Hornets-Warriors: The Most Exciting First-Round Playoff Matchup

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMarch 18, 2008

If I could dream up a first round playoff series this would be it—the New Orleans Hornets vs, the Golden State Warriors.

It would feature some of the NBA’s most young and talented guards and their high-ranking teams. Just think of a series with Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, and Chris Paul. Sure the games would be in the mid-100s, but it would definitely draw some of the March Madness nuts away from the colored body paint and polo striped shirts.

I have decided to highlight the matchups that I thought would be the most important... 


Chris Paul vs. Baron Davis 

Two of the game’s most elite PGs would square off and prove to be a hassle for each other. Baron and Paul are among two of the most dangerous in the passing lanes with Paul leading the NBA with 2.7 SPG and Davis right behind him at 2.4 SPG.

Chris Paul is also in the MVP race thanks in large part to his upbringing of the Hornets, who are only one game out of first in the Western Conference.

Baron Davis however, still struggles with composure issues and has led his team on roller coaster rides up and down. They are now in the eighth seed just like last year. Maybe the tradition will continue and Golden State will up end another No. 1 team in the playoffs.

Chris Paul wins this matchup.


Monta Ellis vs. Jannero Pargo

Monta Ellis may have to think twice about using his speed as the Hornets have some speed to keep up with him. While Ellis is faster than Jannero in the open court, he’s not in confined spaces.

Monta is without a doubt the future of the Warriors—almost a starter anywhere else in the league and maybe the fastest man in the league. Monta is getting playing time this year after his award-winning play last year and is making the most of it. He averages 19.6 PPG and 4.7 RPG unusually good rebounding for a guard.

Ellis wins this matchup in a landslide.


West has come out of nowhere, developing along with Chris Paul into one of the game’s most talented youngsters. The first year All-Star can shoot from anywhere on the floor and can be a menace on the boards late on the game.

He averages 19 PPG and 9.1 RPG on the season and is among the Top 20 in rebounding in the NBA. At 6-foot-9, 206 lbs, West should be able to use his advantage over Jackson who is 6-foot-8, 203 lbs. Yes Jackson is 200 lbs+ too but if you know who he is then you also know that is pure bones and maybe a teaspoon of muscle.

David should be able to frustrate Jackson with his long wingspan, and when Jackson gets frustrated he gets angry and screams at refs, picking up technical fouls.

Stephen Jackson will give David West a bit of trouble though, with his ability to drive to the basket, stretch the floor, and nail 3-pointers from anywhere on the court. Stephen Jack averages 20.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 4.2 APG. This one is a toss-up folks.


Tyson Chandler vs. Andris Biedrins

One word describes Tyson Chandler: monster. Chandler has emerged as one of the best centers in the game today.

After coming straight out of Dominguez High School with fellow NBA star Tayshaun Prince, he was drafted by the Bulls and did not live up to his immediate hype. He was traded to New Orleans and has blossomed into a threat on the offensive and defensive side, thanks to Chris Paul.

Tyson Chandler averages 11.7 PPG, 12.3 RPG, and 1 BPG. Andris Biedrins FG% giants would also partake in this event as Tyson Chandler and Andris Biedrins would go head to head. Biedrins is the NBA’s leader in FG% at 62.5% and Tyson is third at 59.6%. Both have those percentages thanks to the outstanding distributing by their All-Star and All-Star worthy PGs.

Andris Biedrins is once again the top in FG% in the league. He’s also a decent shot blocker averaging 1.2 BPG and almost a double-double at 10 PPG and 9.3 RPG. The seven-footer is only 21 years old and looks to pursue big money in the free agency market when he becomes one. He was originally going to do just that before the Warriors snatched him back.

Andris however, committed the most fouls in the NBA last year. Of course Chandler should have his way with the Latvian.


Key Numbers

Chris Paul averages 26.0 PPG and 12.5 APG against Golden State this season. 

An a game earlier in the season at Oracle Arena, Paul worked Baron Davis over and over again, hitting basket after basket effortlessly and throwing eye popping lobs to Tyson Chandler. The game ended 116-104, with the Hornets winning.

Paul had 24 points and 13 assists. Sure Baron Davis played all but two minutes in that game, but that should be no excuse. Baron redeemed himself with the score of 116-103 Hornets in New Orleans in which he had 23 points and nine assists, but Paul had 28 points and 12 assists.