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    Easter Sunday brought us games in MLB, the NHL playoffs and of course the NBA playoffs. We had four games on the slate including the Celtics and the Bulls in an intriguing first round matchup and of course, the main event with the two most likely MVP candidates going head-to-head in Houston. With Rage Against the Machine playing in the background here’s  Monday’s Daily Dish.

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more. Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros. Check it out!

    WIZARDS 114, HAWKS 107

    Game one of this series was pretty evenly contested at the half, but the Wizards dominated the third quarter and never looked back.

    THE GOOD

    As John Wall goes usually so do the Wizards and John Wall was on Sunday afternoon. Wall led the Wizards with 32 points on 12-of-24 from the field. He added 14 assists, four rebounds, two triples and one block in 37 minutes of action. He was also a perfect 6-of-6 from the line and was really the difference in this one.

    Bradley Beal scored 22 points on 9-of-21 from the field to go with three rebounds, three assists and three steals. He also knocked down two triples, although he did attempt 11 from downtown. Look for him to find his shot as the series moves along.

    Markieff Morris was great for the Wizards scoring 21 points on  8-of-19 from the field. He added seven rebounds, four blocks, two triples. two assists and one steal in 38 minutes of action.

    Marcin Gortat posted a double-double with his 14 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 7-of-11 from the field and added two blocks in the win.

    Dennis Schroder led the way for the Hawks scoring a team-high 25 points on 8-of-16 from the field. He added nine assists, three rebounds, three triples and one steal while hitting all six of his free-throws.

    Paul Millsap scored 19 points on 5-of-8 from the field. Unfortunately he didn’t add much else finishing his line with two rebounds and one assist.

    THE BAD

    Bojan Bogdanovic was quiet off the Wizard’s bench shooting only 2-of-8 from the field for four points. He added two rebounds, one assist and one steal in 14 minutes of action. Look for him to bounce back on Wednesday night when Game 2 takes place.

    Tim Hardaway Jr. disappointed for the Hawks shooting 2-of-11 from the field for only seven points. He added seven rebounds, one assist and one steal in 28 minutes of action. He’ll have to shoot better if the Hawks are to steal Game 2 on the road.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    The Wizards took a 1-0 series lead with the win despite only shooting 28.6% from 3-Point land. Game 2 goes Wednesday night in Washington and expect a better shooting performance from both teams.

    (Prediction – Wizards in 6)

    WARRIORS 121, BLAZERS 109

    This was another game that was tight at the half and still tied after the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter everything changed and the Dubs took over.

    THE GOOD

    Welcome back Kevin Durant! KD was awesome in this one leading the Warriors with 32 points on 12-of-20 from the field. Durant added 10 rebounds, two assists, two triples and one block while hitting 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. He looked good in his 36 minutes of action although his calf seemed to tighten up on him. He’ll have two full days of rest before Game 2 so look for him to be ready to roll.

    Not to be outdone, Stephen Curry shot 9-of-19 from the field for 29 points. Curry added five rebounds, four assists, three triples, one steal and one block in 36 minutes of action. He did have five turnovers but was strong in the second half to gut out the win.

    Draymond Green was an absolute fantasy stud in this one scoring 19 points to go with 12 rebounds, nine assists, five blocks, three steals and three triples. Green was quiet down the stretch for the Dubs so it’s great to see him abuse the boxscore once again. Playoff Draymond should be fun to watch.

    The back-court duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were outstanding in this one, fully outplaying the Splash brothers. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. McCollum scored 41 points on 16-of-28 from the field, while Lillard chipped in 34 points on 12-of-26 from the field. Combined they accounted for 13 rebounds, seven triples, four assists, three steals and two blocks. No other Blazers player scored more than 12 points and that is simply not good enough to take down the defending Western Conference Champions.

    THE BAD

    Klay Thompson was quiet scoring only 15 points on 6-of-16 from the field. He missed a couple of open jumpers in this one so look for him to bounce back from this poor shooting performance on Wednesday night. He rounded out his line with three rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one triple.

    Andre Iguodala was quiet offensively off the bench, although it was expected with Kevin Durant back in the fold. Iggy scored two points on 0-of-1 from the field to go with two rebounds, four assists and one steal. Look for Iguodala to excel on the defensive end with the rare offensive gem as the playoffs continue.

    Noah Vonleh was quiet scoring only two points on 1-of-5 from the field in 23 minutes of action. Vonleh added five rebounds and four assists but was a -10 overall. The Blazers are clearly missing Jusuf Nurkic in the middle.

    Al-Farouq Aminu was invisible in 23 minutes off the bench. Aminu went scoreless on 0-of-5 from the field while only collecting three rebounds in the loss. Look for Aminu to be much better in Game 2.

    Allen Crabbe was quiet off the bench shooting 1-of-5 from the field for three points. He added two rebounds, one assist and one triple but will need to be much better if the Blazers want to have a fighting chance in this series.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    This game was a lot closer than most imagine, at least after three-quarters. The Blazers have the firepower in Lillard and McCollum to at least compete in this series but will need Nurkic to return for them to really have a shot. Game 2 goes on Wednesday night at Oracle.

