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NBA Playoffs Day Eight: The Grind Continues

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Basketball all day. My favorite kind of day.

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Raptors at Bucks
2:00 pm CDT
TNT

Wow did the Bucks absolutely dismantle the Raps in game three. It was a 30 point blowout that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Raps could not find the basket, and once again their star back court is struggling in the post-season. The Bucks on the other hand are looking fun and energetic, getting contributions up and down the roster, and will look to take a 3-1 series lead at home today. Hopefully with better fan T-shirts.

Wizards at Hawks
4:30 pm CDT
TNT

The series moves to Atlanta with the Wizards up 2-0 after a couple of solid home wins. The Hawks need to step up to make a series out of this one, but they seem to lack the necessary cutting edge. John Wall and Bradley Beal are scoring machines, and the Hawks haven’t had the answers. The Wizards have forced a lot of turnovers, which is what they do. The Hawks have seen their three-point shooting disappear (11-45) and while they’ve tried to make up for it at the free throw line (77 attempts in the first two games) it hasn’t been enough.

Spurs at Grizzlies
7:00 pm CDT
ESPN

The Grizzlies answered two Spurs wins with a home win in game three, playing with an energy we didn’t see in San Antonio. Zach Randolph was inserted in the starting lineup and responded with a big game, and the Grizzlies defense looked a lot like what we’ve seen over the last several years. The crowd was in a frenzy following Dave Fizdale’s comments about the officiating after game two, and it was a great night for Memphis.

Now the question is whether they can back it up and even this series. The Spurs got nothing from several of their veteran guys: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and David Lee combined for zero points. Pau Gasol managed only six while his brother did the business for Memphis. Meanwhile, the Grizz shot 50-40-90 as a team in game three, and only turned the ball over five times. That seems unlikely to happen again.

Warriors at Blazers
9:30 pm CDT
ESPN

The Warriors won one game with Kevin Durant, and one game without him in Oakland. His availability for tonight is unknown at the time of this writing, but the Warriors absolutely will not push him.

The Blazers simply don’t have enough weapons to keep up with the Warriors, who didn’t even shoot the ball particularly well in the first two games. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum had heroic efforts in game one to keep the Blazers close, but it wasn’t enough. They both struggled in game two, and it was a blowout. The difference in depth of options is pretty obvious.

Two of the Warriors averaging in double figures in the first two games of this series are Ian Clark and Javale McGee. Klay Thompson has been off (36%, under 30% from three), Steph Curry’s shooting has been pretty meh for him (40%, 35% from three) and they still lead 2-0. Maybe the Blazers can steal one in Portland.

Enjoy the games. Chat here.