Tag Archive: Dwyane Wade

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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2014 NBA Playoffs: Day 18 Predictions

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
7:00 PM Brooklyn Nets Miami Heat Heat
9:30 PM Portland Trail Blazers San Antonio Spurs Spurs

Things to Watch For

Can the Nets extend their winning streak over the Heat to five games? Brooklyn swept Miami 4-0 during the regular season. However, three of those games were decided by a single point and the other went into double overtime. Additionally, three of Miami’s four losses came when the Heat were playing their third game in four nights. Prior to losing all four games during the 2013-2014 regular season, the Heat had defeated the Nets 13 consecutive times by an average of 13.7 points per game. Look for a well-rested Heat team, led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (who missed two of the regular-season meetings) to protect their home court and earn their fifth consecutive victory to open the 2014 NBA playoffs.

Who will Terry Stotts ask to guard Tony Parker? As great as he has been offensively, asking Damian Lillard, who scored 25.5 points, dished out 6.7 assists and grabbed 6.3 rebounds in 44.7 minutes per game in his first taste of the postseason against the Houston Rockets, to maintain that type of production and try to rein in the savvy Parker is probably too much to ask. So look for Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews to spend plenty of time guarding Parker as well. Also look for San Antonio’s bench to outplay Portland’s bench, which will likely prove to be the key to this series. During the regular season no Spurs player averaged 30 minutes per game. Whereas, on the Trail Blazers side, all five starters averaged more than 30 minutes per game during the regular season—and three of them, LaMarcus Aldridge, Batum and Lillard, averaged more than 35 minutes per game.

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
Washington Wizards 102 Indiana Pacers 96 Pacers Wizards
Los Angeles Clippers 122 Oklahoma City Thunder 105 Thunder Clippers

Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 0-2
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Playoffs: 28-24

***Unlike my regular-season game-by-game predictions, which are made well before the beginning of the season, my game-by-game playoff predictions will be made day-by-day as the playoffs progress. This is mainly to avoid the mess that will be made whenever one of my predictions goes awry.***

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NBA Game of the Day: Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
7:00 PM Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers Magic
7:30 PM Denver Nuggets Brooklyn Nets Nets
7:30 PM Milwaukee Bucks Boston Celtics Celtics
7:30 PM Detroit Pistons Miami Heat Heat
8:00 PM Phoenix Suns Memphis Grizzlies Grizzlies
8:30 PM Charlotte Bobcats Dallas Mavericks Mavericks
10:00 PM Oklahoma City Thunder Sacramento Kings Thunder
10:30 PM Toronto Raptors Golden State Warriors Warriors

The Miami Heat (14-3) will go for their 11th consecutive win when they host the Detroit Pistons (7-10) in today’s NBA Game of the Day. And were it not for a buzzer-beating three pointer by Jeff Green that gave the Boston Celtics a 111-110 road win over Miami back on November 9, the Heat would be seeking their 15th straight win.

Prior to Green’s heroics, the Heat had won their previous three games by an average of eight points. Since that home loss, Miami has strung together 10 consecutive victories by an average of 12.5 points per game. In their last outing, the Heat, behind 13 straight points by Chris Bosh, came from behind to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats for the 14th straight time.

That was Miami’s sixth straight home win and the Heat will try to close out a brief two-game homestand with their sixth consecutive home win over the Detroit Pistons. Since LeBron James and Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, the Heat have defeated the Pistons five straight times at AmericanAirlines Arena by an average of 17 points a game. In fact, Miami has won nine of the last 10 meetings between these two teams with the only loss coming in Detroit on December 28, 2012.

At 7-10 the Pistons are one of 12 Eastern Conference teams who currently have records below .500. Despite being three games below .500, Detroit is one of the top eight teams in the weak and struggling Eastern Conference and the Pistons would remain among the top eight in the East even if they lose to the Heat tonight.

