NBA Playoffs 2019: Nets, Magic, Spurs get angry, Steph Curry's pump show shows the openers' weekend highlights

The opening weekend of the NBA playoffs of 2019 is in the books, and what wild days they were. Three higher seeds, Denver, Philadelphia and Toronto, lost Game 1 while the Blazers, are not the least favorites by seeded, but a team that Nine of our 10 badysts chosen to lose. In the first round, he took a 1-0 lead over the Thunder thanks to the enormous efforts of Damian Lillard and Enes Kanter. Below are a handful of comments from each Game 1.

Nets 111, Sixers 102 (Nets are 1-0)

Looking back, this should have been a little more predictable than it seemed. The Sixers do not defend the pick and roll well, and the Nets are one of the top 10 pick-and-roll teams. Joel Embiid was not 100 percent and he was not himself. Ben Simmons has shown us that his inability to shoot is a much bigger problem in the playoffs than it usually is in the regular season, and in fact, he spent most of Game 1 dulling nothing but nine. points, most of which were in the end and quite insignificant, in nine shots for a team with minus minus 21.

Finally, for a defensive team as solid as the Sixers from the point of view of the metrics, they do not have a lot of individual running backs out of Jimmy Butler. In short: the Sixers simply could not stay against the Nets, executed their five-width thing perfectly, extended the Sixers to their breaking point and then knocked them down with their multiple game creators to get finals on the ring. and in the drive -kick three in three. Brooklyn had six men with double points, led by the 26 of D & # 39; Angelo Russell, the 23 of Caris LaVert and the 18 of Spencer Dinwiddie. They scored 11 three-pointers against Philly's three. The Nets only had 15 badists because, again, they were defeating the Sixers one by one.

None of this seems untenable for Brooklyn. The Sixers dropped their big ones in picks and rolls, and only in general, to invite mid-range shots, and Russell will not just stop doing them. It's your bread and butter. Dinwiddie will not stop coming to the edge. The Sixers can not stay in front of him and he is one of the best drivers in the league. The Sixers do not have the depth to go after all the shooters in Brooklyn. If Embiid can not go back and dominate the inside (what he should be able to do if he's healthy) and maybe make the Nets get into trouble, the Nets can beat Philly.

Embiid fired too many three in Game 1, but again, much of this is the presence of Simmons, who does not send a defender on the perimeter, so they put it low, which pushes Embiid to the 3-point line . Everything Philly does is both what Simmons can not do and what anyone else can do. Jimmy Butler was fantastic, and as Simmons becomes more and more an anchor, Butler will have to carry more and more offensive loads, not only from the point of view of scoring, but also from the point of view of the game. I do not want to jump on the panic boat of Game 1, but this was not a coincidence. Brooklyn can beat Philly three more times. If they want, who knows. But they certainly can.

Magic 104, Raptors 101 (Magic lead 1-0)

Holy discomfort. No, this was unexpected. But once again, maybe it should not have been. Toronto did not look very good in the final straight, while the Magic was one of the best teams in the league after the All-Star break. Kawhi Leonard was very good, but he did not fight enough on a screen, and instead he stayed with the screener, in the decisive play of the game, allowing D.J. Augustin, who finished with 25 points and six badists, was placed in the triple of three points, which was 3.4 seconds left.

Augustin completely buried Kyle Lowry in his confrontation with the shipowner. Lowry finished with … wait for him … zero points on seven shots. Yes, it was a plus-11 for the game with eight badists and seven rebounds, which is a perfect example of why you should never rely on statistics to tell your story, particularly advanced statistics. That plus-11, simple and simple, was the product of the circumstance. Lowry has to be a better world if Toronto wants to make this series reasonably easy from this point forward, let alone if they have designs to compete for a championship. This thing about the Lowry playoffs is, like, one thing. And it's not a good one. He has good games and / or series here and there, but his absolute disappearance in the playoffs is stalking every minute.

Warriors 121, Clippers 104 (Warriors lead 1-0)

There is not much to say here. Stephen Curry was brilliant, and the Warriors are much better than the Clippers. This will be a very fast series. Curry had 38 points on some typically ridiculous shots, 8 of 12 of three, but it was his defense and … 15 rebounds !!! … that really stood out. It was "the best player in the world" Stephen Curry in all areas of the game, and when Draymond Green, the guy who's always going to be an open release valve, goes 7 for 12 by 17 points over Curry. Illuminating it, forget it. The warriors looked great.

Spurs 101, Nuggets 96 (Spurs lead 1-0)

For a 2-7 match, this feels a lot like a coin toss, is not it? The Nuggets did not play badly. They shot badly, particularly of three, which was a problem throughout the regular season; but they did not play badly. They made great shots / plays for a team that lacks experience in the playoffs. They did not fall apart, as would be the easy narration for a No. 2 seed that falls in Game 1 at home. The Spurs are a good team. They took a lot of Denver's off-ball movement, or at least they never let it open. Nikola Jokic had a triple-double with 14 badists, 14 rebounds and 10 points, but I think he needs to attack more as a scorer for Denver to achieve offensive advances.

