Game 2: A Must Win
Quick look back at Game 1
In Game 1 on Saturday night in Portland, the Blazers struggled from the field against the Pelicans and Portland’s two stars, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, could not produce like they had all season.
Lillard and McCollum finished the first half going a combined 1-of-15 from the floor. You’ve got to give credit to the Pelicans’ defense credit. It was apparent from the start that New Orleans’ game plan was to keep the focus on the Blazers backcourt. Despite Portland going on a 17-5 run in the 4th quarter to charge back after being down by as many as 19 points, New Orleans took Game 1, 97-95.
Lillard’s 26.1% from the field is his worst shooting performance since early November. He finished with 18 points on 23 shots, including going 2-of-14 from inside the arc.
Anthony Davis showed his dominance on both ends of the court in Game 1, finishing with 35 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and two steals.
What needs to happen in Game 2 for the Blazers to get a W?
After Sunday’s practice both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum made it know that they are confident they will make offensive adjustments as a team vs. the Pelicans in Game 2.
And, as Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry put it after Monday’s Pelicans practice, ‘we know Dame and CJ aren’t going to combine to go 13-for-41 again.’
With the playoffs being about adjustments, a lot of the focus will be how this series evolves after a Game 1 upset.
One thing is certain, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and his team are encouraging Jusuf Nurkic to be more assertive after finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds on 3-of-7 shooting in Game 1. Both Damian Lillard and coach Stotts have talked with the media about having Nurkic take more shots off the pick-and-roll.
Maurice Harkless (left knee) has been upgraded to questionable for Tuesday’s Game 2.
According to our Jason Quick, he felt Harkless was “favoring his left knee a bit during his workout on Monday.” Quick went on to say, “Keep in mind, "questionable" means a 50/50 chance of playing… Still, progress and some Game 2 intrigue.”
New Orleans has listed Alexis Ajinca (right knee), DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles rupture) and Frank Jackson (right foot fracture) as out for Tuesday’s contest in Portland.
Playoff series schedule
Game 2: New Orleans @ Portland; Tuesday, April 17; Moda Center; 7:30 p.m. PDT
Game 3: Portland @ New Orleans; Thursday, April 19; Smoothie King Center; 6:00 p.m. PDT
Game 4: Portland @ New Orleans; Saturday, April 21; Smoothie King Center; 2:00 p.m. PDT
Game 5: New Orleans @ Portland (if necessary); Tuesday, April 24; Moda Center; TBD
Game 6: Portland @ New Orleans (if necessary); Thursday, April 26; Smoothie King Center; TBD
Game 7: New Orleans @ Portland (if necessary); Saturday, April 28; Moda Center; TBD
Video: Dealing with The Brow
Where: Moda Center, Portland OR
Television: NBCS Northwest
Live streaming of the game: Watch the game on your phone on the NBC Sports App. Download the app at http://www.nbcsports.com/
Live NBC Sports Northwest coverage: Special hour-long Rip City Live (6:30pm) and Talkin' Ball (Immediately after the Blazers postgame show)
Live streaming coverage on Facebook: The Scoop Postgame Show will stream immediately after the game at Facebook.com/NBCSNorthwest.
Radio: Rip City Radio 620