Five fearless predictions for Saturday’s Charlotte Hornets game against Oklahoma City Thunder:
1. Who guards Russell Westbrook?
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will draw the toughest defensive assignment of the night on reigning MVP Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is averaging 25.1 points, 10 assists and 9.6 rebounds per game.
2. NBA’s best offense of late...
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Since Dec. 16, the Thunder have had the best offense in the league, scoring 114.2 points per 100 possessions as new signees Paul George and Carmelo Anthony figure out their roles on the team.
3. But far from it on defense.
Over the same stretch, though, the Thunder have ranked as the No. 19 defense in the NBA, allowing 108.7 points per 100 possessions. Oklahoma City has now lost three straight games.
4. Power in the paint
Not many teams have a center who matches up well with the Hornets’ Dwight Howard, but the Thunder’s Steven Adams certainly does. Both are more traditional bigs and prefer to operate tight in the paint.
5. Thunder snap losing skid
Thunder 118, Hornets 109.
Thunder at Hornets
Where: Spectrum Center
When: Saturday, 5 p.m.
TV/Radio: Fox Sports Southeast /WFNZ 610-AM