New Orleans will play the victor of the Golden State-San Antonio series in the Western Conference semifinals.
And yet somehow - despite our familiarity with the first-round playoff doldrums - this four-game sweep at the hands (wings?) of the Pelicans hurts a little more than we remember first-round exits hurting. Even though they nearly certainly won't be able to execute at the level that they did against the Blazers, there are many reasons to believe New Orleans will make things very tough for Golden State.
It's hard to imagine the Trail Blazers reaching 49 wins again next year, though they should be a playoff team and perhaps could get to the second round with a better matchup.
Davis' Pelicans looked like anything but a shoo-in for the postseason after fellow All-Star DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season in late January with an Achilles tear.
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.
The pre-sale will continue Wednesday morning for Pelicans half-season, 12-game plan accounts and Pelicans Insider members.
Lowe speculated that a three-year deal could be the most likely deal for Cousins, though it depends on who's bidding. He overwhelmed Lillard and C.J. McCollum, forcing them to turn the ball over and take hard shots. But to have them playing the type of team basketball that Gentry always envisioned they could, his players are starting to see the NBA power they could become.
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Davis averaged 33 points, 12 rebounds and almost three blocks per game during the first round of the playoffs, earning him constant "M-V-P" chants from fans - who hope this is just the start.
The 25-year-old Davis is now in his sixth season in New Orleans. "You can key in on a certain team and be able to study them for a long time because you know you have at least four games". Not only that, but he would also limit Damian Lillard to 18.5 points per gameon 35.2 percent shooting. He averaged 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game - good for a 28.98 PER.
And for Rajon Rondo, in particular, his relationship with coach Gentry is a special one. Join the Pelican Debrief team!
Davis is under contract for three more seasons.
"I really do my job and I felt like I've been doing my job for a while".
Of course, the challenge will be even greater for the Pelicans.