By the Numbers: Warriors (2) vs Pelicans (6)

NBA.com Global on Apr 28, 2018 03:58 PM
By the Numbers: Warriors (2) vs Pelicans (6)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 13: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors goes for a lay up during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 13, 2016 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com

Year 4 of the Golden State Warriors' run atop the NBA has been a bit of a grind. The champs fell off defensively this season and lost nine more games than they had in any of their other three seasons under coach Steve Kerr.

More important is that the Warriors have been without Stephen Curry for 36 games, including all five in the first round. The two-time MVP is his team's most important player, the engine for what has been a historically good offense.

The Warriors took care of business against the San Antonio Spurs and will have Curry back at some point in the conference semifinals, maybe for Game 1 on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Of course, that doesn't mean that they'll walk through this series.

The New Orleans Pelicans played their best basketball of the season in the first round, sweeping the No. 3-seeded Portland Trail Blazers by putting the clamps on Damian Lillard and running roughshod over a top-10 defense. The Pelicans themselves had a top-five defense after losing DeMarcus Cousins for the season and the No. 1 offense in the first round. Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo have taken things to a new level and the champs will have their work cut out for them in the next two weeks.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the Western Conference semis, with links to let you dive in and explore more. Game 1 is Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET (Sunday, 10:30am, PHL time)

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Golden State Warriors (58-24, 4-1)

First round: Beat San Antonio in five games.
Pace: 95.7 (11)
OffRtg: 111.2 (3)
DefRtg: 100.3 (1)
NetRtg: +10.9 (1)

Warriors first round notes - Team:

1. They are the best third-quarter team in the first round, outscoring the Spurs by 32 points per 100 possessions in the third period.

2. Assisted on 68 percent of their field goals, the second highest rate in the first round.

3. Scored only 33 percent of their points in the paint, the lowest rate in the first round. Averaged a postseason-low 24 drives per game.

4. Allowed only 26.8 points per game in the restricted area, fewest in the first round.

5. Starting lineup grabbed 58 percent of available rebounds, the best rebounding percentage among lineups that have played at least 50 minutes in the first round.

Warriors first round notes - Individuals:

1. Kevin Durant is one of five players to average 25 points, five rebounds and five assists and one of three to shoot 90 percent or better on at least five free throw attempts per game in the first round.

2. Durant shot 24-for-36 (67 percent) from mid-range, the best mark among players with at least 20 mid-range attempts in the first round.

3. Draymond Green is one of four players to average at least eight rebounds and eight assists in the first round.

4. Green averaged just 0.118 points per touch, the fewest among players who averaged at least 50 touches per game in the first round.

5. Andre Iguodala shot 41 percent (7-for-17) from three-point range in the first round after shooting just 28 percent in the regular season.

6. Shaun Livingston took only 31 percent of his shots from the restricted area or three-point range, the lowest rate among players who have attempted at least 25 shots in the playoffs thus far.

7. Klay Thompson shot 16-for-31 (52 percent) from three-point range, the second highest mark among players with at least 25 3-point attempts in the first round. Durant shot 10-for-40 (25 percent), the second worst mark.

8. Thompson was one of five players to average at least five catch-and-shoot points and five pull-up points per game in the first round.

9. Green and Thompson were on the floor together for 36.1 minutes per game, the most among any pair of teammates in the first round.

New Orleans Pelicans (48-34, 4-0)

First round: Beat Portland in four games.
Pace: 100.5 (7)
OffRtg: 114.7 (1)
DefRtg: 104.3 (6)
NetRtg: +10.4 (2)

Pelicans first round notes - Team:

1. Only team that swept a first round series this year and the first team seeded 6 or lower to sweep a series since the first round went to a best-of-seven format in 2003.

2. Scored 7.0 more points per 100 possessions than they scored in the regular season and 10.5 more points per 100 possessions than the Blazers (a top-10 defense) allowed in the regular season. New Orleans' was the biggest increase in OffRtg from the regular season to the first round and Portland's was the biggest increase in DefRtg from the regular season to the first round.

3. Best first-quarter team in the first round, outscoring the Blazers by 26 points per 100 possessions in the opening 12 minutes.

4. Averaged only 3.8 shots per game in the last four seconds of the shot clock, fewest in the first round.

5. Their 32 fast break points in Game 3 were the most in any first-round game this year.

6. Starting lineup outscored Portland by 51 points, the best raw plus-minus among all lineups in the first round. It scored 126 points per 100 possessions, the best mark among lineups that have played at least 50 minutes in the first round.

