1st Round Playoff Stocks

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NBA Playoff Edition of Stocks: Who Should We Invest in?

Toronto 📈 vs. Brooklyn 📉: 3-0 Raptors

Photo Credit: NBA.com Canada

There’s just not enough on the Nets’ roster for them to give the Raptors problems. Give Brooklyn credit, they have played hard through three games, but the Raptor defence, and offence, is too overwhelming for the Nets to overcome.

Pascal Siakam is finally looking like his normal self after game three, playing within the offence and letting his game come to him. Siakam doesn’t have to be the team’s Kawhi Leonard in order for the Raptors to be successful this postseason. He just needs to play his game and the rest of the roster will also help carry the load.

The Nets also don’t have an answer for Fred VanVleet, averaging 25.3 points, 8.7 assists, while hitting 54.8% of his three-point shots. The series is looking like the first-ever Raptor sweep. Who would’ve thought the Raptors would win their first-ever NBA title before sweeping a playoff series?

Philadelphia 📉 vs. Boston 📈: 4-0 Celtics

Photo Credit: EssentiallySports.com

At this point it seems like there are many more questions than answers for the perplexing Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers have had no answers for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the men in green. The Celtics also deserve credit for somewhat neutralizing the advantage the 76ers had inside. The Celtics look to be a scary matchup for anyone in the East.

What ever way you look at it, the 76ers are in need of a culture shift, badly. Whether that means shaking up the front-office, finding a new bench boss, or even trading away some of the pieces currently on the roster, something needs to change in Philadelphia.

No team has ever came back from being down three-nothing in an NBA playoff series, and it doesn’t look like this 76er team can even come close either. This series is over.

Miami 📈 vs. Indiana 📉: 3-0 Heat

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Is the T.J. Warren show over in Orlando? Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat certainly think so. The Heat have done a good job of containing the bubble’s breakout star to an average of 19.6 points through three games.

It’s been a gritty series, as expected from two teams that are defensively-oriented. Miami has just out-talented a depleted and injury-riddled Pacer squad. The guard-play of Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson has torched the Indiana defence, and Bam Adebayo has caused fits for the Pacer offence.

It looks like the Pacers are on their way out of the postseason, and Miami looks about as good as many expected them to be.

Milwaukee 📈 vs. Orlando 📉: 2-1 Bucks

Photo Credit: UPI.com

The whole basketball world was shocked when the Bucks dropped game one to the Orlando Magic. Hardly anyone gave the Magic a chance to win a game, and shutting down the Milwaukee supporting cast was key in getting that victory.

Since then, the Bucks have woken up, blowing out the Magic in the next two games following game one.

Play-time is over now for Orlando. Just as death, taxes, and JV’s threes are inevitable, so is the Orlando Magic’s defeat. Giannis and the Bucks will not drop another game in this series.

Los Angeles Clippers ↔️ vs. Dallas ↔️: 2-1 Clippers

Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Luka Doncic is looking like an all-time great so far throughout his career in the NBA. The Wunderkind passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most points scored in a playoff debut, and he is second all-time in points scored through his first two playoff appearances.

Fortunately for the Clippers, they have a (fun) guy in Kawhi Leonard who can lock-in and carry the Clippers to a series victory, and so far it looks like Leonard will have to shoulder a lot more than he bargained for. Doncic tweaked his left-ankle during game three, and his status seems to be up in the air at this point.

What’s interesting moving forward is that the Mavericks have played extremely effective without Doncic in the game. Their most effective lineup in terms of box-plus-minus consists of Trey Burke, Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, and Kristaps Porzingis. Look for Rick Carlisle to go to this combination of players more going forward.

Utah 📈 vs. Denver 📉: 2-1 Jazz

Photo Credit: Sporting News

The Utah Jazz could very well be up 3-0 in this series had they hit couple more shots in game one, or if Jamal Murray doesn’t bail out the Nuggets in the clutch.

Plain and simple, the Denver defence has no answer at all for the Utah pick and roll. Mitchell has also been completely un-guardable for the Nuggets as he’s leading the playoffs in scoring with 35.7 points. Rudy Gobert has also done a phenomenal job on Nikola Jokic, especially in games two and three.

There could be trouble brewing for the Nuggets if they don’t find a way to contain the Jazz’s offence.

Oklahoma ↔️ vs. Houston 📈: 2-1 Rockets

Staying Clear

Photo Credit: CBS Sports

The Houston Rockets have surprised many in the playoffs thus far. The extreme small ball experiment has payed off, as rim protection won’t be much of a concern when the Rockets completely hound you on the perimeter. The Rockets have also looked phenomenal especially during the absence of Russell Westbrook.

The biggest X-factor in this series for Oklahoma is Denis Schroder. The sixth-man of the year candidate is a crucial part of the Thunder offensive attack, and his production is a key factor into Oklahoma’s success this season.

If Schroder, and Chris Paul can really get it going in this series the Thunder have a chance to make the series interesting. If the Oklahoma offence struggles however, the Rockets can end the series in the next two games based on the current brand of basketball they are playing right now.

Los Angeles Lakers ↔️ vs. Portland ↔️: 2-1 Lakers

Photo Credit: Ashley Landis, Associated Press

Portland did what they had to do in game one, stealing the first game in dramatic fashion and capitalizing on a Laker squad that looked completely out of rhythm. After that game, it looks like Anthony Davis and LeBron James have woken up.

Davis answered in game two with 31 points in 29 minutes, and LeBron followed suit in game three with a monster 38-12-8 stat-line.

The Trailblazers were by-far the toughest matchup for the Lakers among all the teams that were vying for the play-in tournament, and it is still a popular hot-take that the Blazers could defeat the Lakers in this series.

At the end of the day, regardless if Snoop Dogg is getting on Danny Green for missing wide open threes, or if the Laker supporting cast isn’t performing the greatest, it won’t matter in this series.

Simply put, LeBron and A.D. is enough to get by most teams in the playoffs, and it will certainly be enough against the Blazers (with all due respect).

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