OAKLAND, CA (WVUE) - It may not be a full out David vs Goliath scenario, but not many basketball pundits are giving the Pelicans much of a chance in this series.
Recent history heavily favors the top-seeded warriors. Over the past 12 years and 24 such meetings of 1 vs 8 seeds, only three times has the underdog pulled off the upset. However, the Pelicans believe they can be one of those rare teams.
After finally ending a four-year post-season drought, New Orleans basketball is ready to write a new chapter in franchise history.
"We love match ups like this," Anthony Davis said. "We've been in this situation the whole year, the whole season. We made it this far so we're not looking to go home just yet. We know it's going to be a tough environment. This is a tough environment without the playoffs, a great place to play, and we're looking forward to it."
The team arrived in the Bay Area Thursday night and hit the court Friday for a light practice. 22-year old superstar Anthony Davis will make his playoff debut this weekend against the Warriors, who finished with an NBA best 67-15 record, including a 39-2 mark at home.
The Pelicans embraced the challenge of knocking off the reigning world champion San Antonio Spurs Wednesday to punch their playoff ticket and they plan to keep a similar mindset heading into tomorrow's game one.
"Preparation. We believe in the old adage 'If you play in the NBA on any given night, you can beat anybody,'" said Head Coach Monty Williams. "So at the same time, our guys have great respect for Golden State.They handled us here. It hasn't been close. And it the score got closer in my mind as a coach it wasn't even close. We know we have a lot to prove. We're confident. You can't get to this point and not be confident."
Expect a raucous Golden State home crowd at the Oracle Arena Saturday and a focused Pelicans team that truly believes it matches up well with the Warriors.
Tip-off is set for 2:30 central time.