Good Damian Lillard, folks. Damian Lillard. Let’s talk Damian Lillard.
(7) Magic – 96 @ (2) Raptors – 116 (TOR wins 4-1)
- The Toronto Raptors joined the Celtics and Bucks as the third team to advance in the playoffs after easily taking down the Orlando Magic in Game 5. The scores might not have indicated it, but this was actually a fun series, especially watching a budding Magic team experience its first taste of the postseason in a while. Toronto was just the superior team in the end and controlled the games down the stretch much like a potential NBA Finals team should.
- Jodie Meeks posted five points and three rebounds for the Raptors on 2-8 shooting. More Raptors = more Meeks.
(6) Nets – 100 @ (3) Sixers – 122 (PHI wins 4-1)
- Soon after, the Sixers became the fourth team to make it to the second round. This series was closer than the ORL-TOR one, but still, the better team ultimately won in convincing fashion. Even with Joel Embiid battling injury and an instigating Jared Dudley in the corner, the Sixers remained calm after dropping Game 1 and quickly buried the Nets.
- The Sixers and Raptors will face each other in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
(7) Spurs – 90 @ (2) Nuggets – 108 (DEN leads 3-2)
- Now we get into the fun stuff. Jamal Murray’s last two games have been a complete 180 from his first three. After posting 24 points in a Game 4 win, Murray added another 23 in Game 5 to go along with four rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. This is the Murray we’ve all been waiting for. The Murray that can lead this Nuggets team deep into the playoffs. Nikola Jokic is the team’s best player, but they need this version of Murray to do some actual damage. Watching Murray-Jokic work in the pick-and-roll truly is a work of basketball art. The Nuggets used an 11-point third quarter advantage to pull away in the second-half and take a commanding 3-2 lead with the series heading back to San Antonio.
(6) Thunder – 115 @ (3) Trail Blazers – 118 (POR wins 4-1)
- So. Damian Lillard, huh? While you were sleeping, Lillard set the Internet ablaze with a series-winning dagger three-pointer shot from the moon over a Defensive Player of the Year candidate’s outstretched arm. The memes are spectactular.
Damian Lillard waves goodbye to the team that swept them in the regular season….
Blazers beat the Thunder 4-1 in their first round series ? pic.twitter.com/Yih5glrEEH
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 24, 2019
Dame’s face while being mobbed by his teammates……Ice Cold ?? pic.twitter.com/RBe0Iyqc2L
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 24, 2019
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) April 24, 2019
- I would just like to go ahead and apologize to my entire apartment complex if they were awakened by my murderous screams at one in the morning on a Wednesday but they can blame the real killer that is Damian Lillard. Seriously, that is one of the ballsiest, most badass – yet also uniquely petty – shots I have ever seen someone take and make.
- This isn’t the first time Lillard has ended a series with a game-winner, he did it against the Houston Rockets a few years back. He’s the only player in NBA history to have multiple series-winning, walk-off game-winners. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but there is not a more exciting player in the NBA right now than Damian Lillard. The scary part? He’s still getting better. I really hope Denver advances to round two. Could you imagine Murray and Lillard exchanging 30-foot daggers late in a Game 7? Grind that up into a fine powder and sell it to me on the corner of the street, please.
- Also, massive credit is due to Enes Kanter, who played another great game on Tuesday night. Kanter dropped in 13 points and 13 rebounds to go along with four assists and some all-around solid defense. The deeper into the playoffs the Blazers go, the more important Kanter is going to be. He held his own against Steven Adams, let’s see what he can do against Jokic/LaMarcus Aldridge. I’ll try to go more in-depth on Kanter’s play later in the week.
- Nerlens Noel’s last game of the season resulted in only two points and two boards in eight minutes. Noel had an excellent recovery season though and should be a sought after target once free agency hits.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||108-90 W vs. SAS||23||9-16 (4-9)||4||7||2||1||2||+33||27|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||118-115 W vs. OKC||13||6-9 (0-0)||13||4||0||1||0||+2||32|
|Jodie Meeks (TOR)||115-96 W vs. ORL||5||2-8 (0-3)||3||0||0||1||0||-15||13|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||115-118 L @ POR||2||1-4 (0-0)||2||0||0||0||1||+1||8|
|Trey Lyles (DEN)||108-90 W vs. SAS||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||108-90 W vs. SAS||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||118-115 W vs. OKC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Patrick Patterson (OKC)||115-118 L @ POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||115-118 L @ POR||DNP-Elbow||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
8:00 (TNT): Jazz @ Rockets (HOU leads 3-1)
10:30 (TNT): Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Warriors (Cousins-out) (GSW leads 3-1)