The Golden State Warriors lead the New Orleans Pelicans 2-0 in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. And with their impressive home record, it does appear that the Warriors will move on to round two where they will likely face the Memphis Grizzlies. The pundits are saying they survived the test they desperately needed but some, like Charles Barkley, believe the Pelicans exposed a weakness.
But let’s face it, when you enter the playoffs as the number one team, you’ve got a bit of an ego and possibly a mark on your back. The 2007 New England Patriots entered the Super Bowl with a perfect record…and lost to the New York Giants. The Kentucky Wildcats entered the 2015 Final Four undefeated…and lost to the Wisconsin Badgers.
It’s easy to consider yourself the best when your record indicates you are the best. And the Warriors, with their .817 win percentage, were hands down the best in the NBA. The Pelicans finished last in the Southwest conference with a record just under .550. So the big question is whether the Warriors were simply a better regular season team or did they just not prepare for a mediocre Pelicans team.
The Warriors will certainly face tougher teams in rounds 3 and 4 (possibly the Houston Rockets who appear to be gaining momentum with each game played). They will have to make better preparations in order to make it to the Championship.