On Oct. 28, the New Orleans Pelicans competed against the Golden State Warriors at home. The Pelicans lost the game 123-134, but it was still a fun experience from start to finish.
My seats were in section 311, but at around 7:30 p.m., a Smoothie King Center staff member came up and asked if I wanted a seat upgrade. I was surprised because I was wearing a Klay Thompson jersey, a currently injured player for the Warriors, but of course, I obliged and got moved to section 109.
With me wearing a Warriors jersey, I got a few boos at my new seat. I am forever a Pelican’s supporter, but Klay Thompson is my favorite player in the NBA.
From this new perspective, the game was even more fun. The playful boos didn’t faze me, and my view was much better. The fans sitting next to me engaged in banter with me throughout the night, which also added to the experience.
There was a good turnout for the game, and the energy was high from start to finish, especially when the Pelicans would go on runs.
The star player for the Pelicans was Brandon Ingram. Ingram had a double-double for the night with 27 points and 10 rebounds. He was the driving force behind the Pelicans offense.
While for the Warriors, the star was Stephen Curry. Curry had 26 points for the night, including multiple three-pointers.
Even without two key players for the Pelicans, Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson, they fought hard in the end, only losing by 11 points. They did, however, start off slow, and head coach Alvin Gentry had something to say about that.
“We were never in the game, we never had any chance at all to win and I think that’s the most disturbing thing to me, especially at home,” said Gentry.
Observations throughout the game proved that the Pelicans are still adapting to their new lineup and the lineup without two key players. This was only their fourth game of the season, but already their fourth loss as well.
The rebounding was poor on both the offensive and defensive end. There was a lack of second-chance points as compared to the Warriors.
The Pelicans’ pace was much slower than the Warriors, and they failed to move consistently without the ball. They needed more cuts and screens and overall better communication on both ends of the floor.
There were some nice dunks and alley-oops and one particular nice run from the Pelicans in the first half. Led by energy from Lonzo Ball, the Pelicans went on a 9-0 run toward the end of the second quarter. The run got the halftime score to 55-72.
The second half included the third and fourth quarters and saw some of the same struggles plus more. The Pelicans committed too many fouls, which put the Warriors in the bonus.
Brandon Ingram did start to show out more during these quarters, but it was a one-man show while other players like JJ Redick were cold. Again, there were too many second-chance points allowed by the Pelicans, which stemmed from poor rebounding and slow defense.
Statistically, the Warriors beat the Pelicans in every positive opportunity except for steals and blocks. They shot better percentages and had more assists, free throws and points in the paint. The Pelicans, however, did have fewer fouls and turnovers, but it wasn’t enough of a difference to win the game.
Even with the loss for the Pelicans, I still enjoyed the game. I’m excited to see how they will adapt later on in the season.