Today we saw the two MVP candidates in action and their teams absolutely destroy the opposition and somehow Kyrie and Tatum got the Celtics a great comeback win on day five of the playoffs.
Indiana Paces (0-2) v Boston Celtics (0-2): 91 to 99
Welcome to the Era of NBA fourth quarter chokes. It has now happened three days in a row in Golden State, Denver and now in the Boston. The team that has a decent lead (double digits at least), just loses gas and falls apart in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers were no exception.
The Celtics were down 11 at the start of the fourth and then Kyrie Irving just went nuts. He went on an 8-0 run by himself and the Celtics went on a 16-0 run to take the lead with about 5 minutes to play.
Then the Pacers collapse continued with the final two minutes of the game resulting in a 10-0 Celtics run.
The Pacers did start this game well and knew if they had any chance of winning they needed their offensive powerhouse (well not really) Bojan Bogdanovic to come out firing and he did just that. The first quarter saw Indiana shooting at a clip over 65% and Bogdanovic leading the way. The Pacers looked great in the third, outscoring the Celtics 29-16 but at the end of the day you need a superstar or two to win these tight games.
Kyrie Irving delivered in this game, he had a huge 37 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds off 15-26 shooting and 60% from three. Jason Tatum looked like the Tatum of last year’s playoffs driving to the rim and shooting efficiently with 26 points. Al Horford did his thing and shut down the twin towers of the Pacers and the Celtics (despite an awful third quarter) won this game.
If the Pacers want to win a game, even just one, they need to start finding their offensive rhythm.
Next game @ Pacers: Saturday (20/4) at 10:30am AEST
Detroit Pistons (0-2) v Milwaukee Bucks (2-0): 99 to 120
Before this series started, I tipped Milwaukee to win a game after Blake Griffin goes off and scores 40.
But this never happened, Blake is injured, and the Pistons look like a G league team against the Bucks.
They have nowhere to go with their offence, they can’t defend Giannis or Bledsoe or Middleton or anyone on the Bucks really.
This series was over before it even began.
Just ask Thon Maker after this Poster…
The Bucks just obliterated this team, with their big three scoring 77 points. Pat Connaughton was a revelation off the bench with 18 points off 8-10 shooting.
There was a point in the fourth were Detroit led by 19 points from Luke Kennard and 18 a piece from Drummond and Jackson were back in it, only down by 7 but that was a close as they got in the second half.
To be honest there is not much to say on this series, Detroit have no way of winning. This should be a clean sweep. I say rest Giannis and get ready for Boston.
Next Game @ Pistons: Sunday (21/4) at 10am AEST
Utah Jazz (0-2) v Houston Rockets (2-0): 98 to 118
Houston won from coast to coast.
I thought this series would be somewhat close. So far, I have been dead wrong.
Houston were hungry on defence and their offence was on fire.
The Jazz just had no response.
After a 39-point first quarter, the Jazz were never really able to cut into that lead.
Harden had a monster triple double with 32, 13 and 10. The team shot 41% from three and pretty much every player on the roster was a positive +/-. Also Kenneth Faried is just lovely on this team.
They absolutely suffocated the Jazz. I mean Harden blocked Rudy Gobert for goodness sake!
This is the playoff mode that everyone wanted to see from the Rockets.
The Jazz however, have far more worries. Gobert continued his offensive struggles, taking only 6 shots, Donovan Mitchell only had 11 points off 1-8 from 3. Only Royce O’Neal with 17 and Derrick Favors 14 had efficient and decent enough games.
The Jazz cannot guard the Rockets and they do not have enough scorers against the Rockets.
Quin Snyder needs to change something with Utah and fast if they want to win a single game in this series.
Next Game @ Jazz: Sunday (21/4) at 12:30pm AEST