NEW ORLEANS -- The goal for the Warriors in Bayou Country is simple. They arrived here wanting to smoke the Pelicans twice, and then return to the Bay Area this weekend to await the next opponent.
It's the proper objective going into Game 3 Thursday night at Smoothie King Center, but is it too grand?
Games 1 and 2 at Oracle Arena provided indications that it's absolutely conceivable.
And being on the road, where the Warriors embrace being outnumbered, has its benefits.
The Warriors are up 2-0 despite some obvious difficulties with New Orleans. With the elongated form of Anthony Davis blanketing half the court, the Pelicans have been disruptive on defense. On offense, they've utilized screen-and-rolls to get Davis near the rim or, more damaging, to give Quincy Pondexter and Eric Gordon open looks beyond the arc.
But if the Warriors fix those two problems -- and they believe they will -- it's realistic to believe they can win twice at Smoothie King Center and achieve the sweep.
"I like the position we're in," coach Steve Kerr told CSNBayArea.com. "I don't think we're ahead of the game; you don't get ahead of the game until you win on the road. But I feel good. I know we can play better."
The Warriors have put together impressive stretches but no truly impressive game, partly because New Orleans is a well-coached, high-quality team. But the Warriors expect better.
And there is this: Behind MVP candidate Stephen Curry they take particularly sadistic pleasure in taking the energy out of an opposing arena.
"That's a great feeling," Curry said, adding that the postgame locker room is most fun "when you can celebrate winning in a hostile environment," which will be the case Thursday night.
"We were a great road team this year," Kerr told CSNBayArea.com. "We seem to step up to the challenge. We seem to embrace the adversity and the opposing crowd. Some of that has to do with Steph's bravado."
The Warriors were 28-13 on the road this season, after going 24-17 away from Oracle last season. Just as they draw energy from their home crowds, they also find ways to bond in enemy territory.
"Nothing compares to playing in front of our fans at Oracle, but it's fun for a team to kind of band together on the road and get a win," Curry said. "You see the playoff theme in the arena and you know it's going to be a pretty crazy environment, but for us to just be here by ourselves and get a win, that's more fun for us."
So expect even higher intensity. Expect more of the ball movement that has made them tough to defend and beautiful to watch. Expect improved defense on those screen-and-rolls.
Don't expect Curry to continue to shoot 35 percent (7-of-20) from deep, or for the Warriors to remain the inferior 3-point shooting club -- or be the team that commits more turnovers, as they did in each of the first two games.
"We'll get it figured out," forward Draymond Green said. "But if we can win two games (without being at our best) ... eventually, it's going to click. And we can be a force to be reckoned with when it does."