As we move deeper into the 2015 NBA Playoffs action here is a perfect guide to Friday’s NBA action:
(2) Houston Rockets @ (7) Dallas Mavericks, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN – Rockets lead 2-0
(4) Toronto Raptors @ (5) Washington Wizards, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2 – Wizards lead 2-0
(3) Los Angeles Clippers @ (6) San Antonio Spurs, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN – Series tied 1-1
Some key top questions for these games are:
How’s Tony Parker’s health? The Spurs point guard is listed as questionable for Game 3, and there’s concern within the organization “about the injury becoming a recurring problem throughout the series,” per CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger. While San Antonio overcame his limited production and limited minutes to win a wild Game 2 in overtime, there’s no telling if it can do that again.
Patty Mills and Cory Joseph bring good stuff to the table — the former mostly on offense, the latter mostly on defense — but Parker is extremely important to what the Spurs do.
Are the Mavericks totally screwed? Dallas will be without Rajon Rondo and Chandler Parsons, and this wasn’t that deep a team to begin with. The Mavs have looked overmatched against this version of the Rockets, and they’ll have to scratch and claw to avoid going down 3-0 and facing certain doom. Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki will have to carry them offensively, and Tyson Chandler’s going to have to clean up a lot of mess on the other end.
Do the Raptors have swag? Toronto head coach Dwane Casey used the word “swag” three — THREE! — times in a couple of minutes on Thursday afternoon.
On trash talk: “It’s important that everybody has that swag. I don’t mind guys talking stuff, that’s part of basketball. If you’ve got to do that to get yourself going, so be it. But we’ve got to go out and play with supreme confidence and have that swag on the court.”
Furthermore, here is what you need to know about Bull-Bucks Game 3
The Bucks were scrappy in this one, fueled by a few offensive spurts, but they were unable to close out because Derrick Rose simply would not quit. He missed a late key free throw and cursed himself out over it later, but still went on to bury the Bucks 113-106 in double overtime with a huge leaner.
Rose scored 12 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and overtimes, and delivered a win. It wasn’t just the points, though, it was the efficiency on 12-of-23 shooting with eight assists. The Bulls’ offense struggles with efficiency as it tries to produce points, and Rose being able to turn on a dime and deliver efficiently changes the flow of the game.
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