Sacramento Kings vs Orlando Magic

Sacramento Kings

The Kings were coming off of a disappointing win against the Spurs, and are in a must win situation now. Their opponent in the second game was the Orlando Magic. The Magic are led by Nikola Vucevic, and are also fighting for a better seed in the playoffs.


The perimeter defense did not improve at all from the first game.

Coming into the second game, one thing the Kings needed to improve on was defending the three ball. The Spurs were able to get easy threes, which let them get away with the game. The same thing happened in the second game. Players like D.J. Augustin and Aaron Gordon were able to knock down threes, extending the Magic lead from the tip. As a team, Orlando shot 47% from the perimeter. If this problem doesn’t get resolved soon, chances at an eight seed will decrease game by game. 

Harry Giles has a lot to offer.

Even though the Kings didn’t play well as a team, Harry Giles had a very productive night. He led the team in scoring, with 23 points, and also grabbed 8 rebounds. Giles had dealt with injuries before, but he is now in great condition, and showing the NBA what he can do. With this kind of performance, he can give Sacramento a boost in the future, especially when this team becomes more consistent, and improves on defense. 

Up Next

Game 2 for the Kings features the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs fell to the Phoenix Suns, making them 0-2 as well. Although they didn’t have a great game shooting the three ball against Phoenix, they can flip the switch at any time. The key, once again, for Sacramento is to have good perimeter defense, especially against a team like Dallas.

Orlando Magic

Magic fans should be excited to see their offense scoring more, and being more efficient in the first game. They repeated this in game two, dropping 132 points on the Sacramento Kings. 3 Magic players scored over 20 points, leading to a big W.

This offense is looking better than ever.

Throughout the 2019-2020 season, there were a lot of questions about this Orlando Magic offense. They could never get ahead of a team because of the struggling offense. Since the resumption of the season began, all of those questions have been answered. This offense has the potential to be great. Aaron Gordon went 3-3 from beyond the arc, and dropped 22 points. Terrence Ross led Orlando with 25 of his own. Pair this great shooting with the craftiness of Nikola Vucevic, and you have a ton of options.

Jonathan Issac is injured, now what?

With about 9 minutes remaining in the game, Magic forward Jonathan Issac went down hard. He ended up tearing the ACL in his left knee. The Magic stated that this injury had nothing to do with the last one. Issac is one of the best defenders on this team, and it will definitely hurt Orlando when he’s not on the court. Now, players like Terrence Ross will need to step up for the Magic, in hopes that they can continue the great defense. Like I said earlier in the article, Ross led the Orlando Magic in scoring. He will be playing more and more minutes as the season finished, so it will be important to see what he can do. 

Next Matchup:

Next up, the Indiana Pacers. This will be a great game for Orlando to prove themselves. Keeping the consistent balance on offense and defense will be very important, especially when they face guys like T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon.  

Final Score: SAC 116, ORL 132

Boston Celtics 

After a tough game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics and Jayson Tatum were looking to rebound against the Blazers. While the Blazers are a tough matchup, the Celtics should just view this game as a rebound to get their game back. With that said, we saw an impressive performance from the Celtics that tells us that the game against the Bucks was not something to worry about. 


Jayson Tatum is back 

Jayon Tatum had a very bad first game, only putting up 5 points in a loss to the Bucks. In an effort to get his game back, Tatum got a fresh cut at the NBA’s barbershop and the rest is history. Against the Blazers Tatum dropped 34 points and 8 assists in a four point victory. Tatum was 5 of 8 from three and had a 50% field goal percentage. These numbers indicate that Tatum has knocked off the rust from not playing basketball for weeks, and is back to being the Celtics up and coming superstar. Tatum was able to help build a 25 point lead against the Blazers, and even when the Blazers started coming back it was the Celtics young star who was able to close out the game. This is a very nice sight for Celtics fans because having their star player back in rhythm makes the Celtics a very dangerous team. 

Kemba Walker is showing up in the bubble 

Kemba Walker is on a time restriction due to nagging injuries, and has not been playing the full minutes of a starter. Walker only played 22 minutes, but was able to put up 14 points and make the most of his time out on the court. Walker was also 5 of 6 from the field and 2 of 2 from three. These numbers show a very efficient Walker, that can complement the Celtics huge amount of wings.

Up Next 

The Celtics are set to play the Miami Heat next in the bubble, and this game could prove to be important down the stretch for seeding in the Eastern Conference. This game should prove to be exciting and tight, as we see two playoff contending teams battle it out in the bubble. 

