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Pelicans vs Warriors Game 2: The Return of Steph Curry

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Updated Jan 5, 2023 · 3:12 AM PST

Stephen Curry
Steph Curry destroyed the Rockets in Game 3. Photo by Noah Salzman (Flickr) CC License
  • Curry is expected to make his 2018 playoff debut in Game 2
  • Pelicans try to escape Golden State with split
  • Warriors getting it done in the playoffs with defense

That thud you heard was the New Orleans Pelicans crashing back down to earth in Game 1 of their Western Conference semi-final against the Golden State Warriors. After suffering their first loss of the playoffs, they’ll try to salvage a split in the Bay area in Game 2 Tuesday, in what is expected to be the return of two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.

Playing without Stephen Curry for the sixth straight playoff game in Game 1 of this series, the Warriors’ other three stars shined bright. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson pumped in 53 points combined, while Draymond Green played his do-everything role to perfection.

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These Warriors are also getting it done on the defensive side of the court, showing that there’s little correlation to regular season and postseason. They are locked in.

Golden State is allowing just 97.5 points per game, while leading all playoff teams in opponent field goal percentage (41.7%) and three point accuracy (30.1%). They’re also outrebounding their opponents by nearly 11 boards a contest.

And this guy is expected to be back tonight. Tell me that the rich don’t get richer.

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As for New Orleans, they looked like a team that went from dominating a video game at beginner level, to unknowingly moving to expert and getting overwhelmed before it was too late.

It’s as simple as their best players not meeting the force the defending champions brought to the table. Anthony Davis delivered a pedestrian 21 points and 10 rebounds – this from a guy coming off a 33.0 point, 11.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks annihilation of the Trail Blazers.

Meanwhile, Jrue Holilday went from the best guard in a series featuring Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum, to the back of the line, behind Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Quinn Cook and Shaun Livingston. Holiday had 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting and four assists. This coming from a guy that averaged nearly 28 points and 6.5 assists for the playoffs.

Combined, they were a minus-50 in a game 1, playing the role of Wile E. Coyote, losing the scheme and getting flattened by the Warriors’ Roadrunner.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors Team Stats


110.7 Offensive Rating 112.1
111.8 Points 108.5
26.0 Assists 27.8
50.3 Field-Goal Percentage 47.9
38.4 Three-Point Percentage 34.7
+2.8 Plus/Minus +11.0

*Through First Round of NBA Playoffs


106.7 Defensive Rating 101.9
109.0 Points 97.5
-3.2 Rebounding Differential +10.7
-0.8 Turnover Differential +2.5
45.9 Field-Goal Percentage 41.7
34.6 Three-Point Percentage 30.1
53.2 Points In The Paint 37.3

*Through First Round of NBA Playoffs

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Head-to-Head Results

Date Location Score Winner
April 28 – Playoff GS 123-101 GS
April 7 – Regular Season GS 126-120 NO
Dec. 4 – Regular Season NO 125-115 GS
Nov. 25 – Regular Season GS 110-95 GS
Oct. 20- Regular Season NO 128-120 GS

Notable Injuries and Absences

Pelicans Warriros
No injuries Stephen Curry: (knee): DAY-TO-DAY

 Straight Up Advice: Pelicans (128-120)

Davis is still the best player in this series, so expect a bounce back performance to help the Pelicans in two categories that they use to ride to victory: pace and scoring inside.

New Orleans is averaging over 101 possessions per contest, to the Warriors’ 97+. Even Thompson admitted the pace was tiring for them. If they can keep that up, the Pelicans will eventually find easier looks at the bucket, where they lead the playoffs in paint scoring at over 53 points a game. They’re going to have to find a way to bridge the 15-rebound deficit in Game 1 as well.

For the Warriors, integrating your best player back into the lineup shouldn’t be that difficult, but it’s hard to tell just how ready Curry is and if he can keep up at this level. That could be the difference.

It’s going to be a close one, but this series heads back to the Big Easy squared up at 1-1.

Team Trends

Pelicans Warriors
New Orleans is 26-18 SU on the road Golden State is 33-12 SU at home
New Orleans is 4-1 SU in playoffs Golden State is 5-1 SU in playoffs
New Orleans is 16-24 SU as an underdog   Golden State is 62-20 SU as a favorite
New Orleans is 17-16-1 ATS after a loss Golden State is 24-37-1 ATS after a win
New Orleans is 49-37-1 ATS this season (57.0%) Golden State is 37-50-1 ATS this season (42.5%)
New Orleans is 28-16-0 ATS on the road    Golden State is 18-26-1 ATS at home 

Additional SU Picks (May 1st)

After putting together arguably the best series of his illustrious career, LeBron James and the Cavaliers don’t get a chance to catch their breath. They kick off Round 2 against the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.

 Match-Up SU Pick
Cavaliers vs Raptors – Game 1 Cavaliers


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