2021 NBA 2nd Round Playoffs – Initial Thoughts

Photo Courtesy: raymondclarkeimages

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Atlanta Hawks vs Philadelphia 76ers – Atlanta 1-0 Series Lead
Atlanta came into Philly and hit the 76ers right in mouth. It was almost bullish how the Hawks came out playing aggressive. Hawks PG Trae Young scored a team 35 points in a four point win on the road. 76ers C Joel Embiid scored a game high 39 but fell short in a close comeback. Game 2 is tonight and the 76ers have to get one at home. If they go down two games on the road it’s going to be very difficult to come back. What I would do: If I was Doc Rivers, I would slow the pace of the game down and play from the inside out!

Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets – Brooklyn 2-0 Series Lead
The Bucks are in trouble. Giannis Antetokounmpo has struggled in the first two games of this series. He has struggled from the field and from the free throw line. Bucks G Kris Middleton is in the same boat. His struggles have limited him as well. He’s shooting 26% in the series and it isn’t getting any better. The Nets are playing lights out even without their third star James Harden, who’s out with a hamstring injury. Nets Forward Kevin Durant is leading his team in scoring. The surprise for this team has been Blake Griffin who’s leading the team in rebounding with 8 per game. What I would do: The Bucks have to control the tempo. Don’t allow the Nets to get out and run, if you do you will be down 3 games instead of 2!

Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns – Suns 1-0 Series Lead
Wait! Are you surprised that the Suns won Game 1? Phoenix is a very good, young and talented team. PG Chris Paul is the catalyst for the Suns success. Remember, he was head coach Monty Williams point guard in New Orleans years ago. The history between these two is solid. Phoenix won 51 games this year and it isn’t a fluke. Denver can bounce back if they take care of the ball. The Nuggets had way to0 many turnovers against a running team. Nikola Jokic has to trust the other stars around him. Game 2 will be a lot better than the first. What I would do: If I was head coach Mike Malone, I would walk to ball down and allow my all star center to control the pace of the game from the top of the key. He’s the best playmaker on the floor.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Utah Jazz – Series 0-0
The Clippers finally got past the Dallas Mavericks and Round 1. It took them all seven games to get it done and now, it’s Utah laying in wait. If you take a look at every sports show, blog or article written on this series. Everyone is taking the Jazz in 5! ESPN has the Jazz with a 64.1% chance of winning the series. LA has to spread the ball around and keep Utah on their heels to win this one. Utah, on the other hand has to ride the emotional play of G Donovan Mitchell. Utah is a very dangerous team and they play hard! I see this series going to six games easy!