The Oklahoma City Thunder take down the Utah Jazz

The Thunder-Jazz series may end up being the most exciting playoff matchup in the first round. Donovan Mitchell has overachieved all season and shows no signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook along with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony look to prove doubters wrong and make a lot of noise in the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Paul George

In Game 1, the Jazz jumped out to an early lead but the Thunder quickly caught up and though it was fairly close throughout, the Thunder had a nice grip on this game for the most part. And the main reason for this was Paul George. He stepped up and became the player we were expecting to see since he was traded to OKC. George lit up the Jazz with 36 points on 8-11 shooting from deep. They had no answer for him. Most times, it seemed as if he was toying with his defenders. As a Thunder fan, it was a relief to see that Westbrook did not have to do it all by himself. If PG13 can do this more consistently and we can get more scoring (and some defense) from Carmelo Anthony, the Thunder can become a serious threat to the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

It’s important to note that Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists. If you watched the game, you’d see that Westbrook doesn’t need to stat chase to get his numbers. He just wants the ball more than everyone else. As he’s said in the past, Spaulding (the basketball) is his only friend on the court. Whether he’s joking or not, he sure plays like it. I find it hard to believe Westbrook needs anyone to help him get stats when he tries harder than everyone on the court every second of every game. He is the best player in this matchup and the reason the Thunder will win.

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell looked like a 10 year vet in this game. You certainly couldn’t tell this was his first playoff game or that he is a rookie. He easily led the Jazz in scoring with 27 points and it’s clear they would not have stood a chance without his great play. I found myself wanting to root for him and the Jazz, and would have been if they were playing any other team except the Thunder. Mitchell hurt his toe during the game and was noticeably limping. The coach decided to pull him from the game to the guard’s dismay. He was visibly upset on the bench, exclaiming he was fine and can continue playing so the coach put him back in the game. He is the type of player everyone should want on their team and will quickly become one of the elite guards in the NBA. Don’t be surprised to see Mitchell continue his great play for the rest of Thunder-Jazz matchup.

I expect all of the games in this series to be fairly close; however, the Thunder have more star power and in the NBA this matters. My prediction is that the Thunder will win the series in 5 games, but it will be a very exciting 5 games as we got a nice taste in game 1.

What are your thoughts? Think the Thunder will win the series against the Utah Jazz? Or will the Jazz flip the script on them? Let me know.

Sincerely,

NoFearLavere

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The Cleveland Cavaliers off to a rough start against the Indiana Pacers

Game 1 did not go as expected. I don’t think anyone believed the Pacers would blow out the Cavaliers except, maybe, the Pacers. In a game where the Cavaliers never led, Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers clobbered LeBron James’ team in Cleveland.

From the very beginning of the game, there were major concerns for the Cavs. LeBron was held scoreless in the first quarter and Lance Stephenson (yes, I said it..LANCE STEPHENSON) appeared to be outplaying LeBron. Luckily, that didn’t last past the first quarter or else we would have to put GOAT debates to rest.

LeBron was able to bounce back and put up a triple double for the game. Unfortunately, he was the only Cavs player to bounce back. He literally had no help as his teammates missed shot after shot. That’s the problem with LeBron. His success, in terms of winning games, solely relies on whether or not his teammates can hit the open looks he provides for them. This was the game he needed to drop 50 for them to win. He has the talent to do so, but he refuses to put huge scoring numbers when he absolutely needs to. Jordan would have done it. Kobe would have done it. Even Allen Iverson would have done it. But enough about LeBron, let’s give credit to the team that deserves it.

Victor Oladipo

The Indiana Pacers looks as if there were a top seed in the East in this game. Victor Oladipo was absolutely unstoppable. I still find it unreal that he kept doing the same play over and over, and the Cavs had no game plan to stop it. Let me paint you a picture. Oladipo would go iso on his defender. He would pull the ball back almost to the half court line, then charge towards the defender. Most times the defender would retreat towards the paint, leaving Oladipo with an open jump shot – several times a three pointer. Other times the defender would stand his ground, but then Oladipo would just blow by him. The Pacers are not an elite team. An option could have been to trapped Oladipo so he would have to pass the ball. If you’re the Cavs, you want anyone else on the Pacers to beat you. If you take their only all-star out of the game you have a very good chance to win.

I’m pretty confident the Cavs will still win this series, and it will not go more than six games. Kevin Love will score more than nine points moving forward and Jeff Green will not be held scoreless again. Also, what’s up with Tristan Thompson only playing two minutes? Hopefully he is not getting punished for his off court transgressions. The biggest concern should be with the coaching, but I’ll save my thoughts on this topic for a separate blog post…

Do you think the Cavs will end up winning this series against the Pacers? Or will Indiana pull off the upset? Let me know your thoughts.

Till next time.

NoFearLavere

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