As we wait for the Philadelphia 76ers’ Game 3 against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, there are three more matchups to enjoy in the meantime.
No. 4 New York Knicks vs. No. 5 Atlanta Hawks — 7:00 pm ET (ESPN)
After going down by as many as 15 points in Game 2, the Knicks turned around in the second half and came back against the Hawks to win, 101-92, and tie up the series. Trae Young put on another show with 30 points and some marvellous passing, but Julius Randle warmed up after a rough first half, Derrick Rose added 26 points, Taj Gibson played well in his extra minutes, and the Knicks’ defense locked in as the game progressed. This series has been a fun one so far, and well worth watching if you want to keep an eye on who the Sixers could be facing in the second round.
No. 2 Brooklyn Nets vs. No. 7 Boston Celtics — 8:30 pm ET (ABC)
Unsurprisingly, this series has quickly turned into a one-sided affair. The Nets are in full control after winning Game 2, 130-108, as the Celtics look completely outmatched. With Jaylen Brown out with injury, Kemba Walker unable to offer more rim pressure or pull-up damage, and Jayson Tatum struggling (he’s shot 9-of-32 through the first two games), it’s been easy for the Nets to pull away behind the play of their big three and sound defense. When Brooklyn’s role players are stepping up as well, such as Joe Harris burying 7 triples on his way to 25 points in Game 2, it makes matters that much worse for Boston. Kemba Walker is also listed as questionable for Game 3 with a left knee medial bone bruise. It’s safe to say this is the least intriguing matchup of the night.
No. 4 LA Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas Mavericks — 9:30 pm ET (ESPN)
If you aren’t a Clippers fan, this has been one of the most entertaining series of the playoffs so far. Whether Luka Doncic is bullying his way past guards on drives, going at Ivica Zubac on switches, or picking apart traps with his passing in pick-and-rolls, there’s nothing the Clippers have been able to do to stop him. Doncic has averaged a monstrous 35 points, 8.5 rebounds and 9 assists per game as the Mavs have taken a 2-0 lead, and he looks primed to lead his team all the way to a series win at this rate. Whether the Clippers can do anything to adjust their defense to slow him down is the main battle to watch in Game 3.