2016 NBA PlayOffs: Day 5, April 20

It’s already Day 5, all if not most of the teams should have already settled down, then again..

HORNETS 103, HEAT 115 MIA Leads 2-0 

A rejuvenated Wade spells danger in the East
A rejuvenated Wade spells danger in the East

After 2 games, the Hornets have lost by an average of 22 points a game with the second game no better than the first. Even if this was down to 12, hey, Nic Batum just got an ankle sprain! So, for the sake of Hornets’ fans, hope he could be a hundred percent when they host the Heat on Game 3. Still, their loss was not because Batum got hurt as t’was already on Q4 with Miami leading by 13 — their loss was simply because of their woeful shooting. And lack of shooting. Hah!

Batum 3-11. Williams 0-10. 3-pointers, Hornets 1-16 for 6.2%, Heat 9-16 for 56.2%. If only they took lesser 3s when they noticed they just didn’t have it that night, who knows what the result would be? That is if Lin took more attempts, too. He only shot 7 times, and 0-3 from downtown.

Then again, Dragic is starting to really play well for the Heat. Uh-oh!

PISTONS 90, CAVS 107 CLE Leads 2-0 

JR's hot night did it for the Cavs
JR’s hot night did it for the Cavs

Whoa, after a tight first game, the next one was a blowout! Were you expecting this? Well, one way or another, even in the Finals where the best teams meet — there’s at least one blowout game, so it’s not really surprising. But in this case, it’s not because Cleveland’s Big Three played well, in fact Kevin Love didn’t do much unlike the series opener — it’s because JR Smith had it going especially from 3s. That doesn’t always happen, so it could also be a relief for Detroit that they’ve seen the last (?) of JR for this series.

Yet keys here is while the Pistons need to remove one of the Big Three, they also got to get Andre going. Don’t let the Cavs remove him from the game — whether through bad free throw shooting or ‘small-ball’ spacing.

If the Cavs switch to ‘small-ball’, don’t let Drummond go after Love on his 3s, instead every Piston on the floor should do a quick switch. This may sound tiring but since it could also be a ‘win-or-go-fishing’ series for the Pistons, then they might as well go for it. Or do they lack conditioning for this strategy?

BLAZERS 81, CLIPPERS 102 LAC Leads 2-0 

Clippers' tough interior defense
Clippers’ tough interior defense

If the Blazers are just going to rely on their dynamic duo then this series is over by Game 4. As in Game 2, the Clippers just zeroed in on Lillard and McCollum and forced them into a 12-39 shooting. They got to get Kaman and Davis more involved. Hey, they only shot a combined 8 attempts! Don’t just let an athletic Plumlee try to battle ‘two’ athletic bigs from LA. That’s 2 to 1! Battle with skills not brawn!

Yeah, everyone knows Griffin and Jordan are just too athletic for the Blazers but that’s the point — so, force them out of the game! Forget ‘hack-a-Jordan’ for now instead get the Clippers’ big men into foul trouble so Lillard, Aminu and the rest could penetrate easier.

This was another day of blowouts! Coming soon — Sweeps!

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