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Pelicans at Trail Blazers preview: Anthony Davis primed to take flight in Portland

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New Orleans is playing their best basketball in years; Damian Lillard and company are badly missing Al-Farouq Aminu.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans (6-10) travel to face the Trail Blazers (8-9) in Portland on Friday with a 9:00 pm CST tip-off. The game can be caught on Fox Sports New Orleans and Comcast SportsNet Northwest or over the radio waves on 99.5FM.

One week ago, Anthony Davis lit up the Blazers for 38 points on a stellar 14-22 shooting performance. Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh and Mason Plumlee did little to slow down the Brow. While Al-Farouq Aminu isn’t on Draymond Green’s level, Portland noticeably misses the versatile forward.

Since losing Aminu to injury against the Suns, the Blazers defensive rating has ballooned from 104.0 to 113.8. Case in point, the Cavaliers scored 137 points against them last night with power forward Kevin Love dropping an NBA record 34 points in the first quarter.

Yes, the Blazers still have Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum but their approximate 50 points per game average hasn’t been enough to garner victories. In the last six games, Portland has given up an average of 117.5 points and lost five of those contests. With Aminu slated to miss tomorrow as well, the Pelicans should be able to feast again as the offense has averaged 115.8 points since Jrue Holiday’s return.

In addition, the defense has really tightened the screws, fielding the fourth best stopping unit in the league during the Pelicans 4-game winning streak. David outlined a few of the defensive improvements earlier today so give it a read if you haven’t done so yet.

All of these advantages are going to be important because no matter how poorly the Blazers have played of late, they will have the Portland faithful in their back pocket. The Moda Center is considered one of the most difficult venues for away teams, and this has proven especially true for the New Orleans franchise. The last time they were victorious in the Northwest was way back on November 26, 2010. That’s nearly six years to the day with 10 straight losses littered in between.

Time to snap that nasty losing streak, fellas!