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Pelicans at Warriors preview: A three-game road trip kicks off in Golden State’s backyard

Can New Orleans go back to feeding Anthony Davis a steady diet of consistent touches again?

NBA: Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans (0-6) travel out West to face the Golden State Warriors (4-2) on Monday evening. The game will be featured on Fox Sports New Orleans (FSNO) and ComCast SportsNet Bay Area (CSBA). It is set to tip-off at 9:30pm CST.

For a second time this young season, Alvin Gentry’s squad must face the championship favorites coming off a loss. (Hooray us, and thanks Luke Walton and your Lakers.) After the Warriors were smashed by the Spurs on opening night, the Pelicans surprisingly stayed within striking distance of Stephen Curry’s team — even leading 74-73 in the third quarter — before losing by a final margin of 122-114.

This time around, however, the game will be played inside the sure to be defeaning Oracle arena, and the Pelicans will be without Lance Stephenson due to a groin injury that required surgery. In the last four regular season visits out to San Francisco, New Orleans has lost by an average of 16.75 points. Guess the opening spread of 16.5 points makes perfect sense!

Last season, the Pelicans started 0-6 before notching their first win against the Dallas Mavericks. With the current squad unlikely to follow suit with a win in the 7th game, it’s sadly time to start talking about the worst start in Hornets/Pelicans franchise history.

Only 2 more losses to go. Sigh.

Things to Watch

  • How often the Pelicans feed Davis. In their first meeting back in October, Davis dominated the box score with 45 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks/steals. He wound up with 31 shot attempts from the floor. In recent games, though, the astronomical usage rate has disappeared because in the losses to the Grizzlies and Suns, Davis combined for just 24 shot attempts.
  • Solomon Hill’s defense on Kevin Durant. Durant did the most individual damage against the Pelicans: 30 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks/steals. NBA Stats credits Solomon Hill with defending 8 field goal attempts on the night with opponents making 3. I’m personally curious to see Hill get all the minutes he can handle against Durant because if the Pelicans are serious about the process, Hill’s minutes need to be more consistent than they’ve been at the start of this disappointing campaign.
  • Terrence Jones’ minutes: amount and consistency. Omer Asik lasted just 8 minutes against the Warriors, and there’s reason to think he’ll largely sit on the sidelines again. Plus with Alvin Gentry mistakingly keeping Jones off the court for almost 12 straight minutes to close out the game against the Suns, it’ll be interesting to watch if he tries to make it up to Terrence on Monday night.

Geaux Pelicans!!!