In the 1st meeting between these two sides this season, the LA Lakers triumphed over the OKC Thunder with a scoreline of 128-99. Mark Daigneault will be out for revenge this week as his side prepares for a tough double-header against Frank Vogel and his team.
Fixture: OKC Thunder vs LA Lakers - NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Monday, February 8th, 2021 10:00 PM ET. (Tuesday, 9th February 8:30 AM IST)
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
OKC Thunder Preview
With OKC Thunder in a full rebuild mode, seeing them at the 13th spot in the Western Conference with a 10-12 record shouldn't shock anyone watching. Head Coach Mark Daigneault's squad has had to deal with injuries to multiple key players at a time when the intensity in the season is at the highest. The back to back games against Minnesota Timberwolves was a perfect example of that, with both coming down to a few points.
OKC Thunder had a record shattering first half against the Timberwolves scoring a whopping 83 points. However, even after such a brilliant start, the match came down to the final few seconds, with the home team sneaking to a win by 2 points.
Coach Daigneault will need every players on his rotation to be at his best, if his OKC Thunder team are going to get the better of the heavyweights from Los Angeles.
Key Player- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
This young star has been doing wonders for OKC Thunder this season with the franchise struggling for fit players in the back-court. He was balling against the Minnesota Timberwolves, scoring 31 points, in addition to providing 7 assists and claiming 9 boards.
He is easily the best player on the OKC Thunder roster this season and continues to lead the team in scoring (22.3 ppg) and assisting charts (6.3 apg). Shai Gilgeous- Alexander will be pivotal if his team are going to have any chance of claiming a win in either of their two games against the LA Lakers.
OKC Thunder- Predicted Lineup
G- Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, G- Theo Maledon, F- Luguentz Dort, F-Darius Bazley, C- AL Horford
LA Lakers Preview
The 17-time NBA Champions, have been a treat to watch this season. LA Lakers dominance speaks for itself, not letting their only losing streak this year extend by more than 2 matches. The Detroit Pistons pushed LeBron James and crew to their limit in their last game but the champions refused to give up, winning the game in 2nd OT.
The LA Lakers, currently seeded 2nd in the West will go into almost every match this season as favorties and the next one against OKC Thunder is no different. They will be looking to win the first game of this mini-series, which will extend their winning streak to 5 games.
Key Player- Dennis Schroder
With the LA Lakers in a comfortable position at the moment, Frank Vogel would be looking to preserve star duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as much as he can. In that case, Lakers' 3rd best player this season and former OKC Thunder star Dennis Schroder easily qualifies as the key player for this game.
Playing the point guard position for the LA Lakers this season, Shcroder struggled a bit after a decent but has started to find his groove in the last couple of games. He will be eager to bag his 3rd consecutive 20 point game against his former employers.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
G-Dennis Schroder, G- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F- LeBron James, F- Anthony Davis, C- Marc Gasol
Thunder vs Lakers Prediction
The form that LA Lakers are in makes them the undisputed favorites for this match. OKC Thunder though, will be hoping they can recreate their performance from the 1st half of their match against the Timberwolves. The away side doesn't only need to perfect on the offensive end but also needs to be at their best on the defensive end. Looking at the context, one would not recommend picking against the 2019-20 Champions.