NBA Playoff Schedule 2020: TV Guide, Live Stream Schedule for Tuesday GamesAugust 25, 2020
The Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat both advanced to the second round of the 2020 NBA playoffs on Monday.
Milwaukee won its series over the Orlando Magic in five games, while Miami swept the Indiana Pacers in four.
Chris Paul made sure his Oklahoma City Thunder evened the series (2-2) with the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled ahead (3-1) in its matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.
There are only two games on Tuesday night, but both games have serious implications.
For the Denver Nuggets, who are down (1-3) to the Utah Jazz, it's win or go home.
The Dallas Mavericks overcame a 21-point deficit on Sunday to make it a series (2-2) with the Los Angeles Clippers, so whoever wins will gain the momentum heading into Thursday night.
Here's a quick look at the schedule and how to catch the action.
Game 1: Utah at Denver, 6:30 p.m. ET, TNT or Watch TNT
Game 2: Dallas at L.A. Clippers, 9 p.m. ET, TNT or Watch TNT
This year's regular season restart and the playoffs in the bubble has overwhelmingly proved one thing: the Mavs are for real.
Led by Luka Doncic, Dallas has the Clippers looking like anything but the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
The former Rookie of the Year exploded for 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists in the Mavs' 135-133 win over L.A. and now, they are officially in the throes of adversity.
Sure, the Clippers are still without Patrick Beverley, one of their best perimeter defenders, but their troubles stem from the uninspired play of Paul George.
George is having one of his worst shooting performances ever.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, over the last three games, the six-time All Star is shooting under 25 percent, making him the first player to do so since Bob Cousy in 1960.
"It's just tough for me right now," George told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "It's hard to say, because I'm getting looks, getting shots, the floor is open, the defenders aren't great, but I'm just having a hard time finding the ball through right now."
If George can't pull himself out of his shooting slump, L.A. will be going home early, which is a far cry from the expectations they and almost everyone around the league has had of them competing for a championship.
Head coach Doc Rivers knows that more than anyone, which is why he hasn't given up on his star just yet.
"Just let him keep shooting," Rivers told Youngmisuk. "We clearly got to get him more shots. And that's on us, on all of us. [He got] great looks and I just want him to get more of those and take more of those.
"He needs to shoot 20-plus times, he needs to get the ball up in the air. And he will. I feel very confident about PG because I always have."
As for the No. 3-seeded Nuggets, their season could be over if they can't find a way to stop Donovan Mitchell.
For the series, the first-time All Star is stuffing the stat sheet, averaging 39.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.
The numbers alone are impressive, but it's how he's doing it that's making a difference for Utah.
He's shooting 56.3 from the floor, including 51.4 percent from three and 95.5 from the free throw line.
And according to Stat Muse, he's the just the fourth player in NBA history to have more than one 50-point game in a single playoff run, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan.
Mitchell scored 57 points in a 135-125 overtime loss in Game 1 and 51 points in a 129-127 win in Game 4.
"Moments like these are going to come, and I've just got to be ready," Mitchell told KSL.com's Ryan Miller. "There’s no secret, last year’s playoffs wasn’t my best and I took that personally and, at the end of the day, I’m going to trust my work and keep moving forward."
Jamal Murray has been playing well for Denver, putting up 50 points of his own on Sunday, but his team still finds itself on the brink of elimination.
In order to turn things around, the Nuggets are focusing on getting more physical and defending the pick-and-roll in Game 5.
"The physicality of the game has to step up," Paul Millsap told Sarah Todd of the Deseret News.
"They’ve got a really good roll threat in Gobert and really good ball handlers and playmakers coming off the screens. They’re precise about it. They’ve got really good veteran players that try to make the right play every single time. When you’re disciplined like that it’s going to cause problems. We’ve got to do something different."
To that end, Denver spent an hour during practice on just physicality drills, hoping that will translate to Thursday's game.
"When I think of physicality, I think of at the point of the screen, I think of when the shot goes up, I think about offensively owning your spot, being able to catch the ball where you want to and not getting pushed out to the perimeter," head coach Mike Malone told Todd.
It's win or go home for the Nuggets. If they can stop Mitchell and players like Jordan Clarkson, who came off the bench for 24 points in Game 4, they might be able to keep their postseason alive.