The Golden State Warriors made a statement in game one against the New Orleans Pelicans. Not only did they dominate the game and easily win and cover the double-digit spread. They did it without arguably their best player, Steph Curry, on the court. It was a bit of a shocking outcome to see the Warriors so easily beat the Pelicans who came into this series as hot as any team in the league.
Tonight, Curry is expected to play, and the number is once again a big one as the Warriors are -11-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 228 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM PST from Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
I was very high on New Orleans coming into this series. I expected the Warriors to win the series but saw the Pelicans giving them all they could handle. But after watching game one, I didn’t see much from New Orleans that showed me they can be competitive whatsoever against Golden State. Anthony Davis had an OK game as he dropped twenty-one points and ten boards and Rajon Rondo continued his solid playoff campaign as he flirted with a triple-double, coming up just one point and two rebounds away.
Even with their best guys having solid games, this game wasn’t remotely competitive. The Warriors played twelve guys, and they couldn’t be stopped on the offensive side of the ball. The Warriors shot almost fifty percent from the field and over forty percent from deep. If they have another performance like the one they had in game one, this game won’t be close.
An eleven-point line in the playoffs is borderline absurd. But, I said that to myself before game one as well though and saw the Dubs cruise to the win and cover. And that was without Steph Curry on the floor. We all knew that the Warriors were clearly not interested in trying to catch the Houston Rockets for the number one seed in the Western Conference as the regular season winded to a close. Instead, they seemed content with getting healthy and locking up the two seed out West and focusing on the playoffs and having all their guys ready, rather than playoff seeding.
Maybe that lulled us to sleep a little bit on just how good this team is. Everyone wanted to talk about the Pelicans, and the Rockets, and even the Blazers to some extent as the season came to a close in the Western Conference. And people forgot that the Warriors are the defending champs and returned the entire core of that team this year.
Now that Golden State seems to be fully healthy, contingent on Curry looking good tonight, of course, I am going to say the Warriors are now the odds-on favorites to win another NBA title. Sorry Houston, but as wise man Ric Flair once said, to be the man you got to beat the man, and right now the Warriors are the defending champs.
The Warriors learned that winning in the regular season meant nothing when they won an NBA record 73 games and failed to win the title two years ago. So, this year they took a different approach. They rested up, got healthy, and knew that if they are playing their best basketball that it didn’t matter if they had to travel to Houston or anywhere else, they could repeat as champs. This team isn’t afraid to play on the road.
I hate to say it, but until the Pelicans show me something I have no choice but to lay a whole bunch of wood and back the home team Warriors tonight. I expect that Curry will be at least somewhat limited, and that could make it tough to hold such a big cover late, but as they showed in game one this team is the deepest in the NBA, and they don’t need their starters on the court to run up the score.
The NBA fan in me wants to see a close and competitive game and a great series. But the realist in me says let the Warriors sweep them away and let’s get around to that Houston and Golden State series we have been waiting all season for.
Maybe some of us forgot, but if the aliens in Space Jam come down to play ball, it would still be the Golden State Warriors representing us.
Give me the Golden State Warriors laying eleven points tonight at home in game two!