So, that was a nice weekend of basketball. The best part were the great games. I mean, it wasn’t even close. But, how cool was it watch the crowd reactions and hear the crowd noise! 2020 was a messed up year, obviously. The champions are the champions and no one should take anything away from them. But, what we are seeing now is how NBA playoff basketball is played. When a team visits another city that crowd should have an impact. Last season was unique with no crowds, but every team played under the same circumstances. So, again, no disrespect to the 2020 champions. But this weekend was the first time I felt as if I was watching NBA playoff basketball in over a year!
Bucks v Heat
- Storyline: Can the Heat dominate and shock the Bucks again
- Game 1 outcome: Bucks win in OT 109-107
The Heat are a very confident group of basketball players. They know they can beat this Bucks team. The Bucks are ready to make noise in the Eastern Conference after 3 seasons dominating the conference in the regular season. Game 1 showed that these are two evenly matched teams. In short, the Heat are right to be confident.
Nets v Celtics
- Storyline: Can the Nets defend enough to win and can the Celtics finally wake up and play to their potential?
- Game 1 outcome: Nets won 104-93
Every game 1 in the 2020-21 NBA post season was exciting going into the final quarter. This game, which many saw as a mismatch, was no exception. One concern for the Celtics is that the Nets shot only 23.5% from 3. One concern for the Nets is that the Celtics have a beast at the center position. Robert Williams came one rebound and one block short of an improbable triple-double.
Clippers v Mavericks
- Storyline: Can the Mavericks get revenge on the Clippers and can the Clippers finally live up to their potential/hype?
- Game 1 outcome: Mavericks won 113-103
A good team will always beat a team with one great player. On paper, the Clippers have the better team, but the Mavericks have the better all around player. Luka Doncic scored 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. So, he did his part. His teammates chipped in when they were needed. The Clippers were the best 3 point shooting team in the regular season. Against the Mavericks they shot a dismal 27.5%
Nuggets v Trail blazers
- Storyline: Can Dame finally lead his team to the Finals? Can Denver advance being short one star?
- Game 1 outcome: Trail blazers won 123-109
I said earlier that every game this weekend was exciting into the final quarter. This is the only game that kinda wasn’t. Because the Nuggets are so good you knew there was a chance they may come back, but they never did. Carmelo Anthony, still hated in Denver, did damage and the Blazers stopped Jokic the playmaker. Dame did what Dame does and the Blazers take the early series lead.
Suns v Lakers
- Storyline: Are the Lakers the most dangerous #7 seed ever? Are the Suns for real?
- Game 1 outcome: Suns won 99-90
Chris Paul goes down with a shoulder contusion and his good friend LeBron James helps him up. Later, after Paul returns, LeBron James is going for a rebound and his good friend Chris Paul grabs his arm causing him to fall to the ground. That resulted in 4 technicals and one ejection. Friendships are a fickle thing in playoff basketball. Devon Booker played great, Anthony Davis did not.
76ers v Wizards
- Storyline: Will the Wizards win a game against the mighty Sixers?
- Game 1 outcome: 76ers won 125-118
Joel Embiid was good, Tobias Harris was even better. The Washington Wizards are a great offensive team with two unique talents in Bradley Beal and Russel Westbrook. The Sixers are the better team and likely have the best player in Embiid. But, the Wizards duo can be dynamic. In Game 1, they weren’t. I don’t expect to see Westbrook play like this in every game in this series.
Knicks v Hawks
- Storyline: Are the Knicks for real? Are the Hawks for real?
- Game 1 outcome: Atlanta Hawks won 107-105
The changing of the guard in the NBA is kinda a sacred thing. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird handed over the reigns to Michael Jordan. Then Jordan passed it on to Bryant. In these playoffs we are seeing the next batch of great young players vying for the mantel. Trae Young hit a big shot then shushed the attendees in Madison Square Garden. It was an amazing moment.
Jazz v Grizzlies
- Storyline: Do the Jazz need Donovan Mitchell back to compete?
- Game 1 outcome: Grizzlies won 112-109
The storyline was only about the Jazz because no one outside of Memphis expects the Grizzlies to win this series. No one told Ja Morant. Morant is another one of those young stars that is exciting basketball fans, but none in Utah tonight. Dillon Brooks carried the Grizzlies in the 3rd quarter and Morant closed out the Jazz in the 4th.
1ST ROUND GAME 1’S 1ST ROUND GAME 1’S 1ST ROUND GAME 1’S
Written by Jose Salviati
Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!