With game one of each first round series in the books, which teams impressed and which teams need a wake up call?
The Rockets cruised to a 118-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday, in a game that shed light on to how the series might go over the next week. The Rockets simply wanted it more, out-rebounding and out-hustling the Thunder to loose balls. The fact that the Rockets won game one so easily without shooting well (below 31% on three-pointers) could spell trouble for the Thunder as the Rockets will most likely shoot better during the remainder of the series.
The Utah Jazz won game one against the L.A. Clippers on a buzzer-beater from Joe Johnson. This came after their star center (and best defensive player) Rudy Gobert was injured on the first play of the game! The Jazz showed poise, discipline, and were calm throughout as they picked up a crucial road win in the 4-5 matchup between the teams who finished with identical records.
Another year, another game one loss for the Toronto Raptors, who continue to disappoint their home crowd in game ones. The Raptors lost this game down the stretch to an extremely young and inexperienced Bucks team, something that will surely give Milwaukee some confidence. Toronto’s star players Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan need to play better if the Raptors want to avoid the upset in this series.
After Rudy Gobert went down with the injury, most people expected the Clippers to run away with game one (and potentially the series). Well, “playoff Clippers” are back in full effect, as the team continues to disappoint in the playoffs. The Clippers need to bounce back quickly in order to avoid yet another playoff collapse and disappointing result, further putting the future of the team in jeopardy.