Utah has lost four games by less than 10 points, tied with the Grizzlies and Bucks for the most in the bubble. Herro will get his chances, and it will be crucial for young guards Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson to shoot well -- but this team needs to find the player who can take some pressure off Butler. With Avery Bradley not with the team, the lion's share of the minutes against Lillard on the defensive end likely will land in Caldwell-Pope's lap. CP3 has been the steady heartbeat for the Thunder all season. For Philadelphia to win this series, not only is Embiid going to need to dominate inside, but Horford is going to have to take advantage of going up against those smaller Celtics wings to give the 76ers the offensive boost they will need. Only in the Finals due to Dragic's injury was he forced to change his role and join the starting five, but until then he was an instant spark off the bench. Isaac was supposed to provide a big defensive lift, but now it will be crucial for Vucevic and Aaron Gordon to rise to the occasion on both ends of the floor and try to control the pace as much as possible along with veteran guard Evan Fournier. Among teams in the 2020 NBA playoffs, only Brooklyn, Orlando, and Indiana were lower. The Houston Rockets have the best defense in the NBA (101.8 rating), If the first quarter was impressive, the third quarter was downright disrespectful. Jimmy Butler and the Heat come alive in the second half to defeat the Pacers 114-92. Oklahoma City Thunder MVP of the restart: Kemba Walker 1:59 Nets clinch playoff spot with win over Kings It's Kuzma, if only because LeBron James and Anthony Davis played below the standard we're accustomed to. Whichever scoring guard can take over games late, impose his will and have the better series could ultimately dictate who moves on. According to NBA.com, Denver's defensive rating has fallen from 106.3 to 117.0 with Harris on the bench in these playoffs. Four of the five players were unanimously chosen for the First Team: Murray, Butler, LeBron and AD. Vegas title odds: +5000. The Jazz have lost as many single-digit games as any team since the restart. You have reached ESPN's Australian edition. Can the versatile Luka Doncic find a way to escape elite defense from Leonard and George? 1. "This has happened before," Caldwell-Pope said. The downside of their youth has manifested itself in the Mavs' struggles to score down the stretch in close games, despite having statistically the most efficient overall offense in NBA history. Biggest concern and how they address it BPI odds vs. LAC: 35% Biggest concern and how they address it His defensive displays during the 2020 NBA Playoffs were exemplary, and he was easily the best defensive player for the LA Lakers during the entire 2019-20 … Please check your email for a confirmation. The notion that Harden has been a playoff underperformer is overblown -- he's averaged 28.2 points and 7.0 assists in playoff games with the Rockets -- but Houston needs better efficiency from Harden than in recent postseasons to make a title run. Kendrick Perkins and Paul Pierce agree the 76ers won't go far in the playoffs because of the injuries to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. I stepped up -- just going to treat it as the same thing. What else is there to be said? 1. Its second-round series with LA? Matchup to watch in Round 1: Murray vs. Mitchell Led by that defense, Houston has a chance in Monday’s Game 6 to clinch the series and advance to the second round. What we say here is, 'Next-man-up mentality.'". All Damian Lillard wanted was a chance. Vegas title odds: +100000. A seven-footer, Diop played in the NBA as a center from 2001 to 2013 with four different teams (Cleveland, Dallas, New Jersey, and Charlotte). MVP of the restart: Damian Lillard With Brooklyn's two primary shot creators (Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyrie Irving) both sidelined, LeVert took on a superstar-level usage rate (32.6%, sixth highest among players with at least 150 minutes, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, James Harden and Joel Embiid). Who makes the All-Playoff Team? Jay Williams reacts to the Raptors' win vs. the Lakers over the weekend and explains why their defense can fuel them to another NBA title. Did Lakers' win vs. Nuggets alleviate Stephen A. Jump to a series: Houston Rockets Before the season came to a halt, the Lakers ranked seventh in PPG (114.3) and led the league in field goal percentage (49%). Doncic is about to get his first taste of NBA postseason basketball, and regardless of the venue, he continues to rewrite the record books. With him on the court, the 76ers scored 108.1 points per 100 possessions and were outscored by 7.3 points per 100 possessions. Vegas title odds: +15000. One wild bubble prediction Bledsoe is one of the better defensive guards in the league and should pose a huge challenge to the former No. Guard Victor Oladipo is in the lineup after initially opting out to continue rehab on his quadriceps. Can the Nets pull off an upset against a motivated opponent? They blew out the Wizards, then got blown out by the Suns. They have gone 2-for-2. With him on the sideline, the 76ers have averaged 121.3 points per 100 possessions and have outscored opponents by 3.7 points per 100 possessions. "We can't win a championship if Kuz doesn't play well.". This team shocks the East, upsets the Bucks and advances to the conference finals. The downside of their youth has manifested itself in the Mavs' struggles to score down the stretch in close games, despite having statistically the most efficient overall offense in NBA history. Ben Simmons is out for the season after knee surgery, Joel Embiid has left multiple games with injuries, and the Sixers enter the playoffs less than the sum of their parts. This team is deep, talented and confident it can win in the postseason. One wild bubble prediction Davis was monstrous on defence. Two are members of the Clippers: Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Did Lakers' win vs. Nuggets alleviate Stephen A. Paul has been leading the NBA in clutch-time points -- by a wide margin -- as the catalyst for the Thunder's three-point-guard lineup. Embiid can be an enigma, but he's clearly one of the league's best and most dominant players. One big bubble stat The Raptors' defense did travel to Orlando, leading all teams since the restart with a defensive efficiency of 101.8 (no other team is better than 106.4). Michael Porter Jr.! It was the primary culprit in the regular season (aside from injuries), and the hope was with returning players and an adjusted scheme, it would improve in the bubble. They've dealt with several injuries in the bubble and struggled to find any rhythm after a hot start. Those close to Warren knew he was locked in before entering the bubble, but hardly anyone could have anticipated just how much he was about to break out. West: Lakers-Blazers | Clips-Mavs | Nuggets-Jazz | Rockets-Thunder, 1. That's the sexy headline with those two, but this matchup could be a real factor in this series. Doncic consistently put up the kinds of stat lines that make you laugh and shake your head. Without Simmons on the floor, Philly can try to maximize the amount of shooting that's out there -- and, in turn, give Embiid as much room to operate as possible. "Avery got hurt in the regular season. The Magic haven't offered much for the Bucks to be fearful of this season. MICHAEL PORTER JR. IS CLUTCH pic.twitter.com/bGsoIEOFeH. This team shocks the East, upsets the Bucks and advances to the conference finals. 6. Best Defensive Plays of Round 1 - 2020 NBA Playoffs, The best of Brandon Ingram during the 2019-20 NBA season, The best of Bam Adebayo at the NBA Restart, The 24 best plays of Jaylen Brown's career, The best of Tristan Thompson in the 2019-20 season, The best of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol in the 2019-20 NBA season, The best of Aron Baynes in the 2019-20 season, Mar. Houston Rockets A hard-nosed team in the Eastern Conference is the Indiana Pacers and the 2013 season they had one of the best defensive ratings in NBA history. This page defaults to a list of the highest-scoring NBA teams, but you can sort by road scoring, home scoring, most three pointers and more.