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Friday, April 15, 2022

2022 NBA Playoffs thread

I estimate the NBA thread only had 10-12 years of content so we’re in reruns already.

Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 15, 2022 at 11:59 AM | 4354 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: narratives, nba, off-topic, playoffs

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   1. Cagerfan Posted: April 15, 2022 at 12:37 PM (#6071843)
First!
   2. Cagerfan Posted: April 15, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6071844)
EAST
MIA def ATL in 6
BOS def BRK in 6
MIL def CHI in 5
TOR def PHI in 7

MIA def TOR in 6
BOS def MIL in 6

BOS def MIA in 6

WEST
PHX def LAC in 5
MEM def MIN in 6
GSW def DEN in 7
UTA def DAL in 6

PHX def UTA in 5
GSW def MEM in 7

PHX def GSW in 6

FINAL
PHX def BOS in 6
   3. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 15, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6071845)
Thanks for the new thread ... reposted from the last thread:

West -
PHX/? - PHX in 4
DAL/UTA - UTH in 7
GSW/DEN - GSW in 6
MEM/MIN - MEM in 6

East -
MIA/? - MIA in 6
PHI/TOR - TOR in 6
MIL/CHI - MIL in 4
BOS/BKN - BOS in 7

Possible additional upsets include MIN over MEM in West and BRK over BOS in the East (but I don't expect either).

West -
PHX/UTH - PHX in 5
MEM/GSW - MEM in 6 (I am skeptical regarding the health of GSW)

PHX/MEM - PHX in 5

East -
MIA/TOR - MIA in 7
MIL/BOS - MIL in 6

MIA/MIL - MIL in 6

Finals -
PHX/MIL - PHX in 7
   4. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:04 PM (#6071847)
Disappointing Wojbomb:
@wojespn
Clippers star Paul George has entered health and safety protocols and will miss tonight's Play-in game vs. New Orleans, sources tell
@TimBontemps
and me.
   5. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:06 PM (#6071848)
From previous experience, the Clippers having terrible player availability luck just makes their advance to the playoffs inevitable.

Seriously bad luck for the Clippers, though.
   6. Cagerfan Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:14 PM (#6071850)
George has entered health and safety protocols and will miss Friday's play-in game against New Orleans, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
EDIT: FTO beat me to it.
   7. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:27 PM (#6071853)
Kennard is also questionable for tonight's game. Tweaked hamstring.

Steph scrimmaged yesterday and expects to play tomorrow, though with a minutes restriction.
   8. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:36 PM (#6071855)
That stinks for the Clips.
   9. aberg Posted: April 15, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6071860)
I hope George wasn't contagious during the play-in. Luckily the Wolves weren't able to guard him very closely, so maybe that limited exposure.
   10. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 15, 2022 at 02:38 PM (#6071861)
Bulls have 2 ass't coaches that just tested positive. I'm pretty sure everyone got it earlier in the year, so if this is a new strain or variant I'm afraid COVID could actually have a pretty big impact on the playoffs.
   11. Cagerfan Posted: April 15, 2022 at 02:59 PM (#6071864)
Have anyone specific in mind, Moses? Cough! (Irving) Cough!
   12. sardonic Posted: April 15, 2022 at 03:18 PM (#6071865)
EAST
MIA over ATL
BOS over BRK
MIL over CHI
TOR over PHI

MIA over TOR
MIL over BOS

MIL over MIA in 7

WEST
PHX over LAC/NO
MEM over MIN
GSW over DEN
UTA over DAL

PHX over UTA
GSW over MEM

GSW over PHX

FINAL
GSW over MIL

I just read Hollinger's predictions so probably a bit influenced by them. Can't argue with his logic of making the Suns the favorite, but I'm a GSW homer and I think it's totally plausible for them to win if they can actually stay healthy. I think PHX, GSW and MIL are the "real" contenders, I'd be surprised if it was anyone else.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: April 15, 2022 at 04:09 PM (#6071871)
so if this is a new strain or variant

Ummm...
   14. Walt Davis Posted: April 15, 2022 at 04:11 PM (#6071873)
   15. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6071876)
Phoenix is weird because if they do win, it will have been obvious all along. They went to the finals last year, they were the best regular season team, etc. Etc.

However if they lose in the second round, it will have been equally obvious all along. They had incredible injury luck last year, their record was soft because many teams didn't try very hard or had injuries, and they were more of a depth team than a juggernaut.

