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NBA Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder: Predicting The Next 5 Games

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Oklahoma City Thunder: Predicting The Next Five Games

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting games early in the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder was a breeze. Russell Westbrook was doing what he does on a regular basis, and Kevin Durant was busy leading all of the MVP rankings you could find. Now, Westbrook is down and the OKC has sunk without his presence. With a 6-4 record in their last 10 games after their most recent win, this is a team searching for answers. The only bright spot is that this will all be behind them once Westbrook returns.

For now, Reggie Jackson has to carry the load, but he has not been the player we have grown to respect. He finished 1-for-8 from the field in the win against the Milwaukee Bucks, adding fuel to the flames of criticism. Jeremy Lamb came through with 17 essential points, but has been up and down for the most part recently. It is obvious that OKC just does not have a second scoring option to rely on. It's something that this team needs, even with a potential MVP on the roster.

Predicting their next five games is a challenge mainly due to the lack of consistency from the Thunder's role players in the absence of Westbrook. There is nothing guaranteed with this team right now, making them very hard to predict. Even if you are getting 48 points from Durant, it is not good enough as we seen in a recent OKC loss to the Utah Jazz. Still, here are the predictions for the Thunder's next five NBA games.

Brian Anderson is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrAnderson035 “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Thunder at Grizzlies - Jan. 14, 2104

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Memphis Grizzlies are sitting at 16-19 on the season, they are 6-4 in their last 10 games. This team has obviously improved as of late and will be a tough matchup at home for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin Durant will have a huge game. However, will that be enough to win on the road? Probably not, as the Thunder will need their role players to step up.

Final Score: OKC 98 -- MEM 94

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4. Thunder at Rockets - Jan. 16, 2014

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This will be a tough one for the Thunder to win. The Houston Rockets have not been as good as we all thought they would be at this point, but they are still a very solid team. Give them home-court advantage, and this is bound to be a tight game. Kevin Durant may have issues overcoming both Dwight Howard and James Harden on the road, especially without his sidekick Russell Westbrook in the mix.

Final Score: HOU 102 -- OKC 92

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3. Thunder vs. Warriors - Jan 17, 2014

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder's third game in four nights will be at home, and it will not be an easy one. The Golden State Warriors are red-hot while the Thunder continues to cool down without Westbrook. With some help from his teammates, KD will have a monstrous night and lead OKC to victory.

Final Score: OKC 106 -- GSW 102

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2. Thunder vs. Kings - Jan. 19, 2014

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings have improved vastly since the Thunder last saw them. The addition of Rudy Gay and emergence of Isaiah Thomas makes the Kings a dangerous team. They mirror a younger Thunder squad, but we will have to wait to see if they can mirror their success. They have to get better on the road first, so having home court will be pivotal for OKC in this matchup.

Final Score: OKC 111 -- SAC 109

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1. Thunder vs. Trail Blazers - Jan. 21, 2014

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the third meeting of the year between these two teams, and the Portland Trail Blazers have taken the two prior meetings. They may be lucky to catch OKC without Westbrook, but will not complain. The Thunder will be healthier when they see this team later down the road, but they will be outmatched in this game.

Final Score: POR 102 -- OKC 94