Markelle Fultz, proper, has made an influence to date — simply not as a shooter. (Chris Szagola/Associated Press)
The first spherical of the NBA playoffs continues as we speak with Game 2 within the Miami-Philadelphia and San Antonio-Golden State sequence. Follow alongside right here for the most recent evaluation and commentary from The Post’s NBA reporter Tim Bontemps, and ask him questions within the feedback part.
Steve Kerr isn’t gained’t reply technique questions. That’s nonsense.
The remaining query of Steve Kerr’s information convention was a easy one: Will Andre Iguodala stay within the beginning lineup for a second straight sport?
Here was Kerr’s response:
“I’m no longer going to be magnanimous in our information sharing. … You can ask me, [but] I’m not going to answer.”
The factor about that is, Kerr hardly solutions technique questions. This is a factor amongst coaches; Sixers Coach Brett Brown did it earlier Monday. The pondering goes that, with opponents listening to these information conferences, the coaches would relatively maintain their data near the vest so long as doable.
Personally, I feel that is nonsense. There isn’t an adjustment that these groups haven’t spent hours contemplating forward of time. No additional half-hour of pondering goes to repair it. This is likely one of the few ways in which the NBA is just like the NFL.
But now, not less than from Kerr’s perspective, he’s made it official.
Will opponents begin daring Markelle Fultz to shoot?
It’s actually been outstanding that Markelle Fultz has been in a position to return after lacking a lot of the season and instantly make an influence for Philadelphia.
But it will likely be fascinating to see — both on this sequence or because the playoffs progress — whether or not groups start to attempt to dare him into being extra concerned as a shooter.
Fultz’s newest try — a step-back fadeaway within the baseline nook —resulted in an airball, and his shot nonetheless appears shaky. Could a crew select to make use of the “Hack-A” technique with him? Could they determine to not be inside 10 ft of him when he has the ball?
Fultz isn’t going to play many minutes, however strikes like that would make it troublesome for Sixers Coach Brett Brown to play him in any respect.
An uneven begin for Goran Dragic in Game 2
One factor that needed to occur in Game 2 for Miami: getting Goran Dragic extra concerned. The Heat’s all-star level guard was all however invisible in Game 1, enjoying 31 ineffectual minutes that noticed him rating 15 factors on 14 pictures.
So it was an incredible signal for the Heat that Dragic got here out aggressive within the opening minutes of Game 2, scoring six fast factors. What was not so nice of an indication? Him additionally choosing up two fouls throughout the first 5 minutes of Monday night time’s sport and heading straight to the bench.
As one of many few Miami gamers who can constantly break down a protection, that would show to be a key second within the sport.
What will the Heat do with Hassan Whiteside?
There are two issues to observe within the opening sport of tonight’s NBA playoff doubleheader between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers: how a lot Hassan Whiteside performs, and the way efficient he’s when he does.
Whiteside was dreadful in Game 1 on Saturday night time, scoring two factors on 1-for-Four taking pictures with two turnovers in 12 minutes. Most importantly, Whiteside was minus-16, with a lot of that coming in Philadelphia’s game-changing run to begin the third quarter that put the Sixers forward for good.
After the sport, Whiteside stated he had religion within the teaching employees, however there have been belief points between him and Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra for a while now. The blame for these points lies with Whiteside, who has confirmed to be as unreliable as everybody thought he is perhaps when Miami signed him to a four-year max contract two years in the past.
Now, the aim for the Heat must be to restrict Whiteside’s minutes till Joel Embiid comes again on this sequence — as a result of that’s when Whiteside can have an effect. Embiid has already been dominated out of Game 2, nonetheless, so Whiteside’s position ought to be restricted Monday night time. How restricted, and what occurs if Spoelstra makes it actually restricted bears watching — not only for this sequence, but additionally as a prelude to a possible transfer away from Whiteside this summer time (if Miami can discover a taker for him).
- Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers, eight p.m. (TNT)
- San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Hop into the feedback part under beginning at 7 p.m. to talk with The Post’s Tim Bontemps about your entire NBA questions.