Last time we saw this was probably the first GSW ring team.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 15, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6071877)
Lakers in 6
   17. aberg Posted: April 15, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6071883)
However if they lose in the second round, it will have been equally obvious all along. They had incredible injury luck last year, their record was soft because many teams didn't try very hard or had injuries, and they were more of a depth team than a juggernaut.

Last time we saw this was probably the first GSW ring team.


It's rare enough for mid-60s win teams to lose before at least the CF that I don't think it would ever be obvious to expect a team of that caliber to lose early. I think part of it is that we have had such a long run of Lebron/Warriors dominance that it has skewed our understanding of what it takes to make the final step from contender to champ. The Warriors at full strength could definitely beat Phoenix, but it's not a sure thing that they'd win or that they'll be near full strength.

I think you could also comp them to the Kawhi Raptors because that team had some of the stink of the Lowry/Derozan Raptors losing out in the playoffs every year, yet also the obvious counter-narrative of having Kawhi, so it was a little unclear which one would prevail.
   18. asinwreck Posted: April 15, 2022 at 05:25 PM (#6071888)
I suppose if everyone on the Bucks except for Thanasis and Allen tests positive, the Bulls have a shot at winning that series.
   19. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: April 15, 2022 at 07:35 PM (#6071912)
The amount of injures and Covid absences makes this year's regular season results trickier to evaluate than usual. And it puts a big "if healthy" qualifier next to every contender, I think. But I haven't seen anything to make me doubt that the Suns have the best team this year. Their losing to the Jazz or Mavs would surprise me a lot.
   20. yo la tengo (the poor man's Ron Darling) Posted: April 15, 2022 at 08:00 PM (#6071917)
I predict that the Cavs will win if they hit 25 three pointers as they seem on pace to do
   21. sardonic Posted: April 15, 2022 at 08:44 PM (#6071921)
Are we sure the Hawks know that they can rotate on defense?
   22. Cagerfan Posted: April 15, 2022 at 08:51 PM (#6071922)
That Capela injury looks ugly.
   23. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 15, 2022 at 10:10 PM (#6071938)
End of the day, the team with the best player won. Atlanta also made 20 of 22 free throws.
   24. PJ Martinez Posted: April 15, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6071940)
Cleveland's got a bright future, but I think the playoffs are more fun with Young in them, so I'm glad Atlanta is about to win. Let's see what he can do against Miami.
   25. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2022 at 10:54 PM (#6071946)
That Capela injury should have been a flagrant on Capela.
   26. MHS Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:39 AM (#6071966)
I feel like my picks are kinda chalk.

EAST
MIA def ATL in 5
BOS def BRK in 7
MIL def CHI in 4
TOR def PHI in 6

MIA def TOR in 5
MIL def BOS in 6

MIL def MIA in 6

WEST
PHX def NOP in 4
MEM def MIN in 7
GSW def DEN in 5
DAL def UTA in 6

PHX def DAL 6
GSW def MEM in 5

PHX def GSW in 5

FINAL
MIL def PHX in 6
   27. PJ Martinez Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:38 AM (#6071979)
So, my read of the Simmons situation is that his people are putting out the "targeting Game 4" stuff, and the organization, judging from the comments made by Nash ("he hasn't done anything yet"), Durant ("I'm not expecting him to do anything except get his body right"), and Irving ("I'm not expecting him to do anything outside of just getting healthy"), is not planning on him playing at all. Is that how others see it? Or do people think this is gamesmanship from Nash et al?
   28. Cagerfan Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:48 AM (#6071980)
He hasn’t shown himself to be a difference maker even when he was perfectly healthy so why would one expect him to be one after a year layoff, no full-court practice and a herniated disc? If anything, his time on the floor will hurt the Nets.
   29. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:01 PM (#6072008)
27 - yeah, it really does sound like his people are putting pressure on the team to let him play, which is basically the exact opposite of how this season started for him.

