There are just two Aussies remaining in the NBA Playoffs, with Matisse Thybulle’s Philadelphia 76ers and Josh Green’s Dallas Mavericks advancing to the second round this week. Unfortunately for Patty Mills and the Brooklyn Nets they were eliminated after going down to the Boston Celtics.
1 Game, 0 Wins, 5.0pts, 2.0reb, 0.0ast
It was the end of the road for Patty Mills and the Brooklyn Nets this week, being swept by the Boston Celtics four games to zero. The Nets entered the week already three games down needing to win all four of the remaining games in the series to advance.
Game Four took place this week, where the Nets looked like would be able to get one win on the board when Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum fouled out with just under three remaining in the game and only down six. The Nets were able to get within one point with 90 seconds left on the clock but did not execute down the stretch to lose 116 to 112.
It was a disappointing end to the season for the Nets being swept in the first round after having entered the season with such high hopes as the favourites to win the Eastern Conference.
In Mills final game of the season, the guard came off the bench to play 19 minutes. He scored five points and had two rebounds going two of six from the field.
1 Game, 0 Wins, 2.0pts, 2.0reb, 0.0ast, 1.0stl
The Philadelphia 76ers were able to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs, however it did not come without a scare after the Toronto Raptors fought their way back into the series.
The Sixers entered the week up three to one, looking to close out the series back at home in Game Five, however found themselves in a precarious situation when they lost 103 to 88. Philadelphia struggled throughout the game, lacking the intensity and urgency that was required to close out the series.
The Sixers scored just 14 points in the second quarter and their all-star duo of James Harden and Joel Embiid combined for just 35 points in the game. To make things worse they were unable to get much support from their bench players who scored just 11 points compared to Toronto’s who chipped in with 29.
Matisse Thybulle was one of those players coming off the bench for the 76ers, where he only scored two points going one of six from the field. He was however able to grab two rebounds and get a steal in the 14 minutes he played.
Heading back to Toronto for Game Six, the 76ers desperately needed to get the win to avoid a Game seven and the potential of becoming the first team to blow a three to zero series lead. The Sixers were able to get the win, blowing out the Raptors 132-97 to win the series.
Philadelphia had a dominant second half, outscoring the Raptors 70 to 36 with all their starters scoring in double digits.
Thybulle did not play in the game since it was in Toronto which he is unable to travel to due to him not being fully vaccinated, having only had one dose of the vaccine.
Thybulle will however be able to play in all of the Sixers games in their second round series against the Miami Heat, where his defensive ability will be needed to slow down the likes of Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro.
The Sixers will be without Embiid for Games one and two of the series after the big man suffered a right orbital fracture and mild concussion in Game Six.
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2 Games, 2 Wins, 0.0pts, 1.0reb, 0.0ast
The Dallas Mavericks have moved onto the second round of the playoffs after defeating the Utah Jazz in six games. The series was all tied up entering the week, however the Mavericks were able to win both games to book their ticket to the next round.
Game Five saw Dallas blow out the Jazz, 102 to 77 with their defence being the catalyst, keeping Utah to 37.7% shooting from the field and 10% from three. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson led the way scoring 33 and 24 points while the Jazz starting five combined for just 37 points.
Australia’s Josh Green saw his role limited significantly, serving as a spot up shooter on offence, getting sporadic minutes throughout the game. Green played 14 minutes off the bench where he was unable to make any of the three shots he took from behind the arc, only grabbing one rebound for the game.
Green’s role was reduced even more in Game Six, with the guard getting just over two minutes of playing time off the bench. With Dallas having the opportunity to close out the series, Mavericks coach, Jason Kidd opted to play a seven-man rotation with their starters playing getting the majority of the minutes.
Green was only able to grab one rebound in the small amount of game time he got.
The Mavericks were able to get the win and therefore win the series, having to rally back from 12 points down in the second half to grind out a 98 to 96 victory.
Dallas will have their work cut out for them in the second round of the playoffs, with them playing the Phoenix Suns who finished the season with the best record in the NBA and as the number one seed in the Western Conference.
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