When and where: January 24, 2020, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK, 8:00 PM ET
The surging Oklahoma City Thunder will kick-start their weekend with a head-to-head tilt with the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Friday. Since dropping back-to-back losses, the Thunder have exploded back into the win column with three straight wins over the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers. Meanwhile, the Hawks avoided a third straight loss by upsetting the Los Angeles Clippers at home.
Collins takes over the showWith star guard Trae Young sitting out on Wednesday with a thigh injury, John Collins stepped up and led the Hawks to a shocking 102-95 victory over the Clippers. Granted, the Clippers weren’t at full strength with both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sitting out. But neither were the Hawks. There is plenty to be excited about in Atlanta after watching Collins continue to take flight in his overall development.
The team could need an encore performance if Young remains out on Friday against the Spurs.
Oklahoma City is rolling right now on offense with the team averaging 117.0 points per game in their last three outings. Shutting that scoring down will be a herculean task for a Hawks team that has the third-worst scoring defense in the league.
Yet, even their defensive struggles pale in comparison to the problems on offense. The team has the league-worst offensive efficiency. Throw in the possibility of Young missing another game, and it could turn into an enormous problem for the Hawks. Jabari Parker is also still out as well with a shoulder injury.
There isn’t much hope to be found against the Thunder’s dominant scoring defense that has made a habit of holding other teams in check.
Thunder turn the lights out on OrlandoNot even the seventh-ranked defensive team in the league could stop the roaring Thunder.
Oklahoma City stormed into Orlando on Wednesday night and shot 60.5 percent from the floor and 47.4 percent from 3-pointer for a 120-114 victory over the Magic. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari—the usual suspects did their part in the offensive explosion. However, it was the astonishing 31-point performance from Dennis Schroeder that really put the team over the top.
“We’ve got three point guards who can make decisions and who are dangerous,” Schroder said after the game, via ESPN.com. “Every time we have that lineup, it opens up a lot, whoever’s got the ball. I was just aggressive, shooting with confidence, and it went in.”
The Thunder hope to keep the red-hot offensive play going when hosting the struggling Hawks on Friday. It’s the same Hawks team that is currently ranked 21st in the league in defensive efficiency with opponents averaging 47.2 percent shooting against them. Oklahoma City is steadily creeping up the offensive rankings with the 12th-ranked offense in the league right now. The return of Gallinari and center Nerlens Noel has re-energized them.
On the defensive end of the floor, they have played better on the road than they have at home. Yet, it could end up being smooth sailing regardless considering how poorly the Hawks have played on offense this season.
Starting center Steven Adams is questionable for the game with an ankle injury.
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Hawks are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games following an ATS win.
- Hawks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games.
- Hawks are 9-25 ATS in their last 34 Friday games.
- Hawks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Thunder are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.
- Thunder are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Thunder are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games playing on 1 days’ rest.
- Thunder are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.