Tip-Off: 7 PM CT
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)
Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game
After a long, grueling, maybe even disappointing season, the Oklahoma City Thunder has arrived at the final game of the regular season. The Thunder will host the Memphis Grizzlies tonight in a game that will decide where Oklahoma City will fall in the Western Conference Playoffs. Here are the potential scenarios:
Oklahoma City Clinches the 4-seed, matching them against the Utah Jazz in the first round IF:
- The Thunder beats the Grizzlies.
- The Blazers beat the Jazz.
Oklahoma City Clinches the 6-seed, matching them against the Utah Jazz in the first round IF:
- The Thunder beats the Grizzlies.
- The Jazz beat the Blazers.
Oklahoma City Clinches the 8-seed, matching them against the Houston Rockets in the first round IF:
- The Thunder loses to the Grizzlies.
The odds of the Thunder losing to the tanking Grizzlies are not strong, so it’s expected that Oklahoma City will be playing the Utah Jazz in the first round. The only difference in the four/six seed is homecourt advantage, which the Thunder obviously wants. The Blazers host the Jazz at 9:30 PM CT tonight, so the finality of positioning will not be decided until then.
Oklahoma City should have no trouble taking care of Memphis tonight based on how the Thunder has played lately. Coming off of two of the best wins of the season, the Thunder needs to take care of business and head into the playoffs on a high-note.
The Grizzlies, on the the other hand, are essentially doing everything they can to tank for a better draft pick. Their injury report is a mile long, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a win. As Antonio Daniels pointed out on the Thunder’s postgame show on Fox Sports Oklahoma, some of these young guys that haven’t seen the court pretty much all season are now getting play time, and are many of them are playing for their futures.
The Thunder cannot afford to lose this game and get matched up with the Houston Rockets in the first round, so all they have to do is win, and their postseason future gets a lot easier.
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Corey Brewer
- SF: Paul George
- PF: Carmelo Anthony
- C: Steven Adams
- PG: Kobi Simmons
- SG: Ben McLemore
- SF: Dillon Brooks
- PF: Ivan Rabb
- C: Deyonta Davis
- Andre Roberson (left patellar surgery) is OUT.
- Alex Abrines (concussion protocol) is OUT.
- Mike Conley (left heel) is OUT.
- Tyreke Evans (personal reasons) is OUT.
- Marc Gasol (rest) is OUT.
- JaMychal Green (right/left knee soreness) is OUT.
- Andrew Harrison (right wrist/left shoulder) is OUT.
- Jarrell Martin (left ankle) is OUT.
- Chandler Parsons (right/left knee soreness) is OUT.
- Wayne Selden, Jr. (right knee soreness) is OUT.
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 22-14 against the Grizzlies (12-5 at home, 10-9 on the road).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Grizzlies six times and lost three times.
- The Thunder is 3-0 against the Grizzlies so far this season (1-0 at home, 2-0 on the road).
- The Thunder has won six matchups in a row against the Grizzlies and eight of the last nine.
- The Thunder tied a season-high 40 free throw attempts against the Grizzlies on February 11th in Oklahoma City..
- The Thunder held the Grizzlies to 21.4% from the three-point line, lowest a Thunder opponent has shot from three all season long, on February 11th in Oklahoma City.
- Steven Adams tied a career-high 12 free throw attempts against the Grizzlies on December 9, 2017, in Memphis.
- Alex Abrines made a career-high six three-pointers as he scored a career-high 20 points against the Grizzlies on December 9, 2017, in Memphis. He played a career-high 43 minutes in that game.
- Oklahoma City has won two games in a row, while Memphis has lost five of the last six.
- Oklahoma City is 5-5 in the last 10 games, while Memphis is 3-7.
- Oklahoma City is 26-14 at home, while Memphis is 6-34 on the road.
- Oklahoma City is 27-24 against the Western Conference, while Memphis is 18-33.
- Oklahoma City is 27-21 after one day of rest, while Memphis is 13-33 in the same situation.
Be sure to check out last week’s episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys.