Warriors' defense faces tough challenge against Pelicans, Davis
- Author: Regina Holmes Apr 30, 2018,
Apr 30, 2018, 3:22
"Once I get through all those checkpoints and have confidence in myself and my body I'll be out there, whether that's tomorrow night or Monday or Tuesday, whenever Game 2 is, that's the process that I'm all too familiar with".
The question remains: Just how good are the New Orleans Pelicans?
Once Golden State got going in transition, the crowd became deafening and the Pelicans couldn't keep pace - with tempo being something the Warriors know is key this series. It's not like he's going to miss the entire series.
The Warriors are still favorites, especially if Curry can return for the majority of the series, but the Pels have won nine in a row and 24 of their last 32 for a reason.
And they didn't need Stephen Curry to take Game 1 from the New Orleans Pelicans. Klay Thompson had 27 points and six rebounds. Even with Curry not at full strength, the Pelicans will still have to guard him out to the halfcourt line, opening up space for the rest of the Warriors' offense.
With Curry in the lineup this season, the Warriors went 41-10 while averaging 120.4 points per 100 possessions, which would be the best offensive rating over the past 20 seasons. The decision came down to the fact that Curry has only played one 5-on-5 contact scrimmage since he sprained his left MCL in a March 23 win over Atlanta. His return would be a huge welcome for Golden State, which showed some vulnerabilities in his absence.
Also, this is the same Anthony Davis that didn't score fewer than 22 in averaging 33 per game helping the Pels sweep the Trailblazers in round one. Jrue Holiday, in particular, needs to find whatever superpowers he had in the first round and equip them. "Well, that's kind of unfair to Davis - Durant has a favorable matchup against literally every defender in the league with his combination of size (6'11") and perimeter shooting ability (42% 3PT).
Green finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, and Kevin Durant tallied 26 points and 13 rebounds for the defending champion Warriors who took command of the contest in the second quarter.
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Can the Warriors contain Davis?
Maybe the Pelicans will get up off the deck. Draymond Green recorded a triple double before anybody could blink.
Rondo couldn't make the Warriors pay as he went just 4-of-10 from the field and 0-of-2 from deep, and was egged on by the Oracle crowd to shoot it anytime he touched the ball.
The Warriors had no such problems on either end, racing up and down the floor with the swagger of a championship team that is ready to hit its stride after going through periods of malaise throughout the regular season.
However, basketball is about far more than standing, catching and releasing.
The Pelicans swept the Portland Trail Blazers in their first-round series. The Warriors will have a hard task on their hands in trying to lock down Davis, but the Pelicans will be hard-pressed to keep up their hot streak from their series against Portland after almost a week off.