clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Preview: Ready or not, New Orleans Pelicans welcome Golden State Warriors in home opener

Who will make an impact alongside Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

As we look forward to the New Orleans Pelicans’ home opener against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, there are still questions looming from Wednesday night’s abysmal performance against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Though the twin-towers of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 61 points and 28 rebounds, they did so going 18-of-44 from the field. Behind them, no one scored more than 11 points, with players like Darius Miller not even touching the stat sheet. Poor ball movement and defensive discipline allowed the Grizzlies to take the game away from the Pelicans.

Rookie guard Dillion Brooks recorded 19 points and five boards with a fair share of minutes in the rotation for Memphis, which is alarming compared to what the Warrior backcourt is capable of doing. It is possible that Davis and Cousins can take advantage of Golden State’s smaller sets; however, we will need more, significantly more, out of the supporting cast. Most notably: Jrue Holiday.

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In 38 minutes on Wednesday, Holiday contributed a disappointing four points on 2-of-11 shooting. After inking a massive $125 million deal, the Pelicans’ following will not stand behind performances like that for much longer. Holiday’s defensive presence will be needed more than ever against the Warriors, and the knowledgeable leadership former Warrior Ian Clark can provide may give aid as well. Unfortunately, Clark made just one shot on three attempts in the season opener, but should the ball start to move he may find himself better looks.

Even so, what we’ve seen thus far will not be nearly enough to topple the challenge ahead. Mind you, Golden State did lose its opener to the Houston Rockets; however, do not view this as vulnerability. Every piece had to fall Houston’s way. Both Curry and Durant eclipsed 20 points and five rebounds, along with the typical play of Klay Thompson and Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green. Oh, and their leading scorer one game into the season – Nick Young (23 points, 89% from the field). With show-outs like such, New Orleans have an uphill battle in their first game at the Smoothie King Center this year.

Geaux Pelicans!

What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors

Where: Smoothie King Center

When: October 20, 2017, 8:30 PM Central

How: ESPN, WRNO 99.5 FM