As the outside air begins to turn crisp in Oklahoma City, the heat is turning up inside the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder are back home from a three-game road trip where they won the final two by an average of 25.5 points.
Now they’ll host the Boston Celtics who are riding a six-game winning streak of their own. The Celtics haven’t lost since dropping a 108-100 decision against Milwaukee in their second game on the season.
The two are equally impressive against the point guard (although you can’t really adequately defend Russell Westbrook) and the center position as well. Boston has also found success at limiting the power forward position to 17 points while also forcing 3.5 turnovers per game from the position.
That brings small forward Paul George into tonight’s spotlight. The seven-year veteran is pacing the team (see what I did there?) with 2.4 steals per game while also contributing 19.6 points, 2.1 assists, and 4.4 rebounds.
The Celtics are allowing 23 points and 10.25 rebounds per game to the small forward position, making this a potential best outing in George’s short seven-game OKC career. A 93% free throw percentage (he’s 85% on his career) also brings some stability to what has been a shaky start of the season for Oklahoma City from charity stripe. The Thunder are currently 25th in the NBA with a team average of 73.9%.