By DaVince “Dino” Wright
The NBA playoffs have been surprising from the very start and now with injuries, technical fouls, flopping and instant replays here we are. Let’s take a look at the semifinals and see where your favorite team is sitting in their second round series.
Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks – Series Tied 2-2
Kyrie Irving had a nasty accident landing on Giannis Antetokounpo’s foot after a basket in Game 4. That took the Nets in a totally different direction after his injury. Nets forward Kevin Durant took it to the Bucks, but fell short in making a run. The Nets have two of their “Big 3” injured and it looks like the series is slipping away. Bucks Kris Middleton had 19 points, 2 steals and 8 assists to help lift his team in Game 4 to tie knot the series up.
Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets – Phoenix Wins 4-0
If you take a look at my 2021 NBA Playoff: 1st Round Preview, I told everyone that the Phoenix Suns will be a tough team to beat in any series. I also shared that PG Chris Paul would be the difference maker because the Suns are young and talented but needed a leader. I’m not surprised that the Suns swept Denver. Denver on the other hand knew that to get past the Suns they needed injured PG Jamal Murray. Nikola Jovic won the 2021 MVP Award, but needed his running buddy to move on past Phoenix. Phoenix moves on to the the Western Conference Finals awaiting the winner of the Utah/Los Angeles series.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Atlanta Hawks – Philadelphia Leads Series 2-1
Atlanta has to come out with a bang tonight! They can’t allow Philly to establish the post and play from the inside out. Another key for Atlanta is ball movement. In the Hawks only win of the series, the had wide open 3 point attempts by sharing the ball on the backside of the court not forcing three point shots late in the shot clock. Philadelphia can steal another game on the road if they establish Joel Embiid first and work through him. I predict that this series will go five games with Philly moving on.
Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Clippers – Utah Leads Series 2-1
Utah has been the best team in the NBA all year! They have an excellent bench and at times, the bench has out played the starters. They’re basically a pick your poison type of team. The bench for the Jazz has outscored the opposing team’s starters 39 times this season. I’m on the verge of taking Utah to win the next two games (1 at home, 1 on the road). The LA Clippers can change their fortunes by playing aggressive and not settling for 3-point shots. Driving to the basket and getting Rudy Gobert in foul trouble helps the Clippers. This series is still to0 close to call.
By DaVince “Dino” Wright