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Thunder Game Day No. 1: vs. New York Knicks

Oklahoma City Thunder (0-0, 0-0 home) vs. New York Knicks (0-0, 0-0 away)

Thursday, Oct. 19 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

TV:  TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 12-point favorite. The over/under is 213½
Notes: Thunder: here | Knicks: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The regular season has arrived and your Oklahoma City are primed and ready for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season to get underway.
  • The New York Knicks are in town. The Thunder are 7-2 all-time against the Knicks at home.
  • Tonight’s game will be the first time Carmelo Anthony plays against the New York Knicks as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • Oklahoma City is 6-3 in season openers and 4-1 all-time during season home openers. The Thunder have won eight straight home openers.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Tonight’s game is available on TNT only. Above is the online link to watch the game on TNT.

NEW FACES

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.

Anthony moving up the ranks

  • Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,156 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
  • Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.

PG13

  • Paul George is the only player since he was drafted in 2010 with at least 2,800 rebounds, 700 steals and a three-point percentage of 37 percent or better.
  • He is one of just five players with at least 8,000 points in 400 starts or less alongside Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irvingand Kemba Walker.

Westbrook

  • To cap off his MVP season, Russell Westbrook registered his NBA-record-setting 42nd triple-double of the season last April 9th in Denver (Oscar Roberson tallied 41 triple-doubles during the 1961-62 season). Trailing 103-105 with 2.9 seconds left, Westbrook connected on a game-winning 36-foot 3-point field goal to also become the only player in NBA history to post three 50-point triple-doubles in a single season.
  • He is the only player in NBA history to register seven consecutive triple-doubles on two separate occasions during a single season.
  • Westbrook also posted five straight 30-point triple-doubles this season to become the only player in NBA history to ever accomplish the feat.
  • To put further perspective on Westbrook’s triple-doubles, there are 11 NBA teams that have amassed fewer triple-doubles in their entire team history as compared to the 42 logged by Westbrook

Injury Report

  • Raymond Felton (wrist) is a game-time decision.
  • Patrick Patterson (knee) is a game-time decision.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

SCOUTING THE KNICKS

  • The New York Knicks finished the regular season 31-51 last season, 12th in the Eastern Conference.
  • In their all-time series, Oklahoma City is 63-65 against the Knicks.
  • Since their relocation to Oklahoma City, the Thunder are 12-5 against New York.
  • The Thunder are 7-2 all-time vs. the Knicks at the Peake.
  • New York went an abysmal 12-29 on the road last season.
  • The Knicks were 9-21 against the Western Conference last season and only 3-12 on the road.
  • The Knicks have lost 12 straight road games to Western Conference opponents.
  • Joakim Noah (suspension) is out.
  • Kristaps Porzingis (hip) is a game-time decision but should play.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over New York came on Dec. 25, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score
    of 123-94 (29-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (14 points) vs. the Knicks occurred during a 98-112
    loss on Dec. 22, 2010.

Next Up

  • The Thunder travel to play the Utah Jazz (1-0) in Utah on Saturday night, tip-off is at 8 p.m. Thunder time.
  • On Sunday, the Thunder come home for their first back-to-back of the season to play the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Oklahoma City begins the season with three-games-in-four nights.

Three Keys to the Game

Bench Performance

I know preseason isn’t something to really take a lot of weight into. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder were 30th in bench scoring in the preseason with 35.8 points per game. That was six points lower than the next closest team, the Rockets. Oklahoma City has to get their bench involved tonight.

Paul George

I feel like if Oklahoma City is really going to run away with this game, it starts with PG13. His contributions with the other two on the floor has been minimal. He’s done a lot of the damage with them off the floor. That’s fine if that continues tonight. However, he’ll need to score 20 points or more for Oklahoma City tonight.

Limit foul trouble

This really goes towards Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook. We’re thin at those positions, so if they have to miss extended period of time due to foul trouble, this game could end up being closer than expected. I’m just imagining the Philadelphia game from last season right now.

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