Each conference semifinal is heading into Game 3.
The Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzles series are tied up at one apiece.
The Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers series have been one-sided by both the Suns and Heat as they both lead 2-0.
Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks
In-Game 1 the Suns had a 21-point lead over the Mavericks before letting it slip down to five. The Suns still pulled out the win but finishing games strong was an emphasis for Game 2. The fourth quarter in Game 2 was one of the best for the Suns. They outscored the Mavericks 40-26 and shot the ball well going 16 for 19 from the field.
Chris Paul led the way in the fourth for the Suns. He shot 6 for 7 and scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth. It is the fourth time this postseason he has scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks have to figure out ways to help out Luka Doncic. In-Game 1 had 45 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. In-game 2 he had 35 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. He is doing everything in his power to keep his team going but there is only so much one player can do. They have to figure out ways to get Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie involved. When Doncic was out for three games in the first round Brunson took over the scoring load and did well. Getting the wings more into the game will put pressure on the Suns’ wings and give Doncic a lot more to work with.
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
The story of the series here is there is no Joel Embiid for the Sixers. He has been out the first two games due to an orbital fracture and mild concussion. Getting him back for Game 3 would be a stretch but it would help out the Sixers a lot.
Without Embiid a lot of the offensive load has fallen to James Harden who has not looked like himself since he left Houston. He can’t get by his opponents and get to the basket anymore or create space for his patent step-back threes. Getting Embiid back would open the floor for shooters and for Harden.
Miami is looking great even though they do not have star guard Kyle Lowry. The sixth man of the Year Tyler Herro has been great. He is efficient, over the last two games he’s put up 43 points and his true shooting percentage is 71.5%. Right now, Herro is the best player on the Heat.
Golden State vs. Memphis Grizzles
This has been a physical series and Game 2 showed that. Draymond Green caught an inadvertent elbow to his eye and Gary Payton II fractured his elbow after Dillion Brooks tried to chase him down on a block attempt. Payton will be out for at least a month. Coach Steve Kerr was not pleased with Brooks calling it a dirty play.
“I don’t know if that was intentional but it was dirty.” Said Kerr.
Steve Kerr: “Dillon Brooks broke the code.”— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 4, 2022
Here is Kerr’s full soundbite on the foul that injured Gary Payton II pic.twitter.com/QALedINMYo
This is a big blow to the Warriors because Payton is the best defender for the Warriors to contain Grizzles star Ja Morant. There are other options for the Warriors to defend Morant but no one will be as effective as Payton.
Morant had himself a game 47 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in Game 2 to tie up the series. He looked unstoppable in the fourth quarter scoring 18 of 47 in the final quarter.
The series is shifting back to Golden State and hopefully, that can give a bump to Klay Thompson who has had a bad series so far. He is averaging 13.5 points per game and shooting 28.9% and 22.7% from three. He will need to come alive for the Warriors to come out of this one.
Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
In Game 1 the Celtics looked unprepared for Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpos who had a triple-double and won them the game. Game 2 was a different story. Jaylen Brown shook off a bad Game 1 with a great first half in Game 2. He scored 25 of his 30 in the first half including going 5 for 5 from three.
If Brown and Jaylen Tatum can keep scoring the way that they have the Celtics will be very hard to stop. In Game 2 the others came and showed up to help get the win. Al Horford had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Grant Williams had 21 points and played great defense on Giannis.
Game 2 was a big difference for Giannis he still put up monster numbers 28 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. He shot poorly 40.7% from the field and 25% from three. In these first two games, it has not been easy for Giannis as the Celtics have made him uncomfortable. When he gets on a fast break they get back to form a wall to stop him, multiple bodies on him. There is no easy way for Giannis and he will need his teammates to step up.