I don't feel like predicting the entire playoffs, so I'll cheap out and say GSW over MIL in 6. I think UTA wins, since I doubt we see Luka until it's too late and he won't be 100%. I don't think TOR will upset PHI, but they'll make it really close and then MIA will easily beat PHI. I think I'm gonna predict a tough injury for CP3 that allows a healthier GSW to come from behind and win. MIL over CHI in 2.5 games.
   30. GregD Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:19 PM (#6072010)
Not sure which would be more horrifying to watch

Simmons coming back and redeeming the Nets bs season and his reputation

Or

Simmons coming back and screwing everything up
   31. Cagerfan Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6072016)
I think it just as likely Steph gets reinjured as it is for CP3 to get injured. Steph isn’t quite as good as he was 5 years ago. Still really good, but not an MVP candidate.
   32. Cagerfan Posted: April 16, 2022 at 02:08 PM (#6072021)
If The Jazz lose this opening round set to a Luka-less Dallas team, it’s not hard to imagine major off-season changes.
   33. sardonic Posted: April 16, 2022 at 03:39 PM (#6072028)
Conley is such a steadying presence for the Jazz late in the game, I don't understand why they don't start more possessions with him just getting them into their offense.
   34. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 03:42 PM (#6072029)
Brunson is slowly bleeding money with his playoff performances.
   35. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 03:52 PM (#6072030)
Grizz starting this game with Bane on Edwards, which... probably not. I'd imagine Brooks will guard him late in the game.
   36. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 04:24 PM (#6072035)
Grizz offensive rebounds + opponent turnovers (4)
Wolves offensive rebounds + opponent turnovers (7)
   37. asinwreck Posted: April 16, 2022 at 04:33 PM (#6072038)
It is a pleasure watching this Memphis team get to work digging out of a hole.
   38. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 05:01 PM (#6072040)
Wolves with a 78% dreb%, which is not what I would have expected. Great start to the series for them. Obviously they are fouling too much, so that could be a problem going forward.
   39. Moeball Posted: April 16, 2022 at 05:22 PM (#6072045)
I really really want Simmons to play for the Nets. I think he's just as capable of going 0-10 from the line for Brooklyn as he was for Philly. To further add to his contributions to his new team, I fully expect him to share with his teammates as much as possible. Next thing they will announce, he will share Covid...with Kyrie.
   40. sardonic Posted: April 16, 2022 at 05:31 PM (#6072046)
KAT just put JJJ on a poster.
   41. sardonic Posted: April 16, 2022 at 05:32 PM (#6072047)
Just tuned into the game after finishing some work... welcome to the game, me.
   42. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:06 PM (#6072048)
Memphis had an Oreb% of 30% best in league. Minnesota a dreb% of 74.9% 27th in the league. This game? Minnesota has a dreb% of 79.3%.
   43. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:13 PM (#6072049)
Between Ant and Ja this is going to be a fun series.
   44. asinwreck Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:14 PM (#6072050)
Richard Jefferson just wished that this series could go seven, and I agree. This is a very fun matchup to watch.
   45. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:14 PM (#6072051)
Every Memphis possession should be Morant putting Towns in PnR.
   46. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:18 PM (#6072052)
I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that Ant can handle playoff intensity.
   47. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:20 PM (#6072053)
Play smart and steal game one... And a Pat Bev dumb play while I was typing.
   48. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6072054)
Tremendous job by Minnesota on the boards this game. Memphis really didn't get as much out of Morant PnR as I thought they would. You'd expect them to have gotten more open 3 point shots/offensive rebounds out of that. If those trends continue, Minnesota will win the series.

Though 41 FTA is a lot of FTA.
   49. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:34 PM (#6072057)
Ant and KAT came to play. The broadcast said this is only the second time the Wolves have won game 1 in a playoff series.
   50. Mike A Posted: April 16, 2022 at 06:36 PM (#6072059)
Beverley is just insufferable. Which is too bad, because this Wolves team could be kinda fun. Nice win.

