Eastern Conference Round 2 Preview

 

WASBOS

(4) Washington Wizards vs. (1) Boston Celtics

Schedule:

GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME (ET)
Game 1 Tomorrow WAS @ BOS 1 p.m. (ABC)
Game 2 Tues. WAS @ BOS 8 p.m. (TNT)
Game 3 Thurs. BOS @ WAS 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 4 5/7 BOS @ WAS 6:30 p.m. (TNT)
Game 5 (If Needed) 5/10 WAS @ BOS TBD
Game 6 (If Needed) 5/12 BOS @ WAS TBD
Game 7 (If Needed) 5/15 WAS @ BOS TBD

Preview:

For the first time in five years, the Celtics reached the playoffs and are now in the second round. The Wizards will be a tough opponent and will be a fun series to watch. John Wall versus Isaiah Thomas is a great match up but we will see who will come up on top starting Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Team Connections:

John Wall and James Young attended the University of Kentucky. Bradley Beal and Al Horford attended the University of Florida. Markieff Morris, Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas were teammates in Phoenix during the 2014-15 season. Gerald Green and Markieff Morris were teammates in Phoenix during the 2013-14 season. Ian Mahinmi and Gerald Green were teammates in Indiana during the 2012-13 season.

Celtics Team Notes: 

  • Isaiah Thomas netted his 2,000th point against the Milwaukee Bucks on Mar. 29. He is just the sixth Celtic ever to record 2,000 points in a season and the first since Paul Pierce recorded 2,116 points during the 2005-06 season.
  • Al Horford averaged a career-high 5.0 assists per game which is the highest mark amongst all centers in the NBA this season.
  • During the month of March Jae Crowder hit the boards and averaged 7.3 rebounds per game which upped his season average to 5.8 rebounds per game. Prior to the month of March he had been averaging 5.3 rebounds per game.
  • Avery Bradley had career-year which had him besting his career averages in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game and is near his career-high in three-point field goal percentage.

Wizards Team Notes: 

  • Washington and Atlanta split the 2015-16 series, 2-2. Both teams won on their opponent’s court.
  • Atlanta claimed the 2014-15 series, 3-1. Washington won 2013-14, 3-1.
  • Since the 2000-01 season, Washington is 32-34 against Atlanta. A 19-14 record at home, 13-20 away.
  • Washington and Atlanta have played in 16 overtime games. Washington is 5-11 in those games. Ten of the overtime games have been in Atlanta. The last overtime games was 12/13/13 at Atlanta (L, 101-99).
  • Washington and Atlanta have played 22 games against each other in the playoffs, most recently in the 2014-15 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
  • Washington and Atlanta are 11-11 all-time in the playoffs, facing in five series. Washington has a 3-2 edge in series wins.

 TORCLE

(3) Toronto Raptors vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers

Schedule:

GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME (ET)
Game 1 Mon. TOR @ CLE 7 p.m. (TNT)
Game 2 Wed. TOR @ CLE 7 p.m. (TNT)
Game 3 Fri. CLE @ TOR 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 4 Sun. CLE @ TOR 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Game 5 (If Needed) 5/9 TOR @ CLE TBD
Game 6 (If Needed) 5/11 CLE @ TOR TBD
Game 7 (If Needed) 5/14 TOR @ CLE TBD

Preview: The Cavaliers are the favorites in this series but we will see if the Raptors can keep up. The Raptors added Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker during the season to give them an edge during the playoffs. This series will determine if those additions were worth it.

Connections: Cavs forward Tristan Thompson is a native of Canada. Thompson and Toronto guard Cory Joseph played alongside each other at the University of Texas during the 2010-11 season and both are natives of Canada. Cavs forward Kevin Love and Raptors guard Norman Powell both played their college ball at UCLA. Cavs guard DeAndre Liggins and Raptors forward Patrick Patterson both played their college years at Kentucky. Liggins and Raptors forward Serge Ibaka were teammates in 2012-13 when they both played for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Cavs guard Kyrie Irving and Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan were both on the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team at the World Championship in Spain in 2014 and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016, winning gold medals at both events.

Cavaliers Team Notes:

  • Going back to the 2015 postseason, the Cavs have won 11 straight playoff games at The Q over Eastern Conference opponents. Since 2015, Cleveland has a 13-1 playoff home record.
  • In four games against Indiana in 2016-17, Cleveland averaged 118.3 points on .481 shooting from the field, including .426 from beyond the arc.
  • Kyle Korver led the NBA in three-point percentage in 2016-17 (.451).
  • Cleveland was the only team in the NBA to have three players rank in the Top 20 in rebounds per game.
  • Kevin Love was one of only five NBA players to average at least 19.0 points and 10.0 rebounds this past season

Raptors Team Notes: 

  • DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 32 points in Game Six at Milwaukee. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the second time in the last two seasons that DeRozan helped Toronto wrap up a playoff series by scoring at least 30 points in the clinching win.
  • Toronto currently ranks first in points allowed (93.2) and sixth in opponent field goal percentage (.415) during the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
  •  DeMar DeRozan finished with 32 points and a playoff franchise-record five steals in Toronto’s Game Six victory over the Bucks.
  • Norman Powell averaged 12.4 points (fourth on the team) in five games and scored in double figures three times in the first-round versus Milwaukee.
  • Serge Ibaka topped the Raptors with 50 rebounds and 14 blocks in their first-round matchup against the Bucks.
  • Toronto is 1-11 all-time in the first game of a playoff series. The Raptors’ lone Game One victory was May 6, 2001 at Philadelphia in their second-round series against the Sixers.

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