Golden State ended New Orleans eight-game winning streak in decisive fashion in Game 1 of this Western Conference semi-final series. Will this trend continue in Game 2 and the rest of series?
Klay Thompson said New Orleans style of play is “tiring”, but that still didn’t stop Golden State from winning easily, 123-101, as seven-point home favorites. Coach Alvin Gentry has his team playing like the Warriors and they ranked first in the NBA in both pace and fastbreak points per game this season. Yet, sometimes you have to choose your battles wisely, especially when you are going up against the best. (Think of it as Body Armor taking on Gatorade.)
Normally in a playoff series, when one team dominates the other, the team that lost gets the benefit of the doubt from oddsmakers in a revenge spot. Not here as the NBA odds have the Warriors up to -11, with a total of 227.
“Well, that didn’t go as planned,” Pelicans coach Gentry said in the press conference after Game 1. Yet, later, Gentry said his team was “…not going to change how we play.” Of course, we know about doing the same thing and expecting a different result is not the wisest course of action.
It is noble to want to take on the champs at their own game, but you either have to be better than them at it or have other traits that make you better.
The fact is New Orleans is not going to beat Golden State just playing fast. People forget when seeing the dizzying array of shots and potent offense, just how good the Warriors are on defense. While they slipped from 1st in shooting percentage allowed and three-point shooting allowed last year, they still finished 3rd and 10th in those respective categories this season.