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NBA Weekend Specials: Take the Thunder and Pelicans for the Win

Fri, Nov 17, 11:15am by Staff Writer

Two interesting road trips this weekend as the Thunder head to San Antonio and the Pelicans do battle with the Nuggets in Denver.

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs

Saturday, 18 November 2017, 12.00pm at AT&T Centre, San Antonio

The Thunder have struggled with the pre-season expectations of being the new super team in the West. The acquisitions of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George mean that Russell Westbrook is no longer a one-man band.

After dropping the first four games in November, the Thunder have bounced back with a three-game winning streak. The demolition of the Bulls (92-79) on Wednesday, may be a sign of things to come as they head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs.

Kiwi Steve Adams could be a welcome return for the Thunder. The big-man participated in practice this week after sitting out the game against the Bulls with a calf injury.

The Spurs have injury worries of their own with Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Derrick White all unavailable for the game against the Thunder.

Despite the injury woes, the Spurs (9-6) have found a way to remain in touch with the leaders in the Western Conference.

Championships aren’t won in November, but Coach Popovich has managed to get the best out of LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds, in the loss to Timberwolves earlier this week.

With the absence of Tony Parker, Aussie fans will have the chance to see Patty Mills test himself against reigning MVP Westbrook. The feeling around the league, is that the Thunder are finally starting to click.

The big guns for the Thunder should be able to be get the job done, against a Spurs team that struggled to put together points against the Timberwolves.

The Thunder should win this match by a margin of 1-10 points.

Best bet: Thunder to win

New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets

Saturday, 18 November 2017, 2.30pm at Pepsi Centre, Denver

This is a delicate road-game for the Pelicans, after coming off a 125 -116 loss to the Raptors earlier this week. A win would catapult them above the sixth placed Nuggets (8-6), in the Western Conference.

The Pelicans have dropped two of their last seven games. While the Pelicans have dominated teams in the paint they have struggled to match-up at the defensive end of the court.

Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins ran into early foul trouble against the Raptors, and the Pelicans were exposed on court. The Raptors nailed a record 16 three-pointers.

The addition of the Rajon Rondo to the Pelicans will bring out the best in the Pelican’s dynamic duo. Rondo had eight assists coming-off the bench against the Raptors.

The Nuggets struggled without Gary Harris in the loss to the Blazers, shooting 35% from the field.

Harris trained with the team earlier in the week and is looking to get back on court after injuring his shoulder against the Thunder. Averaging 12.4 (PPG) it’s Harris’ work on defence that could give the Nuggets a real edge against the Pelicans.

The Nuggets have been consistent at home (5-1), with their only loss coming against the Warriors in their last six games.

The finesse of Rajan Rondo should be enough to help the Pelicans bounce back with a win.

This match will come down to the final play, if Cousins and Davis can stay out of foul trouble then the Pelicans will close out this game in the clutch.

Best bet: Pelicans to win

*Sportsbet odds will be posted when they become available

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