Davis wills Pelicans to playoff series win

Friday, 27 Apr, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - With every Anthony Davis put-back dunk, reverse alley-oop jam, step-back 3-pointer or game-sealing block in the playoffs, the New Orleans Pelicans take a step closer to becoming the NBA's next small-market success story. A one-time only passcode will be distributed to half-season and 12-game plan account holders, which will allow them the opportunity to purchase up to four tickets for the Western Conference Semifinals before tickets go on-sale to the general public. The Pelicans showed this assumption was completely wrong. However, New Orleans rallied, despite losing All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in late January to a torn Achilles tendon.

There's plenty of factors going into this series, but we want to know who YOU think will win? The Raptors have better and more cohesive talent around its star guards, and when you look at the Blazers roster, there are no obvious players for whom you'd like to get extra shots. However, with Cousins out, Davis needed offensive help.

"They came out and said this was going to be a scrimmage game", said Davis in his post-game interview on Fox Sports, following that big win three years ago. He did in a big way. The Pelicans never shot below 47.7 percent in the series (that was in Game 1). Thompson's defensive attack on Holiday will be a highlighted aspect of this series as well.

New Orleans led the National Basketball Association in pace this season, averaging 102.7 possessions per game, helping spur its second half renaissance.

Davis rose to the occasion when his team needed him. Granted, Portland's average point-differential of only -3.2 points per game in that five-game stretch is far less worrying. Portland was unable to find an answer to Davis.

The Trail Blazers were the higher seed, so they had home-court advantage in the series. Nick Young, David West, and Quinn Cook have all performed well this season. However as the playoffs started, he transformed into a completely different player. The Trail Blazers rely heavily on their backcourt for scoring, and while CJ McCollum managed 25.3 points per game on an efficient 53.9% shooting, it was not enough to make up for Lillard's high-volume, low-efficiency offensive performance. His mediocre play comes off the heals of one of Portland's best seasons in years.

This year's April 7 matchup between the two teams is the only one that included Nikola Mirotić, who was acquired by New Orleans in February.

The root of Portland's deficiencies falls on their depth.