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Thunder vs Pelicans preview and gamethread: Will New Orleans come to compete?

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The Pelicans are in a lame duck situation, but will the pride of Jru Holiday and company push them to fight on?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ New Orleans Pelicans

Time: 7PM CST

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans

Broadcast: TNT

Counterpart: The Bird Writes

***

The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to New Orleans in the final game of the season before the All-Star Break. If it were a month ago, TNT probably would have been ecstatic to be airing this game. But now that New Orleans is a dead man walking, with both their franchise player and the team itself looking ahead to next year, the broadcast team is going to have to figure out how to delicately explain to the TV audience how badly the Pelicans screwed up and the ripple effects it has caused across the league.

And of course there is a game to be played, as the Thunder are vying for their 5th win in a row and 12th in 13 games as they look ahead to the break in action for a week. They will again be without Dennis Schroder (personal reasons) and Jerami Grant (ankle), but the real question will be what kind of resistance they face in the Pelicans.

Anthony Davis just played perhaps the worst game of his career; will he try tonight in front of his home crowd? Sometimes bad teams, tanking teams, will just say to themselves “what the heck, we might as well try and win this.” Which means it’s extra-incumbent on OKC to take away that edge they might gain if the Thunder start slowly.

OKC will again rely on Ray Felton and Deonte Burton to fill in the holes; after performing exceptionally well against Portland, do they have an encore? And can Paul George set the nets on fire once again as he moves into MVP conversation over the long weekend?

The game is not a gimme, and OKC can’t mess around.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Thunder
    (62 votes)
  • 20%
    Pelicans
    (16 votes)
78 votes total Vote Now