The first round of the NBA playoffs has not disappointed
The NBA has done a great job of putting together a bubble to finish the rest of the season. With the playoffs underway, it’s time to look at how things are currently stacking up in Orlando.
Three teams sweep out East
The Celtics, Heat and Raptors were all able to sweep their first-round opponent. The Raptors’ sweep did not come as much of a surprise as they beat the short-handed Nets. However, the Celtics and Heat being able to take down their opponents so easily came as a bit of a surprise. This sets up a Celtics-Raptors second-round matchup that the NBA has been waiting a few years for. Meanwhile, the Heat will most likely be taking on the top-seeded Bucks in the second round.
Mitchell Carrying Jazz
Coming into the bubble, the Jazz looked like a shell of themselves. After the loss of Bojan Bogdanovic, the Jazz struggled mightily to create an offense, as they finished with a 3-5 record in the eight seeding games. In the playoffs, however, budding star Donavan Mitchell has elevated his game, leading the whole league in playoff scoring at 39.5 points per game. The Jazz are looking to complete the upset of the third-seeded Nuggets, as they are currently up 3-1 in the series.
Clippers Looking Vulnerable
The Clippers have preached all season long that the playoffs are all they are concerned about. Now that the playoffs have started, people are still waiting for them to flip the switch. Luka Doncic has looked unstoppable, averaging 31.5 points and 9.8 assists per game. Meanwhile, Paul George has struggled, averaging just 15.3 points on 29 percent shooting. The series is tied 2-2, but the scary thing for the Clippers is that Kristaps Porzingis has missed one and a half games. The Clippers need to make some adjustments soon, or else they could find themselves going home early.
Houston In Trouble Without Westbrook
The Oklahoma City Thunder were able to tie up the series 2-2 after big games from Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder. Houston has seen themselves go cold from three in the second half, showing where they sorely miss a player of Westbrook’s caliber. However, there is no timetable for his return, so the Rockets may have to win this without him.
Bucks And Lakers Slowly Taking Care Of Business
For only the second time in NBA history, both eight seeds were able to win game one. However, the Lakers and Bucks have taken control of the series, both being up 3-1. It appears the Blazers have run out of gas, while Lebron has taken over. It also helps that the Lakers have decided to start hitting some threes. The Bucks on the other hand have tightened up their defense after game one, allowing them to smother the shorthanded magic. One thing to watch for the Bucks is the struggles of Khris Middleton. He is averaging just 13.5 points on 33.9 percent shooting. While it may not matter against the Magic, Milwaukee will need him at his best against Miami.