April 18, 2016, 9:44 am
The first weekend of round one of the NBA Playoffs are behind us and every matchup has one game under it’s belt. The West’s top four teams flexed their muscles, as fans are waiting for the inevitable second round matchups between the Warriors-Clippers and Spurs-Thunder. With blowouts galore, it is hard to see the West’s second round any other way. In the East, the Pistons gave the Cavs an opening game scare in a close contest. Reggie Jackson played the role of the irrational confidence guy and it eventually got the Pistons in to trouble. Let’s take a look at all four games from Sunday night in our Daily Dish:
CAVS 106, PISTONS 101
The Cavs went top heavy Sunday afternoon as the big three were the only ones who scored in double figures for the entire team. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love combined to score 81 of Cleveland’s 106 points as they led a late comeback to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
LeBron posted up Reggie Jackson late and completed a nice dad move for a five-foot bank shot to take a six-point lead with just over a minute left in the game. He finished with 22 points (9-for-17 FGs, 4-for-4 FTs), 11 assists, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. LeBron has now won 14 straight games in the opening round of the playoffs and has advanced out of the first round in his last 10 tries.
Both Kyrie and Kevin Love caught fire from deep, with Kyrie hitting five treys and Love hitting four. Kyrie was 10-for-24 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line for a game-high 31 points with six assists, five boards, two steals and one block. Love had a great night as well, pouring in 28 points (10-for-22 FGs, 4-for-5 FTs) with 13 rebounds, one assist and one steal. Love’s consecutive threes in the fourth quarter helped the Cavs pull away just enough to squeeze out the victory.
The Pistons looked like they belonged for most of the night until the final few minutes. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all Pistons scorers with 21 points including four threes while adding three assists and two rebounds. Marcus Morris helped in the scoring department as well, scoring 20 points with three treys, five assists, two rebounds and one steal.
The spirit of the Pistons perhaps rested with the play of Reggie Jackson, as he showed no fear all game but couldn’t come through late to bury the Cavs. He waved off the offense late to go isolation and showed a bit too much confidence. Jackson finished the game shooting 7-for-12 from the field for 17 points with two threes, seven assists, two rebounds and one steal.
Andre Drummond finished with a double-double in 37 minutes, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 boards with one block. The Pistons curiously sat Drummond during the stretch run late in the game, subbing in Aron Baynes. It will be interesting to see if the Pistons adjust by giving Drummond more late game experience for the rest of the series.
HEAT 123, HORNETS 91
Everything seemed to go right for the Heat on Sunday, as they set a franchise playoff record of 123 points to take a 1-0 lead over the Hornets. They set the tone early, tying a franchise playoff record of 41 points in the first quarter.
The Hornets had no answer for Luol Deng, who shot 11-for-13 from the field and 5-for-7 from the line for a game-high 31 points with four treys, seven boards, one assist and one steal in 33 minutes of play. Hassan Whiteside just as efficient, shooting 9-for-11 from the field and 3-for-5 from the line for 21 points with 11 boards, two steals and three blocks. The Hornets were just hammered inside.
Dwyane Wade only had to play 26 minutes in the blowout, but he made them count on 8-of-16 shooting from the field for 16 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Joe Johnson played 26 minutes as well, shooting 5-for-8 from the field for 11 points with one three, six rebounds and three assists.
The Heat point guards were the only ones to break the efficiency trend. Goran Dragic shot 2-for-8 from the field for nine points, 10 assists, one rebound and one steal. Josh Richardson led the Heat in minutes in the blowout with 35 minutes on Sunday, shooting 3-for-11 from the field for eight points with two threes, five boards, three assists and one steal. Look for both to bounce back in efficiency on Wednesday.
The Hornets couldn’t hang defensively all game and dug a deep hole to climb out of early on with a 19-point deficit after the first quarter. Nicolas Batum had the worst +/- at -33, but he did fill the stat sheet from a fantasy perspective. Batum shot 7-for-14 from the field and 7-for-10 from the free throw line for 24 points with three treys, two rebounds, one assist and two steals. His rebound and assist numbers should get better on Wednesday.
Their offense didn’t flow very well either, as the Hornets only had 11 assists all game. Kemba Walker was 6-for-13 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line for 19 points with two threes, adding just one assist and one rebound. Walker needs to do a better job of guiding the offense if the Hornets want any shot to advance past the Heat.
