February 22, 2019

With Big 3 of Davis, Holiday and Mirotic, was the Pelican’s historic sweep of Blazers that shocking?

2018/04/22 9:16 am 9:16 am9:16 am0 0 comments

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The sixth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans swept the three-seeded Portland Trailblazers in dominating fashion. With their fourth win over Portland, the Pelicans made history. They’re now the first six seed (or lower) to sweep its first-round opponent since the league moved to a best-of-seven  format 15 years ago.

Even though both teams were just one seed away from the 4 and 5 match-up, the Pelicans’ sweep felt exponentially more of an upset, not just because they were the six seed, but the way they, Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, and a the newly-beard-less Nikola Mirotic in particular, dominated the Blazers throughout the series. They didn’t have an answer for those three. They tried adjusting to the Pelicans’ trapping of Damian Lillard, and even brought out Zach Collins and Wade Baldwin to try and change up the dynamic and momentum.

It didn’t work. The severely under-rated Holiday continued dicing up their defense, Mirotic rebounded and hit threes, and Davis capped off his dominant series by scoring 47 in the closeout.

Then again, looking at the team teams and putting some context behind it, the sweep wasn’t that much of a shock. Yes, Portland was playing well, but outside of Houston and Golden State, there’s a lot of parity between the 3-8 seeds and the series highlighted how important it is to have a rhythm and to be playing well going into the playoffs. The Pelicans had won five straight going into the post season while the Blazers went .500 in their last ten.

For the series, Davis put up 33 points per game, 12 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, Holiday probed his way to 27.8 points and 6.5 assists, and Mirotic averaged 18.3 points and 9.5 rebounds on 46.2% from three. Next up will seemingly be the Golden State Warriors, who are up 3-0 on the San Antonio Spurs and have look like their dominant selves. Should be an interesting series.

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