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Thunder vs Pelicans preview: OKC battles New Orleans for playoff position

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The Thunder are reeling, but can they right the ship before time runs out?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder vs New Orleans Pelicans

Time: 5PM CST

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans

Broadcast: FSOK, NBA TV


The Thunder travel to New Orleans on Easter Sunday today to take on the Pelicans in what should be (should be) a tight playoff-style battle between the two squads who are fighting to stay within playoff contention. The Thunder and Pelicans have both lost 3 games in a row, sliding from higher in the standings to now barely holding on.

The Thunder are coming off a brutal back-to-back stretch where they lost to the Spurs and Nuggets, and each game was one where they had a lead late in the game. But through miscues, missed free throws, and overall inattentiveness to detail, could not hang on and now find themselves on the verge of getting bounced out completely, as their next two games are against the Warriors and Rockets.

Anthony Davis has destroyed the Thunder the last two times they have played, averaging 40-13 in leading his team to two wins and the season series. He was recently hobbled by an injured ankle, which has limited him, but Davis is apparently unlocking his final form:

Steven Adams, also looking like he’s struggling with injury, will have his hands full, and the Thunder should treat stopping Davis as a team effort (but will they?).

Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook, while averaging a triple-double against the Pelicans this season, has struggled with his shot, and matching up against Rajon Rondo and Jru Holiday has always given him trouble. Look to Raymond Felton and the bench gang to keep things tight in the 2nd half in case the starters falter again.

This is a big one, just as the last 3 games were. Furthermore, OKC has shown a startling nonchalance when playing the Pelicans this season, acting as if they would roll over and then falling New Orleans late. Will OKC ready themselves for the challenge this final time?


Who do you think will win tonight?

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