The Thunder were coming home to play the New Orleans Pelicans after a crazy game the previous night before against the Nuggets. OKC lost on a buzzer beater against the Nuggets and wanted to redeem themselves against the Pelicans. The Pelicans lost DeMarcus Cousins last week to injury and have been depending on their other All Star Anthony Davis. It seemed like this whole game the Pelicans had a grip on the lead and didn’t want to give it up. Every time the Thunder made a shot that would get them closer either E’Twaun Moore or Anthony Davis made a key bucket to keep them in front. This was definitely a weird game for OKC as none of the “Big 3” had over 20 points tonight. With that being said the bench was able to step up with Grant/Abrines combining for 26 points. The biggest problem that was noticable while on this 3 game skid is the lack of communication on the defensive end. The Thunder allowed 114 to a team that didn’t have their other leading guy and let them shoot 51% from the field.
The Thunder are missing Andre Roberson big time for his defense and also for his communication when it comes to different screens, plays, and etc. With Roberson on the shelf this has also given a chance for Paul George who I think is the Defensive Player of the Year to showcase his talents on the defensive end. The Thunder will need to play off of George and his style of play on the defensive end so that they can create offense easier. The Big 3 had 44 points combined tonight and weren’t hitting but that wasn’t the reason they lost. No one on the Thunder were able to hold Anthony Davis in check as he went off for 43 points and got those points anyway he wanted too. Davis was hitting from the 3 point line and attacking the paint. It didn’t matter who was on Davis tonight he was willing his baskets in the hoop and was a true force. Anthony Davis put the Pelicans on his back all night and that led to him becoming the all-time leading scorer in their franchise history. The Thunder put Adams, Grant, and Patterson on AD tonight and it didn’t work.
Going into Sunday’s game against the Lakers the Thunder will have to get things back on track defensively. Defense wins championships and I think OKC needs to just focus on that side of the ball. With Roberson out its going to be on PG-13 to take the team to the promise land and it starts with his defense. Russell Westbrook has been the ultimate teammate all season and he knows that he can get his teammates involved early and then he can takeover when he wants too. Westbrook was rushing some shots tonight against the Pelicans but he’s allowed one of those games when people can’t talk about his turnovers or bad shots because of his body of work. Westbrook has been the true leader that this team needs and more and the Thunder will have to take out their 3 game skid on the Lakers Superbowl Sunday.