Warriors’ Playoff Push
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The NBA playoffs are underway and the Golden State Warriors are looking like a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference. As the highest seed in their conference, Golden State’s first foe would be Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The first game of the series last Saturday saw the Warriors dominate early but the Pelicans made the score look respectable in the end. Davis scored 35 points in the losing effort, as he shot 13-23 from the field with help coming only from teammates Quincy Pondexter and Eric Gordon, who respectively scored 20 and 16. According to nba.com Anthony Davis, otherwise known as “the Brow” for his bold uni-brow, thought his team didn’t have a lot of confidence for the first game against the Warriors.
“I think the whole team was nervous,” said Davis. “This is our first time as a unit in the playoffs and our pace was good. We were moving fast but our minds were moving fast as well.”
The loss on Saturday was not the only one the team suffered however, as former Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans went down with a left knee injury. The second game of the series saw the Warriors down at the end of the first quarter 17-28. With good defense however they would go on to take a 2-0 series lead, winning 97-87 in a hard fought battle.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson and head coach Steve Kerr gave their analysis of game two according to nba.com.
“We know we’re going to have turnovers or lapses,” Thompson said, “but it’s the defense that won us the game.”
As for Kerr, the coach said he enjoys that his team is always playing high-energy games and not necessarily blowing anyone out. This could be what Kerr actually thinks or a strategy to keep everyone, including his team and the media, calm but anything he says right now just seems to click with his team.
“We still get excited at times and do some crazy things. I kind of like the fact that we walk that line,” Kerr said. “It’s what makes us who we are.”
The Warriors ultimately just did what they should have done against an eight-seed at home, go 2-0 as the series heads to New Orleans. They have not done it in convincing fashion however, which only makes this get-it-over-already series more compelling.
It would not surprise me if the Pelicans won the third game in the series, making it 2-1 and forcing the Warriors to advance to the next round on their home turf. Even though Evans has a bruise on his knee and Davis does not have much help, “the Brow” is an absolute man and usually having one great player is enough to at least win you a game in the NBA Playoffs.
I do not expect the Pelicans to hand the Warriors more than one loss in this series. The Bay’s team showed in the regular season they are not a bad pick to win the finals, with a 65-17 record. The Warriors next opponent will likely be the Memphis Grizzlies, as they are up in their series against the Portland Trail Blazers 2-0.
The Grizzlies do not pose much of a threat but the Warriors must hope that either the Clippers or the Rockets knock off the Spurs. The Spurs are the only team in the Western Conference that could deny the Warriors a trip to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
An aging Chris Paul and a slam-dunk god in Blake Griffin don’t seem to pose the same threat as Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich. It should be clear sailing to the finals for the Warriors if Tony Parker stays unhealthy or if the Spurs are eliminated.