Now THAT is a great way to start off the 2018 NBA playoffs. There were four games on Saturday but no two were better than the ones that featured a couple of star Kentucky players.
John Wall did everything he could to make sure the Toronto Raptors infamous game-one losing streak remained intact (Saturday’s win was the Raptors first game one playoff win in almost 17 years). He finished with 23 points (6-20 shooting) and had a game-high 15 assists. In the first three quarters, Wall was putting on a passing exhibition, completely picking apart the Raptors pass-by-pass like he didn’t even know the defenders were there. He was excellent all the way up until the fourth quarter when he ultimately ran out of gas and the Raptors bench overwhelmed the Wizards. Oddly enough, Wall was inconsistent inside the paint, missing quite a few layups that he normally makes, but was 3-5 from deep.
Anthony Davis led his New Orleans Pelicans team to a humungous game one road win over the three-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. Davis posted 35 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks to secure his career playoff win because that’s what Davis does. Rajon Rondo was in #PlayoffRondo mode, too, throwing beautiful lobs to Davis and finishing with a game-high 17 assists (because that’s what Rondo does..). Darius Miller was off his game, perhaps the jitters and hype surrounding the game got to him as he attempted only one shot in 14 minutes. Miller is a huge part of the Pelicans bench scoring and overall perimeter threat. The Pellies stole game one, but Miller needs to show up if they want to try and steal another.
*It’s not Kentucky related, but make sure to check out Jrue Holiday’s game-saving pin-block on Pat Connaughton in the highlights below.*
Bam Adebayo played 20 minutes but could only manage six points for the Miami Heat in their blowout loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He was a non-factor the majority of the time he was in the game despite stealing minutes from Hassan Whiteside. In game one, the Miami Heat elected to go with Kelly Olynyk over Whiteside but that may change in the future with the return of Joel Embiid next game. Adebayo is going to get minutes in this series, he just has to be confident when he’s out there. Saturday night, he simply looked lost.
Spurs 92 – Warriors 113 (GSW leads 1-0)
Wizards 106 – Raptors 114 (TOR leads 1-0)
Heat 103 – 76ers 130 (PHI leads 1-0)
Pelicans 97 – Trail Blazers 95 (NOP leads 1-0)
|Anthony Davis (NOP)||97-95 W @ POR||25||14-26 (0-2)||14||1||2||4||3||+1||40|
|John Wall (WAS)||106-114 L @ TOR||23||6-20 (3-5)||3||15||4||2||5||+2||39|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||103-130 L @ PHI||6||2-3 (0-0)||1||0||0||1||1||-15||20|
|Rajon Rondo (NOP)||97-95 W @ POR||6||3-9 (0-1)||8||17||1||0||2||-4||39|
|Darius Miller (NOP)||97-95 W @ POR||0||0-1 (0-1)||4||0||0||0||1||0||14|
|DeAndre Liggins (NOP)||97-95 W @ POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jodie Meeks (WAS)||106-114 L @ TOR||DNP-Suspended||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|DeMarcus Cousins (NOP)||97-95 W @ POR||DNP-Achillies||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 15, 2018
Tonight in the NBA
1:00 (TNT): Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Celtics
3:30 (ABC): Pacers (Poythress) @ Cavaliers
6:30 (TNT): Jazz @ Thunder (Patterson, Johnson)
9:00 (TNT): Timberwolves (Towns) @ Rockets
Player to watch
Tonight’s player to watch is Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns will be making his playoff debut against the NBA’s best regular season team, the Houston Rockets. KAT finished the season with a fury, leading his Wolves team to it’s first playoff appearance in 14 seasons. With Jimmy Butler back and healthy, this series has potential to be much more thrilling than your typical 1 v. 8 matchup. This is KAT’s coming out party to the rest of the world and I can’t wait to for everyone to get a glimpse of his future greatness.