OKC Thunder will travel east to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse tonight. The Thunder have an 11-18 record which has them struggling at second from bottom in the NBA Western Conference standings, while the Cavs are in a similar position in the East with a 10-20 record.
Fixture: OKC Thunder vs Cleveland Cavaliers | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Sunday, February 21st, 7:00 PM ET (Monday, February 22nd, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland.
OKC Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder are going through a terrible slump of form which has seen them lose their last 3 games. The most recent loss came against the Milwaukee Bucks, in which Thunder's stagnant offense was exploited as they scored just 85 points.
OKC Thunder's biggest weakness has been a lack of a secondary scorer, someone who can shoulder the load of scoring with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. They are averaging a dismal 106.9 points per game, which ranks 26th out of the 30 teams in the league.
Key Player - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has taken on the role of the primary ball handler for the OKC Thunder this season and it is safe to say that he has not disappointed. The youngster is averaging a solid 22.3 points, 6.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game on a respectable 38.4% shooting from the deep.
Alexander leads Mark Daigneault's team in points and assists, and the head coach will be looking to the former LA Clippers youngster to carry the OKC Thunder's offense.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
Guard - Theo Maledon, Guard - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Forward - Luguentz Dort, Forward - Darius Bazley, Center - Al Horford
Cleveland Cavaliers Preview
The Cleveland Cavaliers' problems mirror those of OKC Thunder, as they are currently the second-worst offense in the league. They have averaged just 103.9 points per game, and their defense, which was one of the best early in the season, has regressed significantly.
The absence of an accomplished point guard has hurt the Cavs this season. They rank 4th in turnovers and 23rd in assists per game, with their players dishing out just 23 dimes per game. This number will have to go up as the season progresses, or the Cleveland Cavaliers could be headed to the lottery yet again.
Key Player - Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton has shown flashes of brilliance this season, but has struggled to be the main consistent performer for his team. However, he has still managed to tally 22.8 points per game in the 2020-21 NBA campaign, on an excellent 40.9% shooting from behind the 3 point line.
Sexton will be facing a nightmare matchup in the form of defensive specialist Luguentz Dort tonight,t and the mercurial guard will have to be at his best to power the Cleveland Cavaliers to a win.
Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Lineup
Guard - Darius Garland, Guard - Collin Sexton, Forward - Isaac Okoro, Forward - Cedi Osman, Center - Jarrett Allen
Thunder vs Cavaliers Match Prediction
Both teams have struggled on offense this season, which could result in a low-scoring game. OKC Thunder have been marginally better defensively of late and that could be the deciding factor tonight when the sides meet at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Where to Watch Thunder vs Cavaliers
The local coverage of the OKC Thunder- Cleveland Cavaliers matchup will be available on Fox Sports Oklahoma and Fox Sports Ohio. The game will also be streamed live on the NBA League Pass.