Good afternoon, folks. Apologies for the BBNBA hiatus, I’ve been away for a few days but now I’m back and I’m never going away. Time to recap what we missed during the first two games of the Conference Finals. Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.
(3) Trail Blazers – 94 @ (1) Warriors – 116 (GSW leads 1-0)
- Game 1 of this game took place on Tuesday night, but since I didn’t cover it, I’m going to do so now just so we’re all caught up.
- Starting with some DeMarcus Cousins talk. There’s been scuttlebutt spreading that Cousins might be returning for the Western Conference Finals (along with injured superstar Kevin Durant) but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has since dispelled that.
- “I think everyone needs to slow down a little bit on the Kevin stuff,” Kerr said Monday afternoon, according to Yahoo! Sports. “He hasn’t even stepped on the floor yet … DeMarcus is probably similar. He hasn’t had any live stuff on the court yet. He’s not that close either. Hopefully, another week goes by and he’ll get better and now we have a better prognosis but at this point, we’re getting ready for this series without both of them.”
- But nevermind the fact that neither Cousins or Durant might play in this series. The Warriors still dominated the Blazers in Game 1 behind a magical 36-point performance from the two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry. Klay Thompson wasn’t far behind him with 26 points of his own. Curry finished with nine triples and a 22-point Warriors win at Oracle Arena.
- Enes Kanter finished with only 10 points (to go along with 16 rebounds) in 29 minutes. Kanter is currently fasting while observing Ramadan.
- The duo of Curry and Thompson thoroughly outplayed the Blazers backcourt pairing of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combined to shoot only 11-31 from the field. It’s only the first game – and if the Milwaukee-Boston series taught us anything it’s that Game 1s can be misleading – but it was easy to tell who the better team was. Even without two All-Stars, Golden State is a superpower. Without Durant splitting ballhandling responsibilities with Curry, the team once again runs through the 6-foot-3 point guard. The Warriors are almost more fun to watch, too, in a weird way. Curry is a spectacle while Durant is reliable. No one cares (or hardly notices) Durant when he’s putting up 10 points every quarter without breaking a sweat. It’s the tantalizing way that Curry seemingly warps entire defenses into his airspace that makes his brilliance that much more fun to watch. Even if Portland gets blown out again in Game 2 (although they’ll surely get a better outing from Lillard), this game will still be exciting. If the Warriors win by 20, that means Curry was on another level. And if he plays poorly and the Blazers steal a win? Well, then this series will get 100 times more interesting.
(2) Raptors – 100 @ (1) Bucks – 108 (MIL leads 1-0)
- A 10-0 run to close the game by Milwaukee resulted in an 8-point win for the Bucks over the Raptors in Game 1.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a modest 24 points and 14 rebounds while Brook Lopez surprised everyone after a poor series against the Celtics. Lopez added 29 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks for Milwaukee as they outscored Toronto by 15 in the fourth quarter.
- Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry both dropped at least 30 points, but it was Lowry – the man typically associated with a lack of playoff production – that shot 5-7 from the field in the final period. His teammates, including Leonard, shot 0-15 in those last 12 minutes.
- Milwaukee trailed for over three-quarters worth of game time, yet came up with enough stops in the fourth to pull out the Game 1 victory. Toronto is now 3-15 all-time in Game 1s as a franchise.
- Eric Bledsoe did not have a great shooting night, converting on only three of his 12 shot attempts and missing all six of his three-pointers. He did not commit a turnover, however, and recorded five rebounds to go along with two assists.
|Enes Kanter (POR)||94-116 L @ GSW||10||4-9 (0-0)||16||3||1||0||4||-11||29|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||108-100 W vs. TOR||9||3-12 (0-6)||5||2||1||0||0||+1||29|
|DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)||116-94 W vs. POR||DNP-Quad||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||94-116 L @ GSW||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
9:00 (ESPN): Trail Blazers (Labissiere, Kanter) @ Warriors (Cousins-out) (GSW leads 1-0)