What a weekend of basketball that was. It’s clear that offenses are thriving in the Orlando bubble, and there are a myriad of proposed reasons for that. The reasons aren’t super important for us, we just get to sit back and enjoy the show.
Let’s take a quick look at what happened this weekend to get everyone caught up.
Saturday started with the Bucks disposing of the Magic in a neat gentleman’s sweep. Milwaukee still doesn’t look quite the same as they did in the regular season, though, where they just killed opponents regularly. I’m not sure what exactly is off about them, but they don’t seem quite right, and are now heading into a tough, tough matchup with a very good and very well-coached Miami Heat team.
The second game on Saturday had Russell Westbrook’s return lead Houston to a blowout of Oklahoma City. Westbrook himself didn’t play all that well, but his energy seemed to be a jolt for the Rockets. Playing Lu Dort so many minutes finally caught up to OKC on the offensive end, as Houston just dared Dort to shoot, and he was unable to make them pay at all, going 3-16 from the field and 0-9 from three. That’s exactly how Houston wants to make OKC pay for Dort being on the floor.
Saturday’s finale had LeBron James and Anthony Davis just casually pick apart Portland, resulting in a 4-1 series win for the #WeBelieve Lakers. James and Davis are in such a groove right now that it’s easy to see why they’re a title contender. A potential second round matchup with Houston looms, and that would be a wildly entertaining series.
We started Sunday off by kicking off the second round, featuring Toronto and Boston. I think this is going to be the most fun series of the second round, although Toronto did not look good at all. The big concern for Toronto all year has been that they don’t really have a guy on the wing who can just go get you a bucket. They’ve been able to get away with that up until this point, but with each passing game in the playoffs it gets harder to run your sets and just scheme open looks. I think the Raptors will keep this competitive, but Sunday was a bad bad start.
Sunday continued with an eventful finish to an eventful series between the Mavericks and Clippers. Los Angeles opened up a pretty big lead early, but Luka Doncic led the Mavericks back to make it an incredibly interesting game until the final moments. The Clippers will advance, but they are surely monitoring Marcus Morris’ availability as a suspension could be coming for him after his flagrant foul against Doncic. The Clippers may not need Morris right now, but they will at some point, and they need to be able to trust him not to lose his temper the way he did yesterday.
I don’t even know where to start on Nuggets-Jazz Game 6. Holy smokes have Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell been incredible. Murray poured in 50 (!!!) for the second time this series. He has unequivocally been Denver’s best player in this series. If it wasn’t already clear, having a perimeter player who can create for himself and make tough shots is the most important piece to a playoff team. Mitchell was also awesome once again, but he only mustered 44 points. Get back in the gym, Donovan. Seriously though, it’s been awesome to see these two guys take such incredible leaps in this series. Both guys have legitimately answered pretty much every question mark that surrounded them, and have sort of made the Jokic-Gorbert thing pointless. Game 7 is going to be marvelous, as Denver attempts to come back from a 3-1 deficit.
Today, we get Game 1 of Milwaukee-Miami at 5:30pm CST, and Game 6 of Rockets-Thunder at 8:00pm CST. I have no idea what to expect in the Bucks-Heat series, but I’d be surprised if Houston didn’t close out OKC tonight.