The Pacers and Celtics square off at 7 pm EST for game 2 in Boston.
The Celtics seem destined to close this series out early even though they haven’t resolve their obvious team chemistry issues before heading into the playoffs. The Pacers continue to rally around each other after losing their All-Star Guard Victor Oladipo to a season ending leg injury. With a nothing to lose attitude the Pacers look to steal a game on the road and capture home court advantage.
1 vs 8 match-ups usually serve as a warm-up of sorts for the one seed. But when you earn your way to the best regular season record in the league, couple that with what most foresee as the league’s most valuable player in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and sprinkle in a coach of the year candidate in Mike Budenholzer the Milwaukee Bucks have all the ingredients to be successful this season. So now all they have to do is win the NBA championship and become the Golden state Warriors of the eastern conference right? RIGHT! We’ll believe it when we see it . For this first round series against the Detroit Pistons who are without their best player in Blake Griffin, The Bucks would be best served ending this series as early and healthy as possible. The Pistons, well, God Speed and good luck. They’ll need it as they face off against the number one team in the NBA tonight in Milwaukee at 8 pm EST
The Houston- Utah series is setup to be the most entertaining first round series in the western conference. With their contrasting styles of play the Jazz have stuck with the old school approach of defense wins championships lauding their All-NBA center Rudy Gobert who just may be the NBA defensive player of the year in back to back seasons. The Houston Rockets are trying to return to the western conference finals where there season ended last year in a game 7 vs the eventual NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Although the Rockets are best known for their offense led by MVP candidate James Harden who thrives under Mike D’Antoni’s unique style of play, they also were a top 5 defensive team during the regular season. The roots of their offensive philosophy trace back to the Phoenix Suns who were led by two-time MVP Steve Nash. Time will tell if Harden will be the second point guard under D’Antoni to win back to back league MVPs, however the team’s focus remains winning an NBA championship and in order to do so they must cut the Jazz and have the “fat lady” sing the blues on Utah’s season.