The Jazz looked like they could beat some teams up in the playoffs this year, especially with Mitchell developing and Rudy Gobert posting his most efficient season yet. However, the Beard & Co. came, saw, conquered, and then came again all over Utah in the first three games of the series, blowing them out by a combined 52 points in the first two games and then sneaking by after an atrocious shooting night by Harden in Game 3. Down 3-0, Game 4 felt like a formality. However, thanks to a 19 point fourth quarter by Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz pulled away right before the Rockets could finish them off. So the series is 3-1 Rockets… and now I care a little bit more! There’s nothing compelling about watching a team finish the sweep, unless the Warriors are on the losing end (at least 4-5 years away from that). Expect big numbers from both Harden and Mitchell in Game 5, but I still have Rockets closing it out in Game 5.
The Suns fired coach Igor Kokoskov in what is a tragedy for fun-sounding names everywhere. When will this parade of swiping left in Phoenix come to an end? The Suns are like a 24-year-old who just got out of a long term relationship, whoring themselves out to whatever sexy-sounding coach catches their eye in the summer. Do you blame the coach, or lack of talent? Booker had to run point because the next best options were G-league-level talent, and Ayton was good but not dominant yet. If Oubre and Warren can come back healthy, paired with whoever they get in this draft, they have a real shot at winning 30 games next year - something they haven’t done since the 2016 season.
The Milwaukee Bucks surprised absolutely nobody last night when they swept the Detroit Pistons in what was a series I had no interest watching (buuuttt I did). Yes it’s the first series. Yes it was an eight seed. Yes Blake Griffin was hurt (again). But this game was a statement win for the Bucks, and a big “watch-the-fuck-out” performance from Giannis. The man had 41 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks to go along with several highlight-reel plays that’ll likely play during his Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony. The Bucks play the Boston Celtics in the next round, and expect another statement game from Antetokounpo.