Beginning Saturday we have witnessed some game 1s that were surprisingly entertaining in the first round of the NBA playoffs. We saw three great upsets, two were just that, upsets (Spurs, Magic) exciting, down to the wire action with a shocking result.
The third one, however, was not exciting or down to the wire. It was a beat down where the team who wanted it more showed that this is why the matchups on paper don’t mean anything this time of year.
Yes, I’m looking at you Philadelphia.
Brooklyn controlled this game right from the tip-off and didn’t look back the entire game. Anyone watching the game could tell that the Nets wanted this game more, except for maybe Jimmy Butler, he balled.
Where was Ben Simmons? He was in the same spot as Kyle Lowry and that is not somewhere you want to be this time of year.
Nowhere to be found when it matters most.
Ed Davis absolutely locked down Joel Embiid when he was assigned to him, and then he ended up on the bench looking at his phone, maybe calling for help?
Ed Davis is reportedly banged up and Philadelphia is the better team on paper so I do expect them to bounce back in game 2 and even the series but this game yesterday was the perfect example of matchups on paper not always being the most important factor. The Nets wanted this game and they took it.