The Bigfooty 2018 Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs Thread | BigFooty

The Bigfooty 2018 Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs Thread

Discussion in 'Basketball' started by peternorth, Apr 12, 2018.

?

Who win da East?

  1. Mexicans from the north (Toronto)

    10 vote(s)
    16.4%
  2. Boston sans Kyrie

    8 vote(s)
    13.1%
  3. Everyones favourite team, Philly 76ers!!

    25 vote(s)
    41.0%
  4. Lebron and Tristan Thompsons baby mama

    11 vote(s)
    18.0%
  5. Domantas Sabonis and his Indy folk

    3 vote(s)
    4.9%
  6. 44-38 Miami Heat

    1 vote(s)
    1.6%
  7. Milwaukee Bucks feat. NBA Champion Mathew Dellavedova

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  8. Washington Jizzards (lol not really)

    1 vote(s)
    1.6%
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  1. peternorth

    peternorth Facts Machine

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    Matchup previews to follow courtesy of Bigfooty Basketball Forum experienced and learned posters
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  2. PeanutButter Pies

    PeanutButter Pies Team Captain

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    Who would of guessed the 76ers would have a better record then the cavs.
     
  3. Adelaide Hawk

    Adelaide Hawk Hall of Famer

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    I guess all 4 round 1 games will go to the home sides. Could see Pacers pushing the Cavs in 7, but the others appear clear cut.
     
  4. jayshi19

    jayshi19 Draftee

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    uhhhh looking forward..
     
  5. fidstar

    fidstar Norm Smith Medallist

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    I see 6 people were drunk when they answered the poll by picking someone other than Cleveland.
     
  6. Look2Me4Guidance

    Look2Me4Guidance Not A Campaigner

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    Show yourselves you Boston haters
     
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  7. Warsaw

    Warsaw Leviathan

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    #3 PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (52-30) vs. #6 MIAMI HEAT (44-38)
    Head to Head

    Game 1 in Philadelphia: SIXERS 103 def MIAMI 97

    Sixers have a 28pt lead at the start of the 4th, but the Heat cut it back to as much as 4. Sixers hold on.

    Game 2 in Miami: SIXERS 104 def MIAMI 102

    Miami have 24pt lead early in the 3rd, Sixers regain it to as much as 6 late in the 4th, before a couple of bad turnovers gives Wade a chance to win it at the buzzer with a three. He misses.

    Game 3 in Miami: MIAMI 102 def SIXERS 101

    Sixers hold a slender lead for much of the game (+13 max) but some clutch shooting by Wade with 5 secs left gives the Heat a 1pt lead. Redick has an open three to win it, misses.

    Game 4 in Philadelphia: MIAMI 108 def SIXERS 99

    Opposite of Game 3, where Miami hold the slender lead. Sixers take the lead in the 3rd, before Miami take control again in the 4th on the back of some good three-point shooting.


    What You Need to Know

    After tanking for 32 years, the Philadelphia 76ers are back in the playoffs and have done so on the back of two young generational superstars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Facing them with their slick new unis, are the defensive minded Miami Heat, led by the soon to be second best Slovenian in the league, Goran Dragic, and seasoned head coach Erik Spoelstra.

    It shapes to be one of the more interesting matchups out of the first round, and despite the various narratives surrounding each team (okay, mostly the Sixers), it’s one that appears to be much closer than this fan would like to admit.

    Yes, the Sixers are the hottest team in basketball right now – as weird as that is to say – coming in having won 16 straight and posting a ridiculous NetRtg of 15.7 per 100 possessions in that time, annihilating their opponents. The caveat however is of course that only three of those victories have come against playoff teams. Meanwhile, the Heat have played in a NBA leading (19) one-possession games and have played in 6 overtimes since March (going 2-4).

    Why does this matter?

    Well for one, the Sixers have not been tested by any good defensive team in over a month and the Heat surely are one. But even more broadly, regular season vs postseason play are two distinctly separate beasts, and the Sixers are bereft of experience in the latter and historically so! Only two teams (of 9 in total since 1976) have advanced past the first round when their four best players (Embiid, Simmons, Covington, Saric) have played 0 playoff games. Those two being the 84 Mavs and 87 Warriors.

    The biggest question in this series will be how the Sixers fair under the spotlight of playoff basketball and for the first time (some) expectations – rightly or wrongly. Heats fans will take comfort knowing that not only were they generally the better side in late-game situations when they played the Sixers, but that they also are led with a wealth of experience in Spo and Wade, as well as the bulk of their roster having done this before during their 14 game, 2015/16 Semi-Finals campaign.