Portland Trail Blazers 

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off a close win against the Memphis Grizzlies, and were hoping to carry their momentum into the game against the Celtics. The Blazers ran into a problem when they faced off against the Celtics and their talented group of wings. 


Come back

The Portland Trail Blazers were down by 20 in the 3rd quarter, and it looked like the Celtics were going to be blowing out the Blazers. After being down by 20, the Blazers started a late push, and were able to cut the lead down to 8 by the end of the 3rd. The 4th quarter was a tight battle in which the Blazers kept pushing, and the Celtics kept pushing themselves just out of reach for the Blazers. In the end, the Blazers cut the lead down to one but were not able to push past the Celtics and ended up losing by four. The Blazers should feel proud of keeping the game close, and giving the Celtics a real scare at the end. This game shows that the Blazers, 11th seed, can compete with teams that are already guaranteed a spot in the playoff. 

Inability to stop the Celtics wings

The Boston Celtics have one of the deepest groups of wings, that can each drop 30 on your team. The Blazers witnessed this first hand, when Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown both dropped 30 plus. The Blazers were not able to stop the three point shooting or attacking ability of Tatum or Brown. With both wings taking advantage of the Blazers inability to stop them, the lead for the Celtics slowly grew to 24. While the Blazers were able to crawl back into the game, Tatum and Brown were both right there to close out the game and hand the Blazers and L. 

Up Next 

The Portland Trail Blazers are set to play the Houston Rockets, and prove if they can really compete in the west. As one of the top teams in the west it will be tough for the Blazers to get a win against the Rockets, but if they want to contend for the eight seed they will need to start winning some games. 

Final Score: POR 124, BOS 128 

Washington Wizards 

The Washington Wizards have gone into the bubble with the notion that they are going to be one of the bottom feeder teams, and will most likely not make it into the playoffs. Most of the Wizards games are blowouts against playoff teams, so when games that feature two bottom feeder teams we can expect quite a good game. While this game did fall in Washington’s favor, it was still a much more entertaining game than a twenty point blowout. 


Thomas Bryant is developing into a starting center 

While the Washington Wizards do not have stars available on their roster, they do have young players that continue to develop and are using this time in the bubble to showcase their skills. One of these young players is center Thomas Bryant, who has really gotten off to a hot start. He has posted double-digits in both of the Wizards games, and really blew up against the Nets. Bryant posted a stat line of 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Bryant has shown the ability to play outside and in the paint, which are the type of centers that teams are looking for in this age. Bryant also showed the ability to play in the pick and roll with his guards, which is really great for a team that has top tiers guards in Beals and Wall. These numbers are really encouraging for a team that has a superstar,Bradely Beal, but don’t have enough pieces around their star. If they can continue to develop both Bryant and their Hachimura in the bubble, they will have a talented and young frontcourt to pair with Beal and John Wall. 

Could not stop the stars 

The Washington Wizards have one of the worst defenses in the league, and if they want to be competitive in the upcoming years they will need to fix this major problem. The Washington Wizards were not able to stop the Nets stars, and could not find an answer for the Nets offensive attack. This is a huge problem for a rebuilding Wizards team because if they want to start competing, they must show that they can get stops on the defensive end. 

Up next 

With a game coming up against the Indiana Pacers, the Wizards will again be underdogs. The Wizards might not be favored in this matchup, but this game could prove very important in the growth of the Wizards young frontcourt. 

Dallas Mavericks

After an embarrassing finish against the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavs were going into game 2 with a must win mentality. They went against the Phoenix Suns, led by Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.

Without the three ball, the Mavs have a tough time getting their offense going.

As many people know, the Mavericks are one of the best teams offensively, and they rely on the three ball a lot.  Dallas ended up having their worst game shooting from the perimeter, and allowed the Suns to come back and steal a much needed win. The Mavs ended up going 6-31 (19.1%) from beyond the arc, a terrible performance. Tim Hardaway, one of their best offensive leaders, ended up with just two points, and missed the game-winning shots. Because Dallas relies so heavily on offense, they couldn’t keep up after Phoenix regained the lead. It’s crazy to think that Luka had 40, but none of those came from beyond the arc.

Going down the clutch, Dallas needs to find an easier shot.

At the end of the game, when the Mavs caught up, they had a couple of opportunities to tie the game, or take the lead. Luka had done a great job at driving the entire game, and it seemed that he could do it once again late in the 4th. But, he ended up throwing the ball to the corner, and the Suns tipped it out with about 3 seconds to go. The inbound pass was to the top of the key to Tim Hardaway Jr, who took a three and missed it. Game over. Dallas starts off 0-2 in the bubble. If the Mavs could’ve designed a better play here, they might have been able to tie the game. 

