My name is Oracle Arena.
You and your Pelicans visited me on Saturday, and I understand you will be back on Monday night for Game 2.
I know you probably haven’t gotten much sleep trying to figure out how to come here and beat my tenant, the Golden State Warriors.
The screaming 19,596 fans all dressed in their gold T-shirts make it even tougher, huh?
Don’t feel bad.
You actually fared better in your 106-99 loss Saturday than most teams that have played here.
That was our 42nd game here this season. You were one of just 12 teams to play us within single digits. We once beat a team by 43 points. (OK, so it was just the Nuggets.)
LeBron James and the Cavaliers felt our wrath too, losing by 18. The Atlanta Hawks, the top seed in the East, lost by 19. Oklahoma City, the team you kept out of the playoffs, lost by 26 on a night when it had both Russell Westbrook AND Kevin Durant.
So winning here ain’t easy.
In fact, the Warriors haven’t lost here since Jan. 27, which was five days BEFORE the Super Bowl.
We’ve won 40 games in this building. There are two teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs that have barely won 40 games total and another team (the Brooklyn Nets) still looking to get to 40.
So yes, Monty, you have your work cut out for you Monday, especially since Tyreke Evans is questionable.
Since I know it’s a long shot for you to come here and beat us, I’m going to help you out and tell you what has to happen to beat us here.
Surely, there has to be a secret formula somewhere, right?
Well, first things first. Don’t get off to a slow start like you did Saturday. Our crowd feeds off that, and we go for the jugular.
The playoff jitters that Anthony Davis had early Saturday should be gone now. If not, you don’t have a chance.
But if you can somehow bottle up Davis’ fourth-quarter performance from Saturday (when he scored 20 of his 35 points) and get four quarters of that, you have some chance.
But what else will it take?
Let me take you back to those two rare occasions when the visitors left my locker rooms with a victory.
First, we have to go all the way back to Nov. 11, when the defending champion San Antonio Spurs visited me here in Oakland.
The Spurs were nearly flawless in a 113-100 win that night, committing just eight turnovers and forcing 20 Golden State turnovers. The San Antonio bench outscored Golden State’s reserves 40-20, and the Spurs outscored the Warriors 48-28 in the paint.
The lesson here? Everybody has to step up and get the ball to Davis early and often. Once he got into a rhythm Saturday, he proved he is hard to stop.
Something else happened in that loss to the Spurs. Stephen Curry went 0-for-7 on 3-pointers that night. It ended his streak of 75 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer.
This is the same Curry who reportedly made a mind-boggling 77 consecutive 3-pointers (and 94 out of 100) in practice last week.
Now let’s look at that other loss, a 113-111 overtime loss to Chicago in January.
The Bulls outrebounded the Warriors 61-48, although it probably should come with an asterisk since Golden State center Andrew Bogut was sick and didn’t play.
The Pelicans can’t get outrebounded Monday like they did on Saturday (47-44).
Double-digit rebounds from Davis, who had just seven boards in Game 1, would help.
Also, in the Warriors’ home loss to the Bulls, they had another rare off-night shooting, missing all 13 of their 3-point attempts in the second half.
That loss snapped the Warriors’ 19-game home winning streak. Since then, Golden State has reeled off another 19 straight wins, perhaps a good sign for the Pelicans.
So the formula is simple.
Don’t get off to a slow start.
Get the ball to AD.
Guys like Norris Cole and Eric Gordon and Quincy Poindexter must play big.
Score 113 points.
Oh, and pray the Warriors aren’t raining down 3-pointers.
OK, so the formula isn’t so simple. Win or lose, at least you get Games 3 and 4 in the Smoothie King Center.
Hope this helps.