NBA playoffs Preview : The East

Finally we are set for some playoffs basketball, after a crazy season and a crazy last night. The playoffs starts saturday so let’s see what is waiting for us in all first rounds series in the east.

#1 Atlanta Vs. #8 Brooklyn

  • Home court : Atlanta have home court advantage in this one and will make good use of it, they have some young unexperimented players coming of the bench like Schroder, and they will need home court comfort to play to the best of their abilities.
  • Coaching : I liked Hollins with Memphis but with this Brooklyn’s team i didn’t see any improvement from last year team, they are still playing more as individuals than as a team for me, too much isolation in offense and not much help in defense. Budenholzer he is just an NBA coach of the year candidate, he did improve this team very very much and he deserve all the credits for that, he may lack playoff experience as a head coach with his only appearance in the post season coming last year in his first season as head coach, but they did very well against Indiana last year taking them to 7 games making wining on the road. I give the edge in this one to Budenholzer because of his coaching abilities and also because of the Atlanta roster being more coach-able.
  • Starting Five : When i see the names Brooklyn looks good, but when i see them playing there is no synergy between them and one on one i don’t see them having an edge over Atlanta’s fives. Offensive and defensive flow a side and judging just on individuals this one is even for me. When i look at team plays Atlanta is far ahead.
  • Bench : Atlanta is 12 deep and the loss of Sefolosha may hurt them a little in defense, but they learned to play without him for long stretch when he was injured. I will give the edge in this one to Atlanta.

This series is team basketball versus isolation basketball. So i see Atlanta wining in an easy 4-0 or a 4-1.

#2 Cleveland Vs. #7 Boston

  • Home court : Cleveland have it, and for there coach, for Kyrie and for Love it will be good to have the first game at home, not that they need it but they will feel good having it. Against a young Boston team i give the edge to Cleveland in this one.
  • Coaching : Not much playoffs experience for both coaches, yes Blatt won the Euroleague before but i really need to wait and see for this one who will make the in game adjustments and between games adjustments. This one breaks even for me.
  • Starting Five : When you have King James you are having a pretty good head start, but Cleveland is not only Lebron they really are a complementary five, and they dominate Boston’s five talent wise and synergy wise. So edge goes to Cleveland.
  • Bench : Cleveland do not have this scoring spark coming of the bench someone like Isiah Thomas, but they have some very good shooting, and as long as they are keeping one of the 3 (Lebron, Kyrie, or J.R Smith) on the court they can generate enough offense. I’m giving an edge on the back-up point guard to Boston, but overall Cleveland’ bench is better.

This series is a young and still learning team against a championship contender. So it will be an easy win for Cleveland 4-0 or 4-1.

#3 Chicago Vs. #6 Milwaukee

  • Home Court : Chicago have it, but it will not help them as much as it will hurt a young Milwaukee team, and that’s why i’m giving an edge to Chicago for this one.
  • Coaching : Kidd have done a great job this season, but i can’t go against Thibodeau who have getting the most of his team year in and year out, and Chicago having more offensive punch doesn’t hurt him. I’m giving the edge to Chicago here.
  • Starting Five : Milwaukee will have the better match-up at the 3 position with Antetokoumpo against Dunleavy but that’s the only favorable match-up they have. The edge is in Chicago’s side in this one.
  • Bench : Chicago is too much for Milwaukee they have offense with Mirotic and Brooks, and defense with Gibson and Snell, against O.J Mayo, Bayless and Dudley, it’s just not enough. Edge goes for Chicago.

This series is youth versus experience and i’m going for Chicago in a well fought series that will ends in 6 games.

# 4 Toronto Vs. #5 Washington

  • Home Court : Toronto Have it and will need it badly in this series. The home crowd is great and if there is a game 7 it will helps them alot.
  • Coaching : Kasey kept his team together in tough moments this season even when players weren’t performing at there level (Terrence Ross, and Valanciunas), on the other side a saw a Washington team fall apart with not much cohesion. Toronto take the edge here.
  • Starting Five : If healthy and balling which is not the case here for both teams here, i like Washington more they can pound the ball down low and they have more shooting at the 2 and 3 positions. Washington have the edge in this one.
  • Bench : Sessions, Porter,Rusual Butler and Gooden is just not enough for me against Ross, Vasquez, Hansbrough and of course Lou Williams. Toronto got this one.

