Tag Archive: Al Horford

2014-2015 NBA Eastern Conference Preview

Based on my predictions for all 1,230 regular-season games for the 2014-2015 NBA season, here is my predicted order of finish for the Eastern Conference:

1. Chicago Bulls (60-22)

The return of Derrick Rose and the addition of Pau Gasol should help the Bulls address their shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers (58-24)

LeBron James’ return will make Cleveland relevant in the Eastern Conference for the first time since James’ infamous departure back in 2010.

3. Brooklyn Nets (48-34)

Lionel Hollins, task master that he is, will get the most out of the Nets no matter how many games Brook Lopez misses or plays this season.

4. Miami Heat (46-36)

Despite the departure of LeBron James, Erik Spoelstra should be able to lead an experienced Heat squad with the likes of Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade supported by Luol Deng and Danny Granger to a spot in the top four of the weak East.

5. Toronto Raptors (41-41)

After a surprising Atlantic Division title last season, opponents will pay a little bit more attention to the Raptors this season.

6. New York Knicks (40-42) 4th tiebreaker, predicted to go 29-23 in Conference

Although they will likely struggle early on and will probably have their ups and downs as they adjust to the triangle offense, the Knicks will probably get enough out of the Carmelo Anthony and company to squeak into the postseason.

7. Washington Wizards (40-42) 4th tiebreaker, predicted to go 28-24 in Conference

Can the Wizards, who remained relatively healthy—for them—last season, get another 155 games out of Bradley Beal and John Wall this season?  With Beal likely to miss the first few weeks of the season with a wrist injury, it seems unlikely.

8. Atlanta Hawks (39-43)

Atlanta has made the playoffs an Eastern Conference high seven straight times and despite a tumultuous offseason, the return of Al Horford should help the Hawks push that streak to eight.

9. Charlotte Hornets (37-45)

10. Detroit Pistons (30-52)

11. Indiana Pacers (26-56) 5th tiebreaker, predicted to go 10-19 against predicted playoff teams in East

12. Boston Celtics (26-56) 5th tiebreaker, predicted to go 10-20 against predicted playoff teams in East

13. Milwaukee Bucks (23-59)

14. Orlando Magic (20-62)

15. Philadelphia 76ers (18-64)

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Atlanta Hawks 2013-2014 Game-by-Game Predictions

Actual 2012-2013 Record: 44-38; Random NBA Fan’s Predicted 2012-2013 Record: 47-35

The Atlanta Hawks have made the playoffs each of the past six seasons (tied with the Boston Celtics for the longest streak in the East) and have had winning records each of the past five. However, Al Horford is the only holdover from the teams that started those two runs.

Horford has been a model of professionalism and consistency since joining the Hawks as a rookie in 2007. And if the Hawks are to extend the two aforementioned streaks, it will likely be Horford and the examples that he sets that will get them there.

Despite having a modicum of success during the regular season in recent years, Atlanta has not performed quite as well in the playoffs. Over the past six seasons, the Hawks have won just two games in the second round and have gone a disappointing 21-32 overall in the postseason.

In an effort to improve their playoff fortunes moving forward, general manager Danny Ferry hired Mike Budenholzer, an old cohort from his San Antonio days. Budenholzer worked with Gregg Popovich in the San Antonio Spurs organization for nearly two decades before agreeing to take over as the head man in Atlanta.

In addition to bringing in Budenholzer, the Hawks made some roster changes as well. Atlanta has built a solid core of Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver. But they have acquired a few new pieces to support that core.

Paul Millsap, who signed with Atlanta as an unrestricted free agent, will replace Josh Smith at the power forward position. DeMarre Carroll, Millsap’s teammate in Utah the past two seasons, will man the small forward position to round out the starting lineup. Elton Brand, a 14-year veteran, will be the primary big off of the bench and rookie Dennis Schroder will get opportunities to play at both guard spots. Center Gustavo Ayon and shooting guard Louis Williams, a holdover from last season’s team, will fill out the rotation when they return from their respective injuries.

