This is the first game of the season between the Blazers (21-29) and the Thunder (14-34). At the moment, they are at the bottom of the Northwest Division standings, with Portland hitting a low point and sitting last in mid-December. Since then, he has bounced back, going 10-11 in his last 21 games.
How to watch the Portland Trail Blazers at the Oklahoma City Thunder today:
Game date: January 31, 2022
Game time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern time
TV: AT&T ROOT Deportes Noroeste Principal
Anfernee Simons led the way in Portland’s last win over Houston (125-110) with 27 points and six assists.
It’s been a grind for the Trail Blazers and first-year head coach Chauncey Billups. They started 10-10, then completely collapsed, falling 10 games under .500 in early January. Since then they have gone 7-5 and look more competitive.
A lot of that has to do with the play of Simons, Norman Powell and Jusuf Nurkic. Damian Lillard has missed 21 games and CJ McCollum has missed 18 games this season due to injury.
On the other hand, Oklahoma City is where I expected to be. The Thunder are competitive defensively, but struggle offensively.
They are the 13th-ranked defense in the NBA (108.0 points allowed) and the 30th-ranked offense (100.8 points per game). The offense is going to struggle tonight with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out (ankle), leaving the burden of the game on rookie Josh Giddey.
Giddey is averaging 11.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game, leading the team. The Aussie shooting guard is having a solid season and is taking on a more expansive role on offense as the season progresses and with Gilgeous-Alexander out of action.