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Pelicans vs Warriors Picks and Odds

Nick Krueger

by Nick Krueger in NBA Basketball

Updated May 13, 2021 · 9:06 PM PDT

Steve Kerr talking to Steph Curry
With their play-in positioning still to be determined, how will Steve Kerr manage Steph Curry's minutes when they play the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night? (Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • With a play-in berth locked up, Golden State is a heavy home favorite against New Orleans on Friday night (ESPN, 9:30pm ET)
  • New Orleans could be without as many as five of its top players, but were eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday against Dallas
  • Read below for a full breakdown and a pick on the game

The New Orleans Pelicans are eliminated from playoff contention and riddled with injuries. They’ve lost three of their last four games on their current road trip, but have lost even more players to injury.

The Warriors are without a few of their players as well, but head coach Steve Kerr will have more options than Stan Van Gundy when the two teams meet on Friday night. Golden State has locked up a play-in spot, and is a 6.5-point favorite against the shorthanded Pelicans.

This is the third and final meeting between the two teams, who split the previous two games. In both, the losing team failed to cover.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors Odds

Team Spread at FanDuel Moneyline Total
New Orleans Pelicans +6.5 (-110) +225 TBD
Golden State Warriors -6.5 (-110) -275 TBD

Odds as of May 13th

Pelicans? More Like Wounded Ducks

Four of New Orleans usual starting five are injured and aren’t expected to play much, if at all, in the team’s remaining two games.

Steven Adams and Brandon Ingram, who each missed the team’s last game in Dallas, are questionable to play Friday. Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart are all ruled out, which leaves Eric Bledsoe as the only starter likely to play significant minutes. Bledsoe shared top-scorer honors on Tuesday against the Mavericks with Jaxson Hayes, with both scoring 15 points.

Hayes has stepped up in the absence of Adams, and has put up at least 15 points in three of his last four games. He’s not nearly the presence under the basket that Adams is, but has played well to close out the season. New Orleans is averaging five fewer points per game than its season average over its last three, while Golden State has held opponents to the league’s third-lowest field goal percentage  this season.

Curry Looking to Tighten Things Up

With an identical record as  the Memphis Grizzlies, Kerr may or may not have a preference as to who he would like to face to start the play-in, and Steph Curry’s minutes might reflect that Friday. However, Curry is coming off of a pair of fairly inefficient performances against Utah and Phoenix and likely wants a chance to sharpen up.

Against a New Orleans team that may be mailing it in on the road, he probably won’t get the 36 minutes on the floor that he has in each of his last two games. Still, Curry will want to at least close out the regular season on a high. The Pels have had the fifth-worst three-point defense this season, while the Warriors have scored an average of 52 points from distance over their last three games.

New Orleans was already a vulnerable three-point defense to begin with, and without so many key players, it’s not going to get any better. Damion Lee and Kent Bazemore offer a little more outside shooting for Golden State, and New Orleans simply doesn’t have the guns to keep up if Curry and company get into a groove early on.

No Motivation for NOLA

Almost immediately, basketball media was wondering why New Orleans wasn’t able to put it together this season, and now the wheels are completely off the wagon. Maybe Adams and Ingram get on the floor tomorrow night if for no other reason but to add bodies to the rotation.

Both are dealing with toe and ankle injuries and aren’t going to be nearly as mobile as they’re accustomed to being. Young players like Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker will get another chance to get some minutes for the Pels, but that provides little optimism against the Warriors, who have one six of their last seven.

Considering New Orleans’ injury woes, there isn’t much for sportsbooks to base a total on. Regardless, the Warriors are playing well enough and have the players available to cover the spread on Friday.

The Pick: Golden State -6.5 (-110)

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