The 2015 playoffs have already gotten off to an unbelievable start and Product of Society will be bringing you coverage of the race to the 2015 NBA Finals champion. There are currently 16 teams and fan bases all hoping their team is the one to raise the banner next fall, but only one team will remain when the dust settles.
We are bringing you our analysis of each first round Eastern and Western conference match up. The level of competition in the Western conference, from top to bottom has been well documented this year and there have been a number of surprises throughout the Eastern conference. We want to take you through each matchup and highlight the intriguing story lines and characters who will play roles in determining the conference champions and ultimately the NBA World champion. We’ll kick things off in the wild, wild west with the leagues best team (regular season record wise) and two future MVPs.
Golden State Warriors (1) Vs. New Orleans Pelicans (8)
All year long the basketball world has marveled at the brilliance of MVP-Candidate Stephen Curry & the Golden State Warriors. There is no team in all of the NBA currently with more momentum than the Golden State Warriors. From a team standpoint they have it all. Size, Skill, Athleticism, and of course shooting…..lots of shooting. However the one thing that they have had this year more so than any other team in the NBA has been health throughout their roster. Normally in the grind of professional sports there will always be injuries here or there that prevent players from playing, but what separates the Warriors from the majority of their NBA is that they have probably had the most luck (from a health standpoint) than any other team in the NBA.
Four of their starters alone (Curry, Thopmson, Green, & Barnes) have all played at least 85% of their 82 available games (That’s 70 games or more.) Now, if we want to compare that to the overall roster health of their first round opponent, you can see that the Health discrepancy will be a huge factor in this playoff matchup. The New Orleans Pelicans roster consists of only 2 players to have played over 70 games for their respective teams. These players…..Tyreke Evans & Omer Asik (NO). Keep in mind that out of those two, NONE of them are named Anthony Davis.
Now, this isn’t to say that the Pelicans don’t have any shot of upsetting the Golden State Warriors, but it will be an uphill battle. The Pelicans will have the best player in the entire series (chew on that) Davis has been the straw that stirs the Pelican’s “drink” and there isn’t ANYBODY on the Warriors roster that can matchup with Anthony Davis for 48 minutes. As great as Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut have been this year defensively they will have a very difficult time trying to guard Davis because of his unique combination of Size, skill, length and athleticism.
If Steve Kerr chooses to play small ball and have Iguodala and our Barnes at the four, Anthony Davis could average 30 PPG. All things considered, this is the Pelican’s first playoff experience and it will be extremely interesting to see how Pelicans head coach Monty Williams makes adjustments throughout the series, but from an individual standpoint, we think that you shouldn’t be surprised if Anthony Davis averages 30 & 15 while losing to the Splash Brothers and Co. in 5 games. Enjoy the brilliance of Anthony Davis and remember these days as we continue to see the evolution of one of the league’s best young players.
Stay tuned as we continue to bring you analysis of all eight Eastern and Western conference first round matchups.