The first game to get underway in round two of the NBA playoffs puts together the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans. All eyes will be on the Warriors, who the Bovada bookies have as favourites to win the championship yet again this season, and the Pelicans look set for a very tough series.
Both of these come here on the back of a small rest period, which will serve them well and set them up nicely for this series. The Pelicans comfortably found their way past the Portland Trail Blazers, beating them 4-0 and that work has given them a full week off since their last game. While that will allow them to regroup and be refreshed, it may also have knocked the momentum out of them a little, so it will be interesting to see how they cope with that when they hit the court on Saturday. Regardless of how they cope with that though, this test against the Warriors is completely different to their games against the Pelicans, and they will have to be at their very best to even compete.
The Warriors dropped one game in the first round when they played against the San Antonio Spurs, beating them 4-1. They would have also had a week off like the Pelicans had they won game four, but a loss in San Antonio sent the series to five games, so the Warriors have been off since Tuesday when they won that game five clash with ease by eight points. 21, 15 and eight-point victories on their home court show just how strong the Warriors are and anything other than a victory in the first game on Saturday would be a huge shock.
It will be interesting to see how the Pelicans cope with having a week off in between their playoff games, and now they return they go up against the very best that the NBA has to offer. To make things worse for the Pelicans, Steph Curry may be back for game one, but if he isn’t it seems highly likely he will appear at some point in this series if he is needed. With or without Curry, the Warriors have enough to dominate on their home court and that can help them take the first game in this series with ease, and I have them winning by a 10-15 point margin.