Last night, the Dubs wrapped things up v. the ever-resilient San Antonio Spurs.
A five game affair, Golden State didn't have much trouble in Round 1, despite not playing their best ball or being at 100% health. Still, they took care of business (as expected) and now face their toughest test in a few seasons: Anthony Davis & the red-hot New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans is riding a proverbial high right now, coming off the heels of their first-round sweep (demolition?) of the Portland Trail Blazers. Not many picked them to win the series - POR had no answer for Davis, Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic or Rajon Rondo.
Holiday-Rondo reps one of the more underrated starting backcourts in the Association. Rondo's an excellent distributor & leader, galvanizing lineups w/ an uptempo brand of ball that yielded 47 victories & the league's fastest pace.
And Holiday...well, let's just say he's (now) in Top DOG territory for a reason. Coach Alvin Gentry has repeatedly referred to Jrue as the league's best, healthy two-way player. And it's hard to argue against him. Holiday's tremendous finishing ability + scoring prowess is boosted by a consistently disciplined defensive effort each night.
Both guards figure to give Golden State problems in the Semifinals, especially if Stephen Curry isn't immediately available to return.
That said, there's important matchups across the board: none more significant than Anthony Davis v. Kevin Durant, who likely won't guard each other straight up for the whole series (just select possessions) but rep two of the league's top 5 players & deadliest scorers.
The second round tips off next week!*
*Look out for a full Dubs-Pelicans preview