Oklahoma City Thunder: Game #76 Preview | Atlanta Hawks

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Television: Bally 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 picked up a 134-131 overtime win on Monday in Portland against the Trail Blazers, a puzzling move whenever you’re technically TRYING to lose in an attempt to finish with the best lottery odds at the top overall pick. Even with a diminished roster, the Thunder continues to stay competitive, but that “accidentally winning” likely won’t be a problem tonight as the short-handed Thunder hosts the Atlanta Hawks.

After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Hawks have had nothing short of a disappointing season. While injuries have bothered Atlanta at times, they simply have not had the magic that they had in the playoffs a year ago. Now the Hawks sit at 10th in the Eastern Conference standings with a 38-37 record. With a 4.5-game lead on 11th place New York, Atlanta has essentially sealed their way into the play-in tournament, but they are just 1.5 games back of 8th place Brooklyn, so there’s still time to move up.

Trae Young is having perhaps his best season yet, but he hasn’t been able to carry the Hawks as far as many had expected. The biggest issue for Atlanta has been their defense, and with just a few games remaining in the regular season, time for making adjustments is running out.

The Thunder has essentially shut down every key player on the roster for the rest of the season—including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, as of Monday—so it will be up to role players to carry us into the offseason. It’s not necessarily likely that OKC will get another win in these final 6 games, but the Thunder does host the Pistons and the Trail Blazers, both teams who are near the bottom of the standings. Regardless, we can expect OKC to put out their best effort every night.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Theo Maledon
  • SG: Tre Mann
  • SF: Aaron Wiggins
  • PF: Aleksej Pokusevski
  • C: Isaiah Roby

Hawks

  • PG: Trae Young
  • SG: Kevin Huerter
  • SF: De’Andre Hunter
  • PF: Danilo Gallinari
  • C: Clint Capela

Thunder

  • Darius Bazley is OUT (sprained right knee).
  • Luguentz Dort is OUT (left shoulder surgery).
  • Derrick Favors is OUT (lower back soreness).
  • Josh Giddey is OUT (right hip soreness).
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (right ankle soreness).
  • Ty Jerome is OUT (sports hernia surgery).
  • Tre Mann is QUESTIONABLE (strained right hamstring).
  • Mike Muscala is OUT (right ankle soreness).
  • Kenrich Williams is OUT (sprained left knee).

Hawks

  • John Collins is OUT (sprained right ring finger; strained right foot).
  • Sharife Cooper is OUT (G League — two-way).
  • Danilo Gallinari is QUESTIONABLE (right elbow contusion).
  • De’Andre Hunter is QUESTIONABLE (right knee soreness).
  • Jalen Johnson is QUESTIONABLE (concussion evaluation).
  • Skylar Mays is OUT (non-COVID illness).

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 15-10 against the Hawks (9-3 at home, 6-7 on the road).
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Hawks 5 times, lost it twice, and tied 6 times.
  • The Thunder tied the season series with the Hawks 1-1 last year (1-0 at home, 0-1 on the road).
  • The Thunder is 0-1 against the Hawks so far this season (0-0 at home, 0-1 on the road).

Game Notes

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