It's been three years since Anthony Davis and the Pelicans were swept by the Warriors, but despite how much has changed in that time, a lot remains the same.
"The circumstances are different," says Davis. "The team's different. But it feels the same. Coming into the arena with packed stadiums and crowd booing you. It's all fun. You've got to enjoy it and embrace it."
You could even look at games one and two of their first-round series in Portland as the warm-up. The Pelicans tamed that crowd, and they'll have to do the same in Oakland's Oracle Arena. That means not getting too wrapped up in the moment and making sure they stay true to what got them here.
"We've got to play our game, and what our game is is to play fast-paced basketball," says head coach Alvin Gentry. "It doesn't matter who we're playing. That's when we play our best, when we're pushing the basketball and getting in the open court."
For the Pelicans, it's an opportunity to knock off the defending champs, but it's also a great chance to see where they're at among the NBA's elite. The question that isn't going away is whether or not they need DeMarcus Cousins to be a true championship contender. Showing what they've got against the Warriors, who will likely be a full strength with Steph Curry, will teach us a lot.
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