With a lot of new pieces being added to the mix and two rotation players already out with injuries, it may be difficult for the Atlanta Hawks to extend both of their streaks. If they can finish the season with a winning record for the sixth straight time, the Hawks will extend both streaks. However, Atlanta can possibly make a seventh consecutive playoff appearance without having a winning record.

Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2013-2014 Atlanta Hawks:

 

Date Visitor Home Prediction Record
October/November
10/30/2013 Atlanta Hawks Dallas Mavericks Mavericks 0-1
11/1/2013 Toronto Raptors Atlanta Hawks Hawks 1-1
11/3/2013 Atlanta Hawks Los Angeles Lakers Lakers 1-2
11/5/2013 Atlanta Hawks Sacramento Kings Hawks 2-2
11/7/2013 Atlanta Hawks Denver Nuggets Nuggets 2-3
11/9/2013 Orlando Magic Atlanta Hawks Hawks 3-3
11/11/2013 Atlanta Hawks Charlotte Bobcats Bobcats 3-4
11/13/2013 New York Knicks Atlanta Hawks Knicks 3-5
11/15/2013 Philadelphia 76ers Atlanta Hawks Hawks 4-5
11/16/2013 Atlanta Hawks New York Knicks Knicks 4-6
11/19/2013 Atlanta Hawks Miami Heat Heat 4-7
11/20/2013 Detroit Pistons Atlanta Hawks Hawks 5-7
11/22/2013 Atlanta Hawks Detroit Pistons Pistons 5-8
11/23/2013 Boston Celtics Atlanta Hawks Hawks 6-8
11/26/2013 Orlando Magic Atlanta Hawks Hawks 7-8
11/27/2013 Atlanta Hawks Houston Rockets Rockets 7-9
11/29/2013 Dallas Mavericks Atlanta Hawks Mavericks 7-10
11/30/2013 Atlanta Hawks Washington Wizards Wizards 7-11
December
12/2/2013 Atlanta Hawks San Antonio Spurs Spurs 7-12
12/4/2013 Los Angeles Clippers Atlanta Hawks Clippers 7-13
12/6/2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks Hawks 8-13
12/10/2013 Oklahoma City Thunder Atlanta Hawks Hawks 9-13
12/13/2013 Washington Wizards Atlanta Hawks Hawks 10-13
12/14/2013 Atlanta Hawks New York Knicks Knicks 10-14
12/16/2013 Los Angeles Lakers Atlanta Hawks Hawks 11-14
12/18/2013 Sacramento Kings Atlanta Hawks Hawks 12-14
12/20/2013 Utah Jazz Atlanta Hawks Hawks 13-14
12/23/2013 Atlanta Hawks Miami Heat Heat 13-15
12/26/2013 Atlanta Hawks Cleveland Cavaliers Cavaliers 13-16
12/28/2013 Charlotte Bobcats Atlanta Hawks Hawks 14-16
12/29/2013 Atlanta Hawks Orlando Magic Magic 14-17
12/31/2013 Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Celtics 14-18
January
1/3/2013 Golden State Warriors Atlanta Hawks Hawks 15-18
1/4/2013 Atlanta Hawks Chicago Bulls Bulls 15-19
1/6/2013 Atlanta Hawks Brooklyn Nets Nets 15-20
1/8/2013 Indiana Pacers Atlanta Hawks Hawks 16-20
1/10/2013 Houston Rockets Atlanta Hawks Hawks 17-20
1/12/2013 Atlanta Hawks Memphis Grizzlies Grizzlies 17-21
1/16/2013 Brooklyn Nets Atlanta Hawks Nets 17-22
1/20/2013 Miami Heat Atlanta Hawks Heat 17-23
1/22/2013 Atlanta Hawks Orlando Magic Hawks 18-23
1/24/2013 San Antonio Spurs Atlanta Hawks Spurs 18-24
1/25/2013 Atlanta Hawks Milwaukee Bucks Bucks 18-25
