The Pelicans took it to Golden State on Friday night, closing the series gap to 2-1 with a 119-100 win.
In response, the Warriors have responded by trotting out a starting five we haven’t seen before:
Lineups turned into the scorer’s table: Warriors starting Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green together for the first time ever.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 6, 2018
That’s the Golden State death lineup, essentially, with Draymond, Durant, Iggy, and Klay able to switch just about everything. Traditionally, the Warriors waited to unleash this lineup at strategic points during the game and to close games, which allowed Steve Kerr to take advantage of some opposing bench players as well. But with Anthony Davis doing otherworldly things, Kerr doesn’t want to run the risk of coming out flat and giving the Pelicans a chance to even the series.
The Warriors can’t lose the series today, obviously, but a 3-1 lead heading back to the Bay is pretty much a guaranteed win, years of 3-1 lead jokes aside. 2-2 is a very different story. And if Golden State comes out firing, this could be a blueprint going forward.
Of courrse, if it goes poorly (which is possible; Anthony Davis has to be looking to eat inside early), it looks more like a desperation move that backfired. That’s why they play the games, though. And hey, after game 2, this series seemed over! This is a lot more interesting than that.