The Phoenix Suns are waiting.
A series of sweeps over the Denver Nuggets means Monty Williams’ side qualify for the Western Conference Finals, where they will meet either the Utah Jazz or the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the East, meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are a prime example of how a seven-game streak can fluctuate. At 2-2 and with injuries taking their toll, it’s hard to predict who will advance.
With the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks also engaged in a battle in the East, it’s time to take a look at the players who seized the opportunity to shine last week in the NBA Playoffs, as well as those who struggle in the shadows. .
IT IS HOT…
Paul set an unusual record as the Suns completed a 4-0 Nuggets sweep on Sunday. Contributing 37 points, the 36-year-old became the oldest goalie in NBA history to pass his age in a playoff game.
It capped a memorable week for the eleven-time All-Star, who averaged 25.5 points per game in the series. Since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1984, Phoenix is the only team to knock out both of the previous year’s conference finalists in the first two rounds, having also represented the Los Angeles Lakers.
In three games against the Clippers, Mitchell has been an offensive heavyweight for the Jazz. He scored a combined total of 112 points for a week average of 37.33 per outing.
His exit was made easier by the long-distance warm-up, with the guard scoring 5.67 three-point attempts per game. Yes, that’s correct: Per. Game. An ankle problem could slow him down for the rest of the series, having already missed the end of the regular season and Utah’s first playoff game.
With James Harden out with a hamstring injury, Brown took on a bigger attacking role for the struggling Nets. In three games over the past week, the 24-year-old took 22 shots – he had scored 31 in his previous six playoff outings – and scored his first three playoff points as Brooklyn won the match 2.
His production could rise further if Kyrie Irving joins Harden on the sidelines, the point guard having twisted his right ankle as his team lost Game 4 in Milwaukee on Sunday.
After playing a pivotal role at the start of the Nets-Bucks series, Harris has calmed down since the teams traveled to Milwaukee. His first two outings saw him manage 19 and 13 points, but since then only 11 have been combined in back-to-back losses.
Harris only managed one of his 11 field goal attempts in Game 3 before committing a foul, while Sunday’s Game 4 performance was only marginally better. Maybe a return to Brooklyn for Game 5 will help him regain his scoring touch.
Much like Harris on the opposing list, Portis is in the doldrums. The 29-year-old has averaged just 2.0 points per game over the past week, a significant drop from his regular season average of 11.42. It also contributes less in terms of rebound, dropping to 3.0 per exit.
Fellow Brook Lopez is another role player to see the points dry up (6.33 points per game), leaving Milwaukee to lean heavily on all-star duo Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton as they try to qualify. for the Eastern Conference final.
Marcus Morris Sr. and Patrick Beverley
For the second straight series, the Clippers have to come out of an early hole. An emphatic victory in Game 3 against the Jazz halved the deficit, mainly thanks to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George who clocked a combined total of 65 points.
The actors will also have to help if they want to stage a clash with the Suns. Morris Sr. averaged 7.67 points over the past week, without the help of just one of his 16 deep attempts. Her teammate Beverley is also struggling at long distance while scoring just 10 points overall in her last three games.