OAKLAND, CA (WVUE) - In their first taste of NBA playoff action Saturday afternoon, things could not have gone much worse for the Pelicans over the first two quarters.
"It was pretty hectic, so much going on," Anthony Davis said. "So loud I couldn't hear my teammates. Couldn't hear the coaches, and we started off bad as a team."
"Our defense in pick and roll at times wasn't great. To start the game transition was bad. Offensively we didn't start moving the ball with any purpose initial the second half. We did some a little bit with the second unit in the second quarter, but we didn't play consistently in any area for the duration of the game, so we have to be better," said head coach Monty Williams.
22-year star old Anthony Davis' post-season inexperience showed, as Davis had just 11 points and one rebound at the half, with his team trailing by 18. Davis admitted to having some nerves and experiencing something new in his basketball career.
"It's different, different, atmosphere, calls are different," Davis said. "Guys are scouting you, know your moves, so it's very different. This is what you come into the league for, get playoff experience. Eventually get to the finals and win a ring, but it starts here, my first playoff experience."
Davis finally settled in during a dominant fourth quarter, in which he scored 20 of his game-high 35 points, helping the Pelicans trim a huge deficit into a possible late game comeback. Though the Warriors held on for the win, Davis has a much better feel heading into Game 2.
"Just be calm, be more relaxed going into the game," Davis said. "We had a lot of energy, but it didn't work out for us. Just try to be calm and relaxed and take shots with confidence and just play together."
"We have a little bit of momentum based on our guys settling down, with nerves and a new experience, but at the same time we need to play a lot better," said Williams.
"We're all collective, we're all talking. Good thing is we got better as the game went on and were looking forward to the next one," said guard Eric Gordon.
Defensively, the Pelicans limited the Warriors' three point barrage, but they gave up too many easy buckets down low. Golden State had more points in the paint and via fast break.
"They got in transition, made threes, we kinda contained Steph of course, Klay, and rebound, but the biggest focus is getting back on transition," Davis said.
Williams added, "You're playing against the best team on the NBA, if you think you'll take away everything you're crazy. We gotta figure out which poison is necessary to take away. We're one of the best at taking away threes, but (Saturday) they were in the paint shooting layup after layup."
Now the Pelicans gear up for Monday night's Game 2. The Warriors are heavy favorites once again, especially with Tyreke Evans questionable with a knee injury. Still, the Pels believe avoiding an 0-2 hole and pulling off the upset is critical to their chances in this series.
"It's definitely important but at the same time we're going home with two games there, and my mindset is just to win one on the road," Davis said. "Now the pressure's on them to try to win one in New Orleans.
Game 2 tips at 9:30 CST from Oracle Arena in Oakland.