Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Washington Wizards - 1/2/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Washington Wizards (22-9) at Oklahoma City Thunder (16-17)
NBA Basketball: Friday, January 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -6.5 -- Over/Under: 207 See the Latest Odds
TV: CSNB, FSOK
The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Washington Wizards in an interconference clash on Friday night.
The Washington Wizards are 22-9 on the year with an 8-5 record away from home. The Wizards will be looking to rebound in this contest after being dismantled by the Mavericks in their most recent road outing, 114-87. For the season, the Wizards defense ranks 6th in the league while allowing 97.4 points per game, but that average could be tested here if the Thunder offense is at full strength. Washington will hope for big performances out of their backcourt from John Wall and Bradley Beal, but Beal could be limited with a toe injury after failing to participate in Thursday’s practice. Adding to the injury report is the status of Nene, who also didn’t participate in Thursday’s practice with an ankle injury.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are 16-17 on the year with a 9-7 record at home and will be desperately trying to reach the .500 mark for the first time this year. Kevin Durant returned to action in the Thunder’s most recent win against the Suns, pouring in 44 points and adding ten rebounds and seven assists as the Thunder emerged with a 137-134 OT win. Russell Westbrook is also on a recent tear, averaging 28 points, seven assists and six rebounds over the last five games. Although defense hasn’t been central to the team’s recent success, the Thunder do rank 4th in the league while allowing just 97.2 points per game. The tempo has definitely changed for OKC though with both superstars healthy so that mark could slip over the next couple months.
The Thunder are tough to play against at full strength so assuming Durant plays I see the Wizards struggling to keep up here after failing to do the same against the Mavericks last time out.