It has become a tried and true tradition of sorts in the NBA. A team that lost both of their opening games on the road, while playing fairly pedestrian basketball, comes home and improves considerably to win and revive some hopes of advancing to the next round. That’s exactly what took place on Friday night as the New Orleans Pelicans put in one of the best showings they could have hoped for against the Western Conference’s favored team.
The Pelicans did it by by doing what Golden State has been doing as well, showing just how good this young team can be. The fast-paced up-and-down game that the Warriors have breathed into life was used against them in this very game by the likes of Anthony Davis, who scored 33 points and added 18 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo, who piled up 20 assists on the night to go along with 10 rebounds. It was a dominant performance that gave them a 119-100. from them that has seen them cut the series lead to 2-1.
Perhaps, though, the most encouraging sign from the game is the fact that Pelicans were able to play great defense throughout against the most dangerous group of players in the past decade or so in the league. This wasn’t just a game where the Pelicans shot the ball well. Instead, it was a totally commanding showing that left no doubt that they will be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of this series and in the years to come as well.
This win will give them added belief, belief that coach Alvin Gentry has been trying to pump into his young charges, and that will drive them on in the next couple of games. The Warriors are still favorites to advance, no doubt, and you can expect a response in Game 4, but if the Pelicans can replicate this showing, they could be turn a formality of a series into a truly classic match up for the ages.