Pelicans-Warriors Game 1

On April 17, 2015, in Free Picks, NBA, by Stephen

Pelicans plus 12 at Warriors

The Pelicans have a lot of momentum and confidence. They’ve been in playoff mode for weeks while the Warriors clinched its top spot weeks ago. It’s just not that easy to turn the switch on and off to cover a double-digit spread against a worthy opponent that has the best big man in the game, Anthony Davis.

The Warriors have match up issues against Davis and Omar Asik with a small lineup. Davis averaged 29.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in two games against the Warriors. Davis finished the season with the best player-efficiency rating in the NBA at 30.8, 11th highest in NBA history.

Golden State needs to hit a high percentage of its perimeter shots to cover this number – and that’s not always a given especially since New Orleans ranked No. 2 in 3-point shooting percentage defense.

The Pelicans defeated the Warriors on April 7, 103-100 at home, with Davis scoring 29 points. The Pelicans came back from a 14-point deficit. The last time New Orleans played at Golden State was March. The Pelicans lost 112-96. Neither Davis nor Asik played and New Orleans shot just 42 percent from the floor. The Pelicans, minus Holiday, too, turned the ball over 21 times. Davis, Asik and Holiday all will be in action for this matchup.

New Orleans won impressively in its last game when it defeated the Spurs, 108-103, at home this past Wednesday. The Spurs entered that game having won 11 in a row and needing a victory to gain the No. 2 seed in the West.

A key takeaway from that game was the play of point guard Jrue Holiday, who was seeing action in just his fourth game since returning from a stress reaction injury in his lower right leg that had kept him out nearly three months. Holiday logged more than 25 minutes and the Pelicans were plus 12 during his time on the court.

I enter the playoffs 100-68-2 on my last 170 NBA plays, including 11-4 on my last 15. I finished last year’s playoffs going 11-6-1. BOL to everyone.


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