The 2018-19 regular season is over and the 2019 NBA playoffs are already here. The Golden State Warriors have once again stormed back to the top of the Western Conference Standings after finishing second last season. They finished 57-25 and and fell just short of 60 wins for the second straight season.
They will go up against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs and even though the Warriors enter this series as the hands down favorites to win it all, the Clippers cannot be taken lightly as they have played some really good basketball in the regular season and enter this series high on confidence.
When: 14th Apr 5:30 AM IST
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland
The Golden State Warriors' perspective
The Warriors will be looking to win their seventh NBA title and the fourth in Stephen Curry's era. A huge responsibility rests on Curry's shoulders to lead the Warriors to their first three-peat. They are well equipped to do that and have a roster that can cruise to victory.
Winning a championship this year will also add a title to DeMarcus Cousins' resume and improve his profile. This will also be their final playoffs at the Oracle Arena and the Warriors would love to finish it off by winning the title.
There are high chances that the Warriors face the Houston Rockets in the conference semi finals and therefore, they should aim to finish this series as soon as possible, get some rest before they play the Rockets.
Predicted Golden State Warriors' starting line-up:
Kevin Durant (F), Draymond Green (F), DeMarcus Cousins (F), Klay Thompson (G) and Stephen Curry (G)
The Los Angeles Clippers' perspective
At the beginning of the season, no one really gave the Los Angeles Clippers a chance of making it to the playoffs. However, they have performed beyond the expectations and are once again back in the playoffs after missing last year.
Even though the Clippers have a well-rounded team and each of them contributed in their own way to get them to the playoffs, Lou Williams has definitely been that force that dominated all throughout the season, coming off the bench. He is once again the front runner to win the Sixth Man of the Year award for the second straight year.
Predicted Los Angeles Clippers' starting line-up:
Landry Shamet (G), Danilo Gallinari (F), Ivica Zubac (C), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (G) and Patrick Beverley (G)
How the things might unfold
The Warriors took home the regular season series against the Clippers, 3-1 and the one game they lost was in overtime, thanks to Lou Williams' unreal performance. They are easily the favorites to win this series and will enter this year's playoffs with a new added weapon in DeMarcus Cousins.
However, the Clippers have shown that they have the talent to matchup against tougher opponents. Not to forget, they have Patrick Beverley who can completely shift the momentum in their favor by frustrating Stephen Curry. I expect Lou Williams to do his thing coming off the bench and provide the Clippers a much needed scoring option.
Golden State Warriors to beat the LA Clippers