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Game 1 Pregame Primer: Thunder (0-0) vs. Pelicans (0-0)

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Game 1 Pregame Primer: Thunder (0-0) vs. Pelicans (0-0)

NBA.com preview | Tip-off: 8:30pm, Paycom Center | Broadcast: TNT, Bally Sports OK

3 Big Things

  • No Zion, No Problem? While Zion Williamson isn't one to punish a team on the boards (OKC's theoretical Achille's heel this postseason), the absence of one of the most dynamic weapons in the league makes New Orleans' frontcourt much less foreboding. On paper.
  • Loud City. Is cheering loud enough to shake the building like riding a bike again, or will the Game 1 fans need some time to shake off the rust? A loud win, both on the court and in the stands, would be a good way to start quieting concerns about the #1 seed's inexperience.
  • Mr. Consistent. Plenty of unpredictable stuff will happen during the postseason. Regardless of how role players, random bounces, horrible calls, and coaching schemes materialize, the Thunder's hopes will be riding shotgun with their MVP candidate steering. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander mastered regular season offense with steady, dominant scoring that should translate versus the elevated competition he'll now face, four years and a lifetime of development since his last appearance in the playoffs.

If you want my Game 1 prediction, solve today's Pregame Thunder Wordle. Leave yours in the comments.