Thunder (58-22, 25-15 road) vs. Pelicans (32-48, 20-19 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.5 (7th), Pelicans – 107.3 (13th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.6 (5th), Pelicans – 110.3 (27th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.5 (9th), Pelicans – 92.2 (22nd)
Best course of action for the Thunder: Make quick work of the depleted Pelicans and move on with life as the second seed in the West. The Thunder won’t have Russell Westbrook and may not have a 100 percent Reggie Jackson, but having Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka should be more than enough, unless there’s some serious focus issues tonight.
One thing to pay attention to, though: The Pelicans may be 32-48 and lost eight straight, but they are 20-19 at home. Of course that’s mostly with Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon, but still, they’ve won some games on their home floor. So the Thunder can’t be on cruise control right from tipoff.
Three Big Things
1. Play better than terrible. The Pelicans are so wounded right now that the Thunder’s second unit should be able to handle things on their own. And if they play better than terrible, they may have most of the second half to do so.
2. Nobody get hurt. Two games to go, none of which are particularly important. Let’s just get through things unscathed, shall we?
3. Win and finish this off. Just win the game, Thunder.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Two Games.