NBA playoffs 2022: What’s next for each conference semifinal matchdown?

In the book are four Game 1s NBA's conference semifinals.

The Milwaukee BucksHanded the Boston CelticsTheir first playoff loss, Giannis AntetokounmpoIt proved too much for the league’s No. 1-ranked defense. (If the game was not won, this is the only highlight you need.)

The Golden State WarriorsAnd Memphis GrizzliesIn Game 1, they put on a show. Despite Draymond GreenAfter being ejected for a flagrant 2 violation late in the second half, the Warriors survived. Ja MorantIn the last second, a buzzer-beating layup was missed.

The Miami HeatAfter trailing the, things turned around Philadelphia 76ersAt halftime, the team led by a team-high of 25 points from their bench to lead by a one point victory Tyler Herro.

The Phoenix SunsOvercame 45 points Luka DoncicGame 1: Take care of business Chris PaulFinally, a shot was missed after the Suns won the closeout round 14-for-14.

What can these Game 1 showdowns tell us about the potential direction each series might take? Our NBA experts discuss the next round.

While there's no such thing, a must-win game 1 in a best-7 series is not possible. Sunday's match felt a lot like one for the host Grizzlies.

Take one Draymond GreenThis was ejected for a flagrant foulMemphis, however, was unable to profit from this opportunity. a rare 3-point advantage over the WarriorsThe average triples for a regular season player was 2.8 more than.

Golden State managed to win the game in Grizzlies-like fashion. They had 16 offensive rebounds, which was the same number as the Warriors had in their two-game series against them. Denver NuggetsIn the first round — and survival when Ja MorantThe buzzer sounded and the game was over.

Memphis must earn at least a split. The first question before Game 2 is whether to alter the starting five. Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies' coach, used three lineups against the Minnesota TimberwolvesBefore settling on Xavier Tillman Sr. as the center, in place of more paint-bound Steven AdamsDue to NBA's safety and health protocols, he was not available for the last two games.

After rolling out its Pick-and-Rolls program, Golden State was in a position to target Tillman. three-guard lineupThe second half began. The Warriors, on the other hand, were happy to switch their smaller guards against Tillman. Tillman didn't return to the court after being outscored 13-5 by the Grizzlies in the first 3 minutes 53 of the third quarter.

Clearly, MemphIs' best option alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. is Brandon ClarkeClarke, who although he hasn't yet started a playoff game, has completed every close one. Clarke can be started by Jenkins if he doesn't wish to. Kyle AndersonThis would allow the Grizzlies to play more and be more defensively flexible while matching Tillman’s minutes off the bench in opposition to the Golden State reserve units.

Green is back for Game 2 and Warriors coach Steve Kerr has to make a decision about his team. his lineup. You can close the Nuggets by going small. Stephen CurryAssisting in the start lineup Jordan PooleAnd Klay ThompsonKerr decided Monday to keep Green at the center, but replace Poole as a defensive stalwart. Gary Payton II. Although Payton and Poole were both on the floor, Poole began the second half.

Memphis was able to attack the Warriors' small lines in the closing minutes and forced Payton switches to let Morant go. Morant was able break down Poole & Thompson on the dribble, scoring six points and handing out three assists in four minutes.

One question lingers: Are the Grizzlies able to get? Dillon Brooks going? Brooks's average of 25.8 PPG last year in the playoffs is now at 15.3 with 36% shooting. His fourth playoff game was Game 1, in which he shot worse than 30%.

— Kevin Pelton

Bucks 1, Celtics 0Boston should be the dominant non-Giannis minute

In Game 1, the Bucks prevailed. They were more aggressive and physical than Boston, which forced Boston to rush through offensive sets and settle on a playoff-record 50 3-point attempts.

They were not all bad shots. There was a period in the fourth quarter when the Celtics took back-toback-toback-toback wide-open looks. Two of those three were hit by the Celtics, bringing the score to 12 points with 3:50 remaining.

Boston was able to get the look it desired, but Ime Udoka, the Celtics' coach, said that the key to Game 2, will be to get the Celtics’ midrange shots to drop.

The Celtics made 10-of-34 2-point field goal attempts and were 0-of-3 outside the paint. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, their previous low for made 2-point field goals in a game, regular season or postseason, had been 14.

Bucks star Giannis AntetokounmpoWhile he finished the Game 1 game with 24 points and 13 rebounds, as well as 12 assists, he had an awful night percentage-wise. He was only 9-of-25 on the floor. He was still able to make plays that contributed to 55 points. His teammates shot 12-of-18 from his passes, with seven 3s.

Boston had a plan to send several looks and defenders to Antetokounmpo. This created 14 uncontested looks that were available for his teammates.

Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez to be defensive anchors in the paint, forcing Boston to shoot 3-of-20 when either of them contested a shot, including 1-of-15 from inside the arc, per ESPN Stats & Information.

Boston must also perform better in Antetokounmpo's sitting time in order to win Game 2. In Antetokounmpo's 37:47 court time, the Bucks were plus-23 and minus-11 while he was sitting. These breaks were rare.

