The NBA regular season has come to a close. It was a season full of drama, broken records and now SEVEN Aussies will compete in the post season.
With games kicking off on Sunday morning (AEST), there is plenty to look forward to and we’re here to help with all you need to know so you can keep track of your favourite Aussies in the NBA.
Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics), Matthew Dellavedova & Thon Maker (Milwaukee Bucks)
#2 Boston Celtics v #7 Milwaukee Bucks.
Game 1: Monday 16th April at 3am (AEST) @ Boston.
Game 2: Wednesday 18th April at 10am @ Boston.
Game 3: Saturday 21st April at 11.30am @ Milwaukee.
Game 4: Monday 23rd April at 3am @ Milwaukee.
Game 5 (if needed): Wednesday 25th April @ Boston.
Game 6 (if needed): Friday 27th April @ Milwaukee.
Game 7 (if needed): Sunday 29th April @ Boston.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are out for the Celtics, whilst Marcus Smart’s return date has been tentatively set at 27th of April.
Meanwhile, the Bucks enter at full-strength. The Bucks will fancy themselves against the depleted Celtics, but don’t underestimate this Celtics team – they’ve dealt with adversity all season and finished with 55 wins.
On the Aussie front, Aron Baynes has played a vital role for the Celtics all season long, with his defensive abilities shining through on a nightly basis. He does the dirty work and is a great compliment to Al Horford in the front-court.
Oh, and he is coming off a career-high 26 points (and 14 rebounds) against the Nets in the Celtics final regular season game.
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) April 12, 2018
Matthew Dellavedova returned from injury just in time for the playoffs – suiting up for the first time since February 4th in the final regular season game against the Sixers. Whilst he only played 10 minutes and the Bucks got absolutely trounced, he will be better for the run and will play important minutes throughout this series.
Thon Maker has only played three games since the 27th of March and in those three games he has averaged under 11 minutes of game time and his numbers are neither pretty or productive.
As always, his size, length and athleticism could make him a factor in this series. If things don’t go the Bucks way early in the series, he may just get the nod in order to change things up.
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
#3 Philadelphia 76ers v #6 Miami Heat.
Game 1: Sunday 15th April at 10am (AEST) @ Philadelphia.
Game 2: Tuesday 17th April at 10am @ Philadelphia.
Game 3: Friday 20th April at 9am @ Miami.
Game 4: Sunday 22nd April at 4.30am @ Miami.
Game 5 (if needed): Wednesday 25th April @ Philadelphia.
Game 6 (if needed): Friday 27th April @ Miami.
Game 7 (if needed): Sunday 29th April @ Philadelphia.
Well, there’s no two ways about it; the Philadelphia 76ers are absolutely flying. Currently on a SIXTEEN game winning streak, Ben Simmons and his Sixers are looking to make some noise in the playoffs.
Taking on the Miami Heat, who have at times, looked dangerous throughout the season won’t be a cakewalk, but the Sixers should have this series in hand.
Ben Simmons is the KEY to this series (Joel Embiid is due to return at some point during this series) and if he continues the way he has been playing as of late, no one on the Heat can stop him. His rookie season (yes, he is a rookie, Donovan) averages are simply outrageous – 15.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists.
This will be fun to watch.
Joe Ingles & Dante Exum (Utah Jazz)
#4 Oklahoma City Thunder v #5 Utah Jazz.
Game 1: Monday 16th April at 8.30am (AEST) @ Oklahoma City.
Game 2: Thursday 19th April at 10am @ Oklahoma City.
Game 3: Sunday 22nd April at 12pm @ Utah.
Game 4: Tuesday 24th April at 12.30pm @ Utah.
Game 5 (if needed): Thursday 26th April @ Oklahoma City.
Game 6 (if needed): Saturday 28th April @Utah.
Game 7 (if needed): Monday 30th April @Oklahoma City.
On the final day of the season, the Jazz were battling it out for the third seed, as it turns out, they come in at #5 and will take on the Thunder.
Joe Ingles‘ 2017/18 campaign has been a joy to watch; shooting lights out, dishing it to teammates and we’ve even been treated to some Jingles dunks.
Ingles’ shooting has been vital to what the Jazz have been able to achieve this season. Utah are playing beautiful team basketball at present, with plenty of ball movement which is the exact system that Ingles thrives in.
Dante Exum has the potential to be the X-factor in this series. Since his late season return, he has shown aggressiveness and an improved ability to lead a team as the primary ball-handler on the floor. This may just be the series that sees Exum truly announce himself to the league.
Just like he announced himself to Boban.
Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
#2 Golden State Warriors v #7 San Antonio Spurs.
Game 1: Sunday 15th April at 5am (AEST) @ Golden State.
Game 2: Tuesday 17th April at 12.30pm @ Golden State.
Game 3: Friday 20th April at 11.30am @ San Antonio.
Game 4: Monday 24th April at 5.30am @ San Antonio.
Game 5 (if needed): Wednesday 25th April @ Golden State.
Game 6 (if needed): Friday 27th April @ San Antonio.
Game 7 (if needed): Sunday 29th April @ Golden State.
Patty Mills just keeps going, much like the San Antonio Spurs. Whilst they don’t strike the usual absolute fear into the opposition, they’re in the playoffs for a reason. Sidenote, the Warriors are quietly in a slump, having won just four of their past 10 games.
Mills has started in every game since February 23rd and helped propel the Spurs to the playoffs after they briefly fell to ninth in the West in March.
He has scored in double digits in seven of the last eight games, with his energy and speed causing havoc as per usual. Patty knows what it takes at this time of year.
Keep it locked to The Pick and Roll for all things Aussies in the NBA playoffs!