Inscrit le: 31 Juil 2018
|Posté le: Sam 8 Sep - 04:42 (2018) Sujet du message: The Predators
|The Portland Trail Blazers fought their way through a pressure-packed playoff race to earn home-court advantage in a series Shane Ray Jersey , then lost it in one game.
The Toronto Raptors know that problem all too well, so they want to take advantage of playing from ahead for a change.
They try for their first 2-0 playoff series lead ever Tuesday night against Washington, while the Trail Blazers try to even things up in against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Boston and Milwaukee play the other Game 2 on Tuesday after the Celtics pulled out a 113-107 overtime victory on Sunday.
The No. 3 Trail Blazers were the highest-seeded team to lose so far, falling 97-95 on Saturday. Anthony Davis was dominant, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were slow-starting, and the Pelicans got a couple big defensive plays down the stretch from Jrue Holiday to hold on after the Blazers nearly came back from a 19-point deficit.
”I think it puts some pressure on us,” Lillard said. ”You know, you come in with home court, the first two games on your floor and you lose the first one, and now they’re saying in their locker room we got one, why not go get another one. And our job is to defend the home court.
”We’ve got to tighten up, come back sharper, and take care of home floor.”
Toronto had lost Game 1 at home all six times it had home-court advantage in a series, part of an overall 10-game losing streak in series openers, before beating Washington 114-106 dropped on Saturday. Finally, the Raptors could enjoy the start of postseason play.
”And for me, this year is finally a year I can be happy watching other games and not be like `Damn Jay Prosch Jersey , I lost Game 1,”’ point guard Kyle Lowry said.
Some things to know about Tuesday’s matchups:
WIZARDS AT RAPTORS
Toronto leads 1-0. Game 2, 7 P.M., NBA TV.
NEED TO KNOW: Toronto’s only other 1-0 series lead was in the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals against Philadelphia, which won Game 2 and ultimately the series in seven games.
KEEP AN EYE ON: The 3-point line. The Raptors made a franchise-record 16 in the opener, twice as many as Washington for a 24-point advantage behind the arc.
INJURY UPDATE: Raptors reserve Fred VanVleet (right shoulder) went through most of practice Monday after missing the opener but remains day to day. Lowry was fighting a cold but joked he was ”out tanning” Sunday during an ice storm.
PRESSURE IS ON: Washington’s bench. The Wizards‘ reserves probably aren’t going to win the battle against Toronto’s highly productive second unit, but need to produce something more after getting next to nothing beyond Mike Scott’s 14 points in the opener.
BUCKS AT CELTICS
Boston leads 1-0. Game 2, 8 P.M., TNT.
NEED TO KNOW: Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored 20 or more points in eight straight games against the Celtics after scoring 35 before fouling out in overtime of the opener.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Boston’s balance. With Al Horford (24 points), Terry Rozier (23), Marcus Morris (21) and Jaylen Brown (20), the Celtics had four 20-point scorers in a playoff game for the first time since Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Reggie Lewis and Brian Shaw did it in a 1991 game. Throw in Jayson Tatum’s 19 points, and the Bucks let too many players get hot in Game 1.
INJURY UPDATE: Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart is getting some shots up and working on lower body and conditioning as much as he can, but has been told by the training staff that April 27 is the earliest the guard could begin basketball activity.
”We’re still a ways away from that and a lot of games away from that,” Stevens said.
PRESSURE IS ON: Eric Bledsoe. Milwaukee needs more from its starting guard who had more combined fouls (6) and turnovers (5) than points (9) in a bit of a Game 1 dud.
PELICANS AT TRAIL BLAZERS
New Orleans leads 1-0. Game 2 Mark Walton Jersey , 10:30 P.M., TNT.
NEED TO KNOW: Anthony Davis had 35 points in the opener and has scored 25 or more in his first five postseason games. He can tie LeBron James for the second-longest streak to begin a career, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 14 straight, according to Elias.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Rajon Rondo. A 17-assist, eight-rebound opener was another reminder of how much the Pelicans’ point guard can elevate his game in the postseason.
INJURY UPDATE: Portland’s Maurice Harkless is nearing a return from late-season left knee surgery, but may not be available until later in the series.
