Tag Archive: John Wall

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 Two Predictions

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
1:00 PM Dallas Mavericks San Antonio Spurs Spurs
3:30 PM Charlotte Bobcats Miami Heat Heat
7:00 PM Washington Wizards Chicago Bulls Bulls
9:30 PM Portland Trail Blazers Houston Rockets Rockets

Things to Watch For

In the Mavericks-Spurs game, look for Tony Parker to attack Dallas’ defense every time he gets an opportunity to do so. San Antonio’s ball and player movement will result in numerous layups at the front of the rim or wide-open corner threes. How many points the Spurs score from each of these two areas will largely depend on how well the Mavericks react to Parker’s initial penetrations.

Miami will begin its postseason run against a team that it has defeated 16 straight times, a team that will be playing just its second playoff series in franchise history and a team that has never won a single game in the postseason. So look for the two-time defending NBA champions to take advantage of Charlotte’s lack of playoff experience and do what the East’s top-seeded team (the Indiana Pacers) couldn’t do Saturday evening: Protect their home court.

The Chicago Bulls will wall off the paint and make it difficult for John Wall to penetrate the lane. And even when Wall does break down Chicago’s perimeter defenders look for Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson to give support.

Both the Trail Blazers and Rockets ranked in the top five in three pointers made and attempted during the regular season so look for a lot of threes to be taken—and made—in Game 1 of their first-round matchup.  But, in my opinion, how Damian Lillard (who is making his postseason debut) handles Patrick Beverly’s incessant, annoying pressure—and not who rains down the most threes—to a large degree, will ultimately determine the outcome of this game—as well as the series.

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
Brooklyn Nets 94 Toronto Raptors 87 Nets Nets
Golden State Warriors 109 Los Angeles Clippers 105 Clippers Warriors
Atlanta Hawks 101 Indiana Pacers 93 Pacers Hawks
Memphis Grizzlies 86 Oklahoma City Thunder 100 Thunder Thunder

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

***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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2014 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference First-Round Predictions

Here are Random NBA Fan’s predictions for the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs along with some keys that explain his prediction for each series.

 

Eastern Conference Series Prediction
# 1 Indiana Pacers vs. # 8 Atlanta Hawks Pacers in six
# 4 Chicago Bulls vs. # 5 Washington Wizards Bulls in six
# 2 Miami Heat vs. # 7 Charlotte Bobcats Heat in five
# 3 Toronto Raptors vs. # 6 Brooklyn Nets Nets in six

Keys to Each Series

Indiana Pacers (1) vs. Atlanta Hawks (8): Despite their recent struggles, the Pacers are clearly the better team in this series.  However, Indiana’s long-lasting struggles in Atlanta (where the Pacers have won just twice—including a Game 6 win to clinch last season’s first-round playoff matchup with the Hawks—since December 22, 2006) will probably help the Hawks (who are the only sub-.500 team in the playoffs) extend this series further than it should probably go.

Chicago Bulls (4) vs. Washington Wizards (5): Defense will be the difference here.  Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls will have time to prepare, hone in on, and scheme for John Wall and company.  The Bulls will undoubtedly go through their droughts on the offensive end, but it will be Chicago’s defense—and home-court advantage—that will carry the Bulls to the second round.

Miami Heat (2) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (7): The two-time defending champion Miami Heat will be facing a team that is making its second postseason appearance in franchise history.  The Bobcats have never won a playoff game and they will be facing a team that has won 46 playoff games en route to two NBA championships over the past three seasons.

Toronto Raptors (3) vs. Brooklyn Nets (6): Experience will be the deciding factor in this series.  The Nets have lots of it and the Raptors—well, not so much.  This is where the additions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will pay some dividends.  Brooklyn’s experience along with Toronto’s inability to close out games—the Raptors are just 3-8 in games decided by three points or less—will help the sixth-seeded Nets upset the third-seeded Raptors.  Admittedly, one of Toronto’s wins by three points or fewer did come against Brooklyn.  However, the Nets were playing their third game in four nights and the second half of a back-to-back.  In fact, both of Toronto’s regular-season victories over Brooklyn came when the Nets were playing the second half of a back to back and their third game in four nights.  And as we all know, there are no three-games-in-four-nights or back-to-back scenarios in the playoffs.

