NBA Playoffs Preview - Round 1 - Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds
The Warriors have been the best team in the NBA under first year head coach Steve Kerr. They finished with their best regular season record in team history. They also won the season series over the Pelicans 3-1. New Orleans is led by superstar Anthony Davis who will likely finish in the top 5 of the MVP voting. The Warriors are led by leading MVP candidate Stephen Curry and his backcourt mate Klay Thompson.
Point Guard- Jrue Holiday vs. Stephen Curry
Holiday missed 41 games of action with an injury and returned for the last game of the season, it is expected that he will return to the starting lineup. If he struggles in his return Tyreke Evans will remain at point guard instead of moving over to the shooting guard spot. Curry has had a phenomenal season and is arguably the best player in the league.
ADVANTAGE- Golden StateShooting Guard- Tyreke Evans vs. Klay Thompson
Evans has been playing the point in the absence of Holiday so he may struggle in his return to playing off the ball. Chemistry is key come playoff time and it is crucial that they are all o the same page. Evans is not a shooter but one of the best players in the league at getting into the paint. Thompson has come into his own this season and emerged as one of the top 5 shooting guards in the NBA. He is a lethal shooter and has developed other aspects of his game.
ADVANTAGE- WARRIORSSmall Forward- Eric Gordon vs. Harrison Barnes
With Holiday healthy it will move Gordon to the small forward position and he has the ability to handle the responsibility. He has been injury plagued throughout his career but has been playing well as of late. Barnes is not the star player he was hyped to be but he has thrived in Kerr’s ball movement system and is an ideal role player.
ADVANTAGE- EVENPower Forward- Anthony Davis vs. Draymond Green
Green has supplanted David Lee as the starter for the Warriors based off of his energy and superior outside shooting. Davis is an absolute superstar who will is still only 21 years old. He is dominant on both ends of the floor and is the type of player that can win a series by himself.
ADVANTAGE- PELICANSCENTER- Omer Asik vs. Andrew Bogut
Asik has played well despite not getting as many chances on offense as he would like. He is an active rebounder and strong defender. Bogut has always suffered from injuries but appears healthy and ready to provide interior defense.
ADVANTAGE – EVENBENCH
The Warriors have players like Andre Igudala and David Lee off their bench to provide veteran leadership as well as quality minutes. The Pelicans have sharpshooter Ryan Anderson as well as the versatile Quincy Pondexter but cant match the depth of the Warriors