Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Invade TD Garden

Jan 24, 2014

Oklahoma City arrives in Boston enjoying a five-game winning streak, while star Kevin Durant is looking to score at least 30 points for a tenth consecutive game.  Over the last nine games, Durant is averaging 38.9 points, including scoring 36 in the Thunder’s 111-105 win at San Antonio Wednesday.  “Durant scores because he’s a smart player,” head coach Scott Brooks said.  “He scores because he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and score on different spots on the floor.  He also scores because we have good players around him.  If you double team, we have guys who can make you pay.”

Oklahoma City Fundamental Analysis:

Oklahoma City is averaging 105.5 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 100.3 points per game.  Oklahoma City’s offense has been nothing short of phenomenal over the last five games wherein the Thunder are averaging 111. points on 50.4% shooting from the field and 43.6% shooting from beyond the arc.  Overall, Oklahoma City is 5.2 points per game better than average offensively, which gives the Thunder a 4.3 points per game advantage over Boston’s defense.

The only negative facing Oklahoma City is its defense on the road where the Thunder are yielding 101.6 points per game on 47.0% shooting from the floor and 42.0% from three-point territory.  However, coach Brooke’s squad is actually 2.9 points per game better than average defensively this season (98.2 points per game to teams that would combine to average 101.1 points per game), which gives the Thunder a 7.3 points per game advantage defensively over Boston’s offense (95.4 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 99.8 points per game).

The Boston Celtics are Well-Coached

Boston head coach Brad Stevens has wasted no time in demonstrating his coaching acumen at the professional level as the Celtics have been extremely competitive despite missing key components to their roster.  Pro Edge Sports was most impressed with Boston’s 113-11 overtime win at Washington, which came less than 24 hours after suffering a hard-fought 93-86 loss at Miami.  While guard Rajon Rondo was rested at Washington after playing a season-high 26 minutes in Miami, he is expected to be back on the court tonight for the Celtics.

We also like the fact that Boston is playing loose and understands that they having nothing to lose.  “We don’t have anything to lose,” Gerald Wallace told the team’s website.  “Let’s just go out and play loose, play together and kind of have fun in the game. I think that’s what we did tonight, and it brought us closer together.”  Pro Edge Sports power numbers show a fair line of +5 so there is some line value in favor of the home underdog.