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The NBA is putting on a jam-packed Thursday night schedule as eight matchups are set to entertain fans. When the action tips off, our eyes are on an exciting Western Conference matchup between the LA Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder!
The Oklahoma City Thunder (17-8) are second in the Western Conference and are trying to separate themselves from the pack with a win. The LA Clippers (17-10) have brought it all together, sitting on a nine-game win streak behind the efforts of their star-studded squad. Keep your attention focused on a consequential face-off in the Western Conference!
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The LA Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder aim to climb from their positions in the Western Conference standings. Both are in excellent form, and the result of this match will be telling of the power balance in the conference.
Through 27 games played this season, the LA Clippers have posted a 14-13-0 ATS Record, a 51.9% cover percentage, a 6.4 margin of victory, and a +1.9 ATS +/-. Regarding the ATS Record and cover percentage, the LA Clippers are ranked 11th in the NBA. They’ve been led by Kawhi Leonard, averaging 24.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals on 52.0% from the field and 44.0% from three-point range in 26 games.
The LA Clippers have listed Mason Plumlee (Knee) and Moussa Diabate (Hip) as unavailable for this game. Meanwhile, Bones Hyland (Knee) and Paul George (Illness) remain questionable after missing their Wednesday match. The Oklahoma City Thunder have no injuries to report.
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one of the NBA’s top stars. After an All-NBA-worthy season last year, many projected the Canadian point guard would slow down. Instead, he’s improved and has led his Oklahoma City Thunder to the second seed in the Western Conference!
On the season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 30.7 points, 6.4 assists, and 5.7 rebounds on 53.8% shooting from the field and 32.5% from three-point range. Gilgeous-Alexander is the first offensive option for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he’s repeatedly proven that his playmaking can make up for any shortcomings in the scoring department.
Gilgeous-Alexander has hit under 31.5 points in 12 of his 24 appearances this season. He has scored under 31.5 points in three of his last five games this season, where the Thunder have gone 4-1. Against a Clippers team that boasts the sixth-ranked defense in the league, Gilgeous-Alexander projects to struggle to score the ball–relative to his brilliant standards.
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Chet Holmgren continues to impress through his inaugural NBA season, and he’s not been phased by the occasion presented by big teams. Through 25 games, Holmgren has averaged 16.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks on 52.1% shooting from the field and 37.2% shooting from three-point range.
Holmgren has cleared 2.5 blocks in 12 of 25 appearances this season, proving he’s a competitor for Defensive Player of the Year as much as he is for Rookie of the Year. Holmgren has collected 18 blocks in the last three games, showcasing his great defensive form. His production doesn’t project to slow down against the Clippers.
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Teams: LA Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Location: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Date: 8:00 PM EST, Thursday, December 21, 2023
TV: ClipperVision, KTLA, Bally Sports OK
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.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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