L.A. Clippers at Oklahoma City
Time: SUN, 6 PM CST, NBA TV
Opening Odds: LAC -2
The Oklahoma City Thunder has started its season 14-14 and is currently in third-place of the Northwest Division with a one-game lead on the Portland Trail Blazers. It will host the Los Angeles Clippers at 6 PM (CST) on NBA TV Sunday. The Thunder enters as winners of its last three games.
The Thunder have notched victories over the Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, and Phoenix Suns to improve to .500 on the season through 28 games. The team is better than expected, but perhaps it was just underestimated, to begin with.
Veterans Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schroder have come through, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is breaking out as the future leader of this team. Gilgeous-Alexander came courtesy of the Los Angeles Clippers, and he leads the team in minutes per game (35.1) and in scoring (18.6 per game).
Chris Paul is a steady influence at 16.2 points and 6.3 assists per game, which leads the Thunder. Steven Adams is averaging just shy of a double-double, and Nerlens Noel is functioning well as a post defender in the second unit. The Thunder probably has its work cut out for it to make the postseason, but it is not altogether out of the realm of possibility that this rebuilding team sneaks into the postseason.
With Schroder, Gallinari, and Paul, the Thunder have a veteran core mixed with the youth and the savvy defense of Adams to bring it together on the defensive end. OKC averages 108.9 points per game and limits its opponents to 107.8. In the 126-108 victory over the Suns last outing, Gilgeous-Alexander had 32 points on 13 of 18 shooting while finishing +11 for his 36 minutes. Schroder added 24 points off the bench, and Gallinari hit 4 of 8 from three en route to 22 points.
Thunder are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games.
Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
Thunder are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games as a home underdog.
Thunder are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest.
Thunder are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Thunder are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog.
Thunder are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Thunder are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game.
Thunder are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win.
Thunder are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
The Los Angeles Clippers are 22-9 and trail only the 24-5 Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference. The Clippers have lost two of its last four, but the last outing defeated the lowly San Antonio Spurs 134-109. The Clippers rank No. 5 in scoring at 115.8 per game, while limiting teams to 108.3, a point differential of +7.5 points. Considering its No. 3 and No. 4 scorers both come off the bench, this is done in a different fashion. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell each average 19 points per game, and do it in 30 minutes a night or less. That enables Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to keep their minutes around the 30-31 range, as well.
Leonard leads the team in minutes at just 31.3 per game. The Clippers utilize a 10-11 man rotation, with several key role players like Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac serving their purposes as defenders and sparks. George is averaging 24.5 points, six rebounds, and 3.7 assists as one of four Clippers with a PER over 21. Leonard is super-efficient and the top-three Clippers all shoot 36 percent or better from three.
Leonard averages 25.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and has appeared in just 23 of the 31 games due to load management. With the Clippers resplendent depth, it can afford to rest its superstars and cruise to an easy No. 2 seed in the West.
Clippers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games.
Clippers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.