Full Disclaimer : I didn’t wake up at 3.30am to watch Utah and Denver play. I will catch the replay later on. Looking at the box score though, that was a much bigger shootout than I expected it to be. Even factoring in OT, I didn’t think they would combine for 260 points. I also didn’t think that Mitchell would score 57! Wow! Must be disheartening for the Jazz to still lose on that performance.
I also missed the first quarter of the Raptors/Nets game. I slept in! This Raptors team just play a smothering defense. It’s no surprise they jumped out to such a big lead, especially considering how hot they were shooting in that first half. 49% from the field and about 47% from downtown in the first half for Toronto. It was always going to be an uphill battle for the Nets after that. The Raptors did cool off and Brooklyn looked the goods in the third quarter. They cut the lead to 9 but that would be as close as they got. Raptors ended up running away with it in the fourth. They must be relieved to have finally gotten past the game 1 curse. Brooklyn need to find a way to get some easy buckets. Much easier said than done, as I mentioned, Toronto smothered the Nets. Such a good defensive performance to watch. Brooklyn moved the ball lots but there was always a hand in the passing lane and always a defender or two on the ball handler. Very impressive. The room for improvement for Brooklyn is the crispness of the passing. They moved the rock around but the passes weren’t as crisp as they could be. Too many times they had to kneel down or twist to catch it. Credit to the Raptors for their defense but Brooklyn need to move it better. Kudos to the Nets for never giving up, if they come out stronger they might be able to steal a game or two.
Embiid came out on a mission for the sixers. He looked unstoppable in the first quarter. Unfortunately, he slowed down and was less aggressive throughout the remainder of the game. Boston played a smart game of basketball. They were good on both ends of the court, but it was their defense that stood out. Tatum was lethal on offense early and had plenty of help from the rest of the team. Walker and Brown both came up big late. The defense and depth of this Celtics team is incredible. Philly came out and looked much better than I expected, but Boston just look to strong for them in this series.
Talk about a game of runs and a game of two halves. Really rough start for Dallas. Turnovers, inability to score and Luka leaving with an injury scare. 10 points down and this is only a couple minutes into the game. Clippers looked to have their number early and I was thinking this game was gonna be over quick. Dallas had a different idea though. They flipped a switch and before I knew it they were up by 10. And then it kept growing. Somebody tell them you’re supposed to be nervous in your first playoff game. They looked like their normal selves on offense, posting 50 points in about a quarter and half. What impressed me the most though was their defense! I did not see that coming, they looked to be the most all round team I watched today. Just for a little bit though. The Clippers came back again. Dallas really let them though, 12 turnovers in the first half. Everything tightened up in the second half. It looked like it was going to be a shootout. How annoying is it that Porzingis got ejected? He deserved the second technical foul, but not the first. I don’t know if I agree with the automatic ejection rule in this instance. Perhaps it should be on a case by case basis. You hate to see a game decided by a silly decision by the officials. It’s hard to say for sure if he would of been enough to get them the win but it definitely wouldn’t of hurt to have him out there in the second half. What a debut performance by Luka, but it’s hard to expect anything less from him.