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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2018 NBA Playoffs First Round New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Preview and prediction

2018 NBA Playoffs First Round New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Preview and prediction

Pelicans-Blazers Preview!
Publish Date: 04/13/2018
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers (49-33) vs. No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans (48-34)

Playoff series schedule

  • Game 1 in Portland: Saturday, April 14, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
  • Game 2 in Portland: Tuesday, April 17, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
  • Game 3 in New Orleans: Thursday, April 19, 9 p.m. ET, NBA TV
  • Game 4 in New Orleans: Saturday, April 21, 5 p.m. ET, TNT
  • Game 5 in Portland: TBA (if necessary)
  • Game 6 in New Orleans: TBA (if necessary)
  • Game 7 in Portland: TBA (if necessary)

Why will the Blazers win?

The Blazers will have to have an inside presence to harass the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis. They won’t be able to stop him but they will have to disrupt him to keep the Pelicans’ offense out of rhythm. Damon Lillard will have to be at his best also. In these teams’ last meeting, Lillard scored 41 points. He will have to play well for the Blazers to win this series.

Why will the Pelicans win?

If Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo can at least slow down Lillard and McCollum with their suffocating defense, the Blazers will have a very hard time winning this series. The other key is Anthony Davis. Davis has the ability to control the game in the low post and is a huge part of getting the Pelicans’ offense to flow. He can’t do it all by himself but if he gets a little help the Pelicans can play with anybody in the NBA.

Prediction: I think this series is a toss-up and if Demarcus Cousins was healthy I would favor the Pelicans, but since he is not I like the Blazers to win the series with the home court advantage being the deciding factor.

Blazers in 7

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