Home / Sports / NBA restart day 4 to go: missiles improve their defense and Spurs reach for the number 8 in the race for the steering wheel

NBA restart day 4 to go: missiles improve their defense and Spurs reach for the number 8 in the race for the steering wheel

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Highlights: dollars versus missiles

Day 4 of the NBA’s Disney bubble is on the books, and since most teams have already played multiple games at this point, the playoff picture and subsequent stories take shape. A surprising team took the lead for number 9 of the Western Conference, two championship candidates made it into a potential preview of the final, and unfortunately we had our first major injury in the new season. Here̵

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Final results

Nets 118, Magician 110

Celtics 128, Blazer 124

Spores 108, Grizzlies 106

Magic 132, Kings 116

Missile 120, dollar 116

Suns 117, Mavericks 115

The missiles repaired their defenses

Houston’s thesis is based on three pillars: win the 3-point fight, the free throw fight and the sales fight. Everything else is irrelevant if you only have these three categories. In the service of these goals, they avoided the middle position entirely. Not only does this give them more shots, it also takes the worst ball handler off the floor to limit sales and allows them to switch defensively on any screen, effectively cutting off all open 3-point attempts for an opponent This makes them more susceptible to more streaks, peaks, and distractions from faster defenders.

This strategy has proven itself in the fight against the goats. Milwaukee had 40 more dots in color and 29 more rebounds than Houston on Sunday, and it didn’t matter because the Rockets forced 14 more sales, made eight more free throws, and most importantly tried 26 more 3-pointers. The Bucks are a pretty modern team in themselves. They take on average only 5.6 fewer 3-pointers than the missiles. But Houston’s defense interrupted their open trials so effectively that Milwaukee not only took less than 3s than average, but only did nine because they had few open looks.

This type of defense is inherently demanding. Everyone on the floor, including James Harden, has to do more than a typical scheme suggests. Flying on the field is exhausting, especially for the wings, which also have the task of defending tall men in color. The missiles sacrifice size in the name of speed, but that only works if they actually use it. They were lazy against the Mavericks on Friday. They brought their A-Game against the dollars. That was the difference. They may have allowed 116 points, but they won the battles that mattered and ultimately the game with them.

The San Antonio playoff series is lively and good!

The Spurs haven’t missed the postseason since the Cretaceous period, though this season has been a greater threat to this series than ever before. When San Antonio entered the shutdown, he was in a traffic jam in the overall classification and had to get past the New Orleans Pelicans, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Sacramento Kings and of course the number 8 Memphis Grizzlies to get into the playoffs. Under typical rules, the chances of them doing so would have been slim.

But now, four days after the bubble ball, the Spurs are not only leading the pack for seed # 9, but also have a real chance of sneaking up to 8th place and taking advantage of Memphis’ game. The Spurs came to Orlando with the fifth easiest schedule among the bubble teams. Memphis had the seventh-highest, and Portland, the most likely competition for 9th place after New Orleans lost the first two games, has five games in a row against real rivals before graciously drawing nets in the final. Death, taxes and the spurs make the playoffs.

Dallas briefly got into the clutch … again

Make these 18 losses by five points or less for the Mavericks this season, most in the NBA. Remove games that contain NBA-defined clutch situations and the Mavericks would have a 26-6 record. They have the most efficient offense in NBA history and the third best net rating in the Western Conference, but they’re likely to finish number 7 after falling again in the fourth quarter, this time against the Phoenix Suns. They led half at 13, but coughed their lead in the third quarter and failed to generate a good game fix in the last few seconds.

The Mavericks are young. You have a coach with championship experience. You will grow up from it. But with the exception of the record, Dallas should be a real competitor. They are not, because once again they missed out on the clutch. Playoff games are rarely blowouts. This is not a good sign of their post-season hopes.

One of the big winners of the day were … the Minnesota Timberwolves?

It doesn’t sound intuitive. Minnesota is not in the bubble. But the nets are, and Minnesota has a choice for the first round … assuming it falls outside the top 14. It seemed almost certain to do so until the Brooklyn players started falling like flies. With only Caris LeVert left to run a group of backups, Brooklyn could theoretically have made its way out of the playoffs into the lottery. The wizards would only have had to make up two games in the overall ranking to force an import. Trade rumors have linked it to some of the largest fish on the market. They have championship goals next season. A lottery would have been helpful for Brooklyn.

Unfortunately there will be no in-bubble tanking. The Wizards lost their opener to Phoenix, but Brooklyn’s loss to Orlando left the door open. The Nets hit it with a win over Washington on Sunday. In every respect, they have now reached number 8 in the Eastern Conference. The Timberwolves will probably make their choice now if it is still quite valuable, unlike the next season when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are likely to drop it until the 1920s. A big win for a team that is not even playing.

Unfortunately, injuries were inevitable

The resounding success of the first few days of the bubble made the sobering reality of Sunday all the more worrying. Jonathan Isaac was the first player to suffer an apparently serious injury. Most likely, he won’t be the last. Such a quick change from four months to high-level professional basketball would always increase the risk of injury. Isaac already had red flags. Had the season not been extended, he would not have played for Magic at all after a serious knee injury in January. Hopefully this is an isolated case. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the probability that further soft tissue injuries will occur.

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