Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Predictions, Starting Lineups (1/16/24)

The Oklahoma City Thunder (27-12) take on the Los Angeles Clippers (25-14) this Tuesday (1/16/24). Get Thunder vs. Clippers moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction

Oklahoma City defends the paint at a high level, but perimeter-oriented teams can brutally exploit them. Opponents average the sixth most open plus wide open three-point attempts per 100 possessions against the Thunder (per NBA.com). Additionally, Oklahoma City surrenders the most corner attempts per game.

Enter the Clippers, who lead the league in three-point percentage. Paul George, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Norman Powell combine to shoot a monstrous 43.1 3PT% on nearly 25 attempts per game. Terance Mann has shed his shooting slump recently to the tune of a 53.8 3PT% across his past eight games. Factor in Daniel Theis’ ability to stretch the floor, and the Clippers are absolutely loaded with three-point snipers. They can rain down threes and subsequently rack up points at a rapid pace.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles lacks rim protection due to a center rotation of Theis and Mason Plumlee. Oklahoma City leads the league in drives per game and owns the eighth largest field goal percentage within eight feet of the basket. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams both have the skills to penetrate the paint and feast inside. Theis also does not have the length to pester Chet Holmgren, who likely dominates on pick-and-pops and rolls to the basket.

Finally, the Thunder (25th) and Clippers (18th) both allow a large opponent free throw attempt rate, and undisciplined defense can inflate the total. For example, a league average free throw shooter (78.6%) produces the same expected points per possession on a trip to the line as a three-point attempt by a 52.4 3PT% shooter.

Overall, both squads rank top six in Offensive Rating and possess the tools to attack the other’s weaknesses.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction: Over 235 Total Points

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers Best Odds

After a loss to the Lakers last night, the Thunder enter this contest as 6.5 point underdogs. They own a 10-7-1 record against the spread on the road, while the Clippers are 11-9 against the spread at home.

For Oklahoma City’s +220 to be profitable in the long run, they need to win here at least 31 percent of the time.

Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup

PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Luguentz Dort
SF: Josh Giddey
PF: Jalen Williams
C: Chet Holmgren

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: James Harden
SG: Terance Mann
SF: Paul George
PF: Kawhi Leonard
C: Daniel Theis

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers Injuries

Starting center Ivica Zubac will miss his second straight game due to a calf injury, so Daniel Theis once again gets the starting nod for Los Angeles. Reserve forward Moussa Diabate also remains out with a fractured hand. On the other side, the Thunder have a clean injury report; however, it’s worth noting that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is playing through a mild knee sprain. It appeared to somewhat bother him last night against the Lakers, so his health is worth monitoring.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers Key Matchups

Josh Giddey’s Efficiency

Opposing defenses frequently place their center on Giddey and have them sag into the paint, thus somewhat deterring drives. This strategy also allows them to frequently have a bigger forward mark Holmgren, which nullifies his typical mobility advantage. However, Giddey has punished defenses recently to the tune of a 38.5 3PT% over his past 25 games. If Giddey can knock down his wide open looks and persuade Ty Lue to adjust, then Oklahoma City’s offense is in a great position to explode.

Russell Westbrook’s Rebounding

Westbrook is a blur on the court and always out-hustles everyone. He paces all guards in offensive rebound percentage, so it’s a juicy matchup for him. The Thunder rank 29th in opponent offensive rebound percentage and 30th in opponent put-back frequency. If Westbrook controls the glass and grants his team extra possessions, then Los Angeles’ offense should thrive.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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