Balls: Pelicans are dead; Warriors are just better 

click to enlarge Golden State's Klay Thompson (11) defends on New Orleans' Anthony Davis in the Warriors' Game 2 victory over the Pelicans. - MARCIO JOE SANCHEZ/AP
  • Marcio Joe Sanchez/AP
  • Golden State's Klay Thompson (11) defends on New Orleans' Anthony Davis in the Warriors' Game 2 victory over the Pelicans.
The Warriors broke the spirit of the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 1 of their playoff series. Did the Warriors break their will in Game 2 on Monday?

Balls says yes.

Series over.

Face it, a game bunch of Pelicans can’t play any better than it did in the first two games at Oracle Arena, where the home team almost never loses. Anthony Davis was everything he was cracked up to be and more. He even got some help along the way. What did it get the Pelicans? Absolutely nothin’, that’s what.

See, the beauty of the Warriors is that they can beat you any which way on a given night. In Game 1, they won with their starters and defense. In Game 2, they won with their big three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and defense.

Get this: The Warriors haven’t played their best game yet. Not even close.

In the fourth quarter, Thompson turned the Pelicans into Klay pigeons. The visitors were gassed. Davis looked like he had carried Charles Barkley on his back for 30 minutes.

Hey, Unibrow, cheer up. It will only get worse in the final two games of the series in New Orleans.

NEXT MAN UP? The departure of coach Todd McLellan was a good first step for the San Jose Hockey Country Club in its long road back to respectability, but it can’t stop there. Next, Doug Wilson should be bounced upstairs or down the stairs before he sets the franchise back to its Cow Palace days.

It was Wilson who effectively threw McLellan under a Greyhound bus last fall. After Wilson sat on his duff for most of the summer, he announced the team was in transition. If a general manager believes his team is dog breath, that’s one thing. But he can’t say as much publicly, especially when said team is a veteran-dominated bunch.

McLellan and the Sharks were doomed to fail from the start. In training camp, the first words out of McClellan’s mouth were “We’re here to win,” a desperate attempt to get his players in the right frame of mind. But when his boss has already set the bar so low, veterans have a tendency to play to the level of the competition. And that’s pretty much what the SJHCC did from start to finish, wasn’t it?

CONNECT THE DOTS: Don’t feel too badly for McLellan, a proven coach will who won’t be without a job for long.

The Edmonton Oilers, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs are said to have McLellan in their sights, but Balls bets he has the Red Wings on his mind.

Coach Mike Babcock will become a free agent after the season, and if the Red Wings get clipped early in the playoffs, that lends more credence to the speculation that Babcock is on his way out. That would leave the door open for McLellan, who was a Red Wings assistant for three seasons before coming to the Sharks.

Who handpicked McLellan for the position? Babcock, of course. The same Babcock who said Monday, “Someone’s going to get a good coach, right?”

Could it be the Red Wings? Weird.

PRETZEL ILLOGIC: The Philadelphia Eagles signed Tim Tebow, who will compete with Matt Barkley for the No. 3 quarterback spot in training camp. Balls doubts that either Barkley or Tebow will have much value this season, but coupled with Sam Bradford, the Eagles at least have the most Heisman Trophy votes in the league.

The real question is who will have the bigger circus this summer — Tebow and the Eagles or Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns? It’s too early to tell, of course, but the Philadelphia Pretzel Company already has issued a Tebow pretzel — kneel, bowed head and all — which means the Iggles are the early favorites.

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to pladewski@sfexaminer.com and you may get your name in the paper one day.
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