Inside the Scope: Golden State Warriors x New Orleans Pelicans
- Tip Off: 5:00 PM PST
- Television: CSNBayHD
New Orleans Pelicans Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 103.5 (8th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 102.6 (20th in NBA)
Scope the Opposition: Bourbon St. Shots.
Preview: The struggling Golden State Warriors (8-6) will hit the road tonight to take on an emerging New Orleans Pelicans (6-7) team.
The Dubs have lost three straight games with their most recent defeat occurring by double digits at Oracle Arena.
A brief scuffle (hold me back long enough for referees to stop this from escalating!!!) in that contest against the Portland Trail Blazers (13-2) resulted in the league dropping Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer) on Andrew Bogut.
The Aussie will serve a one-game suspension tonight against New Orleans. The decision certainly favors tonight’s home team given the stud big man that plays for them.
Anthony Davis looks like a better player in his second professional season and that might be underselling it. The former Kentucky Wildcat is producing 19.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game on 48.9 percent field goal shooting.
The numbers are ridiculous, but they fail to demonstrate the evolution of his game. Davis is a much more confident player and as a result, he has become a more aggressive one.
He has put in the work over the offseason to the point that his position is currently a mystery. He comes off screens in catch-and-shoots scenarios where he makes a respectable amount of jumpers.
Indeed, he is converting 39.3 percent of his mid-range jumpers per NBA.com. For the sake of context, that’s better than Carmelo Anthony so far in 2013-14. Davis’ range is mostly concentrated up to 19 feet, but he is slowly moving a little further out to 24 feet away from the basket.
Normally, this might be an area of concern because it could mean he is becoming too much of a jump shooter. However, Davis mixes and matches. He will take the open jumper and force defenders to honor it and then switch things up.
The big man will put the ball on the floor and drive past defenders for scores at the hoop. That ball-handling ability at his size also makes cameos when he receives the ball on the move in pick-and-rolls.
If this sounds difficult to defend especially in today’s NBA, that’s because it is. And that’s where the absence of Bogut will hurt the Warriors tonight. The former Milwaukee Buck is a physical player that loves to antagonize opponents with hard hits and a few choice words.
It probably would have helped in terms of slowing down Davis, but his absence from the lineup likely gives the young big man an opportunity to have a superb game. At this point, that will be huge for a Pelicans team whose perimeter players have struggled so far this season.
Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday have struggled shooting the ball, and yet New Orleans boasts a top-10 offense. They accomplish this on the strength of their low-turnover numbers and 3-point shooting.
That’s a scary proposition at this point. If their guards eventually get into a groove as the season unfolds, teams may find it impossible to slow down the Pelicans. The Warriors get a crack at it tonight.
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