One of the most striking developments of this NBA season was how close the bottom six playoff teams in the Western Conference were to each other. So going into the opening-round series between the No. 3 Blazers and the No. 6 Pelicans, everyone was expecting a close matchup, with the Blazers considered the slight overall favorites.
But that, as they say, is why we play the games. New Orleans dominated Portland pretty much from wire to wire over the course of their four-game sweep, which they completed on Saturday with a 131-123 victory that sent the Blazers reeling into the offseason facing a number of uncertainties regarding their roster, coaching staff, and front office.
The team conducted their exit interviews on Sunday, during which general manager Neil Olshey made the rather curious argument for staying the course, which is a tactic that has invariably led the team to the exact same destination each spring: an early postseason exit.