New Orleans Pelicans vs. Golden State Warriors 4/28/18, Prediction & Odds

An epic NBA offseason may be upon us and other trending stories
An epic NBA offseason may be upon us and other trending stories

30 April, 2018

Holiday was a big reason the sixth-seeded Pelicans swept third-seeded Portland in the first round of the postseason.

Curry has been dealing with an MCL sprain in his left knee and has not played since March 23. New Orleans has a razor thin margin for error in this series, and they can not afford to scuttle through Game 1 fighting off rust form the extended time off. The Spurs, Golden State's first-round opponent, ranked 29th at 97.16. It's like, you make a bucket, you can't relax.

"We know that we can beat them", the Pelicans' superstar big man said after practice here Friday afternoon. New Orleans piled up more than 110 points in three of the four games in the series and stifled the prolific backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for most of the series. The Warriors will have a hard task on their hands in trying to lock down Davis, but the Pelicans will be hard-pressed to keep up their hot streak from their series against Portland after almost a week off. Technically underdogs, #new orleans came into the playoffs on a hot streak, winning their last five games. Klay Thompson was the leader with 27 points and Durant was right behind him with 26. Those were almost all converted into buckets or free throw attempts at the other end.

Meanwhile in the West, the Warriors and Pelicans tipped off the second round with a massively one-sided contest.

The most important matchup in this series will be down low, as Golden State's primary focus needs to be on making sure that Anthony Davis has as little open space as possible. Even with Stephen Curry potentially set to come back for Game 1, look for Klay to remain an integral part of that Warriors offense against the Pelicans.

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There were bright spots for the Pels, but none bright enough to avoid being eclipsed by the sheer force of the Warriors attack.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on February 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Warriors' chase of a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance gets a stiffer test beginning here. Anthony Davis, their best player and a legitimate MVP candidate, scored just 21 points and shot 45 percent from the field.

Davis, who averaged 33 points, 12 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in a first-round sweep of Portland, made 5 of 7 shots in the opening period.

Golden State is really, really good. While some of that can be chalked up to bad bounces or San Antonio's defense, the fact of the matter is the shots didn't go down.

The Warriors had no such problems on either end, racing up and down the floor with the swagger of a championship team that is ready to hit its stride after going through periods of malaise throughout the regular season. It will be interesting to see how Kerr tries to defend the Davis/Mirotic combination as both have tremendous range and the size that can create mismatches. "It's one game. They win by 40, they win by one, they win by 90, it's one game".

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