New Orleans Pelicans: Meet the West’s Cinderella story

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 19: Nikola Mirotic
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 19: Nikola Mirotic /

The New Orleans Pelicans blew past the Portland Trail Blazers with little resistance in the first round; Are the Golden State Warriors next?

Everyone who counted out the New Orleans Pelicans against the Portland Trail Blazers couldn’t have been more wrong.

Over the weekend, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans finished off the Blazers en route to a four-game sweep. Signaling that these Pelicans are for real, and are going to be a tough out in the Western Conference.

Next up for the Pelicans, likely the Golden State Warriors, who are currently without Stephen Curry.

The Pelicans have had a 9 game winning streak including the playoff sweep with their in-season acquisition Nikola Mirotic peaking at the right time – he’s averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game on a blistering 46 percent shooting from 3-point range in the playoffs.

Both Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo have also exploded in the first four games of the playoffs; Rondo enjoyed a 16-assist Game 4, while Holiday scorched Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum for 41 points and eight assists in the closeout game.

The Pelicans cruised passed the Blazers in four games, but it’s not as if Portland is a bad team. The backcourt combination of Lillard and McCollum is one of the best in the NBA. The Pelicans have been that red-hot over the last two weeks.

During the playoffs, the Pelicans have the best offensive rating and second best net rating. They’re tough for anyone to beat right now.

Anthony Davis averaged 33.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.8 steals in the Blazers’ series, and he’s been Mr. Consistent for the team over the last few seasons. It’s the “other” guys that have completely changed the outlook – and playoff results – for the New Orleans Pelicans this time around.

Here’s what Rajon Rondo had to say about Nikola Mirotic’s recent hot streak:

"[via]“He’s been my teammate for two years in a row now, and what he’s been through the last two years, this is a testament to what he’s been doing, as far as being in the gym and working. On the brightest stage and the biggest moments, he’s definitely showing up. I couldn’t be happier for a guy on my team.”"

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Question is, could this team beat the Golden State Warriors in the second round? Without Stephen Curry, it could get interesting. The way the Pelicans are playing right now, all bets are off.

I guess we’ll just have to find out together.