NBA: Chris Paul treats, Phoenix and Miami take off

The results of the night in the NBA

Sixers @ Heat : 103-119
Mavs@ Suns : 109-129

Miami Heat – Philadelphia Sixers: 2-0

As things stand, the Sixers are in no position to worry the Heat. We had confirmation of this last night, with a game 2 controlled head and shoulders by Erik Spoelstra’s players. The absence of Joel Embiid obviously continues to weigh heavily on his team’s ability to be dangerous, but Miami seems collectively superior in any case.

The Floridians serenely took the Game 2 win at home, without giving the impression of forcing or drawing on their resources. Kyle Lowry has still not been activated but his comrades have continued to offer him a quiet recovery. Bam Adebayo (23 pts), Jimmy Butler (22 points, 12 assists) and the bench tandem Victor Oladipo (19 pts) – Tyler Herro (18 pts) did the job, providing the effort needed in the 4th quarter to nip any attempt at revolt in the bud.

For the second time in a row, we were waiting to see if James Harden would be able to be more aggressive in attack and go into MVP 2018 mode while waiting for Embiid’s comeback. We are still waiting.

Harden certainly finished with 20 points and 9 assists on the clock, but at 6/15 and leaving Tyrese Maxey trying to save his team from drowning. The sophomore was still level and finished his match with 34 points at 12/22, helped by Tobias Harris, regular in attack since the start of the playoffs, failing to be as impactful on the other side of the field.

The stats do not argue in favor of Philadelphia for a turnaround. The 18 times the Heat have led 2-0 in an NBA playoff series in its history, it has qualified for the sequel. The 19 times the Sixers have trailed 2-0 in an NBA playoff series, they have failed to turn the tide.

Joel Embiid, thank you, but no thank you

Phoenix Suns-Dallas Mavericks: 2-0

Jason Kidd had tried to tickle all his players whose name was not Luka Doncic, at the end of game 1. He risks doing the same after game 2 against Phoenix, during which the Slovenian again seemed a little lonely. It must be said that there is a real difference in collective level since the beginning of this series. The Suns delivered their most impressive performance in a few weeks during this second round, regardless of what the Mavs could offer.

For a half, the Texans did better than hold the shock and even returned to the locker room with a short advantage and the impression that there was a shot to play. The second half, especially the 4th quarter, the one during which the Suns generally obliterate their opponents in the NBA, was of a completely different tone.

We’re going to start running out of superlatives for Chris Paul, which is about to celebrate its 37th birthday but was still monstrous after the rest, especially in the final period that we will end up calling CP3 time as it is sovereign there. If this game has become one-sided and the scoreboard shows such a gap, it’s because the Suns point guard decided and acted accordingly.

Chris Paul scored 14 of his 28 points in the 4th quarter, with 6 consecutive baskets that inspired Devin Booker (30 pts) and his comrades. CP3 finishes with 28 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds at 11/16. This clinical game positively contaminated the whole team, since Phoenix shot 64.5% (52% at 3 pts), which is obviously insurmountable, regardless of the opponent.

As said in the preamble, Luka Doncic still did his best. After his 45 points in Game 1, the Dallas superstar had 35 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds at 11/22. The defensive talent of the Suns pushed him to commit 7 losses of ball and not to have opportunities to change the deal when the gap started to climb.

The Mavs will have to offer something other than goodwill and Luka Doncic on the starting line in the next two home meetings. Otherwise this series risks being expedited.

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