The new Oklahoma City Thunder will be set to visit the Orlando Magic tonight with two new pieces to the puzzle, Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. Perkins however does not look like starting.
Kendrick Perkins will help the defensive challenged
Thunder and guard Nate Robinson will be ready to add a spark to an already
electrifying offense. The Thunder had to give up Jeff Green but if Perkins can stay
healthy, this trade will help them in the long run.
In their last game, the Oklahoma City Thunder hung tough but lost to the San Antonio Spurs,
109-105. Kevin Durant led the team with 30 points and 9 rebounds and Russell
Westbrook added 25 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. The Thunder were outscored
33-16 in the 2nd quarter and that appeared to be the difference in the game.
In the Orlando Magic's last outing, they were shocked by the Sacramento Kings, 111-105.
Sacramento only had 13 wins at the time but managed to come into the Magic's
building and embarrass them. Dwight Howard led the way with 31 points and 17
This will be an interesting game to see how the Magic react to the shocking
loss and how the Thunder adjust to the new personnel changes on the team. NBA bettors should keep a watch on the lines, as the betting odds should shift some due to the uncertainty surrounding this contest.
Kendrick Perkins Fills a Missing Void
Kendrick Perkins brings championship experience which is a positive for a young team
like the Thunder and he brings some toughness on the defensive end. The Thunder
have plenty of scorers but they lack size and need to be more defensive minded.
They have the leagues leading scorer in Kevin Durant but he's not the type of
player that looks to body up with Dwight Howard.
Kendrick Perkins fits the mold
at 6 foot 10 and a massive 280 pounds. It will give the Thunder who allow 102.3 points per game a much need
defensive boost. One weakness to Perkins' game is his foul shooting and this
will hurt the Thunder, who shoot 82.9% from the free throw line.
Nate The Great
Nate Robinson will also be a nice addition to the Oklahoma City squad. Robinson
fits in well on the offensive end and can give Russell Westbrook a much needed
rest at times. Robinson at only 5 foot 9 ,has great energy and is not afraid to
take the ball inside. He has a similar style to Westbrook. He's a good shooter
with sizzling speed and isn't afraid to get physical. Robinson will definite
add some emotion to a team that's pokerfaced. Look for Robinson to make an
immediate impression in this game if he's alloted the playing time.
The Thunder have lost 6 consecutive games in Orlando. However, they did
manage to defeat the Magic at home on January 13th, 125-124. Russell Westbrook
had 32 point, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds and Kevin Durant had 36 points.
Dwight Howard a Malcontent?
It seems to be that way. Over the all star break, he's hinted about his love
for Los Angeles and was very enthusiastic during the all star weekend
festivities. Dwight Howard expressed major displeasure with his team when they were
outscored 32-21 in the final quarter against the lowly Sacramento Kings. The
Magic are a good basketball team but they lack consistency. Howard has put up
huge numbers. In his last 3 games, he's averaging 31.3 points and 13.3 rebounds
per game, and tonight he'll be a tough matchup for Kevin Durant. Look for Oklahoma City to
explore every option in this game
Will Somebody Please Stand Up?
This goes out to the rest of the Magic roster. The Magic don't lack depth. They
have multiple players that can put up strong performances but they don't seem
to do it on a regular basis. They have 7 players that average in double
figures. Jason Richardson is the second most consistent player and even he had
an 8 point performance against the Kings.
This will be a game where Oklahoma
City is going to really be hyped up to play and capable players like Turkoglu,
Redick, Bass, and Nelson will really need to "bring it". Jameer
Nelson has been a solid contributor but he's never fully recovered from an
injury previously. Nelson will need to be a ball distributor because the
Thunder can put up big numbers.
Orlando only gives up 94.2 points per game but I think that they'll allow more
than that in this game and the offense needs to match the defense.
Outcome of the Game
Orlando is a 7 point favorite on the NBA odds boards and that seems a little too high in this spot.
They're coming off an awful defeat and would be lucky just to get a win. This
game can go either way. Oklahoma City played a tough Spurs team well, and now
have 2 exciting additions to their young up and coming team. The Thunder
matchup well against the Magic. I'm tempted to say small play on Thunder ML but
we'll just stick to Oklahoma City covering the spread.
Free NBA Pick - Oklahoma City +7