New Orleans Pelicans vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Injury Updates, Expected Lineups, and Game Prediction

Published 12/31/2020, 3:00 PM EST
Dec 14, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) shoots the ball over Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The New Orleans Pelicans will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder for an enticing Western Conference matchup on Friday night. The game will take place at 8:00 PM ET, and the Pelicans will be looking forward to the game following their defeat against the Suns.

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New Orleans was completely dominated by the Suns, who won comfortably by 25 points. While the team was completely outplayed by their opponents, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball in particular struggled to find their touch.

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Meanwhile, the Thunder is practically looking at a rebuild. After trading star guard Chris Paul to Phoenix, they have completely embraced a rebuild. But still, they would like to get to a respectable record this season. Which team will get a win under their belt? Take a look at the injury updates and expected lineups for both sides.

New Orleans Pelicans injury updates and predicted lineup

The opening week of the season was quite exciting for the organization. They had a 2-1 record, and Brandon Ingram was named as the player of the week for his contributions. If the Pelicans want to win an NBA Championship one day, they will be expecting more of the same from him.

Dec 25, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) controls the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the injury report for NOLA, the last time, Wenyen Gabriel was sidelined against the Suns. As of now, there are no updates on his knee injury, but he will most likely sit this one out too. Apart from him, the entire roster is healthy so the expected lineup is Lonzo Ball (G), Eric Bledsoe (G), Brandon Ingram (F), Zion Williamson (F), and Steven Adams (C).

Oklahoma City Thunder injury updates and predicted lineup

Last season, OKC shocked the entire league by having a respectable record and making it to the playoffs. Although they were sent home in the opening round of the postseason, they pushed the Rockets to seven games. However, this year is quite different, as they traded away their superstar and have handed the keys of franchise to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

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Dec 18, 2020; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) compete for a loose ball during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

As far as their injury report is concerned, Trevor Ariza is still listed out due to personal reasons. Along with Ariza, George Hill might miss this game too, as he is listed day-to-day right now. Keeping the injuries in mind, the predicted lineup for the Thunder is Luguentz Dort (G), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (G), Justin Jackson (F), Al Horford (F), and Isiah Roby (C).

Game prediction

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The Pelicans have a better lineup than the Thunder. If they play their natural game, there is no reason why NOLA shouldn’t get their 3rd win of the season.

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Aikansh Chaudhary

771 articles

Aikansh Chaudhary is an NBA columnist for Essentially Sports. Previously, he helped rank various websites using the latest SEO techniques, and wrote over 2000 articles during his stint as a freelance writer. A die hard Lakers fan, Aikansh will forever uphold LeBron James as the GOAT.

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