Hornets To Hold Court Against Westbrook & The Thunder

Charlotte Hornets

Charles Stark

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 1:31 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 1:31 PM GMT

Russell Westbrook has been amazing this year for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Today he takes his team to visit a well coached Charlotte club, who has been made the small favorites. Can Westbrook continue his triple-double streak and lead Oklahoma City to victory?

Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City is averaging 106 points per game while shooting 45.9% in the field both of which ranked ninth in the NBA. They are definitely not the same team without Kevin Durant but what we have seen is Russell Westbrook step up in a way that we haven’t seen since Michael Jordan. Offensively they been extremely good in every area as head coach Billy Donovan likes the push tempo and get up plenty of attempts. However, where they do lack will hurt them tonight on the road as they shoot just 32.9% from distance which ranks second to last in the NBA. On the other side of the ball they have been less than stellar ranking in the middle of the league in opponent effective field-goal percentage and efficiency. What is a bit concerning even more than that is that they are allowing opponents to shoot 45.5% from the field and 49.8% on their two-point shots which ranks them 18th and 20th in the league respectively. That type of defense is not going to win any championships and I don’t think it’s going to lead them to a victory tonight.

 Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte is allowing just 103 points per game which ranks them 11th in the NBA and across-the-board defensively they rank in the top 10 in a couple key categories. Currently the Hornets rank seventh and ninth and opponent shooting efficiency and opponent overall shooting percentage. Like Oklahoma City they like to get up tempo but across-the-board I like how they match up with the Thunder and I expect for them to win this game by over five points. While Oklahoma City ranks second in the league in points in the paint Charlotte has been good in that area defensively allowing just 39.8 points per game which ranks sixth. As well, Charlotte has been really good in sharing the ball averaging 23.5 assists per game which ranks seventh in the NBA. This is a really unselfish team that is decently efficient ranking in the middle of the league in most offensive percentages. With them being at home and coming off a tough loss at Chicago I expect for them to bounce back in a big way tonight.

 

NBA Odds

Oddsmakers have made Charlotte -2.5 favorite across the board and for my NBA pick, I will back them in the spot. Although Westbrook has been unstoppable he won’t be old to do enough tonight to get Oklahoma City to stay within the number.

 

Free NBA Pick: Hornets -2.5Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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