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Playoffs 2020

NBA Playoffs 2020: What to watch for during Day 6 of postseason action

We're nearly a week into the NBA postseason, meaning there's a week's worth of storylines to follow during today's action.

Will the Celtics sweep the Sixers? Will the Raptors sweep the Nets? Can the Clippers and Jazz take commanding leads in their respective series?

For more on each of today's four games, we've broken down a few things to keep an eye on…

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 1 p.m. ET, TSN 1

Boston leads 3-0

What to watch: Kemba Walker looks to keep building

After edging the Sixers in Game 3, the C's are one win away from earning a first-round sweep for the second straight year.

Related: Kemba Walker is one win away from the first postseason series win of his nine-year career.

At the beginning of the NBA's restart, Walker was working back from a lingering knee issue and was subject to a minutes restriction placed upon him to ease the workload on his knee. It appears the approach has worked, as Walker is finding his stride at the right time.

Boston's All-Star point guard is averaging 21.7 points per game while shooting 48.1% from the field this series and could probably tap into another level as the postseason goes on. The C's will need him at his peak level - along with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum - as they advance forward to an inevitable meeting with the Toronto Raptors.

As for Philly, it's all about extending the series - Joel Embiid has done plenty but it hasn't been enough. To force a fifth game, they'll need more from Tobias Harris and Al Horford, unless an unsung hero steps up.

LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks - 3:30 p.m. ET, TSN 1

LA leads 2-1

What to watch: Luka Doncic and Paul George battling ailments

By now, we know that the Mavericks can only go as far as Luka leads them, meaning their chances in this series largely hinge on the status of the sprained left ankle he suffered in the second half of Game 3.

Head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that Doncic's status for Game 4 will depend on "how he's feeling" (Brad Townsend, Dallas Morning News). It's hard to envision Doncic not suiting up for a big postseason game but how well he's able to perform remains unknown.

On the Clippers side, their success in the first round might not be dependent on George, but they need him to perform in order to reach their lofty aspirations to win a title.

Through three games, George is averaging 17.3 points while shooting 30.9% from the field and 24.1% from beyond the arc. He's been icing his surgically-repaired right shoulder, which could be routine or could be a reason for his shooting struggles.

If George can bounce back, things become much easier for the Clips.

Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets - 6:30 p.m. ET, TSN

Toronto leads 3-0

What to watch: The Raptors' pursuit of history

Newly-minted Coach of the Year Nick Nurse led Toronto to its first NBA title in 2019 and is fresh off of leading the team to the best winning percentage in franchise history this past season. Now, up 3-0 in a postseason series for the first time ever, the Raptors are in pursuit of their first-ever postseason sweep.

Through three games, Toronto has proven to be too much for Brooklyn, a team whose roster took a hit well before the NBA restart even began.

In Game 4, expect a business-as-usual approach from the Raptors, as they know this Nets team has no quit in them. Kyle Lowry has been the rock, Fred VanVleet has been masterful and Pascal Siakam began to find his stride in Game 3.

If Brooklyn has any chance to extend the series, it'll need some scoring from Caris LeVert, who has essentially been neutralized by Toronto's defence. Look for the Raps to assert their dominance early in order to shift their focus to the second round.

Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz - 9 p.m. ET, SN1

Utah leads 2-1

What to watch: Do the Nuggets have a response in them?

In Game 1, the Nuggets withstood a number of big punches from the Jazz in order to capture an overtime win and it appeared that Denver had taken Utah's best shot to deliver a demoralizing blow.

Instead, it was the opposite.

The Jazz dominated Games 2 and 3, getting an extra boost from Mike Conley, who returned from quarantine to score 27 points while sinking seven of his eight 3 point attempts in the Game 3 win.

Denver was dealt another blow when it was reported that Will Barton had to leave the NBA's campus in order to rehab his knee and Gary Harris has yet to play since arriving to Orlando. Now, the onus is on the trio of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and rookie Michael Porter Jr. to tie things back up, but it might be too much to ask.

Donovan Mitchell has been the best player in this series by far and he looks to continue his stellar play to bring Utah one step closer to the second round.

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