If we can be relatively certain of anything, it’s that the Golden State Warriors have enough wherewithal to respond after they have been taken to the woodshed, which is not very often. But in Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final series against the New Orleans Pelicans, they went through an embarrassing experience. How will they answer? We will find out beginning at 3:35 PM ET at the Smoothie King Arena in the Big Easy. If you are a BetAnySports customer, you can place wagers even after the game has tipped off, as you take advantage of what Live Betting Ultra has to offer.
2018 NBA Playoff Picks – Game 4: Warriors at Pelicans:
In the odds at BetAnySports upon which we will make our NBA playoff picks, the Warriors are once again laying points as the road team:
Golden State Warriors -5.5
New Orleans Pelicans +5.5
Over 231.5 points -110
Under 231.5 points -110
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The Warriors, the defending world champions, have much more in the way of experience than these Pelicans do, and they were able to put that to use in the first two games in Oakland. So there was a desperate bunch coming back to New Orleans for Game 3. One could see that Alvin Gentry has a team on the rise from their four-game playoff sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, and they exploded on Friday night, using the size advantage they have with Anthony Davis, who is a genuine MVP candidate. Davis scored 33 points and led an assault which saw the Pelicans outscore G-State 54-36 in the paint.
Much of the time what the Warriors may lack on the inside, they can make up for on the perimeter, but such was not the case in Game 3, as they made just nine of their 31 attempts from beyond the three-point arc, with 38% overall. Steph Curry, the two-time MVP who was playing just his second game back fro a knee injury, went 6-for-19 from the field. So the whole thing was pretty much a disaster.
No one should expect a repeat performance from Steve Kerr’s squad, although it is worth noting that Klay Thompson has gotten kind of cold again, as he is 36% through the first three games, after hitting 62% of his shots against the San Antonio Spurs in the opening round. We could certainly look for Curry to warm up as things progress. They’ll just need some defensive answers for Davis, who can park himself in the paint at both ends of the floor. He had 18 rebounds in Game 3, and New Orleans had two others in double figures – Nikola Mirotic (13) and point guard Rajon Rondo (ten). It is important to mention those guys, because they are two critical pieces to the puzzle. When DeMarcus Cousins went down with an Achilles injury, the Pelicans needed someone who could supply “big” minutes, and they got Mirotic from Chicago, where he was averaging almost 17points a game for the tanking Bulls. He is extremely valuable because his outside shooting allows him the opportunity to draw big defenders outside into “no man’s land.”
Rondo has never been known as a consistent shooter, but he is one of the best playmakers in the game, and showed that on Friday with 21 assists. he holds this team together, and he is the guy who has been through the playoff wars before. Yes, he has sometimes been a handful for his coaches to deal with, because he is headstrong, but he is a very well-respected teammate, wherever he’s gone.
This total is high, but New Orleans has played a lot of “overs” at home – 30 out of 44, in fact. And if the Warriors didn’t throw up so many bricks, Game 3 may have exceeded the total as well. The pace of 105.7 possessions per 48 minutes has certainly been brisk enough for us to recommend another “over” play here.
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By Charles Jay