The OKC Thunder travel to Tinseltown to visit the LA Clippers at Staples Center on Friday. The LA Clippers have won five straight games and six of their last seven. They will have all the momentum after winning 115-96 against the Sacramento Kings last Wednesday.
In contrast, the Thunder have lost three of their last four games including Tuesday’s 119-101 blowout at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. OKC will be hard-pressed to win against the Clippers in LA.
Fixture - OKC Thunder vs LA Clippers | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Friday, January 22nd, 10:00 PM ET (Saturday, January 23rd, 8:30 AM IST)
Venue - Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
OKC Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder are in rebuilding mode but that doesn’t make them the underdog in every match they play. On the contrary, the Thunder are playing competitively and won four of their five contests prior to their current struggles.
But when faced against a title contender like the LA Clippers, OKC Thunder coach Mark Daigneault will have to pray that the home team has an off night. At 103.3 points per game, the Thunder are only 29th in the league in scoring.
Key Player - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
OKC Thunder are heavily dependent on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA had a poor outing versus the Denver Nuggets and the Thunder fell easily. He had 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting with seven assists and five rebounds. The 22-year-old guard is still learning the ropes but he is also a maturing ballplayer with loads of potential.
Against the Clippers, Gilgeous-Alexander will have to keep his composure in the face of LA’s tough perimeter defenders.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
G George Hill G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander F Luguentz Dort F Darius Bazley C Isaiah Roby
LA Clippers Preview
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the team’s heart and soul. Among the top two-way players in the game, Leonard and George lead the LA Clippers in scoring with 24.9 points and 24.4 points per game, respectively.
The Clippers have a balanced attack with seven players averaging at least 9.1 points per game. In their last three matches, their average winning margin was 30 points per game with a high of 38. The OKC Thunder won’t know what hit them when they meet this juggernaut on Friday.
Key Player - Kawhi Leonard
Against the Sacramento Kings in his last outing, Kawhi Leonard showed why he is a 2-time Finals MVP. Leonard scored 32 points on 13-of-22 shooting while adding five assists and six steals. It was his usual excellent nightly performance, but this time he also put on a defensive clinic against the hapless Kings.
When he faces the OKC Thunder on Friday, nothing less than another efficient outing from the quiet superstar can be expected.
LA Clippers Predicted Lineup
G Patrick Beverley G Paul George F Kawhi Leonard F Nicolas Batum C Serge Ibaka
Thunder vs Clippers Match Prediction
The LA Clippers’ length may prove to be too much for the OKC Thunder, especially when their two All-Stars start trapping the ballhandlers. The Clippers have the second-best offensive rating in the NBA at 117.1.
Besides, LA have one of the deepest benches in the league. It can thus be seen why it’s going to be a long night for the Thunder. The Clippers look all set to get their sixth straight win.