Thunder Tough To Stop With Kevin Durant Likely Out For Warriors

Saturday, March 16, 2019 3:11 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 16, 2019 3:11 PM UTC

The Thunder and Warriors hookup in a primetime Saturday matchup from Oklahoma City tonight. What should we expect from either team and could we be seeing a potential Western Conference Finals preview tonight?

<p style="text-align:right"><em>Jordan’s NBA Picks: 38-21</em></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Golden State (46-21 SU &amp; 27-39 ATS) at Oklahoma City (42-27 SU &amp; 36-33 ATS)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Saturday, 8:30 PM EST, ABC</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NBA Pick: <a href="" target="_blank">Thunder ATS &amp; OVER</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=Bookmaker" target="_blank">Bookmaker</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3568916, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,19,180,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>The Thunder took a tough loss on Thursday night in Indiana via a Wesley Matthews weak-side rebound and put-back with less than two seconds left in the game. Can they now bounce back from that tough loss where they blew an 18-point lead, or will the Warriors’ offense be too much to handle?</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;“I would say it’s doubtful (Kevin Durant faces OKC).”&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Steve Kerr tells &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@DamonBruce&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@thekolsky&lt;/a&gt; that it just makes too much sense to give KD a couple extra days &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;March 15, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Kevin Durant Doubtful, Can Warriors Hold Up?</strong></h2><p>As it stands right now, Kevin Durant is probably still out for the Saturday matchup with the Thunder. Durant hurt his ankle Sunday in a loss to the Suns and Saturday will mark his second straight game on the sidelines.</p><p>So, without Durant playing against his former team, the Warriors will have to rely on their hot shooting to try and break down the tough Thunder defense. Oklahoma City’s defense has been very good at home, holding opponents to just 103.9 points per 100 possessions when playing in OKC.</p><p>This will also be the first trip for the Warriors to Oklahoma City this season. In their last meeting the Thunder dominated the Dubs by more than 25 points in Golden State, but the Warriors were also still without Stephen Curry in that meeting.</p><p>Now missing Durant, will the results be similar from their game a few months ago? With Durant off the court this season, the Warriors’ offensive efficiency takes a big turn downward/ It goes from 120.5 with him on the court to 106.8 without him.</p><p>Their defense also takes a big hit. They allow 109 points per 100 possessions with Durant in the lineup, compared to 114.8 with him on the bench.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>The Sharp Pick</strong></h2><p>If these teams do make it to a playoff matchup with one another, I suspect we will see a game where both defenses take center stage. That happens more in the playoffs than the regular season, but without Durant in the lineup, I could see the Warriors’ defense suffering some.</p><p>Russell Westbrook is already a tough cover for Curry, but without Durant in the lineup, I suspect Paul George is going to have a huge game. The Thunder are already probably pissed they blew that game to Indiana, so what better way to forget about that game than a win over the Warriors at home?</p><p>That being said, I could see this one getting high scoring. Despite both teams being on big under cashing streaks, the over has a lot of appeal with Durant likely sitting out.</p><p>The Thunder play at a blistering pace at home of almost 105 possessions per game. If the Warriors defense is giving up 115 points per more per 100 possessions, that could lead to a night where the Thunder get close to, or eclipse 120 points.</p><p>With a total that is slightly depressed because of Durant’s injury, I think it’s something we can take advantage of. On top of that, I don’t think the books are considering how much Durant’s injury hurts this Dubs team. I’m laying the points and taking the over in what could be a high scoring affair for the Thunder. Even if Durant is in, the odds are too good to pass up either way.</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Final Score Prediction: Warriors 116 – Thunder 120</strong></h2>
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