Oklahoma City Thunder (0-3, 0-1, home)

vs.

Boston Celtics (2-2, 1-1 away

Thursday, October 25 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 1-point underdog. The over/under is 217.
Online StreamTNT | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Celtics: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder are in a weird situation. They’ve never been 0-3 before. The Thunder look to end that skid tonight as they host the Boston Celtics.
  • The Boston Celtics roll into town 2-2 on the year, not the super dominate record that we expected. They’re still one of the NBA’s best teams and the East favorite to lose to the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
  • Celtics have an impressive win over the Sixers but a questioning lost to the Orlando Magic.
  • Second-year man, Jayson Tatum leads the Celtics with 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Gordon Hayward, who’s coming off an ankle injury is only averaging 11.7 PPG. Shouldn’t mean much, though. There are seven Celtics averaging eight or more points per game.

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.
  • Chris Fisher and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on TNT as well. It’ll be Marv Albert and Chris Webber on the call tonight.

SCOUTING THE CELTICS

  • The Boston Celtics are 2-2 on the young season, seventh in the Eastern Conference.
  • Last season, Boston went 55-27 on the year, finishing second behind Toronto in the East.
  • The Celtics lost to the Cavs in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder are 62-71 all-time against the Celtics.
  • Since relocation, the Thunder are 12-8 against the Celtics.
  • With games played at the ‘Peake, the Thunder are 5-5 against Boston.
  • OKC is 1-2 vs. Boston over the last three years. They lost last season after leading by as many as 18 in the contest.
  • Boston swept OKC last season for the first time since 2008-09.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Aron Baynes (hamstring) is OUT.
    Jabari Bird (personal) is OUT.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Boston came on Jan. 5, 2014, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 119-96 (23-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (19 points) vs. Boston occurred during an 103-84 loss on March 29, 2009.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out
  • Alex Abrines (eye) is probable.

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City will play the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at the Peake, a 6 p.m. tip off is scheduled.
  • The Thunder get their rematch with the LA Clippers on Tuesday night at the Peake to round up their home stand.

WHAT’S IN A NAME

  • Team owner Walter Brown personally chose Celtics over Whirlwinds, Olympians, and Unicorns (yes, Unicorns) as the nickname for Boston’s Basketball Association of America team in 1946.
  • Despite the warnings of one of his publicity staffers, who told Brown, “No team with an Irish name has ever won a damned thing in Boston.”
  • Brown liked the winning tradition of the nickname; the New York Celtics were a successful franchise during the 1920s.



Three Keys to the Game

Three-pointers

The Thunder are one of the worst teams in the NBA. In fact. They’re the worst. Easily. Oklahoma City has to get the threes to fall tonight. While that’s happening. You cannot let Kyrie Irving and Co. get hot from beyond the arc. That’s a recipe for disaster. Oklahoma City needs to just play the perimeter well on both sides to get a win tonight.

Free throws

Oklahoma City is shooting 66.7 percent from the free throw line, second worst in the NBA (Kings 65.7 percent). If you’re missing the gimmies, you don’t really deserve to win. Oklahoma City needs a really good free throw shooting performance against one of the best teams in the NBA.

Ball Movement

Ball movement isn’t always about assists, even though the Thunder are 28th in the NBA in assists per game (20.7). It just keeps the ball moving and forces defenses to adjust. You can have a handful of low assist games and still be moving the ball. However, usually winning goes hand-in-hand with sharing the ball. Look at all of the NBA’s best teams.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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