How to watch:
Date: Friday, October 20
Time: 6:30 PDT
Location: Smoothie King Arena, New Orleans
TV: NBCSBA, ESPN
Radio: 95.7 The Game
Warriors: PG Stephen Curry , SG Klay Thompson , SF Kevin Durant , PF Jordan Bell (?), C Zaza Pachulia
Pelicans: PG Jrue Holiday, SG E'Twaun Moore, SF Dante Cunningham, PF Anthony Davis and C DeMarcus Cousins
INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Omri Casspi (left ankle sprain) and Andre Iguodala (back strain) are questionable. Draymond Green (left knee strain) is doubtful - OR IS HE? More below. Team Notes
NOP: Omer Asik (illness), Solomon Hill (left hamstring tear), Frank Jackson (right foot fracture) and Rajon Rondo (left core muscle injury) are out. Team Notes
The Golden State Warriors dropped a heart breaker in Houston to open the season, as Kevin Durant’s potential game-winning shot was just a little too late to count. But for these Warriors, that has generally boded ill for the next team up. In the entirety of Steve Kerr’s coaching career, the Warriors longest losing streak has been three games, and they hold an overall 32-7 record after a loss in the regular season. Tonight, they’ll be taking those odds up against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have an imposing frontcourt in Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins. Unfortunately that’s about all that they have going for them.
Jrue Holiday could be a very talented player who just hasn’t been able to stay healthy long enough to really make an imprint in the league. When he is healthy - as he is now - his performance can be a bit streaky, as evidenced by his anemic four points on 2 of 11 shooting in their opening night loss.
Their bench, already a source of consternation, has been broken down by a couple of key injuries - most notably Solomon Hill with a hamstring tear that will keep him out for a while. Coupled with the timely loss of Rajon Rondo and Omer Asik, coach Alvin Gentry is going to be forced further down into the bench and may not see anything all that helpful.
But beyond all that, the pairing of Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins just hasn’t taken off. As mentioned above, Alvin Gentry hasn’t necessarily been given the outside wing players really required to make these big men shine - but in a no excuses world time is ticking to figure this out.
According to Jamil Dunn’s recap over at our sister blog, As The Bird Writes, Cousins started off the first quarter with an absolutely dominant performance of 13 points, seven rebounds and five blocks - in the first quarter! In the game, Davis ended up with 33 points and 13 rebounds to go along with Cousins’ insanely-near triple double of 28 and 10 to go along with seven blocked shots.
For their part, Cousins and Davis are doing well enough, but have proven to be far from the impossible-to-stop power that the internet wanted them to become as soon as the pairing was announced. Some of this is the supporting cast for sure, but one way or another, the Pelicans have struggled to put it all together.
The Golden State Warriors
As they did last season, the Warriors dropped an uncharacteristically sloppy game to open the season. But no one really cares too much about that, as all eyes were firmly fixed to Draymond Green after he limped off the court in the second half.
Thankfully a tense day of waiting the following day was rewarded with news that the MRI came back clean - so clean in fact, that there are some rumors that he has been upgraded to probable for the game against the Pelicans.
It would be a huge boost to the team if Green were able to play. At the time of writing, both he and Iguodala are unknowns though. Hope you like surprises!
One way or another, these Warriors are going to get a good opportunity to sharpen themselves back up. And one of the interesting stories to watch will be our young bigs battling for playing time. Kevon Looney’s option is up on October 31st, so the Warriors have some incentive to play him in order to maximize their opportunity to assess where he is at now. But competition is fierce, with our new rookie Jordan Bell displaying enough intriguing flashes of talent that it almost forces Kerr to give him playing time too.
Our big four or five easily aces their big two. Warriors 125, Pelicans 104.