AD Leads Pelicans To Victory In Game 1 Vs Blazers!

Three keys to the Blazers first-round playoff series against the Pelicans

Three keys to the Blazers first-round playoff series against the Pelicans

Through three quarters Sunday, it looked as if those stats should have been flipped as the Pelicans held the Trail Blazers to just 63 points and 36.6% shooting before the last period. Things won't be so easy in the playoffs though. He averaged 31.5 points on 54% shooting, 11.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game in the series.

Pelicans: Prepare for a playoff matchup against Portland.

The Blazers then had another chance, but Damian Lillard missed the shot, and while Nurkic again nearly got the rebound, Davis got it away from him and forced him to foul.

I am taking Portland in this one.

As a team, the Louisiana-based outfit also worked extremely hard to make life difficult for Portland's talented backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, holding them to a combined 13-of-41 from the field.

The Blazers split the season series with the Pelicans, winning the first matchup in October 103-93 and the final meeting in March 107-103. Not to mention Houston's NBA-best 66-16 record and likely Most Valuable Player James Harden were waiting on deck if the Spurs left New Orleans as winners. The other key is Anthony Davis.

The computer sure didn't do the Pelicans or the Trailblazers any favors when setting the dates and times for the postseason. The Pelicans are playing the remainder of the season without DeMarcus Cousins.

The Pelicans led, 27-26, after the first quarter and Mirotic made his first two 3-pointers and finished the period with eight points. Averaging 28 points, 2.2 steals and a huge 3.5 blocks in his past ten games coming into this series, expect him to be a force to be reckoned with.

The Blazers and Pelicans met four times during the 2017-2018 season. He passed out nine assists in the first half without scoring a point.

It ended close, but wasn't a close game throughout. We wanted to come out from the jump with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor.

"We were just starting to find our groove before he went out and when he got hurt it kind of pushed us back", Davis said. I'm going to go with the hotter team right now and that is the Pelicans. They will definitely need a complete effort from Lillard and McCollum in game two. Last year, as a member of the eighth-seeded Chicago Bulls, he put the team on his back to win the first two games of their series against the top-seeded Boston Celtics.

FiveThirtyEight doesn't have much to say about the Blazers, but it's worth noting their CARM-ELO model gives Portland a 3 percent chance to win the National Basketball Association championship, up from a 1% chance in the preseason.

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