Game On: Thunder @ Pelicans

Published: April 14, 2014

Tonight the Pelicans take on the Thunder in the second to last game of the year for both teams. If the Pelicans are to avoid a 50 loss season, they’ll need to get a win either tonight or on Wednesday against the Rockets.

If we’re to believe in certain aspects of Multiverse theory, there very well be a healthy Pelicans team heading into the second last game of the regular season with a roster of Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson, each of whom has remained healthy throughout the year and as a result have grown not only as individuals, but as a cohesive unit intent on one thing– making the postseason.

It’s no guarantee that a healthy Pelicans squad would have made the playoffs this year in the Wild West, but it sure would have been nice to have found out at least a little bit more about where we are as a team. As it is we’re stuck concluding our season watching four or five players in the starting lineup who wouldn’t be in the first seven for any playoff team in the West.

As the most disappointing season in Pelicans history (also the greatest) winds down, we’re left to enjoy the little things– Jeff Withey leading the team in scoring against the Suns, Austin Rivers putting up 20 points to go with 10 boards and 6 assists against the Rockets, Tyreke Evans sort of figuring his game out, a late eight point lead against the Rockets, Jeff Southerland seeing some time, and of course Eric Gordon not playing at all.

Tonight, against a Thunder team which has already clinched the number two spot out West and with nothing meaningful left to play for this regular season (but still intent to let Durant keep crushing it), the Pelicans will attempt to break an eight game losing streak in which they’ve been outscored by an average of 12 a game. Will they do it? Probably not, but during this losing streak the remaining healthy roster has shown that they’re capable of upsetting a superior opponent.

Mike Pellissier dissected this matchup just a few days ago, so I’ll direct you to his preview and recap for further insight into what’s to come. If Roberts and Evans don’t play, as I suspect they won’t, we may be in even more trouble than we were a few days ago.

The key to tonight’s game?

Don’t expect too much.

Pregame Update: Greg Stiemsma is finally gone. Replacing him on the roster is the immortal Melvin Ely. You may remember Ely from his days with the Hornets from 2007-2009.


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