Oklahoma City Thunder (3-4, 1-2 away)

at

Washington Wizards (1-6, 0-2 home)

Thursday, November 1 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Spectrum Center (19,077)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 2.5-point underdog. The over/under is 233.5.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Wizards: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Thunder go for their fourth straight win as they roll into the nation’s capital to play the Washington Wizards tonight.
  • The Wizards are a woeful 1-6 on the season. They’ve lost four in a row, all by an average of 17.5 points per game.
  • Oklahoma City is fresh off a 111-107 win over the Charlotte Hornets last night. Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 19 in the second half before Alex Abrines’ led Oklahoma City to the comeback.
  • The Thunder go for their first four-game win streak since March of last season, where the Thunder rolled off six straight in that span.
  • Dwight Howard will step into the starting lineup for the first time this season for the Wizards.

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 will be on ESPN, too. Mike Breen, Doris Burke and Israel Gutierrez will have your ESPN coverage.

SCOUTING THE WIZARDS

  • The Washington Wizards went 43-39 last season, eighth in the Eastern Conference.
  • This season, the Wizards are 1-6 on the season, and four in a row in the loss column.
  • The Hornets’ expectations aren’t high. Their win total predictions are averaged to be 44 this season.
  • In their last game, the Wizards beaten by the Memphis Grizzlies 107-95, where Washington trailed by as many as 19 in the game.
  • All-time against Washington, the Thunder are 72-61.
  • Since the Thunder relocated, Oklahoma City is 13-6 against the Wizards.
  • When they play at the Verizon Center, the Thunder are 6-3 on the road.
  • Oklahoma City has lost two straight vs. the Wizards at Verizon. Oklahoma City hasn’t won in D.C. since Nov. 10, 2015.
  • Bradley Beal leads the Wizards in scoring with 22.6 points. Markieff Morris is averaging 5.5 rebounds and John Wall leads the Wizards in assists (7.1), steals (2.3) and blocks (1.3) per game.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Markieff Morris (concussion) is a questionable.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Washington came on March 14, 2011, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 116-89 (27-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (22 points) vs. the Wizards occurred during an 120-98 loss on Feb. 13, 2017.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder then host the offensive juggernauts of the New Orleans pelicans at the Peake on Monday, Nov. 5.
  • Oklahoma City host the LBJ-less Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, Nov. 7 in Cleveland.
  • Then, Oklahoma City has to play the Rockets in the second night of a back-to-back on the Nov. 8.
  • They wrap up the week by playing the Mavericks on Saturday night in Dallas on Nov. 10.



Three Keys to the Game

Shooting

Oklahoma City is 29th in field goal shooting. They’re 30th in three-point shooting. They’re 29th in free throw shooting. Find a way to put the ball in the hole and do it efficiently. Scoring is up across the board in the NBA and the Thunder are lagging behind because they can’t score. They can’t make free throws. A lot of their losses isn’t really getting beat, they’re not doing enough to win. That starts with the one thing that wins you game, by scoring basketball points.

Free throws

While we mentioned this in the previous one, it’s still key. When you’re shooting less than 67 percent from the line, something NBA teams practice religiously, it’s quite unforgivable for the Thunder to be shooting such a desperate percentages. They have to make their free throws. That starts with Paul George and Russell Westbrook.

Stop fouling

The Thunder commit more fouls than any team in the NBA. They’re committing 26.0 fouls per game, which leads to 30.8 free throws per game, most in the NBA. Stop fouling. Stop being bad at basketball, please.

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Chuck Chaney

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

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