4/22/2019 NBA Eastern Conference First Round Series

Detroit, Michigan- Did anybody really expect the Detroit Pistons to compete in this series? Absolutely not. Did we see a 4-game sweep coming with an extremely hobbled Blake Griffin playing on one knee? Duh.

 

            The Milwaukee Bucks just completely annihilated the lowly 8 seeded Detroit Pistons as they coasted to a 127-104 victory at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan and move on the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs in a rematch with the Boston Celtics. I wanted to give an S/O to Blake Griffin and the Pistons for giving it their all in this series as they were clearly overmatched from the jump this series. No shame in losing to the best team in the NBA record wise. Nothing Dwyane Casey could draw up that could stop this superior Bucks team. All it comes down to is talent and the Pistons just could not match up whatsoever. Detroit started out the gate hot with a 20-8 lead, which was somewhat shocking since Milwaukee this series have dominated them from the tip. But of course, that was very short lived as the Pistons only muster eight more points the final 6 minutes of game time and the lead was cut to 28-26 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Detroit did a good job of keeping up on offense as they splashed five 3 pointers to take a 62-56 lead into halftime. Pistons’ fans couldn’t be happier with the result since I know for a fact they don’t want to see their team get its ass kicked for the fourth straight game. But in the second half, everything began to unravel for Detroit as they were outscored 39-23 including a 17-3 run to end the 3rd quarter. The Bucks shot FIFETEEN more free-throws, but you can’t fault the referees for calling the fouls since they were so aggressive driving to the rim. The fourth quarter was the same story all series as the Pistons awaited their fate with another abysmal quarter shooting. Blake Griffin plays through another knee injury (Clippers fans are far too familiar with hearing that) just looked like a complete shell of himself. He just might as well not play this series since it was so obvious he could barely move. He honestly risked his career since we all know how brittle his body is. But Detroit fans otherwise loved that he played through the injury. That’s what the city of Detroit is about. Hardworking, grit, and toughness. But playing hard can only get you so far. Giannis Antentokounmpo finished with 41 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and +22 on the floor tonight. That’s just an MVP line. You cannot stop that brute strength and astounding athleticism as he glides through the paint with his inspector gadget strides. Giannis can possibly become the first MVP for the Milwaukee Bucks to win since the great Lew Alcindor, better known as Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, in 1973-1974 when he won three out of the last four MVP’s. Individual awards are great and all, but let’s see if Giannis can lead his team past the pesky Boston Celtics led by Kyrie Irving and the brilliant coach Brad Stevens.

 

04/18/2019 NBA Western Conference First Round Series

San Antonio, Texas - The Denver Nuggets, the two seed in the Western conference have their hands full down 2-1 in the series after a 118-108 loss to the fundamentally sound San Antonio Spurs team led by the legendary coach Gregg Popovich and All- Star shooting guard Demar DeRozan. In the first half of Game 3, Derrick White is continuously showing NBA GM’s what they missed out on as he poured on 26 points and displayed great defense, as he finished with 36 points, +30. Once again, Jamal Murray continues to struggle in his first playoffs as he finished with 6 points on 2/6 shooting. San Antonio’s defensive schemes are working as Murray has struggled to get up shots this game and in eleven of the twelve quarters in the four games so far this series. If Denver wants to win a game in San Antonio, which have a 32-9 record at AT&T Center then they are going to need to defend the paint as they gave up 62 points in the paint tonight and more importantly get to the free throw line. Nikola Jokic and Paul Milsap need to demand more paint touches instead of taking long jump shots because the transition game is playing into San Antonio’s game plan. Denver is struggling on offense this series (they had one great quarter this whole series) since they are not knocking down 3 pointers at the rate they usually do but this is playoff basketball. Clearly it is time for Mike Malone to make adjustments on the defensive side of the floor as Derrick White, Demar DeRozan, and LaMarcus Aldridge are having cake walks as nobody is protecting the paint for Denver. If Denver continues to not show effort on defense and let the Spurs dictate the pace, then it could be a quick playoff series for the young Nuggets.

 

UP NEXT

Game 4: Saturday in San Antonio.