February 26, 2023 NBA Preview and Prediction: Thunder vs Kings

February 26, 2023 NBA Preview and Prediction: Thunder vs Kings

Odds

Time 7:00 p.m. EST
Thunder money line +135
Thunder spread +3 (-110)
Kings money line -155
Kings spread -3 (-110)
Over / under 241.5

 

2022-2023 season stats

  Oklahoma City Thunder Sacramento Kings
Record 28-31 34-25
Home / road record 17-12 16-13
Streak L1 L1
Points per game 117.00 120.00
Points allowed per game 116.00 118.00
Rebounds per game 43.00 42.00
Rebounds allowed per game 46.00 41.00
Over / under record 28-29-1 33-25-1
 

Preview

The Sacramento Kings (33-25) and Oklahoma City Thunder (28-31) are set to face off on Sunday, February 26th at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Kings are coming off a 136-127 victory over the Houston Rockets, while the Thunder are looking to bounce back from a 117-104 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have had an up-and-down season, but they have been in good form of late. They have won five of their last ten games, including a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently fourth in the Western Conference.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the standout player for the Thunder this season. He is averaging an impressive 30.8 points per game, along with 4.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists. Gilgeous-Alexander is a versatile player who can score from anywhere on the court, and he will be a major threat to the Jazz defense.

Josh Giddey is another player to watch for the Thunder. The rookie has been impressive in his debut season, averaging 10.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game. He has shown excellent court vision and is a gifted playmaker, and his ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates could be the key to the Thunder's success in this matchup.

In their last ten games, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been a force to be reckoned with on the offensive end of the court. Led by the dynamic backcourt of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, the Thunder have been putting up impressive numbers on a nightly basis. The Thunder's impressive offensive output has not come at the expense of their defense, however. Despite allowing their opponents to score an average of 119.7 points per game over the last ten games, the Thunder have still managed to come out on top in five of those games. This is in large part due to their ability to create turnovers, with the Thunder averaging 9.4 steals per game over the last ten games.

 

Sacramento Kings

The Kings have been performing well this season, with a record of 32-25 and a third-place ranking in the Western Conference. They have won 20 out of 33 Western Conference games, which is a promising record as they head into the second half of the season. One of the strengths of the Kings this season has been their ability to share the ball, as they are ranked fifth in the NBA with an average of 26.8 assists per game. Domantas Sabonis has been a key player for the Kings, leading the team with an average of 6.9 assists per game.

De'Aaron Fox scored 36 points, including six free throws in the final 18.4 seconds of overtime, leading the Sacramento Kings to a 133-128 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night. Fox was effective on both ends of the court, with 26 of his points coming in the fourth quarter and overtime, and he also played solid defense. Domantas Sabonis had a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Terence Davis contributed 22 points off the bench and Kevin Huerter added 15. Kings coach Mike Brown praised the team's defense and individual performances in the game.

The Sacramento Kings have been led by the dynamic play of De'Aaron Fox on the offensive end of the court. Fox has been averaging an impressive 24.6 points per game on 50.6% shooting from the floor. But Fox is not the only weapon in the Kings' arsenal. The team has demonstrated that they have snipers throughout their roster, with a three-point shooting percentage of 36.5%, which is the 10th-highest in the league. The Kings have also been effective at the free-throw line, hitting 80.1% of their shots. This is the seventh-highest team free-throw shooting percentage in the league, which is essential for securing crucial points and winning games.

Despite their impressive offensive play, the Kings have struggled on the defensive end of the court. They have allowed an average of 117.1 points per game, with their opponents shooting 49.2% from the floor. These stats place the Kings at the 23rd most points surrendered per game and the 28th-lowest shooting percentage allowed. Additionally, according to dunksandthrees.com, the Kings have the 25th-lowest adjusted defensive rating in the NBA. One of their biggest challenges has been their inability to consistently contest shots, both near the rim and on the perimeter. Opponents have been shooting 36.8% from behind the arc, which is the 23rd-lowest three-point shooting percentage allowed.

On the rebounding front, the Kings have been averaging 41.8 rebounds per game, which is the 23rd most in the league. However, the Kings have some talented players in this area, such as Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III, who have been able to make up for some of the team's rebounding deficiencies.

In conclusion, while the Kings have shown their offensive prowess this season, they will need to focus on improving their defense and rebounding if they hope to compete with the best teams in the league. With talented players such as De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III, the Kings have the potential to make significant strides in these areas and become a force to be reckoned with.

In their last 10 games, the Kings are 5-5, averaging 118.1 points, 40.1 rebounds, 24.8 assists, 7.9 steals and 3.3 blocks per game while shooting 49.0% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 119.8 points per game.

 

BETTING TRENDS

Sacramento are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games.

Sacramento are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against Oklahoma City.

Sacramento are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games against Oklahoma City.

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Sacramento's last 5 games on the road.

Sacramento are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games when playing on the road against Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City are 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 games.

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma City's last 6 games against Sacramento.

Oklahoma City are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games at home.

Oklahoma City are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games when playing at home against Sacramento.

 

Prediction

One area where the Thunder have been strong this season is their 3-point shooting. The team is shooting 36.2% from downtown, which is good for eighth in the Western Conference. Jaylin Williams has been particularly deadly from beyond the arc, shooting 47.7% on the season.

The Kings, on the other hand, have been efficient on offense this season, averaging 116.5 points per game, which is fourth in the NBA. They also have a solid defense, holding opponents to 113.1 points per game, which is eighth in the league. One of the keys to the Kings' success this season has been their ability to blow out their opponents. They have a 14-10 record in games decided by 10 or more points, which is tied for the fourth-best mark in the NBA.

The two teams have faced off once this season, with the Kings coming out on top, 118-113, on January 21st. In that game, Fox led the way for the Kings with 25 points and 8 assists, while Gilgeous-Alexander had a game-high 30 points for the Thunder.

Looking ahead to this matchup, the Kings will be the clear favorites, especially with Gilgeous-Alexander out of the lineup for the Thunder. Fox and Haliburton should be able to take advantage of the Thunder's backcourt and have big games. The Kings' bench also has an advantage over the Thunder's, with players like Terence Davis and Tristan Thompson providing valuable scoring and rebounding.

 

PICK: Kings -3 (-110)

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