Philadelphia 76ers vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Philadelphia 76ers at Oklahoma City Thunder

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

When: Thursday, February 28th at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT | 97.5 The Fanatic, WWLS 98.1FM OKC / 930AM (ESP)

Philadelphia 76ers (Away)

Head Coach: Brett Brown {All-Time 166-305 | PHI}

The Philadelphia 76ers are climbing the ranks of the Eastern Conference. With a record of 39-22, the Sixers are just a game back from taking third place from the Indiana Pacers. While they’ve stumbled at times due to their new roster and lack of depth, the Sixers are certainly a dangerous team moving into the playoffs.

Over their most recent ten games the Philadelphia 76ers have accumulated a record of 6-4. In that span of time, they have produced impressive wins over the Nuggets and Lakers, but have not faced the stiffest competition overall.

Rhythm is the game in the NBA season and they will hope to keep it going against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the tail end of a short, two-game road trip. In their last meeting, the Thunder defeated the Sixers by just two points. Philly is certain to provide a different performance, considering the change in roster.

Oklahoma City Thunder (Home)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time 188-117 | OKC}

The Oklahoma City Thunder are third in the Western Conference but have both the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets on their tail. With a record of 38-21, the Thunder are safe at the moment but not immune to any significant slip in performance.

In their last ten matches, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 7-3 with a +5.0 point differential on the season. They’ve dominated most of their matchups and when they have lost it has been by the slimmest of margins.

The Oklahoma City Thunder face off with a renewed Philadelphia team, energized with more scoring talent. The Thunder defeated the Sixers in their last meeting, despite some poor shooting from their stars. They will look to improve upon their efficiency in this meeting.

What’s At Stake?

Since the Oklahoma City Thunder’s inception, they have dominated this matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. Over 20 games in the all-time series, the Thunder lead the Sixers 19-1.

A win for the Sixers would bring them within a half-game of the Indiana Pacers for third in the East.

A win for the Oklahoma City Thunder would give them an additional game over the Portland Trail Blazers who are in fourth place.

Questions to answer

How will the Sixers deal with their injuries?

What will take the Thunder to the next level?

We are going to compare the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Sixers Are Inundated With Injuries

After the NBA Trade Deadline it seemed as if the Sixers were primed to make their run toward the top of the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for the Sixers, they’ve hit a road bump. It hasn’t been coaching, or depth, it has been health that has forced the Sixers to struggle.

Going into this match the Sixers have a total of five players who are unlikely to dress for the match. Most notably, Joel Embiid will be questionable to play the game while backup and new acquisition Boban Marjanovic battles a familiar knee injury.

The Sixers starting lineup is stacked, but with the mix of newcomers and unfamiliarity they don’t have much time to gel. The Sixers have looked to run in transition more in order to create easier opportunities. Expect them to do the same against the Thunder, seeing as they are shorthanded.

The Thunder Are A Title Threat

Going into the season, nobody quite knew what to expect of the Oklahoma City Thunder. They were a solid if not spectacular team last season that retained one of the NBA’s most capable stars. The result? Top three in the West with potential for more, but how can they get there?

It’s easy to say that it lies in more efficiency from Russell Westbrook and a definitive third star, but that is simplifying their needs. If the Thunder struggle anywhere it is defending teams with fast ball-movement that can pull Steven Adams or Nerlens Noel on to the perimeter.

The acquisition of Markieff Morris surely helped their cause, but from this point on it will take discipline from the young Thunder bench in order for their defense to settle. Adams is a fine defender on the perimeter but a mismatch always causes problems. If the Thunder can regularly rotate and run shooters off the line and into their bigs, the resurgence of the Thunder defense combined with their offense will be one of most formidable gameplans in the NBA.

Philadelphia 76ers Roster Notes

C Joel Embiid – 20 Feb 2019 – Out (Left Knee Soreness) – Embiid will be re-evaluated in one week.

G Furkan Korkmaz – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Torn Right Meniscus) – Korkmaz has been ruled Out Indefinitely with a torn right meniscus.

C Boban Marjanovic – 25 Feb 2019 – Day To Day (Knee) – Marjanovic left Monday’s (Feb 25) game with an apparent knee injury.

G Shake Milton – 5 Feb 2019 – Out (Finger) – Milton broke his finger and there is no timetable for his return, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic.

G Zhaire Smith – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Foot) – The 76ers expect Smith to make a return this year, according to Serena Winters of NBCS Philadelphia.

Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Notes

G-F Andre Roberson – 14 Feb 2019 – Out (Knee) – Roberson has yet to do any on-court work, however, head coach Billy Donovan hasn’t given up hope that he could make a return this season.

Head-to-Head: JJ Redick (PHI) vs Terrance Ferguson (OKC)

JJ Redick

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 200lb (193cm, 90kg) | Duke | Exp. 12 Years

18.2 PPG | 2.8 APG | 2.3 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 1.4 TOV | .443 FG% | .390 3P%

Terrance Ferguson

Shooting Guard | 6-7, 190lb (201cm, 86kg) | Adelaide 36ers/USA | Exp. 1 Years

6.9 PPG | 0.8 APG | 1.8 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 0.5 TOV | .438 FG% | .383 3P%

In this matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, we take a look at two impact role players that are vital to the success of their teams. JJ Redick is a veteran player who has truly found his productivity in the latter portion of his career. On the other end is the uber-athletic Terrance Ferguson, who has been a sniper from three to go with a tremendous defensive effort.

In his last match against the Thunder, JJ Redick was his normal self. He posted 22 points on 46% shooting from the field and was overall a threat on every offensive possession. The beauty of JJ Redick’s game is that he can’t truly be beaten. He doesn’t play one-on-one and merely generates open looks through crafty off-ball movement. The Thunder defenders will have to be disciplined when trying to slow Redick.

Terrance Ferguson has had a solid season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. While he began the season cold from range, he’s upped his three-point percentage to 38% and is a threat when left open. Ferguson has also come into his own in isolation situations. Certainly not the number one option, Ferguson is shown the capacity to make the right decision in a tough situation.

Philadelphia 76ers at Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions and Odds

The oddsmakers have the Oklahoma City Thunder favored over the Philadelphia 76ers by 8, with an over/under of 110.