Sometimes, making a starting lineup change can turn around a playoff series. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr inserted Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup in the place of JaVale McGee for Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinal playoff series against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Golden State immediately jumped out to a big lead with the new lineup and coasted to a 118-92 victory, extending the team’s series lead to 3-1. In Game 5, New Orleans will look for a response on today as the series moves back to Oakland (10:35 p.m. ET Tuesday on TNT).
Will the Pelicans’ desperation or the Warriors’ eagerness for the Western Conference Finals to start be the bigger factor? How will these teams execute their game plans? This preview will inspect some of the contest’s important issues before making our picks and Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans Game 5 Predictions. As always we will take note of the best odds on offer from the online betting sites.
Will Pelicans Role Players Hit Threes?
In Game 4, the Pelicans shot a dreadful 4-of-26 from three-point range. Against a Warriors team that regularly hits at least 12 threes per game around a 40 percent clip, that’s just not going to cut it.
New Orleans’ entire offense becomes much less fluid when the shots aren’t falling. Opponents can sag off shooters and help more on drives and the inevitable post-ups by Anthony Davis. Davis had just one assist and six turnovers, which was partially caused by how well the Warriors were swarming him near the basket.
If guys like Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, E’Twaun Moore, Nikola Mirotic, Solomon Hill, Darius Miller and Ian Clark can combine to be somewhat of a threat, the Pelicans can get a drive-and-kick game going that will benefit Davis and the offense as a whole.
Do Pelicans Have Any Combinations to Combat Warriors’ Hamptons Five?
Golden State’s five best players are Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. While they played together a bit during the season, they never started together and they never played as much as they did in Game 4. Naturally, Golden State outscored New Orleans 52-26 in 18 minutes for the Warriors’ Hamptons Five lineup.
That margin (26 points) was also, ironically, the Warriors’ margin of victory in Game 4. That means New Orleans and Golden State were even in points for the 30 minutes of game time that the Hamptons Five was not the Warriors’ unit on the floor.
The Pelicans’ starters played the majority of the minutes against the Warriors’ star-studded lineup, but that didn’t work. Can New Orleans find a different lineup, possibly with a little bit more size on the wing, to contend with the Hamptons Five?
Can Warriors Keep Pelicans Off Free-Throw Line?
The Warriors didn’t play a perfect Game 4, despite the blowout victory. New Orleans was able to march to the free-throw line 30 times, compared to just 18 times for Golden State. The Pelicans played fiercely and aggressively near the basket, and the Warriors opted for fouls instead of playing straight-up defense most of the team.
Golden State was lucky to avoid foul trouble for its key players, but that is always something that could happen with a strong penetrating team like New Orleans. The Warriors are also a rhythm offensive team that thrives when the game is flowing freely, not when there is a lot of stopped time.
The Pelicans probably won’t shoot so poorly from the outside again. The Warriors need to make sure that the Pelicans’ three-point shooting and free-throw games aren’t both working for them, or we could see a repeat of New Orleans’ Game 3 offensive performance.
Our Preview’s Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans Game 5 Betting Picks & Predictions
Golden State just has a lot more talent than New Orleans, and the team seemed to find a major groove with its Hamptons Five starting lineup in Game 4. Moving back home, the Warriors will be very motivated to win so they can stay there and rest for several days before beginning their Western Conference Finals series.
New Orleans will make at least one significant run behind Anthony Davis, but Golden State should stay in control all game long. So, for this Game 5, here are the Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans predictions for this preview:
- The Warriors should win by double digits at home, where they have been very tough to beat in the postseason over the past few years. The first of our two picks is to confidently place your bets on Warriors -11.5pts @ best odds of -105 with Bovada or Bookmaker
- While these are two strong offensive teams with above-average paces, I don’t think this game will be spectacularly high scoring. Golden State will definitely lock down on defense when it feels like it, and Game 5 will be one of those times. Bet the under 227pts @ -115 with Bovada. The total points is set lower with the other betting firms.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.