TV: Bally Sports Oklahoma
By Paris Lawson | Broadcast and Digital Reporter | okcthunder.com
Following a two-game journey out east, the Thunder returns to Paycom Center for a short matchup at residence to host the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a strong 130-109 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday the place OKC recorded season highs in a number of offensive classes, the Thunder will look to proceed its stretch of sturdy offensive execution towards the Cavs who maintain the third finest defensive ranking within the league.
- First Punch – Part of the Thunder’s success towards the Nets on Thursday was its capacity to throw the primary punch and command an early lead within the ball sport. Over the final two video games, Oklahoma City has averaged 34.5 first quarter factors and shot at an environment friendly 56 % clip from the sector. Being the aggressors and setting the tone early shall be key towards the Cavs who common the very best first half level differential within the league at plus-five.
- Offensive Execution – The Thunder’s offense fired on all cylinders towards the Nets which led to season highs in a number of offensive classes together with factors, subject objective proportion, 3-pointers made and assists. Keep an eye fixed on how the Thunder maintains that high-level offensive execution towards a defensive-minded Cleveland workforce who holds the third-best defensive ranking within the league and holds its opponents to simply 102 factors per contest – the second lowest within the league.
- Free Throw Line Battle – Watch for the free throw numbers on this one. Neither the Cavs nor the Thunder have developed the fame of being foul-prone groups. In reality, Cleveland permits the second-fewest free throw makes an attempt per sport whereas the Thunder permits the fourth fewest. As the Thunder works to assault the basket and play downhill, be looking out for the free throw line numbers and who can maintain the benefit all through the ball sport.
With 14 factors in simply 12 minutes of motion, Thunder veteran huge man Mike Muscala has now logged 4 video games this season the place he has generated extra factors than he’s performed minutes. The pick-and-pop specialist went an ideal 4-for-4 from deep towards the Nets whereas additionally logging a block and a steal within the ball sport.
“When you are pretty much as good of a shooter as he’s, factors rack up quick,” stated Gilgeous-Alexander who assisted on three of Muscala’s 4 3-pointers. “He’s been nice all season. He is available in and provides us minutes, by no means complains, retains his head down. A for certain chief for us. He was himself [on Thursday.]”
“I really feel like usually, every month our workplace has gotten higher. It’s simply us placing within the work watching the movie after which trusting the adjustments that we’re making and implement them into the sport.”
— Darius Bazley on the Thunder’s offensive enchancment
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on what the win in Brooklyn represented…
“When we play the correct means we give ourselves the most effective likelihood each night time. We regarded good tonight. We have been enjoying aggressive, downhill, touching the paint after which making the correct basketball choices for a lot of the night time and it resulted in an excellent ‘W’”.
Cleveland enters Oklahoma City on the second night time of a back-to-back after going through the Spurs on Friday. Offensively, the Cavs are headlined by Darius Garland who averages 19 factors per contest and who lately posted a triple double towards the Jazz on January 12. Outside of Garland, the Cavs tout important measurement all through its lineup together with Jarrett Allen (16.7 ppg) on the five-spot, rookie 7-footer Evan Mobley (14.9 ppg) and stretch-four Lauri Markkanen (13.5 ppg) within the entrance court docket.