The first of four second-round playoff series was confirmed last night after the Golden State Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs to book their spot in the Western Conference Semifinals against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Warriors won 99-91 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Tuesday night, winning their first-round playoff series 4-1 against the Spurs overall, booking their spot in the second round for the four season in a row.
The Pelicans, on the other hand, booked their spot after completing the sweep their first-round series 4-0 against the Portland Trail Blazers last weekend. This will be the first time they find themselves in the Conference Semifinals in ten years.
Despite the matchup only being confirmed following Golden State's win last night, it hasn't taken long for the fighting talk to begin in anticipation of Game 1, which takes place on April 28.
Following the Warriors win, Klay Thompson spoke to ESPN about the upcoming series against the Pelicans, where he made several comments about Anthony Davis and some of their other players, as well as the team's head coach in Alvin Gentry.
He said on facing New Orleans: "They're playing real well right now. Jrue Holiday, who I've been playing against since I was 15, is on another level and so is AD. Rondo looks like he's back in his championship years. It's going to be a great test... I hope we can hand Alvin four L's."
If you know the history between Gentry and the Warriors, you'll know that this is just some light-hearted banter from Thompson, as the Pelicans head coach was an assistant coach from 2014 to 2015 and was part of their 2015 Championship-winning season before getting the Pelicans job.
Sure enough, they'll be friends now, but once the series begins, they'll become enemies until the series is over.
The Warriors have won 10 of the last 11 games played between these two sides, but as Thompson mentions above, this is a completely different Pelicans side from what we have seen in recent years. They are widely considered a dark horse in this year's playoffs now and could cause an upset or two in the series.
Golden State may be considered the favourites, but New Orleans is thriving in the underdog status, meaning this series is going to be an entertaining one to watch.
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