Marvin Williams, a popular pick for pickup of the year in fantasy leagues this season, couldn’t get much going in a terrible showing on Sunday. Williams went cold on 1-of-7 shooting from the field with just two points, three rebounds, one assist and one block. That’s certainly not the start the Hornets wanted out of him, or their entire team for that matter.
SPURS 106, GRIZZLIES 74
It’s always a good night for Pop when he gets 12 players on the court for more than 10 minutes each. The Spurs trailed for all of 25 seconds the entire game and cruised to an easy victory on Sunday evening. Kawhi Leonard, who was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year this morning, got the party started from the opening tipoff when he stripped Matt Barnes for a breakaway dunk to start the game. Kawhi finished with 20 points (8-for-13 FGs, 1-for-1 FT) with three treys, two rebounds, four steals and three blocks in 29 minutes. What a stud.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points with four boards and two blocks in 27 minutes. His right pinkie finger is still sore and bandaged so it was nice for the Spurs to get him some rest down the stretch. Tim Duncan was up to his usual output with 3-of-4 shooting from the field for seven points with 11 boards, one steal and two blocks. Soak in every moment of Duncan’s time on the court as you know he won’t give anyone a heads up before his final season. An anti-Kobe of sorts.
Tony Parker played just 21 minutes but made some noise with 15 points (6-for-10 FGs, 3-for-3 FTs) with six assists and one rebound. Patty Mills spelled Parker for 19 minutes, also scoring 15 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 from the line with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. The Grizzlies didn’t seem to have an answer for any point guard the Spurs threw at them.
When 39 year-old Vince Carter and Lance Stephenson are your go-to scorers in a playoff series, you know you have big problems. Carter was 6-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line for a Grizzlies-high 16 points with two threes, three boards, two assists and one block in 19 minutes. It’s awesome to see a former all-star break out like this, but you can’t count on the veteran to win you playoff games anymore. Stephenson added 14 points in 29 minutes and didn’t blow in any ears just yet.
Zach Randolph struggled mightily as the Spurs threw multiple defenders and double teams at him all night. Z-Bo shot 3-for-13 from the floor for six points, five boards and three assists. That’s coach Pop for you. Tony Allen (hamstring) wasn’t quite 100 percent but he did give it a go for 21 minutes on Sunday evening. Allen finished with seven points with three boards, one assist, one block and one three ball. This series looks to be over fast.
CLIPPERS 115, BLAZERS 95
The Clippers kept with the blowout theme with a 20-point win in an all-around effort late on Sunday night. If you were searching for stud lines on blowout Sunday, the Clippers gave you three double-doubles. Chris Paul led the way with 10-for-19 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 from the line with 28 points with two threes, 11 assists, six rebounds and two steals.
Blake Griffin had his best game since his 45-game absence, as the Clippers are now 6-0 since his return to the lineup. Griffin was 5-for-10 from the field and 9-for-12 from the charity stripe for 19 points with 12 boards, six assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes. Blake is back.
DeAndre Jordan was very active on Sunday night as well, shooting 5-for-7 from the field and a whopping 8-for-18 from the free throw line for 18 points with 12 boards, one assist, one steal and four blocks. Hack-a-DeAndre was at full force.
J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford kept up the scoring party with 30 points combined in 27 minutes a piece on Sunday night. Redick shot 8-for-12 from the field for 17 points with three rebounds and one three ball. Crawford was 6-for-12 from the field for 13 points with one assist, one steal and one three ball. They both earned their paychecks.
The Blazers certainly didn’t help themselves as they shot just 39.8% on Sunday night. Damian Lillard was 7-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line for 21 points with three treys, eight assists, two boards and one steal in 38 minutes. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (19 minutes, 0 shot attempts) was assigned by the Clippers to stick to C.J. McCollum, and that he did. McCollum was 3-for-11 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line for just nine points with one three ball, two rebounds and three assists. Lillard and McCollum averaged 45.9 points per game this season, the third highest backcourt duo in the NBA. A lousy 30 points between the two won’t cut it.
Al-Farouq Aminu flashed his playoff experience on Sunday night in a solid effort. Aminu scored 10 points (3-for-12 FGs, 2-for-2 FTs) with 12 boards, three assists, one steal and two threes in 26 minutes. Expect Aminu to keep these lines up.
August 18, 2019, 11:21 pmBogdan BogdanovicSG, Sacramento Kings
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 28 points in Serbia's 85-80 win over Greece on Sunday.
