Zach to the Rack NBA Playoff Picks For Tuesday 6/22/2021
Zach’s Season Record: 117-102
Trae Young is a baaaaaaad man. Wow. I wonder what the preseason odds were to take Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals? Nearly everybody had Philly, Brooklyn, or Milwaukee. Some had the Heat. Nobody had the Hawks. Trae Young dropped so many buckets in the 4th quarter, he looked like Bobby Bouchet in The Waterboy. Slow start aside, he came alive when they needed him, and Atlanta’s favorite son has the Hawks in the ECF for only the 2nd time in 50 years.
Speaking of 50 years, the Los Angeles Clippers had their first Western Conference Finals game against the Phoenix Suns in 50 years a few days ago, and even though they kept it close, the Suns were too much in the end. I can’t imagine how good this series would be if Chris Paul clears protocols and Kawhi gets a bionic knee. It’s like two of the league’s best are out eating Arby’s while the rest of these guys are feasting on a prime rib dinner… Luckily Devin Booker, Paul George, Deandre, and Bridges still show out in every game.
But what will happen tonight in Game 2? Will the Clippers go down 0-2 just because that’s sort of their style this postseason?
I have had some real off days lately, but I’m really feeling this Suns team. I’ve written about all of these players so many times this season, not much else can be said, but it’s just FUN basketball. Nobody ever seems out of sorts, even with Paul at home celebrating Father’s Day while the Suns won Game 1.
I like the Clippers, but the Valley is lit right now. Phoenix is going absolutely crazy, and I just don’t think Paul George has enough of the “Durant” factor in him to carry this team – unless Batum and or Kennard become viable 20-point guys. If the Clippers had a Mikal Bridges or a Kevin Huerter, they’d have a better shot at PHX. I’m not saying this is a sweep (though we’ll have to check in with the “Suns in Four” guy to be sure about that), but tonight, the Clips are gonna face the power of a fanbase of people who casually enjoy 121 degree summer nights. Look for them to go down 2-0 heading into Phoenix.
Points-wise: No Kawhi, No Chris Paul – these teams still put up 234. I think 224 is a good number, but I think they can clear the over here… Deandre Ayton is becoming one of the better inside options for any team, seeming to find an open lane whenever he needs it. The guy is on the receiving end of so many Booker-Bridges drives that a guy like Zubac has no chance but to let this guy drop him like the looting charge in New York City. Booker will score, Bridges will score… The Clippers will make it close, but I think 224 is very doable.
I’ll have another game tomorrow, but for now, the rhythm in which the Suns are playing suits this team, and if they lose, I may cry harder than I did at the end of that new Pixar film, Luca. I may be getting soft, but Phoenix is not…