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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Boston Celtics: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 14, 2022
7 min read

How to Watch

Where: TD Garden in Boston, MA

When: Sunday, February 3rd at 2:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ABC | WROR (105.7 FM), WWLS 98.1FM OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder (Away)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time 182-114 | OKC}

The Oklahoma City Thunder are in impressive form as of late. Their recent efforts are helping the Thunder to push for the second spot in the West, currently occupied by the Denver Nuggets. With a record of 32-18, the Thunder are comfortably third in the West.

Over the last ten games the Thunder have been on a hot streak. They are 7-3 and on a six game winning streak with a point differential of +5.0. They have won matches against the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Milwaukee Bucks. But dropped two embarrassing games to the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s tremendous defence will be challenged by the Celtics’ incredibly efficient and dynamic offence. The Thunder won’t be allowed to collapse on a single player due to the sheer amount of shooters the Celtics employ. Oklahoma boasts a dynamic defence of their own, it will be interesting to see how they operate against Kyrie Irving at the point of attack.

Boston Celtics (Home)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 253-208 | BOS}

The Boston Celtics are feeding off of the misfortune of the Indiana Pacers. Once rounding out the bottom half of the Eastern Conference’s top eight, the Celtics are a win away from reaching the top four. With a record of 32-19 one more win would firmly plant the Celtics at fourth in the East.

Over their last ten matches the Boston Celtics have been superb. They are 7-3 with a point differential of +6.8. They have posted impressive wins over the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets but have given away winnable games against the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets.

Boston will be taking on one of the most prolific defensive teams in the league when they face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Celtics’ offensive diversity will be matched by the dynamic defensive line of the Oklahoma City Thunder. While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are talented young players, they will be hard-pressed to contain All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

What’s At Stake?

The Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder are neck-and-neck in the all-time series. Over 21 games, the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Boston Celtics 12-9.

A single game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder would affirm their hold on third place in the West.

Currently tied with the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics would take fourth place for themselves with a win.

Questions to answer

How have the Thunder maintained their hot performance?

Is Kyrie becoming too much of a problem?

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

The Thunder Have Won Six Straight

After losing back-to-back games to some of the leagues bottom-feeding teams, the Thunder have come out on fire. They are on a six game winning streak over decent competition. While it’s easy to say scoring is the main reason for their success, it is important to look deeper into their performances.

In fairness the Thunder have been lights out from the field. George, Ferguson, Schroeder, Grant, and Patterson have all shot over 39% from beyond the arc during this streak. While Ferguson has always been consistent from range, the improved performance from role players like Schroeder and Grant is a welcome bonus. Overall the Thunder are just an average shooting team, so this hot streak is a great sign for what may follow.

As always the Thunder’s defence has been able to win them games. Over their recent streak, they have overcome their weakness. In an early January stretch where the Thunder lost five games, they allowed teams to shoot an unacceptable 40% from three. There were thoughts that the Thunder defence had been figured out, but they resolved to run teams off the line and into their capable rim protectors – Adams and Noel. During their six game win streak, teams are shooting 32% from three. Everything is coming together for OKC.

Kyrie Has Cooled Off On His Commitment to Boston

As has been the trend of the season, most of the Boston Celtics problems are arising internally. First it was a problem with a system, then it was fitting players into the system that would work. Now, with the Anthony Davis sweepstakes in full swing, Kyrie Irving seems to be backing off of his early-season statement of wanting to be in Boston for the long-term.

The Boston Celtics have some of the most interesting assets in the league and it is no secret that they covet a player like Anthony Davis. If the current season has taught them anything, it is that the Boston Celtics are not ready to compete for a championship. The idea of pairing Irving with another star is close to every Celtic fans’ heart. But with Irving backing off on his statement, questions have been raised toward where the Celtics should invest.

At first the thought for the Celtics would be to sacrifice young stars like Brown and Tatum, in exchange for a player like Anthony Davis. Unfortunately if Irving were to leave in the summer it would leave them in a worse situation than they are currently in. Do the Celtics try to appease Irving? Or do they go all in on their current youthful talent. All that is certain is that Irving is in Boston now, but anything could change by the February 7th trade deadline.

Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Notes

C Steven Adams – 31 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – The Thunder listed Adams as QUESTIONABLE for Friday’s game (Feb. 1) against he Heat.

G-F Terrence Ferguson – 31 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Back) – The Thunder listed Ferguson as QUESTIONABLE for Friday’s game (Feb. 1) against he Heat.

G-F Andre Roberson – 18 Jan 2019 – Out (Knee) – Head coach Billy Donovan said Roberson is rehabbing, but is not close to returning to action, according to Brett Dawson of The Athletic. The team is hopeful to have him back this season.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

G Jabari Bird – 31 Oct 2018 – Out (Personal) – Bird is still on a leave of absence from the team until he handles his legal issues.

G Kyrie Irving – 30 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Left Hip Strain) – Irving did not play in Wednesday’s (Jan 30) game.

Head-to-Head: Russell Westbrook vs Kyrie Irving

Russell Westbrook

Point Guard | 6-3, 200lb (190cm, 90kg) | UCLA | Exp. 10 Years

21.7 PPG | 10.8 APG | 10.9 RPG | 2.3 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 4.5 TOV | .416 FG% | .250 3P%

Kyrie Irving

Point Guard | 6-3, 193lb (190cm, 87kg) | Duke | Exp. 7 Years

23.7 PPG | 6.9 APG | 4.8 RPG | 1.7 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.7 TOV | .499 FG% | .412 3P%

Two of the NBA’s most dangerous point guards are expected to face off when the Boston Celtics host the Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook is closing in on his third straight season to average a triple-double. On the other side, Kyrie Irving is leading his Celtics back to the top four of the Eastern Conference.

For all the accolades that teammate Paul George is receiving so far this season, it is shocking to think a player who is averaging a triple-double is receiving as little fanfare as Westbrook has. He has still been named an all-star, but by reigning in his behaviour on the court Westbrook has grown to be more dangerous. Russ has a tendency to force three-point shots. At a rate of 25%, Westbrook can’t afford to fall into the Celtics plan of having him jack up contested three’s.

There’s been a lot of drama surrounding Kyrie Irving as of late and it has become increasingly worrying for the Celtics organization. Regardless of his feelings about his future with the Celtics, he is as dangerous as ever. Averaging a career high from three, two, and in assists since he’s been a Celtic, Irving has grown more dangerous on the court than ever.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Boston Celtics favoured over the Oklahoma City Thunder by 4, with an over/under of 110.

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Christian Jope

Sports Betting Analyst

Betting Picks
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Nationality: Canadian
Education: Bachelor of Arts (Applied Economics)
Favourite Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
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