The 2018 N.B.A. Playoffs officially begin tomorrow – yes, welcome to the postseason, basketball fans!
This is one of my favorite postseasons to follow – I do also enjoy playoff hockey as well, but playoff basketball is something I could watch all the time. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the upcoming N.B.A. playoffs, enjoy!
Care to agree or disagree? Send me a tweet @MattNoonan11 and make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports’ basketball Twitter (@Noontime_Hoops)
It’s Friday, and while we don’t need to break out into song and dance, let’s instead dish out some headlines and news from the Hub!
* Despite rallying to tie the game, Washington’s Brooks Laichnetted the game winning shootout goal, which helped the Capitals defeat the Boston Bruins on Thursday, 3-2. Tim Thomasrecorded 21 saves between the pipes, and held Washington scoreless for the first two frames. Had Boston won, they would have clinched a playoff spot, but luckily, the Black and Gold will return to the ice on Saturday when they travel to Long Island to face the New York Islanders.
* Bobby Valentine told the media on Thursday that he’s expecting Carl Crawfordto begin the season on a rehab assignment. The left fielder underwent wrist surgery this past offseason, and has taken part in bunting drills with the team. However, Valentine doesn’t believe he’ll be able to face living pitching until he possibly experiences “50 at-bats somewhere.”
* The Boston Celtics will return to the hardwood on Friday when they travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00pm.
* Celtics President Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI on Thursday, and told The Big Show that he’s not planning on forcing Mickael Pietrus to get back on the court. He’s expected to return to the lineup soon, but according to reports, the Celtics should have more information on his concussion he sustained last week in Philadelphia.
The Boston Celtics earned their third consecutive win on Wednesday when they defeated the Utah Jazz, 94-82. And while the victory didn’t exactly catapult them to the NBA Finals, it certainly was a critical momentum builder for the Green and White, who’re currently locked in a two-way tie atop the Atlantic Division with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Yet, while there is still a lot of basketball left on the docket before the abbreviated 66-game season concludes, Doc Rivers believes that despite all the trials and tribulations his team has experienced over the past few months, they’ll be ready to make a “deep run” once the postseason begins.
“Well, before the season [started], I thought we could [go deep] – beginning of the season I wasn’t so sure, and now I do,” Rivers said during his Boston sports radio appearance on WEEI on Thursday.
“You have to be healthy – you just have to be healthy, [and] the one thing that is good is that we rest more in the playoffs. The playoffs – the games are harder, but the rest is more, and you have a great opportunity to play, rest, you don’t travel, so that’s the best you’re going to be during the playoffs,” he added.
Boston will conclude their March schedule on Friday against the Timberwolves in Minnesota before returning to the TD Garden for two critical back-to-back contests against Miami and San Antonio.
It’s Thursday, which means we’re one day away from the weekend, so let’s buckle down and get some work done! Also, we’ll jumpstart the day with headlines and news, too!
* The Boston Celtics eared their third consecutive win on Wednesday when they defeated the Utah Jazz, 94-82. Kevin Garnettpaced the Green and White with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Piercetallied 20 points. Boston’s win set-up a two-way tie atop the Atlantic division with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Green and White will return to the hardwood on Friday when they travel to Minnesota.
* The Boston Bruins will look to earn their 46th win of the season on Thursday when they host the Washington Capitals. The Capitals are currently locked in the ninth spot, and certainly need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, Boston remains the second best team in the Eastern Conference, and is on par to wrap up the Northeast division.