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Pelicans PG Elfrid Payton out vs. Thunder

New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton will not play in tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder per Will Guillory of The Athletic. He was listed as day-to-day leading up to the game.

It is not a surprise that Payton will not play. In fact, it is commonplace around the league to sit guys who might be able to play but aren’t 100 percent. With the impending All-Star Break there is no reason to push players who could be getting extra rest.

Payton’s injury is a strained right ankle. This will be the ninth straight game that the Pelican point guard will miss because of the injury.

Basketball is a sport where a sprained ankle goes a long way. With all the running there is a high chance of re-injury if Payton were to play through it. This is the Pelicans last game before the break, so giving him the game off tonight ensures he will be healthy for the second half of the season.

The Pelicans will be excited to get Payton back. He contributes a solid 9.8 points per game on the season. He also does a good job running the offense with his 5.8 assists per game. With him out, Frank Mason becomes the starter at point guard.

This game means very little to the Pelicans anyway. Their 25-33 record entering play is good for 13th in the Western Conference and 5.5 games out of a playoff spot. The Thunder, however, will gladly take a win to help them improve upon their third place standing.