What a weekend it was for Basketball! If I’m correct, I think all the teams played over the weekend. I managed to catch a part of 4 games. Technically that should be 3 because I fell asleep almost immediately after I started watching Celtics v Bulls on Friday. Also I won’t do my usual East and West division. I will review the series based on how excited I got whilst watching them.
OKC v Houston: OKC took game 3 on Friday. I didn’t see that game so we will gloss over it. I saw game 4 yesterday and boy was I tense! As you know by know, I will take Harden over Westbrook everyday. Nothing personal against Mr. Westbrook but I prefer skill and finesse over break neck speed basketball. Anyway, the one thing that stuck with me as I watched was that there is no way a box score or a post game review can dissect the game accurately to convey the tension. I still don’t know why I was screaming at the TV as I watched. The game was made even more interesting because for the best part of 3 quarters, the Rockets got battered and somehow stayed within striking distance. Harden wasn’t driving and they kept turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Obviously because I wanted the Rockets to win, I kept expecting Harden to step up but he was very quiet. He had a few good passes but he just seemed passive and uninterested. Through the first 3 quarters, he only went to the free throw line 2 times after going almost 50 times in the first 3 games. He said he was hobbled by a rolled ankle but I don’t play that. No excuses here sir!
Like I said in a previous post, the one thing that stands out about the playoffs is that the paint is closed for business. No easy waltzing through. You will take a beating if you try any sharp moves. You know who came up big though? Nene! He was there for all the physicality and he used all his experience against Steven Adams in particular. I wondered why Capela was on the bench. The difference was clear when Nene got into a bit of foul trouble though. Capela couldn’t cope on the offensive end. In the second half, Lou Williams and Eric Gordon came to the party and hit clutch shots. Eric Gordon by the way? – underrated and scrappy defender. I thought he was a soft guy because of his injury issues.
For the Thunder, they go anywhere Westbrook takes them. He really needs help out there. Oladipo wasn’t abject in the game he was just there, same for Adams. When it was clear that Harden wasn’t himself, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams took over ball handling duties and they had Nene in the centre to help out as well. That game was crucial because OKC wanted to form like they had momentum after the first game. Now I think the Rockets will close this one out in Houston on Tuesday.
Raptors v Bucks – The only reason why the Bucks lost this game was because they couldn’t find an answer for Derozan. That’s why watching the game, I felt like the Bucks could come back. The paint was closed for business and I don’t think Harden made a field goal in the second half. They snuffed him out. It was a pretty poor game in truth and I feel like the Bucks missed a good chance to go 3-1 up. With their playoff experience and home court advantage, I don’t think I can bet against the Raptors in this one.
Wizards v Hawks – There was almost no way the Wizards were going to win this one. They got absolutely trounced in the first two games and it was time for pride to come out. John Wall still had his way but everyone else was poor. In the first half, the Wizards were down by more than 20 at some point. That’s when I knew it was going to be a long night. Game 4 will obviously be a big deal but I am a bit worried because Atlanta had huge home support and Game 4 is in Atlanta as well. Things are getting chippy between the sides now and all I need is some composure from the Wizards. They need to get off to a good start in game 4 to quieten the home crowd and head back to DC for game 5 to close this thing out! Considering the Wizards were under .500 away in the regular season, that might be a tough ask. Anyway, allez Les Wiz!
Celtics v Bulls: I barely caught the first quarter of this game but the Celtics started well and Gerald Green his a few good shots and Isaiah Thomas had the spring in his step again. The real reason they won though is because Rondo is out and they will probably win the rest of the series because of that.
Now on to the games I didn’t watch. This will be quick fire thoughts on the games
Grizzlies v Spurs: The Grizzlies aren’t done yet. David Fitzdale’s press conference is really galvanising the team! You don’t even notice they’re playing without their best defender in Tony Allen. Surely, the Spurs can’t lose this series can they? Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
Clippers v Jazz: I really am tired of the Clippers. Blake is out of the playoffs and Gobert is back. Good Night Clippers. I don’t see anyway back for them now. Their luck with the injury bug is shocking though.
Cleveland v Indiana: Like I said, get those brooms out, the Pacers are going fishing!
Golden State v Portland: Dust that broom off, the Warriors need it!