    The on-court stuff

    From an on-court playstyle standpoint, well we couldn’t really be getting two more different teams. Brett Brown has preached pace all season (4th highest for the season), and without Embiid over these last 8 games it’s gone up a notch, with a league leading 106.07 possessions per game. Contrast that with the Heat (26th in Pace) who, because of personnel, are limited offensively (although they have had some recent success in going small) but have embraced a defensive identity and in their season series, showed an ability to shutdown the Sixers offense.

    And therein lies the keys for Miami to take control of this series, where they’ll be able to use their multiple wing defenders to slow the Sixers right down, and have Simmons play in the half court. When that happens, they’ll want a healthy Embiid executing in the post. As too others, primarily Saric and screens set for Redick will largely dictate how this series could go.

    Stopping Philly’s transition game, forcing turnovers, and/or shooting slumps will force the Sixers back into bad old habits. Miami take a game or two early, and those sentiments about experience just might play out.


    I’d like to see that

    The Sixers win.

    The Sixers win on a Markelle Fultz buzzer beater.

    A Dario Saric post-game interview.

    Joel Embiid at LIV nightclub after the Sixers sweep in Miami.

    A free Meek Mill.


    Bench X-Factor

    Philadelphia: Markelle Fultz

    This is a pretty predictable pick at this point. The league’s most recent number 1 overall who pick, who has had a season arc unlike any rookie in the history of the game, has been re-integrated into the side and has had his fair share of moments to remind folks just why he was a consensus top overall selection.

    In fact, watching Markelle has been an experience on its own, because there are two Markelle’s on the floor. The first being the kid at DMV and UW who was just better than everyone else, using his speed, incredible first step and control to just carve his way past defences (expect him to be on the receiving end of pistol sets when replacing Ben). The second, being the guy that inexplicably changed his shooting mechanics in the summer and is still unsure of himself whenever he has to put it up anywhere past 12ft.

    But this unpredictability is exactly what makes X-Factors so much fun. The question being how much Brown plays him with Simmons likely to get an extended run on the floor, how he’ll cope with Miami’s defenders and T.J McConnell’s fair outings with Dragic in the past.

    Miami: Dwyane Wade

    Dare I say it? The 36-year-old, husband of Gabrielle Union and aspiring NBA Countdown host, is still going to be every Sixers fans worst nightmare. In his second Miami stint where he’s averaging 12 points a game coming off the bench, the 3x NBA Champion and Finals MVP scored 27 and the game winner, giving the Sixers a strong case of PTSD.

    To be sure, there are more important players on this Heat bench (especially with his minutes in flux) like Winslow who will spend some time on Simmons and even Wayne Ellington (32pts, 12-16 in his last game!) but it’s Wade’s playoff pedigree, and/or a stray elbow that could change the course of the series, and those are the things you can’t statistically project for.

    Key Matchups

    Ben Simmons vs. Miami’s Defenders

    Whilst the Sixers hope of winning this series don’t squarely rest on the ROTY’s shoulder’s, it’s fair to say that if he’s able to perform like he has during the team’s streak (save for the last two games where got into foul trouble, and made sloppy entry passes) then they’ll be close to moving on.

    Yet as per our season series, Miami have been better than most in restricting effectiveness. Having multiple guys helps their cause and expect Justice Winslow and James Johnson to make life incredibly difficult for him, even forcing him to take those oft maligned 15ft jumpers.

    Joel Embiid vs. Hassan Whiteside (Bonus Social Media Matchup)



    Who knew that a meaningless preseason game back in October would add more fuel to one of the biggest beefs in the NBA.

    The cliff notes for this is here, but suffice to say Whiteside hates Embiid, and Embiid would love to BBQ Chicken Whiteside’s ass.

    However, this matchup might not happen the way we want it to given the recent trends of these two big men.

    For Embiid, obviously he’s still rehabbing from that orbital fracture and seems to have been ruled out definitively for Game 1. But with no timetable put forth, when he’ll back remains a mystery.

    For Whiteside, well he’s been used less and less in Spolestra’s lineups, with the former Sichuan Blue Whaler telling reporters that the Heat’s lineups were ‘bullshit’. Whilst he’s still a dominant force inside the paint, he doesn’t appear to be a consideration late in games though without Embiid that could change.

    Prediction

    Forget what I just wrote because it was long and dumb.

    Despite the Heat being the worst of the 3 possible matchups we could have landed (literally only 1.6% based on win probability), I am still optimistically confident that the Sixers pull this out in 5 games, and Ben Simmons not being phased by the moment. But to be conservative we’ll say officially

    Sixers in 6.

