Charlotte Hornets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder / NBA – Duel between the Hornets and Oklahoma will be largely duel between Walker and Westbrook, two great guards, but it doesn’t mean that other player are irrelevant as team play characterises the Hornets this season, while Oklahoma mostly relies on triple-double machine Westbrook. It is important to add that Oklahoma won 13 out of last 15 head-to-head against the Hornets. Begins: 05.01.2017 – 01:00 CET
The Hornets have lost two previous games; to the Cavs and Bulls and now its score is 19 wins and 16 defeats, which is still good enough to keep the first place in their division, ahead of Atlanta Hawks. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference, behind the Cavs, Raptors and Celtics, and it can be said the season is good for them. They haven’t faced Oklahoma till today this season, while their second duel will take place at the beginning of February. We have stressed that the Hornets like team play, to have engaged as many as possible players in attack and that their result doesn’t depend on one or two players only.
Walker is best player in the team with 23 points per game on average (5.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals) but seven other players score nine and more points on average (Batum 14.9, Belinelli 11.1, Zeller 10.7, Williams 10.2, Kaminsky 10.1, Lamb 9.3 and Kidd-Gilchrist 9.0). Exactly that is reason for good results this season and fact that are in the top of league in number of assists and rebounds, alongside solid attack and 11th defence in the NBA. Problem for this game is fact that Belineli and Zeller are injured and will probably not play against Oklahoma, while their replacements Gilchrist and Hibbert are not at desired level this season.
Probable lineups Hornets: Walker, Batum, Kidd-Gilchrist, Williams, Hibbert
Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma has won most of games against the Hornets and that is certainly nice advantage ahead of this game, primarily psychological. They go to Charlotte after losing to the Bucks 94-98, which was just second game out of last ten in which they scored below 100 points. Oklahoma has 10th attack in the league, which averages 106 points per game, while defence allows 104.4 points to their opponents. What is definite now is that Westbrook is alongside Harden the most serious candidate for the MVP Award, as what he does is indeed at that level. He currently averages 30.9 points (the first scorer in the league), 10.4 rebounds (12th rebounder) and 10.5 assists (2nd assistant) per game.
He made even 16 triple-doubles this season, and the statistic shows how much he progressed as just two years ago he had made eight triple-doubles in his career, and now he has even 53 (6th best in the NBA history). Second best Oklahoma player is Oladip who averages 16.1 points, while centre duo Kanter-Adams functions excellently (together they score 25.4 points and make 13.7 rebounds per game). This month Oklahoma will play 15 games out of which 12 outside its arena.
Probable lineups Oklahoma: Westbrook, Oladipo, Roberson, Sabonis, Adams
Charlotte Hornets – Oklahoma City Thunder PICK
Oklahoma has good offensive arsenal thanks to Westbrook, while we just outlined what Charlotte has at its disposal. When we add to that the Hornets received in last two defeats 119.5 points on average that it can be expected to see plenty of points in this game.
Pick: over 208 points
Odds: 1.91 at ComeOn (down to 1.83 can be played)