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
Orlando Magic 80 Washington Wizards 98 Wizards Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans 131 3OT Chicago Bulls 128 Bulls Pelicans
Atlanta Hawks 100 San Antonio Spurs 102 Spurs Spurs
Houston Rockets 103 Utah Jazz 109 Rockets Jazz
Indiana Pacers 102 Portland Trail Blazers 106 Trail Blazers Trail Blazers

Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 3-2
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Season: 165-95

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NBA Game of the Day: Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
7:00 PM Philadelphia 76ers Washington Wizards Wizards
7:00 PM New Orleans Pelicans Orlando Magic Pelicans
7:00 PM Cleveland Cavaliers Charlotte Bobcats Cavaliers
7:30 PM Toronto Raptors Atlanta Hawks Hawks
7:30 PM Milwaukee Bucks Boston Celtics Bucks
8:00 PM Miami Heat Brooklyn Nets Nets
8:00 PM Oklahoma City Thunder Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves
8:00 PM Detroit Pistons Memphis Grizzlies Grizzlies
8:00 PM Dallas Mavericks Houston Rockets Rockets
9:00 PM Portland Trail Blazers Denver Nuggets Trail Blazers
10:00 PM Utah Jazz Phoenix Suns Suns
10:00 PM Los Angeles Clippers Sacramento Kings Clippers
10:30 PM San Antonio Spurs Los Angeles Lakers Spurs

The Brooklyn Nets (0-1) will try to snap a 13-game losing streak to the two-time defending champion Miami Heat (1-1) in today’s NBA Game of the Day. The Nets, who have championship aspirations of their own, have not defeated the Heat since Vince Carter led them to a 96-88 victory back in March of 2009.

Since the road to the NBA championship will probably go through Miami, this is a streak that these new-look Nets will have to snap sooner or later if they hope to have any chance at unseating the Heat as champions. Brooklyn, who opened its season with a disappointing 98-94 road loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, will need to find a way to defeat the Heat if the Nets want to avoid their first 0-2 start since that dreadful 12-win season four years ago.

Miami opened its title defense with a solid victory over Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on opening night. But the Heat suffered a surprising 114-110 to the Philadelphia 76ers the next night as Dwyane Wade rested his knees. Although he is listed as day-to-day, Wade will likely return to Miami’s lineup tonight since tonight’s matchup would not be part of any back-to-back scenario.

 

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
New York Knicks 81 Chicago Bulls 82 Bulls Bulls
Golden State Warriors 115 Los Angeles Clippers 126 Clippers Clippers

Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 2-0
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Season: 15-4

NBA Game of the Day: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
7:00 PM Orlando Magic Indiana Pacers Pacers
8:00 PM Chicago Bulls Miami Heat Heat
10:30 PM Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers Clippers

My fellow NBA fans, our beloved NBA is back and the two-time defending NBA Champion Miami Heat will begin their title defense against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Before the game starts, the Heat will get their rings and raise another banner to the rafters of AmericanAirlines Arena.

This game will also mark Rose’s return to the hardwood. After suffering a knee injury during the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, Rose sat out the entire 2012-2013 campaign and looks to lead the Bulls back to Eastern Conference prominence. Chicago finished the regular season with the best record in the entire NBA in both 2011 and 2012. And since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, the Bulls have won seven of the 11 regular season matchups between these two teams. However, the Heat have eliminated Chicago from the postseason two of the past three years.

There is no love lost between these teams; and James and the Heat have something that Rose and the Bulls desperately want. While it may only be the first game of the season, this will be a dramatic and exciting game in which Rose and the Bulls will try to announce that they are indeed back. It is fitting that Rose will make his return and get his first test against the defending champions. A championship is something that Rose covets and he and the Bulls know that at some point or another they will have to go through the Heat to get what they truly desire. And though nothing between these teams can be settled until the postseason rolls along, it will be fun to watch these two Eastern Conference titans do battle and feel each other out.

Random NBA Fan’s Final 2012-2013 Regular-Season Record: 777-452

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