Categories: NBA

Warriors at Pelicans – NBA Game 3 Pick for May 4th

Game 3 of this Western Conference Semifinal series shifts from the California Bay Area to New Orleans and the Pelicans are in a must-win situation. For New Orleans to have any hope of upsetting the Warriors in this series, they have to win tonight. The Pelicans can’t afford to go down 0-3. But, does New Orleans actually have a chance of winning tonight?

Do you remember how Golden State went down to San Antonio in the opening round of the playoffs for Game 3 and there was a growing sentiment that the Spurs could win the game? Well, that didn’t happen and I don’t see it happening now. Face it Pelicans fans, Golden State is a better team and they have their best player back – Steph Curry.

In Curry’s first game back from injury, he came off the bench to score 28 points and snag 7 rebounds. It was a fantastic performance from a player who had been out since March 23rd. And now, Curry will start Game 3 and Golden State is poised for another win.

In addition to Curry, Golden State’s duo of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have continued their opening round success against the Spurs by putting up solid numbers against the Pelicans. After two games, Durant is averaging 27.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, and 4.5 apg. Thompson is averaging 18.6 ppg, 6 rpg, and 2.5 apg. Let’s focus on Thompson for a moment. Klay went 4-of-20 from the field and 2-of-11 for 3 pointers in Game 2. It was his worst game of the playoffs and I don’t see it happening tonight.

I expect Thompson to bounce back and have a big game tonight. With Curry and Durant also pouring in nearly 30 points apiece, there’s no way that New Orleans can stop all 3 of these players. Not to mention, Andre Iguodola has chipped in 13.5 ppg and Green has averaged 18 ppg. Golden State is averaging an eye popping 122 ppg against New Orleans.

The Pelicans might be able to keep it close in Game 3, but they aren’t going to beat the Warriors. A returning Steph Curry gives Golden State all the fire it needs to sweep New Orleans. And if that weren’t enough to convince you, then this should. In the first 2 games of the series, not only has the Golden State offense ripped the Pelicans defense, but the Warriors have been stout on defense too as they’ve held the Pelicans to 108 ppg, 44% from the field, 33% from beyond the arc, and only 10 free throw attempts per game. The disparity between free throw attempts is staggering as Golden State has 59 attempts in two games compared to just 20 for New Orleans.

Golden State went 30-13 on the road this season and is 1-1 on the road in the playoffs this year. The Warriors are 16-1 SU in their last 17 games against the Pelicans, 9-1 SU in their last 10 against NO, 22-5 SU when the total is over 220, 10-3 SU on Friday nights, 4-1 SU when leading a playoff series, 7-1 SU after allowing 115 points in the previous game, and 10-1 SU in the second round of the playoffs over the last 3 postseasons.

The Pelicans are 0-5 SU in their last 5 home games against the Warriors, 16-24 SU as an underdog, 7-12 SU when trailing in a playoff series, and 15-22 against teams scoring over 106 points per game.

Typically, I don’t take a moneyline this high, but’s a rarity when the Warriors are under -200 for a playoff game. I believe the Warriors will embrace the challenge of playing on the road and relish in the opportunity of driving the stake into the hearts of Pelican fans.

Bet: Golden State -195

Rick Rockwell

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Rick Rockwell

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