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Washington Wizards 2013-2014 Game-by-Game Predictions

Actual 2012-2013 Record: 29-53; Random NBA Fan’s Predicted 2012-2013 Record: 30-52

 

Just days before the start of the season, the Washington Wizards traded an injured Emeka Okafor for a healthy Marcin Gortat.  For a team trying to put an end to a five-year playoff drought, this was a solid trade.  Especially when you consider that Okafor is out indefinitely and that injuries are a big part of why Washington started last season 0-12.

In an effort to avoid that fate this season, the Wizards acquired a healthy center who could play right away for one who was going to be out indefinitely.  Gortat will fit in well with Washington.  Offensively, he gives point guard John Wall a center with soft hands who sets strong screens to utilize in the pick-and-roll game.  Gortat is also a big body that blocks shots and grabs rebounds.  His presence in the Wizards’ lineup also allows Nene (who has injury issues of his own) to move back to his more natural power forward position.

Even with Gortat coming over to replace Okafor, the strength of Washington’s lineup is it’s backcourt.  Wall and Bradley Beal will have to perform at a high level for the Wizards to have any chance at ending their playoff drought.

Wall, who signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension over the summer, is a fast athletic point guard who excels in the open court but struggles in the half-court game because of his shaky jumper.  Beal is a solid shooter, who made 38.6 percent of his three pointers as a rookie last season.  Unfortunately, for the Wizards and their fans Wall and Beal missed 33 and 26 games, respectively, last season.

Washington, particularly Nene, Wall and Beal, must remain healthy if the Wizards want to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008.  But with Nene’s recent injury history and all the pressure that will be on Wall and Beal to perform at a high level on a nightly basis just to keep the Washington Wizards competitive I am not sure if Washington’s training staff will be able to keep these guys healthy enough long enough for them to do what needs to be done on the court to help the Wizards end the drought.

Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2013-2014 Washington Wizards:

 

