Upset Saturday leaves Sixers, Raptors, Nuggets in gap


The NBA playoffs are underway and there is usually a lot to unpack in a sequence of intense video games, to assist out we offers you the three issues you have to know from the final 24 hours within the NBA.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Possibly there’s something to having to win down the stretch of the common season — to principally have your playoffs begin early — in the case of being prepared for Recreation 1.

1) Joel Embiid will not be himself and Sixers earn boos from followers in a loss to Nets. Sixers followers suffered by means of the dropping of “The Course of” for this? They know good basketball once they see it, however Sixers followers didn’t see it on Saturday in Recreation 1… properly, not true, they noticed it from a scrappy Nets staff that picked up a 111-102 Recreation 1 win on the street.

Philadelphia followers didn’t see it from their hometown Sixers, who appeared tight. So the followers booed.

Ben Simmons didn’t recognize that, saying “For those who’re a Sixers fan and also you’re going to boo, keep on that facet.”

Simmons earned these boos, nonetheless, together with his nine-point, seven-rebound, three-assist night time the place the Nets dared him to shoot leap pictures and he handed on these invites. Simmons was not the playmaker Philadelphia wanted him to be.

Joel Embiid was not the participant the Sixers wanted him to be. The Sixers greatest participant was a game-time resolution with knee ache however determined to play by means of it and wasn’t himself, besides in flashes. Embiid put up numbers — 22 factors on 5-of-15 capturing, 15 rebounds, and 5 blocks — however he wasn’t in a position to impression the sport the best way he was used to. He began the sport capturing 1-of-9 and was not shifting properly at factors.

In what appeared to represent the Sixers strategy to the night time, Amir Johnson and Embiid had been caught checking texts on a cellphone in the course of the loss. Johnson was fined by the staff for that.

Brooklyn, a staff of underdogs and cast-offs, performed more durable and with extra ardour than the star-studded Sixers. The Nets had a we-have-nothing-to-lose angle that appeared to free them. D’Angelo Russell, in his playoff debut, was 3-of-15 capturing within the first half, however was 7-of-10 within the second half and completed with 26. Russell made certain there can be no comeback.

Philly did get 36 from Jimmy Butler.

One of many questions for Philadelphia this playoffs was how the staff would deal with adversity. We’re going to seek out out beginning Monday night time in Recreation 2.

2) The extra issues change, the extra they stayed the identical for Toronto in Recreation 1 loss. This was the yr that was going to be totally different. They’ve Kawhi Leonard. They’ve a deeper roster. They’ve a coach who centered on making ready them for the playoffs alongside every step of the 82-game season. These Raptors had been prepared for the playoffs…

And so they misplaced Recreation 1 at house 104-101 after D.J. Augustin did this.

Kyle Lowry had zero factors. Raptors followers have seen this film from him earlier than within the playoffs, however try this shot chart

Kawhi Leonard was up and down, and the Raptors went as he did. When he was 4-of-Four capturing for 11 factors within the first quarter, Toronto was up 5 and appeared to be in management. When he was 0-of-5 and didn’t rating within the second quarter the Raptors had been outscored by 13. And so it went, proper right down to the ultimate shot of the sport, Leonard’s “reply” to Augustin’s shot.

The Magic have been in playoff mode for some time, they needed to shut the season 22-9 simply to make the playoffs. Orlando was prepared. Toronto, not a lot.

This sequence is way from over, however now it falls to the Raptors to show that this season might be totally different from the previous few.

3) Nikola Jokic has a triple-double in playoff debut nevertheless it’s not sufficient as San Antonio wins. The final man to get a triple-double in his playoff debut? You won’t bear in mind him as a result of he’s not within the playoffs this season, nevertheless it was LeBron James again in 2006. Nikola Jokic did it on Saturday with 10 factors, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists. He additionally performed stable protection all sport.

However in crunch time the Nuggets lacked a scorer who may take over. Denver and Jokic tried to play the staff sport that they had all season, giving up good pictures on the lookout for nice pictures, when what they wanted was somebody to only take and make a number of pictures.

No person was making pictures, the Nuggets capturing woes from the tip of the common season adopted them into the playoffs. Possibly Mike Malone must put Rocky within the sport.

The Spurs had been poised beneath strain. Surprising, I do know. They performed like a franchise that has been to the playoffs for 22 straight years. Derrick White was one of the best Spur on the ground, with 16 factors on offense and protection that smothered Jamal Murray on the opposite finish. The Spurs wanted that on an evening DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge mixed to shoot 33.Three p.c.

The Spurs had been the fashionable first-round upset decide and in Recreation 1 they confirmed why — they knew how you can execute beneath strain.

Now the strain is ramped up on the Nuggets for Recreation 2, we’ll see how they reply.


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