PRESSURE IS ON: The Blazers’ backcourt. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined to shoot just 13 for 41, and their three combined points on 1-for-15 shooting in the first half doomed Portland to a big hole from which it could not recover.
AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower in Boston and freelance writer Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed to this report.
LeBron James has mastered the first-round knockout.
Better protect those chins, Pacers.
One of the most dominant postseason players in NBA history, James is undefeated in Game 1 of any opening series, a perfect 12-0 since making his playoff debut with the Cavaliers back in 2006.
James is a ridiculous 48-7 overall in the first round with seven sweeps, and his teams in Miami and Cleveland have ripped off 21 consecutive opening-round victories, a winning streak that stretches to 2012 in his second season with the Heat. Since rejoining the Cavs in 2015, he’s 12-0 in Round 1.
Facing him means an early exit.
But while all those overbearing facts would seem to give Cleveland a huge advantage against Indiana in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference series that starts Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena, James isn’t taking the Pacers lightly. They beat the Cavs three times during the regular season and guard Victor Oladipo and Co. have enough talent to maybe upset the No. 4 seed.
”It’s going to be a very good matchup,” James said Saturday. ”It’s 4-5 for a reason. Both teams played good ball at times throughout the regular season. Obviously their season, from the outside looking in, was more productive than ours because of what they went through in the offseason. But we went through a lot in the offseason as well. It’s a good matchup and we look forward to the challenge.”
Following a regular season that went up Ryan Hewitt Jersey , down and sideways for the Cavs, the postseason has finally arrived. It’s when James shines most.
The 33-year-old is aiming to make his eighth straight Finals, a feat only accomplished by a handful of Boston Celtics in the 1960s. The three-time champ is coming off perhaps his finest regular season, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be at his best in April, May and probably June.
”LeBron is a freak of his own,” said Oladipo, who has blossomed in his first year with Indiana. ”He’s the best player in the world. You could give it (the MVP award) to him every year, but it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else.”
James wasn’t fair to the Pacers in last year’s playoffs. He averaged 32 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, three steals and two blocks as Cleveland swept Indiana en route to a third straight conference crown.
It’s hard to imagine it being that easy this year as the Pacers are a more well-balanced squad. In Oladipo they have a player capable of taking over a game, but James knows the ropes better than anyone this time of year.
”He definitely understands that, going to The Finals, that the quicker you can get a series over and get some rest is the best way to do it,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. ”So our guys have to understand that we’re going to see the best (team) at their best.”
His teammates and opponents may change from year to year in the postseason. James stays the same.
”My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now,” he said. ”Go out and try to dominate.”
For the first time in four years, James won’t have Kyrie Irving by his side in the playoffs. With Irving gone Jake Butt Jersey , Kevin Love has become Cleveland’s second-most important player.
Although the Cavs aren’t the slam-dunk favorite as they’ve been in the past to win the East, Love is as confident as ever.
”I always feel like when we take the floor we’re going to win every game,” he said. ”I feel like we’re a really tough out. We’re going to be a tough team to beat in four games and we have the best player in the world and a lot of guys that are hungry to go out and prove what they can do.”
MYLES TO GO
Pacers big man Myles Turner struggled so badly down the stretch he asked McMillan to play him in the regular-season finale. It didn’t help.
Turner’s struggles continued as he went 1 of 8 from the field and finished with two points in 20 minutes. Turner is now 5 of 26 overall, 0 for 9 on 3-pointers. He had 11 rebounds in Indiana’s last four games. He’s grateful for a fresh start.
”They need me to come out and be the aggressive Myles, like I’ve done during a couple stretches this season,” he said. ”I need to score points, rebound and block shots.”
Lance Stephenson developed a reputation for getting under James’ skin during the Pacers-Heat rivalry. He’s still doing it.
Stephenson, perhaps best known for blowing in James’ ear during the 2014 conference finals, baited James into a technical foul earlier this year. This time, though, Stephenson claims he has no plans to rankle King James.
”He’s a tough player, he’s always challenging me,” Stephenson said. ”I think your mindset has to be to stop him and to want to win against him. Everybody in the league wants to beat him.”
AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis contributed to this report.
Adidas Matt Murray Jersey ,
hong wei wei