Having lost three games in a row, you better believe the Thunder are ready to turn it around and earn a big win. But, will they cover the NBA odds as significant home favorites against Phoenix?
They may have dropped three straight, but the Thunder are still heavy favorites on the NBA Oddsboard for tonight's home matchup with the Suns.
For those wishing to try and exploit the game's total, we can find the O/U all the way up at 212.5 points. Both of these teams aren't afraid to push the tempo, and we'll have a lot of great offensive talent out on the court, including Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Eric Bledsoe, so the high number makes sense.
Oklahoma City Thunder
It was a dream start for Billy Donovan in his first season as head coach of the Thunder, as they won their first three games, which included a home triumph over San Antonio. However, they've since gone on to lose each of their previous three matchups, falling to Houston, Toronto and Chicago.
Sure, all three of those teams have been formidable in their own right, but Oklahoma City can't be happy with how they've been playing, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. They've allowed 108.7 points on average through their first six games of the season, which puts them all the way down in 27th in the NBA in that regard. Sure, the Thunder are averaging a very healthy 111.5 points (second in the league) themselves, but they really have to get their acts together defensively.
Still, as long as both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are healthy, this team is going to be just fine. Durant is averaging 29.8 points and 6.2 rebounds a game, while Westbrook has been good for 27.2 PPG, 10.5 APG and 7.2 RPG thus far. Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter are the other two members of the team who are averaging in double figures.
The Suns have an identical 3-3 record, with wins over Sacramento and Portland (twice) and losses to Detroit, Dallas and the LA Clippers. They're putting up an even 102.0 points a contest, while allowing 98.7 points (11th) each game defensively.
Phoenix will be looking to get back on track after a bad home loss to Detroit the other night. The Suns allowed the Pistons to shoot 50.0 percent from the floor overall and were unable to stop former Sun Marcus Morris from having a big game against his old team; Morris finished with 20 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. For Phoenix, the backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight showed up, with a combined 44 points, yet as a team they shot just 40.2 percent from the field.
Will we see the Suns respond in a very tough matchup on the road against OKC? We have our doubts.
It hasn't been a good week for the Thunder, but we fully expect them to end on a high note with a bounce-back victory over the visiting Suns.
While Oklahoma City has been poor defensively, we know how capable they are of lighting up the scoreboard, and the motivation is going to be there for Westbrook, Durant and company because of this growing losing streak. A team as talented as the Thunder isn't going to take kindly to any kind of legitimate losing streak, so we should be seeing a quality performance out of OKC here.
With that being said, we'll be adding the home team to our collection of NBA Picks for a relatively quiet Sunday. Some may be hesitant to lay so many points, but the Thunder are one of the few teams that have the ability to completely crush teams, and they've got the bench talent to keep the pressure on and extend the lead if needed. Back Oklahoma City.
NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -8 at Bovada