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Sun May 12, 2019, 11:56 AM

N.B.A. Playoffs: Seasons and Jobs in Jeopardy in Game 7 Double Dose

The Sixers, Raptors, Blazers and Nuggets are facing elimination on Sunday in matchups with stakes far beyond these series.

The progress report for how the N.B.A. is coping halfway through its first postseason in 14 years without LeBron James is promising — provided you enjoy Game 7s.

Sunday delivers two of them: It’s the Philadelphia 76ers visiting the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference and the Denver Nuggets hosting the Portland Trail Blazers in the West.

There could have been three Game 7s on the same day in this conference semifinal round of the playoffs — something that has happened only once before in league history — but Houston could not force Golden State into a win-or-go-home game as the Rockets did last season. After surviving the first six-game series in league history in which each game was decided by 6 points or fewer, Golden State has joined the rampaging Milwaukee Bucks in the N.B.A.’s final four.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets
Sunday, 3:30 p.m. Eastern, ABC

You are hereby warned: Ignore the least hyped of the league’s four second-round series at your peril.

Portland’s Damian Lillard already delivered the most dramatic moment of this postseason with his walk-off 3-pointer from 37 feet to eliminate Oklahoma City in Game 5 of the Trail Blazers’ first-round series win over the Thunder.


Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors
Sunday, 7 p.m. Eastern, TNT

One of the most enjoyable elements of this season, LeBron James’s first in the Western Conference, was the way various East contenders, liberated from his ominous shadow, were aggressive in their attempts to build rosters worthy of the N.B.A. finals spot that belonged to James-led teams for eight consecutive years.

Toronto rolled the dice in a big way in July by trading for the marquee free-agent-to-be Kawhi Leonard, then acquired the former All-Star center Marc Gasol at the trade deadline. Elton Brand, Philadelphia’s rookie general manager, countered Leonard’s arrival in Canada by swinging deals for two more desirable future free agents: Jimmy Butler (in November) and Tobias Harris (in February).


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Reply N.B.A. Playoffs: Seasons and Jobs in Jeopardy in Game 7 Double Dose (Original post)
JonLP24 May 2019 OP
klook May 2019 #1
Thunderbeast May 2019 #2
JonLP24 May 2019 #3

Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2019, 12:06 PM

1. Looking forward to a Portland-Denver game that starts before bedtime

And I have to say, I’m enjoying the playoffs sans LeBron and the accompanying hyperventilating commentary and endless hero worship.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2019, 12:50 PM

2. As a partisan Oregonian and Blazer fan....

I think it would be great fun to see a Curry vs. Curry match-up in the conference finals. The Blazers have seen some awesome play from their bench with Seth Curry scrapping for steals and lighting it up from long range.

Our fear here in Portland is that if the team is lucky enough to make the finals, and Toronto wins the East, our second-team center (Ennis Kantor) who is now starting due to the injured Jusef Nurkic, will be unable to travel to Canada. Kantor, a Turkish national, is on the Erdogan list of political undesirables. It is uncertain if Canada would honor his Turkish arrest warrant.

In any case, today's game with Denver will be intense. Both teams have road wins in the series. A skirmish at the end of game six has tempers already on the edge.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2019, 09:39 PM

3. Go Raptors

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