The playoffs started with a bang on Saturday afternoon and now that all the teams have played their first game, here are some takeaways from an entertaining weekend.

Cleveland’s defense still needs work

The Cleveland Cavaliers struggled defensively throughout the second half of the regular season, and some believed that they were simply coasting and seemed uninterested. However, even in Game 1 of the playoffs, Cleveland’s defense was mediocre for the most part. They allowed 49.4 percent shooting from the Indiana Pacers and barely held them off to win the first game, 109-108. If the Cavs want to repeat, their defense still needs a lot of work.

Rebounding will be a major problem for Boston

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lost Game 1 at home to the eighth-seeded Chicago Bulls mainly due to dreadful rebounding. The Bulls severely out-rebounded the Celtics, 53-36, which essentially helped them win the game. Coming in the Bulls were the third best rebounding team in the league, while the Celtics were the fourth worst. After Game 1, it’s rather obvious the Celtics won’t go too deep if they don’t fix their rebounding issues.

DeRozan needs Lowry

Kyle Lowry most recently returned from wrist surgery and may not have his rhythm yet. He needs to find it very quickly, though. In Game 1, he was atrocious, scoring merely four points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field and 0-for-6 from three-point distance.

He obviously didn’t aide his backcourt teammate DeMar DeRozan, which led to the team’s disappointing downfall at home in the first game. If the Toronto Raptors want to advance and go deep in the playoffs again, Lowry must wake up and help DeRozan lead the team.

Portland needs a healthy Jusuf Nurkic

Despite combining for 75 points, Portland’s backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J.

McCollum cannot beat the Golden State Warriors by themselves. They need more production from their frontcourt players, which they could get from Jusuf Nurkic if he was healthy. Nurkic has been sitting out with an apparent leg injury but expects to rejoin the team sometime during the series. At least with Nurkic down low, McCollum and Lillard would get more offensive help since the Bosnian big man can score in the paint.

Don’t sleep on the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz just took out the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center without their big man and arguably best player, Rudy Gobert, who injured his knee on the first possession of the game. Gobert is Utah’s defensive anchor, and even without him, they controlled the pace and suffocated the Clippers defensively. Veterans such as Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw, and George Hill performed extremely well, and others stepped to the occasion to fill Gobert’s void. The Jazz was the third best defensive team during the regular season. They are not to be taken lightly.

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