The Golden State Warriors won Game 1 against the New Orleans Pelicans by 22, and it wasn’t that close. Golden State pulled away in the second quarter and the game was never in question after that. New Orleans, better rested and with some adjustments ready, should be better in Game 2.
“He’s ready to go. He’s been cleared,” Kerr said.
Curry has been out since March 23 with an MCL sprain, his return opens things up. While the Warriors can score just fine without him — Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are elite offensive players — the Warriors offense is built around Curry. He moves the ball, moves off the ball, and other teams can’t ignore him inside 28 feet even if he doesn’t have the ball. That off-ball gravity pulling defenders toward him opens up everything in the Warriors offense. Golden State’s offense is 14.4 points per 100 possessions better when Curry is on the court this season.
Curry likely will be eased back in a little, not playing anywhere near 40 minutes in his return. The Warriors don’t need him to, they just need him to shake the rust off, get his game conditioning back, and be ready for Houston in the next round. That is when it all has to come together.