NBA Playoffs 2018: Updated Standings, Conference Finals Schedule and More

NBA Playoffs 2018: Updated Standings, Conference Finals Schedule and More

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BOSTON, MA - MAY 15:  Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics shoots a free throw against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The Houston Rockets evened their Western Conference Finals series with the Golden State Warriors at one game apiece following a resounding 127-105 victory on Wednesday.

The NBA now gets a two-day break as all playoff teams are off until Saturday, when the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Here’s a look at the NBA playoff results so far, the remaining postseason schedule and some notes on both conference finals series.

NBA Playoff Bracket: Eastern Conference

1st Round

No. 1 Toronto Raptors 4, No. 8 Washington Wizards 2

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers 4, No. 5 Indiana Pacers 3

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers 4, No. 6 Miami Heat 1

No. 2 Boston Celtics 4, No. 7 Milwaukee Bucks 3

                                        

2nd Round

Cleveland 4, Toronto 0

Boston 4, Philadelphia 1

                                             

Conference Finals

Boston 2, Cleveland 0

                                    

NBA Playoff Bracket: Western Conference

1st Round

No. 1 Houston Rockets 4, No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves 1

No. 5 Utah Jazz 4, No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder 2

No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans 4, No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers 0

No. 2 Golden State Warriors 4, No. 7 San Antonio Spurs 1

                                          

2nd Round

Golden State 4, New Orleans 1

Houston 4, Utah 1

      

Conference Finals

Golden State 1, Houston 1

         

Eastern Conference Finals TV Schedule (All Times ET)

Boston at Cleveland (Game 3): Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Boston at Cleveland (Game 4): Monday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Cleveland at Boston (Game 5, if necessary): Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Boston at Cleveland (Game 6, if necessary): Friday, May 25 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Cleveland at Boston (Game 7, if necessary): Sunday, May 27 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

                                                     

Western Conference Finals TV Schedule (All Times ET)

Houston at Golden State (Game 3): Sunday at 8 p.m. on TNT

Houston at Golden State (Game 4): Tuesday at 9 p.m. on TNT

Golden State at Houston (Game 5): Thursday, May 24 at 9 p.m. on TNT

Houston at Golden State (Game 6, if necessary): Saturday, May 26 at 9 p.m. on TNT

Golden State at Houston (Game 7, if necessary): Monday, May 28 at 9 p.m. on TNT

                                      

NBA Finals Schedule (All Times ET)

The winner of the Western Conference Finals will have home-court advantage in the NBA Finals, as the Rockets and Warriors have the best two regular-season records of the teams remaining.

East winner at West winner (Game 1): Thursday, May 31 at 9 p.m. on ABC

East winner at West winner (Game 2): Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m. on ABC

West winner at East winner (Game 3): Wednesday, June 6 at 9 p.m. on ABC

West winner at East winner (Game 4): Friday, June 8 at 9 p.m. on ABC

East winner at West winner (Game 5, if necessary): Monday, June 11 at 9 p.m. on ABC

West winner at East winner (Game 6, if necessary): Thursday, June 14 at 9 p.m. on ABC

East winner at West winner (Game 7, if necessary): Sunday, June 17 at 8 p.m. on ABC

      

Eastern Conference Finals Notes

LeBron James and Kevin Love combined for 64 points and 25 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 107-94 Game 2 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday, while the rest of the team accumulated 30 points and 20 rebounds.

That more or less sums up the issue for the Cavs right now. They are going to need more production from the rest of the team if they are to contend in this series. The problem is that the Celtics defense has been phenomenal so far, to the point where only one Cavalier not named Love or James had made five or more field goals in either game (Rodney Hood, who went 5-for-12 in Game 1).

The C’s also have big edges in certain matchups. In particular, Jaylen Brown is causing problems for the Cavs’ guards, averaging 23.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Al Horford has been a significant problem for the Cavs big men on both ends, posting 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game in the series.

Off the bench, Marcus Smart is wrecking havoc despite shooting just 33.3 percent from the field through two games. The former Oklahoma State star had four steals in Game 2 in addition to 11 points and nine assists, and the team (and home crowd) clearly feeds off his energy and excellent defensive efforts.

The good news for the Cavs is that a return home may be what they need: The team went 29-12 at Quicken Loans Arena during the regular season, as compared to a 21-20 record on the road. Boston is a good road team, though, as it went an Eastern Conference-best 28-13.

          

Western Conference Finals Notes

The difference between the Rockets losing by 13 points in Game 1 and winning by 22 in Game 2 is easy to decipher: Houston got a ton of production from multiple sources, most notably P.J. Tucker (22 points, 8-of-9 shooting), Trevor Ariza (19 points, six assists) and Eric Gordon (27 points).

Those performances helped negate an uncharacteristically off night from superstar James Harden, who made just three of his 15 three-point attempts.

If there is a silver lining for the Warriors after Game 2, however, it’s that the Rockets clearly have no answer for Kevin Durant, who scored 37 points in Game 1 and 38 more in Game 2. The issue in Game 2 for the Warriors was that the rest of the team went cold, with only one player (Stephen Curry, with 16 points) scoring more than eight.

The Warriors were also sloppy in the beginning of the game, as six first-quarter turnovers were the primary catalyst for a 26-21 deficit after 12 minutes.

Positive regression should be expected for Golden State following Game 2, which was the case for the Rockets after Game 1 when Ariza, Tucker and Gordon combined for just nine made field goals.

Klay Thompson isn’t going to be held under 10 points every game (he finished with eight on 3-of-11 shooting), and Curry isn’t going to shoot just 1-of-8 from three-point range. Those two will each get hot at some point and perhaps be the catalyst for a win.

The slight edge goes to Golden State for the rest of this series given that it has grabbed homecourt advantage away from the Rockets. As long as the Warriors take care of business at Oracle Arena, where they have gone 15-0 in their last 15 playoff games, they’ll be the Western Conference representative in the NBA Finals. 

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page https://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

May 17, 2018 at 10:08AM

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