Oklahoma City Thunder vs San Antonio Spurs

Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder face off against DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, March 2nd at 8:30 PM EST at AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. The broadcast is available on Fox Sports Southwest - San Antonio and Fox Sports Oklahoma; radio is available via WOAI 1200AM and WWLS 98.1FM OKC.

How to Watch

What: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs

Where: AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX

When: Saturday, March 2nd at 8:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Southwest - San Antonio, Fox Sports Oklahoma | WOAI 1200AM, WWLS 98.1FM OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder (Away)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time 188-118 | OKC}

The Oklahoma City Thunder are maintaining at the moment, but are in a tight race with the Portland Trail Blazers who are eager to take their third spot in the Western Conference. With a record of 38-22, the Thunder are just a half-game ahead of the Blazers who are in fourth place.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been consistent at least in their recent games. While they've experienced a recent cold streak, their wins over impressive competition such as the Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trail Blazers suggests that their form is merely temporary.

It will be an interesting matchup for the Thunder when they take on the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs play an egalitarian offense that is strong against the chase-down oriented defense of the Thunder. DeRozan and Aldridge are also threats for the Thunder to key in on. If those two players can't be contained, it will be a tough night for the Thunder.

San Antonio Spurs (Home)

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich {All-Time 1231-570 | SAS}

For now, the San Antonio Spurs are safe from the playoff cutoff point in the Western Conference. With a record of 34-29, the Spurs are tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for seventh/eighth in the Western Conference.

Unfortunately for the San Antonio Spurs they've experienced a run of negative results. 32-22 at the beginning of the month, the Spurs are now 34-29. They've been unable to win more than two games in the month of February and those two wins came against two of the leagues weaker squads in the Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons.

It's crunch time in 2019 for the San Antonio Spurs. With only 18 games remaining in the season, the San Antonio Spurs are cannot afford to go on another string of losses. They have the fifteenth most difficult schedule in the NBA, so it is imperative that they take care of business against teams they are stronger than in order to offset weaker outings against the leagues elite.

What's At Stake?

The Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs are in a rather back-and-forth all-time series. Over 38 games, the San Antonio Spurs lead the Oklahoma City Thunder 21-17.

A win for the Oklahoma City Thunder would help them gain a half-game over the Portland Trail Blazers who are trailing them in fourth place.

A win for the San Antonio Spurs would break the tie with the Los Angeles Clippers and give them sole possession of seventh in the West.

Questions to answer

Where is the Thunder's defensive consistency?

How did the Spurs bounce back against the Pistons?

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

The Thunder's Defence is Inconsistent

When the Oklahoma City defense is firing all on all cylinders they are one of the most impressive sides in the NBA. Length, athleticism, strength, and speed all define the Thunder defense. They can deploy multiple players in various positions to cover in ways most offenses can't adapt to.

Unfortunately for the Thunder, when their defense is off the team really suffers. In three of their last four losses, the Thunder surrendered over 130 points in regulation time alone. The swings on defense are baffling at times and the reason is still to be found.

What's true about the Thunder is that they have an airtight pick-and-roll defense. With two mobile centers in Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel, the Thunder can fade or hedge on the playmaker with little regard for the roll man. With the size and athleticism of George, Morris, and Ferguson, it is rare to find a mismatch for the roll man. The Thunder defense may be inconsistent, but if they can capture some consistency in the playoffs there are few teams that can match them.

The Spurs Played Beautiful Basketball

During the San Antonio Spurs' famous "rodeo road trip" the club suffered one of the most disappointing runs in their recent history. Going 1-7 on the road with a split between due to the All-Star Break is certainly not something to aspire to. With a home win over the Pistons, the Spurs may have found what they are looking for.

Perhaps it was the return home that spurred them on, but everything looked simpler for San Antonio. The ball was whizzing around the horn, shots were falling, and the ball just seemed to gravitate toward them on both ends of the court. They may very well have found themselves a real talent in Austrian Jakob Poeltl as well, who posted 11 points and 14 rebounds against the always-tough Andre Drummond.

This is not the true form of the San Antonio Spurs though. More accurately, their performance against the Pistons is something they should aspire toward in their consistent efforts. Veterans like DeRozan, Aldridge, and Mills will always put something valuable on the court, but the complementary pieces going together and producing are what will truly allow the Spurs to shine.

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.

San Antonio Spurs Roster Notes

G Dejounte Murray - 13 Feb 2019 - Out For Season (Knee) - Murray is now four months since having surgery to repair his torn ACL, but is still a long way from returning.

Head-to-Head: Paul George (OKC) vs DeMar DeRozan (SAS)

Paul George

Small Forward | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | Fresno State | Exp. 8 Years

28.6 PPG | 4.3 APG | 8.1 RPG | 2.3 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .448 FG% | .398 3P%

DeMar DeRozan

Shooting Guard | 6-7, 220lb (201cm, 99kg) | USC | Exp. 9 Years

21.6 PPG | 6.1 APG | 6.2 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .469 FG% | .171 3P%

Paul George and DeMar DeRozan are two California-bred NBA superstars that are set to clash in what may be a preview of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs first round. The Thunder have been top of the West for most of the season and the San Antonio Spurs have been the victim of a horrendous February. Both will surely look to prove themselves superior in this matchup.

Paul George did not participate in the Thunder's last match against the Philadelphia 76ers due to shoulder soreness. His status for this game is in the air, but all signs point to him suiting up for the match. The Thunder missed George's offensive threat, but even more so missed his ability on the defensive end. His length and athleticism is unmatched at his position and will be crucial in slowing DeMar DeRozan. For Thunder fans, their fingers will be crossed when they scan for George's name on the team sheet.

It seems the talent gap for the San Antonio Spurs has been catching up with them. As of late, the team hasn't been meshing well. DeMar DeRozan has been covering for his team splendidly in that time, shooting over 50% and doing his usual rebounding and playmaking. If the Spurs want to come out with a win over the Thunder, DeRozan needs a big game partnered with a team performance from the Spurs role players.

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Predictions and Odds

The oddsmakers have the San Antonio Spurs favored over the Oklahoma City Thunder by 4.5, with an over/under of 110.

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