The New Orleans Pelicans became the first team to reach the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, doing so by completing a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon. Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday combined for 48 points in the 131-123 win.
The Pelicans set a franchise record for most points scored in a playoff game, and they’ve won a playoff series for the first time since Chris Paul led the then-New Orleans Hornets past the Dallas Mavericks as a two-seed in 2008.
Holiday averaged 27.8 points, four rebounds and 6.5 assists throughout the series, all the while playing stellar defense to help contain and frustrate Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. In two of the games, Holiday did so while wearing the UNDEFEATED x Nike Kobe 1 Protro in the white/gum colorway.
He joins Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan, among others, to wear the Kobe 1 Protro during this year’s playoffs.
Holiday’s shoes were in the spotlight late in the fourth quarter when it was ruled he stepped on the baseline. But a review of the call showed Holiday’s heels never touched the line, and the Pelicans retained possession. He then proceeded to hit a jump shot that iced the win.
The sequence led to Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry begin his postgame press conference by thanking Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant for the shoes, because they prevented Holiday from stepping out of bounds.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) April 22, 2018
The model Holiday wore is one of two versions between Nike and the Los Angeles-based retailer Undefeated. The white upper and a green camouflage print pair released in limited quantities back in February.
The Kobe 1 Protro marks the start of what’s expected to be a retro line of Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes. However, rather than simply remake previous models, Bryant and Nike are retooling them with today’s technology.