Thunder travel to New York, look to win second straight

Oklahoma City continues their road trip, as it reaches New York Friday night. The Thunder survived a scare in their last game against the Pistons where they let Christian Wood torch them. The Knicks are coming off a strange week in which they lost to the Jazz at home on Wednesday night, but shocked the world and beat the Rockets on Monday.

The Knicks come into this matchup at 19-43, enduring yet another ticket to the lottery. Hope is not all lost though, as the future seems to be pointing in the right direction with star rookie RJ Barrett. Barrett is averaging 14 PPG and scored a team high 27 in the win against Houston. Outside of Barrett, the Knicks are a mismatched basketball team without an identity.

The Thunder finally got back in the win column against the Pistons after a long last week. OKC had the tough task of playing the Bucks and the Clippers back to back and they got destroyed in both games with little to no fight. In the win at Detroit, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got back on track pouring in 27 points, something the Thunder will need if they want to start another winning streak before heading into the playoffs.

The Thunder will need to rely on their star power to win this game, something we don’t hear often. The Knicks don’t have a player like Chris Paul or SGA, making this their game tonight. I would expect the Thunder guards to come out firing early, and if they are on, it could be trouble for New York. For the Knicks to win, they will have to dominate the glass. New York’s front court is far deeper than Oklahoma City, who has virtually one backup post.

After tonight, the Thunder will continue their road trip in Boston as they square off against the Celtics.

Matchup To Watch: Danillo Galinari vs. Julius Randle
With both players averaging 19 PPG, this is gonna be a fun battle between the big men. While Julius Randle gets to the line and gets tough inside buckets, Galinari is the Thunder’s sniper. These two guarding each other will be a fun matchup, forcing Randle to guard pick and pops and the perimeter, while Galinari has to guard Randle in the paint.