    (Prediction – Warriors in 5)

    BULLS 106, CELTICS 102 (GAME OF THE NIGHT)

    This game was filled with emotions as Isaiah Thomas made a courageous attempt to lead the Celtics after the devastating news of his sister’s death. In the end though it was Jimmy Butler who willed his team to victory and allowed the Bulls to steal home-court from the Celts.

    THE GOOD

    Jimmy Butler played a game-high 41 minutes while scoring 30 points on 9-of-19 from the field. Butler added nine rebounds, three assists, three triples, one steal and one block in the win. If Butler continues this high level of play the Bulls could really prove to be the perennial sleeper pick in the East.

    Robin Lopez posted a double-double scoring 14 points and adding 11 rebounds in the win. Lopez shot 6-of-10 from the field and knocked down both of his attempts from the line.

    Bobby Portis came off the bench and shot an impressive 8-of-10 from the field for 19 points. Portis led all bench scorers in this one and added nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 29 minutes of action.

    Dwayne Wade shot poorly (connecting on only 4-of-12) but filled the stat sheet by scoring 11 points to go with five rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks and one triple in 34 minutes of action.

    With a heavy heart Isaiah Thomas suited up and played a strong game scoring a game-high 33 points on 10-of-18 from the field. IT2 added five rebounds, six assists, one steal and three triples while hitting 10-of-12 from the line. Thomas is being listed as questionable for Game 2 on Tuesday so we’ll keep you posted on any developments that arise.

    Al Horford had a strong game scoring 19 points on 8-of-13 from the field. He added seven rebounds, eight assists and one triple in a team-high 40 minutes of action in the loss.

    THE BAD

    Nikola Mirotic shot 1-of-9 from the field for only four points in 19 minutes of action. He added four rebounds and one steal and while his performance was disappointing it opened the door for Bobby Portis to be freed.

    Jae Crowder shot only 4-of-12 from the field for nine points to go with eight rebounds. He’ll need to be better if the Celtics want to avoid going down 0-2 heading to Chicago.

    The Celtics Bench was outscored 35-22 in this one.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    The Bulls surprised everyone and stole Game 1 on Sunday night. Jimmy Butler is a big-time player and if he keeps rolling like he’s capable of, the Celtics might be in trouble. Game 2 goes on Tuesday night.

    (Prediction – Bulls in 6)

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more. Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros. Check it out!

    ROCKETS 118, THUNDER 87

    The Beard vs. Brodie. This was supposed to be the marquee matchup on Sunday, instead it was the most lopsided score of all the games.

    THE GOOD

    James Harden made his case for MVP with an electrifying performance in this one. Harden scored a game-high 37 points on 13-of-28 from the field. He added nine assists, seven rebounds, three steals and three triples in 34 minutes of action. Despite no triple-double in this one round one easily went to Harden in Game 1.

    Patrick Beverley was great on both ends of the court. Offensively he erupted for 21 points on 8-of-13 from the field. He added 10 rebounds, four triples, three assists and two steals while defensively he kept Westbrook to 22 points and no triple-double.

    Clint Capela posted a strong game with 14 points on 7-of-9 from the field to go with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. He also did this…

     

     

     

    Russell Westbrook led the Thunder scoring 22 points but only shot 6-of-23 from the field. He added 11 rebounds, seven assists, three triples and two steals in the blowout loss.

    Andre Roberson surprisingly scored 18 points on an efficient 7-of-10 from the field. Roberson added seven rebounds, four triples, three blocks, two steals and one assist in 35 minutes of action. This might be a fluke as Roberson is not known for his offensive prowess.

    THE BAD

    Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson combined for only eight points in this one. Luckily their offense was not needed in this one but hopefully this is not a sign of things to come. Anderson did add 12 rebounds in the win.

    Eric Gordon was quiet off then bench scoring eight points on 3-of-8 from the field. He added two rebounds, two assists and two triples in 29 minutes of action.

    Victor Oladipo shot a horrendous 1-of-12 from the field for six points. He added four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in 32 minutes of action. He will need to be better in Game 2 if the Thunder have any shot of returning home with a split.

    Taj Gibson and Steven Adams combined for 11 points 5-of-10 from the field. They also only combined for six rebounds (five from Adams). Again, the supporting cast for the Thunder needs to be better because Andre Roberson cannot be your second leading scorer.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    The Rockets outplayed the Thunder completely in this one and it showed by the final score. Westbrook vs. Harden round 2 goes on Wednesday night. Look for Brodie to bounce back in this one.

    (Prediction – Rockets in 7)

    THAT DOES IT FOR ANOTHER TASTY DISH. MAKE SURE TO KEEP IT LOCKED ON HOOP-BALL.COM AND FOLLOW US (@HOOPBALLTWEETS) FOR ALL THE LATEST NBA NEWS. MONDAY BRINGS US GAME 2 OF THE CAVS/PACERS AS WELL AS GAME 2 OF THE SPURS/GRIZZLIES. LOOK FOR THE CAVS AND THE SPURS TO WIN THOSE GAMES AND GO UP 2-0 IN THEIR RESPECTIVE SERIES. THIS UPCOMING WEEK SHOULD BE FUN.

    Editor’s Note: We have a brand new APP for all of our FREE Hoop Ball podcasts. You can download it for your Apple devices here and for your Android devices here. ALSO, you can subscribe to our flagship show Fantasy NBA Today on iTunes right here and on Stitcher right here.

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