Against the odds, the New Orleans Pelicans secured a playoff spot for the first time since 2015 thanks to the brilliance of Anthony Davis.
When DeMarcus Cousins was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles a few months ago, many people had immediately written off their chances of making it to the postseason.
But Davis put the team on his back and was determined to lead them to a top-eight finish and he did so impressively as they secured a 48-34 record.
Without Cousins in the lineup, AD became a one-man wrecking crew and played at an MVP level to guide the Pels to a sixth-placed finish.
The 25-year-old ended the season averaging an incredible 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and a league-leading 2.6 blocks per game.
He secured 50 double-doubles and one triple-double throughout the year and had a number of historic outings along the way.
Making it to the playoffs is a real achievement for New Orleans but their superstar isn't content with just taking part and is hoping to finally win his first series after being swept by the Golden State Warriors in his only previous appearance.
“Our goal is not to just get into the playoffs, but to make some noise,” Davis said, via the Pelicans' official website.
“Of course it feels good to get back here, but we just don’t want to be one of the teams that said they got in just to get in.”
The Pelicans face a tough first-round matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers who finished third in the west.
With their prolific backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, they'll have a lot of firepower and will cause real problems for the men from Louisiana.
The Blazers are the favourites to advance to the second round but Davis believes that if they play their best basketball, they'll give themselves a great chance of going through.
When asked what the main factors will be in the series, he said: “Whoever wants it more. We’re not too focused on what they’re trying to do and everything like that.
"But we know if we do what we’re supposed to do on both ends of the floor, we’ll be fine.”
The opening game takes place on Saturday night at the Moda Center and it will prove to be an intriguing matchup.
If the Pelicans are to overcome a talented Portland team, they'll need a lot from their supporting cast and not rely too heavily on Davis to do everything on both ends of the floor.
The likes of Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo will be crucial and must be able to give the Blazers backcourt enough to think about defensively.
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