Serbia will be a tough team to beat in the 2019 FIBA World Cup thanks to Bogdanovic, Nikola Jokic and Nemanja Bjelica among others. Bjelica put up 18 points and 14 rebounds as well. They were able to beat Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 20 points. This is one of the teams that could sneak up on Team USA and pull out a win.
August 18, 2019, 10:36 pmJustin AndersonSG, Atlanta Hawks
According to The Athletic, the Wizards and Justin Anderson are trying to work towards a training camp contract.
Anderson averaged a career-low 9.6 minutes per game with the Hawks last season. The former first-round pick is looking to gain another opportunity on a thin Wizards team. He will likely not have much fantasy value if he manages to make the roster.
Source: Fred Katz on Twitter
August 18, 2019, 9:37 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo is still rehabbing from his ruptured quad tendon in January, and is unsure if he will be an active participant at the Pacers' training camp when it opens in September.
Our last update from Pacers POBO Kevin Pritchard had Oladipo aiming for December or January, and that timetable still seems doable. He is taking his leadership role seriously, connecting with the Pacers' new players this summer, and it seems likely that he will make his presence felt this year at some point. Oladipo had an outstanding campaign two years ago, but even before the injury he was a disappointment last season. Fantasy owners should proceed with caution, we may not see Oladipo's top form this year.
Source: Indiana Pacers
August 18, 2019, 8:49 pmBol BolC, Denver Nuggets
Bol Bol stated that he has completely recovered from the left foot fracture that ended his college basketball career, and he is now working out twice a day for his upcoming rookie season with the Nuggets.
The multi-talented center could put up big numbers if given the opportunity with the Nuggets, but the risk for another injury is real. With that in mind, Bol is not expected to receive a lot of minutes this season. If that somehow changes, it would be exciting to see his rare combination of blocks and 3-pointers in action.
Source: Jim Slater of AFP
August 18, 2019, 7:26 pmDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies are allowing the Lakers to speak with Dwight Howard.
The news came out yesterday that the Lakers would seek permission and the fact that they were granted it suggests that Howard will not be on the Grizzlies for long. The aftermath of DeMarcus Cousins tearing his ACL left them in need of another center if they want to remain true to playing Anthony Davis exclusively at power forward. Joakim Noah is the other option on the Lakers' radar and has been a facilitator and role player in the past.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 18, 2019, 7:18 pmMoritz WagnerPF, Washington Wizards
Moritz Wagner has been cut from Germany’s FIBA World Cup team.
The move seems somewhat surprising given Wagner’s youth and notoriety, but Germany still has four NBA players on their roster despite cutting Wagner. The Wizards have plenty of depth in the frontcourt and Wagner is probably lower on the totem poll when it comes to receiving minutes.
Source: Dario Skerletic of Sportando
August 18, 2019, 9:33 amJonah BoldenPF, Philadelphia Sixers
Jonah Bolden has opted to withdraw from Team Australia in the FIBA World Cup.
Bolden becomes the fifth NBA player to skip out on playing for Australia in the World Cup, a trend that seems to be prevalent for several countries' national teams. Bodlen could be looking at an increased role as a backup center for Philly's thin bench this upcoming season. He is not expected to be a relevant fantasy option though.
Source: Fox Sports Australia
August 18, 2019, 9:25 amJeremy LinPG, Toronto Raptors
Jeremy Lin is in advanced discussions with the Bejing Ducks according to a report from Chinese journalist Sonx Xiang.
Lin previosuly turned down a deal to play for CSKA Moscow, and has also discussed his openness to playing in China. The nine year guard still hopes to resmue his NBA career at some point, but a move to China may be the best career option for him at this juncture.
August 18, 2019, 9:18 amDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
The Lakers will soon ask Memphis permission to speak with Dwight Howard according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Shams goes on to mention that there is mutual interest here and that Joakim Noah could be another veteran of interest for LA. The realistic options for free agents at the five really don't go much further than these two for the Lakers. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 18, 2019, 8:37 amDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
In the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins injury, one name the Lakers are considering is Dwight Howard, according to Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated.
Howard is still a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, but it is widely assumed that he will be waived before the season starts. A reunion in LA would certainly be pretty surprising for the Lakers after Howard famously did not resign with them after a miserable season playing with Kobe Bryant. Still, the Lakers need depth at the five and there really aren't any options on the market who compare to Howard's level of productivty, even at this stage of his career. Other center options the Lakers could pursue include Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried and Zaza Pachulia.
Source: Rohan Nadkarni on Twitter