Currently on a nine-game skid, the Oklahoma City Thunder will face the Toronto Raptors on Sunday evening. In their one matchup this season, which came late last month, the Thunder won by ten points.
The Thunder are still battling injury issues, especially with superstar guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who is recovering from plantar fasciitis and isn’t expected to return to action until May, if at all this season.
The Thunder enter the day as 8.5-point underdogs to the Raptors and the total over/under is 220.5 points.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
This game will likely come down to 3-point shooting, rebounding and turnovers. Toronto is a heavy 3-point shooting team, attempting the fourth most in the NBA (39.9 per game) and making the third most (14.7 per game) in the league. However, they aren’t all that efficient from beyond the arc, converting on just .370 of their attempts which is 13th in the league.
For the Thunder, crashing the boards could be the difference, as they are third (36.1 per game) in the league in defensive rebounds while the Raptors are 28th (32.2 per game). When it comes to total rebounds, Toronto is dead last in the NBA, giving Oklahoma City an opportunity to capitalize on the glass with their big centers in Moses Brown and Tony Bradley.
The turnover battle will be another theme to keep an eye on. The Thunder commit the most turnovers in the league with 15.7 per game while the Raptors are fifth in the NBA in steals with 8.4 per contest.
Oklahoma City Thunder (20-36) vs. Toronto Raptors (23-34)
Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 6:00 PM CT
Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBA League Pass, 98.1 FM The Sports Animal
Both the Raptors and Thunder will be rested after an off-day on Saturday. Toronto currently on a two-game winning streak while Oklahoma City has lost nine in a row. Gary Trent Jr. has been spectacular for the Raptors since they acquired him, averaging 17.4 points on .375 shooting from deep through 11 games