If the goal of every road team to start a series in the playoffs is to get a split, then mission accomplished for New Orleans. However, the Pelicans might need another away win to take this series.
After playing so well over a seven-week stretch from late January until mid-March, Portland closed the regular season 5-7 (5-6-1 ATS). There were genuine concerns about the Trail Blazers and those worst fears were manifested in Game 1 against New Orleans where they lost 97-95 as five-point favorites.
This leads to a ‘must win’ scenario for Portland on TNT at 7:35 PDT for Game 2 and the NBA odds have them as a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 214. What adjustments will be made by both teams?
The Pelicans did a brilliant job in limiting Portland to 95 points, particularly the first three quarters when held the Blazers to 63 points. New Orleans limited Portland to 37.7 percent shooting and really contained the Blazers dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to 13 for 41 from the field. Coach Alvin Gentry club defended the three-point expertly and Portland’s offense never got untracked until it was desperation time in the last five minutes.