The Portland Trail Blazers are in a 0-2 playoff ditch against the Pelicans, and Damian Lillard knows he needs to step up his play.
— Oregonian Sports (@OregonianSports) April 18, 2018
Lillard had 17 points in a 111-102 Game 2 loss Tuesday night, and says he must overcome the Pels’ hounding defense if Portland is to have a chance in the first-round series as it heads to The Big Easy.
Jrue Holiday led the way for New Orleans with a postseason career-high 33 points.
“Coming into the playoffs, you know teams are going to lock in and they’re going to try and make the game hard for you,” Lillard said Tuesday. “I give a lot of credit to them for executing their game plan, seeing two and three guys and making the game difficult. But the opportunities that I do get, I’ve just got to be better. I think it’s as simple as that.”
Holiday struggled at times with injuries after coming to the Pelicans in 2013. Then in early 2016 he took a leave of absence when doctors discovered that his wife, former U.S. national soccer team player Lauren Holiday, had a brain tumor while she was pregnant with the couple’s first child.
“My family’s the most important thing to me, and with them being OK I can come back to the team freely and be able to help them out now,” Holiday said. “It’s been fun. I feel like my teammates and the organization definitely helped me out coming back from things with my family, and even the injuries, with being able to play and being able to perform at the peak I’m performing.”