Game 16 Preview: Thunder vs Pelicans

Tonight, the Oklahoma City Thunder (7-8) will face the New Orleans Pelicans (8-8)

With All-Star Anthony Davis and defensive specialist Tony Allen still questionable for tonight’s game, the Thunder have the possibility to bounce back after the disappointing loss in San Antonio. Oklahoma City’s stars must play a better game in order to help the team to succeed.

Keys To The Game

Smart Offense – The Pelicans are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. They are ranked 27th in opponents points allowed (110.6) and 26th in defensive rating (107.2). Not only they are bad in that end of the court, but they are also terrible at covering the three points line. So far, teams playing against New Orleans shot 38.1% from behind the arc (25th). The Thunder aren’t one of the best three points teams in the league (only 20th with 35.3%) but they sure have the players who can score lights out from there: Anthony, George, Westbrook, Abrines, Patterson will be the main threats.

Defense Against the Big – The Pelicans can count on two of the most dominant big guys in the league: DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Davis is still questionable to play with a head concussion, however, Steven Adams, Grant, Patterson and probably Johnson will have their hands full on the defensive end of the floor. In fact, defending without fouling will be important for Thunder’s big guys. If they will get in foul trouble, Oklahoma City might be outmatched in the paint.

Concentration – So far this season the Thunder have had the bad habit to relax after gaining a big lead. This cost them a lot of games. Oklahoma City showed the type of basketball they are capable of playing, and except for the game in Utah, the Thunder not only were competitive in each of them but also dominated parts of it. The next step, starting tonight, must be doing it for 48 minutes.

Injury Report

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • N/A

New Orleans Pelicans

  • Alexis Ajinca (Knee, Expected to be out until at least Nov 22)
  • Omer Asik (Illness, Expected to be out until at least Nov 20)
  • Frank Jackson (Foot, Expected to be out until at least Dec 15)
  • Solomon Hill (Hamstring, Expected to be out until at least Feb 28)

Teams Stats

Oklahoma City Thunder

PPG 102.9 – OPP PTS 97.5
FG% 44.5 – 3PT% 35.3 – FT% 73.5
APG 21.0 – RPG 42.1 – TOV 14.8

New Orleans Pelicans

PPG 108.4– OPP PTS 110.6
FG% 47.9 – 3PT% 34.6 – FT% 75.1
APG 26.0 – RPG 43.6– TOV 16.4

Photo by Darren Carroll | NBAE via Getty Images

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