1/27/2013 Atlanta Hawks Oklahoma City Thunder Thunder 18-26
1/29/2013 Detroit Pistons Atlanta Hawks Hawks 19-26
1/31/2013 Atlanta Hawks Philadelphia 76ers Hawks 20-26
February
2/1/2013 Minnesota Timberwolves Atlanta Hawks Hawks 21-26
2/4/2013 Indiana Pacers Atlanta Hawks Pacers 21-27
2/5/2013 Atlanta Hawks New Orleans Pelicans Pelicans 21-28
2/8/2013 Memphis Grizzlies Atlanta Hawks Hawks 22-28
2/11/2013 Atlanta Hawks Chicago Bulls Bulls 22-29
2/12/2013 Atlanta Hawks Toronto Raptors Raptors 22-30
2/18/2013 Atlanta Hawks Indiana Pacers Pacers 22-31
2/19/2013 Washington Wizards Atlanta Hawks Hawks 23-31
2/21/2013 Atlanta Hawks Detroit Pistons Hawks 24-31
2/22/2013 New York Knicks Atlanta Hawks Hawks 25-31
2/25/2013 Chicago Bulls Atlanta Hawks Bulls 25-32
2/26/2013 Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Hawks 26-32
March
3/2/2013 Atlanta Hawks Phoenix Suns Hawks 27-32
3/5/2013 Atlanta Hawks Portland Trail Blazers Trail Blazers 27-33
3/7/2013 Atlanta Hawks Golden State Warriors Warriors 27-34
3/8/2013 Atlanta Hawks Los Angeles Clippers Clippers 27-35
3/10/2013 Atlanta Hawks Utah Jazz Hawks 28-35
3/13/2013 Milwaukee Bucks Atlanta Hawks Hawks 29-35
3/15/2013 Denver Nuggets Atlanta Hawks Hawks 30-35
3/17/2013 Atlanta Hawks Charlotte Bobcats Hawks 31-35
3/18/2013 Toronto Raptors Atlanta Hawks Raptors 31-36
3/21/2013 New Orleans Pelicans Atlanta Hawks Hawks 32-36
3/23/2013 Atlanta Hawks Toronto Raptors Hawks 33-36
3/24/2013 Phoenix Suns Atlanta Hawks Hawks 34-36
3/26/2013 Atlanta Hawks Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves 34-37
3/27/2013 Portland Trail Blazers Atlanta Hawks Trail Blazers 34-38
3/29/2013 Atlanta Hawks Washington Wizards Hawks 35-38
3/31/2013 Philadelphia 76ers Atlanta Hawks Hawks 36-38
April
4/2/2013 Chicago Bulls Atlanta Hawks Bulls 36-39
4/4/2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks Hawks 37-39
4/6/2013 Atlanta Hawks Indiana Pacers Pacers 37-40
4/9/2013 Boston Celtics Atlanta Hawks Celtics 37-41
4/11/2013 Atlanta Hawks Brooklyn Nets Hawks 38-41
4/12/2013 Miami Heat Atlanta Hawks Heat 38-42
4/14/2013 Charlotte Bobcats Atlanta Hawks Hawks 39-42
4/16/2013 Atlanta Hawks Milwaukee Bucks Hawks 40-42
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2013 NBA Playoffs Game of the Day: Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
7:00 PM Chicago Bulls Brooklyn Nets Nets
7:30 PM Indiana Pacers Atlanta Hawks Pacers
9:30 PM Oklahoma City Thunder Houston Rockets Rockets

After manhandling the Atlanta Hawks in the first two games of their best-of-seven series, the Indiana Pacers were given a dose of their own medicine when the series shifted to Atlanta for Game 3. The Hawks, who have now won 12 straight over the Pacers at Philips Arena, will have an opportunity to extend that streak to 13 and—more importantly—climb into a 2-2 tie with Indiana with a victory in today’s NBA Playoff Game of the Day.

