NBA playoffs 2018: Game 2 previews for Raptors-Wizards, Celtics-Bucks, Trail Blazers-Pelicans

No. 1 Raptors vs No. 8 Wizards — Toronto leads 1-0


NBA playoffs 2018: Game 2 previews for Raptors-Wizards, Celtics-Bucks, Trail Blazers-Pelicans

NBA playoffs 2018: Game 2 previews for Raptors-Wizards, Celtics-Bucks, Trail Blazers-Pelicans

Raptors guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will assert themselves early in Game 2, as their approach sets the tone for the team. Though the duo combined to score 28 points on 10-of-26 shooting in Game 1, Lowry and DeRozan also dished out 15 assists. Serge Ibaka anchored the starting unit, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Toronto's "bench mob" has been great all season with different members of the reserve unit stepping up throughout the year. In Game 1, it was CJ Miles (12 points) and Delon Wright (18 points). With Fred VanVleet listed as doubtful for Game 2, expect Wright to be called upon again Tuesday night.

Washington has the confidence and talent to compete with the Raptors, but the Wizards lack depth. As impressive as reserve Mike Scott was with 14 points off the bench, Kelly Oubre Jr. (three points on 1-of-4 shooting) did not play up to par. Outside of All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal (and to a lesser extent Marcin Gortat), the Wizards' starting unit is a bit unpredictable, too. Markieff Morris (22 points, 11 rebounds, six assists) was great in Game 1, but the team needs more from Otto Porter Jr.

To tie the series at 1-1, the Wizards will need a major boost from the supporting cast.


No. 2 Celtics vs. No. 7 Bucks — Boston leads 1-0


Can Marcus Morris repeat his Game 1 performance — or come close? One of four Celtics to score 20 or more points in Sunday's win, Morris (21 points, seven rebounds) was crucial to Boston's success. The reserve forward scored off the dribble, hit timely jump shots and drew a late charge on Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo, his fifth foul. (Antetokounmpo later fouled out in overtime.)

Morris is more than capable of a similar performance in Game 2, but the Bucks should look to limit his contributions. As Boston aims to take a 2-0 lead over the Bucks, its reserves outside of Morris will need to deliver.

For Milwaukee to steal one on the road, Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker have to come out on a mission. Bledsoe finished with nine points, four assists, four rebounds and five turnovers before fouling out in Game 1, while Parker scored two points on 1-of-5 shooting. Antetokounmpo (35 points), Khris Middleton (31 points) and Malcolm Brogdon (16 points) were the only Bucks players to score in double-figures Sunday.

The Bucks also committed 20 turnovers in the Game 1 loss and will need to take care of the ball Tuesday in order to even the series.


No. 3 Trail Blazers vs. No. 6 Pelicans — New Orleans leads 1-0


Expect Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the league's highest-scoring backcourt (48.2 points per game), to sprint out of the gate with aggression in Game 2.

In New Orleans' Game 1 win on Saturday, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday continued to make his case for a spot on the All-Defensive team. Lillard finished with 18 points (6-of-23 shooting) and was 1-of-11 when guarded by Holiday. New Orleans made it difficult for McCollum by showing him a number of defensive looks, limiting the Trail Blazers guard to 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting.

The Pelicans also blocked 12 of Portland's shot attempts. New Orleans might not be able to hold the Trail Blazers to under 40 percent shooting from the field in consecutive games, but defense will be a major key to a Game 2 victory.

The Pelicans benefited from the offensive contributions of Anthony Davis (35 points), Jrue Holiday (21 points), Nikola Mirotic (16 points) and Rajon Rondo (17 assists) in Game 1. "Playoff Rondo" facilitated countless offensive opportunities, often controlling the pace with his play. Portland had trouble containing Davis in the pick-and-roll, resulting in a number of alley-oops. The Trail Blazers should consider playing reserve bigs Caleb Swanigan and Meyers Leonard to try to slow Davis down, as he was 8-of-13 when guarded by Jusuf Nurkic.

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