Warriors @ Pelicans: What To Watch For

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Golden State Warriors (0-1) @ New Orleans Pelicans (0-1)
Smoothie King Center – October 28th @ 9:30pm ET  (AUS – 12:30pm Sat 29th)

Starting Lineups:

On paper, the Warriors starting lineup is as good as we’ve seen. Much like the Heat Big 3’s debut though, they had a stinker against the Spurs at home. Expect them to get rolling versus an overmatched Pelicans team, with one superstar and a bunch of journeymen. I’m interested to see if Klay Thompson can join season 16/17 versus the smaller guards of NOP, I would expect him to be a focal point of the offence as they look to get him going. Draymond Green’s defence and matchup with Anthony Davis will be much watch viewing.

The Pelicans begin, middle and end with Anthony Davis. New Orleans are outmatched at PG, SG, SF and C, and appear ripe to be shredded by Golden State’s ball movement given how they performed against Denver in the first half of their season opener. Asik and Frazier will be left alone often as Davis will draw every defender’s eye, so it will be up to the others to make the inevitable open shots that come from denying The Brow scoring opportunities. Seems unlikely, but Brow Against the World is worth watching anyway.

Key Bench Guys:

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Iggy did not have much pop in game 1. A key component of the much vaunted ‘Death  #GOATee Lineup’, Iggy’s versatile game is critical to the Dubs success but instead of with the starters, I’d like to see him come off the pine with more 2nd unit guys. His ability to handle, set up shooters, athleticism and shooting ability make him the Warriors key to unlocking the bench crew.

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Terence Jones had some really impressive moments in the preseason, and appears likely to be heavily relied upon in this specific match up. In theory, Jones offers the switchability required to defend the Dubs Death lineup, and definitely spaces the floor more than Asik could dream of. Jones is capable of one of those WTF 30/10/2/2 games, and for the Pels to win he will probably need to do just that.

4 Points:

  • GSW: The Dubs couldn’t handle the Spurs inside/outside bigs in game 1. Can they fare better against the Brow coming off one of the most impressive games in recent memory? Draymond Green is going to quickly work out his role on this super team!
  • NOP: Expect Asik to be buried on the bench, and get ready for ‘Born Ready’ to play a lot. Stephenson wasn’t horrible against the Nugs, and he represents Gentry with one of the few options to provide shot making, playmaking and defence.
  • GSW: Which of the Warriors bench crew steps forward? They look very thin after their top 6 or 7 players. In a long season, several bench guys are going to have to step forward. This early in the piece, will it be the youth of Pat McCaw or vets like David West that give the Warriors a little more spread.
  • NOP: Although the Dubs got smashed in the paint against the Spurs, the Pelicans need to make Golden State pay from the arc. Nola only hit 3 triples against Denver, and if they want to give AD any space to work on Green this is the only way forward. Looking at you Buddy Hield and King Solomon.
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