By Rahul Lal
The NBA Playoffs finished up the first round on Sunday, with the Utah Jazz holding off the Los Angeles Clippers to advance. It gave us plenty of memorable moments, including a battle of MVP candidates, gritty performances from the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors and a sign of things to come from the Milwaukee Bucks. In one round (and one second-round game that saw the Boston Celtics hold off the Washington Wizards at home) we’ve learned plenty about the advancing teams. Here’s what we know going forward.
(1) Boston Celtics – When Al Horford Plays Well, The Celtics Play Well
It’s no secret that the Boston Celtics are all heart; this team plays some of its best basketball when their backs are up against the wall. They play their best basketball when big man Al Horford is on his game. Horford is a triple-double threat most nights and showed it against Chicago’s low-post defenders. The Celtics wound up winning four games in a row to close out the series and are back to looking like a top overall seed. Against the Wizards, Horford has to open the game up from the high post, which will free up Boston’s other weapons for uncontested jumpers. Oh yeah, that Isaiah Thomas guy is really good also.