The New Orleans Pelicans are not favored to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight, as oddsmakers have labeled them as 2.5-point underdogs about three hours before game time.
Zion Williamson (re-aggravated right hamstring strain) remains out indefinitely, Dyson Daniels (right ankle sprain) has been ruled out for the two-game road trip prior to the All-Star break and CJ McCollum is listed as questionable on the latest injury report with a right ankle sprain.
One ray of sunshine, Willie Green expects for last week’s trade acquisition, Josh Richardson, to receive his first minutes in a Pelicans uniform against the Thunder, per Sunday’s media interview.
“We’re really excited about Josh Richardson, a player we’ve liked for quite awhile,” David Griffin said on Sunday.
Not only did the executive vice president of basketball operations laud Richardson’s human characteristics as being a match for New Orleans’ locker room, his skill set makes for a better fit on the roster than Devonte’ Graham.
“From a playing perspective, he gives us a little more size, gives us a little more lineup versatility and has a similar shooting profile to Devonte’,” Griffin said.
Richardson can guard 1-3 and his career regular season per-36 minute averages are solid: 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals. During his last two stops in Boston (39.7 3PT%) and San Antonio (38.4 3PT%), he’s shown good proficiency from behind the arc.
This is Richardson’s eighth season. His addition should add some much-needed veteran leadership to a team that has utilized seven players with two years or less NBA experience in the rotation.
“Another aspect and component of what Josh brings is his experience,” Green said. “He’s played on some really good teams, played in some high level games. He adds that to our program. It’s something that we kind of sought after, especially with having a young team.”
Richardson has appeared in 480 regular season games and also has 30 playoff games under his belt. He was once a prominent member of Miami’s starting lineup and then gained valuable experience as a reserve over the last few years.
The Pelicans are in need of bodies right now and Richardson has the ability to provide worthy minutes. Here’s to him getting off on the right foot against a difficult opponent tonight.
Who: New Orleans Pelicans (29-28) at Oklahoma City Thunder (27-28)
When: February 13, 7:00 p.m. CT
Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass
Where to listen: WRNO 99.5
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