So it’s not a secret anymore that Demarcus Cousins is headed to NOLA to join Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. What has been like a secret is the Pelicans seed in the Western Conference. They have been mediocre this season, but they are only 2.5 games behind the eighth seed. If the rest of the season plays out well with Boogie, the Pelicans could sneak into the playoffs, and the Warriors should keep the top spot for a tough first round in April.
The Warriors have lost nine games this season with their new “downgraded” squad. The big piece they are missing is a true tough big man. Draymond Green is a small ball PF (who is overrated in my opinion), and Zaza Pachulia has shown weakness, because in his return game to OKC after the Westbrook hit he was “hurt”. Then you also have Javale “Shaqtin-A-Fool” McGee… do I need to say much more?
A team the Warriors have lost to twice this year has a very (old) dominant front court, the Grizzlies. I see the Pelicans being able to be a younger Grizzlies team and contend with the Warriors by slowing down the tempo, pounding the ball down low, and limiting the Warriors possessions and transitions. It will be much harder on the Pelicans with a weak back court, but I believe they can get it done.
I know that AD and Boogie haven’t had much playoff experience, but you have to start somewhere. I’m not saying they should or will beat the Warriors, but I believe that the series will be much closer than expected, especially if AD and Boogie roam the paint and snag boards. The Pelicans were already one of the best teams holding the Warriors off the defensive rebounds at an average of 34.7. The one team better than them were the Grizzlies…coincidence?
Still with all this said the Pelicans still have to make it to the playoffs with no injuries and have their guards step up. I believe it can happen, and that they will play the Warriors. Let me know what you guys think!