NBA Playoffs: Weekend Preview

The Playoffs are in full swing now and for the most part, the major predictions are holding up but there are one or two upsets seemingly on the cards. Check out the run down

West

Golden State V Portland: This one is holding true to form. In game 2, Golden State moved the ball so quickly, Portland couldn’t keep up. I don’t think anyone in their team cracked 20 points and that is the problem with being the 8th seed. The team usually rides on the coat tails of one or two players. In this case, Portland is heavily dependent on the Mamas boys aka Lillard and McCollum. They need help from somewhere. Evan Turner needs to start coming good on that fat contract they gave him. Same goes for Allan Crabbe. Of course having Jusuf Nurkic out doesn’t help. Even without KD in game 2, Golden State didn’t have too many problems. This one will be over soon. KD’s health is a big x factor though. The popular consensus is that if KD isn’t healthy, they can’t in it all. That makes sense on paper but Curry seems like he’s been playing with much more freedom recently and I don’t know if that’s a forgone conclusion given Cleveland’s iffy play of late.

San Antonio v Memphis: The most notable thing about the tie has been David Fitzdale’s rant against the officiating in game 2. He gave us two seminal quotes: “They ain’t gonna rook us” and “Take that for data”. I was happy that the rant had the desired effect on his players. At least they won game 2. We all know the series won’t last long. I wonder if the spurs can take Golden State out in the West finals though. That’s my main question.

Houston v Oklahoma: In my series preview, I said 2 things. 1) Westbrook will shoot the Thunder in or out of the series 2) He will score at least 50 points in a game. 2 of those things happened in game 2. Westbrook scored 51 points (but he took 43 shots! And missed 26 of them). Oladipo again didn’t come to the party. He only made 4 field goals. This OKC team is going nowhere fast if they don’t get Westbrook some help. Sam Presti needs to act fast before Westbrook has a change of heart. For Houston, Harden is proving why I would have voted him as MVP. He is orchestrating the team beautifully. Even Patrick Beverly is hitting shots! Ryan Anderson hasn’t even heated up yet! The big question is whether they can take San Antonio in the next round. Remember they got to the Western Finals 2 years ago. I wouldn’t bet against them doing it again.

Clippers v Jazz: The Clippers are so frustrating and I don’t even want to write anything about them. They will probably squeeze past the Jazz only because Gobert won’t play for most of the series. They will crash out in the next round. The less said about them the better.

East

Boston v Chicago: Like everyone else including Dwayne Wade, I didn’t expect the Bulls to be 2-0 up. I even half thought the Bulls might get swept. But playoff Rondo is back, the Bulls are out rebounding the Celtics, they stuck Jimmy Butler on Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics have lost their mojo. However, I don’t think it is a foregone conclusion. I will be ready to eat my words next week if the Bulls don’t choke. I think 1 game is all it will take for the Bulls to get back to their inconsistent ways.

*Breaking news: Rondo has fractured his thumb and is out indefinitely. Good night Chicago!

Cleveland v Indiana: Get those brooms out! Indiana is going home in a minute. Paul George needs to shut his mouth and make clutch shots. Nothing else to say – Cleveland better buck up or the Wizards might spoil their party.

Milwaukee v Toronto: You know how much I love the Bucks and I’m so happy. Seems like this is Giannis’ coming out party but I’ve been a fan since he was on the outside of David Aldridge’s prospects list and couldn’t get a look in. Their length has disrupted Toronto who have looked far from convincing. In game 3, Derozan didn’t even make a field goal. Kyle Lowry has the playoff Heebie Jeebies again. It’s a shame really because as much as I like the Bucks, I think the Raptors are the second best team in the East and can push Cleveland a lot. Doesn’t seem like that will happen now.

Washington v Atlanta: John Wall is having a coming out party of his own. His confidence is through the roof. The Hawks have no answer for him. He keeps them on their toes and has really mastered how to use his speed properly. His assists are up and he’s keeping turnovers down. Markieff Morris is hitting shots, Bradley Beal is doing his thing even Brandon Jennings is pushing the pace! Oh what a time to be a Wizards Fan. I just hope his over confidence doesn’t hurt the team. Whatever happened to the Hawks by the way? They look very ordinary. Dwight Howard is getting pushed about inside, Paul Milsap is being a cry baby. I have actually been impressed by Taurean Prince. He plays hard and hits open shots. Dennis Schroder has been doing Schroder like things but it just feels like something is missing. Milsap will probably leave in the summer and I think they will struggle to make the playoffs next year.

I’m happy the weekend is here anyway. I’ll try to watch as many games as possible.

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