game-21-preview-pelicans

Tip-Off: 6 PM CST

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)

Television: FSOK

Radio: The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

Player to Watch

F-C Anthony Davis is one of the few players in the league that can put up statistics in such a manner that puts him into a conversation with Russell Westbrook. Through 19 games so far this season, Davis is averaging 31.5 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, and 1.7 steals a game. Thunder F Domantas Sabonis will have his hands full this evening, and he will likely need help when dealing with Davis in the paint. Davis injured his shoulder in the Pelicans game against the Clippers on Friday, but he should be fine to play tonight. If Oklahoma City can keep Anthony Davis from putting up big numbers down low, the Thunder could win this one easily.

Keys to the Game

  • Control the Glass: New Orleans is an mid-tier rebounding team, averaging 43.4 rebounds a game (19th in the league), but they are dead last in the NBA in offensive rebounds with only 7.9 per game. The Thunder have struggled to keep teams from scoring on second-chance opportunities, but the Pelicans are not great in this area. On the other hand, Oklahoma City ranks third in the NBA with 45.7 total rebounds per game and 10.8 of those come on the offensive end of the floor. This creates second-chance scoring opportunities for the Thunder where they average 14.4 per game (9th in the NBA).
  • Take Care of the Ball: Oklahoma City ranks 23rd in the league in turnovers with 15.7 per game, but the Thunder has been doing a much better job of taking care of the ball over the last couple of weeks. During Oklahoma City’s current 4-game win streak, the Thunder has averaged 13 turnovers, which is incredible considering two of those games have been in overtime. The Thunder need to continue to make wise decisions with the ball if they want to continue to come away with a win.
  • Take Good Shots: New Orleans is a mediocre defensive team, which is evident by their ability to get blocks and steals. However, the Pelicans allow an above-average number of shot attempts to go in. If the Thunder can take good shots, they will have no problem with scoring.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.