- The New Orleans Pelicans had their lowest scoring game of the postseason on Sunday. Can they bounce back on Tuesday night in Game 5?
- Will Kevin Durant continue his dominant play and punish the Pelicans on both ends of the court?
- Is “Playoff Rondo” capable of producing another postseason masterpiece?
One of the NBA’s most entertaining playoff series could come to a premature end on Tuesday, May 8th when the Warriors welcome the Pelicans back to Oracle Arena.
Golden State took a commanding 3-1 series lead on Sunday afternoon by crushing New Orleans 118-92. It was the Warriors’ most lopsided victory of the postseason, and it served as a not-so-subtle reminder of how dominant the defending champs can be when their offense is truly clicking.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 38 points on 15-27 shooting, and was the team’s focal point from the opening tip onwards.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 38 points on 15-27 shooting, and was the team’s focal point from the opening tip onwards. The Warriors repeatedly looked for the nine-time All-Star throughout the game, and he responded by nailing deep threes and punishing the Pelicans in the paint. Steph Curry also chipped in with 23 points, and Klay Thompson had 13 as he continues to try to find his groove.
Anthony Davis paced the Pelicans with 26 points and 12 rebounds, but New Orleans shot just 36.% from the floor and 15.4% from behind the arc. They also turned the ball over 19 times. Those miscues led to their lowest scoring output of the postseason, and they now find themselves on the brink of elimination.
The Pelicans will need a huge game from Davis on Tuesday – and more than a little luck – to extend this series and continue their surprising playoff run.
|May 6, 2018 – Playoff||NO||118-92||GS|
|May 4, 2018 – Playoff||NO||119-100||NO|
|May 1, 2018 – Playoff||GS||121-116||GS|
|April 28, 2018 – Playoff||GS||123-101||GS|
|April 7, 2018||GS||126-120||NO|
|December 4, 2017||NO||125-115||GS|
|November 25, 2017||GS||110-95||GS|
Golden State has won five of their previous seven match-ups against New Orleans, including their decisive Game 1 victory on April 28th. That particular tip-off set the tone for what has been a fast and furious series played at a breakneck pace.
The Warriors and Pelicans are the two highest scoring teams in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and NOLA leads all squads with a blisteringly fast pace of 104.48. Their pedal-to-the-metal approach has made every game must-see TV.
Team Playoff Stats
Playoff Betting Trends
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|(C) DeMarcus Cousins – Achilles – OUT FOR SEASON||(G) Patrick McCaw – Back – INDEFINITE(F/C)|
|(C) Alexis Ajinca – Knee – OUT FOR SEASON||(SF) Chris Boucher – Ankle – INDEFINITE|
Warriors at Pelicans Game 5 Betting Advice: Warriors 120-108
In Game 4, the Warriors discovered the perfect recipe for beating the Pelicans, and it only had two ingredients: 1) Kevin Durant and 2) Killer defense.
It may seem obvious, but the Warriors temporarily forgot that they had the most lethal offensive player on the planet. Durant averaged just 20 shots in the first three games of the series, but Golden State made a conscious decision to get him going early in Game 4, and he responded with a team-high 38 points. KD’s relentless drives and picture-perfect pull-ups got the Pelicans in early foul trouble and led to countless clean looks on the perimeter for the Warriors’ other sharp-shooting stars.
KD’s relentless drives and pull-ups got the Pelicans in early foul trouble and led to countless clean looks on the perimeter for the Warriors’ other sharp-shooting stars.
Golden State also came up big defensively by getting back to the small ball principles that won them the championship last season. Steve Kerr went with Draymond Green at the five and made a concerted effort to speed up the game and force the Pelicans into making poor decisions. They aggressively chased Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday off the three-point line and made NOLA cough up the ball by speeding up the tempo. Anthony Davis committed six turnovers and Rajon Rondo had four, as they both dealt with increased pressure and rapidly closing lanes.
Golden State’s strategy led to a 26-point victory, and it should lead to another comfortable double-digit win tonight as they close out the series and head back to the Western Conference Finals for the fourth straight year.
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