Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Walker: NBA schedule makers sure didn't do Pelicans and Blazers any favors

Walker: NBA schedule makers sure didn't do Pelicans and Blazers any favors

In New Orleans' current four-game win streak with a playoff berth on the line, Davis has scored no fewer than 28 points in any of the games and has had double digit rebounds totals in all but one.

At least, that's the way it seemed for most of the game as Portland struggled mightily while the Pelicans took control.

Rondo took only 9 shots, but dominated the game in several ways, finishing with 17 assists and 8 rebounds.

The Trail Blazers must get their star players hot early, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum must show up and show out. The victor of this series will be the team that best alleviates that pressure-whether through role players stepping up as contributors or stars, through some creative quirk, circumventing the premise entirely. As for New Orleans, they go where Anthony Davis goes, but Anthony Davis can go pretty far on his own. And this was despite truly very bad three-point shooting from Damian Lillard (1/8) and Evan Turner (1/5).

Meanwhile, the Portland Trailblazers lost four of their last five games of the regular season and they came out flat which meant they were always trailing the red-hot Pelicans.

Pelicans: Start their postseason in Portland. That would set up a potential matchup against the defending champions, the Warriors. 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. Davis will be a force throughout the remainder of his time in the National Basketball Association postseason.

First thing's first: You're not going to outright stop Anthony Davis.

Oklahoma City holds the No.7 seed entering the regular-season finale, but that won't be the case at the end of the night.

The Pelicans led, 27-26, after the first quarter and Mirotic made his first two 3-pointers and finished the period with eight points. Both sides have some of the best talent in the league at both ends of the floor, meaning this will probably be a better series than your average 3 v 6 matchup. In the middle two games he was solid, but in the most recent he exploded for 41 points on 18-for-33 shooting, nine boards, six assists, and four steals.

"Our goal is not to just get in the playoffs but make some noise", says Davis. McCollum hasn't been in great form and will need to lift, while Lillard will have no problems performing to his usual high standards. 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.

Utah can clinch the No.3 seed if they beat the No.4 seed Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday.

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