The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

Photo credit: Brett Davis/ USA Today

EDITOR'S NOTE: The moment avid Filipino basketball fans have been waiting for has finally arrived: NBA Playoffs. features "The Hard Court Reports" by Eman-Reza Kazemi to capture the highlights of the NBA playoffs. It will share up-to-date game summaries and notable happenings of teams locked in the playoff race.

Day 1 of the NBA playoffs

The long anticipated post season has finally arrived. The point in time where the top 16 teams of the world’s most competitive basketball league converge to duke it out to achieve the ultimate symbol of supremacy in basketball: The Larry O’Brian Finals Trophy. Here’s a summary of the scores, stats, and injuries sustained from day 1 of the NBA Playoffs.

Golden State Warriors 104-78 Houston Rockets [GSW leads 1-0]

The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

Stephen Curry lit up the Rockets before turning his ankle as the talent gap was on display in Oakland.

Kyle Terada/ USA Today

Summary: In a runaway game that saw the defending champion win by 26, it was a bizarre sight to see last season’s MVP candidate James Harden go for 18 points without a single free throw attempt. The warrior’s clever decisions on defense clearly overwhelmed one of the most dynamic offensive players in the game right now. This is the first time since January of 2015 wherein James Harden, who leads the league in free throw attempts at 837 attempts this season alone, went without attempting a single free throw.

Injuries: Golden State Warrior’s point guard Stephen Curry is considered questionable for game 2 of the 1st round series against the Houston Rockets. The league’s Most Valuable Player incurred the ankle injury coming down from a shot attempt with 2:12 remaining in the 2nd quarter. He left the game twice to get his ankle taped and retaped only to be barred from returning to the game by his coach Steve Kerr with 1:07 remaining in the half.  When asked about the rationale for his decision he had this to say. “I didn't like the way he was moving when he went back out in the third quarter," Kerr said. "He wanted to stay in, but he wasn't moving well, so we weren't going to play him, regardless of what happened."

Curry’s impact for the Warriors is felt immediately whenever the service of the dauntless guard is unavailable. (Chart was sourced from ESPN Stats and Information).

Atlanta Hawks: 102-101 Boston Celtics [ATL leads 1-0]

The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Summary: The furiously paced game saw the Atlanta Hawks blow a 19-point lead against the energetic but unseasoned Boston Celtics. Inspite of a late game surge propelled by the defense of Marcus Smart and the offense of Isaiah Thomas, the hawks were able to protect their lead and eventually win the game by 1. Al Horford recorded his 8 playoff game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds (ESPN, 2016).

Injuries: Celtic’s Avery Bradley sustained a hamstring injury during the 4 quarter of game 1. His post season now seems to be in peril as his right-hamstring strain left him wobbled and unable to get back to the side lines without any assistance from his teammates.

Toronto Raptors: 90-100 Indiana Pacers [IND lead 1-0]

The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

Solomon Hill #44 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 17, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Summary: It seems to be a trend wherein the Toronto Raptors, inspite of the incredible support from the fans, fall to a 0-1 deficit with their game 1 defeat. Paul George was clicking on all cylinders as he scored 27 points in the first half alone. Outscoring the starting backcourt of Toronto composed of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan by 2 points during the 1 half. Toronto now sports an appalling 0-8 in playoff openers and have squandered 7 consecutive playoff games, Paul George led the way for the Pacers with 33 points while the Raptor’s reserve guard Corey Joseph led the way with 18 for the home team.

Oklahoma City Thunder: 108-70 Dallas Mavericks [OKC lead 1-0]

The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots the ball over Oklahoma City Thunder centre Steven Adams (12). Mark D. Smith/ Reuters

Summary: It was clear from the start that things won’t go well for the shorthanded Maverick squad. The Mavericks were overwhelmed in every area of the statistics department by the dark horses of the western conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC had 4 different players scoring in double figures while the Mavericks only had 1 player scoring double digits in Dirk Nowitzki. With Nowitzki’s 10 point in game 1, Dirk now passed Kobe Bryant for 2 most points scored in a game 1 playoff series.

Injuries: It seems like the list of injuries to head coach Rick Carlisle’s team continue to grow after his starting guard and recent western conference player of the month awardee, J.J. Barea re-aggravated a right groin strain. This does not help the case of the Maverick’s as they are already reeling from the loss of starting forward Chandler Parsons and David Lee. The starting point guard of the Mavericks is also injured with a sports hernia but continues to play on.

by Eman-Reza Kazemi

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The Hard Court Report: NBA playoffs tip-off edition

Eman-Reza Kazemi is an extroverted introvert. 2 time scholar exchange student to Japan. Passionate baller, Asian lover & cultural wonder. He is currently taking up Applied corporate management and political science in De La Salle University-Manila.

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