When and where: November 17, 2019, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA, 7:00 PM ET
There is seemingly no end in sight for the freefalling Golden State Warriors as they prepare for a head-to-head showdown with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Warriors might soon have to turn to Indeed.com for basketball players given the ridiculous number of injuries they’ve dealt with this year. They are currently sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference with a 2-11 record and a six-game losing streak. The Pelicans, on the other hand, showed some life recently by ruining Paul George’s debut with the Los Angeles Clippers. Then it was back to being on life support after getting blown out by the Miami Heat on Saturday.
Another star bites the dust for the WarriorsStar players are dropping like flies for the Warriors.
With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson already sidelined with injuries, D’Angelo Russell was the next player to go down in Friday night’s loss to the Boston Celtics. The star guard left the game early with a sprained right thumb that is expected to keep him out of action for a minimum of two weeks. That leaves Draymond Green as the last perennial All-Star left standing for Sunday’s game against the Pelicans.
The only problem with Green being catapulted into a starring role is the offensive limitations. He’s a sensational talent that excels at the grunt work—defense, rebounds and assists. However, he’s incredibly limited on what he can offer as a pure scorer. Russell averaged 24.3 points per game during his time on the floor. Even though the Warriors were still losing, his otherworldly scoring abilities sometimes kept them in games.
The team won’t have that luxury against a Pelicans team averaging 118.8 points per game at home. It’s a game that will heap even more pressure on not only Green’s shoulders, but more will also be expected from guys like rookie forward Eric Paschall and veteran guard Alex Burks. Scoring a lot of points might be the only hope for a Warriors team ranking dead last in defensive efficiency. The defense has been next-level atrocious, particularly on the road with opponents averaging 121.8 points per game.
Injury bug hits the PelicansThe Pelicans can relate to some degree with the Warriors’ sudden run-in with injuries.
They lost rookie No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Zion Williamson before the season even started. The entire young corps that came over from the Los Angeles Lakers—Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart—is also banged up. Ingram is currently listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Warriors, while both Ball and Hart are officially out. JJ Redick, Jahlil Okafor and Darius Miller will also be sidelined for the game.
Unlike the Warriors, the Pelicans can at least find solace in the fact they’ll have a shot at getting their core roster back on the floor at some point. They also still have Jrue Holiday running the point and providing a spark for the offense. He dropped 36 points in a stunning victory over the Clippers before falling back down to Earth in Saturday’s loss to the Miami Heat.
Sunday’s game is as good as any for a turnaround performance when facing the worst defensive team in the league. The Warriors were bad on defense when their starters were on the floor, and they’re even worse with them sidelined with injuries. Can the Pelicans’ reserve unit outplay the Warriors reserves?
That will be the burning question when these two Western Conference foes come to blows.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Warriors are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games against a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
- Pelicans are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 home games against a team with a losing road record.
- Pelicans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Sunday games.
- Pelicans are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games against a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Pelicans are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning % below .400.