Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans Free NBA Picks February 4, 2015

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It’s getting tight at the foot of the Western Conference playoff race, with the 8 through 10 seeds separated just by a few games. The New Orleans Hornets are now in ninth, two games in front of the tenth-placed Thunder. The two teams face off for an essential home-and-home series this week beginning in New Orleans which may involve some serious ramifications to either team’S NBA Picks playoff hopes.

The NBA has figured out the Oklahoma City Thunder. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has figured out the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook did everything in his power to offer the Oklahoma City Thunder an essential 104-97 win on the Orlando Magic on Monday. With Kevin Durant sitting out once more as a result of his sprained toe, Westbrook put inĀ  25 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists for his second triple-double of the season.

Dion Waiters, is the replacement starting lineup in place of Durant, stepped up with 24 points in 41 minutes, both are his most since being traded to the Thunder last month.

What’s promising for the Thunder is that Durant may prepare yourself to come back in time to handle New Orleans. The bad news is that the Thunder go back to the trail, where they have struggled tremendously . Thunder has lost its last four road games, they even had a NBA Picks loss to struggling New York Knicks despite 40 points from Westbrook.

A huge part of the Thunder’s recent struggles has related to the total disappearance of sixth man Reggie Jackson. Jackson is only gettingsix points per game in his last seven games, and was held scoreless in 17 minutes against the Magic.

With Jackson fading from relevance, the Thunder will be needing anyone to provide some scoring off their bench against the Pelicans. That somebody might be Anthony Morrow, who scored 15 points and hit three three-pointers against the Magic. Oklahoma City has won five of its last six games where Morrow has scored in double-digits.

Anthony Davis made quite a return to the lineup as his 29 points and 13 rebounds keyed the Pelicans’115-100 win on the Atlanta Hawks to finish Atlanta’s massive 19-game winning streak.

Of course, the Pelicans didn’t really miss a beat with Davis gone, either. They defeated the Clippers, 108-103, with Davis sitting out his strained groin. Eric Gordon led the way with 28 points against his old team.

The Pelicans have got full advantage of their recent home-heavy schedule. They’ve won six of their last seven games, six of of at the Smoothie King Center.

The Pelicans have also rooked the Thunder’s apparent inability to deal with Davis. The Pelicans are 2-0 this year against OKC, with Davis averaging 31.5 points and 11 rebounds in those two wins.

Jrue Holiday, who had 25 assists in those two games, shouldn’t be missed as much with Tyreke Evans thriving as the principal ball handler. Evans has dished off 12 or more dimes in four of his last five games, all resulting in Pelicans wins.

New Orleans’spacing also figures to be definitely better this time around with Eric Gordon now in the lineup to spread the ground alongside Ryan Anderson. Gordon and Anderson have 28 three-pointers between them within the last few five games, on average close to three each per game

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