The NBA playoffs are starting to heat up as the Clippers and Nets start to face a few struggles. The Bucks and Jazz, on the other hand, are flying home as they inch closer to the Conference Finals.
Jazz Keep Winning
It took Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to combine for 65 points for the LA Clippers to finally get a win over the Utah Jazz. Up to that point, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert had led the Jazz to a 2-0 series lead. Mitchell has been incredible with the ball, and while his numbers never quite paint the complete picture of his influence in a game, Gobert dominated on both sides.
They did miss Mike Conley in Game 3 as the Clippers won comfortably 132-106, though. And to make matters worse, Mitchell limped off with an ankle injury. Still, despite so many people circling this point of the season as when the wheels would start to fall off the Jazz, they remain as $2 favourites to win the Western Conference.
Bucks Breaking Down Nets
63.2% from the line
19.4% from beyond the arc
37.8% from the field
The Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t hit the side of a barn after building a 30-11 lead over the Brooklyn Nets in the first quarter. But somehow, they managed to break down the Nets to earn a 86-83 victory in Game 3 to be 2-1 down in the series.
The Nets started to break down a little bit differently in Game 4. With James Harden already on the sideline, Kyrie Irving came down on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot and didn’t return.
Noooooooooo!!!!!!! Please, please, please be healthy, Kyrie Irving. He stepped on @Giannis_An34 foot and twisted his ankle. It looks bad. Prayer that he’s healthy. We need to see the show that man provides in these playoffs.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 13, 2021
The Bucks went onto win 107-96 with the series now at 2-2. Now we wait to see how Irving responds to treatment and whether or not he misses any more time. Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the NBA, but he will struggle to beat the Bucks all by himself.
The Phoenix Suns are one win away from sweeping through the second round and into the Western Conference Finals.
They’ve handled the Denver Nuggets with relative ease to take a 3-0 lead with all three wins coming by double digits.
Chris Paul is doing exactly what the Suns wanted when they traded for him over the summer. He became the first player in NBA history to record 15 assists with no turnovers in a playoff game for three different franchises. He just keeps coming up with the goods, and the Suns continue to defy the odds. Meanwhile, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton have been superb.
From Chris Paul after his 15 assists and zero turnovers last night: "I really haven’t been on a team quite like this, where everybody shoots it the way that they do, you don’t have to try to find a certain guy… #Suns
— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) June 10, 2021
Ayton, in particular, has surprised a few people. With 15.6 points and 11 rebounds per game throughout the playoffs, Ayton has silenced the doubters who claimed he would be exposed by better teams in post-season basketball.
They still have a lot of work to do if they’re to make the NBA Finals. However, if they can complete the sweep while the Jazz and Clippers battle it out over seven games, the Suns will be rested and ready for a conference finals series they are currently at $2.70 to win.
NBA Championship Odds Update
The Nets remain as $1.70 favourites to win the championship, but Irving’s injury could change that depending on how he pulls up for Game 5.
Milwaukee’s $12 appeals after levelling their series with Brooklyn at 2-2. Again, Irving’s diagnoses is a major consideration here.