Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Charlotte Hornets - 12/26/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Charlotte Hornets (10-19) at Oklahoma City Thunder (13-16)
NBA Basketball: Friday, December 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -7 -- Over/Under: 194.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FSOK, SPSO
The Oklahoma City Thunder look to continue climbing towards .500 as they host the streaking Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
The Charlotte Hornets enter this contest as winners in four straight games with a record of 10-19. The Hornets are just 3-10 on the road this season, but with two of those wins coming during the current winning streak, the visitors may have the confidence to put their brutal start to the season behind them. The Hornets have admittedly faced weak competition during their hot stretch though, after losing four straight to good teams before that. While Al Jefferson has been the most consistent performer on this team averaging 19.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, Kemba Walker has been the star of late with 24.4 points and 6.2 assists over his last five games. The Hornets are without Lance Stephenson, but Gerald Henderson should be able to give solid minutes as his replacement.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up a big win on Christmas Day, knocking off the Spurs on the road by a score of 114-106. The Thunder have yet to sit with a record of .500 or better thus far this year, and with Kevin Durant out of the lineup that task could remain elusive. The play of Russell Westbrook could certainly help elevate the team though as the PG is coming off a 34 point, 11 assist outing against the Spurs, shooting 50%. Serge Ibaka is beginning to find his stroke from long range of late as well, knocking down five of seven over the last two games. The Thunder will need a big defensive contribution from Steven Adams in this contest considering the Hornets’ reliance on their big man down low; Adams has hauled in double digit rebounds in each of the last four games.
Covering a seven point margin in a back-to-back setting could be a struggle for the Thunder here given the Hornets' recent improvement. I'll take a chance with the visitor to keep this close or maybe even manage an outright win.