NSS Jazz @ Nets!! Jazz going for 10!!
The Jazz will be fighting for their 10th straight win against a Nets team that got Kyrie back and hoping to make up for some loss ground. The Jazz are 12-9 on the road and already beat the Nets once this season in a game that Donovan Mitchell did outscored Irving. It got pretty bad for the Nets who went through a 7 game losing streak but did enough to stay on a playoff seed. Jazz and Nets only meet twice in the season, this should be an exciting game.
Mitchell missed the last game vs the Wizards, but as off right now is listed as probable vs the Nets. A healthy Mitchell will be needed for the Jazz who will need to matchup Irving’s scoring and playmaking. Mitchell leads the team in scoring with 24.2 Ppg, in his absence Jordan Clarkson has stepped up. Speaking of Clarkson, he has plenty of momentum heading into this game coming off back-to-back 20 point games. But most importantly serving as a big spark in the Jazz winning streak.
Clarkson is averaging 15.2 Ppg on 46.1 FG% and 35.2% on 3 point shooting. The Jazz have found their groove as they are approaching their halfway point of the season. Joe Ingles have stepped up as the number 1 distributor in the absence of Mike Conley. Another the player for the Jazz that is doing good things but still under the radar is Georges Niang, in the last 10 games he is averaging 8.1 pts in 15.8 minutes. The Key to a Jazz win will be depended on Gobert dominating the boards.
Key Matchup – Rudy Gobert Vs Jarrett Allen & DeAndre Jordan: Rebound Battle
– Gobert – 14.4 Rebounds per game – 2nd in NBA
– Allen – 9.9 Rebounds per game – 14th in NBA
– Jordan – 9.8 Rebounds per game – 17th in NBA
The Nets will be switching back and forth between Allen and Jordan matching up with Gobert on the glass. If the Nets get an offensive rebound the ball will go back to Irving and he’ll make the Jazz paid for it. Irving 1st game back was a win against the Hawks where he look extremely comfortable scoring 21 points in 20 minutes.
The Jazz are tired with the Nuggets for in the West and only .5 game ahead of the Rockets. The game vs the Nets is their 2nd game of 3 game road trip before heading back to Utah.
Pick: Jazz. Mitchell returns should spark the Jazz.
Irving came back and was almost perfect against the Hawks, but being that it was the Hawks. Nets are 11-8 at home.
NBA Nonsense Expectations!! The East
The NBA All Star break is just about over and the real race for the playoff will begin (for some teams). With only about 25 games left for most teams the debate “To Tank or Not to Tank” begins. So here are some nonsense predictions and expectations for each of the NBA Teams for the final half of the season.
Let’s Begin with the East:
- Toronto 41-16 (Currently 1) – Toronto will continue dominate their opponents. Derozan will continue his strong season averaging 23.7 points per game. The bench with surge with more time given to VanVleet and Poetl. For a team that still has 25 games left in the season and only 10 wins away to match their total from last year. Coach of the year nominee could lead his team to a 60 wins season. Looking at the scheduled they play Orlando and Detroit 3 times each. Ending record 56-26.
- Cleveland Cavaliers 34-22 (Currently 3) – LeBron James and the new looking Cavaliers will reach the number 2 seed. Even being behind the Celtics 6 games, they still have 26 games left. If anything we have learn about any team that LeBron plays for is that they rally in the 2nd half of the season. Also keep in mind that this team already looks scary and Kevin Love is still out of the line up. Ending record 54-28.
- Boston Celtics 40-19 (Currently 2) – Brad Stevens is a great coach. Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Tatum have all had great seasons. The rise of Terry Rozier has also proven to be very valuable. Unfortunately for the Celtics they haven’t been winning the 50-50 games and teams are preparing more and more for them. Also a big factor are injuries Kyrie and Horford have both missed games this year, therefore rest will play a big factor for the Celtics for the rest of the season. Ending record 53-59.
- Indiana Pacers 33-25 (Currently 5) – Victor Oladipo is averaging 24.4 points per game, which is the highest of his career. If he can keeps on torching teams on the offensive the Pacers will be in a great playoff position. At the beginning of the season it would have impossible to predict that the Pacers would be doing this good. The only question left is what else can this Cinderella/ redemption team can do. Ending record 49-33.
- Washington Wizards 33-24 (Currently 4) – Bradley Beal have been great, since John Wall went down, proving that he can be the leader to this Wizards team. The question lies on how Wall will adjust to the new team play and if he is willing to (maybe) take a backseat to Beal. Expect locker room drama and lack of leadership to cost this team a couple games. Who is or who should be the leader of this Wizards team? Wall or Beal??Ending record 48-34.
