With the second game of the series about to get going tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans are looking to even up the series after coming up short in their late push during Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors. The playoffs are about momentum and making adjustments to win games so prior to Game 2, Aram Cannuscio and DJ Allen will give their opinions on what each team can do to win the next game.
What the Pelicans need in order to win Game 2 is to get Anthony Davis some help. Other guys have to step up in order to be victorious. Only having three guys in double figures is not going to get the job done against this offensive juggernaut. Another adjustment that could benefit New Orleans is their pick and roll defense, especially on Steph Curry. Monty Williams had his bigs switching out to use their length as an advantage to discourage Curry’s deadly three pointer; however, Curry was able to get to the basket whenever he wanted. He got to the basket and finished at the rim multiple times so I believe Williams may have to make the bigs hedge and force the point guards to get through. If they continue to defend the pick and roll how they have, Steph Curry will have a field day all series.
For the Golden State Warriors, one thing that stands out in importance for this next game is that they must be able to play a full game. In Game 1, the Warriors held a lead as huge as 25 late in the 3rd quarter, but behind big play from Anthony Davis, the Pelicans were able to cut it within single digits. To be a championship team, you must be able to maintain leads and put teams away because when teams are able to forge huge comebacks, it provides confidence and a lot of momentum even if it was a loss. Another important aspect for Golden State is that they can’t get cocky. It’s important to stay calm and not let the momentum of the game go to your head at times. The Warriors displayed some showboating during Game 1 and more particularly, Draymond Green after his game clinching, ‘and 1’ layup over Davis. What stood out to me more is Steve Kerr talking to Draymond Green after he flexed his muscles in front of Anthony Davis and the entire Oracle Arena. It’s hard to tell what Kerr specifically said, but you can tell he wasn’t happy. Game one of the first round is way too early to be celebrating, so in my opinion going forward its imperative for the Warriors to keep their heads focused on the game and not showboating on the court.
With all of this being said, the Warriors still shut up all of those who doubted them in the first game. The ball movement was great and they took a huge lead early even with a struggling Klay Thompson.
The ONLY way the Pelicans can pull out a win in Oracle Arena tonight is if they play through Anthony Davis early on, something they didn’t do in the 1st quarter of last game where he had only 2 points and 0 rebounds.
For the Warriors, as mentioned before, it is about them keeping their composure. If they can keep their composure and play the way we have seen them play all season in all 4 quarters tonight, they should easily get this win.
Game start time: 10:30 PM EST at Oracle Arena