In an NBA climate where scoring is prevalent throughout the league, the Golden State Warriors have taken it to a whole new level. In the last three games, they have had three leading scorers. That in itself is not all that remarkable until you taken into account that all three scored 41 or more (Steph Curry had 51 last Wednesday, Kevin Durant 41 on Friday, and Klay Thompson 52 on Monday). When you take into account that aside from those three they still have Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston (oh, and Demarcus Cousins who will return later this season), it is no wonder that they are favorites to win the NBA title again this year.
For the New Orleans Pelicans, they are a team that is on the way up, led by unheralded superstar Anthony Davis. The two will match up on Halloween when the Pelicans (4-2) travel to Oracle Arena to take on the Warriors (7-1). Tipoff is scheduled for 10:30 pm ET.
The Warriors opened as 12.5-point favorites at home in this one with moneyline having them at -909 while the Pelicans are at +570.
Behind The Numbers
Wednesday night’s game features the two best offenses when it comes to adjusted offensive rating (estimate of points scored per 100 possessions adjusted for strength of opponents defense). The Warriors come in at 121.73 points while the Pelicans are at 118.75. When it comes to adjusted defensive ratings, they both fall in the middle of the pack, with the Warriors ranking 14that 110.77 and the Pelicans ranking 17th at 111.32.
Pelicans Success Will Depend On Health Of Davis
When Anthony Davis plays, the Pelicans are 4-0. When he doesn’t they are 0-2. Needless to say, the Pelicans rely heavily on their superstar big man. Unfortunately, he has missed their last two games with a sprained right elbow and is questionable for Wednesday’s contest. In the four games that he has played, he is averaging 27.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
Aside from Davis, the Pelicans still have a strong unit. Jrue Holiday is averaging 15.5 points and 7.8 assists per game while playing fantastic defense. Additionally, Nikola Mirotic (22.7 points, 9.5 rebounds), E’Twaun Moore (13.8 points), Julius Randle (17.7 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Elfrid Payton (11.6 points, 6 rebounds, 6.4 assists) have all had good starts.
Warriors Are Tough To Stop
As mentioned earlier, the Warriors’ offense is dynamic. Even if you shut one person down, you have a couple others that can drop 40 points on you. They are also so dangerous because they can beat you from both inside and out. Just ask the Chicago Bulls. Klay Thompson not only dropped 52 points on the Bulls, but he also set a record by hitting 14 3-pointers on the night. On the season, Thompson is averaging 19.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Aside from Thompson, Steph Curry is currently leading the way averaging 32.5 points per night. He is also averaging 5.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists. The last of the big three is Kevin Durant, who is averaging 28.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per night. Additionally, Draymond Green (7.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 8.1 assists), Kevin Looney (6.4 points, 4.4 rebounds), Shaun Livingston (5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds) and Jonas Jerebko (6.9 points, 4.6 rebounds) have all played well in supporting roles.
Decision Based Off Of Davis
12.5 points is a lot to spot any opposition, but if there is any team in the NBA that can do it and still win with ease it is the Warriors. Still, the Pelicans have arguably one of the best offenses in the league early in the season and have a player in Anthony Davis who can dominate no matter the opponent. The big question will be whether his strained elbow allows him to play. If he plays, I am taking New Orleans and the 12.5 points in this one. If he doesn’t, I am taking Golden State at -12.5 all day long.