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Basketball Daily Dose

Playoff (and play-in) Preview

by Jared Johnson
Updated On: August 14, 2020, 10:52 pm ET

Play-in Tourney: Memphis (8) vs. Portland (9)

Game 1: Saturday, August 15

Game 2 (if necessary): Sunday, August 16

Both Memphis and Portland won must-win games on Thursday to secure their spots in the play-in tournament (and bump Phoenix from postseason play despite an 8-0 Bubble record), and they will now face off with the Trail Blazers needing to beat the Grizzlies two times in a row to advance to the postseason. I think that’s possible, with Memphis missing Jaren Jackson Jr. and Lillard regularly putting up videogame numbers, but regardless of who advances, I think they’ll be quickly bounced by the Lakers in their Round 1 matchup.

 

Averages vs. Trail Blazers

Ja Morant: 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 2.5 turnovers

Dillon Brooks: 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.5 treys, 1.5 turnovers

Jonas Valanciunas: 14.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.5 dimes, 1.5 blocks, 1.5 turnovers

Brandon Clarke: 24.0 points, 6.5 boards, 1.5 dimes, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, 0.0 turnovers

 

Averages vs. Grizzlies

Damian Lillard: 24.5 points, 5.0 boards, 9.5 dimes, 2.0 triples, 3.5 turnovers

C.J. McCollum: 28.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.0 treys, 1.5 steals, 1.5 turnovers

Carmelo Anthony: 13.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 3.0 turnovers

 

Jusuf Nurkic: 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, six blocks, four turnovers (previous Bubble game)

Hassan Whiteside: seven points, four rebounds, two blocks (previous Bubble game)

Gary Trent Jr. 17 points, four triples, one rebound, two assists, one block (previous Bubble game)

 

Round 1: Eastern Conference Matchups

 

Milwaukee (1) vs. Orlando (8)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 18

This won’t be much of a series. Aaron Gordon is still ailing with his hamstring injury and Jonathan Isaac (knee) is done, while Milwaukee is completely healthy and they have an MVP on their roster. I’d be shocked if this wasn’t a four-and-out series for the Bucks.

 

Averages vs. Magic

Eric Bledsoe: 14.0 points, 6.0 boards, 7.3 dimes, 0.7 steals, 1.0 block, 3.3 turnovers

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 26.3 points, 15.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.0 block, 4.7 TOs

Khris Middleton: 19.5 points, 2.5 treys, 8.3 boards, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 3.0 turnovers

Brook Lopez: 11.3 points, 2.3 triples, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 steal, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 turnovers

 

Averages vs. Bucks

Nikola Vucevic: 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.7 triples, 1.7 steals, 1.7 blocks, 1.7 TOs

Evan Fournier: 20.5 points, 4.0 treys, 3.3 boards, 2.3 dimes, 1.3 steals, 2.5 turnovers

Markelle Fultz: 9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.8 turnovers

Aaron Gordon: 8.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 dimes, 1.3 turnovers

 

Toronto (2) vs. Brooklyn (7)

Game 1: Monday, August 17

The Nets have played some competitive games in The Bubble despite missing the majority of the roster that they began the year with, but there’s absolutely no way they’ll be getting past the defending champs. Brooklyn went 1-3 against Toronto this season, but I think they’ll be lucky to notch a single win against them in the Bubble Playoffs.

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Averages vs. Nets

Kyle Lowry: 18.3 points, 3.3 treys, 6.3 boards, 7.7 dimes, 2.0 steals, 2.0 turnovers

Fred VanVleet: 26.7 points, 4.3 triples, 2.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 2.3 turnovers

Pascal Siakam: 22.0 points, 8.3 boards, 4.3 dimes, 1.3 treys, 1.3 steals, 1.3 swats, 1.0 turnover

Serge Ibaka: 18.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 treys, 1.5 blocks, 0.8 turnovers

 

Norman Powell: 25 points, five triples, four rebounds, one assist, two swats, one TO (one game)

Marc Gasol: 17 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks (one game)

 

