San Antonio Spurs vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Match Preview and Predictions - 11th February 2020
Date & Time: Tuesday, 11th February 2020 (8:00 pm ET)
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Last Game Results
San Antonio Spurs (22-31): 120-127 loss to the Denver Nuggets (10th February)
Oklahoma City Thunder (32-21): 111-112 loss to the Boston Celtics (9th February)
San Antonio Spurs Preview
The Spurs has suffered yet another disappointing loss on the road. Despite scoring 40 points in the first quarter and leading by as much as 23 points with 6:40 left in the third, the Silver and Black just had no answer to Denver's late scoring run. This has been a trend with the Spurs this year. Their meltdowns have cost them a lot of games and they could very well miss the playoffs this year as they sit 10th in the West.
Just from the eye test, the Spurs has seemed detached and demotivated this season. Rumors swirling around regarding players being moved in the beginning of the season but ultimately not coming to fruition didn't help either. One such player, DeMarre Carroll, has been sending cryptic tweets this year. The 33-year-old forward, who just last off-season reworked a three-year $21 million contract with the Spurs, hasn't seen much action and his tweets speak a lot about the undelightful situation he is in.
Key Player - LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge has surprisingly added a three-point arsenal this season. In the Spurs' loss in Denver, the forward/center tallied 33 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists including 4-of-8 from deep. With fellow key starter DeRozan still day-to-day, LMA should look to lead his team once more when they head to Oklahoma come Tuesday. This will be sixth of their eight-game Rodeo Trip, and they have yet to win a game in this stretch.
Aldridge is currently averaging 18.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.7 blocks this season. The 34-year-old will be important next game as he'll be matched up against contrasting players in Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari. At center, Aldridge will have to play strong against a dominant Adams in the paint while also moving lightly as he guards sharp-shooter Danilo Gallinari at power forward.
Spurs Predicted Lineup
Lonnie Walker IV, Trey Lyles, LaMarcus Aldridge, Bryn Forbes, Dejounte Murray
Oklahoma City Preview
OKC has continued to exceed expectations this year, sitting 6th in the West with just a three-game differential against the 4th seed. Like the Spurs, they were quiet during trade deadline and are clearly looking to go on a run this postseason.
The Thunder are also currently 9th in defensive rating and 14th in offensive rating this year. With 34-year-old All-Star Chris Paul leading the way, they will look to bounce back at home after their one-point loss to the Celtics last Sunday.
Key Player - Chris Paul
The elite point guard has been quietly leading his team to the playoffs this year. He is currently averaging 17.2 points, 6.6 assists, and 5.0 rebounds. He will once again be key to their next game as he'll be matched up against younger and less-experienced guards.
He should look to split ball-handling responsibilities with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a young scorer who can light it up both beyond the arc and inside the paint. CP3 should continue to play his game, distributing the ball between shooters like SGA and Gallinari and Steven Adams, who can hold his own in the paint. On defense, Chris Paul should look to pressure Murray and throw him off his game. This could have a domino effect and cause a disarray in the Spurs' offense.
Thunder Predicted Lineup
Terrance Ferguson, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul
Spurs vs Thunder Match Prediction
The Spurs and Thunder are on exactly opposite runs right now, with the Spurs being 2-8 in their last 10 games and the Thunder being 8-2 in theirs. This should be a win for the Thunder at home, and the Spurs could very well slide to a six-game losing streak.
Where to watch Spurs vs Thunder?
The game will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest - San Antonio and FOX Sports Oklahoma. It will also be available for streaming via NBA League Pass.Published 11 Feb 2020, 15:00 IST