In the opening games of the second round, the defending champs showed why they’re still a threat and the Spurs looked old.
Lebron James showed once again why he is still at the top of his game. With a game high 35 points, the Cavaliers dominated for the entire game, finishing with a score of 116-105. The Cavaliers won every quarter except the 4th, when the game was already in hand. The Raptors had trouble handling the Cavs big three which were their top three scorers in the victory. Both Kyrie and Lebron finished with double-doubles and Love finished one rebound away from the same statistic. On the other side of the court, the Raptors didn’t have a scorer above 20 points but stayed competitive in every other statistical category. They were fairly similar in field goal percentage, turnovers, and rebounding. What seemed to lack in their game was the heart and effort that the Cavaliers had. If they want to compete that will have to change.
In the West, the Rockets played about as good as any team can. Houston shot over 40% from three while hitting 22 and shot over 45% from the floor. At halftime they led by 30 points and finished the game with a score of 126-99. Harden played another spectacular game as he scored 20 points and dished out 14 assists. The Rockets had double the amount of double digit scorers than the Spurs as well. That has been the story of the playoffs so far for San Antonio. We all know Kawhi is one of the top five players in the league, but who is the next best player on the Spurs? On a Popovich coached team, it usually doesn’t matter, but in today’s NBA the game has changed. You can’t have your second leading scorer only have 11 points. Baskets need to come in volume from more than one guy. The Spurs might get a reality check at the end of these playoffs.