#1 Warriors vs. #8 Pelicans 1st Round NBA Playoff Preview: Will this be Anthony Davis’ Mike vs. Boston Moment?

ClevelandAllDay

 

The first of our NBA playoff previews here on The Starting Five.  

This is the most wide open playoffs we’ve seen in years and given there is no true juggernaut, the NBA playoffs of 2014-2015 should be also most exciting. The #1 seeds are the 67-15 Golden State Warriors and the surprising 60-22 Atlanta Hawks. After that, who knows. What goes down? Do you know? I call Anthony Davis the evolution of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Will he shock the world and sit the probable MVP Steph Curry’s golden eye down and crisply fishing? Will LeBron bring Cleveland its first World Championship since Jim Brown trucked cats in 1964? Will Kawhi Leonard take his clandestine excellence to the next level? Is this the year Chris Paul shuts up the hacks? Will James Harden come out the box with a 40 spot and put the league on true notice…which is a helluva lot more than regular season notice? Will the old man games of Zebo and Gasol enable Memphis to be that true contender? DeMar, whatcha gonna do brotha? Go DeRozan and Toronto stakes a true claim. The sentimental favorite is Derrick Rose; James Harden the wildcard. Don’t sleep on the San Antonio Spurs.

Getcha pop cawn ready…

Let’s start out West…

#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #8 New Orleans Pelicans

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

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The versatility of one Anthony Davis is on full display in the pic to the left. Though it looks Steph has a step on the beastly wunderkind, Davis’ length and athleticism smacks ya like Neon Deon never out of any play. Deion Sanders had that incredible speed and game IQ, and in the game of soul rock soul, Davis is fast becoming that same type of super nova. What is perplexing is that Anthony Davis’ 24 points, 10 rips and 3 of Dikembe weren’t enough to merit serious MVP consideration for a team, that outside of him, would be at the top of the lottery again. Jrue Holiday was injury strapped for much of the season, Tyreke Evans was inconsistent as hell and Monte Williams would have most likely lost his job if he hadn’t willed his youthful exuberant squad into the playoffs. That is all because of the presence of Anthony Davis and because Golden State has no answer for Brow down low, up top, or wherever the hell else, surely he is about to light it up. On yesterday’s highly entertaining TNT NBA Playoff Conference Call, Charles Barkley had this to say of Davis: “Anthony is going to be best player in the world in the next three years when LeBron gets a little older. Anthony has a mismatch every night, and this will be huge against Golden State no matter who they put on him. I want to watch that.” I see a little of Kareem in Davis (don’t give me that it’s too early stuff…somebody has to say it so history is served). It’s his court presence, star quality and clutch attributes. He’s Cap with a handle. An evolution of Abdul-Jabbar if you will. He will dominate this series and even if the Pelicans get rocked by the W’s. Davis will most definitely be a top 3 MVP candidate next season.

For Golden State, the probable MVP had his banner professional year. He had so many highlights, most have forgotten many of them. His handle is ridiculous and it’s noticeable that Stephen Curry wants to be the best at everything possible in the sport of basketball. Gotta give major props to the handles; like Jason Williams got Gary Payton or Kenny Anderson got Bobby Hurley, Stephen Curry also got Chris Paul. His 24 Mikes, 8 Zekes and 2 Iversons were steady. The Warriors had a franchise best in victories – – which were the 6th most in the history of the L. This is the first time the Warriors have been a #1 seed since the year after Rick Barry’s squad shocked West Unseld’s Bullets and won the chip. All that is dandy, and these are the games of history where the young hot star faces a driven team far superior. Will this be Davis’ Mike vs. Larry and the Celtics moment? It is quite possible.

This is Steve Kerr’s first playoff go roun’ as head coach. Everything was perfect this season, and he made some nice decisions in rare games GS played a half step behind despite their above average chemistry. Reminds me of Phoenix in ’93. Golden state was 39-2 at home, so playoff teams can pretty much forget about getting a consistent footing in Oakland. Kerr is on the cusp of potentially finishing what Mark Jackson started. Jackson has his detractors, but covering games Golden State played here in Philly, I saw a team being taught to win. Jackson had his unit’s respect, and is a big reason why this team not being ready for this moment is overrated. Jackson’s stamp of toughness will be apparent in these playoffs, and it’s a credit to Kerr that he was able to put this team in an elite position all the while gifted with all the parts to win. We know who has to respond big in the NBA’s second season. The key is how Harrison Barnes will respond. Iguodala will be his typical glue, Draymon Green will be everything else and a stout defender, Bogut’s healthy..yeah…yeah. I want to see if Harrison Barnes has what it takes to do it late in the playoffs. Harrison is capable of stardom, and I think most want to see him ascend like yesterday. His cool demeanor needs to find a more dark alter ego. Don’t take that as a diss, but more of a challenge. I know Iguodala is ready. Hopefully he will be of the one mountains moving, circa Philly 2012. Nothing else really to say here. Scott Brooks’ loss is Monte Williams’ gain. Crazy how that works out if rumors of Brooks’ impending demise are substantiated. Williams’ team is a huge underdog and it ain’t just on paper. Nevertheless, would you really be shocked if New Orleans pulls this off. They have the size to do it. Golden State won three of four during the year, but getting in by the very slimmest of skins, could bode well for a young team more than just happy to be here. I would not doubt that Davis has some monster, monster games, yet the same can be said of Curry and Clay Thompson, most definitely respectively. I want to pick New Orleans. Just a hunch, but I’ll go Warriors in 6. Davis is too much of a monster to fall by the wayside a sweep swiftly, Ryan Anderson will hit 3’s off the bench and Eric Gordon will compete. Monte Williams and Dell Demps, this is your shot. Be the miracle.

One Response to “#1 Warriors vs. #8 Pelicans 1st Round NBA Playoff Preview: Will this be Anthony Davis’ Mike vs. Boston Moment?”

  1. Mike Patton says:

    Good stuff. I want Davis to go off. And even if he does, that will not be enough. It may be over in 5 my friend.