Davis dominated on both ends in New Orleans’ victory, and it’s not clear how the Blazers can possibly deal with him.
Anthony Davis arrives for tonight’s playoff game in Portland pic.twitter.com/j8onaDAYsk
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) April 15, 2018
It was at this moment Portland should have known: The Trail Blazers messed up. (We’re gonna use the PG-13 version of this meme because we wanna be nice).
Davis may not have been positioning for political office, but his MVP campaign from the regular season carried over into the Pelicans’ 97-95 win against the Trail Blazers on Saturday. The Brow marched right into Portland and planted his flag, flexed every muscle of his game to the tune of 35 points, 14 rebounds, four massive blocks, and two steals.
Maybe the Trail Blazers got the memo they messed up by drawing the Pelicans in the first round when Davis shut down their All-Star guard. With Davis isolated in the corner defending Damian Lillard, you’d think the guard’s quickness would give him an advantage.
The Brow is no mere mortal. He is the definition of a hybrid.
— Hashtag Basketball (@hashBasketball) April 15, 2018
Anthony Davis devours this Dame Lillard shot. pic.twitter.com/ZyU7Od8UWl
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) April 15, 2018
Maybe Portland realized it messed up at halftime. By then, Davis had already ripped into them for 17 points.
AD came to play in the #NBAPlayoffs!
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 15, 2018
Maybe the moment the Trail Blazers knew they messed up was when Davis soared into the air to stuff a one-handed alley-oop. It wasn’t as pretty as the one Rajon Rondo threw off the backboard a week ago, but the message was the same.
Maybe that moment was when one of Davis’s blocks on Lillard led directly to a Nikola Mirotic three in transition:
— FOXSports NewOrleans (@FOXSportsNOLA) April 15, 2018
Or maybe that moment was when Davis put the ball on the floor and went behind-the-back right around Zach Collins to finish at the rim:
Or when he forced his way through three Trail Blazers to rip down an offensive rebound, get the put-back AND the foul. New Orleans’ offense had stifled at this point. Once Davis touched the ball, things began flowing again.
Put back, contact, and-1 all in one motion for AD!
— NBA (@NBA) April 15, 2018
In truth, Davis reminded the Trail Blazers they messed up by drawing the Pelicans all game long. But only one moment will sit with Portland until Game 2: Looking up at the scoreboard at the end of the fourth quarter.
Portland had a magical season to secure home-court advantage with the No. 3 seed in the West. Thanks largely to Anthony Davis, that just went out the window. The Brow just secured the first playoff win of his career, and judging by the way he played in Game 1, he’s got a taste for more. He averaged 31.5 points when the Pelicans were swept by the Warriors three seasons ago.
Portand just let him get a taste of playoff victory. They messed up.