The NBA is set up with four games on the board for Thursday night. One of the games will be between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Pelicans are sitting right outside the playoff picture, while Oklahoma City is sitting comfortably in the Western Conference Playoff picture. The game is set for 8:00 PM Eastern time on January 24.
New Orleans has jumped out to a record of 22-25 this season, which has them in twelfth place of the Western Conference. The Pelicans are coming off a loss against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. New Orleans has lost three of their last four games, which they will look to bounce back from with a win on Thursday night.
The Thunder are sitting in the third spot of the Western Conference standings to this point in the season. Oklahoma City has earned a record of 29-18 this season. The Thunder had a big win over the Portland Trail Blazers in their last game. Oklahoma City has won three games in a row and will look to keep the winning streak going with a home win against the Pelicans.
Thursday night’s matchup will be the third game of the season series. The Pelicans and the Thunder will meet one more time on February 14. Oklahoma City is looking to continue to climb the NBA standings, while the Pelicans will look to bounce back into the playoff picture with a winning streak. This could be a good game on Thursday night.
The Thunder hosted the first matchup of the season series on November 5. Julius Randle had a big night off the bench as he dropped 26 points. Jrue Holiday put up 22 points and 14 assists, while Anthony Davis scored another 20 points. Paul George put up 23 points, while Dennis Schroder put up 22 points off the bench. Oklahoma City’s starting lineup combined for 76 points to help lead the Thunder to a 122-116 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted to New Orleans on December 12. Paul George dropped 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder. Dennis Schroder had another big night off the bench as he scored 24 points. Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams each put up 20 points, but it was not enough. Anthony Davis had 44 points and 18 rebounds, while Julius Randle had 22 points and 12 rebounds. The Pelicans dominated the boards to earn a 118-114 win at home.
These two teams each took the win in their first game at home of the season series. The big difference for Thursday night’s matchup will be that Anthony Davis is out. Davis put up two solid nights against the Thunder this season and Oklahoma City could go for a big night with Davis out of the lineup. I believe that this will give an edge to the Thunder on Thursday night.
Three Point Shooting
The Pelicans have been a solid team at shooting the three ball this season. New Orleans has made around 35.8 percent of their three-point shots this season. The Pelicans have not been great at defending the three-point shot this season though. New Orleans’ opponents have made around 36.6 percent of their three-point shots. The Pelicans are missing one of their solid shooters and defenders in Anthony Davis for Thursday night.
Oklahoma City has not done a great job shooting the three-point ball this season. The Thunder are only making around 33.8 percent of their three-point shots this season, which is in the bottom ten in the NBA. Oklahoma City’s defense has done a really good job defending behind the arc this season. The Thunder have held opposing teams to a three-point percentage of 34.6, which is top ten in the league.
New Orleans and Oklahoma City have been on opposite sides of three-point shooting this season. The Pelicans have done a nice job shooting behind the arc, while Oklahoma City has done a really good job at defending the three-point line. Without Anthony Davis in the lineup though, I believe that the Pelicans defense could allow the Thunder to have a big three-point night.
Anthony Davis was averaging 29.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in his 41 starts this season. Jrue Holiday is averaging 21 points and 8 assists per game this season at the Point Guard spot. The Pelicans will need their other two big men to step up with Davis out. Julius Randle has been averaging 20 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, while Nikola Mirotic has averaged 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this season.
Russell Westbrook has been on another tear of a season. Westbrook is averaging 22 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game this season. Paul George has been doing really well as he has averaged 27 points per game. Dennis Schroder has done a really good job coming off the bench, averaging 15.5 points per game. Steven Adams has averaged 15.5 points and 10 rebounds per game at the Center spot this season.
With Anthony Davis out for Thursday night’s game, I believe that Steven Adams could put up a good night in the paint. Jrue Holiday will have a tough matchup as he will look to slow down a hot Russell Westbrook. I believe that Paul George could go for a big night against E’Twaun Moore on Thursday night.
The Pelicans have been hit hard with Anthony Davis’ injury and I believe it will show on Thursday night. Oklahoma City is playing really well right now and at home against New Orleans. I believe that their matchups in this game will help lead them to the win. The Thunder have not been doing great at shooting the three-point shot, but I believe going up against the Pelicans defense could help get them going.
BetOnline has Oklahoma City listed as a -10 ½ against the spread for Thursday night’s game. The Thunder are at home and I believe they have a good chance to blow out New Orleans. The Pelicans are coming off a game the night before, which I believe could give them some fatigue for Thursday night’s game. I am taking the Thunder against the spread at home.