OKC Thunder have played the Pelicans close this season

OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder are returning to the NBA postseason, tipping off their first play-in tournament game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. The OKC Thunder and Pelicans played four tight games throughout the regular season.

The Thunder went 1-3 against the New Orleans Pelicans during the NBA’s Regular Season. However, the matchups were…strange. Pelicans star Brandon Ingram only played in one of the four games, CJ McCollum played in two of the four games, while Thunder superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played in all four contests.

The OKC Thunder played the New Orleans Pelicans close in their four regular season contests.

However, Oklahoma City Thunder rotations are entirely different now. Aaron Wiggins and Isaiah Joe each saw DNP-CDs in the first game of the four. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was the starting big man, Tre Mann played over 20 minutes, Aleksej Pokusevski logged nearly 30 minutes, and most importantly, Kenrich Williams played a significant role in these contests. Williams is now out for the season. Aleksej Pokusevski and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl have seen their season derail due to injuries.

Despite their three losses, all of them were decided by four points or less. The lone Thunder win came in the final matchup between these two teams, as Oklahoma City took home a 110-96 victory in New Orleans.

On Wednesday, these two teams will meet in the Smoothie King Center for a win-or-game-home matchup. With the pressure at an all-time high, it is safe to assume we are in for another tight contest.

The Thunder will have to lean on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored 26 points per game in his tilts with the New Orleans Pelicans this season. However, Mark Daigneault’s squad must create some secondary offense off SGA’s superstar ability. The Pelicans continue to double Shai Gilgeous-Alexander more than anyone in the league, which is saying a lot for a player who is fourth in the league in double teams faced.

Next. OKC Thunder players react to the NBA Play-in tournament. dark