On Monday night, the Golden State Warriors destroyed the New Orleans Pelicans, winning 130-102 and taking the Smoothie King Center. After defeating the Houston Rockets on Sunday night, the Dubs won their third straight game, all of which have been on the road. This victory completed a perfect sweep of the team’s first back-to-back of the season.
Although it’s far too early to declare anything, this Warriors team appears to be very different from the one from the previous season. The cohesive depth is one aspect of it. The early success on the road plays a part in it. The most important aspect, though, is still Steph Curry’s transcendent skills.
After it was revealed that Brandon Ingram, Jonathan Kuminga, and Klay Thompson were all sidelined by injuries, excitement for the much-anticipated game began to dwindle. Nonetheless, neither team was able to establish a lead of more than three points throughout the first quarter, as both appeared evenly matched.
But Zion Williamson, the top player for the Pelicans, was plagued by foul trouble the whole game, and when both teams’ reserves were put to the test, Golden State started to pull away in the second quarter.
Thompson was easily replaced in the starting lineup by Moses Moody, while Kuminga’s backup unit was easily filled by youngsters Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Although Thompson and Kuminga are certainly essential to Golden State’s chances of winning the championship this year, they are also two players who have the ability to command attention on offense. The Warriors’ offense was forced to center around either Chris Paul or Curry when they were both sidelined.
In less than 20 minutes, Jackson-Davis scored 13 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, and blocked four shots, making him the clear standout on the bench. Jackson-Davis was contributing to more than simply stat sheet filling. The rookie, selected in the second round, didn’t appear overmatched on either end of the court and was ready to step in as a backup center right away.
That might be a major plus for the Warriors as they work to make sure Draymond Green doesn’t tire out playing center.
The third quarter ended with a 13-1 run by the Warriors, increasing their advantage to 98-78. If Steve Kerr had benched Curry for the whole fourth quarter in the second part of a back-to-back, nobody would have given a damn. Rather, Curry went back to the floor a few minutes later to deliver one last powerful blow.
Although Curry has never been one to discuss seeking personal recognition, it appears that he is playing with the MVP in mind. In barely 30 minutes of play, the two-time recipient of the esteemed honor concluded the game on Monday with 42 points on 15 of 22 field goals. Although it’s early, Curry is fast making a name for himself as the NBA’s MVP front-runner.