Not a whole lot on offer here if like me you cannot possibly see a shock in this round one matchup. This is not meant to disrespect the Pelicans (45-37) who have fought wonderfully to make the No.8 spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. The price here represents a No.1 seed that look utterly infallible. The Warriors (67-15) have had their greatest season in franchise history in terms of wins and their play under Steve Kerr has been absolutely breath-taking. Atlanta have had a terrific year and both the Cavs and the Spurs are looking in championship form but the Golden State Warriors have undoubtedly been the NBA’s best team this season.
The Pelicans will certainly test Golden State though. Firstly, the Warriors will have to deal with New Orleans’ future MVP Anthony Davis who is now undoubtedly the league’s best Center and on course for superstardom. He will face one of the NBA’s best defensive big men though in the shape of Andrew Bogut but it will be extremely difficult to manage a determined Davis.
Then you have Tyreke Evans, a huge prospect who has stalled significantly in recent years. Evans has been instrumental in helping the Pelicans reach the postseason; averaging 16.6 PPG (his best since 2010-2011) and it is his shot selection and all-round play of late that has been stellar – shooting a 51.2% clip and registering 5.2 RPG and 7.3 APG over his last ten games. With Eric Gordon performing, Ryan Anderson adding offence off the bench and Omer Asik helping on defence this Pelicans side will be no pushover.
All this said, the Warriors depth will be too much for the Pelicans. In the backcourt they have the Splash Bros – Steph Curry and Klay Thompson – who represent the most skilful and potent backcourt that I have seen in my lifetime. Curry has beaten his own 3-point shooting record already this season and every day my social media is jam-packed full of highlights from the night before with Curry snapping defender’s ankle’s with crossovers and behind-the-back dribbles before draining a three with an effortless ease.
In another year Klay Thompson could be MVP but his partner in crime should be favoured for the title. In Draymond Green the Warriors have a contender for Most Improved Player and Defensive Player of the Year (along with Bogut in the latter category) and his toughness has added extra bit to the Warriors’ frontline. Their bench consists of former All-Stars Andre Iguodala and David Lee; former prodigy Shaun Livingston and the underrated Marreese Speights. There simply are no weaknesses.
Sidenote: The Dallas Mavericks had an identical win record (67-15) in 2007 when they were blown away by the 8th seed Warriors in one of the biggest series shocks in NBA playoff history. Surely this won’t happen to Golden State themselves? It won’t. Warriors to win 4-1.