New Orleans has taken an unexpected 2-0 lead over Portland in the first round of the 2018 Playoffs. Looking at the matchup on paper, you would say that these two teams would be competitive. But no one expected the Pelicans to steal 2 games from the Blazers, especially in Portland.
Anthony Davis, who could finish second in MVP voting this year, might wind up being out-shined by none other than teammate Jrue Holiday. Holiday wasn’t the most likely player to have the biggest impact on the first-round series between the Pelicans and Blazers. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening.
One of the most fascinating elements of Holiday’s recent performances, is how many of the little, often unnoticeable things he does to help seal each victory. Getting that extra block on a pull-up jumper, or somehow winning the rebound from a bigger Portland player. These handful of plays have shown just how underrated the 27-year-old has been at times during his career.
The Holiday-Davis combination is quite scary for opponents when Jrue is hitting clutch jumpers and averaging 27 points and 5.5 assists. Not just on offense, but defense is where Holiday really hits the nail in the coffin. He’s suffocated the Blazers who’s only shooting 25 percent (6-of-24) for the series when guarded by Holiday. But here’s the thing: Holiday has been doing this all season, but hasn’t got the recognition like he has in the last 2 games.
In this series, Davis hasn’t yet put together the kind of game-breaking performance he’s capable of. If Jrue can keep it going, and Davis heats up, anything is possible.
Catch you Monday.