NBA Playoffs 2019: What to watch for in Game 4s of the Bucks-Pistons & Rockets-Jazz series

Both Milwaukee Bucks and the Houston Rockets will look to advance to the Conference Semifinals with sweeps of their first round opponents
Both Milwaukee Bucks and the Houston Rockets will look to advance to the Conference Semifinals with sweeps of their first round opponents (Getty Images)

After eight playoff games over the weekend, it's time for two elimination Game 4s on Monday.

Day 10 of the 2019 NBA Playoffs has the Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz avoiding a sweep against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Houston Rockets respectively.

Here are a few key things to watch out for:

Detroit Pistons vs Milwaukee Bucks

Can the Bucks be clinical and sweep the Pistons?

In the 2019 postseason, the Milwaukee Bucks have played like the team that registered the best record in the 2018-19 regular season.

Led by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokoumpo, the Bucks have won all three games of the series so far by a combined margin of 72 points, even with Pistons' All-Star Blake Griffin making a return to the line-up in Game 3 of the series.

Yes, it's a small sample size of just three games but the Bucks have the best offensive rating, best defensive rating and the best net rating in the playoffs so far.

There's no debate about how dominant this Milwaukee team is and whether they will win this series but can they advance to the next round with a sweep?

Let alone a sweep, they haven't won a playoff series since 2001. Their 18-season wait is the longest active drought in the league.

Can the Bucks be clinical, end the drought, and wrap up the series in four or will the Pistons pull one back in front of their home crowd?

At the time of writing, Griffin is considered probable for Game 4.

Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets

Were Harden's Game 3 struggles a one-off?

The Rockets registered a hard-fought win in Game 3 of this series despite their best player recording one of the worst shooting games of his career.

In Game 3, James Harden went 3-of-20 from the field (15.0%) and 2-of-13 (15.4%) from beyond the arc en route to a team-high 22 points.

MORE: Harden comments on Game 3 shooting struggles

Given his averages from Games 1 & 2 - 30.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.0 assists on 44.0% shooting from the field and 43.5% from beyond the arc, Game 3 was a huge surprise to all.

Harden has had disappointing postseasons in the past as the toil and grind of the regular season minutes start catching up to him. This year, he logged 2,867 minutes in the regular season, second-most in the league.

So, were the Game 3 struggles a sign of things to come or just a one off-shooting night for a superstar?

It's a question only the Beard can answer in Game 4.

Can the Jazz salvage some pride and force a Game 5?

There is a 19-win margin between the regular season records of the Bucks and the Pistons. So, to a certain extent, the one-sided nature of the series could be expected.

The same can't be said for this Rockets-Jazz series. Their regular season records are only separated by 3 wins.

Yes, matchups do often dictate how playoff series go down but the Jazz surely weren't a team anybody predicted to have gotten swept.

In front of their roaring crowd, which played a huge role in their hot start to Game 3, can they salvage some pride and avoid a sweep?

More from

Blake Griffin, Patty Mills, Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets are even deeper than before
Gilbert McGregor
Stephen Curry and Bradley Beal
Our predictions for this season's scoring leader Staff
James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets
Is health the only thing that can slow Nets down?
Kane Pitman
Nets depth chart for 2021-22 season
Kane Pitman
Sky's the limit for Brooklyn's Big Three
Scott Rafferty
LeBron James, Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers, Nets stacking All-Star talent at historic level
Benyam Kidane
More News