It wasn’t pretty. The crowd was hostile. Nothing went right. And the Blazers leave Portland down 0-2 in their first-round NBA Playoffs series against the New Orleans Pelicans, after a demoralizing 111-102 loss. Here’s what went down.
- The Blazers got outplayed. There are other things to start, but let’s begin with the most important topic: The Blazers simply got beat, at home, by a team playing better than them. Twice. They out-shot the Blazers, 51.2% to 45.6% overall, and 50% to 38.7% from three. They made the big shots in the clutch when it counted. It was unpleasant for the home team.
- The Injury Bug Cometh. Both Jusuf Nurkic and Evan Turner left the game due to injuries, and Turner never returned. Their statuses will be updated as they arrive.
- We normally avoid talking about the refs. But... Wow. This was not a shining example of the quality of NBA officiating. The officials missed multiple out-of-bounds calls, and the Moda fans took offense at a number of the foul calls.
- Damian Lillard doesn’t look like himself. Buried among the avalanche of bad news from this game is Lillard’s struggles on the court. For one game, it could be blamed on the Pelicans’ defense, or just a bad night. However, Lillard isn’t making plays he made with regularity during the season, and doesn’t seem to have much lift. It’s unknown if the ankle injury suffered a few weeks ago is coming into play.
- The Blazers placed themselves in a bad predicament. Only six teams have lost the first two games at home in the first round. Two of them won the series anyway. But overall, 29 teams have lost the first two at home... and 4 have gone on to win. The odds are stacked against the Blazers. (Numbers courtesy of whowins)
Game 3! The teams fly to New Orleans and continue this series Thursday night.