The Knicks were the popular pick in their first-round bout, but the Hawks plowed through New York in a five-game rout. Then, they stormed into Philadelphia and stole Game 1 from the 76ers in a contest that finished tight, but the visitors led by as many as 26.Detroit Pistons
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He hasn’t seen it all, but he’s cleared quite a few hurdles for a 24-year-old. Whatever's next, it won't be stunning. Brooklyn Nets
Part of the mission when he joined Brooklyn was to restore respect from teammates. With ones such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Harden, the only room for Griffin was that he fall into a role and show leadership by not just accepting it but excelling in it.
The Clippers will face the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals beginning on Tuesday.Charlotte Hornets
“I think under the circumstances, we played well," Green said on "The Big Podcast with Shaq." "It doesn’t rank up there with the top seasons in my career at all because we lost. It definitely doesn’t rank at the top of my career as far as stress goes, because losing is easy. It’s the winning that’s hard, it’s the expectation that i'm going in there every single day, knowing that everyone thinks you’re going to win, knowing that everyone’s watching, the expectations are as high up as you can see. Those are the stressful times, losing is easy.
With Alex Caruso, Wesley Matthews and Markieff Morris also being unrestricted free agents, and Talen Horton-Tucker a restricted free agent, the Lakers rotation stands to look far different next season. And that likely needs to be the case if Frank Vogel's team is to return to contender status. The league's best defensive team with regard to rating, the Lakers ranked 24th in offensive rating and 21st in 3-point percentage. Can the Lakers improve offensively while not losing much defensively? That will be the key for GM Rob Pelinka this offseason.Washington Wizards
The first two contests were at home, and Nash has talent on his side; Kevin Durant's 32 points on 18 shots in Game 2 would make any coach look good. But Nash is managing and motivating his team expertly, especially in the wake of losing James Harden indefinitely with a hamstring injury, an advantage the Bucks wasted.
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