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Pelicans should be optimistic going into game three

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Going into Oracle, everyone thought that this team would either upset the Warriors or be demolished. Neither has happened yet, and that's not a bad sign; in fact, it's a good one.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I played competitive sports, and I know the athlete response to this title. You know, the "an L is an L" mindset that Anthony Davis espoused after the Game 2 loss. At the end of the day, no one likes to lose and a win is universally preferred. It's hard to interpret any loss, especially ones with such significance, as a positive result.

However, I ask all my readers to remove themselves from their on-court demeanor, and look at the future of the series in a logical, optimistic, statistic-based light.

The Warriors closed out the regular season 39-2 at home, with their last home loss coming in January to the Bulls. They averaged a winning margin of double digits, and that margin approached 15 points at home. The Dubs did not lose all season when holding the opponents below 100 points.

The point is, beating the Warriors at Oracle Arena would have defied the laws of nature and the logic of basketball. Obviously, if the Pels have any ambitions of stealing the series, they will have to beat the Warriors at least once on the road. But that's a problem for another day, but a problem that the Pelicans won't lose sleep over.

"We know we can beat this team," said Davis after the 10 point loss in Game 2.

The two road games so far have not only proved the Pelicans belong in the series, but also that this series has not been decided. Far from it. The Pelicans can win at Oracle (they have already gotten so close) and they can still win the series.

The Pelicans are 28-13 at home this year, a mirror image of the Warriors away record. This suggests a pretty even match up. Consider, however, that the Pelicans are healthy for the first time since the year's opening stages. If a road Pelicans team could give the Warriors that much trouble, the Smoothie King Center is sure to give the birds a boost.

Anthony Davis is just as good as he is on the road as he is at home, but Tyreke Evans' stats show a major discrepancy. Evans shoots 48% at home, averaging 18.4 points and 7.3 assists. Conversely, his away stats plummet to 40% shooting with 14.7 points and 5.8 assists.

Although Evans was hurt in the first game, his scoring has still been disappointing in a match-up the Pels would have targeted as a favorable match up. With Evans running the point against the smaller Curry, New Orleans would have liked to see toll-free access into the paint for the versatile former Rookie of the Year, and Evans has instead has his road to the rim blockaded, settling for jumpers. In a match-up that has been all Curry, there is a gleaming light in the Crescent City. The aforementioned stats say Evans might be savoring a return back to NO.

The Pelicans have also proved to themselves, the West, and NBA fans that they are not your ordinary eight seed. In fact, the Warriors have been forced to play Draymond Green 42 minutes a game this series and Stephen Curry 39 minutes. If not for the horrendous mid-game stretch in Game 1, those numbers would be further augmented. The Pelicans' two losses came in rousing edge-of-seaters against one of the best home teams in NBA history. Meanwhile, the Pelicans were not good at all away from home this year, going just 17-24.

Game 3 is a must-win game. No NBA team has ever overcome a 0-3 deficit, but New Orleans learned all about 0-2 comebacks; the Spurs taught them in 2008. Home court advantage makes a huge difference, as the Warriors have touted all series long.

We all know the Bay Area can't party like New Orleans. San Franciscans can't drink like New Orleanians, and they can't scream like New Orleanians. Thursday night is the time for the Pelicans fans to bring the party to the Smoothie King Center, and bring Superdome sound to basketball.