As a scribe for the Golden State Warriors, there’s a fine line between “reporting on dynastic greatness” and “slack-jawed homerism”. I tend to cross the line towards the latter fairly often with bombastic predictions and fanatic fawning, but the Dubs usually vindicate me by shattering some record or destroying some franchise.
Before the Warriors administer some more punishment in Game 2 to the Los Angeles Clippers as revenge for stealing away Baron Davis in 2009, let’s get into some KNEE-JERK reactions on the rest of the postseason matchups.
I’ll admit, I got suckered in to thinking Utah was going to make some noise. All the analytics people were drooling over Utah’s advanced stats.
- Utah has the 2nd best DRTG in the league!
- They had a higher Net Rating than the Rockets during the regular season!
- Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert are the best in the league at protecting the rim!
Throw in a healthy Ricky Rubio and my general belief that the Rockets fold under pressure like cheap lawn chairs, I tuned into Game 1 with a strong expectation that Utah was gonna shock the world.
48 minutes later, the Rockets put a hurting on those boys. Best I could tell, Utah’s defensive strategy was to give James Harden a runway to the rim and then collapse their whole team on him in the paint. That allowed Harden to spray passes all around the court for 10 assists. Houston ended up shooting 50 percent from the field and had 11 players in double figures, winning 122-90. #YIKES
Also, I thought Donovan Mitchell was a non factor. 19 points on 18 shots, 0 assists, and 5 turnovers? Here’s hoping the young fella bounces back.
Nets 1-0 vs Sixers
We really need to pump the brakes on “Ben Simmons: Hall-of-Famer”. 9 points on 9 shots? 1-of-5 from the free throw line? 3 assists, 3 turnovers, and 4 fouls? That’s not a good look, and the Philly fans let him know.
Ben Simmons loudly booed by Sixers fans after missing free throw pic.twitter.com/iQipZhlbWG— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) April 13, 2019
Hahaha, they really booed this man! #coldblooded
If he doesn’t bounce back with a strong performance in Game 2, the Sixers may not have enough fire power since Joel Embiid is struggling with his knee injury. The Nets upsetting Philly would be quite an interesting subplot to the season after a few Warriors fans panicked once the Sixers acquired Tobias Harris.
Thank goodness the games are played on the court, and not on paper.
Kyle Lowry makes $31.0 million this season. He just scored 0 points in a playoff game pic.twitter.com/IPHwYc36kt— Ashish Mathur (@amathur90) April 13, 2019
OH MY. Playoff Game 1’s + Raptors = tragedy. I fully expect them to bounce back in Game 2 and whup Orlando...but I’m gonna need Kyle Lowry to score more points than me on the couch.
Blazers 1-0 vs Thunder
As an Oakland guy, I gotta admit I was rooting for Damian Lillard from the tip, ESPECIALLY after he started the game with a monster triple.
But with that said, the Blazers barely escaped from the clutches of Paul George and Russell Westbrook, 104-99. The Thunder shot 15% from downtown (5-of-33) and a lot of them were decent looks off of penetration. Now we all know the Thunder can’t shoot so that’s probably not a shock, but I’m curious to see what happens if OKC can shoot maybe 25%?
Then again if Enes Kanter can keep bodying the Thunder down low, Portland might just be alright.
The Celtics looked pretty terrible in the first half, and I wondered if the Victor Oladipo-less Pacers were ready to pull an upset.
And then Boston locked them up and threw away the key, shackling them to 8 points in the third quarter. It was like watching a superior intramural team deciding they had enough messing around and commenced to bullying their inferior competition.
Still...nothing about this Boston team is striking fear in me the way I thought they would at the beginning of the season. I’m guessing this series ends in a sweep, but time is running out on Boston to look like a juggernaut.
Poor Zaza Pachulia, forced to taste this beatdown. With Blake Griffin injured, Detroit is a pinata in basketball form. SWING AWAY, GIANNIS!
Giannis is like one good squats session away from being able to dunk from the 3-point line pic.twitter.com/l05Tt2E6OM— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 15, 2019
Analytics be damned, I don’t believe in Denver.
Brutal final minute for Denver in a one-possession game:— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 14, 2019
Murray turnover pic.twitter.com/YXpnC6JsQh
The “upset” game that pretty much everyone saw coming. What’s the point of fighting for home court advantage for 82 games just to give it up in 1? I came into this game wholeheartedly doubing the Nuggets, and saw nothing to change my mind. We’ll see if they can salvage G2 at home.