This series is so tricky, i hope i have a time machine so i can bring the teams that were balling in the early months of the regular season. Unfortunately there is no time machine and we are stuck with 2 teams that are not playing good basketball going to the playoffs. So this series is the very bad against the bad, and i’m going with the bad and that is Toronto in 7 games.

West Preview is coming tomorrow so stay tuned, and feel free to comment, share, like and subscribe.

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NBA : Crazy Ending

I was planning to talk playoff match-ups this late in the regular season, but 2 to 3 games to the end of the season i we really don’t know much about who are in the playoff and who aren’t, and not much about the seeding too. So let’s see what we really know about this crazy season ending.

The East :

  • Atlanta is the east champion.
  • Cleveland is locked to the 2 seat and Central Division champion.
  • Toronto and Chicago are fighting for 3rd they are tied but Chicago holds the tie breaker and still 2 games to play.
  • Toronto is Atlantic Division champion.
  • Washington is locked to the 5th seat.
  • Milwaukee is locked to the 6th seat.
  • This where the crazy thing begins, we have 3 teams fighting for 2 playoffs seat (Miami is unlikely to get in) Boston (38/42) is 1 game ahead of Brooklyn (37/43) and Indiana (37/43). Brooklyn holds the tie breaker over Indiana by winning 2 out 3 against them.

If you think that the east is crazy, wait to see how crazy it is in the west.

The West :

  • Golden State is the best team in the league
  • Portland is Northwest Division champion and locked to the 4th seat, but will not have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Dallas is locked to the the 7th seat.
  • New Orleans and Oklahoma City are tied for the 8th seat with 2 games to go. New Orleans holds the tie breaker over Indiana by winning 2 out 3 against them.
  • I have never seen 4 teams fighting for the 2nd seat this late in the season, we have San Antonio (55/26) a half game a head of 3 teams L.A. Clippers, Houston and Memphis all at (54/26). It will be crazy talking tie breakers here but we can say one thing is that Southeast Division champion (San Antonio, Houston or Memphis) is most likely to be 2nd in the west.

All that craziness i you know what, we still have the playoffs to come. It is a good time to be a NBA fan.

NBA Awards : The Winner is …

The regular season is almost finished, so let’s talk awards before we talk playoffs.

6th Man Award : Let’s start with the nominees, Lou Williams from the Toronto Raptors, Isiah Thomas from Phoenix/Boston and Aaron Brooks from the Chicago Bulls.

  • Aaron Brooks : He played 79 games (21 as a starter) averaging 11.6 pts, 3.1 ast and 2 reb in 23 minutes, he gives the Bulls a good sparks from the bench and he is one of the reasons shown by the bulls in offense.
  • Isiah Thomas : He played 64 games averaging 16.5 pts, 4.2 ast and 2.3 reb in 26 minutes, he was good in Phoenix and he is helping the Celtics getting to the playoffs.
  • Lou Williams : He played 77 games averaging 15.4 pts, 2 ast and 1.8 reb in 25 minutes, he strarted the season great, and faded just like his team the Raptors.

I have to go with the most consistent all season long and the one who impresses me the most.

And the winner is : Isiah Thomas

Rookie of the year : Let’s start with the nominees, Nerlen Noel from the Sixers, Andrew Wiggins from the Wolves and Nikolas Mirotic from the Bulls.

  • Nikolas Mirotic : He played 79 games averaging 10 pts, 1.2 ast and 5 reb in 20 minutes , he is the only one doing it as a rookie in a winning team, playing the 3 and the 4 position, he is really playing efficient and winning basketball, shooting 11 shoots for 10 points.
  • Nerlen Noel : He played 75 games averaging 10 pts, 1.2 ast and 8.1 reb in 31 minutes, he can be a good defender in this league, but nothing more.
  • Andrew Wiggins : He played 78 games averaging 16.7 pts, 1.9 ast and 4.4 reb in 36 minutes, he is taking 15 shoots for 16.7 points that’s very good but i have to say that he is playing alot of garbage time and against the end of bench players.

It is hard for me to give an award to someone who is playing for a bad bad team, i think that it is easier putting good stats when you don’t have any responsibility of winning, at the end of the day it’s a team sport if what you do is not serving the team it does not have much value in my eyes.

