Recap: NBA playoffs first week
April 19, 2018
The 2018 NBA Playoffs started about one week ago, and there is already some big things happening in the first round.
On the first day of this years playoffs, the second seeded Golden State Warriors took on the seventh seeded San Antonio Spurs in Oracle Arena.
After the first two games of that series, the Warriors are up 2-0 in the series. Both games the Warriors won by at least 15 points. The Warriors are doing this without their superstar Point Guard (PG) Stephen Curry who is out with an MCL sprain.
Later that night, the third seeded Portland Trail Blazers took on the sixth seeded New Orleans Pelicans in Moda Center. After two Trail Blazer home games, Portland is down 2-0 in the series.
The Pelicans’ superstar big man, Anthony Davis, is dominating down low, averaging over 28 points in these first two games. The Pelicans also have a very good defensive guard in Jrue Holiday. Over the first two games, Holiday has held elite level PG, Damian Lillard, to just 35 total points.
Over in the Eastern Conference, on the first day of the playoffs, the first seeded Toronto Raptors faced the eighth seeded Washington Wizards in Air Canada Centre. Game one of this series was historic for the Raptors, taking a 1-0 lead in the first round for the first time in franchise history.
In the second game of this series, the Raptors defeated the Wizards by 11 points behind Toronto all-star shooting guard Demar DeRozan’s career high 37 point performance and take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Later that day, the third seeded Philadelphia 76ers took on the sixth seeded Miami Heat in Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia.
In the first game of this series, the 76ers dominated the Heat. Beating them by almost 30 points, behind incredible performance by rookie Ben Simmons. Simmons nearly got a triple double, with a stat line of 17 points, 14 assists, and 9 rebounds.
In the second game, the Heat shocked to 76ers, with Dwyane Wade showing that he still has some left in the tank. Wade had a vintage performance, scoring 28 points with 15 points in the fourth quarter to take the win and tie the series at 1-1.
On the second day of the playoffs, the second seeded Boston Celtics took on the seventh seeded Milwaukee Bucks in TD Garden.
After the Celtics suffered two season ending injuries to their two best players, Gordon Hayward, in the first game of the season, and Kyrie Irving about a month ago. The Celtics are shocking the world by being up 2-0 in the series against the Bucks.
The Bucks have a top 10 player in the league with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and a good starting PG in Eric Bledsoe. The Celtics have so much depth and such great coaching, while the Bucks recently fired their Head Coach, Jason Kidd.
During the second day of the playoffs, the fourth seeded Cleveland Cavaliers took on the fifth seeded Indiana Pacers in Quicken Loans Arena. The Pacers came out on fire in the first game of this series. With first time all-star Victor Oladipo scoring 32 points and leading the Pacers to an 18 point victory over LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
LeBron James would not let the young Pacers team beat his team in two straight first round games, James went into game two with a chip on his shoulder and reminded everyone that he is the greatest player in the world, scoring 46 points to help the Cavs tie up the series 1-1.
Over in the Western Conference, The first seeded Houston Rockets took on the eighth seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in Toyota Center. The Rockets just barely slipped past the Timberwolves in the first game, only winning by three points.
With MVP Candidate, James Harden scoring 44 points, the Timberwolves were unable to take advantage of the poor pick and roll defense of the Rockets. Due to that, Timberwolves all-star Karl Anthony-Towns was held to just eight points in 40 minutes of gametime.
In the first game, the Rockets struggled heavily from beyond the arc, shooting only 10 for 37.
In the second game, the Rockets were not going to shoot the way they did from three in game one, Houston took 52 shots from three in this game, but the difference between this game and the first one is that the Rockets made six more threes than they did in the first game.
Adding 18 points to the final score coming from three point shots. Because of the increase in made three pointers, the Rockets defeated the Timberwolves by 20 points and take a 2-0 lead in the series.
The other western conference game on Sunday was the fourth seeded Oklahoma City (OKC) Thunder taking on the fifth seeded Utah Jazz in Chesapeake Energy Arena. In game one of this series, OKC forward, Paul George was determined to show the world that he wasn’t starting to decline in terms of skill. George made eight threes in this game and led the Thunder to a six point victory.
In game 2, the Jazz didn’t want to let the Thunder get a 2-0 lead on them in the series, rookie Donovan Mitchell led Utah to a road win in game two to tie up the series 1-1 with an impressive 28 points. Former NBA All-Defensive first team member, Utah Center, Rudy Gobert, made sure his presence was noticed with three blocks and 15 rebounds in 33 minutes of gametime.