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Oklahoma City Thunder

Game #43 Preview | Charlotte Hornets

The Thunder Guys

thethunderguys

Tip-Off: 4 PM CT

Location: Spectrum Center (Charlotte, NC)

Television: FSOK

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

The absence of Andre Roberson has seemingly affected the Oklahoma City Thunder in a much larger way than just about anyone would have expected. Before Roberson went down with the knee injury, the Thunder was holding opponents to 100.1 points per game with a defensive rating of 103.3. In the last six games in which Roberson has been out, the Thunder has allowed 110.7 points per game with a defensive rating of 112.1.

Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets have taken advantage of an easier schedule lately, picking up wins against the Kings, Lakers, and Jazz, plus dropping a close game to the Mavericks. Since the Hornets knocked off the Thunder in Oklahoma City on December 11, they have gone 6-8, which is not much worse than the Thunder’s 10-6 record since then.

Oklahoma City should be able to handle the Charlotte Hornets just fine and pick up a win to end this three-game losing streak, but the Thunder has had a tough time against sub-.500 opponents all season long. The Thunder has a 13-9 record against teams with a losing record and a 9-8 record against teams that are at least seven games below .500. With home games against the Kings and the Lakers up next, today’s matchup would be a great time to start a winning streak for the Thunder.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Russell Westbrook
  • SG: Terrance Ferguson
  • SF: Paul George
  • PF: Carmelo Anthony
  • C: Steven Adams

Hornets

  • PG: Kemba Walker
  • SG: Nicolas Batum
  • SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • PF: Marvin Williams
  • C: Dwight Howard

Injuries

Thunder

  • Andre Roberson (left patellar tendonitis) is OUT.

Hornets

  • Cody Zeller (left knee surgery) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 13-5 against the Hornets (8-2 at home, 5-3 on the road).
  • The Thunder is 0-1 against the Hornets so far this season, and the loss on December 11, 2017, in Oklahoma City was the worst the Thunder has ever suffered to the Hornets.
  • The Thunder has lost the last three matchups with the Hornets, all by double digits.
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the regular season series against the Hornets six times, lost it once, and tied it three times.
  • The Thunder shot a season-high 24/25 (96%) from the free throw line against the Hornets on December 11, 2017, in Oklahoma City.
  • The Hornets shot 53.1% from the field against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on December 11, 2017. That is the third-highest field goal percentage the Thunder has allowed all season.

Game Notes

  • Oklahoma City has lost three consecutive games, while Charlotte has won three of their last four.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-5 in the last 10 games, while Charlotte is also 5-5.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-13 on the road, while Charlotte is 11-11 at home.
  • Oklahoma City is 9-7 against the Eastern Conference, while Charlotte is 9-10 against the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City is 4-3 coming off of two days of rest, while Charlotte is 3-3 in the second game of a back-to-back.
  • Tonight will be Andre Roberson’s sixth consecutive game to sit with injury. The Thunder is 2-4 in those games. The Thunder is 3-5 on the season when Roberson does not play.
  • Russell Westbrook has shot at least 50% from the floor in 10 of the Thunder’s last 14 games after hitting that mark only five times in Oklahoma City’s first 28 games.
  • After shooting a combined 21/30 (70%) for 55 points against the Lakers and Clippers in back-to-back nights, Paul George has shot an awful 18/46 (39%) for 54 points in the last three games.

Be sure to check out our latest episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to like us on Facebook.

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