Heading into the No. 3 versus No. 6 Portland-New Orleans matchup, many pundits predicted it would be a tight series. It is safe to say, however, that no one saw this coming. The Pelicans have exploded out of the gates.
I picked the Pelicans to win this series, but I NEVER thought they would go up 2-0 on the Blazers. This is unbelievable. And this team is far more than just Anthony Davis. Jrue Holiday is on a new level. Playoff Rajon Rondo is for real. Nikola Mirotic is slaying. What a story.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 18, 2018
With New Orleans winning 111-102 Tuesday night, the Pelicans take a commanding lead back to their homecourt. The Blazers, who had a tremendous season (especially down the stretch), will have to claw out of a hole.
After the game, appropriate tweets from Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum surfaced. Lillard's tweet (from 2013) praised New Orleans guard Jrue Holiday, who has had an exceptional series, while McCollum's tweet (from 2012) took a shot at Rajon Rondo, who has been in vintage form.
If jrue holiday isn't a all star then I don't know what is lol— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 19, 2013
You can't win when Rondo making treys and free throws.— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) May 27, 2012
As SportsCenter noted, Twitter never forgets.
Twitter never forgets 😬 pic.twitter.com/MuQio6B1K2— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2018
As the Pels head home up 2-0 on Portland, Jrue Holiday is almost outshooting Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum by himself.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 18, 2018
Lillard-McCollum: 29 of 80 shooting combined.
Jrue Holiday: 24 of 44 all by his lonesome.
Rajon Rondo and the Pelicans are NOT messing around. pic.twitter.com/3JvE7hjK2W— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 18, 2018
Lillard emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate this season, averaging 26.9 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. His backcourt mate was stellar as well. McCollum averaged 21.4 points, 3.4 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game while hitting 39.7 percent of his three-point attempts.