Up Next

The Mavericks will go on to face the Sacramento Kings next. The Kings are also 0-2, coming off of a 16 point loss to the Orlando Magic. Dallas needs to keep it consistent throughout the game to secure the victory, not allowing defensive breakdowns. 

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns are heavy underdogs competing for the eight seed in the West. So far, they have done a great job proving people wrong. They faced challenges in their second game, but they got over them and won the game. Devin Booker put on a show, and he received a lot of help from his teammates. 


Phoenix did an outstanding job defending the three ball.

In the last Suns section of the daily NBA roundup, one of the things I said was that the Suns need to defend the three ball in order to secure the victory. Well, they did a great job of doing that, especially on Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. Luka didn’t make one three, and Hardaway scored just 2 points the entire game. Doing things like this will definitely help Phoenix down the stretch, winning games that matter the most. Dallas has secured a playoff spot, which means that the Suns have officially beat a playoff team in the bubble. 

When Booker and Ayton got into foul trouble, the bench stepped up.

Midway through the third quarter, both Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton had to go to the bench because they each had 5 fouls. The Phoenix bench left D-Book happy while he wasn’t on the court, scoring 37 points. Normally Phoenix’s bench doesn’t step up like this. Cameron Payne stepped up by knocking down 2 3’s in a row, he finished with 10 points. Small players making a big impact was the main story here for the Suns.

Up Next

The greatest test yet for Phoenix is yet to come. They will be facing Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers. The key to success here is to do exactly what they did against Dallas. Keep the strong defense going, and find open shots on offense. 

Final Score: DAL 115, PHX 117

Milwaukee Bucks 

The Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the league, and could cruise through the bubble until the playoffs started. Instead, the Bucks are playing hard and getting themselves into playoff shape. A heartbreaker against the Houston Rockets can provide a learning experience as well as a reminder that the Bucks are not as invincible as people make them out to be. 

Brook Lopez had himself a game 

The Houston Rockets run a micro-ball play style in which they do not run a traditional center. This gives traditional centers such as Brook Lopez, an advantage that the Bucks can not ignore. With the micro-ball in place, the Bucks needed Lopez to come up big and Lopez delivered. He had 23 points and 12 rebounds, while contributing on the defensive and offensive ends of the floor. Teams such as the Boston Celtics run a similar small-ball type of style, and the Bucks need to be ready if they face the Celtics in the playoffs. If the Bucks do encounter small-ball or any similar lineup, they will know that Brook Lopez can take advantage of the smaller defenders and dominate the paint. 

Could not control Westbrook 

The Milwaukee Bucks play defense by clogging the lane and contesting three pointers. The Houston Rockets play offense by throwing up threes and beating you from outside the arc. The one exception to this rule is former MVP Russell Westbrook, who attacks the paint and shoots mid-rangers. His type of game is supposed to be shut down by the Bucks lane clogging, but Westbrook was able to drop 31 points with the majority coming inside the arc. This is a serious issue, because the Bucks need their defense to be solid and cannot let players dominate up close. The Bucks should be able to fix this problem, and regain their number one rated defense. 

Up Next 

The Bucks are going to play the undermanned Brooklyn Nets next game. The Bucks should be able to blow out the Nets, and move on to the next game. 

Houston Rockets 

The Houston Rockets have been on a hot streak ever since entering the bubble. After beating a good team in the Dallas Mavs, the Rockets were able to pull out a win against the eastern conference leaders, Milwaukee Bucks. The Rockets have been doing so many things right, and getting great scoring outings from both of their superstars. 

Russell Westbrook is locked in 

The Houston Rockets traded for Russell Westbrook hoping that he could become a game changer and second star alongside James Harden. Once the Rockets converted to small ball they opened up driving lanes, and Westbrook has become the best version of himself. The real question was if small ball was worth the risk, and Westbrook has been trying to answer that question. Against the Bucks, Westbrook had 31 points and led the Rockets in scoring. When James Harden was stuck in foul trouble early in the game, the Rockets were able to turn to Westbrook to lead their offensive attack, and team. If Westbrook keeps playing at this level, the Rockets will be in good shape come playoff time. 

Defense played great down the stretch 

The Houston Rockets have always been ciritzised for putting too much emphasis on their offense, and forgetting about their defense. The Rockets have been playing very good on defense and offense, giving this team a complete look. Against the Bucks, the Rockets forced 23 turnovers which limited the Bucks on offense and gave themselves better opportunities on offense. The Rockets also were able to force 15 steals and whenever the Bucks tried to drive into the paint there were a couple hands trying to get the ball. The Rockets were able to put out a very good defensive performance, and it was one of the biggest reasons they won the game. 

