The Thunder is in high-altitude Mexico City tonight to face the Brooklyn Nets as part of the NBA’s Global Games. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. CT.
Oklahoma City (11-12) will play its first game without Paul George, who is dealing with a bruised right calf. Sixth man Jerami Grant is also out tonight with a calf contusion.
That still leaves the Thunder with two more stars than the Nets, who start the most random collection of guys you’d love to come off your bench.
There’s Allen Crabbe, who dropped 23 points on 10 shots in his last meeting against OKC. There’s DeMarre Carroll, who’s probably Brooklyn’s most consistent player and leading rebounder. They’ve got Spencer Dinwiddie, a 6-foot-6 former second-round pick, who is enjoying a career year across the board. Then there’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Tyler Zeller, who are always a threat from inside 10 feet.
Brooklyn’s starters tonight had 499 career starts entering this season and Carroll provided 258 of those. By contrast, the Thunder’s normal starting five had 2,495 starts coming into 2017-18.
A full-strength Nets team adds Jeremy Lin (216) and D’Angelo Russell (108) but there’d still be a massive disparity.
Oklahoma City is 3-0 in the month of December with wins over Minnesota, San Antonio and Utah. Brooklyn (9-14) is in 12th place in the East under second-year coach Kenny Atkinson.
UPDATE: Brooklyn has traded reserve forward Trevor Booker to Philadelphia for Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a second-round pick. Booker won’t play for the Nets tonight against OKC.