USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Paul George and Jayson Tatum
Betting odds: Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder
- Spread: Celtics -1
- Over/Under: 215.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV channel: TNT
>> All odds as of 10:30 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets
These two teams with high hopes are a combined 2-5. They’ve been some of the worst shooting squads in the league, struggling on offense in the midst of a league-wide offensive explosion.
Will that change on Thursday? Our analysts are here to discuss that and more.
Moore: What I’m Watching for Tonight
Welcome to the Struggle Games! These two teams are a mess. OKC, a great defensive team year in and year out, is lost on defense. Boston, loaded with offensive firepower, can’t find water if it fell out of a boat. But these two squads are too talented to play badly for long.
The matchups here are awfully weird. Human cannonball Russell Westbrook takes on the basketball specter of Kyrie Irving. Smash-and-Grab Steven Adams takes on the human automated security system in Al Horford, and Paul George takes on Gordon Hayward.
Boston’s defense was in real trouble vs. the Magic. Aron Baynes is out, and that gives its defense a lot of issues. The Magic essentially forced a switch of Jayson Tatum playing smallball-4 onto Nikola Vucevic and punished him over and over. Will the Thunder pick up on that? They are not great at identifying and attacking mismatches that aren’t Westbrook-related.
Meanwhile, OKC has no spacing, no shooters and nothing much to offer. The Thunder should play a better defensive game, but something has to give. At this point, it seems more likely that the Celtics offense find its stroke before the Thunder, without Andre Roberson, find their offense. The team that loses this game is going to be looking in the mirror awfully hard. — Matt Moore