Date Visitor Home Prediction Record
October/November
10/30/2013 Washington Wizards Detroit Pistons Pistons 0-1
11/1/2013 Philadelphia 76ers Washington Wizards Wizards 1-1
11/3/2013 Washington Wizards Miami Heat Heat 1-2
11/6/2013 Washington Wizards Philadelphia 76ers Wizards 2-2
11/8/2013 Brooklyn Nets Washington Wizards Nets 2-3
11/10/2013 Washington Wizards Oklahoma City Thunder Thunder 2-4
11/12/2013 Washington Wizards Dallas Mavericks Mavericks 2-5
11/13/2013 Washington Wizards San Antonio Spurs Spurs 2-6
11/16/2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Washington Wizards Wizards 3-6
11/19/2013 Minnesota Timberwolves Washington Wizards Wizards 4-6
11/20/2013 Washington Wizards Cleveland Cavaliers Cavaliers 4-7
11/22/2013 Washington Wizards Toronto Raptors Raptors 4-8
11/23/2013 New York Knicks Washington Wizards Knicks 4-9
11/26/2013 Los Angeles Lakers Washington Wizards Lakers 4-10
11/27/2013 Washington Wizards Milwaukee Bucks Bucks 4-11
11/29/2013 Washington Wizards Indiana Pacers Pacers 4-12
11/30/2013 Atlanta Hawks Washington Wizards Wizards 5-12
December
12/2/2013 Orlando Magic Washington Wizards Wizards 6-12
12/6/2013 Milwaukee Bucks Washington Wizards Wizards 7-12
12/9/2013 Denver Nuggets Washington Wizards Nuggets 7-13
12/13/2013 Washington Wizards Atlanta Hawks Hawks 7-14
12/14/2013 Los Angeles Clippers Washington Wizards Clippers 7-15
12/16/2013 Washington Wizards New York Knicks Knicks 7-16
12/18/2013 Washington Wizards Brooklyn Nets Nets 7-17
12/21/2013 Washington Wizards Boston Celtics Wizards 8-17
12/27/2013 Washington Wizards Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves 8-18
12/28/2013 Detroit Pistons Washington Wizards Pistons 8-19
12/30/2013 Washington Wizards Detroit Pistons Wizards 9-19
January
1/1/2013 Dallas Mavericks Washington Wizards Mavericks 9-20
1/3/2013 Toronto Raptors Washington Wizards Wizards 10-20
1/5/2013 Golden State Warriors Washington Wizards Wizards 11-20
1/7/2013 Washington Wizards Charlotte Bobcats Bobcats 11-21
1/8/2013 Washington Wizards New Orleans Pelicans Pelicans 11-22
1/10/2013 Washington Wizards Indiana Pacers Pacers 11-23
1/11/2013 Houston Rockets Washington Wizards Rockets 11-24
1/13/2013 Washington Wizards Chicago Bulls Bulls 11-25
1/15/2013 Miami Heat Washington Wizards Heat 11-26
1/17/2013 Chicago Bulls Washington Wizards Wizards 12-26
1/18/2013 Detroit Pistons Washington Wizards Wizards 13-26
1/20/2013 Philadelphia 76ers Washington Wizards Wizards 14-26
1/22/2013 Boston Celtics Washington Wizards Wizards 15-26
1/24/2013 Washington Wizards Phoenix Suns Wizards 16-26
1/25/2013 Washington Wizards Utah Jazz Jazz 16-27
1/28/2013 Washington Wizards Golden State Warriors Warriors 16-28
1/29/2013 Washington Wizards Los Angeles Clippers Clippers 16-29
February
2/1/2013 Oklahoma City Thunder Washington Wizards Thunder 16-30
2/3/2013 Portland Trail Blazers Washington Wizards Wizards 17-30
2/5/2013 San Antonio Spurs Washington Wizards Spurs 17-31
2/7/2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Washington Wizards Cavaliers 17-32
2/9/2013 Sacramento Kings Washington Wizards Kings 17-33
2/11/2013 Washington Wizards Memphis Grizzlies Grizzlies 17-34
2/12/2013 Washington Wizards Houston Rockets Rockets 17-35
2/18/2013 Toronto Raptors Washington Wizards Raptors 17-36
2/19/2013 Washington Wizards Atlanta Hawks Hawks 17-37
2/22/2013 New Orleans Pelicans Washington Wizards Wizards 18-37
2/23/2013 Washington Wizards Cleveland Cavaliers Cavaliers 18-38
2/25/2013 Orlando Magic Washington Wizards Wizards 19-38
2/27/2013 Washington Wizards Toronto Raptors Wizards 20-38
March
3/1/2013 Washington Wizards Philadelphia 76ers 76ers 20-39
3/3/2013 Memphis Grizzlies Washington Wizards Wizards 21-39
3/5/2013 Utah Jazz Washington Wizards Wizards 22-39
3/8/2013 Washington Wizards Milwaukee Bucks Wizards 23-39
3/10/2013 Washington Wizards Miami Heat Heat 23-40
3/12/2013 Charlotte Bobcats Washington Wizards Wizards 24-40
3/14/2013 Washington Wizards Orlando Magic Wizards 25-40
3/15/2013 Brooklyn Nets Washington Wizards Nets 25-41
3/18/2013 Washington Wizards Sacramento Kings Wizards 26-41
3/20/2013 Washington Wizards Portland Trail Blazers Trail Blazers 26-42
3/21/2013 Washington Wizards Los Angeles Lakers Lakers 26-43
3/23/2013 Washington Wizards Denver Nuggets Nuggets 26-44
3/26/2013 Phoenix Suns Washington Wizards Wizards 27-44
3/28/2013 Indiana Pacers Washington Wizards Pacers 27-45
3/29/2013 Atlanta Hawks Washington Wizards Hawks 27-46
3/31/2013 Washington Wizards Charlotte Bobcats Bobcats 27-47
April
4/2/2013 Boston Celtics Washington Wizards Wizards 28-47
4/4/2013 Washington Wizards New York Knicks Knicks 28-48
4/5/2013 Chicago Bulls Washington Wizards Bulls 28-49
4/9/2013 Charlotte Bobcats Washington Wizards Wizards 29-49
4/11/2013 Washington Wizards Orlando Magic Magic 29-50
4/12/2013 Milwaukee Bucks Washington Wizards Bucks 29-51
4/14/2013 Miami Heat Washington Wizards Wizards 30-51
4/16/2013 Washington Wizards Boston Celtics Celtics 30-52

Washington Wizards 2011-2012 Game-by-Game Predictions

2010-2011 Record: 23-59; Predicted 2011-2012 Record: 23-43

John Wall will get another year of experience at running an NBA team as the Washington Wizards continue their rebuilding process.  Rookie Jan Vesely (selected sixth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft) will get some much-needed NBA experience too.

