Oklahoma City Thunder vs New Orleans Pelicans: Match Preview and Predictions - 13th February 2020
Date & Time: Thursday, 13th February 2019 (8:00 PM ET)
Venue: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Last Game Results
Oklahoma City Thunder (32-22): 106-114 loss to the San Antonio Spurs (11th February, Tuesday)
New Orleans Pelicans (23-31): 138-117 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers (11th February, Tuesday)
Oklahoma City Thunder Preview
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the surprise packages of the season thus far. After having lost star guard Russell Westbrook and Paul George during the off-season, many believed the Thunder would struggle to stay competitive.
However, that's not been the case and 54 games into the new season, Oklahoma find themselves well ensconced in the playoff spots.
With a 32-22 record, the Thunder occupy the sixth spot in the Western Conference Standings and will be looking to get back to winning ways following their shock defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs last time around.
Key Player - Chris Paul
Rumours of a potential Chris Paul trade have been doing the rounds all season, but that hasn't hindered the former Los Angeles Clippers star, who has been putting up eye-popping numbers on a nightly basis.
Paul is averaging 17.5 points, 5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game this season and shooting 48.6% from the field.
He's fresh off a 31-point display against the San Antonio Spurs and will look to torch the Pelicans, who have one of the worst defenses in the league.
Thunder predicted lineup
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Chris Paul, Luguentz Dort
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
When the New Orleans Pelicans drafted Zion Williamson in the off-season, they instantly became one of the favourites to land a playoff spot in the West. However, an untimely injury to their star forward put paid to their plans of a top-four finish.
A slow start to the season meant they fell well out of playoff contention, but they've since recovered, winning six of their last eight games, including three on the trot. That's moved them up to the 11th spot in the Western Conference Standings, 4.5 games behind the Grizzlies, who occupy the final playoff spot.
The Pelicans will next play host to the Thunder and a win would do wonders for their confidence going forward whilst also moving them one step closer to a top-eight berth.
Key Player - Zion Williamson
After missing the first half of the season due to injury, Zion Williamson seems to be hitting his stride.
The first overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion has already set a host of records just nine games into his NBA career.
Zion has scored at least 14 points in each of his first nine games, becoming the first rookie in 28 years to achieve the feat. He’s also the first player in NBA history to record seven 20-point games across his first nine games.
Zion enters this clash on the back of a career-high 31-point night against the Blazers and will look to continue putting up huge numbers going forward.
Pelicans predicted lineup
Zion Williamson, Josh Hart, Derrick Favors, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday
Thunder vs Pelicans Match Prediction
The Thunder have won seven of their last 10 games, but enter this clash on the back of two successive defeats.
The Pelicans, on the other hand, have reeled off three successive victories and will be high on confidence. Their offense is clicking with Zion back in the lineup and the absence of Brandon Ingram has not impacted them at all.
Their bench production has been admirable as well, and they should have enough in the tank to stifle the Oklahoma challenge.
Where to Watch Thunder vs Pelicans?
The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports New Orleans, FOX Sports Oklahoma and TSN from 8:00 PM (ET). You can live stream the game via NBA League Pass.Published 13 Feb 2020, 06:01 IST