I am, via a couple of national-media follows, plugged into Pistons Twitter in a way that is matched by few other NBA teams—it’s pretty much the Mavs, Suns, and Pace and Space Emeritus Zach d’Arbeloff’s particular brand of Weird Celtics Twitter (speaking of, follow @embracesmarf)—and as such I got to see a fanbase demoralized by the pure power of Milwaukee Bucks basketball and Dwane Casey’s coaching their own team.
I have about one hundred and one questions for Dwane Casey.
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) April 18, 2019
The Bucks won 120-99, bringing the total margin on the first two games of this series to 241-185. That is getting embarrassed on the bowling alley.
Andre Dummond had 18 points, 16 rebounds, and a minus-32 in 38 minutes.
But let’s face it, when you’ve got Wayne Ellington and Thon Maker as playoff starters, you ain’t winnin’ the title.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Khris Middleton had 24 points, and Eric Bledsoe led Milwaukee in scoring with 27.
When your stars show out, you’re winning ballgames.
Milwaukee shot 52.2 percent from the field and 42.3 percent beyond the arc. Detroit shot 37.4 and 33.3.
Yeah, let’s just run back the Greekazoid highlights and call this a series.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 18, 2019
Louis Armstrong IN SPACE!
Other than Magic Raptors, do two team names in the NBA, taken together, form a better visual than Jazz Rockets? I just imagine a spaceship shaped like a saxophone with great music in Ten Forward.
If you combine the nicknames of each of the NBA’s 1st round matchups to come up with one thing for each matchup, Magic Raptors is by far the coolest. This is going to be the plot of a Jurassic World movie now.
— Scott Howard (@ScottHoward42) April 17, 2019
(hey, we cite our sources around here. Big hat tip to Scott Howard.)
Anyway, the Rockets just shoved the Jazz out the airlock in Game 2, taking a 39-19 lead out of the first quarter and never looking back, playing level basketball the rest of the way and winning 118-98.
Donovan Mitchell had 11 points on 5-of-19 shooting for the Jazz, who shot 39.8 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from three. Taking Mitchell out and forcing his volume shooting to be a liability is how you beat the Jazz, and Houston’s got a perfectly executed gameplan working from coach Mike D’Antoni.
James Harden, meanwhile, had a triple-double with 32 points on 11-of-24 shooting, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. Granted, he had eight turnovers, but this was a classic Harden-leads-the-way game.
Harden was also plus-24, anchoring the team during his minutes on the floor and becoming one of two players (Austin Rivers, plus-21 off the bench, was the other) for whom the Rockets were actually outscored when he sat.
Show me those Harden highlights:
James Harden recorded his third playoff triple-double in the @HoustonRockets‘ big Game 2 win! 👀
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 18, 2019
OK, Fine, I’ll Do the Pacers Game
Indiana avoided a Turd Quarter on national television, outscoring Boston in the penultimate frame 29-16.
Pacers fans? We got our hopes up that this would be the moment the Pacers grabbed control of the entire series and invoked mental images of sex with Blossom’s sidekick as they would be winning in Six.
Man, Jenna Von Oy made me feel kinda funny back then, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.
Anyway, right. The Celtics won the fourth quarter 31-12 and the game 99-91 and nothing in this world matters anymore.
@RealFoxD you OK buddy?
— 🔥Volcano Witch 🌋 (@TxSoonergalAD) April 18, 2019
Kyrie Irving had 37 points. Jayson Tatum had 26, including the dagger that put the C’s up for good.
And Nate McMillan needs to be fired.
I know I’m national media. I’m still a fan. And some days I just don’t want to be arsed to try and figure out a team that can give so many joyous thrills to fans one day and crush our souls the next.
So take your Kyrie highlights and let me sulk over my coffee.
— NBA (@NBA) April 18, 2019
Seriously, though, you guys are what makes this job worth doing, and every time I look at the traffic report and see you coming back, it warms my soul.
So go back and read the Project Goliath opening entry from yesterday, maybe catch up on some breakfasts you might have missed, and as always, stay tuned and thanks for reading!