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Tag: Atlanta Hawks

Playoffs

2014 NBA Playoff Race

 

With the 2013-14 NBA regular season coming to a close there are still a number of playoff spots up for grabs. Let’s take a look at the run home for those still with a shot at a post-season berth in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Eastern Conference

There are five teams who have clinched playoff spots in the east which leaves, realistically, five teams to fight for the remaining three spots.

6 – Washington Wizards 38 – 36

Run home – Boston, @NY Knicks, Chicago, Charlotte, @Orlando, Milwaukee, Miami, @Boston.

The Wizards have five home games and three on the road in their run towards the playoffs. Two of their eight games are against opposition who have a better record than themselves and with this is mind; we should see the Wizards in the post season for the first time since 2008 and with a decent sixth seed.

Prediction

43-39 .524. Playoff bound.

7 – Charlotte Bobcats 36 – 38

Run home – @Philadelphia, Orlando, @Cleveland, @Washington, @Boston, Philadelphia, @Atlanta, Chicago.

The Bobcats have five of their eight games on the road leading into the playoffs but the good news for Charlotte fans is that four of the five games are against teams with inferior records to their own. Of the three home games only Chicago have the superior record. The Bobcats should win five of their eight remaining games and clinch just their second playoff appearance since the team’s inception in the 2004-05 season.

Prediction

42-40 .512. Playoff bound.

8 – Atlanta Hawks 32 – 41

Run home – Chicago, Cleveland, @Indiana, Detroit, Boston, @Brooklyn, Miami, Charlotte, @Milwaukee.

The Hawks have the luxury of playing six of their remaining nine games on their home court but the problem lies with them having to face Chicago, Indiana, Brooklyn and Miami in their remaining games. The Hawks should win as many as they lose to finish the season, losing to the aforementioned teams whilst beating the hapless Bucks, Pistons and Boston during their run toward a post-season appearance, scraping in with the eighth seed.

Prediction

37-44 .451. Playoff bound.

9 – New York Knicks 32 – 43

Run home – Brooklyn, Washington, @Miami, @Toronto, Chicago, @Brooklyn, Toronto.

The Knicks season has been one of major disappointment and their slim hopes of making the playoffs aren’t looking good. Their run home consists of teams that all have a better record than themselves including the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets. It’s hard to see the Knicks winning too many of these games and they seem doomed to finish one of their most frustrating seasons on record with a failure to make the post-season.

Prediction

33-49 .402. Playoffs missed.

10 – Cleveland Cavaliers 30 – 45

Run home – @Orlando, @Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, @Milwaukee, Boston, Brooklyn.

The Cleveland Cavaliers started the season with high hopes but the reality has been far from flattering in Cleveland. Even after picking up Luol Deng the Cavs look very unlikely to see their season end in a playoff appearance. They have  three road games and four at home on their run home and despite having a decent chance at winning most of them their current record doesn’t have them in much of a commanding position. Its looks like the Cavaliers are destined for the post LeBron blues once again.

Prediction

34-48 .415. Playoffs missed.

 

Western Conference

The western conference playoff race is going to be an interesting one. With so many teams fighting for seeding and a few fighting to make the eight there are some key matchups in the coming days that could decide who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t. Let’s take a look at the run home for the west.

4 – Houston Rockets 49 – 24

Run home – @Toronto, OKC, @Lakers, @Denver, @Minnesota, New Orleans, San Antonio, @New Orleans.

The Rockets have a chance to land the four seed in the strong western conference and have a run home that should see them finish with a good record and a great chance at that seeding. They face only two teams who would be favoured to beat them in the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in their final eight games and should they win six as predicted they will finish the season with a very respectable 55 wins.

Prediction

55-26 .671. Playoff bound.

5 – Portland Trail Blazers 49 – 27

Run home – Phoenix, New Orleans, Sacramento, @Utah, Golden State, Clippers.

