What a start it’s been to the First Round of the NBA Playoffs.
There’s been plenty of fireworks and statements made, and Friday’s Game 3s will go a long way to deciding these First Round match ups!
Miami v Milwaukee: (2-0 Bucks)
Game 1 was a nail biter. Game 2 not so much!
The Bucks have taken the opening 2 games of the series, looking to avenge last season’s Round 2 NBA Bubble exit at the hands of the Miami Heat.
Khris Middleton hit an overtime game winner in Game 1, a game in which was in the balance the entire last and OT, with no team leading by any more than 4 points!
That was seemingly a dagger to this Heat team, who got dog walked in Game 2 of the series, going down by 34 points in a match which was just about over minutes into the game.
Milwaukee will want to keep the foot on the throat in Game 3 in Miami, as giving this Heat team a sniff is the last thing they’d want, with memories of last year’s Playoffs exit still surely in the memory bank.
Jrue Holiday is the big difference though in this year’s series, posting back to back double doubles, and giving this team another option to take over a game late, whilst also giving this team an elite defensive presence on the other end of the floor.
LA Lakers v Phoenix: (Series Tied 1-1)
LeBron James has never lost a First Round series. Adding to this, he’s also never trailed 2-0 in a First Round series.
He made sure of this yesterday, along with Anthony Davis, giving the Lakers a huge Game 2 win on the road against a young and hungry Phoenix Suns unit.
Phoenix were dealt a huge blow in Game 1, with Chris Paul suffering a shoulder injury.
Given the warrior that he has been his whole career, he played through that pain in Game 2, but was clearly hampered, and the Suns had to turn to journey-man Cameron Payne to carry them late!
Payne was incredible in the 2nd game of the series, posting 19 points and 7 assists to go along with Devin Booker’s 31 Points, but it wasn’t enough to stop Davis and LeBron late.
There’s no doubting the Suns need CP3 healthy in this series to be any chance of pulling off an “upset” over the 7th seeded Lakers, and it would be a travesty if we don’t get a full strength Suns line up to compete against this Lakers team, especially with the year they’ve had!
Portland v Denver: (Series Tied 1-1)
Another huge Game 3 to finish our day off, with Damian Lillard and the Blazers looking to get back on track after a big road win in Game 1 of the series.
Dame and Jokic went toe to toe in Game 2, with Dame dropping 30 in the first half (42 on the night) single-handedly keeping Portland in the game, while on the other end the MVP was dominant all night, dropping 38 Points of his own in.
This series is a fun one to watch, with both teams looking to push the ball down the floor and simply outscore each other (first to 120 wins?), defence clearly optional!
Portland didn’t get a whole lot out of their bench in Game 2 of this series, the opposite of Game 1, with Melo giving them buckets turning back the clock in the process.
Denver meanwhile had their veteran carry their bench unit in the 2nd game of the series, with Paul Millsap posting 15 points and 7 rebounds, and his playoff experience will be big over these next couple of games if they can get that kind of production going forward.
It’s sure to be an exciting Friday of hoops, as these playoffs are just heating up!