The Path Blazers and Thunder performed a good, bodily recreation proper all the way down to the wire. In the long run, Portland made the performs to get the win.
On paper, Path Blazers vs. Thunder seemed like one of many first-rounds most fascinating matchups. Sport 1 definitely delivered with a slender margin and theatrics proper all the way down to the ultimate moments. The final three minutes of the primary quarter included Damian Lillard and Paul George buying and selling 3-pointers, Enes Kanter with clutch rebounds and the Path Blazers hitting their free throws to shut it out.
There are many changes for each groups to make but when the remainder of this collection lives as much as Sport 1, we’re all in for a deal with.
Portland Path Blazers
Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder
Paul George is just not wholesome. Stories have been that George would undergo his pregame routine and determine afterward if the ache in his injured shoulder could be an excessive amount of. He determined to provide it a go and did his greatest in Sport 1, contributing 10 rebounds and Four steals however, offensively, this was one of many worst playoff video games of his profession. George completed with 26 factors and Four turnovers, capturing 8-of-24 from the sector and 4-of-15 on 3-pointers. If he had been merely dangerous, and never horrible, Russell Westbrook and stout protection may need been sufficient for them to steal a win. If he had been capturing like he was for the primary two months of the season, the Thunder would have received going away. Oklahoma Metropolis is a stool — Westbrook, George and the protection. If a kind of legs falls away, the stool collapses.
Enes Kanter rose to the event. On the subject of changing the injured Jusuf Nurkic a 20-18 double-double from Kanter was definitely a pleasant improvement. His offensive rebounding was clutch down the stretch and his driving layup helped ice the sport. But it surely solely labored due to his vitality and energy on the defensive finish. Kanter was nonetheless frozen on just a few drives and late on just a few rotations however displaying up as a median defender is a large win for Portland. His ending and rebounding have a a lot greater influence than Zach Collins’ capturing proper now, so each minute the Blazers can survive with Kanter on the ground and never waving a white flag on protection within the paint is a large benefit.
Shooters gonna shoot. And dangerous shooters are gonna miss. Each groups have very dependable high-volume shooters — George for the Thunder, Lillard and McCollum for the Path Blazers. George’s struggles apart, nobody else on Oklahoma Metropolis was making pictures tonight. Westbrook, Dennis Schroder, and Jerami Grant mixed to go 0-of-14 on 3-pointers. For the Blazers, Rodney Hood and Seth Curry did their jobs and knocked down 3-of-4. McCollum and Lillard outshot George 8-of-18 to 4-of-15, the remainder is historical past.