Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Wizards, Celtics win

Thursday, April 27, 2017


The Wizards stopped the Hawks in D.C. to take a 3-2 lead and the Celtics finally won at home to also take a 3-2 lead over the Bulls. Both of the underdogs are at home for Game 6 on Friday, so there’s a pretty good chance both of these series are going to go seven games. And I doubt there are many people complaining about that. Bradley Beal, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley all came through in the wins.

 

Wizards 103, Hawks 99 – Wizards lead 3-2, Game 6 at Atlanta on Friday

 

The Wizards took care of business at home in Game 5 and are in position to advance to the next round if they can beat the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday, or win at home on Sunday. The winner of the series gets the Boston-Chicago winner, which is a pretty nice path to the Eastern Finals than having to go through the Cavaliers, who will get the winner of the Milwaukee-Toronto winner. Bradley Beal led the way with 27 points, five boards, three steals, three blocks and a 3-pointer, but hit just one of his nine 3-point attempts, or the Wizards would have won by even more. John Wall added 20 points, six boards, 14 dimes and a 3-pointer, Marcin Gortat had five points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, and Otto Porter Jr. chipped in with 17 points, two steals, a block and a couple 3-pointers, hitting 3-of-4 from the floor. Bojan Bogdanovic hit 4-of-7 shots and two 3-pointers for 14 points and six boards off the bench, and Markieff Morris added eight points, five boards and a block against Paul Millsap.

 

The Hawks got a big game from Dennis Schroder, who scored a playoff career-high 29 points with 11 assists, two steals and five 3-pointers on 10-of-18 shooting. Paul Millsap came through with 21 points and 11 boards, but didn’t have a steal, block or 3-pointer, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 points and three 3-pointers for the Hawks. Taurean Prince had 10 points, six boards, four assists and a block, and has had a big role for Atlanta, despite being a rookie. Dwight Howard was a problem for the Hawks, going for just five points, 10 rebounds, a steal and a block after racking up 16 points, 15 rebounds, a steal and a block in a Game 4 win. The Hawks will be looking for a lot more Howard on Friday. Kent Bazemore, who had 16 points, seven assists and three 3-pointers in Game 4, was also a problem, hitting just 3-of-12 shots and zero 3-pointers for six points, two rebounds and two assists off the bench. The Hawks will need a whole lot more from both Baze and Howard if they’re going to win two straight games and steal the series from the Wizards.

 

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Celtics 108, Bulls 97 – Celtics lead 3-2, Game 6 at Chicago on Friday

 

Tempers flared late in this one, mostly by frustrated Bulls players like Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez, as the Celtics were able to pull away for a relatively easy win after a hard-fought game to take a 3-2 lead in the series. This one has been a doozy, with the Bulls winning Games 1 and 2 in Boston, while Isaiah Thomas dealt with the loss of his sister, and then the Celtics bounced back with a couple wins in Chicago to even the series. Thomas and Avery Bradley led the way in this one with 24 points apiece, although Thomas didn’t really bring his A-game. He hit just 6-of-17 shots and 1-of-10 3-pointers for five rebounds, four assists and a steal, while Bradley was stellar, hitting 11-of-19 shots and two 3-pointers for six boards and a steal to go along with his 24 points. Al Horford is finally earning some of his money and had 21 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, flirting with a triple-double. Jae Crowder started and had eight points, eight boards, a steal and two blocks, but hit just 2-of-11 shots, while Gerald Green lasted just 12 minutes in a start, finishing with two points. Kelly Olynyk had 14 points, five rebounds, a steal and a 3-pointer off the bench, and Marcus Smart added eight points, eight dimes, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and supplied his usual stellar defense. The Celtics will be looking to close this one out on Friday in Chicago, but they may have awoken a sleeping giant in the Bulls last night. If they don’t close it out in Chicago on Friday, they’ll try to do it in Game 7 at home on Sunday.

 

The Bulls kept this game tight until the last quarter, when the Celtics used some hard picks, some sneaky tactics and some guts to get the big win. Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez lost their cool with five minutes left in the game, each picking up a technical foul and helping the Bulls unravel with the game on the line. Wade was ticked off about the officiating and the way he was being aggressively played by the Celtics, and Lopez lost it when Jae Crowder trapped his foot between his legs and stopped him from being able to move, which resulted in an easy Bulls bucket. When the technical free throws and home crowd were added to the mix, the Bulls were toast.

 

Wade led the way with 26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, a block and two 3-pointers, despite hitting just 7-of-18 shots. Isaiah Canaan started for Rajon Rondo (wrist) and hit 6-of-11 shots and a 3-pointer for 13 points, but didn’t have a single assist, and Robin Lopez (6 rebounds) and Jimmy Butler (8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 3-pointers) each scored 14 points. Butler was foiled by the defense of Bradley, who is just short of Patrick Beverley for being one of the league’s most annoying defenders. Nikola Mirotic was fairly quiet in the start, hitting 2-of-6 shots (all 3-pointers) for six points, four boards and two assists, while every bench player for the Bulls scored eight points or fewer.

 

I think both of these series are going seven games and Sunday should be an NBA fan’s Game 7 dream, assuming the Hawks and Bulls both win at home on Friday.

 

Thursday’s Slate

 

Toronto @ Milwaukee at 7 p.m. on TNT – Raptors lead 3-2

 

The Raptors will look to close out the Bucks tonight, but my guess is Giannis Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton all show out to foil the challenge and force a Game 7 in Toronto. This series is up for grabs, but the Raps are clearly in control. If Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Johnny-come-lately Norman Powell all do what they’ve been doing, the Buck could stop here.

 

San Antonio @ Memphis at 9:30 p.m. on TNT – Spurs lead 3-2

 

The Spurs toyed with the Memphis early in this series, but my guess is they’ll put the Grizzlies out of their misery tonight. The Grizz will need a full boat from Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and company if they’re going to get by Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Patty Mills tonight. And even if it happens, it’s really hard to imagine Gregg Popovich losing a first-round Game 7 at home.

 

 

 



Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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