April 28, 2017, 11:25 pm
The second round is about to begin with just the Clippers vs. Jazz series going to a Game 7 in the first round. The most interesting second round matchup in my opinion has to be the Raptors vs. Cavaliers. The Raptors have worked all season for this moment, to get another shot at dethroning the King in the playoffs. This is likely the best Raptors squad in franchise history and the best chance they’ve got at winning it all. With the addition of defensive monsters in Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, as well as the reemergence of Norman Powell, it’s time for the North to rise. The Cavaliers’ defence has looked questionable all season long and rather than wait for them to “flip the switch”, the Raptors need to break it before they can even touch the switch. This is clearly my heart overpowering my head, but in my bold prediction, I have the Raptors in seven! Anyways, on a exciting Friday night of NBA action, Hoop-Ball has got you covered! The Celtics complete the comeback against the Bulls, the Wizards knockout the Hawks, and the Clippers force a Game 7! Playoff action is heating up so let’s hop right into Saturday’s Daily Dish! Also follow @HoopBallTweets for up to the minute updates or hit me up on Twitter (@NguyenTDanh) if you have any questions!
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Wizards 115, Hawks 99
The road team finally won a game in this series and it all came to an end for the Hawks tonight. John Wall dropped a playoff career-high 42 points to go with eight assists, four steals and two blocks. He played like a man on a mission tonight and got the Wizards through to the second round. Bradley Beal wasn’t too shabby himself, adding 31 points (two treys) with three rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block. It’s going to be a challenge for the Celtics to slow this backcourt down in the next round the way they’ve been lighting it up.
Otto Porter had a decent game with just eight points (two treys), eight boards, three assists and two steals. Marcin Gortat stayed quiet with just two points and seven boards. It was a mediocre series from both guys, so expect them to step it up in the next series. As for Markieff Morris, he finally bounced back with a solid 17 points (two treys), eight rebounds, one steal and three blocks. After all the trash talk and physicality between the two teams, it was Morris and the Wizards that get the last laugh in this one.
Paul Millsap went down swinging tonight, scoring 31 points with 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and one block. He did his best to carry the team but didn’t get much help from anyone else. The Hawks will prioritize re-signing Millsap in the offseason and it will be interesting to see if he returns to an average Hawks squad. Dennis Schroder chipped in with 26 points and 10 assists, while Dwight Howard nine points, seven rebounds and two steals. The Hawks aren’t going anywhere with this current roster, but fantasy values should remain roughly the same if the team stays intact.
Celtics 105, Bulls 83
The Celtics put on a shooting clinic as they blowout the Bulls to move onto the next round. Avery Bradley took over scoring duties tonight with 23 points (three treys) to go with five rebounds and three assists. It certainly doesn’t get any easier for Bradley, as his next assignments will be to slow down John Wall and Bradley Beal. Isaiah Thomas didn’t have to do much this game, finishing with just 12 points, five rebounds, six assists and one steal. Thomas will be heading back to Tacoma for his sister’s funeral and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
Al Horford added 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists in this closing game. Things are about to get a lot more physical for Horford as he faces a stronger, tougher team down low. MMA was the word used to describe the Wizards’ physicality in their series against the Hawks, so they better buckle up. Gerald Green (16 points, three treys) may be leaned on more in the next round to slow down Beal and Otto Porter. There was a rivalry during the regular season between the two teams and it looks like destiny has brought them back together for one final round.
In the eyes of many, the Bulls overachieved this season and certainly in this series. After Rajon Rondo (wrist) went down with his injury, it was all but over for the Bulls. Jimmy Butler was the only player that got it going for his squad tonight, scoring 23 points with seven boards and three steals. Although trade rumors have died down, there is still a chance something will go down between the Bulls and Butler. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him dealt for a package that includes a high draft pick. As for Dwyane Wade, he disappeared tonight with just two points on 1-of-10 shooting. Wade has a $24 million player-option this summer and it’ll be interesting to see if he decides to opt-out or not. His injuries are still slowing him down, but a contender may be able to land the veteran guard with the right pitch.
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Clippers 98, Jazz 93
The Clippers kept their playoff hopes alive as they defeat the Jazz in a close game to force a Game 7 back in Los Angeles. The Jazz made it interesting near the end when they went on a little run, but ultimately Chris Paul lead his team to a victory. CP3 notched 29 points (two treys), eight assists and two steals, and took it upon himself to be more aggressive from start to finish. DeAndre Jordan put up a massive double-double with 13 points, 18 rebounds and one block. His free throw shooting remains a liability for the team, but when you’re a large part of the victory, it can be overlooked.
Austin Rivers was huge for the Clippers this game, hitting some massive treys down the stretch and finishing the game with 13 points (three treys), four rebounds and one block. It was a good thing Rivers got it going tonight, since J.J. Redick didn’t do much, finishing with just four points. There likely won’t be any lineup changes for the Clippers, so expect Rivers to remain in the starting lineup.
Not only will the Jazz have to deal with a Game 7 on the road, but they’ll also have to worry about an ankle injury that Rudy Gobert suffered late in Game 6. Gobert couldn’t keep up with the pace, so he was benched down the stretch and finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, two steals and three blocks. With everything riding on this one final game, you can expect The Stifle Tower to be in the lineup. Gordon Hayward continued his impressive playoff stretch, scoring 32 points (three treys) with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. He needs to be aggressive from start to finish, otherwise the results will be the same as tonight: solid line but nothing to show for it.
George Hill chipped in with 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and one block, while Joe Johnson added just nine points. ISO Joe came up short this time in an attempt to tie the game of late. Everyone knew that he was going to take the last shot so maybe next time they can use that to their advantage and run a play for Hayward. You can expect Game 7 to be another nail biter, and that will be taking place on Sunday at 3:30 P.M. Eastern Time!
That’ll do it for Saturday’s dish. Thank you to all the readers and subscribers! Cheers! #HoopBall #WeTheNorth
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