Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Thunder | Game #9 Preview: Nets

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 5 PM CT

Location: Barclays Center (Brooklyn, New York)

Television: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder moved to .500 on the season on Friday night after a 101-89 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, and now OKC turns to the other team located in New York: the Brooklyn Nets.

Kevin Durant signed with the Nets in 2019, but he missed the entire season due to an achilles injury, so this is the first time that he will meet his former team from Oklahoma City as a part of the Brooklyn organization. Unfortunately, Durant has missed the last 3 games due to the health and safety protocols of the NBA, but he is expected to return today.

Kyrie Irving has also gone M.I.A. for the Nets due to “personal reasons,” but he could be back for today’s matchup. Regardless of whether or not he plays, Brooklyn is a very tough matchup for the Thunder. Kevin Durant is one of the league’s few true superstars, and the Nets have a monster of a post player in Jarrett Allen.

Fortunately for the Thunder, nobody on the current roster has any real ties to Kevin Durant, so the emotional aspect of the game isn’t anything extraordinary. However, OKC has struggled to protect the paint, so matchups could be an issue.

A win today would put both teams above .500 on the season, so expect this to be a fight to the finish. (Or a blowout. The Nets could definitely blow the Thunder out.)

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SG: George Hill
  • SF: Luguentz Dort
  • PF: Darius Bazley
  • C: Al Horford

Nets

  • PG: Bruce Brown
  • SG: Caris LeVert
  • SF: Kevin Durant
  • PF: Taurean Prince
  • C: Jarrett Allen

Injuries

Thunder

  • Trevor Ariza is OUT (not with team).
  • Ty Jerome is OUT (sprained left ankle).

Nets

  • Nicolas Claxton is OUT (right knee tendinopathy).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie is OUT (partially torn ACL in right knee).
  • Kevin Durant is AVAILABLE (health and safety protocols).
  • Kyrie Irving is OUT (personal reasons).
  • Tyler Johnson is OUT (health and safety protocols).

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 15-7 against the Nets (7-3 at home, 8-4 on the road).
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Nets 6 times, lost it once, and tied 5 times.
  • The Thunder has won 6 of the last 7 matchups with the Nets, including 3 of the last 4 at Barclays.

Game Notes

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