- 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.
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.
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
*Through First Round of NBA Playoffs
|53.2||Points In The Paint||37.3|
*Through First Round of NBA Playoffs
|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
|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.
|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.
|Cavaliers vs Raptors – Game 1||Cavaliers|