Viewers' Guide: Pelicans vs. Thunder showdown highlights Sunday tripleheader on NBA TV
Suns at Bucks (3:30 ET, NBA TV)
Pelicans at Thunder (7 ET, NBA TV)
Hornets at Clippers (9:30 ET, NBA TV)
Brow and Boogie
The New Orleans Pelicans struck the boldest move of the trade deadline, picking up former Kings center DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to team with their All-Star big man Anthony Davis. And very, very early results have been mixed. In their first game together, Cousins finished with an impressive 27 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists. But the Pelicans also lost by 30 points to the offensive juggernaut Houston Rockets.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma City, the Thunder were also active at the trade deadline, moving backup point guard Cameron Payne to Chicago and picking up two rotation pieces in Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson. At 33-25, the Thunder seem to be safely ensconced in the Western Conference playoff picture, with a chance at moving up in the season’s final quarter of games.
Russell Westbrook just keeps on keeping on. After entering the All-Star break averaging a triple-double, Westbrook put up 17 points, 17 assists and 18 rebounds in his first game back on Friday night against the Lakers. If Westbrook is able to continue to produce at this staggering pace, he’ll be the first player to average a triple-double for a season since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62.
Pelicans’ Perimeter Problems
In acquiring Cousins, the Pelicans traded away rookie shooting guard Buddy Hield. They picked up shooter Omri Casspi from Sacramento, but in his first game with the Pelicans, Casspi suffered a broken hand. The interior-heavy Pelicans waived Casspi to create roster space to sign some guard help. That’s after the Pelicans signed two guards (Jarrett Jack and Hollis Thompson) to 10-day contracts since the All-Star break.
The Brow Remains
With all the buzz about New Orleans picking up Cousins, it has temporarily overshadowed the outstanding season Anthony Davis has put up. The All-Star MVP is fifth in the NBA in points per game at 27.7, and tied for the lead in blocks per game at 2.5 a night. In three games against the Thunder this season, all losses, Davis has averaged 26.3 points along with 11.3 rebounds.
The Pelicans and Thunder aren’t the only big game on NBA TV on Sunday, as the game is bookended by two compelling matchups. Earlier in the day, the multi-talented Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will host the Phoenix Suns (3:30 ET). And the nightcap will be the Charlotte Hornets against the finally healthy Clippers (9:30 ET), as Chris Paul tries to the get his Clippers back in a groove.
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Coverage beings on NBA TV with the Autotrader Pregame Show at 3 ET.