Game Thread | 2020-21 Season | Game #51 | Cavs @ Thunder | April 8, 2021

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With two days off to savor their beatdown of the Spurs the rested but still short-handed Cavs move on to Oklahoma City to take on the free falling and injury ravaged Thunder who have lost six of their last seven. On the season the Thunder are 20-31 and 9-17 at home. Some of their recent losses have been about as bad as it gets; they lost by 48 points to Portland, 37 to Phoenix, 21 to Dallas, and by 24 to the 15-36 Pistons. On top of that they played last night, losing to Charlotte, so they'll be on a back-to-back while the Cavs had two days off.

Unfortunately, Allen and Nance are still out for the Cavs but at least Nance is reportedly "on the mend". Still no word on whether Allen is getting close to a return or even if his concussion symptoms have diminished. I'm starting to worry that he might be out for 2-3 months like Delly and miss the rest of the season, although that might work out better for the Cavs if they can give Hartenstein 30+ minutes a night while losing enough games to stay firmly in the lottery.

OKC beat the Cavs in Cleveland on Feb. 21 by a 117-101 score. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came up huge with 31 points and 9 assists while Al Horford chipped in 16 points and 8 boards. Neither of them will play tonight as SGA is injured and Horford has been sent home ala' Andre Drummond so the Thunder can force feed their younger players. So that's 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists the Thunder won't be getting from these guys tonight.

In addition to SGA and Horford being out, the Thunder have seven other players listed as "day to day" on the CBS Sports injury report. Six of those seven did not play last night. The Thunder might have a skeleton crew going tonight.

I'm not going to run down the team's stats since those numbers were compiled mostly with SGA and Horford in the lineup and probably some of the other injured guys. All I can say is this team is really banged up right now and the fact that they sat Horford down indicates they're in full tank mode. Not to mention playing the second night of a back-to-back against a team with two days off. I can't think of another game this year where the Cavs would be bigger favorites, although the Thunder hung tough with the 25-24 Hornets last night, trailing by 8 after three quarters and losing by 11. They might have been a skeleton crew but the guys they had didn't quit.
 
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Tank is in jeopardy
Could be. We're 3.5 games behind the Bulls for the 10th place play-in spot and we play the Bulls twice. We also have three games against the 18-32 Wizards.

22 games left; 4 against the top half of the East and 4 against the top half of the West. That leaves 14 of 22 games against teams currently in 9th to 15th place.
 

Dr No

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The Thunder is done messing around and are tanking hard. Second of a back to back with a g-league roster who played heavy minutes last night. It will be hard to lose this one
 

KilgoreTrout

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The Thunder is done messing around and are tanking hard. Second of a back to back with a g-league roster who played heavy minutes last night. It will be hard to lose this one
You said the magic words!

We EXCEL at losing those types of games!

You need to try the reverse juju, like _I_ do.

Crushing defeat, incoming.
 

foucault87

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As much as I would love that scenario, this is absolutely the draft to tank. It looks like one of the deepest drafts (in terms of star talent) in years.

Time to break out the Cedi
 

macbdog

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This team had a true tank commander but he was dealt to Houston. He is now piloting them to a bright future.
 

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