And The winner is : Nikolas Mirotic

Most Improve Player : Let’s start with the nominees, Denis Schroder from the Hawks, Jimmy Butler from the Bulls and Draymond Green from the Warriors.

  • Denis Schroder : he improved from last year playing 73 more games, 16 more minutes per game, going from 13.1 pts to 20.1 pts, from 1 rbd to 2.1 rbd and from 0 ast to 4.2 ast. He just move from a non factor player in a barely playoff team to an influential player on the best team in the east.
  • Jimmy Butler : he improved from last year going from 2.5 pts to 10 pts, from 4.9 rbd to 5.8 rbd and from 2.6 ast to 3.3 ast. He was already a great defender now he is one of the best 2 ways players at the 2 position if not the best.
  • Draymond Green : he improved from last year playing 64 more games as a starter, 10 more minutes per game, going from 6.2 pts to 11.8 pts, from 5 rbd to 8.2 rbd and from 1.9 ast to 3.7 ast. He improved his offense, his defense playing night in night out against the likes of Aldridge, Zebo and Griffins. This guy is gone from a limited player to important peace in the best team in the league.

And the winner is : Draymond Green

Defensive player of the year : Let’s start with the nominees, Pau Gasol from the Bulls, DeAndre Jordan from the Cllipers and Draymond Green from the Warriors. In this award i really don’t want to mention stats because defense is more than that. Beside the nominees i have a special mention for Rudy Gobert from the Jazz he was great post Allstar.

  • Pau Gasol : I’m tired of hearing people saying that he is soft, he is not. Pau is a tough big in this league he protects the rim, and a good defender one on one.
  • Draymond Green : Going against all the best fours in this league is pretty hard and he is doing in effectively in the best defensive team in the league.
  • DeAndre Jordan : He is dominant in paint making up for defensive mistakes from the 2 and the 3 position defenders that the Clippers have.

And the winner is : DeAndre Jordan

Coach of the year : Let’s start with the nominees, Steve Keer with the Warriors, Mike Budenholzer with the Hawks and Jason Kidd with the Bucks.

  • Jason Kidd : He took the worst team in the league or the second worst and make them a playoff team ranking 6th in the east. He traded for Carter Wlliams in the mid season it doesn’t make the Bucks better in the short term but he knows what he is doing and after a training camp with he’s point guard the team will be better.
  • Mike Budenholzer : We all compare them to the Spurs that they are a poor man Spurs, but they are more than that. This team is playing flawless basketball in offense and team defense with no go to guy. They made the jump from 8th last season to first in the east this season, it’s just great.
  • Steve Keer : The Warriors goes from 6th last year to first in the league in a wild wild west, and that’s not only because of the natural progress of the player. It is easy to get players to buy in in offense but he really impresses me by getting his team playing great defense. This team is just the best offensive and defensive team in the league.

And the winner is : Steve Keer

Last but not Least the Award:

MVP : For this one i will go for on two player just because they dis separate them selves from the rest. Lebron was good but not at an MVP level Westbrook was good too but in a team fighting for a playoff spot it’s not enough.

Let’s start with the nominees Stephen Curry from the Warriors and James Harden from the Rockets.

  • Stephen Curry : He played 77 games averaging 24 pts, 7.8 ast and 4.3 reb and 2 stl in 33 minutes, he is the best player in the best team in the league, beating his own record of 3’s made per season. He was already the best shooter in the game now he is doing it all but i have to say that he have a pretty good supporting cast behind him and if you take him of this team they are still a playoff team.
  • James Harden : He played 78 games averaging 27.5 pts, 6.9 ast and 5.7 reb and 1.9 stl in 37 minutes, he is the best offensive player in the league by far, for him is comes so easily and this year he is creating for his teammates more and he did improves a bit in defense. With all the injuries the Rockets had this season without Harden this team is a lottery team, they will finish behind Phoenix for sure.

This one is too close but the word valuable for me means alot.

And the winner is : James Harden

Picks : NBA April 9th

Hi guys, we have only two NBA games tonight, those are TNT games so i guess all teams will play them 100% even the Warriors, but i’m only giving one pick for tonight games.

