For the second time during this postseason, the Pacers has loss a series home opener, while the Wizards are 2-0 in series openers, both on the road. In our preview for this game, we spoke about how this was a bad matchup for the Pacers, and tonight proved it. Instead of John Wall, Bradley Beal, who is a better scorer than Wall, dominated the Pacers' guards. Beal went 3-5 from behind the arc, but he was scoring from all over the court. Trevor Ariza out played Paul George at the SF position, going 6-6 from behind the arc, also held George to 4-14 shooting. As for Roy Hibbert, he went scoreless for the 3rd time this postseason, 2nd time with 0 rebounds. He only played 18 minutes but somehow accumulated 5 fouls. I don't even know how to explain that, Roy just have to do better, nothing more to say.
In that preview, I also said that Chris Paul was an underrated scorer and was mentally better than Russell Westbrook and boy did he prove me right. CP3 hit 8 straight 3 pointers before he missed his 9th attempt in the third quarter, going 8/9 from behind the arc. Most of those 3's were iso pull ups, no matter who was right there. The Thunder tried to go bucket-for-bucket with the Clippers but they were outscored in the 1st quarter 39-25 and it was pretty much over after that. It was never a point where you thought the Thunder could win. Russell finished with 29 but he did have some costly plays that led to that early Clippers lead. Kevin Durant didn't have an MVP type of game, only scoring 25 on 19 shots, which is unacceptable at this point in the season. I don't know who to blame for this but I'm leaning towards Scotty Brooks. He has yet to change things up with KD and Russell as far as how they operate on offense and continues to get out coached. If the Thunder can not advance to the Finals, I think it is time for Mr. Brooks to depart and give somebody a chance with this roster.
Last time the Kings looked this good, they went on to win the Stanley Cup. I wouldn't say they are catching people off guard but they are currently on a 6 game winning streak since facing elimination, all against California teams. After giving up 17 goals in the first three games of the playoff, saving only 84% he saw, Quick and the Kings defense has strapped down, only allowing 8 goals during the streak. The Kings now go home with a 2-0 lead and unfortunately for the Ducks, this series might not come back to Anaheim.
I would like to send a big shout out to Tanard Jackson for being reinstated into the NFL. Tanard has not played in an official NFL game since 2011 with the Tampa Buccaneers, having to serve a 2 year suspension. In 2012, Tanard was suspended indefinitely August 30 during training camp, just a month after being cleared by doctors to practice. That was the 3rd time Tanard was suspended for substance abuse. This has put a damper on a what looked to be a promising career for Jackson. In 2009, he had 5 interceptions in 12 games before missing the rest of the season because of an injury. Hopefully Tanard has learned from the two year hiatus and will have a solid comeback season.