That the Pelicans swept through Portland was surprising enough. That they had the most efficient offense in the first round of the playoffs while facing off against the league’s 7th best regular season defense was more shocking still. Those four first round games left some wondering: were these Pelicans for real? Were they a legitimate threat to the defending champion Warriors?
The playoffs, though, don’t really work that way. Matchups and schemes combine in unique and sometimes unpredictable ways. Advantages that exist against one team might completely disappear against another. Areas that didn’t get any attention suddenly become glaring weaknesses.
Re-watching Warriors/Pelicans and it's a reminder that going from series to series in the playoffs is tougher than most think. You can gameplan your way to beating one team, have success and none of it matters because you're facing a team with different strengths/weaknesses
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) April 29, 2018
Pelicans-Warriors is an entirely new series with an entirely new set of dynamics, which became readily apparent on Saturday.