Playoffs 2018 West First Round: Blazers (3) vs. Pelicans (6)

Report: DeMarcus Cousins expected to be at New Orleans Pelicans' home playoff opener

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on NBA TV: Blazers vs. Pelicans (9 ET)

The New Orleans Pelicans have built a 2-0 lead in their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. As Game 3 approaches, a familiar face could be close by once again for New Orleans.

Center DeMarcus Cousins, who has not played for the Pelicans since suffering his season-ending Achilles injury in late January, will reportedly be at tonight’s Game 3. He is still in the midst of his injury rehab and will thus not suit up. But his presence at the games will surely provide another boost for the Pelicans’ playoff run.

William Guillory of The Times-Picayune has more on Cousins, who has not been at a Pelicans home game in months:

Boogie is coming back to New Orleans.

New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins, who is out for the season with a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon, plans to attend Game 3 of the team’s first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers at Smoothie King Center Thursday night (April 19), a source told l The Times-Picayune.

It’ll be the first game Cousins has been at a Pels home game since suffering his season-ending injury on Jan. 26. The four-time All-Star will be flying to New Orleans Wednesday night with his doctor/physical therapist to ensure that he won’t miss a day of rehab.

The Pelicans own a 2-0 lead in the series after winning the first two games in Portland, and the team already expected a raucous crowd to be at Thursday’s contest. But with Cousins in the building, it will bring even more joy to the Pelicans fanbase.

The Pelicans are expecting a sellout crowd for tonight’s game and several players are excited about the atmosphere that could await them for Game 3. This will be the Pelicans’ first home playoff game since the 2014-15 postseason, a run that ended in a 4-0 sweep at the hands of the eventual-champion Golden State Warriors.

“I’m excited. I feel like we all know the type of crowd in New Orleans and how they are,” guard Jrue Holiday told The Times-Picayune. “The last time we came back 0-2. Now that we’re up 2-0, I feel like it’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be loud. We’re going to have to communicate even better now its going to be so loud in our arena.”

* * *