For a second straight game, the New Orleans Pelicans were within arm’s reach of the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter but both times, they failed to get control or get the win. On Thursday, host the Warriors but they find themselves as a five-point dog on the NBA betting lines.
The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
They still haven’t played their best game. The Warriors played well through three quarters of Game 1 and were up by as many as 23 at one point, yet faded in the fourth and let the Pelicans back into the game. In Game 2, the Warriors had a horrible first quarter before playing better the rest of the way. Curry didn’t even a basket in the fourth quarter yet the Warriors still won by 10.
The challenge is that New Orleans isn’t getting much consistent offense outside of Anthony Davis. They had just 35 points in the second half of Game 2 and while he had 26 and Eric Gordon had 23, the rest of the team combined for just 38 points.
The Warriors are getting a far more balanced effort with the bench providing 25 points in Game 2. There’s still more the starters can do – including Klay Thompson and Curry, if they go off – and that’s a scary thought for the Pelicans, who have yet to win a game in this series.
The New Orleans Pelicans Can Win Because…
They’re back at home and that could be the difference. Remember, the Pelicans have been very close in both games but that was on the road at Golden State. The Warriors were the NBA’s best road team at 39-2 and the Pelicans were a meager 17-24 in away games. That means now that they’re back at home – where they were 28-13 this season – the Pelicans should have a significant edge.
A number of their players produce better at home as Tyreke Evans averaged 18.4 points at home compared to 14.7 on the road. Omer Asik averaged 7.9 points and 56.2% shooting at home compared to 6.7 and 46.6% from the field on the road. Ryan Anderson averaged 4.5 more points and Quincy Pondexter did 1.2 more at home as well. It seems minor but they all add up. If they can score more and get more support for Davis, the Pelicans should at the very least be able to cover the NBA betting odds and possibly win this game.
While the Pelicans have been close, it feels like they’ve played their best basketball while the Warriors have not. Golden State has yet to play a great game from start to finish and that seems quite evident by the fact that they averaged 110.0 points per game in the regular season but have averaged just 101.5 in the playoffs. They were lethal from three-point land in the regular season, shooting 39.8% but so far, they’re connecting at merely 33.9%.
All of the pressure is on New Orleans to get back in this series in Game 3 but I don’t see it happening. The Warriors will play even better and eventually end up winning and covering, so take them with your NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Warriors -5 at Bovada