Looks like John Collins will try to play against the Heat. That should help the Hawks, especially in the wake of the Capela injury (out at least a week, prob longer). I still don't fancy their chances, but if Okongwu plays well, they've got a chance to put up a bit of a fight.
   51. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2022 at 07:14 PM (#6072064)
Pat Bev is a classic hate them on the other team guy. Don't get me wrong, he is a total tool, but he also turned around the clubhouse culture by all accounts.
   52. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: April 16, 2022 at 07:45 PM (#6072067)
Anthony Edwards, my goodness.
   53. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: April 16, 2022 at 08:03 PM (#6072069)
Beverley is in the tradition of ML Carr and Derek Fisher, as Mouse notes. Both of those guys were also credited with being big clubhouse influences as well. I think that stuff is probably exaggerated, although maybe less so on a young team, but I think we are in a moment where high-end perimeter defenders have a lot of value, and that is what matters about Beverley.
   54. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 08:10 PM (#6072070)
Maxey can just blow by VanVleet at will.
   55. sardonic Posted: April 16, 2022 at 08:24 PM (#6072071)
   56. sardonic Posted: April 16, 2022 at 08:33 PM (#6072072)
The Warriors playoff catchphrase this year is "Gold Blooded." It's no "Strength in Numbers" or "We Believe" but it'll do I guess. "Take Note" was aggressively bad I thought.
   57. aberg Posted: April 16, 2022 at 08:36 PM (#6072074)
Most of what the wolves did today is repeatable if they keep the intensity and focus high, which they don't always do. Getting JJJ in foul trouble was huge on the boards and around the hoop. Still, there's room for improvement if DLo is more aggressive or if Ja gets fewer calls on drives, so I don't think this game was a fluke. Such a stark contrast of kat playing in the flow instead of forcing it.
   58. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:09 PM (#6072078)
Adams doesn't look like he can play in that series. I think I'd start Clarke instead and try him on KAT, doubling on the post as needed. Maybe at the end of the game you try JJJ on him, but I worry about him fouling out in 20 minutes if he tries to D up Towns the whole game. We'll see how much Budenholzer Jenkins has in him.
   59. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:22 PM (#6072082)
TOR def PHI in 7
PHI/TOR - TOR in 6
TOR over PHI
TOR def PHI in 6
get #### on hatters.

this series is over.
   60. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:29 PM (#6072083)
Denver survived over 6 minutes without Jokic at -2 net. They have to be thrilled.
   61. SteveF Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:32 PM (#6072084)
this series is over.

Maybe Nick Nurse can bait some DJ minutes out of Doc by playing Khem Birch when Embiid sits.
   62. PJ Martinez Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:34 PM (#6072085)
Looks like all those picks allowed for not just one but at least two Sixers wins, so they remain viable — though maybe not if the Barnes injury is bad.
   63. tshipman Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:46 PM (#6072089)
Poole is gonna get paaaaaaiid.
   64. sardonic Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:57 PM (#6072091)
I don't think there's any way that the Warriors can let Poole get away. He's got one more year and then he's a RFA, he's pretty much getting matched. Lacob's pockets ain't scared. Pretty sure they'd hang onto Wiggins too. The real question is what if role players like Otto Porter Jr. or GPII (on a min this year) want a raise? My guess is they try to have Kuminga and Moody grow into larger roles next year (maybe even Wiseman).
   65. MHS Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:08 PM (#6072093)
9:00 left in 3Q and I don’t think Denver is playing through Jokic enough. Won’t make up 12 points or whatever as they are getting out played but they have no shot if this is the plan.
   66. MHS Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:11 PM (#6072094)


Every Memphis possession should be Morant putting Towns in PnR


Is Ja even good in pic n roll? I thought less so, but I don’t know.
   67. MHS Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:17 PM (#6072095)


get #### on hatters.

this series is over.



If 76’ers play that hard and execute that well and the officials let Embiid play that way, they will win the title.

They won’t play that hard. Too many dogs in that yard. I doubt they execute that well, damn they played well though.

Didn’t think they had that in’em tho.

   68. PJ Martinez Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:19 PM (#6072096)
Harris and Maxey aren't always going to shoot a combined 23-35, and Philly isn't always going to hit half its threes.

Maxey had a hell of a game, though. And now Poole's putting on a show.
   69. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6072101)
Lacob's pockets ain't scared

If 76’ers play that hard and execute that well and the officials let Embiid play that way, they will win the title.

They won’t play that hard. Too many dogs in that yard

get #### on hatters.

this series is over.


Playoff time on the NBA Thread. Too bad my team had a trainwreck or I could be adding to the excitement.
   70. tshipman Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6072102)
This game is a great example of the divergence between the regular season and the playoffs. Jokic had DPOY level advance stats in the regular season.
   71. MHS Posted: April 16, 2022 at 11:37 PM (#6072110)
Tship - do you think the difference in the game was Jokic’s defense?
   72. tshipman Posted: April 17, 2022 at 12:05 AM (#6072114)
The Warriors were a better team in the regular season and shot very well in the game, and were at home. So that is to say, there were a lot of factors.