Pelicans first round notes - Individuals:

1. Anthony Davis' 33.0 points per game rank second in the playoffs. He led the first round with 18.5 points in the paint per game, 4.8 second chance points per game, and 10.3 points per game as a roll man. His 47 points in Game 4 were the most scored in the first round.

2. Davis averaged 15.5 points per game in the restricted area rank second in the first round. Jrue Holiday's 14.5 points per game in the restricted area ranked third. Holiday is one of two players to have shot 80 percent or better on at least 20 restricted-area shots in the first round and averaged 13.0 points per game on drives, second to only LeBron James in the first round.

3. Holiday scored 1.59 points per possession in transition, the best mark among players who averaged at least three transition possessions per game.

4. The Pelicans outscored the Blazers by 20.1 points per 100 possessions with Nikola Mirotic on the floor. That was the highest on-court NetRtg for players that averaged at least 15 minutes per game in the first round. Mirotic's plus-58 over the four games was the second best raw plus-minus in the first round.

5. Mirotic (69 percent), Holiday (61 percent) and Davis (59 percent) rank second, 12th and 17th in effective field goal percentage among 73 players who have attempted at least 40 shots in the playoffs.

6. Rajon Rondo led the first round with 13.3 assists per game and recorded assists on 49 percent of his possessions, the highest rate among players who averaged at least 15 minutes per game in the first round. He had the two highest assist totals (17 in Game 1 and 16 in Game 4) in the first round.

Regular season matchup

Season series: Warriors won 3-1 (1-1 at Golden State)
Oct. 20 (Oct. 21, PHL time) @ New Orleans - Warriors 128, Pelicans 120
Nov. 25 (Nov. 26, PHL time) @ Golden State - Warriors 110, Pelicans 95
Dec. 4 (Dec. 5, PHL time) @ New Orleans - Warriors 125, Pelicans 115
Apr. 7 (Apr. 8, PHL time) @ Golden State - Pelicans 126, Warriors 120

Pace: 106.1 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes
Golden State OffRtg: 113.0 (5th vs. New Orleans)
New Orleans OffRtg: 108.3 (9th vs. Golden State)

1. The Oct. 20 (Oct. 21, PHL time) meeting was the only one in which Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis all played. Durant missed the second meeting and Curry missed the fourth meeting (the only New Orleans win) for the Warriors. No Golden State lineup played more than 20 minutes against the Pelicans this season.

2. Jrue Holiday, Darius Miller and E'Twaun Moore were the only Pelicans to play in all four games. Rajon Rondo missed the first meeting, Davis missed the third meeting, and DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season before the fourth meeting, the only one in which Nikola Mirotic played. No New Orleans lineup played more than 16 total minutes against the Warriors this season.

3. The Oct. 20 (Oct. 21, PHL time) game and the Dec. 4 (Dec. 5, PHL time) game were two of the six fastest-paced games the Pelicans played and two of the five fastest-paced games the Warriors played in the regular season.

4. The Warriors' effective field goal percentage of 57.9 percent over the four games was the third highest mark against the Pelicans this season. The Pelicans allowed an effective field goal percentage of 60 percent or better in 10 games, and the Warriors were the opponent in three of the 10. The April 7 (April 8, PHL time) game was the only time the Pelicans allowed an effective field goal percentage of 60 percent or better and won the game.

5. The Pelicans' effective field goal percentage of 62.6 percent on April 7 (April 8, PHL time) was the second best shooting game for any team against the Warriors. Their turnover rate of just 7.9 per 100 possessions in that game was the lowest for any team in a game against Golden State.

6. Curry's 28.7 and Durant's 27.3 points per game were the two highest scoring averages among Western Conference players against the Pelicans this season. Durant's 41 points in the Warriors' April 7 (April 8, PHL time) loss were tied for the most points scored in a game against New Orleans.

7. Klay Thompson's 18 three-pointers were five more than any other player made against the Pelicans in the regular season.

8. Rondo's 34 assists (with only six turnovers) were the most any player had against the Warriors in the regular season. The Pelicans were a plus-11 in 87 minutes with Rondo on the floor and a minus-38 in 105 minutes with him off the floor.

9. Curry scored 30 points (and the Warriors scored rather efficiently) on 63 possessions in which Holiday was his primary defender. He scored just nine points (and the Warriors didn't score very efficiently) on 69 possessions in which Rondo was his primary defender.

10. Holiday was the Pelican who defended Durant the most. Durant shot more frequently than he usually does on those possessions, but the Warriors scored just 70 points on the 74.

11. Green was the primary defender on Davis for 119 possessions, almost 100 more than any other Warriors defender. Davis shot less than he usually does on those possessions, but the Pelicans scored efficiently.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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