Charles Barkley picks first-round sweep for OKC Thunder Over Pelicans

The Oklahoma City Thunder (57-25) discovered their first-round opponent after a week’s wait on Friday when the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Sacramento Kings in the NBA Play-In tournament.

Before the game, the TNT panel made their nightly predictions for the games broadcast on the station, and Charles Barkley hoped that the Kings would emerge victorious. The NBA veteran wanted a more competitive series than he predicted during the Thunder vs. Pelicans.

“Without Zion (Williamson), Oklahoma City is going to sweep the Pelicans. It would be a great test (for the Oklahoma City Thunder) if they had Zion (Williamson), but without Zion (Williamson), I think (The New Orleans Pelicans) will be swept,” Barkley said on the TNT pregame show ahead of the Pelicans’ battle with the Sacramento Kings on Friday night to determine the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

While calling for a sweep against the New Orleans Pelicans may be a bit overzealous, the Oklahoma City Thunder are certainly heavy favorites in this series.

Williamson is sidelined with a hamstring injury he suffered on Tuesday in the Play-In against the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans announced that their star forward will be re-evaluated in two weeks. If all goes well, this will sideline him until at least Game 5 of the first round.

Next up, the Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 1 of the First Round at the Paycom Center on Sunday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. local time.

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