    Further Reading
    Check out these teams respective threads for more info on South Beach lifestyle, and what it's like to have always been right.

    https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/miami-heat-wagon-thread.1068764/

    https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/the-philadelphia-experiment-your-was-ass.1095367/
     
  8. nufan

    nufan Norm Smith Medallist

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  9. thegrach

    thegrach Premiership Player

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    Agreed. Quick question though, what's with the 76ers snake?
     
  10. peternorth

    peternorth Facts Machine

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  11. peternorth

    peternorth Facts Machine

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    Stephen A tips Cavs to win the east
    Max Kellerman Raptors
     

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  12. djrossie

    djrossie Brownlow Medallist

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    KD likes this
     
  13. Warsaw

    Warsaw Leviathan

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    It's from Ben Franklin's 'Join or Die' cartoon calling on colonial unity. They're co-opting it for the playoffs and it'll be their center court logo for the playoffs.

    I like it, but for Process Sixers fans the snake does also take on a different meaning. Hssssssssss
     
  14. PP34

    PP34 Finals MVP

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    Wouldn't surprise me if Toronto struggles to get out of the first round.
     
  15. fidstar

    fidstar Norm Smith Medallist

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    Toronto are an enigma.
     
  16. fidstar

    fidstar Norm Smith Medallist

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  17. Drummer_19

    Drummer_19 Brownlow Medallist

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    Nice stadium you got there, Toronto.

    This leakage issue and subsequent delay is going to make the game run into the Sixers game, thanks.
     
  18. Son of Skeletor

    Son of Skeletor Brownlow Medallist

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    Wow, I'd forgotten about that. Awesome preview.

    Story checked out too.
     
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  19. stewie griffen

    stewie griffen Make me an Admin!

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    #1 Toronto Raptors vs. #8 Washington Wizards
    Head to Head 2-2
    John Walls first start against the Raps this season

    What You Need to Know

    John Wall has started just 4 games this season, and a roof leak slightly delayed the tipoff of Game 1

    Is Dwyane Caseys offense ready to stand up in playoff times. The Raps have failed in Game 1's time and time again, are we set for a repeat of the same old story? Washington swept the Raps in 2015, however the Wizards lost to the Magic in their last game of the season and were 3-7 over their last 10 and rumblings of off court discontent abound. Can Scott Brooks pull a swifty?

    I’d like to see that
    An actual preview rather than this mish mash of words that came after the Game 1 tip

    Bench X-Factor

    Toronto - VanVleet
    Dude has been a revelation all year, altho the Raps bench has more of a bench mob mentality than recent seasons with Miles, Fred, Jakob

    Washington: Jodie Meeks

    Oh wait.... Oubre and the Morri. Expect a fair amount of small ball with Morris at the 5

    Key Matchups

    JV v Marcin Gortat

    The tri towers of Serge (not so much), JV and Jakob vs Marcin could work into the hands of Toronto. Expect the Wizards to play with some smaller lineups to try and play JV off the floor

    Kyle Lowry v John Wall

    Wall obviously isnt fit, but this is the premier point guard matchup in the first round (at least out East). If they are to compete he has to lead the way

    Derozan v Porter
    Expect to see a lot of cross match ups as the Wiz look to guard DDR tight with the taller Otto to try and contest his jumpers, Toronto will also

    OG v Beal
    Likewise the Raps will try and contain Beal with the defensive guru OG.

    Prediction

    Raps in 5.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  20. stewie griffen

    stewie griffen Make me an Admin!

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    Casey missed a trick there. Brooks went small early and took a few plays to react.

    Small ball Washington look much better.

    Poeltl with a couple of nice blocks tho
     
  21. stewie griffen

    stewie griffen Make me an Admin!

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    Heavy minutes for wall early. He's looking OK, Raps surely have to try and make him work defensively
     
  22. Son of Skeletor

    Son of Skeletor Brownlow Medallist

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    Spot on.

    Will be interesting to see whether Washington sway that way over the series.
     
  23. stewie griffen

    stewie griffen Make me an Admin!

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    They have too. JV was destroying gortat early and he's basically unplayable against the small lineups
     
  24. stewie griffen

    stewie griffen Make me an Admin!

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    Not sure Delon wright dribbling for 15 seconds is the definition of quality playoff offense

    Cj heating up
     
  25. Drummer_19

    Drummer_19 Brownlow Medallist

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    Scott Brooks not being able to stagger Wall/Beal and have a pure bench unit running for 4 - 5 minutes is terrible management. They're kinda getting away with it for now tho.
     
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