The Indiana Pacers come into tonight's contest red hot. Winners of three straight (Orlando, Detriot, and Washington) The Pacers are 6-4 and holding down the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. Indiana is being led by offseason pick up Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon is averaging 21 points and 9 assist a game. Both the Pacers and the Thunder are averaging 105 points per game while holding their opponents to 109 and 107 respectively.
As reported by Maddie Lee of the Oklahoman Steven Adams will be available. Adams has sat out three games (knee contusion) which are more than he missed in 2018-19. Adams being back is a huge blessing as former Thunder Domants Sabonis is on a tear. Sabonis is racking up double-doubles as Miley Cyrus does relationships. In his last three games, Sabonis is going 13-17, 17-14 and 21-16.
Adams was warming up prior to Sunday's loss to the Bucks despite not playing. If for some reason Adams take on his usual load tonight Billy Donvan seems to comfortable with having Nerlens Noel in the five spot. Outside of his performance in San Antonio (11 points 3 of 3) In his three starts this season Noel is having his best games. Most impressive was his 15-11 outing vs. Portland.
Noel is showing he can be a starting NBA center, and being on an expiring contract he could be a nice asset for Sam Presti at the trade deadline.
Jeramy Lamb who is torching opponents for 17 points per game this year will miss tonight due to an ankle sprain. This is the fourth straight game that Lamb is out.
The biggest issue the Thunder may have tonight is the third quarter. In their last four games, Oklahoma City is being outscored in the third frame 140-121. Chris Paul says the Thunder are pushing the pace, but, not getting stops. Ending on a good note, the Thunder bench is outscoring the opposition in four of its last five games. Maybe if you're Billy Donovan you keep the second unit on the floor to start the second half. Food for thought.
Hamidou Diallo will start for Terrance Ferguson. Ferguson is taking the night off for personal reasons.
Tipoff is at 6p on 97.1 The Sports Animal.