The NBA playoffs…big baskets, tons of points, hard fouls, bodies on the floor and guys getting hurt.
A quick look at what I see watching the first games of the opening round.
LAKERS-MEMPHIS…All year long anyone wanted to talk about Lakers-chemistry. They have won 11-of their last 13-games, getting hot and coming together at the right time of the year.
It was a possessed Anthony Davis dominating among the bigs, going off for (22-12-7 blocked shots).. It was Rui Hachimura coming off the bench, scoring 20-points in 18-minutes and finishing with 29. It was Austin Reaves rifling home 23-inside-outside and at the free throw line.
The Lakers hit 16-3’s..had 45-boards, shot 53%, forced turnovers, stole the ball, and survived the Ja Morant-Des Bane-Jarren Jackson led offense. When Morant went down with a wrist injury, the game changed.
LA could be in control now.
CLIPPERS-SUNS…The stars took over the game and Kawhi Leonard out gunned Kevin Durant (38-27) in the back and forth LA win. From a 16-point lead to a 9-point deficit, to getting the lead again, the Clippers never wilted. They took home court advantage, but this series is far from over. No one is talking ‘Load Management’ any more. Kawhi and KD will do what they have to to will their teams to wins.
KINGS-GOLDEN STATE..Remember when Phil Jackson would bring the Lakers into Sacramento to face Chris Weber and his Kings teammates. He referred to the building as ‘Cowbell Hell’.
Winning has brought that mentality back to that city now. Feuled by DeAron Fox’s 38-points and fearless play, the Kings beat the Warriors, outran them, outgunned them and out toughed them. It is just one game, one win, but the Kings made a statement, how good, fast and young they are. We see if Golden State can hit tons of threes in the second game to climb back into this and maybe steal home court advantage from Sacramento. Hellua an electric atmosphere in Cowbell Hell.
KNICKS-CAVS..This will be a matchup of shooting guards and opening night did not disappoint. Jalen Brunson went off for 27. Donovan Mitchell, playing catchup, had 38, but not enough help. New York is playing really strong team ball. Julius Randle might hold thekey to the series if he becomes explosive again coming off his ankle injury.
76ERS-NETS…1-chemistry experiment seems to be working, the Sixers, the other is falling apart. Joel Embiid is having an MVP season and can’t be controlled. James Harden is finally healthy and doing what Doc Rivers wants. And Tobias Harris can score at a high rate. Brooklyn’s attempt to win with the likes of Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, failed miserably. They will be out of the playoffs quickly.
BOSTON-ATLANTA…Not much of a first game, the Hawks trailed (74-44) at halftime, and this won’t be much of a series. The Celtics are so explosive with the Jason Tatrum-Jaylen Brown combo. And they have so much diversity off the bench.
BUCKS-HEAT…The series could be in jeopardy, the minute Giannis Antetokounmpo fell hard bruising his back. The air came out of the building and so it did on the Bucks bench. Jimmy Butler is so explosive, but now he’s lost tough guy defender Tyler Herro with the broken hand Does Miami have enough firepower if Giannis comes back? Does Milwaukee have any chance if Giannis misses extended time?
DENVER-MINNESOTA…Ugly series here because both big men play ugly basketball. Nikola Jokic is an MVP big man. Karl Anthony Towns is a big physical athlete who can make all kins of strange shots, but also takes alot of fouls too. This series will be messy for sure. Denver led by 25 in the opening game of the series. Somebody should wave a white flag on this one.