Position by position breakdown: Blazers-Pelicans 1st round matchup
Season averages: 26.8 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 31 games): 24.6 points, 5.7 assists, and 4.5 rebounds.
Season averages: 8.1 points, 8.1 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 96 games): 14.4 points, 9.1 assists, and 6.0 rebounds.
Postseason nugget: There’s a reason people say Rajon Rondo is a different player in the postseason, in his five seasons in Boston he elevated his game in the playoffs averaging 14.5 points while playing 38.5 minutes per contest.
Season averages: 21.4 points, 3.4 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 26 games): 15.5 points, 1.6 assists, and 3.3 rebounds.
Season averages: 18.9 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.5 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 21 games): 14.1 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.
Postseason nugget: McCollum finished the season with over 215 total miles covered, which leads the NBA in mile traveled again this year. This is the third consecutive season that McCollum has led the league in total distance ran. Will that effect him in the postseason?
Season averages: 8.3 points, 2.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 44 games): 8.8 points, 2.6 assists, and 5.3 rebounds.
Season averages: 12.5 points, 2.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 12 games): 0.8 points, 0.3 assists and 0.5 rebounds.
Season averages: 9.4 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 20 games): 13.3 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Has started the last five games for New Orleans
Season averages: 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds
Advantage: Toss up. Mirotic could see a lot of Nurk on him throughout the series
Season averages: 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds.
Playoff averages (in a total of 1 game after coming back from injury): 2.0 points and 11.0 rebounds.
Season averages: 28.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks.
Playoff averages (in a total of 4 games): 31.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks.
Postseason nugget: Anthony Davis played 43 minutes per game in his four postseason games of the 2014-15 season against the No. 1 seeded Golden State Warriors. The Warriors swept the Pelicans, but just as New Orleans leaned soley on Davis in his third year in the league that postseason, you can, of course, expect him to play those big minutes again this postseason. It's possible that these two will not always be guarding each other on the floor as the Blazers have had success using Aminu to guard Davis.
Keep an eye on Ed Davis and Zach Collins for the Blazers:
According to NBA lineups stats, Zach Collins and Ed Davis average about 14 minutes per game together on the floor and are scoring 1.11 points per possession when out on the court together which, ranks them the third-highest scoring duo on the team. Collins is shooting over 31% from three-point range
Bench Battle Continued...
Who could do some damage for the Pelicans: Ian Clark (Blazer killer when he was with Golden State) and Nikola Mirotic if he doesn't start.
Last season, while with the Warriors, Ian Clark went off for a then career-high 22 points on 8-of-8 shooting in a win at Moda Center and then followed that up a month later vs. the Blazers with a 9-of-11 shooting performance and a new career-high of 23 points. Clark averaged 76 percent shooting against Portland last season and fans around Rip City have not forgotten that. However, this season with New Orleans, Clark has averaged 6.0 points on 34.5% shooting in four games played.
Nikola Mirotic has been a big lift for the Pelicans and has helped them to space the floor. In New Orleans' last winning streak of the season he was posting averages of 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.5 made threes. Mirotic has started the last five games at the four, while the Pelicans moved Anthony Davis over to the five.
According to SB Nation's 'The Bird Writes", Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore, Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis have posted the eighth best Net Rating in the NBA with a 5-man lineup that has appeared in 150 minutes or more together.
In Terry Stotts' coaching tenure that dates back to 1990, he has gained plenty of postseason experience. During his past five seasons in Portland before this 2017-18 season, Stotts led the Blazers to the playoffs four out of the five seasons. The only time the Blazers did not make the postseason was coach Stotts first year at the helm in the 2012-13 season.
Stotts gained the most playoff experience when he was an assistant under Rick Carlisle with the Dallas Mavericks when the Mavs won the title in the 2010-11 season.
Heading into this first round playoff matchup against the Blazers, Alvin Gentry has two seasons of playoff experience including losing in the conference finals against the Lakers in the 2009-2010 season.