(WVUE) - One of the most impressive parts about the Pelicans run to the playoffs is that they did it without DeMarcus Cousins. Because he wasn't just one of their biggest contributors, but one of the best players in the league, period. The Pelicans journey over the 2nd half of the season, learning to play without him, has been one of the most entertaining storylines in the NBA.
"I think at first we just tried to figure ourselves out. One of the biggest pieces on our team went down," said Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. "We just tried to figure ourselves out, and try to play our game. From there, we just grew a lot of energy, got a lot of chemistry, and from there, played very, very well. We felt like we've been playing in a playoff atmosphere for a couple of months now, where again, everybody in the West is so close. Any loss here or there really felt like you could move right out of the playoffs."
While the Pelicans have faced that type of pressure for weeks, it still doesn't compare to a true playoff atmosphere. Playing in one of the NBA's most vocal arenas here in Portland, they'll have to adjust very quickly.
Tip is set for 9:30 p.m. Saturday.