Game 1: Jazz 99, Mavericks 93 | Jazz tour 1:0
who was the guy Rudy Gobert. His defense, particularly in the second half, was crucial in keeping the Jazz from blowing their lead and breaking under pressure from Dallas.
What was the key here? Luka Doncic missed game 1. I don’t want to rate Jazz getting the away win in Game 1, but the Mavericks, not having their best player, pretty much screwed them up. It’s pretty impressive that the Mavs were able to hang around like they did. They took advantage of a few things from Utah, but ultimately they didn’t have a star to save the day.
Key Stats: The Jazz passed the Mavs by 19, leading to a little psychological warfare from Quin Snyder, who said a 20-plus on the boards will likely make teams think twice about playing small against Utah. It will not. The Jazz played well, and they were better at being big than the Mavs were at being small. But again, no Doncic. He’s a big rebounder for the Mavs, and there was less pressure on Utah to hold on when Gobert was in the game. Gobert was excellent in the second half but that’s harder when Luka is out there.
When it was over: With 1:35 in play and the Jazz up One, the Mavs got a really good look from Maxi Kleber for a 3-pointer. He missed and the Jazz got the rebound. Then Royce O’Neale missed an inside shot and grabbed his own rebound, and 10 seconds later he knocked down a massive 3-pointer to make it a two-ball possession game.
The moment of the game: let’s be honest That was an ugly game without Luka to do some cool stuff. The moment of the game might have just been when it was over.
Should the Mavs be worried? Yes a little. Utah is very talented, but the Jazz always finds a way to get in its own way when it comes to the playoffs. Not having Luka is a big problem. If he comes back and isn’t 100 percent or mobile enough to play like himself, then the Jazz have fewer things to go wrong. Dallas needs Luka back to full strength.
What can the Jazz do to win Game 2? Make more 3 pointers. We know the Jazz can overwhelm an opposing defense with its outside shooting. Dallas did a great job restricting her appearance and keeping her from punching her. But Utah can and should shoot better, even against a good defense.
What can the Mavs do to win Game 2? Give Lukas Kalb the Mr. Miyagi treatment. If he comes back and is fine, Jazz will have a hard time containing this Dallas offense. If he’s not back, they’ll have to parry more outside shots to put pressure on Utah, who’s playing big.
Game 1: Timberwolves 130, Grizzlies 117 | Wolves lead 1-0
who was the guy Anthony Edwards. What a great performance from the 20-year-old. He led the Wolves in that game with an efficient 36-point performance, hitting timely shots to keep the Grizzlies from making a better comeback.
What was the key here? Karl-Anthony Towns and Malik Beasley had great games. Beasley was fantastic shooting off the bench and we saw what his floor stretching can do. Towns still had some terrible moments trying to work out of the doubles team, but his first-quarter strike helped settle things and allowed Wolves to have a more balanced attack.
Key Stats: Of the Wolves’ 45 buckets, 32 were supported. Against an active and good Grizzlies defense, the Wolves did a great job moving the ball and setting up their teammates.
When it was over: With 1:58 in the game and the Grizzlies six down, Ja Morant drove to the basket for a layup. Jaden McDaniels blocked the shot on the rim, and on the next possession he knocked down a massive 3-pointer to take the lead for Minnesota to nine.
The moment of the game: Towns was so brutal with Jaren Jackson Jr that Jackson shoved a completely different Wolves player in frustration. He ended up getting a technical foul on the game.
KAT HAS A BODY CATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/wATQx3jiLr
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) April 16, 2022
Do the grizzlies need to worry? The only concern with the Grizzlies throughout the season has been figuring out if anyone else can get up to take shots and move stuff outside of Morant. Wolves are a solid defense but no one has been able to do that consistently in that first game. Either the defense has to be worlds better, or the offense has to be more versatile.
What can Wolves do to win Game 2? Your top-flight offensive must continue to function. 65 points in each half. A monstrous first quarter to set the tone for the game. The Wolves keep scoring this way, and it’s going to put so much pressure on the Grizzlies that they’ll have to follow through with their shots.
What can the Grizzlies do to win Game 2? Back to Grizzlies basketball. They’re not a great outside shooter team, but they’re better than what they showed in Game 1. They must defend the perimeter much better than what we’ve seen. Tightening all over the bottom will help get them back on track.
Game 1:76ers 131, Raptors 101 | The six lead 1-0
who was the guy Tyrese Maxey. We all freaked out about how good Maxey was right after trading James Harden, and then that kind of narrative fizzled out as we focused on Harden’s struggles and the imploding Lakers across the country. He dropped the easiest 38 points you’ll ever see in a playoff game. surgical performance.
