The new-look Oklahoma City Thunder begin their anticipated 2017-18 campaign on Thursday night, as they host the ever-polarizing New York Knicks.
Tip is scheduled for about 8:10 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on TNT. Those with a cable subscription can watch the game online via TNTDrama.com or the WatchTNT app, but if you’ve cut the cable cord, you can still watch a legal live stream for free via one of the following services:
DirecTV Now: All four channel packages include TNT
Sling TV: Both the “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue” channel packages include TNT
PlayStation Vue: All four channel packages include TNT
Each of the above services include a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s game at no cost.
Projected Knicks Starting Lineup
|SG||Tim Hardaway Jr.|
Projected Thunder Starting Lineup
The big storyline here, of course, is Carmelo facing his old team, but the more important aspect to watch is how the Thunder’s new “Big Three” coexists with each other. Russell Westbrook led the NBA last year in touches per game at 99.5, while Paul George and Anthony were 12th (62.7) and 18th (60.4) among forwards, respectively.
Those numbers–with the exception of maybe Westbrook–are likely to go down a little bit, so it will be interesting to see how each reacts. Of course, while volume of touches may decrease, efficiency should increase, as the defense’s attention will be forced to divided.
It may take time, but this offense–which was in the middle of the road in efficiency a year ago–should ultimately develop into one of the league’s most dangerous units.
On the other side of the ball, the Knicks are in the midst of a rebuild, but there are still plenty of reasons to watch. Kristaps Porzingis has full reign of the offense as he looks to take the next step into the league’s upper tier of stars. Willy Hernangomez is one of the more intriguing young big men in the league. And, of course, there’s the entertainment value of Tim Hardaway Jr., Michael Beasley and Enes Kanter, who get buckets but don’t do a whole lot else.
Ultimately, the Thunder should roll in this one, but there will be plenty to watch along the way.