Going into Game 3, head coach Steve Kerr said he was proud of how his defense had played in the postseason. After Game 3, Kerr was probably less impressed with his club’s effort.
It was a given New Orleans was going to come ready to play and be fired up down 0-2 to Golden State. In spite of what critics had said, the Pelicans believed through effort and efficiency, they could not only compete with the Warriors but beat them. Coach Alvin Gentry’s squad proved their point in convincing fashion, winning by 19. Gentry immediately went on the record saying Sunday’s contest will be the toughest of the season for his club, knowing the outcome will most likely play directly into how long a series this is.
The NBA odds from the sportsbooks had New Orleans as 4.5-point home underdogs again, but basketball bettors have pushed them to +5.5 point pooches. This will be the 3:35 Eastern tilt on ABC and here is what both teams will be seeking to accomplish.
After playing excellent defense in the playoffs, Golden State did not match New Orleans energy to start the game or at the start the second half. They were outscored by 20 points in those two quarters and for the game allowed New Orleans to make half their shots, which was the Warriors worst effort in the postseason.
After a sharp first game back, Stephen Curry played like someone who had missed a lot of time. Curry was an offensive and defensive liability as he was the focal point of the Pelicans perimeter offense.
For better or worse, Klay Thompson has not played with the same zest since Curry’s return and his shooting has been off at 13-42 (30.9%) and he’s just 5-for-20 from distance.