The first day of NBA Playoffs was pretty exciting for what was suppose to be a bunch of snooze fests and predictable series. Even the day’s biggest blowout, a 111-82 win for the Spurs over the Grizzlies, saw Memphis jump to a 20-9 lead before San Antonio dominated for three quarters straight. The Bucks-Raptors saw a battle between Giannis Antetokounmpo and DeMar DeRozan that we were all hoping to see in every game, as the Bucks edged the Raptors by 14. Those games were good, but the other two were great.
To start off the day, the Pacers and Cavaliers started where they left off after their epic regular season match up earlier this month. LeBron had 32 and Paul George has 29 with both men leading their teams in assists too. The Cavaliers had a lead going into the fourth, but Indiana kept scraping back and eventually took a late lead before a monster dunk from LeBron with three minutes tied them back up, and the Cavaliers took control after that. The final buzzer saw CJ Miles take an uncomfortable last second shot, where Paul George was open at the top of the key (well behind the three point line) as it felt strange to not see them try to get him the ball. Especially considering he had just nailed a 28 foot jumper just a minute before that. Cleveland ended up winning the game 109-108 and I think basketball fans everywhere wouldn’t mind watching these two teams play six more times.
To end the day, the Jazz took on the Clippers in what from the beginning seemed like a destined win for Los Angeles. On the first play of the game, Rudy Gobert injured himself after running into another player and tripping. Without Gobert, it seemed impossible for the Jazz to win the game considering the injury of their starter that they weren’t expecting going into it. Well it seemed like the Clippers were more distracted by their loss than the Jazz were, as Utah stayed in the game from start to finish and controlled the entire fourth quarter. Joe Johnson had 21 points for Utah, including the game winning buzzer beater that put them up 97-95 right after Chris Paul had tied the game on the play before. The win by Utah was huge considering the Clippers barely edged them out for home court advantage this season.
Aside from Indiana and 1/2 of Los Angeles, fans everywhere can be pretty content with how exciting the Playoffs started off.