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Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Warriors

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The Pelicans will try to end their 7-game losing streak tonight against the Warriors. Golden State has lost 3 of their last 4 games, including to the Thunder last night where Kevin Durant went off. Overall, they are an average team on the road and against other Western Conference opponents.

On the year, the Pelicans are 0-2 to the Warriors, one a last second loss at home, the other a convincing road loss that was only made reasonable in the box score due to 4th quarter garbage time.

Many probably equate the Warriors to an offensive juggernaut, and to a degree, it's still true as they average 104.0 PPG (7th) at the 4th quickest pace in the league. However, it's their defense that they now hang their hat on as they sport the 5th best defensive rating, Opponents tend to have a lot of bad shooting nights as evidenced by the opponent's 43.6 FG%.

However, this team does have a glaring weakness -- their bench. Last year, Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry led the reserves and often, one or both of them would finish the game. This year, without the duo, their bench is last in the league in scoring (23.3 PPG) and field goal percentage (39.2%). Harrison Barnes was supposed to be their sixth-man type but has failed in that role, posting much better statistics as a starter then a reserve.

Thus, it wasn't a shock the Warriors made a move this week and brought in Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks. Much like the Trail Blazers last year, they are looking for something, anything off the bench. Otherwise, Mark Jackson will face the real possibility the team sputters down the stretch as they run out of gas.

But that's not really our concern, so getting back to tonight, the Pelicans are looking at a winnable game. Besides the loss to Oklahoma City, the Warriors have recently lost at home to Denver and on the road at Brooklyn. Meanwhile the Pelicans have suffered 3 close losses to playoff caliber teams: Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.