West Conf. Semis - Game 4: Golden State Warriors 118-92 New Orleans Pelicans - 5 Talking Points
This was a pivotal Game 4 and having received a punch in Game 3, the Golden State Warriors were ready to hit back. They made their initial statement even before the tip-off, by announcing that their death line-up of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green would be starting Game 4.
There wasn't one particular difference-making part of the game, there were multiple.
The defending champions had opened up an 18-point lead in the first quarter but a spirited comeback by the New Orleans Pelicans meant that their halftime lead was only seven. Unfortunately, that's about as competitive as it got. For the duration of the second half it was all Warriors. Let's deep-dive further into the game with the 5 biggest takeaways:
#5 Draymond Green was back and so were the Warriors
So all of the Warriors' Big 4 had below-par games on Friday night. And although not all of them were all guns blazing in Game 4, their key cog Draymond Green was back and it should come as no surprise that so were the Warriors.
Green averages a triple-double for the series, so he pretty much stuck to that with his stat line of 8 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in Game 4. But as mentioned earlier, it was the other things he does that help the Warriors - stocks (steals + blocks). We discussed this after Game 3, that his stocks' total shows how active he is. After recording none in Game 3, he was back with 6 in Game 4.
His shooting numbers weren't great (3-of-9) but he made enough from long range (2-of-4, 50%) for the Pelicans to start respecting him (their gameplan was to sag off him and let him shoot). In the process, that opened up the passing lanes and led to opportunities for the other better shooters on the team.