Tip-Off: 7 PM CST
Location: Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, LA)
Radio: The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game
Player to Watch
F-C Anthony Davis was essentially the only reason New Orleans even stood a chance in their first meeting with the Thunder just two and a half weeks ago. In that game, Davis scored 37 points while shooting 14/32 from the floor and 9/11 from the free throw line. He also managed to grab 15 rebounds, steal the ball twice, and block 4 shots. Davis is currently second in the league in scoring behind Russell Westbrook, ninth in rebounding, and first in blocked shots, so the Thunder will have their hands full in trying to contain Davis on both ends of the floor.
Keys to the Game
- Get Out In Transition: In Oklahoma City’s first meeting with New Orleans, the Thunder managed to score 25 fast break points, 9 more than they average. With an offense led by speed demon Russell Westbrook, the Thunder love to get out and run, so they will likely look to be successful in this area again against a Pelicans squad that is mediocre at best at defending the fast break.
- Pound the Paint: The Thunder continues to lead the league in points in the paint with 50.1 per game, and on December 4th against the Pelicans, Oklahoma City managed to score 62 points down low. Anthony Davis can be a nightmare defensively, but the Thunder have enough options to create problems down low. If Russell Westbrook can create penetration in the paint, the rest of the Thunder offense will open up.
- Start (and Finish) Strong: Oklahoma City has had a problem this season with starting games off slowly, and as a result, the Thunder has struggled to win games that they should easily win. Oklahoma City led New Orleans for most of the game in the first meeting between the two teams, and the Thunder need to do the same tonight.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.