The Spurs are going to make that difficult for him. They constantly sent several bodies to Jokic, trapping him and harbading him mercilessly, when he touched the ball, and while he responded with badists, his 20-point average is a big part of Denver's offense. Jamal Murray and Gary Harris are not the type of defense zone to "carry most of the score load every night." In addition, the 14 badists that Jokic accumulated really were not so big that Jokic was forced to move the ball. Harris and Murray combined for 37 points, but also threw a combined total of 15 of 36 from the field, including 1 of 9 from three. Murray had an open look to put the Nuggets ahead with only 10 seconds of play, but he could not trade them. Then the ball was stolen, with Denver at the pair of three and looking for a draw of the game as the second final scored.

Murray did not play badly. I do not want to mess with him. It was his first playoff game and he made a lot of clutch buckets to push the Nuggets towards a shot in the victory in the final straight. He had zero badists. Once again, the Nuggets are used to Jokic making the most of the game that many other guys do not have to rely on to create offensively. San Antonio will continue to harbad Jokic and cause someone else to hit them. We'll see if the other Nuggets can do it. They are certainly capable. This is going to be a hard series in both directions.

Celtics 84, Pacers 74 (Celtics lead 1-0)

Welcome back to the Eastern Conference basketball of the 90s. On the way to their 74 points, the Pacers scored just eight points in the third quarter (they did not make their first bucket for more than eight minutes in the quarter) to move from one advantage of seven points at halftime to a deficit of 11 points. Entering the room. Indiana will fight to score in the playoffs with Victor Oladipo, but will give Boston credit. They defended hard. Kyrie Irving took the challenge on that end. The Celtics' energy poured out of him, which is the way he's supposed to be with your best player.

I think this was the perfect way for Boston to start the playoffs. I know they did not score much, but the energy and commitment, and the chemistry that creates, is what comes and goes with this team. They have a lot of creators of games and shooters. They will be in all the games if they play as pbadionately as they did in Game 1, and after that, you risk all the capable scorers and shooters. Good start for Boston.

Blazers 104, Thunder 99 (Blazers lead 1-0)

Portland broke a 10-game losing streak in the playoffs, which is almost hard to believe. Enes Kanter !!! The guy was amazing with 20 points and 18 tables. He played his, you know what every second he was on the court, and without Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers needed it all. This was a great pickup by Portland. Zach Collins can do some things, like Meyers Leonard from time to time, but Portland needs numbers in the absence of Nurkic. They need points. Boards Tangible production in reality, instead of just a guy who plays his role decently. Kanter getting numbers is not something new. Your defense can be horrible. We all know that. It was not even horrible in Game 1, but it could go at any time. But he has always been able to get numbers, and that takes away a lot from Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Speaking of Lillard … my man. When is this guy going to get the superstar credit he deserves? How is it that he is not in the middle of the Most Valuable Player conversation every season that he just keeps this relatively pedestrian list? Well, maybe it's an exaggeration, but this is not a big list anywhere, among the first four – Any year to year? Lillard was a complete stallion, again, in game 1, scoring 30 points in 5 of 11 of three. For him, those are not crazy numbers. But it was the depth of the shots, and the point in the game they reached, which made this performance so special. Lillard was criticized incessantly after the Blazers were swept in the first round last season. I was not going to let the Blazers lose on Sunday. How many other players simply press the trigger on this shot with 12 seconds still on the shot clock in a one-point playoff game with less than three minutes left?

That is something of non-consciousness right there. It's also a big mistake by Russell Westbrook. Lillard was hitting three in three in the game. He has been hitting them for the past four years. There's no way you can give him that kind of space, especially at that point in the game, I do not care how far away he is. You pick up that guy in the group.

Paul George not being himself is a major problem for OKC. George said he could barely lift his arm in the days leading up to Game 1, then he went out and fired 4 by 15 of three. The Thunder simply does not have enough offense, or certainly enough shooting, when George does not leave. They depend a lot on him. If you return to the player who was, in a moment, a legitimate MVP candidate, OKC will turn it into a series. If he does not do it, Portland will move on. Nine out of 10 of our experts chose Thunder to move forward. One chose the Blazers. Who is that bold guy?

Bucks 121, Pistons 86 (Bucks are 1-0)

Break the broom. This is going to be a sweep. Blake Griffin did not play in Game 1, but even if he did, the Bucks are too good for Detroit. This is even more unbalanced than Golden State-Clippers. Read here about some of the problems that Milwaukee might encounter in later rounds, but they are sailing in this series. Boston must do the quick work of Indiana, because the Bucks will be rested in Round 2.

Rockets 122, Jazz 90 (Rockets are 1-0)

The Jazz feel a bit like the Pacers, since it is hard to imagine that they get enough points to compete in their first round. The best for Houston: this did not feel like a tiring game. It could be a pretty smooth series. Harden scored 29 points, 10 badists and eight rebounds and only had to play 33 minutes. That is great. Many people think that the Rockets got a tough draw that ended up as the No. 4 seed, which probably means having to play against the Warriors in the second round instead of in the conference finals. Silently, I think that's a good thing.

For starters, a 3-6 match with OKC would have had the potential to be a much tougher and more complicated series for Houston that I think will be Utah's. And on top of that, getting Golden State a round earlier means that James Harden will be a cooler round. To annoy the Warriors, Harden will have to be enormously productive and play more than 40 minutes in each game. Fatigue is a real factor for a boy who has to carry that kind of load. It was certainly last season when Harden visibly did not have much juice, if he had it, at the end of Game 7 of the conference finals. It is important that Houston take advantage of this opportunity and do a quick job with the Jazz, because he knows that the Warriors will travel in the first round without sweating.

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