Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#553 Golden State Warriors 227.5 vs.
#554 New Orleans Pelicans -4
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
Written by Sporty Jordy

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W/L
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#553 Golden State
#554 New Orleans
2-11
3-9
44-58-2
38-43-1
51-52-1
44-37-1
116
115
111
116

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This article covers a past game!

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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 Warriors

Star 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 Pelicans

The 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.

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The playing field is finally evening for the Warriors in Sunday’s game against a team that might actually be in worst shape than they’re in. If Ingram sits out, there isn’t another dependable scorer outside of Holiday that can consistently get buckets. So you can forget about leaning on all of those positive offensive statistics and expectations of the Pelicans being the next team to give the broken-down Warriors their comeuppance.

Green is a point guard in a forward’s body. His ability to run the offense with the ball in his hands has made him a key cog in the wheel, even if he doesn’t score a ton of points. He should be able to take advantage of the absences of so many talented players for the Pelicans and help improve the shooting efficiency for the Warriors as a whole.

Paschall and Burks are the temporary faces of the Warriors organization, and they’ll be able to take advantage of a bad defensive team dealing with the lowest of lows from an ensuing injury bug. The Pelicans were the third-worst team in the league in defensive efficiency when they actually had players available. That ranking will take another hit on Sunday.

Give me the Warriors to beat the Pelicans and end a six-game losing streak.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors (+4.5)

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There isn’t enough offensive firepower on either side to consider taking the over in this match-up. The Pelicans are nearly down their entire team, and the Warriors haven’t had much better luck in keeping guys healthy and on the floor. Ingram sitting out on Saturday with a knee injury makes me skeptical of the chances he’ll actually suit up and step onto the court on Sunday. The Pelicans are basically down to Holiday as their only reliable scorer, while the Warriors are stuck with Green, Paschall and Burks, I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Unde
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.