The Oklahoma City Thunder (14-15) have the opportunity to gain some ground tonight when they host the Denver Nuggets (16-13). A couple of key injuries are going to result in some match-up advantages for both sides. The Thunder will be without center Steven Adams while the Nuggets are missing power forward Paul Millsap.

Denver is one of the worst team’s in the league at defending the point guard and Oklahoma City just happens to have the best point guard in the league. That favors a triple-double type of night for Russell Westbrook, which is always good for the Thunder.

Carmelo Anthony also has a bit of a favorable match-up with Millsap being out. He’ll have the opportunity to exceed his season averages and be OKC’s second threat on the offensive end of the floor.

The mismatch for Oklahoma City comes at the center position where Dakari Johnson most likely draws the start against Nikola Jokic.

Point Guard vs. Denver

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By Denver 22.28 5.9 9.34 3.38
Westbrook’s Average 22.8 9.6 9.9 4.8

Shooting Guard vs. Denver

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By Denver 19.64 5.93 3.89 2.5
Roberson’s Average 4.8 4.5 1 0.9

Small Forward vs. Denver

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By Denver 19.56 7.63 3.26 2.93
George’s Average 20.3 5.7 3.2 2.8

Power Forward vs. Denver

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By Denver 24.54 11.32 3.68 2.82
Anthony’s Average 17.8 6.4 1.5 1.5

Center vs. Denver

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By Denver 24.85 14.42 3.27 4.38
Johnson’s Average 2.2 1.2 0.5 0.2

The absence of Millsap in the lineup will most likely result in a shift to “small ball.” Small forward Wilson Chandler will most likely be in the power forward position and shooting guard Torrey Craig will take the floor in the 3-spot. This bodes well for OKC’s front-court, even in the absence of Adams.

Point Guard vs. OKC

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By OKC 18.59 6.1 7.52 3.93
Murray’s Average 14.9 3.1 2.4 2

Shooting Guard vs. OKC

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By OKC 20.29 6.18 3.93 3.43
Harris’ Average 16.1 3 3.1 1.9

Small Forward vs. OKC

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By OKC 19.57 8.11 3.36 2.86
Craig’s Average 3 2.5 1 0.5

Power Forward vs. OKC

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By OKC 19.86 11.21 2.86 3
Chandler’s Average 9.6 4.6 2.3 1.4

Center vs. OKC

Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
Allowed By OKC 24.52 13.41 3.59 3.81
Jokic’s Average 15.4 10.6 4.5 2.1