NBA Picks: Can the Pelicans Upset the Warriors at Home?

Charles Stark

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 11:57 AM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2015 11:57 AM GMT

I am backing the New Orleans Pelicans vs. the Golden State Warriors on the plus money line in this Tuesday night matchup.  Recent trends have me leaning towards the underdog to win this game outright.

Down to the wire
After the pretty bad loss in San Antonio NBA odds makers have made Golden State a small -4 favorite versus the Pelicans.  I think we have caught the sports books in a good spot though where the Warriors have to be made the favorite but actually this game could go either way. This game is meaningful mainly to New Orleans who are battling for their playoff life.  Right now they are a half game behind the Thunder and have a pretty tough schedule ahead, they do get to play three of their final six games at home so there is still some hope.  Golden State has absolutely owned the Pelicans winning the last 253 times against them (ok it’s only 11 but still…).  The last time these two met in New Orleans the game went into to overtime, and that was without Davis.  Being the best team with the best record has its merits but in this spot the motivation factor definitely goes to the Pelicans. 

 

Bombs away
On the year Golden State leads the league in three point shooting percentage at 39.5% per game average. They also are fourth in the league in three pointers attempted and second in the league in three pointers made per game at 10.7.  New Orleans can also shoot the three, on the year they are ranked fourth in the league in three point percentage at 37.1%. What is surprising though is that they have not shot it more on this season, in shots beyond the arc attempted and made they ranked in the bottom half of the league.  In their last three games the Pelicans attempts and 3’s made have gone up a touch, but I think they might want to consider that dimension of their game even more.  In the last three games they lead the league in three point percentage at almost 50%. This will be an interesting matchup as the Warriors are one of the premier defensive teams in the league and that includes defending beyond the arc where they are ranked third in the league in defensive three point shooting percentage at 33.4%.  For this game though I am looking more at the fact the New Orleans is playing well on the offensive end and that although Golden State may want to play tough defense, I am just not sure how motivated they will be to get where they need to be in their rotations.  Simply put, defending the three is not easy, the Pelicans are shooting the ball well from distance, and I don’t think the Warriors will bring their usual intensity.

 

Recent observations
In this past week New Orleans is playing better than Golden State.  They are shooting the ball better from distance (mentioned above) and from the field (46.8% to 44.8% for the Warriors).  They are also playing better defense from a shooting percentage standpoint allowing 44.9% from the field while Golden State is allowing 47.4% in that same time frame.

The Pelicans really need this game. It is no small task to beat the Warriors, and in these past two years they have come up empty.  But with their recent play, the last time these two met up here, and the stronger motivation I like the Pelicans to pull off the upset in this spot for my NBA picks.

NBA Pick:  New Orleans +money line 

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