A three-game slate of NBA matchups are set for tonight as we roll into Game 2 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Raptors at 76ers – 7:30
The Raptors are in big trouble heading into Game 2 as they will likely be playing shorthanded. Rookie of the Year candidate, Scottie Barnes, exited Game 1 with an ankle injury after Joel Embiid unintentionally stepped on him. Pictures have surfaced of Scottie Barnes in a walking boot. According to Head Coach Nick Nurse, Barnes is ruled doubtful for tonight’s game.
— Lindsay Dunn (@LindsayDunnTV) April 18, 2022
Raptors guard Gary Trent has reportedly been diagnosed with a non-Covid related illness and is also doubtful for tonight’s game. Trent is the Raptors third leading scorer averaging 18.3 points per game this season. Lastly, forward Thaddeus Young suffered a sprain thumb in Game 1 after diving for a loose ball in the first quarter. Young is ruled doubtful but will be working with the training staff to see if he can play.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse says Scottie Barnes will not play tonight, Gary Trent remains doubtful and Thaddeus Young is “probably doubtful,” but is going to try to work with the training staff to get his sprained thumb in a place where he can play.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 18, 2022
Conversely, the 76ers suffered no injuries and have a huge opportunity to take a convincing two game lead.
Jazz at Mavericks – 8:30
The Dallas Mavericks will look to bounce back tonight after giving up home court advantage to the Utah Jazz in Game 1. Unfortunately, Mavericks Head Coach Jason Kidd announced Luke Doncic remains doubtful for tonight’s game. Doncic suffered an untimely calf injury in the final game of the regular season. Kidd believes he is heading in the right direction and is hopeful he will play soon.
Once again, the Mavericks will lean on guards Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie to handle the offense in Game 2. If Dallas loses this second home game, history tells us they will likely lose the series. Only 31 NBA teams have ever came back from a 2-0 deficit in NBA Playoffs history. However, if Luka Doncic can return for Game 3, Dallas will have a fighting chance.
Nuggets at Warriors – 10:00
The Golden State Warriors took a commanding series lead after beating the Nuggets 123-107. The Warriors impressively defeated them with star point guard Stephen Curry playing limited minutes off the bench. Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr has kept quiet about whether Curry will be held to the same minutes restriction as before. If he does, we can expect Curry to come off the bench and play around 20 minutes.
Steve Kerr declined to say if Steph Curry is starting and how many minutes he’ll play in Game 2
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 18, 2022
With Curry still working his way back to full health, the Nuggets best chance to steal a game on the road is right now. However, the Nuggets are playing shorthanded in the absence of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. They will need a big performance from star center Nikola Jokic to even the series. Warriors forward Draymond Green expects Jokic to come out aggressive so he can set the tone.
Draymond Green on Nikola Jokic: "I feel like he’s going to try and come out and give me 40, 15 and 15 next game…He's pissed off and he's coming back with vengeance tomorrow."
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) April 17, 2022