New Orleans Pelicans grab chances

New Orleans Pelicans grab chances

The New Orleans Pelicans is looking to grab their opportunity of playing another game when they go against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their play-in match. Pelicans can no longer afford to waste their chance of getting in the playoffs. This is what happened when they lost to their match against the Timberwolves, failing for a spot in the eighth. Thunder on the other hand is looking good coming into this game, as they are in a winning momentum. They won their last two matches in the regular season, which gives them the confidence here. This crucial match will be on April 13, 2023, at 9:30 AM (GMT+8), and will be hosted by the Pelicans.

The hosts finished the regular season at the ninth in the West with 42 wins from their 82 matches. Meanwhile, the visitors had 40 wins from their 82 games, putting them at the 10th in the West. This match is a crucial match for both teams as both are aiming for a spot in the playoffs. The winners in this match will have to face the Timberwolves, who lost their play-in match against the Lakers. On the other hand, the losers in this match can already prepare for the next season, as they will face early elimination. Two teams who had ups and downs this season face in a match that will dictate their future this season.

New Orleans Pelicans

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans
Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans are looking to bounce back from their loss against the Timberwolves on the last day of the regular season. It is just unfortunate that they loss on that match, as it could have given them the chance of being at the better place. During their match against the Timberwolves, they are actually leading by 12 points in the first quarter. Additionally, in the fourth quarter, they are already leading by 14 points. However, they were not able to protect that lead, and eventually give the Timberwolves the win. This is because they were outscored with just 4:21 time left. As they come into this match, they can rely on their field goal shooting, as they shot over 48%. They are at the 15th in offense with 114.4 points per game, and ninth in defense, allowing 112.5 points per game.

With the absence of Zion Williamson, it is Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum leads the Pelicans, chpping in 24.7 and 20.9 points per game each. Williamson will be joined by EJ Liddell, and Jose Alvarado in the sidelines. Larry Nance Jr. on the other hand is a doubt for this match.

Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder
Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder is coming into this match with more confidence as they ended their regular season campaign with a good run. They had back-to-back wins to end their seasons, winning against Grizzlies in their season-ender. During their game against the Pelicans, the first half is just not for them. However, they are fortunate that they were able to take charge during the second half of that match. They outscored the Grizzlies in the third, taking a 12-point lead in the fourth. This is not surprising though as they shot over 50% from the field, but all season, they shot over 46.5%. However, their main strength this season is their free-throw shooting, where they shot over 80.9%. Thunders are at the fifth in offense with 117.5 points per game, but are 19th defensively allowing 116.4 points per game.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to lead the Thunder with 31.4 points per game, while Josh Giddey is with 16.6 points per game. Aleksej Pokusevski, Kenrich Williams, and Chet Holmgren are all absent for this match.

Prediction:

New Orleans Pelicans
Total Under: 116.5
Odds: 0.87

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