This is what it’s about. With excellent teams on the brink in the first round, the playoff intensity has truly arrived. As you watch these games, take a close look at the plays that decide games going down the stretch.
As much as we appreciate the great passes, finishes, and big shots, it’s often the little plays and loose balls that decide things in the end. In the Toronto v Orlando game, tremendous defense and excellent performances were on display from both sides. The big play in the game came with 20 seconds left. With Toronto holding a 3-point lead, Orlando got the stop, with 2 players having a chance for the long rebound at the free throw line. The Magic players didn’t do their jobs. Here comes Kyle Lowry, who is so often making winning plays, who made the big play. Lowry secured the offensive rebound, forcing the Magic to foul, then set up closing the game with free throws. The continuous intensity Lowry plays with was again there in the clutch.
Many eyes were on the OKC v Portland series. This game delivered what all were looking for. The pressure was on OKC down 2-0, Russell Westbrook had called himself out from the first 2 games. Two ELITE level guards on display with Dame Lillard, and both brought their best. You can feel the intensity through the screen, heard it in the crowd. This is why fans love the playoffs. This is what we coaches live to be a part of.