2018 NBA Playoff Ruminations: New Orleans Pelicans take 2–0 Series Lead Over Portland Trail Blazers

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(courtesy of NBA.com)

Jrue Holiday became a Dad in the last year. Holiday, of the New Orleans Pelicans is healthy and ready to be appreciated. His length and tenacity are causing Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum fits. The Pelicans are easy to root for. They fit so well around their spectacular center/centerpiece Anthony Davis, whose athleticism is unmatched for a 7-footer. He caught a lob pass from the still-savant-like Rajon Rondo. His hand met the ball about 12 feet above the floor, 2 feet above the rim, and was impossible to defend. The Pelicans are an awful match-up for the Blazers, as many have noted. They defend Portland’s three best options as well as anyone. Lillard will have to resort to 30-footers with Holiday in his jersey and Davis waiting in the lane. McCollum, a mid-game maestro, has been held in check, averaging about a point per field-goal attempt. Jusuf Nurkic, whose physical presence does nothing against the incredibly long arms and nimble feet of Anthony Davis, has had a rough first two games, playing only 15 minutes of Game 2 before leaving with a leg injury. Either way, the Blazers are having a miserable time scoring and as the series heads to New Orleans, it won’t get too much easier. Expect Lillard and McCollum to each have one brilliant shooting game before the Pelicans finish the series in 5 or 6. Fans have to feel happy for the Pelicans. A franchise that was nearly moved from New Orleans before David Stern swooped in has several players with redemptive stories. Holiday’s is the best though, with his dominant performance, he stole Game 2 from the Blazers.

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