The 2019 NBA playoffs have finally arrived. This feels like one of the longest seasons of all time. Carmelo Anthony played basketball this season. No, seriously.
One of the best parts of a seven game series is seeing how teams decide to exploit their opponent’s weaknesses and how those teams counter those strategies.
No team is perfect even though Paul Pierce continues to say that the Golden State Warriors are but we all know after his Dwyane Wade comments that nothing that man says matters.
Here is the 1 big flaw of each 2019 NBA playoff team:
Detroit Pistons: Reggie Jackson
There are so many great point guards in the NBA right now. Reggie Jackson is not one of them. The problem is, Reggie Jackson thinks he’s one of them. He’s not. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Reggie thinks he can take over games and he is simply incapable of such a task. Blake Griffin should be playing the point forward for the Pistons but Blake can’t handle the entire offensive responsibilities for this team. Luke Kennard or some random bum is going to need to step up.
Orlando Magic: Not Having Any Good Players
Look, something controversial is about to be said. If you can’t handle the hot takes then this is your chance to leave. The door is right over there.
Hot Take: The Orlando Magic don’t have any good basketball players.
That might lead to more than a few problems for them in the postseason but we shall see.
Brooklyn Nets: No Experience
The idea of playoff experience is for sure overrated but that doesn’t mean it’s a non-factor. When the game slows down and every possession is a dog fight to get a single bucket, teams
Let us never forget a couple of years ago when the Utah Jazz had no experience but won games because they just fed the rock to Joe Johnson and watched him slow the game down with isos and score. The Nets don’t have a Joe Johnson. Anymore.
Los Angeles Clippers: You Don’t Get Infinity Fouls
The Los Angeles Clippers averaged the third most team fouls per game this season. They LOVE hacking at limbs. Something tells me that Patrick Beverly isn’t going to suddenly start controlling himself with the stakes being raised.
Patrick Beverly might literally put Stephen Curry in an ankle lock at mid court.
Indiana Pacers: No Stars
One of the best things about playoff basketball is that it’s truly a display of the best stars in the NBA. It’s quite literally a battle of who has the better head coach and who has the more clutch superstars.
Bojan Bogdanovic isn’t it. Myles Turner isn’t going to carry Indiana on his back. When it comes down to the 4th quarter and the Pacers need a bucket, they always have 5 passive guys on the floor that never want to shoot.
Doug McDermott SZN?!?
Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook
In an elimination game against the Utah Jazz last season, Russell Westbrook shot 18-for-43 and 7-for-19 from the 3-point line. It was one of the worst shooting performances of all time. The Thunder were about to be eliminated and Westbrook was like ‘SHOOTERS
Westbrook thinks he’s Michael Jordan. Westbrook is not Michael Jordan.
Boston Celtics: They hate each other
Some teams rally together at times of adversity and some teams are the Boston Celtics, led by Kyrie Irving who seems to be the first one to point the finger when something goes wrong for this team.
It is going to be hilarious when the Celtics lose a game in the final seconds and Kyrie immediately screams at Gordon Hayward on the court for missing his defensive assignment followed by a post-game press conference where he shits on Brad Stevens’s playcalling and how much he hates the ‘media’. Can’t wait.
Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell Mamba Mentality
Much like Russell Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell has the green light to chuck up shots whenever he wants and unfortunately, he wants to 24/7.
With no other Jazz capable of really helping out Mitchell’s offensive load, defenses are going to
Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid’s health
The Sixers ended the season with Joel Embiid sitting out road games to avoid a health scare. It didn’t help because Embiid injured his knee at home running into Giannis and now he might not be back in time for the first round of the playoffs.
Whether it’s his back or his knee or his ankle or his vulva, Embiid is going to have a tough time getting through this postseason.
Houston Rockets: James Harden’s Stamina
How many times have we seen James Harden finish in the Top 2 of MVP voting only to completely run out of gas in the playoffs. Two years ago, he was so bad in an elimination game against the Spurs that people really thought he had a concussion.
You never want to fall apart so drastically that people think you have a brain injury. James Harden appears to have shed his strip club after games days but we all saw Manu Ginobili cup his jump shot. #NeverForget
Portland Trailblazers: Enes Kanter
Jusuf Nurkic’s leg exploded in a quadruple overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets on a random ass Tuesday in a game that didn’t matter. Shit sucked.
Enter Enes Kanter, one of the worst defensive big men of all time.
The irony of Portland’s first round matchup is that Enes Kanter earned his ‘Can’t Play Kanter’ nickname when he played for OKC and Billy Donovan was fed the fuck up.
Steven Adams is going to score 1,000 points against Kanter.
Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic
Live by the Jokic, die by the Jokic. When you have a fairly predictable offense surrounded around the actions of one single player standing at the top of the key, it makes game planning against that team rather straightforward.
Add in the fact that Jokic is awful defensively and tends to commit dumb fouls when he’s frustrated and will get technical fouls when facing any level of adversity. Getting Jokic out of the game should be easy. Then who on the Nuggets is a threat? Gary Harris Jr? No.
Golden State Warriors: Pick N Roll Defense
DeMarcus Cousins can get you 20 and 10 on any given night. There is no place on the floor where Cousins cannot get you a bucket. He might be the best offensive center when fully healthy and given the playing time and green light to shoot when he wants.
Andddd he has no idea how to defend the high pick and roll. He can’t switch because he turns into Bambi walking on a sheet of ice when he’s attempting to defend a guard.
His feet are in cement and he can’t rotate quickly enough and yea, putting Cousins in the pick and roll is the perfect way to get him off the court entirely.
Toronto Raptors: Being the Toronto Raptors
There is nothing the Toronto Raptors love more than dominating the regular season and then promptly getting knocked the fuck out of the playoffs in a humiliating sweep.
Sure, Dwane Casey is no longer the head coach, DeMar DeRozan is no longer out there being a such a liability on defense that he has to sit out entire 4th quarters and LeBron James isn’t there to dropkick them out of the playoffs.
But are they still wearing Toronto Raptors jerseys? Yes? So yea, they’re getting out of here in a hurry.
Milwaukee Bucks: Team health
Milwaukee currently has Malcolm Brogdon, Donte DiVincenzo, Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell and Pau Gasol all out with injuries. Even Giannis ended the season banged up and limping.
Outside of Giannis, those other injuries aren’t necessarily crucial to the Bucks success because they have enough depth but the problem with depth is that it’s only valuable on paper. ‘Depth’ no longer becomes