Offense likely to decide tonight’s matchup between Pelicans and Warriors

Mar 28, 2023 - 8:18 PM
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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Tuesday’s matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors appears to boil down to one thing: Can Brandon Ingram direct his squad to put up 120 points or more on the scoreboard?

If recent history is any indication, the Pelicans have rediscovered their offensive firepower behind the play of their star forward. Not only is Ingram filling up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, the Pelicans are averaging 121.2 points during the five-game winning streak. The team’s shooting has been lights out.

50-40-90 is the gold standard for shooters. Largely behind Ingram, Trey Murphy and CJ McCollum, the Pelicans have darn near operated at that level since March 19th’s win in Houston, combining for a team 52.0 field goal percentage, 44.4 3-point percentage and 85.2 free throw percentage.

Fantastic offensive proficiency will likely be necessary to beat the Warriors for several reasons. Golden State has been stellar at limiting opponents inside the Chase Center all season, posting a 107.8 defensive rating, and their offense has been flying high for weeks.

Prior to Sunday’s 99-96 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors had topped 119 points or more in eight straight games. The run has largely coincided with Stephen Curry’s return from a left leg injury. Golden State now boasts three fearsome scoring shooters in Steph, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole.

The Warriors should be eager to make amends for a 41-point second half effort against the Timberwolves, which included two key turnovers inside the final minute. The Pelicans, though, have really hit their stride again. While most of the losses have come against subpar competition, the collective’s confidence is sky-high — as evidenced by the team’s unconscious 3-point shooting.

It’s a make or miss league and right now New Orleans is making shots at a rate that can result in victory against anyone, including Golden State’s vaunted trio.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (38-37) at Golden State Warriors (39-37)

When: March 28, 9:00 p.m. CT

Where to watch: TNT

Where to listen: WRNO 99.5

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.

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