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The Grip's NBA Playoffs Round-up 4.19.19 [Eastern Conference]

[1] Milwaukee Bucks vs. [8] Detroit Pistons

Game One: Bucks 121, Pistons 86 Game Two: Bucks 120. Pistons 99 Game Three: Bucks at Pistons, 8 p.m., Saturday

This series continues to be very sad without Blake Griffin, who willed his team to a .500 record, earned the redemptive longform stories, and now has to settle for picking up technical foul calls from the bench as Giannis takes a blow torch to the Pistons.

But, for the adventurous type: A $100 wager on Detroit to beat the Bucks straight up on Saturday will return roughly $315.

Hopefully, an actual crowd shows up to watch the game.


[2] Toronto Raptors vs. [7] Orlando Magic

Game One: Magic 104, Raptors 101 Game Two: Raptors 111, Magic 82 Game Three: Raptors [-5.5] at Magic, 7 p.m., tonight, ESPN

At the trade deadline, it seemed like the Raptors took a flyer on Marc Gasol because the NBA loves shiny names and Masai Ujiri didn’t have to give up too much, anyways.

He wasn’t a regular season addition, though, he was a postseason addition, and he was excellent in Wednesday's Game 2 blowout win over the Orlando Magic. He finished a plus-22 in 21 minutes, and channeled his inner Defensive Player of the Year against Nikola Vucevic, who took only seven shots in 25 minutes.

Gasol is something like the fifth-best player on the Raptors, but he can go stretches of a game here or there looking like the best, which is why it makes sense to add old, former All-Stars to a playoff roster in February.

In the postseason, as a general rule, it also helps when your point guard scores more than zero points. Lowry had 22 points in the Game 2 victory.


[4] Boston Celtics vs. [5] Indiana Pacers

Game One: Celtics 84, Pacers 74 Game Two: Celtics 99, Pacers 91 Game Three: Celtics [+2.5] at Pacers, 8:30 p.m., tonight, ABC

Where were you on Wednesday, when Jayson Tatum learned how to make a smart basketball play?

One of us was in Italy, and the other was at a local bar, begging the bartender to grant a Happy Hour request a minute after the deal had expired.

(He did.)

But that, of course, is meaningless. Here was his savvy play in Game 2, after nailing a 3-pointer to go up one point with a minute left.

Regular season Tatum jacks that shot. Playoff Tatum transcends. And the Celtics are winning, which means Kyrie tried, he really did, but he’s back on his bullshit.

“It's just been a long journey having those two knee surgeries and watching the team last year. And finally getting a chance to lace them up for the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs? There's nothing like it."

Boston is Kyrie’s captive, and we are ready to crank that Stockholm Syndrome to the limit.

[READ: Jayson Tatum will decide how far the Celtics can go]


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