Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Warriors at Pelicans (4/9/19)
A look at three key numbers related to Tuesday’s game at the Smoothie King Center between Golden State and New Orleans (7 p.m. Central, Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM):
2: Players on Golden State’s injury report who are listed as out for Tuesday’s game, Andre Iguodala (toe) and Andrew Bogut (rest), but the Warriors did not hold shootaround this morning and therefore it may not be known until early evening whether other key players will sit out the team’s 81st game. When the schedule was released back in August, one of the downsides of Golden State not visiting New Orleans until April 9 was the potential for this matchup to not have tangible incentive for either side; that has become the case (other than homecourt advantage in a possible Golden State vs. Toronto NBA Finals meeting). Golden State radio broadcaster Tim Roye mentioned on Monday’s Black and Blue Report the possibility that the Warriors will split up how they rest starters between Tuesday’s game and Wednesday’s visit to Memphis.
16: Via ESPN.com, total number of potential free agents this summer for Golden State (nine) and New Orleans (seven). While the Warriors’ short-term focus obviously is on trying to capture a third straight NBA championship, a possibly team- and league-altering offseason awaits July 1, the start date of free agency. Meanwhile, the Pelicans will immediately look toward the summer following Tuesday’s game, a five-month period that will feature numerous major decisions and additions. Player-wise, the four Pelicans who could enter unrestricted free agency are Julius Randle (player option), Elfrid Payton, Darius Miller and Ian Clark. The club’s restricted free agent list includes Stanley Johnson, Cheick Diallo and two-way contract signee Trevon Bluiett.
3, 22: Rank in three-pointers made among the 30 NBA teams this season for Golden State and New Orleans, respectively, which coincidentally – OK, maybe not entirely coincidentally – is also exactly where the Warriors and Pelicans rank in winning percentage. Golden State, which has the league’s third-best record at 56-24, has connected on 13.3 treys per game, trailing only Houston (16.1) and Milwaukee (13.5), while New Orleans is at 10.3 a night. The Pelicans – who own the NBA’s 22nd-best winning percentage – bumped up their three-point numbers Sunday by tying a franchise record with 19 makes, spearheading a win at Sacramento. Three-point shooting will likely be an area of focus for New Orleans during the offseason, with most of the NBA’s top-tier squads faring well in this category. Among the teams seeded in the top three of each conference currently, four of them rank in the top eight of three-pointers made, a group that also includes Toronto. None of those six squads rank lower than 19th (Denver is No. 17, Philadelphia is No. 19).