Up Next 

The Rockets are going to be playing the Portland Trail Blazers next, and will be riding a wave of momentum into their next game. While the Rockets should be able to beat the Blazers and improve their record to 3-0 in the bubble, they should still be playing tough on defense and offense. 

Final Score: MIL 116, HOU 120


The Nets are one of the weakest teams in the league with a lot of players out during the restart. After a tough loss will they be able to bounce back against the worst team in the East 


Is there a new Big 3?

There was a question mark over who was going to step up and push the Nets forward without Spencer Dinwiddie. Turns out it would be a group of people who could be the Nets bubble big 3. Carris LeVert ended up with 34 points on the night, but this was something we already knew was going to happen. LeVert was expected to step up, but there were more players also coming. Jarrett Allen had 22 and Joe Harris added 27 giving the trio 83 of the Nets 118 points. If this can continue for Brooklyn it could be huge in the race for the 7 seed between them and Orlando. The biggest thing about all of this is, they can keep it going. They three have the chemistry and the talent, they just have to put it all together. 

Chris Chiozza 

Chris was another one of the Brooklyn players who stepped up and made some great shots coming off the bench. He ended with 14 points which was the fourth most on the team coming off the trio we just talked about. The Nets need people to step up to stay competitive and Chris is an interesting prospect. He signed a two way contract with the team back in January and this was his career high in points. In the NBA players can hit a rhythm, with the Nets playing plenty more games Chiozza has a chance to show everyone what he got. 

Up Next

The Nets biggest thing is will they be able to reproduce these numbers we are seeing, they got the Bucks tomorrow at 12:30. 

Final Score: WAS 110, BKN 118

Grizzlies vs Spurs 


San Antonio is coming off a great win against Sacramento, but can they keep it going. They look like a fun team and that is exciting to watch, but once again is it consistent.


DeRozan is clutch

Demar almost threw this game for the Grizzlies and it was hard to watch for all Spurs fans down the stretch. In the final minute the Spurs had a 3 point lead right after a DeRozan layup. They got a stop on defense and Demar drove down and knocked down a stepback jumped. He would eventually be put on the line to finish the game with the score at 103-106. Instead Demar didn’t miss one, he missed both the free throw attempts. Memphis knocked down a three and all of a sudden the game was tied. DeRozan pump faked, got Brooks in the air, then put up a shot while getting fouled. He calmly approached the line then knocked down two free throws to get the lead back. That would be the final word and DeRozan got the 6 points for the Spurs. He had ice in his veins and it doesn’t look to stop anytime soon 

Blowing leads

In the game today the Spurs had the lead for most of the game and were in control all the way to the end. The problem for them is in the end, they edged this one out, but chances are they don’t pull these out against stronger teams. It was similar to the game against the Kings where the Spurs left the door open in the fourth and the Kings came back into the game. Then the Spurs hit the gas and started to play some strong basketball to finish out. The Spurs could be the 8 seed, they just need to keep their momentum and finish out these games. 

Up Next 

The Spurs take on the 76ers tonight at 7, we will see if they can keep their undefeated restart going. 


 Is Memphis ready for the playoff basketball, throughout the first two games they have been stumbling through games. This should have been a win for them and they are just struggling. 

Different team

The Grizzlies have not looked like the same team they were earlier in the regular season. The defense has been the biggest thing as they aren’t showing the same grit and hustle. Memphis has had a target on their back ever since the restart started and right now they are crumbling under the pressure. Ja and Jaren may be scoring plenty but there are a lot of missing parts. The biggest difference to me is the Grizz are letting the other teams control the pace. Memphis is a very dangerous team when Ja controls how fast they need to go, but right now the other teams are doing it for them. It needs to change for them or else they are looking at trouble. 

Dillon Brooks vs Grayson Allen 

Brooks has not found his touch in Orlando with poor shooting especially from beyond the arc. He is averaging a 36% three point percentage on the season, but in the restart he has only been able to convert on 18% of his 3 point shots. He has been struggling mostly due to him picking shots that he is unable to make. Bad shot selection and worse three point shooting could give Allen a chance to be a starter. With the extended season Allen has been able to get some minutes after originally ending his season with an injury. He has put up 15 points in 28 minutes and has been bringing the energy for the team. I think one more bad performance from Brooks may give Allen a chance to leap into the starting lineup. 

Up Next 

The Pelicans are next for the Grizzlies tomorrow. While everyone will be watching Ja and Zion, watch out for the Brooks and Allen matchup

Final Score: SAS 108, MEM 106

Top Photo: Kim Klement, Getty Images

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