Denver Nuggets vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Denver Nuggets.

How to Watch

What: Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

When: Friday, 21 February 2020, 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN, Altitude, Fox Sports Oklahoma | KKSE 92.5FM/950AM, WWLS 98.1FM OKC / 930AM (ESP)

Denver Nuggets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Malone {All-Time 250-239 | SAC, DEN}

Season Record: 38-17

Projected Starting Five: (G) Jamal Murray – (G) Gary Harris – (F) Torrey Craig – (F) Jeremy Grant – (C) Nikola Jokic

Top Performers

  • (C) Nikola Jokic – 32.5 MPG | 20.6 PPG | 10.2 RPG | 6.9 APG
  • (G) Jamal Murray – 32.3 MPG | 18.9 PPG | 4.8 APG | 1.2 SPG
  • (F) Will Barton – 33.3 MPG | 15.1 PPG | 6.5 RPG | .382 3P%

The Denver Nuggets are back where they were last season as they find themselves ranked second in the Western Conference. This time behind the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nuggets are only four games back from taking the top spot in the West.

The Nuggets are coming off of a recent loss to those same Los Angeles Lakers. Who were able to defeat them via a concerted overtime effort. The Nuggets’ lack of experience was on display, but for 48 minutes they kept up with the best.

Denver takes on one of the most surprising teams in the NBA in the Oklahoma City Thunder. More than open to running the Nuggets out of the gym, Denver will have to show that they can keep pace with the upstart Thunder.

Oklahoma City Thunder (Home)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time 232-151 | OKC}

Season Record: 33-22

Projected Starting Five: (G) Chris Paul – (G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – (G) Luguentz Dort – (F) Danilo Gallinari – (C) Steven Adams

Top Performers

  • (G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – 35.5 MPG | 19.5 PPG | 6.1 RPG | 3.2 APG
  • (G) Chris Paul – 31.8 MPG | 17.4 PPG | 6.7 APG | 1.6 SPG
  • (G) Dennis Schroeder – 31.2 MPG | 19.3 PPG | 4.0 APG | 3.8 RPG

The Oklahoma City Thunder have defied the odds and find themselves sixth in the Western Conference, above the Dallas Mavericks due to the season series advantage. Their stellar play and surprising efficiency has vaulted them into the playoff picture.

The Thunder are coming off of an impressive win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Despite a late run by the Pelicans, the Thunder were able to hold off the offensively dynamic unit and hold out for the victory.

A strong defensive team, the Denver Nuggets will be a handful for the Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC will have to show that their defense can hold out against an even more capable scoring unit in the Nuggets.

What’s at Stake?

The Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder have a surprisingly competitive regular-season series. Over the course of 44 meetings, the Nuggets lead the Thunder 23-21.

A win for the Denver Nuggets would bring them within 3.5 games of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first place.

A win for the Oklahoma City Thunder would break their tie with the Mavericks and give them sole ownership of sixth in the Western Conference.

Questions to Answer

Will Denver’s health issues affect their consistency?

Can the Thunder prove their defense can run with the top of the conference?

We are going to compare the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

DEN: Can the Nuggets Settle into a Lineup?

Through no fault of their own, the Denver Nuggets have been saddled with injuries throughout the year. On top of that, Mike Malone has rotated his starting lineup as his players’ form has changed. Consistency will be key for them going forward though.

The Nuggets have toyed with 11 starting lineups since the beginning of the season. Ten of those lineups combine for a record of 14-8, compared to the 20-9 record of their regular starting five.

Their depth has proven itself time and again, but as they close in on the end of the regular season, the quality of their health is sure to affect their play. If players continue to step up, they’ll be fine. But inconsistency tends to breed poor habits.

OKC: Can the Thunder’s Late Game Defence Hold?

The Oklahoma City Thunder proved their defensive worth against the New Orleans Pelicans, but there is a common thread amongst their team. They have plus defenders in Paul, Schroeder, and Gilgeous-Alexander. Even Luguentz Dort has come on as an excellent on-ball defender, but their weakness lies in one of their most valuable players.

Danilo Gallinari is a unique player in the scheme of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He can score on every tier of the offensive scheme and he’s been an excellent playmaker for the Thunder. However, he is awful on the defensive side of the ball, making him a liability in late-game situations.

As the Thunder look to build themselves back from deficits, Gallinari is a double-sided sword. He was exploited by Kemba Walker in a recent loss and it wouldn’t be surprising to see others follow suit. His scoring is valuable, but for the Thunder to beat the Nuggets, they’ll have to manage his mismatches.

Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Notes

(F) Darius Bazely – 10 Feb 2020 – Out (Knee) – Bazley has a right knee bone bruise and will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks according to Royce Young of

(F) Andre Roberson – 4 Dec 2019 – Out (Knee) – The Thunder announced that Roberson will continue his rehab away from the team for the time being and there is no timetable for his return.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

(F) Michael Porter – 12 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Right Ankle) – Porter did not play in Wednesday’s (Feb. 12) game.

(F) Will Barton – 12 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Knee) – Barton did not play in Wednesday’s (Feb. 12) game.

(C) Mason Plumlee – 22 Jan 2020 – Out (Foot) – Plumlee is expected to miss two weeks to a month with a right foot injury, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

(C) Bol Bol – 8 Jan 2020 – Out (Foot) – Bol has not played this season and no timetable has been announced for when he could play this year.

Head-to-Head: (G) Jamal Murray vs (G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

It’s an All-Canadian matchup when the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder face off. Jamal Murray and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are two of the brightest from the country north of the border. Their contributions to this game will be crucial to their teams’ success.

(G) Jamal Murray (6-4, 201lb (193cm, 91kg) | Kentucky | 3 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 22 DEN 45 32.3 18.9 3.9 4.8 .454 .345

Jamal Murray is what you call a hired gun. His ability to score from anywhere as soon as he steps on the court is his greatest asset. Despite going up against a team of some of the leagues best perimeter defenders, Murray roasted the Lakers for 32 points and 10 assists on 13-25 shooting. He’ll have a similar task ahead of him in the Thunder’s three-headed point guard monsters Paul, Schroeder, and countryman Gilgeous-Alexander.

(G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (6-5, 181lb (196cm, 82kg) | Kentucky | 1 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 21 OKC 55 35.5 19.5 6.1 3.2 .465 .350


SGA is an incredibly versatile player. Not only being able to score from anywhere on the court but also on the defensive side of the ball. He can guard players from the one to the three spot, with nearly no drop-off. His length will be called upon to pester an incredible shooter in Murray and recover on the Nuggets’ capable perimeter threats.

Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions

Why the Denver Nuggets Will Win

Efficiency is the name of the game for the Denver Nuggets. If they can enforce their style of play against a hard-charging Oklahoma team, they’ll come out the victor. Murray would do well to stay hot from range, as Jokic hasn’t been the scoring force he can be of late.

Why the Oklahoma City Thunder Will Win

OKC get by on their fantastic ability to attack and finish at the rim. While the Nuggets aren’t capable shot blockers, the Thunder would do well to navigate their opponents’ swarming defense in order to take the match for themselves.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Denver Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets vs Oklahoma City Thunder Odds

The latest odds for Nuggets vs OKC Thunder are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

Sportsbook Nuggets OKC Thunder
DraftKings -105 -113
888Sport NJ -105 -113

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