We already published one column this week analyzing the Spurs’ winning streak and how they aren’t cruising, they are gliding. Since then, they have had a pair of quality victories over the Indiana Pacers and the Golden State Warriors, winning by large margins each time. With the streak at 19 heading into Thursday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, we should expect another blowout, right? After all, only two games during the streak have been decided by 8 points or
The playoffs may be just right around the corner, but when talking about the bigger picture when it comes to the landscape of the NBA, it all starts with the Miami Heat. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have the ability to opt-out of the last year of their contracts with the Heat on June 30th, thus potentially making them free agents at the end of the season.
Mike Bantom, the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Referee Operations, is cracking down on a very specific point of contention. The issue at hand? Verticality. Secondary defenders are permitted to challenge an oncoming offensive player so long as they stay “vertical.” However, according to a memorandum sent to all owners, general managers, coaches and officials over the weekend, there has been a noticeable increase of players bending, if not breaking, the rule. We have noticed that defenders have been turning sideways when jumping to
There have been some fair comparisons drawn between the current 17-game winning streak of the San Antonio Spurs and the remarkable 27-game run put together a year ago by the Miami Heat. Both teams expect to compete for the NBA championship. Both teams found their rhythm at the most opportune time of the season. Both teams stormed to the league’s best record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. There are obvious differences as well. For one, San Antonio still needs 10
The Miami Heat do not intimidate the Indiana Pacers. That much was very, very clear in their matchup Wednesday night. But you know what intimidates the Pacers? The moment. We saw it last year in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals when they looked like deer in the headlights. And we saw it again Wednesday night when George Hill went to the line with 1.8 seconds left and a chance to put Indiana ahead by 3 – and promptly missed both
Kevin Durant is going to be the MVP. There’s no stopping him, and nobody is doing anything remotely close to what he is doing on offense for Oklahoma City. He might even win the award unanimously. So that steers the MVP argument toward who should finish second, and I have been making the case for two weeks now that Blake Griffin is the most deserving candidate (although his missed FT late in regulation against the Pelicans was especially costly last night). I
As teams continue to jockey for position in the Western Conference — and fight for 50 wins just to get in — one of the early season darlings continues to sink. That would be the Portland Trailblazers. Once the talk of the NBA, the Blazers have hit a rough patch at the worst possible time, losing nine of their last 13 games and are now just a half game ahead of the Golden State Warriors for the 6th spot in the
As the NBA regular season finally hits the home stretch before what promises to be a highly entertaining two months of playoff basketball, a few of the leagues elite teams find themselves riding the struggle bus. The two-time defending champion Miami Heat needed a strong finish against Portland on Monday just to avoid a sub .500 March. Bad losses to Boston, New Orleans and Denver were all contributors to this stretch of underwhelming play.