That said, Jokic was very poor on defense tonight. He was gassing early in quarters, dropping way too deep on screens, and not forcing the Warriors to make an extra pass.
   73. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 17, 2022 at 03:24 AM (#6072117)
The Warriors playoff catchphrase this year is "Gold Blooded." It's no "Strength in Numbers" or "We Believe" but it'll do I guess. "Take Note" was aggressively bad I thought.


I mean, it's no Cus Crise.


   74. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:00 AM (#6072118)
The Warriors playoff catchphrase this year is "Gold Blooded." It's no "Strength in Numbers" or "We Believe" but it'll do I guess. "Take Note" was aggressively bad I thought.


I mean, it's no Cus Crise.


Oh man I was killing myself trying to remember what that one was, good pull, that one killed me.
   75. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:07 AM (#6072119)
It's deeply unclear to me what Jokic is supposed to do when the Warriors have Curry-Poole-Klay-Wiggins-Draymond on the court. (HT to Anthony Slater) that unit went on an immediate 18-6 run to break the game open at the end of the first half when it was first introduced and the Ws never looked back.

With Draymond incessantly screening on the perimeter there's nowhere for Jokic to hide, and they were able to essentially play 5 out and get any open 3 look they wanted, which is pretty dangerous with that group. On the other end, Draymond was able to contain Jokic enough,and the rest of the Nuggets didn't give him enough help.

Mike Malone is a good coach but not sure what he's going to be able to figure out here.
   76. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 09:50 AM (#6072131)
For anyone interested in more content, this guy does great x-o's breakdowns and did every play with Curry-Poole-Klay-Wiggins-Draymond on the court.
   77. MHS Posted: April 17, 2022 at 10:10 AM (#6072134)
I thought Denver did a poor job getting the ball in Jokic’s hands during the game, at least in 1H. In the 2H it seemed like they tried to do it more but GSW just surrounded and blitzed every time.

GSW looked good, and it looked repeatable to me if they stay healthy.
   78. tshipman Posted: April 17, 2022 at 10:52 AM (#6072143)
Re: what is Jokic supposed to do:

He is supposed to be too good for that to work. He's the back to back MVP. If the regular season was similar to the year 2000, you couldn't try this #### with Shaq.
   79. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: April 17, 2022 at 11:09 AM (#6072145)
Was there any coverage of what Boogie said to get those two Ts? It wasn't mentioned in the recaps I read.
   80. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: April 17, 2022 at 12:16 PM (#6072159)
Re: what is Jokic supposed to do:

He is supposed to be too good for that to work. He's the back to back MVP. If the regular season was similar to the year 2000, you couldn't try this #### with Shaq.
well, yeah. it would be a technical foul because it's an illegal defense.
   81. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 12:32 PM (#6072161)
He is supposed to be too good for that to work. He's the back to back MVP. If the regular season was similar to the year 2000, you couldn't try this #### with Shaq.


I mean what he needs to do is have better teammates on the court with him. The new Warriors smallball lineup isn't as sturdy as when Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins were KD and Iguodala or even Harrison Barnes and Iguodala. Curry and Poole are both solid team defenders, but with Jamal Murray and MPJ the Nuggets would be in a better position to punish that lineup on the other end and try to keep Kerr from playing both at once.

Even on defense, it's not like the current Denver guards and wings are that great defensively either. If they had a PatBev type who could fight through a few screens or a couple two way players better than Will Barton it wouldn't be just down to Joker getting totally exposed out there. Even Shaq had Kobe and a couple other guys better than *checks notes* Aaron Gordon, Will Barton, Monte Morris and Austin Rivers.
   82. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6072163)
well, yeah. it would be a technical foul because it's an illegal defense.


The Warriors actually did bust out a zone with that group for a couple possessions (with mixed success). I don't think you can really zone up Joker, he's big/skilled enough to both collapse the D and make the right pass. It'd look a lot better if it was Jamal Murray setting him up with the entry pass though.
   83. tshipman Posted: April 17, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6072167)
Jokic needs better teammates:

Sure, to be a real contender, they need Murray and Porter, etc. But we aren't talking about a championship, we're talking about the first round where Jokic had the worst +/- on his team. That isn't just a Murray being out issue.
   84. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: April 17, 2022 at 01:11 PM (#6072171)
Jokic needs better teammates:

Sure, to be a real contender, they need Murray and Porter, etc. But we aren't talking about a championship, we're talking about the first round where Jokic had the worst +/- on his team. That isn't just a Murray being out issue.

