Blazers Analyst: I Don't Think Anybody Saw This Coming

After losing Games 1 and 2 at home, the Trail Blazers are in trouble

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
April 18, 2018 - 9:55 am

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Well, not many people saw this one coming. 

The New Orleans Pelicans once again beat the Blazers in Portland to go up 2-0 in their first-round playoff series. The Pelicans trailed 59-54 at halftime but outscored Portland 33-19 in the third quarter to seize control and win Game 2, 111-102.

What has happened to Portland?

“It’s something that I don’t think anybody could have seen coming,” Blazers radio voice Brian Wheeler said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They’ve been such a good home team all season long. But I did say before the series started, New Orleans had 24 road wins during the regular year – the fifth-best road record in the league. In fact, (they had) as many road wins as they had home wins, so I think they weren’t necessarily daunted by the challenge of coming in. They’ve had the benefit of having second-half leads and hanging on to those leads even though the Blazers made fourth-quarter rallies both in Game 1 and Game 2. But I think the Blazers haven’t been able to do what they normally like to do at home, which is have a lead and have the road team try to catch up. It’s been the opposite. It’s been a formula they haven’t had to deal with most of the season. The Blazers were a decent road team, too, but they’re going to have to rely on that in a big-time way and see if they can find a way.”

Anthony Davis had 35 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in Game 1, and Jrue Holiday had 33 points and nine assists in Game 2. New Orleans is two wins away from its first series win since 2008. Portland, meanwhile, is two losses away from its third first-round exit in four seasons.

“If the Blazers go from 49 wins and the No. 3 seed and winning a division championship and having home-court advantage to getting ousted in the first-round of the playoffs, that’ll leave a lot of questions as to how they treat the offseason,” Wheeler said. “I think they probably were assuming they were going to at least get to the second round of the playoffs. And then if you’re playing Golden State in the second round and you lose, then there’s no harm in that. But if they go out – and they go out quickly potentially in this series – I’ll be curious to see if that means maybe some changes they didn’t anticipate making in the offseason.”

Game 3 is Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.