PORTLAND — Confidently walking through a tunnel in the Moda Center, Anthony Davis paused for a brief moment to compose himself before running out on the court to take on the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 on Tuesday. Davis’ teammates had already run ahead of him and were beginning to warm up on the court. He however, remained behind and took a deep breath to seemingly weigh the task at hand before sprinting towards the floor.
For Davis, leading the Pelicans has been his main goal essentially since the franchise drafted him in 2012. Now nearly six years later, Davis had the opportunity to lead New Orleans to a 2-0 series lead over the Blazers, an outcome not many expected, especially since the Pelicans were playing on the road. But while Davis seized this opportunity by finishing with a double-double in New Orleans 111-102 win, it was his teammate, Jrue Holiday, who scored 33 points and was instrumental to the Pelicans’ Game 2 victory.
Despite his strong play all season, Holiday has mainly flew under the radar this year due in large part to Davis’ nightly MVP-like performances. Holiday however, has used the first round to re-establish himself in the minds of everyone tuning in.
“[Holiday] doesn’t get a lot of credit because he’s playing with AD,” Portland guard C.J. McCollum says. “I think you’re starting to see how good he truly is on both ends of the court.”
McCollum’s praise of Holiday may actually be a bit of an understatement as the Pelicans guard has simply been sensational in the first two games of the series. On offense, Holiday is averaging 27 points, 5.5 assists, and five rebounds while shooting a stellar 54.5 percent. But as great as Holiday has been offensively, he has truly made his mark on the series with the defense as he’s been instrumental in limiting the offensive prowess of McCollum and Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard.