Editorial by Graydon Fox
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On Friday, May 4th, the Golden State Warriors will be on the road to take on the New Orleans Pelicans in game three of their Western Conference Semifinal Series.
The Warriors have a (2-0) series advantage.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Warriors 109.7 – Pelicans 103.3 with an over/under of 213.0.
Statistical Breakdown (2017-18 season):
Point differential: Warriors +6.0 (3rd) > Pelicans +1.3 (13th)
Points per game: Warriors 113.5 (1st) > Pelicans 111.7 (3rd)
Points allowed per game: Warriors 107.5 (18th) > Pelicans 110.4 (29th)
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Warriors 50.3% (1st) > Pelicans 48.3% (2nd)
Three Point Percentage: Warriors 39.1% (1st) > Pelicans 36.2% (13th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense: Warriors 44.7% (3rd) > Pelicans 45.4% (9th)
Turnovers committed per game: Pelicans 14.4 (24th) > Warriors 15.0 (26th)
Turnovers forced per game: Pelicans 13.8 (11th) > Warriors 13.5 (19th)
Rebounds per game: Pelicans 44.3 (10th) > Warriors 43.5 (17th)
Assists per game: Warriors 29.3 (1st) > Pelicans 26.8 (3rd)
The Warriors have a (2-0) series advantage after their 121-116 home victory over the Pelicans. Golden State shot 47% and outrebounded New Orleans 58-54. Stephen Curry made his triumphant return scoring 28 points though he did turn the ball over 6 times. Kevin Durant scored 29 points, dished out 7 assists, and blocked 3 shots. Draymond Green was tremendous and was one rebound shy of a triple-double (20-12-9). The Warriors were overcome a dismal night from Klay Thompson who scored 10 points on just 4-20 from the field. Andre Iguodala (15 points and 8 rebounds) has elevated his play in the playoffs after struggling for much of the regular season. This postseason, the Warriors are averaging 110.3 points per game (3rd) and allowing 100.1 (2nd).
The Pelicans certainly have their hands full trying to defend the highest scoring team in the NBA. New Orleans shot 46% largely due to 66 points in the paint. The glaring difference between these two teams is three-point shooting where the Warriors have a huge advantage. Anthony Davis stuffed the stat sheet with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. Rajon Rondo had 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals. Jrue Holiday had 24 points and 8 assists while Nikola Mirotic added 18 points. It’s fair to wonder how much more production the Pelicans can hope for from their complementary players to have any chance of winning this series. Nobody on the Pelicans bench had a positive net rating and they totaled just 13 points. In the playoffs, the Pelicans are averaging 112.5 points per game (1st) and allowing 111.0 (14th).
The Warriors are now (5-1) against the Pelicans this season scoring at least 110 points in every single game. This might be a different series if All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins were healthy for New Orleans. Stephen Curry definitely looks healthy and that’s a huge problem for a Pelicans team that struggled to defend the Warriors without him. Anthony Davis will continue to put up monster numbers but the Warriors simply have too much offensive firepower.
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