Averages vs. Raptors

Caris LeVert: 23.3 points, 2.7 treys, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 3.0 turnovers

Jarrett Allen: 6.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 block, 0.5 turnovers

Joe Harris: 15.3 points, 1.8 triples, 4.8 boards, 3.3 dimes, 1.8 turnovers

 

Boston (3) vs. Philadelphia (6)

Game 1: Monday, August 17

Despite the 76ers missing Ben Simmons (knee), this should still make for a fun series, as the 76ers gave the Celtics serious issues this season with their 3-1 record. Tatum (33.3 FG), Kemba (37.3 FG) and Hayward (39.6 FG) all shot far below their averages in their four games against Philly, while none of the 76ers did; not even Josh Richardson. If I were to pick one upset from the Eastern Conference’s First Round series’, this would be it.

 

Averages vs. 76ers

Kemba Walker: 22.3 points, 3.7 treys, 4.3 assists, 2.0 turnovers

Jayson Tatum: 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.8 turnovers

Jaylen Brown: 19.0 points, 2.8 triples, 6.5 boards, 3.5 dimes, 1.3 steals, 2.3 turnovers

Gordon Hayward: 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 turnovers

 

Averages vs. Celtics

Josh Richardson: 20.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.3 blocks, 1.7 turnovers

Tobias Harris: 16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 treys, 1.5 steals, 1.8 turnovers

Al Horford: 14.0 points, 6.3 boards, 4.3 dimes, 1.3 triples, 1.3 turnovers

Joel Embiid: 21.3 points, 10.3 boards, 3.3 dimes, 2.0 swats, 2.0 turnovers

 

Miami (4 or 5) vs. Indiana (4 or 5)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 18

The Heat and Pacers will preview this series on Friday, and whoever wins that game will command the meaningless No. 4 seed, but it looks like the Heat are already mailing it in by giving Jimmy Butler (foot), Bam Adebayo (knee), Goran Dragic (ankle) getting a rest day and Jae Crowder (knee), Derrick Jones Jr. (knee) and Andre Iguodala (hip) being listed as questionable. However, once this series gets underway, I don’t see how the Heat could lose considering they went 3-0 against this team during the regular season. The Pacers will also be missing Domantas Sabonis (foot), Victor Oladipo has looked like a shell of himself in The Bubble, and T.J. Warren (who struggled mightily against Miami this season) is ailing with plantar fasciitis – though he is expected to play. Still, snooze fest.

 

Averages vs. Pacers

Kendrick Nunn: 16.0 points, 3.0 triples, 3.0 boards, 6.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.0 block, 2.0 turnovers

Goran Dragic: 13.3 points, 1.7 treys, 3.3 rebounds, 6.3 dimes, 1.0 steal, 2.7 turnovers
Tyler Herro: 15.3 points, 3.3 triples, 7.0 boards, 2.7 assists, 2.0 turnovers
Jimmy Butler: 17.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.3 steals, 2.7 turnovers

Duncan Robinson: 16.3 points, 3.0 boards, 4.7 treys, 2.3 dimes, 0.7 turnovers

Bam Adebayo: 15.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.7 dimes, 1.3 blocks, 1.0 turnover

 

Averages vs. Heat

T.J. Warren: 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist

Myles Turner: 10.3 points, 6.0 boards, 1.7 dimes, 1.3 blocks, 1.0 turnover

 

Malcolm Brogdon: 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two turnovers (one game)

Victor Oladipo: 14 points, five rebounds, three 3-pointers, one assist, one steal, four turnovers (one game)

 

Round 1: Western Conference Matchups

 

L.A. Lakers (1) vs. Play-In Winner

Game 1: Tuesday, August 18

 

L.A. Clippers (2) vs. Dallas

Game 1: Monday, August 17

There should be some fireworks in this matchup, but Kawhi can probably beat the Mavs by himself. That’s no disrespect to what this young Mavs team has done this season, and I don’t think it will be a quick route, but the Clippers are an incredibly deep team of veterans with years of playoff experience; while the Luka Doncic-led Mavs will be making their first showing in the postseason. L.A. went 3-0 against Dallas this season, with two of those games being blowouts, so I think it’s safe to say this one is already a wrap.

