Columnist image
Jack Armstrong

TSN Basketball Analyst


1. RAPTORS OFFENCE: I loved the ball movement (24 assists) and the ability to make the three-point shot (14 makes) on Tuesday night, which brought good spacing and flow to their attack. I also liked how they created tempo off of missed shots and turnovers and got some high-percentage shots in transition. Overall, it was an excellent effort in Game 2. The Raptors need to continue to handle the traps, length, quickness and energy of the Bucks defence as a team. Coach Jason Kidd is going to load up his defence on Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, challenging other Toronto players to beat him. The Raptors must trust each other and make the right basketball plays. Protect the ball. The more efficient your offence is the better your defence will be. Make the Bucks have to play 5-on-5 in the half court.

2. RAJON RONDO (Bulls): The Chicago point guard has been an impact guy, helping his team gain a 2-0 advantage over the top-seeded Boston Celtics – his former team. I love his feisty defence, rebounding, playmaking and clutch scoring pop when needed. He's been terrific in the past six weeks after being in the doghouse for most of the season. Rondo has gone from the outhouse to penthouse.

3. DAVID FIZDALE (Grizzlies): I loved the Memphis coach’s rant after Game 2 against the Spurs. He's standing up for his team and I respect that. I also love the fact that T-shirts are being made up with his slogan 'Take that for data.’ He's giving me sales competition on the ‘Hellooo’ and ‘Get that Garbage Outta Here’ shirts at I'm fine with that. Join the club. I expect his team will respond with outstanding effort in Game 3.

4. CHRIS PAUL (Clippers): The Los Angeles point guard was much better in Game 2 versus the Jazz, finishing with 21 points and 10 assists. He didn't look engaged in Game 1 for whatever reason. He's the man that makes them go with his creative playmaking and quick feet and hands of defence. With Rudy Gobert questionable going forward for Utah, the window is open for the Clippers to seize the series. This is a guard league. The Clippers need CP3 to be the elite player that he can be and should be.

5. CAVALIERS vs. PACERS: The Pacers need to show up and provide some sustained effort and focus in Game 3 on Thursday in Indianapolis. The Cavs looked bored for stretches over the first two games, like they could toy with the Pacers at will. Indiana needs to come out and strike with major force to ignite their crowd and get the juices flowing. The series has been competitive, yet this could be over fast if the Pacers don't do a better job guarding the three-point line and improve their transition defence. Those are two huge areas of Cleveland's attack. If you do that well, you give yourself a chance. If you don't, it's over.