Five home games and one road game against a less than stellar Utah Jazz should see the Trail Blazers win the majority of their remaining games. Two tough games against the Warriors and Clippers round out the regular season in Portland and despite the fact that they should start as under dogs in those particular games it’s a stern test prior to what should be their first playoff appearance since 2011. How far they can go in a stacked western conference in the post-season is debatable but it’s been a successful season for Portland.

Prediction

53-29 .646. Playoff bound.

6 – Golden State Warriors 46 – 28

Run home – @San Antonio, Sacramento, Utah, Denver, @Lakers, @Portland, Minnesota, @Denver.

The Warriors have been on a bit of a slide of late and it has put some question marks on their title aspirations but their run home should ensure they make the post-season. Home games against the likes of Sacramento, Utah, Denver and Minnesota should yield positive results with road games against the Spurs and Portland proving a challenge. All in all the Warriors have a good run into the playoffs.

Prediction

53-29 .646. Playoff bound.

7 – Memphis Grizzlies 44 – 30

Run home – @Minnesota, Denver, @San Antonio, Miami, Philadelphia, @Lakers, @Phoenix, Dallas.

The Grizzlies sit in a precarious position and with some big names to play on their run home it’s a distinct possibility they slip out of the playoffs. They play four games on the road and four at home. I see them splitting their remaining games with wins over the Timberwolves, Nuggets, 76ers and Lakers but the likes of Miami, San Antonio, Dallas and Phoenix will prove more challenging.

Prediction

48-34 .585. Playoff bound.

8 – Phoenix Suns 44 – 30

Run home – Clippers, @Portland, OKC, @New Orleans, @San Antonio, @Dallas, Memphis, @Sacramento.

The Phoenix Suns were supposed to be talking lottery about now, instead they find themselves fighting for a playoff spot in a strong western conference. Their run home is a tough one with five of eight games on the road and with teams like the Clippers, OKC, San Antonio and Dallas in their schedule it’s hard to see them making the post-season. A great effort to be where they are right now but I fear it will all be in vain.

Prediction

47-35 .573. Playoffs missed.

9 – Dallas Mavericks 44 – 31

Run home – @Clippers, @Lakers, @Sacramento, @Utah, San Antonio, Phoenix, @Memphis.

The Dallas Mavericks have to play all but two of their remaining games on the road, but thankfully for Mavs fans most are winnable. With the exception of the Clippers and Memphis it’s fair to say Dallas should be favoured to win against the Lakers, Kings and Jazz and their home game against Phoenix has to be a huge factor for both team’s playoff aspirations. I see the Mavs sneaking into seventh or eighth in the west.

Prediction

49-33 .596. Playoff bound.

 

 

 

 



Looking to the 2013/2014 Season

The NBA season is fast approaching and I cannot wait. There are so many aspects of the game to look forward to and not all of them happen on the court. Here is my A-Z of the upcoming 2013-2014 season.

A: Air Balls

There is truly something special about an entire stadium full of fans chanting “Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrr BBBaaaaaaaaaallllllll!” in unison. It has to be one of the most humiliating events for an NBA superstar. Now an air ball from the three point line can happen fairly often but an air ball from the charity stripe is something to behold. My money would be on Dwight Howard to throw up a free throw line air ball at some stage this year. He truly is abominable from the line and he isn’t getting any better.

B: Birdman (Chris Andersen)

This dude is a loose cannon. You never quite know what he’s going to do next. Will he attempt to punch out an opponent? Rise up for a monster tip jam? Berate a referee? Start a fight? Create some new and zany hairstyle? Or get a Mike Tyson face tattoo? With the Birdman you never quite know but if there’s action happening on the court (or even off it) you can almost guarantee the Birdman will be there somehow.

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NBA Nation Australia’s Season Previews: Part One

Welcome to Part One of NBA Nation Australia’s 2013/14 Season Previews. Over the coming weeks we’ll take a look at how every team in the league has performed in the off season, as well as preview how we believe they’ll perform over the course of the 2013/14 season. Today we’re kicking things off with Hawks, Celtics, Nets and Cats! Enjoy.

