Location: Chesapeake Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Tip-off: 8PM CST
Broadcast: FS Oklahoma/WWLS 98.1FM
The Thunder are back in action less than a day after a heartbreaking loss at the hands of division rival Denver Nuggets. In a shootout of a game OKC fell behind early, something that they are prone to do when their defense isn’t focused, but still showed offensive resiliency that was missing from earlier in the season. But as it goes, OKC must find both the offense and defense necessary to get past their 2-game losing streak.
Fortunately for OKC, the Pelicans present a much different and more straightforward kind of opponent than the magic passing of Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. They will rely heavily on Anthony Davis and hope that their guards and new acquisition via trade, Nikola Mirotic, can provide enough spacing and balance for Davis to operate. All this is in light of the Pelicans’ own season altering loss, as DeMarcus Cousins ruptured his Achilles Tendon one night before OKC lose Andre Roberson to a torn patella.
Davis is more a traditional big man than Jokic, but Steven Adams will have plenty to handle with the dominant power forward. OKC must apply better defensive scheming and discipline than last night if they want to create pressure on the perimeter, which is crucial for their transition game.
Also, OKC must continue to find ways to keep Paul George engaged for four quarters. The All-Star is averaging over 29 per game over the past 5, including 54% shooting from the floor and 46% from three.
Lastly, OKC seeks a measure of revenge following their earlier season loss to New Orleans in a game where their 2nd half offense all but disappeared. Time to turn it around. Again.
Who do you think will win tonight?
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