Game 1 Recap: What Defcon Level Should Your Team Be On?

Well the playoffs have started and boy did  they start out with a bang. This first round period feels different than previous years because each series does not feel as one-sided as most have been in the past. Let’s start off by mentioning that out of 8 round 1 playoff games played that 5 of them were won by the visiting team. There is a lot that was exposed and the teams that lost have a lot of re tooling to do before the next game. Let’s walk down memory lane and look back at this explosive opening to round 1. We will also look at the level of concern for each team in terms of the Defcon system, 5 being no concern at all and 1 being that the team should be setting themselves on fire and jumping off the roof.


 

Spurs vs Mavericks

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Spurs showed why they are the only 60+ win team this season. They don’t win games by out running you. They beat you by out smarting you. If there was one thing that was obvious during these games is that the Spurs are excellent at execution. They make the most out of each possession, not to mention they shut down the Mavs defensively in the last 6 mins. The Mavs need Devin Harris to be more aggressive, and they are going to need to find another scorer if they want to win game 2. The odd thing about the Spurs/Mavs game was that the Mavs bench out scored the Spurs bench, which is why the Mavs had control over most the game.  Dallas need to focus on taking game 2, because the Spurs are pretty good on the road as well. Not to mention that the Spurs have beat the Mavs the last 10 times in a row. What the Mavericks need to do is not turn over the ball, up until midway of the fourth quarter, they only had 5 turnovers and the last 5 mins had 3 more. Those turnovers ended up being critical to the Spurs run and also why the Mavs were held to 4 points in the last 6 mins of regulation. If they don’t find a way to get the ball to Dirk late for some offense, it is going to be a short series so get those brooms ready.

Spurs : Defcon 5

Mavs: Defcon 3

 


Heat Vs. Bobcats

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No surprises here. While we knew that the size of the Bobcats would give the Heat problems and Al Jefferson would take advantage of Chris Bosh and Birdman, Heat have Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. Not to mention supporting cast members like James Jones assisted in helping the Heat pull away in the fourth. 15 Turnovers aside, the Bobcats do not have anybody to take over the game in the fourth, and that is going to be their biggest weakness until they do. I believe the heat will build momentum, possibility of a sweep. Biggest concern for the Bobcats is that Al Jefferson is okay, otherwise this will also be a short series.

Heat: Defcon 5

Bobcats :Defcon 2


 

Warriors Vs. Clippers

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Defense, defense, and some more defense. The Clippers lost game 1 because the Warriors played defense when they needed it, the Clippers did not. Yes, Griffin had a hard time getting into the swing of the game because of foul trouble. That does not excuse their play. Because the Clippers could not get reliable positioning in the paint (although Big Baby did his thing, props to him) they settled for jump shots and as a result were getting beat on fast breaks. Also the Warriors did an excellent job of passing, stretching the heck out the Clippers and making them run on the court like they were doing suicides. Kudos to Mark Jackson for focusing that young team. Shame on Doc Rivers for allowing his team to shoot their way out of the game. Biggest thing the Clippers have to do is very simple; Take smarter shots. I lost count of how many times somebody would bring up the ball and shoot it within the first 10 seconds of the shot clock. That is not how you are going to win game 2, or the series, or a championship.

Clippers: Defcon 3

Warriors: Defcon 5


 

Raptors Vs Nets

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I bet you Jay-Z was bumping his hit “Brooklyn We Go Hard” on the way home. All that talk the Raptors did and you play like that. I will say this, for a young team like the Raptors, I like that they have confidence because they don’t have experience. You need something. But when the owner is caught on camera saying “@#$% Brooklyn” you have to image how dumb they feel after dropping the ball at home. Well the good thing is that it is only game one, so the Raptors have more time to collect themselves and regroup. Demar is going to have a long series because that Nets defense will not allow him to score in droves. He needs to find a better way to be apart of that offense, otherwise the Raptors will face extinction.  With that said, the Nets won’t do any better if they don’t do a better with their 3 point shooting. 16% is not going to cut it.

Nets: Defcon 4

Raptors: Defcon 3


 

 

 

Pacers Vs. Hawks

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Remember when the Pacers played defense? When Paul George looked like the MVP? When Roy Hibbert looked like a shoe in for Defensive Player of the Year? Like Kanye says, it was all good just a week ago and the Pacers wish they could turn back the clock to find that fire they had when the season started. I am not going to go into detail because it deserves its own 3 part article. I’ll just say this, Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap are going to be the core of this team in the next couple of seasons and with a few more players will be a pretty good team. This is not to take away from the Hawks because they played great, the defended the basket and forced the Pacers to shoot outside shots. This is going to be a long series if  Hibbert does not give them the post presence they need because the Hawks are here and they are here to play some basketball.

Pacers:  Defcon 3

Hawks: Defcon 5


Thunder Vs. Grizzlies

Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images
Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

Kevin Durant wants a ring, and they are going to do it with the defense they have been playing. This team can score. But in the late 3rd and 4th quarters, the Thunder turned up the defensive pressure and forced the Grizzlies to beat them with better offense. They denied Randolph and Gasol position in the paint and forced the Grizzlies to take long shots which is not a forte of the Grizzlies shooting 36% from the field and 18% from three. Yikes. If they Grizzlies want to win game two, they have to slow down Durant even a little bit, because even with Westbrook back in the swing the team’s success revolves around Durant.  With that said, the hope for the Grizzlies was that Westbrook was rusty and he was not.If they keep it up, we could be looking at another sweep.

Thunder: Defcon 5

Grizzlies: Defcon 2


 

Rockets Vs. Trailblazers

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The Trailblazers proved me wrong last night. Aldridge and Lillard played phenomenal basketball and looked better than Howard and Harden. They hustled more and played a lot smarter. Not to mention that when it came down to it, the Blazers played some pretty good defense when they needed it. They did what they needed to do and win game 1. I don’t believe that Aldridge and Lillard will combine for 77 points again, but needless to say, this series is going to go the distance. The Rockets are not going to win shooting 22% from 3.

Rockets: Defcon 4

Trailblazers: Defcon 5


Bulls vs. Wizards

photo provided by the Washington Post
photo provided by the Washington Post

For the purposes of this series, I will call Nene the “Boogieman”, because he is the Bulls worst nightmare – a center that can out muscle Noah on offense and keep Noah away from the offensive boards. You want to know why the Bulls won 45+ games this season? Because they are great at rebounding offensively. Without that, they have a stagnant offense that can not produce a bucket in late game situations. Meanwhile, The Wizards are looking scary good with Nene back on the court. This series is going to be short unless the Bulls find an answer for Nene. Hint, it requires playing defense, because they bulls did not do that last night, Allowing way too many open shots. This series is going to fun to watch as well because they Wizards are a bad match up for the Bulls, but the Bulls play better defense.

Bulls: Defcon 3

Wizards: Defcon 5


Let us not forget that it is only game one. We won’t get a good feel for how these series will play out until at least game 3. Keep posted here on the Post Up as we follow the Playoff teams and also as we look at the upcoming draft. Thanks for reading and do not forget to check out our contest to win a free copy on NBA 2k14! Thanks for reading

 

all stats were provided via ESPN.com

 

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