Welcome back! I didn’t forget about you. The powers that be at VSiN were nice enough to give me some time off before the postseason marathon begins, but after some time to decompress, we are back in the saddle.
It's not the greatest slate tonight, as there are four double-digit favorites in the NBA tonight and three other franchises laying at least 7.5 points. It does not make for much drama, but the point spread is the great equalizer and each game carries weight as these teams jostle for seeding. There are a few games worth monitoring, so let’s dive in.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
Updated injury reports for every game can be found here.
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
The Main Event
New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors (-5, 229.5)
It is winning time for Golden State, and it has answered that call. The Warriors come into Friday night on a 4-0 SU/ATS run over the last four games and a 6-1 SU/ATS record over the last seven contests. That streak could be in jeopardy tonight should Steve Kerr follow through on his plan to rest his starters here, but Memphis’ win over Sacramento on Thursday could cause him to play everybody as those two duke it out for the eighth seed.
Should we get Golden State at full strength, New Orleans will have to prepare for one the best defenses in the league. One might think offense has been the catalyst for the Warriors’ seven-game run, but it has been a defense that has limited opponents to 102.1 points per 100 possessions and 28.7% on 36.3 3-point attempts per game. Golden State had success in defending New Orleans in their two-game series 10 days ago, limiting the Pelicans to a 103.3 offensive rating in the split set.
Offense has been a problem for New Orleans in the second half of the season overall though, not just in meetings with Golden State. Since the All-Star break, this offense is 21st in the NBA with an average of 110.6 points per 100 possessions. New Orleans has zero shooting threats, and since the break they are 28th in shooting offense in the league (33.3% on 29.1 attempts per game). Brandon Ingram might be on the floor tonight, but he will not do much to fix an offense that has had these issues for 34 games.