Basketball Insider

Thunder Preview: OKC Takes on the Reigning NBA Champions

Thunder Preview: OKC Takes on the Reigning NBA Champions

The Bucks are headed to Paycom Center to take on the Thunder. 

Milwaukee is currently on a four game winning streak by beating Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, and Charlotte.

The Bucks gained a marginal 96-89 victory over OKC in their last meeting. Both teams shot poorly from both the field and the perimeter. 

Milwaukee and Oklahoma City finished below 40 percent from the field and below 30 percent from behind the arc. Also both teams recorded 53 rebounds and 32 points in the paint.


From the Field

The Bucks have carried they smart shooting over from last season. The team averages 46 percent from the field and 54 percent of their shots are effective field goals, which ranks sixth among the league. 

Man in the Inside…and Outside

Gianni Antetokounmpo has continued to be a pure menace. Third in the NBA with 29 points per game and fifth in the league with 11.6 rebounds needless to say managing him will be a tremendous task. Yet in their last meeting, the Thunder limited him to only shoot 37 percent from the field. 

Khris Middleton is coming off a season high of 44 points in Milwaukee’s win over the Suns. Against Phoenix, he shot five-of-nine from deep and in Middleton’s last three games has finished 47.6 percent from the perimeter. Oklahoma City’s fervent perimeter defense will need to be in full force to cool Middleton down.

Powerful in the Paint

Becoming one of the best teams in scoring in the paint, its obvious why OKC is so drawn to the basket. The Thunder average 45.5 points in the paint which puts them fourth in the NBA. 

The Bucks on the other hand rank last in this stat by averaging 38 points at this area of the floor. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the charge, Oklahoma City will surely look to lane for some buckets.


Notable: Milwaukee also ranks sixth in the league by making 36 percent of their shots from behind the arc. Along with guarding Middleton, the Thunder’s perimeter defense will need to be on point.

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