Pick : CHI Bulls @ MIA Heats i’ going with the Heats at (+1)

Chicago is in their 2nd game of a back to back, and without saying it out loud i think they are tanking for the 4th place, they don’t want to face the Cavs in the 2nd round of the plaoffs. On the other side Miami is desperate for a win to keep their hopes alive to qualify for the playoffs that’s why i’m going with the Heat.

NBA : Injuries and Playoff Implications

Today we will talk unfortunatly about injuries, that’s part of the game and this year more than ever, we have had alot of them. So let’s start with the most important one, Melo’s injurie, no i’m just kidding a like him alot but him being on or off the floor will not get this Knicks team to the Playoffs. After some Knicks talk let’s start talking Basketball.

Kevin Durant : It can’t gets bigger we have the reigning MVP out for the reminder of the season, before that i hade OKC us a contender and even more i really was thinking of them us the ones comming out the west. But now even with Westbrook playing great they can’t win a playoff serie not the way the west is, they are most likely facing the Warriors and i don’t see them overcoming the depth and the talent that the warriors have. It’s a season ending injury for KD and also a season ending for all OKC’s asparations.

Wesley Matthews : This one is pretty tricky, as a starting five Portland still have a competitive one with Afflalo taking Wes place, he is a proven starter in the league and good defender. But the problem is that Afflalo was brought to solidify the bench and now they facing the same problem who will give Battum or Afflalo some rest. That will hurt them when times get tougher in a long playoff serie. So because of that for me they are out of championship considerations.

Dereck Rose : Yes he will be back soon, but is it the MVP D.Rose, the Allstar D.Rose or an average point guard D.Rose. That’s the question. For the Bulls to take over the East they need an Allstar D.Rose no question about that, being well coached and having more offensive weapons will not be enough for them to beat the Cavs and the Hawks in a serie. That’s a wait and see for me thing it’s all in Rose’s hands and health, he is the one making them a championship contender or will they stay this very combative and good team to watch that looses at the end.

Bradley Beal : I know that he is healthy and playing right now, but him being in and out of the line up all year long hurts the Wizards alot. I saw a very good Wizards team in the first couple of months of the season, i saw their progress from last year but now this team have no chemestry. So they may win their first round serie but they will not surpass their last year performance(loosing in the second round).

Patrick Beverley : I have to talk about him more because of his team playing that well and having the second best record in the west, kudos to Harden, than because him. Yes they will loose some defense by loosing him, but i never saw them win because of their defense. Prigioni even at his age can still run some offense and makes open threes. So this team will go us far us Harden will take them, and for me him playing at an MVP level they can of course win a playoff serie but they will not win two.

Paul George : I want just to say that i’m very happy to see him back in a win against Miami, but i don’t see Indiana getting this 8th seed in the east, they are a game behind Bonston with a tough schedule.

Picks : NBA April 2nd

Let’s do some NBA picks

Pick1 : Phoenix Suns @ GS Warriors i’m going with the Warriors at (-12.5)

Even if the Warriors rest some players i still go with them, they are unstopoble at home, and Phoenix just lost there mojo after the trade deadline, they really have nothing to play for, so let’s go Warriors for this one.

Pick2 : Houston Rockets @ Dallas Mavericks i’m going with the Rockets at (+2.5)

Dallas just won a crutial game yesterday, now haven some seperation From Okc, i expect them to relax a little and i just can’ bet against the man of the moment Harden he is doing it right and doing it big.

Pick3 : Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers i’m going with the Cavs at (-10.5)

This game have some playoff implacations, as this one might be a first round playoff matchup, so for this reason i expect the Cavs and a well rested Lebron to avenge there blowout loss at Miami and take this one by a large margin.

¡Ojalá!

Picks : NBA March 31st

Hi guys it’s time for some nba picks.

Pick1 : GSW Warriors @ LA Clippers i’m going with the Clippers at (-3)

Both teams are very succesfull of late they are on a 7 and 9 games wining streak, i’m going with the home team, the Clippers needs this one more than the Warriors. Between those 2 teams the home team seem to win most of the time.

Pick2 : IND Pacers @ BKN Nets i’m taking the Nets at (-2)

The Nets will score with ease and of late i saw theme defend better thats why i’m going with them. The Pacers just can’t score they really need Miles or Hill to go for a big game to win, and those two players scoring is not that easy for them.

Only 4 games in todays NBA schedule that’s why i’m picking only 2.

¡Ojalá!