What was the key here? Maxey and Tobias Harris were massive for the Sixers, giving Harden and Joel Embiid time to find their moments. Embiid struggled off the field but made his money on the line. It took Harden a while to get his goals going, but his playmaking helped Maxey and Harris put together 64 points on 35 shots.
Key Stats: 4. The Sixers committed four turnovers this game, which is crazy because the Raptors are the best team in the NBA when it comes to forcing turnovers. Four Sixers turnovers for just four points less than those turnovers. Ball control was tremendous for Philadelphia.
When it was over: The efforts of the Sixers’ third quarter. Toronto had a tremendous 37-point third quarter after halftime, and the Raptors still managed to lose the quarter to the Sixers’ 38 points. Both teams have excelled in the third quarter this season and used it to split or dig up deficits. The Sixers, producing on offense in that quarter, closed things for Toronto hoping to bounce back.
The moment of the game: That bounce pass in Harden’s transition to Maxey being so shocked Harden knew he was open he had to talk to him about it at the next time out.
this stuff. 😤 pic.twitter.com/jSfDJzFzeZ
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 17, 2022
Should the Raptors be worried? No, not yet. Coming out and winning Game 1 for the Sixers was a pretty predictable outcome. The Raptors have a habit of losing the first playoff game in their history, even in 2019 when they won the title. The Raptors probably have yet to win Game 2.
What can the Sixers do to win Game 2? Getting 105 points from Maxey, Harris, Harden and Embiid is a good start. They need to cap their turnovers, which they did well in the regular season. They need to knock down 3 pointers, which is what they did in the regular season. And the Sixers need to get Embiid to put pressure on Toronto.
What can the Raptors do to win Game 2? We’ll see what the status of Scottie Barnes is after he injured his foot/ankle in an accidental encounter with Embiid. Whether he’s sane or not, the Raptors need to find ways to transition out. Forcing misses on long jumpers and forcing turnovers is key to putting the Sixers against the wall on transition opportunities. They need quick, cheap points to force some mental errors from Philly.
Game 1: Warriors 123, Nuggets 107 | Warriors lead 1-0
who was the guy Jordan Poole. His 30 points on 13 shots let the Nuggets prove whether or not they could swim in the deep end of his last name. It didn’t matter that Steph Curry came off the bench or that some of the offense was slow in rhythm. Poole was an assassin.
What was the key here? Nikola Jokic could not assert himself. The Warriors did a great job helping against him without selling their own defense. Jokic struggled to score with 25 points in 25 shots. We almost never see this lack of efficiency in the incumbent MVP.
Key Stats: 33 assists on 43 shots made. The Warriors shared the ball in an offensive clinic. It’s not easy to face Jokic and be the better team when it comes to moving the ball. Draymond Green set the tone, but three different Warriors off the bench had four assists each.
When it was over: The third quarter. The Warriors were the second-best team in the NBA this season in the third quarter. They outperformed their opponents by 10.5 points per 100 possessions in the third quarter. In game 1? They surpassed Denver 32-23 to take the lead to 20 and turn that into an easy win.
The moment of the game: With less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors were 11 ahead. They missed a shot and Curry finally grabbed the offensive rebound inside. He whipped the ball to Green, who then waited for Aaron Gordon to forget he has to stay with the greatest marksman of all time. Green hit Curry with the cross-court pass and he knocked over the 3-pointer to take it to 14.
Should the nuggets worry? Naturally. There’s a story where Curry burned that franchise down in the playoffs and he tortured her. Will Barton and Aaron Gordon are Jokic’s best support, which means that only Barton is Jokic’s reliable support.
What can the Warriors do to win Game 2? Bring Curry back into play a little bit better and let Jokic work on defense as much as possible. Jokic has been an improved defender this season and you would never know by watching Game 1. The warriors must continue to exhaust Jokic.
What can the Nuggets do to win Game 2? They have to change their strategy to beat the 3 point line and make the game slow and ugly. Break the warriors’ rhythm because the nuggets don’t have the firepower to keep up with them. You also need to get Jokic some simple buckets early on.
Hofmann: Sixes find the right formula in Game 1
Jones: The word of the day for jazz is survival
Vorkunov: Breakdown of Denver’s Game 1 loss
(Top Photo by Tyrese Maxey: Bill Streicher/USA Today)
https://theathletic.com/3254663/2022/04/17/nba-playoffs-scores-april-16/?source=rss Jazz, Wolves, Sixers, Warriors win in Game 1 – The Athletic