Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans Preview
Two teams that are headed in completely opposite directions, the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans, will face off tonight on National TV before their star players head to Charlotte for All-Star Weekend.
The Thunder are third in the Western Conference with a 37-19 record, have won their last four straight and are 9-1 in their last ten. Adding another win onto their streak before the break would be about the perfect end to the first part of what’s been a good season in OKC so far. The Pelicans are 13th in the West with a 25-33 record, have lost their last two games and are 3-7 in their last 10 games.
In their last matchup on January 24, the Thunder rolled to a 122-116 win behind a triple-double from Russell Westbrook. Jrue Holiday nearly matched that with 22 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to rally the Pelicans on to a win.
Time: 8:00pm ET
Arena: Smoothie King Arena, New Orleans, LA
Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup
Simply put. the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking fantastic as they close out their pre-All-Star break schedule. They have two legitimate MVP contenders who have managed to mesh well together and the rest of the club seems to have fallen in line behind them. Westbrook seems to be making his way into the history books every season. After averaging a triple-double last season, Westbrook just broke a 51-year old record by Wilt Chamberlain for consecutive triple-doubles with his 10th straight.
Aside from Westbrook and Paul George playing MVP-caliber basketball, the Thunder have also had several players step up into bigger roles, something guard Raymond Felton said is a byproduct of how well Westbrook and George play together.
“When your two superstars on your team are at that level and connected with each other like that, it’s easy for everybody else to fall in suit,” Felton said recently. “Their relationship trickles down to everybody else.”
In their last win against the Portland Trail Blazers, Westbrook and George both finished with triple-doubles. Russ with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, and George with 47 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. With notable role players Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroeder out, the Thunder turned to Felton, who finished with 15 points, and Deonte Burton, the latest two-way player to catch fire in the league, who had 18 points.
New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineup
The New Orleans Pelicans seem like they are going to continue to struggle until they work their issues with Anthony Davis out. They opted not to trade the center at the trade deadline and elected to continue playing him, but in his three games since being back from injury, he’s only played more than 25 minutes once.
The Pelicans were sadly playing better when Davis was injured and they had to rally for some big wins, and that’s no slight to Davis, but the Pelicans really need to decide what they are going to do at this point. You always run the risk at injury, but the Pelicans might be better off playing him full time to get the team back on track.
Against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, the Pelicans were blown out by 30 points, 118-88. Davis struggled and in limited playing time, was one of three starters who only accounted for 13 total points.
New Orleans will have their hands full, even at home tonight, so getting Davis some consistent minutes, especially given it’s the last game before the long All-Star break may prove beneficial as he tries to work out his frustrations.
Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds
The Thunder are 5.5 point favorites to win tonight’s game on the road. They have a solid 17-11 record in away games this season and are 30-15 as the favorite. New Orleans is 16-11 at home and 7-21 as the underdog.
The over/under is set at 237 points and the Thunder are -210 on the moneyline after opening at -160.
Bet This Game
You can bet on sports in a number of US states now. Pennsylvania and New Jersey have legal and live sportsbooks. Lineups.com has all the information you need to select the best online sportsbook. Check out our industry leading FanDuel sportsbook promo code, DraftKings sportsbook promo code & Pointsbet promo code offers for the highest sign up bonuses.
DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections.