Pelicans Pace Of Play Could Spell Trouble For Stephen Curry

Arnold Nichols
May 2, 2018

It's a hard point to argue after the Warriors, sans Curry, dispatched New Orleans 123-101 in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series; Game 2 tips at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night in Oakland.

"If it were up to me, I would have played for about 20 minutes tonight", Curry told ESPN after the Warriors' victory on Saturday. Meaning the lack of difficulty in game one of the current series does not mean the team would not feel the absence of Curry deeply if he were not to return.

"They had a golden opportunity going into the series Game 1 to steal a road win against a great team with one of their best players on the sideline and I think they blew it and now they're going to be in trouble".

"The plan is to return Tuesday, but ultimately it's up to the training staff", Curry said.

Worst case scenario, Curry may sit out one more game.

"The Warriors don't need Curry to beat the Pelicans in an efficient manner - Game 1 proved that - but they will need him against the team's next probable playoff opponent, Houston", Kurtenback writes.

"A big reason why you don't see coaches expand their rotation is because you have to lock in on the defensive end", Guillory said.

The Warriors swept the Pelicans in the only other playoff meeting between the franchises in the 2015 first round as Golden State went on to capture its first championship in 40 years.

Now, they likely get Curry back for Game 2 on Tuesday night and all that he brings — even if in a limited role initially. "He's feeling good. I'd be very surprised if he didn't play". How Curry performs when this happens will give us a good idea of where he is at in his recovery, as a fully healthy Curry should have no problem dealing with them. It is more than him contesting Davis one-on-one defensively, it is Green's ability to help and recover on that side of the court that has Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry trying to formulate wrinkles within their re-jiggered offense.

The Pelicans shot just 43.8 percent overall in Game 1 after shooting over 52 percent over the four games against Portland.

This season he averaged 26.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Newsflash: All-Stars, more often than not, play like All-Stars. The Pelicans only scored 7 points in the seven possessions listed with Thompson or Young as the primary Davis defender, a tradeoff the Warriors will take in that alignment.

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