Tuesday’s SportsBIT Show: Trio Of Game 2s In NBA Playoffs Tuesday
No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks at No. 3 Toronto Raptors
The Bucks dominated the Raptors on their court in Game 1, 97-83. Rather amazingly, it was Toronto’s eighth straight Game 1 loss in the playoffs. The Raptors did bounce back to win two series last year from a 1-0 hole vs. Indiana and Miami. Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was the best player on the floor in the opener with 28 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. Not even Toronto’s double-teams were working. Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon had 16 points and six rebounds and played strong defense on Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. He and fellow All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan were just a combined 9-for-32 from the field and 0-for-8 from long range. Those two also struggled in last year’s playoffs. Toronto is a 7.5-point favorite to even the series.
No. 8 Chicago Bulls at No. 1 Boston Celtics
By some statistical metrics, the Boston Celtics were the worst top seed in NBA history and they played like that in Game 1 against Chicago in losing 106-102 to a team that was 16-25 on the road in the regular season. Boston All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas played just one day after the tragic death of his younger sister in a car accident. Thomas had 33 points but got a little help. He will play in Game 2 and then fly to Tacoma, Wash., for his sister’s funeral. The Celtics were dominated in the 10 game minutes he spent on the bench. Jimmy Butler scored 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter for the Bulls. Their bench also outplayed Boston’s, which certainly wasn’t supposed to happen. The Celtics also were crushed on the boards, an issue that plagued Boston during the season. Boston is -7 for Game 2.
No. 5 Utah Jazz at No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers
Utah lost excellent big man Rudy Gobert, the potential NBA Defensive Player of the Year, on the team’s first offensive possession of Game 1 in Los Angeles. Yet the Jazz still upset the Clippers 97-95 on Joe Johnson’s floater at the buzzer. Jazz coach Quin Snyder smartly didn’t call a timeout on that final possession so Johnson would be guarded by weak Clippers defender Jamal Crawford. The Jazz won by going small, playing Johnson sometimes at power forward and Boris Diaw at center. Gobert already has been ruled out for Game 2 and his status to return this series with a hyperextension and bone bruise to his left knee is in question. The Clippers should be able to dominate the paint without the NBA’s leading shot-blocker in there but it didn’t happen in the opener. The Clippers are -8.5 on Sportsbook Review NBA odds. Teddy & Pauly’s “play of the day” is over 195.5 points here as the Jazz won’t be as good defensively without Gobert.