Tip-Off: 7 PM CT
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
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 appears to have a drastically changed trajectory for the rest of the season as a result of a couple of decisions made in the last few days. First off, Al Horford is officially done playing in a Thunder uniform. Thunder GM Sam Presti and Horford came to the agreement that he would continue to train in OKC and be around the team, but he will no longer be active for games. The purpose of this is to continue the development of the young roster while keeping Horford healthy in hopes that he can be traded to a contender in the offseason.
Another somewhat major decision that was made was the releasing of Austin Rivers, who was recently acquired in a three-team trade that sent George Hill to Philadelphia, and the conversion of Moses Brown’s 2-way contract into a full one. With the way that the young man has played recently, he most certainly deserves it.
There is no other way to word it at this point: OKC is tanking. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is out for quite some time, Darius Bazley is still hurt, and Luguentz Dort is currently in concussion protocol, so the Thunder is lacking in the consistency department. Still, this is a great opportunity for the young guns to gain some experience, and it all starts tonight as the Thunder hosts the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs are on shaky ground as they have had a fairly underwhelming season so far. At 23-21, they’re sitting at 8th in the West, and they haven’t really been able to break out of their pattern of winning half and losing half of their games. Tonight should be an easy win for Dallas, but by now, you know the drill: don’t sleep on a young Thunder squad who plays every game as if it’s their last.
- PG: Théo Maledon
- SG: Svi Mykhailiuk
- SF: Aleksej Pokuševski
- PF: Isaiah Roby
- C: Moses Brown
- PG: Luka Dončić
- SG: Josh Richardson
- SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Maxi Kleber
- C: Kristaps Porzingis
- Darius Bazley is OUT (left shoulder contusion).
- Luguentz Dort is OUT (concussion protocol).
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (plantar fascitis in right foot).
- Mike Muscala is OUT (sprained right ankle).
- Willie Cauley-Stein is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- JJ Redick is OUT (sore right heel).
- Tyrell Terry is OUT (personal reasons).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 24-20 against the Mavericks in the regular season (15-8 at home, 9-12 on the road) and 9-5 in the playoffs (4-3 at home, 5-2 on the road).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Mavericks 4 times, lost 5 times, and tied 3 times.
- The Thunder is 1-1 against the Mavericks so far this season (1-0 at home, 0-1 on the road).