Primer: This matchup between the Warriors (67-15) and Pelicans (45-37) features some of the best young talent in basketball with Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis.

The Pelicans controlled their own destiny on the final night of the regular season and defeated the defending champion Spurs to clinch the eighth playoff spot ahead of a surging Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, but New Orleans has its work cut out for it in the franchise’s first playoff appearance. 


ORE: Pelicans save coach, GM's jobs | 8 teams that could win title | Buy playoff tickets

Golden State leads the NBA in scoring, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. However, New Orleans is second in the league allowing opponents to shoot just 32 percent from 3-point range.

In four matchups during the regular season, the Pelicans won just one behind a 29-point, 10-rebound performance by Davis. He’ll have to produce similar numbers if the Pelicans hope to knock off the favorite in the Western Conference.

Schedule/TV (All times Eastern)

Game 1 - Sat. April 18, New Orleans at Golden State, 3:30 p.m., ABC/R 
Game 2 - Mon. April 20, New Orleans at Golden State, 10:30 p.m., TNT 
Game 3 - Thu. April 23, Golden State at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m., TNT 
Game 4 - Sat. April 25, Golden State at New Orleans, 8 p.m., ESPN 
Game 5 * - Tue. April 28, New Orleans at Golden State, TBD 
Game 6 * - Fri. May 1, Golden State at New Orleans, TBD 
Game 7 * - Sun. May 3, New Orleans at Golden State, TBD

* If necessary

Season series: 3-1 Golden State

Key players: Curry isn’t only the MVP for the Warriors this season, he’s likely to be the MVP of the NBA when the trophy is handed out. He’s averaging 23.8 points per game behind 49 percent shooting from the field and 44.4 percent shooting from behind the arc. When Curry isn’t filling the basket, he’s finding open teammates as he averaging 7.7 assists per game. 

Many of those Curry dimes find Thompson, his fellow splash brother. Thompson is right on Curry’s heels averaging 21.7 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting from 3-point range. And let’s not forget Draymond Green, Marreese Speights and Harrison Barnes also average double figures for Golden State.

The Pelicans are clearly paced by Davis, who’s averaging 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. However, the Pelicans have a sneaky balanced scoring attack with Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon each averaging more than 13 points per game.

Injuries: Warriors center David Lee (7.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is listed as questionable for Game 1 with a back injury, while the Pelicans have a clean bill of health and an empty injury report.

Prediction: Warriors in 5.