 

Averages vs. Dallas

Kawhi Leonard: 31.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.0 treys, 1.7 steals, 1.3 turnovers

Paul George: 25.0 points, 5.5 boards, 4.0 dimes, 3.0 triples, 3.0 steals, 1.5 turnovers

Lou Williams: 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.3 treys, 3.0 turnovers
Ivica Zubac: 13.7 points, 10.3 boards, 0.3 blocks

 

Averages vs. Clippers

Luka Doncic: 29.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 3.0 treys, 1.0 steal, 5.0 turnovers

Tim Hardaway Jr.: 9.7 points, 2.0 treys, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals

Kristaps Porzingis: 18.3 points, 9.3 boards, 2.3 triples, 2.3 dimes, 1.0 steal, 1.0 block, 2.0 turnovers

 

Denver (3) vs. Utah (6)

Game 1: Monday, August 17

The Nuggets went 3-0 against the Jazz this season, including a win in The Bubble despite not having Harris or Barton available for that one, so I’d expect them to be able to advance here. Neither Harris nor Barton appeared for an actual game in The Bubble, although Barton did get out there in a limited capacity during one of the scrimmages, so maybe he’s further along than Harris. It’s unclear if either of them will be ready when the playoffs begin, but MPJ has done more than enough to shoulder the load in their absence, and it’s possible he’ll stick with the starters even when Harris and Barton are cleared. There’s still a chance for Utah here, but it would require Donovan Mitchell going nuclear, which is something he’s struggled to do vs. Denver this season.

 

Averages vs. Jazz

Jamal Murray: 27.0 points, 7.0 boards, 6.0 dimes, 3.0 treys, 1.0 block, 2.5 turnovers

Nikola Jokic: 29.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.0 triple, 2.7 steals, 2.7 turnovers

 

Will Barton: 18 points, five rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist, one block (one game)

Gary Harris: five points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal, three turnovers (one game)

Michael Porter Jr.: 23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, one 3-pointer, one turnover (Bubble game sans Barton and Harris)

 

Averages vs. Nuggets

Mike Conley: 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 4.0 triples, 1.0 steal, 3.5 turnovers

Donovan Mitchell: 19.0 points, 2.3 treys, 6.3 boards, 5.7 dimes, 4.3 turnovers

Joe Ingles: 7.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 9.0 dimes, 1.7 treys, 2.0 turnovers

Rudy Gobert: 19.7 points, 12.7 boards, 1.0 assist, 1.7 swats, 2.7 turnovers

 

Oklahoma City (4 or 5) vs. Houston (4 or 5)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 18

Who owns the No. 4 and No. 5 seed here will be determined by how the games play out on Friday, but as previously stated, there’s not much of an impact to the seeding with there being no home-court advantage in play. The Rockets will be missing Russell Westbrook (quad) for at least the first few games of this series, and partner that with the fact that OKC went 2-1 against Houston this season, and I’ll give them a slight edge. That said, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Harden simply will his team to wins with absurd scoring outbursts, and it’s not like CP3 is a stranger to flopping under pressure.  

 

Averages vs. Rockets

Chris Paul: 20.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.3 treys, 2.7 steals, 2.7 turnovers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 turnovers

Danilo Gallinari: 21.7 points, 3.0 treys, 10.0 boards, 2.3 dimes, 1.7 turnovers

Steven Adams: 7.0 points, 6.7 boards, 1.3 assists, 0.7 blocks, 0.7 turnovers

 

Averages vs. Thunder

James Harden: 28.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.0 triples, 1.0 block, 3.0 turnovers

Eric Gordon: 7.5 points, 1.0 rebound, 1.5 assists, 1.0 triple

Robert Covington: 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 treys, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 2.0 turnovers

 

Russell Westbrook: 29.0 points, 6.0 boards, 4.0 dimes, 1.5 treys, 1.0 steal, 2.5 turnovers (will miss first few games)

Jared Johnson

A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the Rotoworld team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Jae_Tha_Truth, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.