- Philadelphia 76ers 30-25 (Currently 7) – Embiid and Simmons are going to be playing with fire in their eyes. Do you #TrustTheProcess?? Going into the All Star break with a 5 game winning streak and starting out the final stretch with a matchup against the Bulls. The 76ers are done tanking and now making an entrance back in to the playoffs. Ending Record 46-36.
- Miami Heat 30-28 (Currently 8) – D-Wade will lead his team to the promise land (the playoffs, not championships) before he signs another deal for a paycheck or retires. The Heat are nowhere close to any kind of championship form that they have been in the past. But that doesn’t mean that Pat is going to take the “tanking route. Plus why tank when you can make the playoffs and build history (by history, I mean endless profit) with every minute that Dwayne Wade Plays. Ending record 44-38.
- Milwaukee Bucks 32-25 (Currently 6) – The Bucks will miss Jason Kidd playoff experience. The Greek Freak will continue to make highlights for the rest of the season. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of help and it will take time to re-integrate Jabari Parker in to the team full rotation. Khris Middleton is a diamond in disguise that the Bucks aren’t fully taking advantage off. If they fully commit to Parker (which they shouldn’t do) they will see Middleton succeed somewhere else. Ending record 43-39.
Not Tanking but Not Making Strides Forward (in no particular order)
- Detroit Pistons – Acquiring Blake Griffin was treated as when Monty Python found the Holy Grail. Both seem great at the time and will prove worthless overtime. Detroit will find more future success than it would have keeping Harris and Bradley (so that’s a step forward). Sitting 2 Sports out of the playoffs, the Pistons will find their success with Blake Griffin mostly putting people in the stands so they can see amazing dunks (and ignored the team missing the playoffs). SVG is not going to have an easy summer. His job is on the line. The Pistons will have a better year next year, which is something am sure Pistons fans have been telling each other for a while now.
- Charlotte Hornets – have more than likely ruined whatever future they had with Kemba Walker. Are already shopping for back office roles. Their biggest attribute is Dwight Howard great bounce back season. Developing young players should be the number 1 priority. With 25 games the Hornets don’t have many options other than to just keep on their average play. MKG, Malik Monk and so many more fail experiments for the Hornets. The RESET BUTTON needs to be push. Most importantly for Kemba give him a chance to be great somewhere else (With the Knicks).
- New York Knicks – Going in to the 2nd half losing 8 straight. First game is against fellow tanking team the Orlando Magic, so that’s going to be a battle and only the best loser will win. Porzinguis is out (again). Michael Beasley is not the answer. Tim Hardaway Jr was, literally, jumped over by the Greak Freak (and not it wasn’t at the dunk competition). Knicks fan are jumping ship. Why did they sign Mudiay?
- Chicago Bulls – This team is actually trending up. They knew what was in store for them after trading away Jimmy Butler and getting back an injured Zach Lavine. But the future is brighter than it looks and this season may have been “Meh” for the most part. The Bulls are taking to the fast lane to rebuilding and for the most part with Lauri, Dunn and Lavine the future is couldn’t be any brighter. The Bulls they are not tanking, they are just losing games. That happens.
Pretending to Tank, Trying Not To Tank, and obviously (sucking at) tanking
- Brooklyn Nets – Finally have a semi healthy roster. Russell is back. Okafor is finally playing. Spencer Dinwiddie is bringing back the old school mustache and afro. The Nets are pretending to tank. They team they have is a lot better than advertised (when healthy). Somewhere in the Brooklyn Nets main building cheers can be heard because they may suck, but not sucking as much as the Knicks are.
- Orlando Magic – The Magic are really trying not to tank. They just don’t have any players that affect the winning column. I think they have realized this and started getting rid of some projects (Elfrid Payton). The Magic roster shows so much potential we all want to see this team win. They should really stop trying not to tank and just start tanking. Go lobby for Trae Young.
- Atlanta Hawks – there is not a team that sucks so badly at tanking than the Hawks. They need to accept their tanking role. Every night play Collins for 30+ minutes and just throw lobs at him all day long. Keep focusing on bringing in rappers for halftime events, Hot Sauce playing 1-1 with fans and everything else that you’re doing. Just accept it and keep walking like there is nothing happening. The Atlanta Hawks are going to be at the bottom of the East for a very long time. So give the people more Collins and have a better bio for Andrew White III. Maybe is a genius idea to have a great half time show.