The Pacers, who won the first two games by an average of 16 points while averaging 110 themselves, scored just 69 points while suffering a 21-point blowout in Game 3. After opening the series with eight solid quarters of offensive efficiency, Indiana’s offense was simply a no-show for Game 3. The Pacers shot a woeful 27 percent (22 of 81) from the floor, 16 percent (4 of 25) beyond the three-point arc and turned the ball over a whopping 22 times. Indiana will have to improve upon those numbers if the Pacers hope to head back home with a 3-1 series lead.

Atlanta hopes that the changes it made to its lineup—inserting 7-footer Johan Petro at center and bringing three-point specialist Kyle Korver off the bench—that allowed the Hawks to move Al Horford to power forward and Josh Smith to small forward to better matchup with Indiana’s size will be available to them for Game 4. Petro, whose wife is having a baby missed practice yesterday and skipped this morning’s shootaround, will be a game-time decision according to the Hawks’ official Twitter feed. Atlanta’s bigger lineup helped the Hawks outscore the Pacers by 20 points, 50-30, in the paint in Saturday night’s Game 3. If Atlanta can control the paint and force Indiana to turn the ball over at a high rate, the Hawks would give themselves a great chance at tying the series at two games apiece.

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
New York Knicks 90 Boston Celtics 97 Knicks Celtics
Miami Heat 88 Milwaukee Bucks 77 Heat Heat
San Antonio Spurs 103 Los Angeles Lakers 82 Spurs Spurs
Denver Nuggets 101 Golden State Warriors 115 Nuggets Warriors

Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 2-2
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Playoffs: 22-8

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NBA Game of the Day: Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta Hawks

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Wednesday, Jan. 18 Visitor Home Prediction
7:00 PM Oklahoma City Thunder Washington Wizards Thunder
7:00 PM Denver Nuggets Philadelphia 76ers 76ers
7:00 PM San Antonio Spurs Orlando Magic Spurs
7:30 PM Golden State Warriors New Jersey Nets Nets
7:30 PM Toronto Raptors Boston Celtics Celtics
7:30 PM Phoenix Suns New York Knicks Knicks
8:00 PM Portland Trail Blazers Atlanta Hawks Hawks
8:00 PM Memphis Grizzlies New Orleans Hornets Grizzlies
8:00 PM Detroit Pistons Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves
10:00 PM Indiana Pacers Sacramento Kings Pacers
10:30 PM Dallas Mavericks Los Angeles Clippers Mavericks

NBA fans there are 11 games on the NBA schedule today. Jamal Crawford will make his return to Atlanta when the Portland Trail Blazers visit the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Game of the Day.

During Crawford’s two-year tenure with Atlanta, the Hawks defeated Portland all four times that the two teams met. The Trail Blazers are hoping that with Crawford now on their side that he can help them win their first game in Atlanta since January 21, 2008.

The Hawks have won three straight games since learning that center Al Horford will be out for three to four months with a torn pectoral muscle that he suffered in a 96-84 loss to the Indiana Pacers last Wednesday. If they can win tonight, Atlanta will close out a perfect 4-0 home stand.

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
Charlotte Bobcats 89 Orlando Magic 96 Magic Magic
Golden State Warriors 105 Cleveland Cavaliers 95 Warriors Warriors
San Antonio Spurs 98 Miami Heat 120 Heat Heat
Phoenix Suns 97 Chicago Bulls 118 Bulls Bulls
Denver Nuggets 105 Milwaukee Bucks 95 Nuggets Nuggets
Detroit Pistons 80 Houston Rockets 97 Pistons Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 79 Utah Jazz 108 Jazz Jazz

Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 6-1
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Season: 130-71