Main key to an OKC Thunder win in Game 4 to sweep Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The OKC Thunder once again effortlessly pulled away in game three and won 106-85 against the Pelicans on Saturday afternoon. Josh Giddey shined by dropping 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists while shooting 4-of-7 from deep. Oklahoma City now holds a 3-0 lead, which no team has ever blown in the history of the NBA.

Can they complete the sweep? There's one key factor Mark Daigneault's squad must hone in on. 

Main key to Thunder winning Game 4 

At this point, the basketball part of the equation is set. New Orleans has yet to hit 93 points in any of the games.

Lu Dort has held Brandon Ingram to just 16.3 points per game on an atrocious 43.9 effective field goal percentage. CJ McCollum owns an even worse effective field goal percentage, and his turnovers are a glaring issue.

Meanwhile, Trey Murphy III and Jonas Valanciunas both lack the chops to create consistent offense. 

The Thunder's defense has New Orleans’ limited offense in a stranglehold. On the other end, OKC is shooting 42 percent from deep, and the Pelicans cannot stop them from scoring at the rim.

As a result, the ball club leads the playoffs in true shooting percentage

They should complete the sweep on paper. However, the postseason requires mental toughness and intense concentration.

Therefore, the key to winning Game 4 will revolve around their level of focus and ability to stay in the present. OKC cannot be thinking about the Clippers or Mavericks or extra rest, nor should Mark Daigneault’s Coach of the Year award distract them. 

Although OKC is extremely young, the team has an air of maturity and professionalism well beyond their years. If any youthful squad possesses the mental strength to stay locked in and focus on one game at a time, it’s the Thunder.

Overall, their mentality will be a huge factor in whether they advance to the next round tonight.