; he will probably be sidelined for the tilt with Brooklyn. Jerian Grant’s floor will be a bit higher and Patrick Patterson could be back in the rotation.

The Thunder have the top 5 offense in the NBA that averages 115.2 points per contest (4th), while their defense is the 15th in the league as it allows 111.1 points per game. Oklahoma City’s rebounding is one of the best in the league as they are recording 48.1 boards per game (2nd), while they are much worse when it comes to assists per contest with 23.1 dishes a night (23rd). Oklahoma City is 16th in field goal percentage as they have 45.7 percent from the floor and 24th from downtown with 34.5 percentage, while they are 19th in the NBA with 10.9 three-pointers made per game.

Trends:

Brooklyn:

  • 6-0 ATS in their last six games played on the road vs. an opponent with a winning home record
  • 8-1 ATS in their last nine vs. Western Conference rivals
  • 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games played on Wednesday
  • 7-3 ATS in their last ten games played on the road

Oklahoma City:

  • 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games overall
  • 0-4 ATS in their last four games played at home
  • 2-8 ATS in their last ten when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game

The Winner Prediction

Oklahoma City won six of the previous ten H2H meetings including four of the last five, while the Thunder were victorious in the past three meetings at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. However, the Nets are 7-2 ATS in the last nine duels and they are 5-1 ATS in the previous six meetings in Oklahoma City, and the Thunder are not playing their best basketball at the moment, which is enough for me to back Brooklyn to cover the spread. The visitors are in the better form and have more individuals who can decide the tilt, while on the other end, Westbrook and George will be frequently used options in the offense. The Nets did a great job in stopping Drummond and Griffin in a win over the Pistons and although I don’t think they will manage to keep Oklahoma City to 75 points, I am backing their defense to cope with the Thunder and take the game down to the wire.

The Pick: Brooklyn Nets +7.5(-115)

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