Bucks coach several times Mike BudenholzerAntetokounmpo was only sat for a little over a minute. Antetokounmpo was allowed a short 2:39 break to begin the second quarter. He was then forced to sit the last 3:37 of third because he had picked up his fourth foul.

Other key points were to capitalize on Boston’s miscues, and limit Milwaukee's damage from the Celtics'. The Bucks scored 27 points from 18 Boston turnovers. While the Celtics only scored six points from 14 Bucks turnovers, they scored 27.

“You have to be the smarter team. Tonight we weren't,” Celtics guard Jaylen Brown“We look at it, we learn from it, and we come back better for the next game,” he said after Game 1. “We take it in, we learn from it, and we are better for the next one.”

— Andrew Lopez

Heat 1, 76ers 0: Adebayo makes short-handed Philly payments

Without the 76ers, they were going to be in serious trouble Joel EmbiidYou can beat almost any opponent. There's a good reason Embiid is an MVP Finalist for the second consecutive season.

Embiid is arguably the most important player in this match. who will miss at least the first two games of this seriesMore than the Heat and their All Star center in Bam Adebayo.

Adebayo saved the Heat from certain doom on a night where Miami couldn't escape its own traps and allowed the 76ers to win the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

His final stats — 24 points and 12 rebounds, 4 assists in 34 minutes, 2 steals, 1 block — don't tell the whole story of his dominance. His plus-26, however, does.

The 76ers' reaction after Game 1 was the same.

Doc Rivers, the 76ers' coach, stated that Doc Rivers believed their physicality had an impact on his team. “I think they got into us and that had an influence.”

It was a performance that reminded Adebayo of how he helped lift the Heat into the NBA Finals in Orlando, Florida in 2020.

Adebayo played against the Bucks during the East semifinals, as well as the Celtics at the East finals. Jimmy ButlerMiami was able to control the game through its control of the paint at both ends.

It serves as a reminder about the Finals against. Los Angeles LakersAdebayo was not hurt in Game 1.

Adebayo moved to Sixers center after Monday's defeat by Philadelphia DeAndre JordanI was hopelessly undermatched and posted a minus-22 after 17 minutes. Paul ReedPlayed well in a short time, scoring 4 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. However, he was fouled five times in the 13-minute period.

While Reed is sometimes in foul trouble, some of it was due to Reed's habit of getting into foul trouble. However, Adebayo created fouls simply by controlling the interior and creating fouls.

Adebayo was also an anchor in a defense that saw the 76ers limited to 6-for-34 shooting 3-point range. However, they had little success inside.

That won't change if Embiid isn't there. He could be replaced by someone else. DoesAdebayo can defend him in single coverage, making it one of few NBA centers who can do so. This allows Miami's other defenses like P.J. Tucker and Butler remain plastered on James HardenAnd Tobias Harris.

The 76ers have left FTX Arena believing they can get back in this seriesWednesday night's Game 2 win was a victory. This series could end quickly if Adebayo continues to dominate the paint, as he did in his opener.

— Tim Bontemps

Suns 1, Mavericks 0: Is Deandre Ayton slowing down because of small-ball?

Suns center Deandre AytonThis is a major problem for the Dallas MavericksThey did not face each other in the first round. Ayton demonstrated that he's a centre capable of scoring a lot, in the first three quarters Monday's Game.

Ayton scored 25 on 12-of-16 shooting in the third quarter, which was an important factor in Suns' 121-112 win.

Dallas held Ayton scoreless through the fourth quarter. Ayton missed four of his shots. Dallas may have found a small-ball solution.

The Mavs played the fourth quarter almost entirely with a small lineup of 6-foot-8 players Dorian Finney-SmithAt the center. Start at the center Dwight PowellHe didn't even play in the fourth quarter, and he was a backup big-man. Maxi KleberPlayed only 108 seconds. Dallas defeated the Suns by twelve points in the 10 minutes, 12 seconds of play with Finney Smith in the middle.

Ayton grumbled that the Suns were taking their foot off their gas pedal with a comfortable lead. While that could have been an issue, the Mavs are positive that their small lineups can prove to be an asset in this series.

“I thought [Finney-Smith]Jason Kidd, Mavs coach said that the player was excellent at the 5. He's showing that he is not only a winger, but can also play big. I thought he was great to play the 5, and we'll continue to use that lineup.

Finney Smith has enjoyed some success playing center. Finney-Smith held Sacramento Kings big man Domantas SabonisIn the fourth quarter of a comeback victory, Ayton was scoreless. He is ready to take on Ayton, who stands at 6'11” and weighs 250 pounds. Ayton has a soft touch and can be matched by him — provided the Mavericks give the right support.

Finney-Smith stated, “I wouldn’t say it was only me.” In the fourth quarter, we played with more tenacity. Everyone was talking and moving, so we need to do that throughout the entire game.

“I think that we can play this lineup, but we will have to rebound. Play fast and rebound.”

Finney-Smith playing at center can have the disadvantage of taking him off All-Star shooting line. Devin Booker. The challenge of facing the best team in the NBA is to identify the problems that are most important.

— Tim MacMahon

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