New Orleans Improves in Game 2, but Golden State Covers Again

pelicans warriors

Doug Upstone

Monday, April 30, 2018 4:20 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 30, 2018 4:20 PM UTC

Golden State ended New Orleans' eight-game winning streak in decisive fashion in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series. Will this trend continue in Game 2 and the rest of series?

New Orleans (7-4 ATS After 2 Days Off) at Golden State (6-9 ATS After 2 Days Off)Free NBA Pick: WarriorsBest Line Offered: Intertops

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Klay Thompson said New Orleans' style of play is "tiring," but that still didn't stop Golden State from winning easily, 123-101, as seven-point home favorites in Game 1 of their series. Coach Alvin Gentry has his team playing like the Warriors, and they ranked first in the NBA in both pace and fast-break points per game this season. Yet, sometimes you have to choose your battles wisely, especially when you are going up against the best. (Think of it as Bodyarmor taking on Gatorade.)

Normally in a playoff series, when one team dominates the other, the team that lost gets the benefit of the doubt from oddsmakers in a revenge spot. Not fort Tuesdas as the NBA odds have the Warriors up to -11, with a total of 227.

New Orleans Has to Make Adjustments

"Well, that didn't go as planned," Pelicans coach Gentry said in the press conference after Game 1. Yet, later, Gentry said his team was "... not going to change how we play." Of course, we know about doing the same thing and expecting a different result is not the wisest course of action.

It is noble to want to take on the champs at their own game, but you either have to be better than them at it or have other traits that make you better.

The fact is New Orleans is not going to beat Golden State just playing fast. People forget when seeing the dizzying array of shots and potent offense just how good the Warriors are on defense. While they slipped from 1st in shooting percentage allowed and three-point shooting allowed last year, they still finished 3rd and 10th in those respective categories this season.

The Pelicans can still run at every opportunity, but they cannot just jack up shots because players think they are open. New Orleans has to take and make good shots and play better defense so Thompson and Kevin Durant don't make it look so easy.

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Curry Returns, Does Kerr Adjust Offense Back?

Reports have Steph Curry returning to action for Golden State on Tuesday and reading the tea leaves, he should see 15-20 minutes of action. Coach Steve Kerr adjusted his offense beginning in the playoffs to assure the ball went through the hands of Durant and Thompson more. It will be curious to watch if Golden State reverts back to normal or if Kerr keeps the same game plan and expects Curry to adjust and find his spots to take shots, as not necessarily the top or first option.

Right now the Warriors defense is a thing of beauty. In six playoff games, they have held opposing teams to 97.5 points a contest and under 42 percent accuracy. If they keep playing like this, Golden State will make quick work of New Orleans.

What to Expect?

For NBA picks, a lot to digest and breakdown. If New Orleans stubbornly plays the same game, another rout is coming. Thus far in the postseason, double-digit underdogs are 0-6 SU and 2-4 ATS. In these teams' last 11 matchups, Golden State has scored at least 110 points and is 7-4 ATS and is 4-3 ATS when handing out 10 or more digits.

The outcome will revolve around rebounding and free-throw attempts, which the Warriors won convincingly in the opener. Looks for the Pelicans to close the gap, but they still lose by 12.

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