On the Court: The East

I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that you’re going to have to wait a while (probably until next season) to read an “On the Court, Off the Court, and The Court Itself” post. I feel like in the playoffs, the only important stuff is really happening ON the court. So, unless something interesting happens to a player off the court, or a team decides to do something crazy to their court itself, I’ll be sticking to what’s going on with the game. So, good news, welcome to my new segment, “On the Court”!

In the NBA Western Conference Playoffs, we are seeing unique situations to create some fun matchups:
Rockets vs Timberwolves

Thunder vs Jazz

Trail Blazers vs Pelicans

Warriors vs Spurs

Tom does an amazing job of covering what’s going on Way Out West, so check out his playoff preview here.

I’ll be taking a look at the East (evil laughs).

1.Raptors vs 8. Wizards

The Raptors climbed to their spot as number one seed for the first time in franchise history, while the Wizards struggled to find a flow without John Wall and placed eighth. Game one proved the Raptors’ work ethic and momentum to be strong, as they trumped the Wizards with a score of 114 to 106. The game started with a loud and prominent fan presence as the clearly audible “Let’s go Raptors!” chant seemed to distract the Wizards during tip-off. Bradley Beal faced some harsh rejection from Serge Ibaka, and Kyle Lowry had a beautiful pull up three. In my opinion, the ball movement flow and the energy from the Raptors will ultimately lead to the Wizard’s defeat. The two play again tonight at 7pm.

4.Cavs vs 5. Pacers

Ah, a rematch. However, this is the first time that a LeBron James-led team has lost in the opening game of the opening series. The Pacers are led by Victor Oladipo, and I’m sure this team will come out on top. The Pacers defeated the Cavs 98 to 80 in Game 1. The Cavs have no consistent effort. When the Cavs score well, they don’t defend well, and vice versa. I think that the Pacers are hungrier and more prepared, so this should be a great series. They face off again Wednesday night at 7pm.
3. 76ers vs 6. Heat

This series is tied 1-1 right now. Everyone wants to talk about the the strength of the 76ers’ defense, the fact that they’re in transition, and that they have such strong potential to upset the entire NBA. I’m not saying I don’t agree, but how can I do a segment like this and not talk about Kelly “Playoff” Olynyk. I’m not sure if the guy eats special cereal this time of the year, but he’s on fire. For the Heat, he had the most points in game one (26) and tied for most rebounds (7), though his team fell 130-103.  Yesterday, he had 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists, helping the Heat with their 113-103 victory. This game broke the 76ers’ 17 game game winning streak, but I think it was just a bump in the road for the team. All the Kelly Olynyk talk aside, I really think the 76ers are going to surprise us all.

2.Celtics vs 7. Bucks

A week or two ago, I ran a little private poll on my Instagram and most of you voted that the Celtics were “”screwed”. This is 100% the cheerleader in me, but y’all have to have hope! The Celtics controlled the ball from the tip,while the Bucks had some sloppy ball control. Tatum demonstrated his signature, powerful drive to rev up the crowd quite a few times, and Al Horford had  a double double. The Celtics were met with some strong defense by the Bucks, but numerous plays proved the young Celtics able to outsmart their opponent. Chris Middleton tied the score to 99-99 at the end of the fourth with a three that was almost at the half court line.  The Celtics won 113 to 107 over the Bucks in overtime in Boston, and will face them again tonight at 8. This series will be a challenging one, but of course I’m rooting for the Celtics here.

Image via Mass Live.

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