First round, against a 3 seed, in a conference most people believe has 3 legit contenders. The opponent doesn't get any easier, if you face them in the first round, or the second or third.

+/- over a single game is more of a measure of minutes played and opposing lineups faced, than it is necessarily one of individual contribution. If you have the worst +/- in a losing effort, it could be because you sucked. But more likely, it is because you played the most minutes, or close to it, and didn't get to pad any + stretches against scrub lineups.
   85. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: April 17, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6072172)
1. It's one game. I don't think we need to draw conclusions about Jokic's playoff viability from it.
2. The Warriors' Jokic Plan did seem to be to make him work as hard as possible at both ends. Which is what you do when you have an MVP surrounded by not much, right? I don't see anything unusual or uniquely vulnerable about Jokic here.
   86. tshipman Posted: April 17, 2022 at 01:59 PM (#6072179)
My point is more about the growing chasm between the regular season and the playoffs than about Jokic in particular.
   87. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 17, 2022 at 03:10 PM (#6072192)
I was extremely on vacation last week and so missed the window to get my predictions in before the start of the playoffs. For posterity, I agreed with Hollinger's bracket entirely (which is like 15% more than I expected to), but in part because I put more stock into scoring margin than close game performance (and therefore record), I think the Suns are one of a small group in the top tier rather than being in a tier of their own. Since I'm also an incorrigible optimist, I'm switching up the Finals pick. So:

FIRST ROUND:
Heat > Hawks
Celtics > Nets
Bucks > Bulls
Raptors > Sixers (watching Embiid in game one has me second-guessing this decision most of all)
Suns > Pelicans
Grizzlies > Wolves
Warriors > Nuggets
Jazz > Mavericks

SECOND ROUND:
Suns > Jazz
Warriors > Grizzlies
Heat > Raptors
Celtics > Bucks

CONFERENCE FINALS:
Suns > Warriors (don't tell my wife I picked this, please)
Celtics > Heat

FINALS
Celtics > Suns
   88. SteveF Posted: April 17, 2022 at 03:39 PM (#6072198)
The two later games look like they'll be dreadfully non-competitive, so let's hope for a good game out of Boston-Brooklyn.
   89. Cagerfan Posted: April 17, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6072207)
Looks like the Celtics strategy is to attack Durants dribble. And it’s working.
   90. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 04:45 PM (#6072210)
My point is more about the growing chasm between the regular season and the playoffs than about Jokic in particular.


Can't argue with this, you definitely don't see teams picking on weaknesses with the same focus. It's the playoffs, will be interesting to see if Joker/Malone can come up with any adjustments. I don't think Joker is worse on defense than, say, Steph Curry, who also had his moments of getting picked on by Lebron. I personally don't think they have the horses, but that's why they play the games.
   91. Paul D(uda) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 04:49 PM (#6072213)
Looks like Trent, Barnes and Young will be out for the Raptors on Monday. I think an upset is unlikely
   92. SteveF Posted: April 17, 2022 at 04:58 PM (#6072216)
Miami-Philly would be a pretty interesting series.
   93. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 05:29 PM (#6072218)
That's Cal alum Jaylen Brown! It's been a lot of fun seeing him just gradually develop into a well rounded player who can impact the game so many ways. He was always an explosive athlete and a good kid but he was so mechanical in college.
   94. SteveF Posted: April 17, 2022 at 05:30 PM (#6072219)
Nets might just be too small. Even if they get by Boston, they'd have the same issue against Milwaukee.

And that's even Boston without RWIII. I can't even begin to imagine how many Orebs Williams would have in this game.
   95. Cagerfan Posted: April 17, 2022 at 05:30 PM (#6072220)
Tatum is outplaying Durant. If that trend persists, Nets have no chance.
   96. asinwreck Posted: April 17, 2022 at 05:33 PM (#6072221)
The coach of Brooklyn's defense last season is Boston's coach today, and I think he had some ideas prepared about how to defend this lineup.
   97. asinwreck Posted: April 17, 2022 at 05:42 PM (#6072225)
The Nets are many things, but they are not boring.
   98. SteveF Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:08 PM (#6072231)
Pretty good game. Next two are gonna suck.
   99. smileyy Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:08 PM (#6072232)
Wow
   100. sardonic Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:08 PM (#6072233)
Kyrie giveth with the would-be dagger, Kyrie taketh away with inattentive off ball defense, not even contesting Tatum's game winning shot.
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