Oklahoma City Thunder (4-6, 2-4 away) vs. Denver Nuggets (6-5, 4-2 home)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, November 9th, 10:30 pm EST
Line: Oklahoma City -1
The Thunder head to Denver on Thursday night and face off with the Nuggets. Oklahoma City is playing well below expectations and suffered one of the more shocking losses of the year on Tuesday night. The Sacramento Kings, a 10 point underdog, came back from a huge early deficit and beat the Thunder 94-86. You know something is up if Westbrook, George, Anthony and company can’t put up more than 86 points on the Kings. It was their third consecutive loss.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, have won three of four games with the lone loss being to the defending champion Warriors. They are 6-5 and figure to be a borderline playoff team this year. Everyone figured the Thunder would be a lock for the playoffs, but I’m not so sure, so this is a pretty big early season game for both teams. Denver will be in the rarefied home air which should be an advantage. They beat the Nets 112-104 in their latest.
Thunder throw in a clunker
The Thunder threw in an absolute clunker on Tuesday night in Sacramento. Their offense was anemic, putting up only 86 points, and the blew a huge early lead in losing to the previously now win Kings. They had a 25-10 lead after the first quarter, but then the Kings came back and outscored them by 16 in the second quarter to take a one point half-time lead. The second half was back and forth, but the Kings played better down the stretch to get the win.
I don’t think there will be a worse shooting day for the Thunder’s Big 3 all season. Carmelo Anthony shot four of 17, Paul George was four of 16, and Russell Westbrook was seven of 21. That’s a combined 15 of 54, well below 30% combined. The only Thunder player who played well was Steven Adams who was four of five from the field and finished with 14 points, six rebounds, and an impressive five steals.
Nuggets respond with a win
In their previous game before their win over Brooklyn on Tuesday night, the Nuggets were run off the court by the Golden State Warriors. They didn’t let them affect them however, and they came out and played a solid game to beat the frisky Nets. Denver had a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 11 point lead at half, and a 20 point lead heading into the fourth quarter so the final score is a bit deceiving. It was never in doubt.
They were led by Nikola Jokic who had his best game of the year and stuffed the stat sheet in every way imaginable. He shot 16 of 25 from the field and finished with 41 points. He also contributed 12 rebounds, five assists, two block shots, and even two steals. Now that’s an all-around game for someone who has become one of the best big men in the game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on 1 day’s rest
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 versus the Western Conference
- 1-4 AST in their last 5 versus teams with a winning overall record
The Denver Nuggets are:
- (no trends available)
The Thunder are a bet against every time out, at least for the next few weeks. They have now cohesion between their three superstars and could only put up 86 versus the Kings. That won’t be near enough against the Nuggets.