Game 62 Pregame Primer: Thunder (37-24) @ Pistons (20-42)natashapanchal.com / sublime50illustrations / Thunder

Game 62 Pregame Primer: Thunder (37-24) @ Pistons (20-42)

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ESPN preview

Tip-off:

6pm @ Little Ceasars Arena , ? Fox Sports Oklahoma

Projected starting lineups:

Oklahoma CityDetroit
PG: Chris PaulPG: Langston Galloway
SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander SG: Svi Mykhailiuk
SF: Lu DortSF: Tony Snell
PF: Danilo Gallinari PF: Christian Wood
C: Steven AdamsC: John Henson

3 Big Things:

  • On to the Next: That’s two straight losses for the Thunder and at this time of year when teams are jockeying for playoff positioning its not ideal, but context is important. March is easily the wackiest month of the NBA season — 82 games is a grind and players are exhausted, teams are committing to the tank and good teams are just ready to get the postseason underway. These stretches shouldn’t be a shock to any team, least of all OKC who just played two of the league’s best. Good news? the next two games are against teams headed in the opposite direction.

  • Rotation: Billy Donovan is clearly set on his top 8: the starting five plus Dennis, Nerlens and Nader. Until Darius Bazley returns, that ninth spot seems to be up for grabs for both Terrance Ferguson and Hamidou Diallo. Despite some quality defensive efforts Terrance Ferguson continues to struggle on the offensive end and was a -22 in just 17 minutes against the Clippers, while Diallo only played garbage time minutes once the game was out of reach. Is this road trip an opportunity to get Ferg going on the offensive end or does Diallo move up in the rotation for good? OKC desperately needs consistent, quality wing-play going into the playoffs and it feels like now or never for these two in this year’s rotation.

  • Trap Game Potential: The Detroit Pistons are dealing with several injuries to their main guys. Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard will all miss tonight’s game, with Brandon Knight listed as QUESTIONABLE with a knee injury. As we’ve seen over the years in OKC this doesn’t always mean a comfortable win. These are the games that can’t be taken for granted — see Denver last night at home vs. Golden State. Detroit still has capable shooting from Mykhailiuk, Snell and Wood and a pesky guard in Langston Galloway who has had his share of success against OKC while in New York. This game is certainly there for OKC to take some frustration out from back-to-back losses and get back to its success on the road — we’ll see if they capitalize or lay an egg.

Game poll:

Who's winning tonight?

#COTN

“We might have lost, but we were 32 points closer than last game.
#progress” – ThunderChick2010

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