Rajon Rondo is aiming at a championship
The underdog New Orleans Pelicans put together a convincing four-game sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers that has propelled them to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in over a decade. It has been largely accomplished behind a balanced offensive effort with their core group leading the way.
Among those is veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, who is in his first campaign with the Pelicans helping lead the way. Following the close-out Game 4 win on Saturday, Rondo made it clear in his postgame presser that he has eyes on pushing the team toward an NBA title.
“I cam here to win a championship. I didn’t come here to beat a team in the first round (or) the second round. My expectations were high coming in knowing the talent that I was playing with. I think Day One when we all got together at Kentucky I knew it was kind of real as far as the talent that we were playing with. The characteristics of the guys off the court kind of all meshed. It took awhile, but at the end of the day nothing comes together so quickly and we were able to come together and continue to play one another. This is just one check mark in the big goal that we have in mind. We are going to try to stay even keel throughout the playoffs with a couple days of rest and come back locked in ready to go against probably the defending champs.”
The Pelicans have certainly made an appealing case with the manner in which they played against the erstwhile-favored Blazers squad. They dominated the series behind their offensive firepower led by Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday while also showing an effective ability to impact the game defensively.
It has made them a tough out in the remainder of the playoffs now being in the final eight teams left in postseason play. However, New Orleans looks to likely have a difficult matchup ahead against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who are up 3-0 in their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs.
A huge factor in the equation will be the availability of Stephen Curry, who has been out of the lineup for the last several weeks with a leg injury.
If he’s able to play, that could make the series that much more intense and entertaining of a playoff series. In the meantime, the Pelicans are now one step closer to competing for an NBA title.