At 17-22, the Oklahoma City Thunder is 13th in the Western Conference, but they are just tied in the loss column with the Utah Jazz, who are 10th. The Thunder is in a unique position that it’s not too early to tank for a shot at better odds for a top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, but at the same time, they very realistically could make a push for a play-in spot. Based on their recent play, they could go either way.
Two of the last three games for OKC have been blowout wins, one of which came against the Boston Celtics, who hold the best record in the league. The loss, however, was nearly a blowout loss against the Magic in Orlando, but the Thunder managed to make a game of it late before falling by double digits. It’s pretty safe to say that OKC has the capability of running with any team in the league, but they’re not exactly seasoned enough to be a consistent winner.
Tonight the Thunder hosts the Dallas Mavericks, who have become one of the NBA’s hottest teams. Winners of 8 of their last 9 outings, the Mavs have been fueled heavily by the impressive play of Doncic. Currently the league’s leading scorer, Luka Doncic is averaging 38.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 9.1 assists through that stretch. Unfortunately for Dallas, Doncic will be sitting out the second game of a back-to-back for the Mavericks, making the Thunder’s matchup seem significantly easier.
In the two meetings between these two teams so far this season, OKC and Dallas have split victories, both games that the Mavs were favored to win, but with the absence of Luka Doncic, the Thunder are pegged to win this one at home. As long as the Thunder takes care of business like they did on Friday night against the Wizards, OKC very well could and should win this game.
Tip-Off: 6 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
- PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- SG: Josh Giddey
- SF: Jalen Williams
- PF: Luguentz Dort
- C: Mike Muscala
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Spencer Dinwiddie
- SF: Tim Hardaway Jr.
- PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- C: Dwight Powell
- Ousmane Dieng is OUT (non-displaced fractured right wrist).
- Chet Holmgren is OUT (right foot surgery).
- Aleksej Pokusevski is OUT (left tibial plateau; non-displaced fracture).
- Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is OUT (sprained right ankle).
- Jaylin Williams is QUESTIONABLE (sprained left ankle).
- Dorian Finney-Smith is OUT (strained right adductor).
- Josh Green is OUT (sprained right elbow).
- Maxi Kleber is QUESTIONABLE (right hamstring tear).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 26-25 against the Mavericks in the regular season (15-11 at home, 11-14 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 7 times, and tied 3 times.
- The Thunder went 1-3 against the Mavericks last season (0-2 at home, 1-1 on the road).
- The Thunder is 1-1 against the Mavericks so far this season (0-0 at home, 1-1 on the road).