Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler waits between plays during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler waits between plays during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. |Kim Klement | Pool via Associated Press
NBA

The drama! Mims looks at the subplots attached to today's NBA Playoff games: Thunder vs Rockets, Heat vs Pacers, and Trail Blazers vs Lakers

Heat vs Pacers starts at 4 pm, Thunder vs Rockets at 6:30 pm, and Trail Blazers vs Lakers starts at 9 pm

Robert Mims

Robert Mims

The NBA Playoffs have 3 match-ups with intriguing subplots attached to them.

The 1st storyline is the OKC Thunder against the Houston Rockets. Chris Paul is going to play against his former team as will Russell Westbrook. The dynamics here are interesting since they were essentially swapped for each other last season. Westbrook is injured and will miss the beginning of the series. Chris Paul is a gamer and will want to show his old team that he was a keeper.

The 2nd subplot has the Indiana Pacers against the Miami Heat. T.J. Warren is playing against Jimmy Butler. They almost came to blows when they played against each other prior to the stoppage of the season due to COVID-19. Butler stated that Warren could not play him and it was a mistake for the Pacers to have TJ guard him. Warren was one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA Bubble. It will be interesting if Butler guards Warren during this series.

The 3rd involves the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers were projected to play in the NBA Western Conference Finals. They have not played well or consistently during the NBA Restart. The Lakers have the 3rd least efficient offense in the eight games played. The Blazers played their way into the playoffs by going 6-2 and winning the play in game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Blazers do not defend well but they can score. The Lakers defend well but scoring from someone other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis is an adventure. Will the Lakers return to form or will Damian Lillard continue his domination of scoring at least 30 points per game? Lebron is going for another championship and Dame Time is in the way.

All of these storylines start today.

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