Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers 1/6/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Daily Fantasy

Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers Preview

Tonight, the Oklahoma City Thunder will travel to Philadelphia for a matchup with the 76ers. The 76ers will be looking to bounce-back at home after suffering a tough 127-119 overtime loss the first time they saw the Thunder this year. In the first matchup Philly’s starters shined, including 31 points from Joel Embiid and 28 points from Josh Richardson, but got virtually no production from their bench. The Thunder were able to hold off the 76ers thanks to Danilo Gallinari and Chris Paul scoring 28 and 27 respectively and both of them making 10+ free throws. 

This game features two teams on opposite sides of win/loss streaks. The Thunder have been surging and have won 5 in a row including impressive wins over the Raptors and Mavericks. OKC has been a big surprise this year, surging up the Western Conference standings due to going 9-1 over their last 10 games. 

The 76ers have not had as much success as of late dropping their last 4 games and also going 3-7 over their past 10 games. Due to their rough past 10 games Philly has gone from a hot 20-7 start to a now 23-14 record and are now sitting at 5th in the Eastern Conference.

TV Schedule

Date: 1/6/20
Time: 6 PM CT
Arena: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Channel: NBA TV

Injuries

Thunder: Andre Roberson (out) and Nerlens Noel (day-to-day, doubtful)
76ers: James Ennis (day-to-day, questionable)

Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SF: Terrance Ferguson
PF: Danilo Gallinari
C: Steven Adams

Thunder Analysis

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are looking to continue their recent hot streak in a cross-conference matchup with the recently 76ers. They are coming off of a 121-106 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday which featured an efficient 22-point performance from Dennis Schroeder.

 A lot of the recent success of the Thunder has been due to their three-headed monster of a backcourt made up of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroeder (as well as the scoring help of Danilo Gallinari.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SGA) has broken out in his sophomore season currently leading the OKC Thunder in scoring. SGA, the centerpiece of the Paul George trade, has made a 9-point jump in scoring from 10.8 during his rookie year with the clippers to 19.9 through the first 35 games of this season.

Along with SGA’s emergence, the Thunder have 3 other scores that have helped this team greatly over their last 10 game stretch. Gallinari and Chris Paul are averaging 18 and 16 points respectively along with Dennis Schroeder chipping in 18 a game off the bench and making a case for 6th man of the year. 

The Thunder are going to be most likely missing Nerlens Noel after he suffered an ankle injury in Saturday’s game against the Cavaliers and did not return. Noel has provided a good defensive presence off the bench and has been very effective spelling Steven Adams. Noel not playing should mean more minutes for Adams as well as more playing time for Darius Bazley and possible Mike Muscala off the bench.

The key for the Thunder is to continue to play their game. OKC has had a lot of success getting to the line ranking 6th in the NBA in terms of free throw attempts (making 79% of those attempts which is 7th in the NBA). The Thunder have also been successful in limiting opponents’ 3-point efficiency holding opposing teams to 34% and are facing a 76ers team that biggest flaw is their lack of 3-point shooting. 

Thunder Quick Links: Thunder Starting Lineup, Thunder Roster, Thunder Depth Chart, Thunder Injuries, Thunder News, Thunder Schedule

Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup

PG: Ben Simmons
SG: Josh Richardson
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: Al Horford
C: Joel Embiid

76ers Analysis

Philadelphia 76ers

As mentioned above the 76ers have hit a bit of a rough patch recently. They are coming off of a 118-108 loss to the Houston Rockets and are looking to end their 4-game skid at home against the Thunder. Ben Simmons put up an impressive performance despite the loss against the Rockets. Simmons recorded a 29-point triple-double but the 76ers continued 3-point shooting woes (6-27 Friday vs. Houston) limited their offense. After their loss to the Rockets, Joel Embiid voiced his frustration with the recent losses of the 76ers stating that losing is “taking a toll” on him.

The 76ers have a bolstered starting lineup after acquiring Horford and Richardson in the offseason but have yet to receive much production from their bench. Philly’s starters have accounted for a staggering 78% of their teams’ points (85 of their 109.5 points per game). 

Even through their recent 10 game rough patch Philly has continued to be one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. The 76ers rank 5th in the league with a defensive rating of 105.7, which if you are unaware is an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions. If you are not a fan of analytical statistics, they also rank in the top ten of all NBA teams in both Steals (5th with 8.4 per game) and Blocks (8th with 5.8). On top of this both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are making cases for spots on the NBA all-defensive teams. 

Some keys to the game for Philadelphia is that they need their studs, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, to have big games. It will be a huge boost if the 76ers get even decent production from the 3-point line. Their last win against the bucks came with 21 made 3-pointer which is well over their average of 10.8 per game. If Philly’s primary deep ball threats (Richardson, Harris, Korkmaz, and Horford) are shooting it well it could mean success for them.

76ers Quick Links: 76ers Starting Lineup, 76ers Roster, 76ers Depth Chart, 76ers Injuries, 76ers News, 76ers Schedule

Key Player Matchups

Joel Embiid vs. Steven Adams

The matchup that I am most intrigued with is Joel Embiid vs Steven Adams. Adams won’t have the luxury of Noel coming in to spell him and guard Embiid so it will be a pivotal battle on both sides of the ball between these two big men.

Daily Fantasy

At the time of writing this article the DraftKings prices have not yet been released. There will be value in the studs such as Simmons and Embiid, but the price will be high. I think Simmons could be an anchor for some Monday lineups. There is also value with Steven Adams who will get increased minutes if Nerlens Noel does end up missing the matchup. 

Bet on Matchup

According to Odds Shark the 76ers are, at the time of this article (1/5/20), 7-point favorites. This isn’t a game that I will be betting on but if I had to, I would take the Thunder +7 (-110). The over is currently at 214 (-110) I see that most likely hitting in my opinion. 

If you’re in Pennsylvania, you can bet on this matchup. Sports betting is legal in PA. Our top-rated online sportsbook bonus offers can be found in our articles: Fanduel Sportsbook promo code, DraftKings Sportsbook promo code & Pointsbet promo code.

  
Nick is currently a senior at Marquette University and writes primarily on NBA matchups as well as NFL and MLB topics. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and has been a die-hard Chicago sports fan since he could remember. Nick is also a huge follower of combat sports such as MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Boxing. He is a new to the sports journalism scene but is excited to get started.

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