While Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts hopes to retain his job (as of Tuesday night), the Pelicans are moving on to face the Golden State Warriors in the second round. It's the key question of the playoffs because it could mean the difference between a sweep and a competitive six- or seven-game series.
But with the Pelicans absolutely demoralizing a higher-seeded Portland team, Boogie suddenly seems more like a third wheel than a bride-to-be.
The pre-sale will continue Wednesday morning for Pelicans half-season, 12-game plan accounts and Pelicans Insider members. They ran the table during a pressure-packed final five games of the regular season, climbing to sixth in the Western Conference. But the Pelicans proved that they were indeed the better team as they not only covered the number in each and every game but drew away to a four-game sweep of the Blazers and are now rewarded with a date at the Oracle Arena to meet the NBA's Dream Team, the Golden State Warriors. The roster of that New Orleans team is vastly different from the current roster. But one can bet they won't be all that happy to have to play against him.
Lillard turned in an MVP-type performance in the regular season.
"Alvin has got those guys playing at an awesome pace, very up-tempo", said Thompson, following Tuesday night's close-out win over the Spurs.
Now that we've established the teams as relatively evenly-matched going into the series, it's time to look at what changed.
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However the match turned as Ronaldo netted two second-half goals and Bayern had Javi Martinez sent off for a second booking. Boateng says no team can stop him entirely, but his side will try. "That should not happen on Wednesday".
Davis and Nikola Mirotic can be thanked for closing off the paint, as the pair had defensive ratings of 100.9 and 100.7 points per 100 possessions, respectively.
- Davis and Holiday scored a combined 88 points in Game 4. Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis, both stretch fours, have been ideal compliments to each other and were able to dominate the Trailblazers front line.
Holiday's defense on Lillard was one of the biggest stories coming out of the first round, and the playoffs allow a shutdown defender like Holiday to study his opponent's weaknesses and take full advantage of them. New Orleans' two best players, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, are lockdown mid-range shooters, converting on 47.4% and 53.8% of their shots, respectively. In the same series, Jrue Holiday was a non-factor.
In the next round, the Pelicans will most likely be facing the Golden State Warriors.
Warriors lead the Spurs in their series three games to one.
Davis averaged 31.5 points, 11 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 3 blocks on 54 percent shooting during the first round against the Warriors in 2015. Credit Holiday's backcourt partner, Rajon Rondo, with driving much a portion of the scoring with his 16 assists along with 7 points and 7 rebounds. "It's exciting. He's been through the lowest of lows with us, and I think this is the best we've been since I've been here".