Last year, we had a thrilling first round with three series' staying competitive until the final weekend, and two getting decided during the last game. This year... not so much. Here's where we stand with 1 week left.\
Brooklyn leads Chicago, 5-4 The only series that looks up for grabs right now, the Nets are clinging to a one block lead. It's even closer than that, however, as rebounds (Nets +23), turnovers (Bulls +6), and steals (Bulls +3) could all realistically change hands. The percentages are also, technically, close enough to flip, but that seems unlikely given the schedule for the week. The Bulls will get four games each from Drummond, Vucevic, Russell and Len (who's really only being included in this group because of his ability to rebound and block shots). They'll only get three games each from Wood and Warren, but all of their games are against weak opponents. For the Nets, it comes down to whether or not the end of their bench can do enough to survive. Clint Capela remains out, and won't return until next week at the earliest. The same is true of Damian Lillard. Wendell Carter Jr. appeared to be on track to return last Thursday, but he was held out of all three games to end last week. There's no reason to believe he will return this week. Paul George has missed the last game and a half, and has been extra cautious when attempting to return from his bum hamstring. Returning would be a huge boost for the Nets, but, again, there's no reason to believe he will play all four games he's scheduled for this week. Finally, as if things couldn't get any worse, Jimmy Butler has missed the last two games for an undisclosed personal matter. That the Nets are even still in this given all the injuries seems implausible. It would not be a surprise if their magic ran out this week.
Tampa Bay leads Boston, 5-3-1 This one really only has the illusion of being close. Tampa Bay currently has insurmountable leads in points, rebounds and assists, while maintaining comfortable margins in steals and blocks. If Ben Simmons were healthy, one could argue for the Celtics having an outside shot to flip one of those two categories. Alas, it appears that Simmons will miss the rest of the match-up with a back issue. That Tampa Bay is managing to win with ease without KAT is impressive, and a testament to this team's depth. Things could get tricky in the ECF if they face a healthy Nets team (assuming such a thing is possible), but they're likely to be considerably easier if they go up against the Bulls. The schedule for a potential ECF match-up does Chicago no favors. At this point, Tampa Bay will simply be hoping to get through the week without accruing any more injuries.
Seattle leads Kansas City, 7-2 Despite entering the playoffs as the #1 seed, the Kings were never a sure thing to advance deep into the postseason. While they had beaten both Portland and Seattle in the regular season, both match-ups happened early in the year before all teams involved changed dramatically. The Sonics always had the higher ceiling given their star power and ability to rack up blocks and steals. That's exactly what's happened. It's not helped that Kansas City has lost games from DeRozan, Love and Conley, but even if they hadn't, they wouldn't have made a dent in steals, blocks, boards or field goal percentage. Now, they almost certainly would be leading in points, assists and threes... and that would have them up in this series. However, you play the hands your dealt, and sometimes you come up with crap at the worst possible moment. A comeback is not in the cards here either. The Sonics will get three games a piece from Beal and Bam, and three each for Harden and Ball. For the Kings, DeMar and LaMarcus will only get two each, while Conley, McCollum and SGA play three. Both Lou Williams and Kevin Love play four, but it seems likely that Love will sit at least one given it's a back-to-back.
Portland leads Minnesota, 6-3 The Blazers have been the best team in the league going back at least since the midway point, and they're showing no signs of slowing down. It's possible they end up losing free throw percentage, but it won't matter. Their leads in points, rebounds, threes, assists, and blocks are insurmountable. Their minutes advantage has also been staggering. They've played almost 600(!) more minutes than the Wolves, and that shows no signs of slowing down. Chris Paul has been amazing. Hassan Whiteside continues to block everything in sight. And how about Daniel Theis? Not every move Portland has made during the season has worked (we're guessing they'd probably like LeVert back right now), but they've hit a number of home runs. The Whiteside trade, the Schroder trade, signing Theis, Melo and Duncan Robinson. That's how you win a championship. Honestly, it's not hyperbole to say that trading for Hassan Whiteside completely changed the title picture. As we get deeper into the playoffs, it's looking more and more like the champion will come from the West this year.
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Dec 2, 2020 2:02:26 GMT -5
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Dec 2, 2020 2:02:39 GMT -5
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Dec 2, 2020 2:03:10 GMT -5
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Dec 2, 2020 2:03:41 GMT -5
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Dec 2, 2020 2:04:05 GMT -5
Phoenix Suns: 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Dec 3, 2020 4:34:52 GMT -5
Chicago Bulls: Toppin, Patrick Williams doing goood job on their 1st game in preseason.
Dec 11, 2020 23:33:55 GMT -5
Chicago Bulls: AVDIJA, PRITCHARD, GREEN AND TRE JONES ARE OTB!!!!!! JUST PM ME
Jan 9, 2021 8:03:04 GMT -5
Chicago Bulls: RUSSELL OTB. PM YOUR OFFERS
Mar 28, 2021 6:56:59 GMT -5