The first day of playoffs was full of unexpected upsets. Teams like the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic defeated powerhouses like the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. Today we have some very exciting games.
We start with the Indiana Pacers vs the Boston Celtics. This game should be an easy one for Boston against an Indiana without Victor Oladipo, but with all the drama that has been happening between Boston and Kyrie it should be interesting how he tries to fix things in playoff time. Their head-to-head matchups this season are leaded by Boston 3 games to 1. Kyrie against the Pacers averages 19 PPG, 4 APG, and 3 RPG. Without Marcus Smart in their rotation, they have to be more consistent on the defensive end. What should both teams do?
- Take the Early Lead (Don’t let Indiana get comfortable)
- Playoff Kyrie
- Team Basketball
- Perimeter and Paint Defense (Bojan Bogdanović and Myles Turner)
- Attack the Paint (Al Horford in Foul Trouble)
- Darren Collison and Myles Turner Pick and Roll Offense (Opens the Floor for Perimeter Shooting)
- Let Kyrie in his Game (Iso Ball)
- ZERO TURNOVERS
The next key matchup is between the Oklahoma City Thunder vs the Portland Trail Blazers. There has been a quiet rivarly between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook, both players have exchanged words in the regular season trash talking to each other so we expect that same intensity in this game. The Blazers have struggled this year against OKC losing all four regular season matchups. OKC will look to take the first win on the road against the short-handed Blazers without Jusuf Nurkić. Westbrook averages against the Blazers 29 PPG, 8 APG, 10 RPG, and 5 TOPG. Lillard averages against OKC 30 PPG, 7 APG, 4 RPG, and 4 TOPG. What should both teams do?
- Patient Offense (Don’t Play OKC Style)
- Kanter vs Adams (Let Kanter Prove Himself and Get Adams in Foul Trouble)
- Lillard Time
- Team Contribution (Not Just Lillard)
- Fast Pace Offense (Fast Break, Don’t Let Blazers Catch Breaks)
- Controlled Westbrook and Playoff PG13
- Westbrook and Adams Pick and Roll Offense (Adams Can’t Struggle Like Last Year)
The last key matchup of the day is between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. Houston should win, but just the fact that last year we had the same matchup in the Western Conference Semi-Finals it should be an interesting rematch for the Jazz. Both teams split the season series 2-2, but the games that Jazz won the Rockets weren’t 100% healthy. Either way, we have a series between the best defensive team in the NBA against one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. Donovan Mitchell averages against the Rockets 23 PPG, 5 APG, 5 RPG, and 3 TOPG. James Harden averages against the Jazz 33 PPG, 4 APG, 7 RPG, and 6 TOPG. What should both teams do?
- Gobert Proves Himself (All-Star Snub and DPOY Candidate)
- Offense Wins Games, Defense Wins Series (Play Defense)
- Match Perimeter Shooting with Houston
- Foul Trouble Clint Capela
- Do Not Attack the Paint
- Limit Turnovers
- Perfect Perimeter Shooting
- Iso Ball and Fast Pace Offense