NBA Eastern Conference Round 1 Overview
Now that the weekend is over, we have seen all 16 playoff teams in action once. And with that, a lot of lessons have been learned. Some of the clarifications as to how to make predictions has become clear. It was exhilarating to enjoy these games with real crowd noise and not the fake pumped-in type.
Let’s look at some of what we learned from the Eastern Conference game 1’s.
Wizards Not Dead in the Water
The final score of PHI-WSH game 1 read 125-118 in the 76ers' favor. This, in spite of the fact that turnovers had seemingly doomed the Wizards down the stretch. They are obviously trying to stop one of the best bigs in recent years in Joel Embiid and struggling to do.
The team has Bradley Beal, who says he “had a bad game” despite finishing with 33-6-10. The consistency of his scoring might have been their only issue. If they can find a way to keep Embiid in foul trouble for two halves and not just one, game two might be theirs, even in a building that the 76ers have gone 59-9 in during the last 68 games.
Celtics in Trouble
The Nets limped to the finish line, never making a big run until late in the first game against Boston. Even with that being the case, it was an 11-point win for the super squad.
Boston has their work cut out for them. Jayson Tatum did not make a basket in the second half. Kemba Walker was horrible. How can they stop a team with three legends on the floor at once?
Bucks and Heat Seem Dead Even
The first Bucks-Heat battle went to OT. If not for Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, Miami would certainly have won game one. Regardless of how close it was for Milwaukee, it’s better than last year when they trailed 3-0 to the Heat in the series.
The teams are really air-tight, and the second game on Monday will reveal a lot. Who planned to try and come out more aggressive? Which star that struggled in game one will step up? Should Bam have gotten more love as a top-tier defender?
Hawks and Knicks Might Go Seven
The first game of the ATL-NYK series came down to the wire. There were a number of lead changes inside the final three minutes. But at the end of the day, it seemed that Trae Young was ready for the big stage. His floater with 0.7 seconds left lifted the Hawks to a game one win.
Julius Randle shot just 6-24 from the floor while the Knicks bench outscored their starters. Some of those things are fixable, but that is also very bad. Alec Burks and Derrick Rose are basically starters with how many minutes they play, but RJ and Randle have to be so much better for the team to win games like this.
For the Hawks, the Bogdan Bogdanovic signing came in handy, as he hit a tough corner three to tie the game inside of the last minute. Three wins from advancing!
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