ATLANTA HAWKS:

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Atlanta stayed busy throughout the off season, shedding some weight as well as making some good signings which the team will be hoping helps them contend with Eastern powerhouses like Miami and Chicago in the coming years. Unfortunately for the Hawks Josh Smith’s decision to sign with Detroit leaves them vulnerable at the small forward position with Kyle Korver providing the only big body at the three spot. (Let’s be honest, how much can Dahntay Jones and DeMarre Carroll really help this team?) Korver, who is a capable defender and one of the league’s most trustworthy shooters from long range (45% from downtown in 2013/13) is essentially where the buck stops for Atlanta at the three. They have a strong mix of power forwards including former Utah Jazz big man Paul Millsap and Elton Brand as well as star center Al Horford anchoring the paint, but the Hawks will struggle on the weaker side without Josh Smith. If they’re to overcome the might of Miami and LeBron James, and contend with a stacked Indiana Pacers, they need to find a way to strengthen their roster down low. To be fair, Atlanta’s plans revolved somewhat around the acquisition of all star center Dwight Howard, but the direction they’ve gone in points more towards a rebuild than a contending team. Atlanta will still cause some trouble for the upper teams in the East but ultimately won’t make much of an impact in an ever-toughening conference. A good season from newcomer Millsap will provide them with a big defensive body who can also score the basketball with relative ease alongside Horford, and the guard combination of Jeff Teague and Louis Williams should provide some entertainment for fans, but ultimately it isn’t enough.

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The Day Bird Dropped 60

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The superlatives often exist to skew the truth when it comes to the sports stars of yesteryear. With the passing of time, we see many a story become inflated to suit the needs of the story teller. Much like the tale of the one that got away, the memory sometimes outshines the reality. Not so with Larry Joe Bird.

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NBA to visit London and Mexico

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The NBA has announced that it will hold a showpiece at the O2 Arena in London early next year. A game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks will take place on January 16th as part of the NBA Global Games initiative. 


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Monta Ellis to Opt Out

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As reported several weeks ago in our Rumour Mill, Monta Ellis has informed the Milwaukee Bucks that he will opt out of the last year of his contract.

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Magic Guard JJ Redick Traded to Bucks in 6-Player Deal

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Orlando Magic guard JJ Redick has been traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a 6 player deal before the 3PM trade deadline Thursday (USA). The trade sees the veteran head to the Bucks alongside Gustavo Ayon and fellow guard Ish Smith in exchange for Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris. Redick has been scoring a career-high 15 points per game since his minutes increased post-Dwight Howard, and is set to become a free agent this summer.

The Magic had no intention of signing him to a long term deal for the money he was asking therefor making a trade the likely outcome. Orlando also traded Josh McRoberts to Charlotte for Hakim Warwick making them the deadline’s most active team, considering Atlanta’s hesitation to move Josh Smith before his impending free agency and the Lakers refusing to trade Howard. Redick will serve as a back up guard to Milwaukee’s Monta Ellis as he too was not moved before the deadline.

Nick C.



2012-13 NBA Punters Preview – Team Totals, MVP’s and Rookies.

2012-13 NBA Punters Preview – Team Totals, MVP’s and Rookies.

As we fast approach a new season we want to pass on some words of wisdom to you.
We all love a bet, a cheeky punt from time to time and what better time then the start of the  NBA season. We think we have found a few options for you this season.

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NBA Nation Australia’s Pre-Season Previews: Part One

Welcome to the first instalment of NBA Nation Australia’s 2012/13 season! Over the coming weeks we will be breaking down each team and their summer movements in an attempt to accurately place their final position on the NBA table at the end of the season.

Today, we take a look at the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.

We’re all waiting impatiently for the new season to start, be ready for it with NBA Nation’s Season Preview!

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Paul Pierce “Tebowing” during Game 2 win over Atlanta

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