Oklahoma City Thunder vs San Antonio Spurs: Predictions, Odds and Head-to-Head

How to Watch

Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

When: Thursday, January 10th, 9:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT, Fox Sports Oklahoma | WWLS 98.1FM OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder (Away)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time 285-175 | OKC}

The Oklahoma City Thunder are having a fantastic season. After an off-season of retooling, the Oklahoma City are halfway through the year and third in the Western Conference.

Consistency has been their calling card on offence and on defence this year. First in defensive rating and fourth in PACE, the Oklahoma City Thunder are doing an incredible job generating more opportunities through their defence.

The Spurs have been on a tear of late, led by superstar Demar Derozan. The Oklahoma City will have to zone more than usual in this match as the Spurs playmaking is non-discriminatory in who creates and finish the play.

San Antonio Spurs (Home)

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich {All-Time 1221-558 | SAS}

Ranked sixth in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs have overcome their early season issues and have found their rhythm near the halfway point in the season.

The Spurs are on a five-game win streak, defeating some impressive competition along the way. A three-game streak against the Clippers, Celtics, and Raptors showed flashes of the Spurs ability to compete with the best of the NBA.

The Thunder are one of the toughest tests that the Spurs will have throughout this season. They are just as meticulous as the Spurs on defence and boast two of the NBA’s most dangerous offensive weapons in Westbrook and George.

What’s At Stake?

The San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder have met a number of times in the young history of their rivalry. In 36 regular season games, the San Antonio Spurs lead the all-time series 20-16.

Third in the Western Conference, a win for the Oklahoma City Thunder would lead to them tying for second place in the West with the Golden State Warriors.

A win for the San Antonio Spurs would place them firmly ahead of the Houston Rockets for fifth place in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

How can the Thunder slow the Spurs offence?

Can Derozan keep up his distribution?

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 are first in defensive rating

The Thunder have done an excellent job so far this season locking in on defensive half of the court. Not just due to the departure of Carmelo Anthony, they are led by the intensity of Westbrook and George on defence as much as on the offensive end.

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs are debatably the most efficient team in the NBA. The only statistic keeping their offensive rating from being number one is that they are last in three-point makes and attempts, despite being number one in three-point percentage.

The Thunder will have to keep their eye on the ball and off the ball against the San Antonio Spurs. While they have capable isolation scorers in Derozan and Aldridge, they are just as capable off the ball generating open looks.

Derozan is averaging a career-high in assists

When Dejounte Murray went down with injury at the beginning of the season, the Spurs were at a loss as to who will be their primary playmaker. Bryn Borbes is unproven, as is Derrick White. Meanwhile Patty Mills has always been more effective as a shooter off the ball. In Derozan they acquired an elite scorer, but unbeknownst to them they also acquired an excellent playmaker.

In his later seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Derozan actually became their primary playmaker much like he is now the Spurs. With his inability to shoot, it became a necessity for him to be the play initiator. Averaging 4.2 assists in his last season in Toronto, Derozan was primed for his success with the Spurs.

While the tutelage of Gregg Popovich has been key to Derozan’s success, he is also surrounded by a number of three-point shooters that help to convert on plays he initiates. With the quality of the Thunder defence, he will have to overcome a swarming defence while hoping that his teammates make open looks.

Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Notes

G Alex Abrines – Out (Personal) – Head coach Billy Donovan said he does not have any timetable for Abrines’ return, according to Brett Dawson of The Athletic.

G-F Andre Roberson – Out (Knee) – Roberson suffered a setback in his recovery and will be re-evaluated this month, according to Royce Young of ESPN.

San Antonio Spurs Roster Notes

F Rudy Gay – Day To Day (Sprained Left Wrist) – Gay was ruled OUT for Monday’s (Jan 7) game.

G Dejounte Murray – Out For Season (Knee) – After having successful surgery to repair his torn ACL, Murray is currently rehabbing with the hope of being ready for the 2019-2020 season.

Head-to-Head: Paul George vs Demar Derozan

Paul George

26.8 PPG | 4.0 APG | 8.0 RPG | 2.2 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 2.7 TOV | .450 FG% | .384 3P%

Demar Derozan

22.6 PPG | 6.4 APG | 6.2 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.4 TOV | .477 FG% | .175 3P%

Two former Eastern Conference rivals meet in a Western Conference matchup as Demar Derozan and Paul George lead their respective teams against each other. The Thunder have been on a tear all season and the Spurs have recently found their rhythm. It should be an exciting matchup!

Paul George has been every bit the NBA superstar that he’s been his entire career. No longer showing affects of his gruesome injury, George leads the Thunder with his partner Russell Westbrook on both ends of the court. The Thunder have delegated to George more this season with the departure of Carmelo Anthony and it has paid dividends.

Demar Derozan is every much the capable scorer as he has been thus far in his career. While he’s focused much less on his three-point shot with the San Antonio Spurs, his passing has been excellent to compensate. With the swarming defence of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Derozan will likely shoulder a greater amount of the offensive load to keep up.

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Oklahoma City Thunder favoured over the San Antonio Spurs by 1.5, with an over/under of 110.