Nick Wright unveils how the Pelicans stole two road playoff wins from Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers

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In his reaction to Anthony Davis and New Orleans stealing game one and two away from Portland on the road, Nick Wright unveils to Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe how the Pelicans have been able to defeat Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers.

NICK WRIGHT: Win the first two on the road. Just a little context here. That's only happened 25 times in NBA history, the team that did that. If you take the first two from the home team, there are 21 and 4. So the Pelicans are now, historically, heavy favorites in the series.

The last 10 times that's happened, those teams are 9 and 1. The one loss in there, was actually Rondo's team last year. And most people don't think they would have lost that had he stayed healthy against the Celtics. The 8 versus the 1, Bulls versus the Celtics. But what we have happening here is a remarkable turnabout because the better back court has been the Pelicans.

No one could have seen that coming. How did the Blazers get the 3 seed in the West? Because of their back court. Damian Lillard may be first team All NBA Damian Lillard and a fringe all-star candidate C.J. McCollum. Well now, we're two games in, Damian Lillard has been the fifth best guy in the series. That can't happen.

Anthony Davis has been Anthony Davis, and Jrue Holiday has been spectacular on both ends. But to CC's point on Alvin Gentry. This I think will surprise people. The Pelicans finished this year first, first in the NBA in pace, the fastest team in the league. But you've got to keep in mind, they were nowhere near first in pace the first 40 games of the year when Boogie Cousins was out there.

So what-- you-- you always say you won't talk about coaches. What Gingery did to midseason say, we're going to change the way we play. We don't have the same personnel we did. Now, we're going to go run. And to be able to adjust on the fly, they have since March 1st, had not only a top five offense, but a top five defense in the league. That's since March 1st.

We're almost at the end of April. Like, this Pelicans team has maybe been better than we thought it could be. Because you look at the roster and you're like, well, they only a four above average NBA guys. But those four guys are all playing excellent basketball-- the back court Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic.

- How does Portland get back into this? You look at Damian Lillard last night, 17 points on 18 shots. How much do they need him to step up?

- I mean, Damian Lillard, if you're getting outscored by Jrue Holiday by 10 points in the head-to-head. But it's not only because the points per game, Rondo and-- and Jrue Holiday, they are averaging about 37, 38 points. The same as-- as Portland, but--

NICK WRIGHT: McCollum and lower.

- But the efficiency of it. McCollum's shooting 41%. Damian Lillard shooting 30-- a little above 30 something percent. So they got to get better shot selection. And they-- they can't shoot that poorly in Portland, Bill, to come out of this hole that they're in. So it's lot of it is shooting the ball, the type of shots that they're getting. Most of their shots are contested compared to-- they're typically very good off the pick and roll, and they get some wide open looks during the game that they're not getting.

NICK WRIGHT: Listen, it's a great point. McCollum and Lillard are averaging the exact same number of points as Holiday and Rondo-- both 38 points per game, cumulatively. But McCollum and Lillard are doing it on 36% shooting. And Rondo and Holiday are doing it on 50% shooting. So if-- not only does Portland not have the advantage in the back court.

And by the way, that disregards defense. Like, keep in mind, obviously, Jrue Holiday is giving you a better edge defensively than Damian Lillard is, and then C.J. McCollum is. They are a negative defensively. Holiday's one of the best perimeter offenders in the league. And Rondo can be. He can be, at times, careless defender, but he can be a good defender.

And then we're not even talking about Anthony Davis. If you were to tell me, last week, the Pelicans are going to be up 2-0, how did it happen? I would've said well, in game 1, the Brown must have gone like 45, 20, and 5. And in game 2, he must have gone like 40, 15, and 10. Anthony Davis has been good, but not much better than his season averages. He's averaging about what his regular season points per game are, a little higher on rebounding. It's because of the back court.