Jrue Holiday tries to operate against Golden State defender Kevin Durant

Top 10 Pelicans Home Games of 2018-19: No. 1 vs. Warriors

by Jim Eichenhofer

Tuesday, April 9 (7 p.m.)

Why it’s on the list
You may have heard – a four-time All-Star center decided to change his NBA address July 2, moving from New Orleans to the California Bay Area. The league’s schedulemakers gave DeMarcus Cousins the greatest possible chance of making an on-court return to New Orleans this season, placing Golden State’s only visit of ’18-19 in Game 82 for the Pelicans. The story of Cousins facing New Orleans will likely dominate the headlines prior to this matchup, but it also will be a rematch of the ’18 Western Conference semifinals and a game that features a handful of other perennial All-Stars. New Orleans franchise player Anthony Davis is a five-time All-Star, while Golden State’s familiar quartet of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all appeared in the midseason showcase last season.

Where it falls on the New Orleans schedule
This is key, because as the final regular season game for the Pelicans – and the second-to-last contest for the Warriors, who are at Memphis on April 10 – the meeting could either be extremely important or supremely inconsequential. Golden State has frequently locked up the No. 1 seed prior to the final week of the regular season in recent years, and knew it would be a No. 2 seed last season behind Houston well in advance of Game 82. Meanwhile, in what was a very competitive and tight West race, New Orleans didn’t lock up a playoff berth until Game 81 last season and finally procured its No. 6 seed by defeating San Antonio on the final night of the campaign. On the flip side, there have also been many recent seasons where the finale was meaningless in the standings for the Pelicans.

What’s new in Golden State
After numerous basketball fans across the continent decried the notion of the Warriors adding another All-Star to the mix in Cousins, the two-time defending NBA champions later signed forward Jonas Jerebko in free agency from Utah. Jacob Evans was the team’s first-round pick, at No. 28 overall. Golden State lost JaVale McGee (Lakers) and Zaza Pachulia (Detroit) in free agency.

Other 2018-19 games between these two teams
Wednesday, Oct. 31, New Orleans at Golden State
Wednesday, Jan. 16, New Orleans at Golden State (ESPN)

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