 

Date Visitor Home Prediction Predicted Record
12/26/11 New Jersey Nets Washington Wizards Wizards 1-0
12/28/11 Washington Wizards Atlanta Hawks Hawks 1-1
12/30/11 Washington Wizards Milwaukee Bucks Bucks 1-2
1/1/12 Boston Celtics Washington Wizards Celtics 1-3
1/2/12 Washington Wizards Boston Celtics Celtics 1-4
1/4/12 Washington Wizards Orlando Magic Magic 1-5
1/6/12 New York Knicks Washington Wizards Knicks 1-6
1/8/12 Minnesota Timberwolves Washington Wizards Wizards 2-6
1/10/12 Toronto Raptors Washington Wizards Wizards 3-6
1/11/12 Washington Wizards Chicago Bulls Wizards 4-6
1/13/12 Washington Wizards Philadelphia 76ers 76ers 4-7
1/14/12 Philadelphia 76ers Washington Wizards Wizards 5-7
1/16/12 Houston Rockets Washington Wizards Wizards 6-7
1/18/12 Oklahoma City Thunder Washington Wizards Thunder 6-8
1/20/12 Denver Nuggets Washington Wizards Wizards 7-8
1/22/12 Boston Celtics Washington Wizards Celtics 7-9
1/23/12 Washington Wizards Philadelphia 76ers 76ers 7-10
1/25/12 Charlotte Bobcats Washington Wizards Wizards 8-10
1/27/12 Washington Wizards Houston Rockets Rockets 8-11
1/28/12 Washington Wizards Charlotte Bobcats Bobcats 8-12
1/30/12 Chicago Bulls Washington Wizards Bulls 8-13
2/1/12 Washington Wizards Orlando Magic Magic 8-14
2/3/12 Washington Wizards Toronto Raptors Raptors 8-15
2/4/12 Los Angeles Clippers Washington Wizards Clippers 8-16
2/6/12 Toronto Raptors Washington Wizards Wizards 9-16
2/8/12 New York Knicks Washington Wizards Knicks 9-17
2/10/12 Miami Heat Washington Wizards Wizards 10-17
2/12/12 Washington Wizards Detroit Pistons Pistons 10-18
2/14/12 Washington Wizards Portland Trail Blazers Trail Blazers 10-19
2/15/12 Washington Wizards Los Angeles Clippers Clippers 10-20
2/17/12 Washington Wizards Utah Jazz Jazz 10-21
2/20/12 Washington Wizards Phoenix Suns Wizards 11-21
2/22/12 Sacramento Kings Washington Wizards Wizards 12-21
2/28/12 Washington Wizards Milwaukee Bucks Bucks 12-22
2/29/12 Orlando Magic Washington Wizards Magic 12-23
3/3/12 Cleveland Cavaliers Washington Wizards Wizards 13-23
3/5/12 Golden State Warriors Washington Wizards Wizards 14-23
3/7/12 Los Angeles Lakers Washington Wizards Lakers 14-24
3/10/12 Portland Trail Blazers Washington Wizards Wizards 15-24
3/12/12 Washington Wizards San Antonio Spurs Spurs 15-25
3/13/12 Washington Wizards Dallas Mavericks Mavericks 15-26
3/15/12 Washington Wizards New Orleans Hornets Wizards 16-26
3/16/12 Washington Wizards Atlanta Hawks Hawks 16-27
3/18/12 Washington Wizards Memphis Grizzlies Grizzlies 16-28
3/21/12 Washington Wizards New Jersey Nets Wizards 17-28
3/22/12 Indiana Pacers Washington Wizards Pacers 17-29
3/24/12 Atlanta Hawks Washington Wizards Hawks 17-30
3/25/12 Washington Wizards Boston Celtics Celtics 17-31
3/26/12 Detroit Pistons Washington Wizards Pistons 17-32
3/29/12 Washington Wizards Indiana Pacers Pacers 17-33
3/30/12 Philadelphia 76ers Washington Wizards 76ers 17-34
4/1/12 Washington Wizards Toronto Raptors Raptors 17-35
4/2/12 Milwaukee Bucks Washington Wizards Bucks 17-36
4/4/12 Indiana Pacers Washington Wizards Wizards 18-36
4/5/12 Washington Wizards Detroit Pistons Pistons 18-37
4/6/12 Washington Wizards New Jersey Nets Nets 18-38
4/9/12 Washington Wizards Charlotte Bobcats Wizards 19-38
4/10/12 Orlando Magic Washington Wizards Magic 19-39
4/13/12 Washington Wizards New York Knicks Wizards 20-39
4/14/12 Cleveland Cavaliers Washington Wizards Wizards 21-39
4/16/12 Washington Wizards Chicago Bulls Bulls 21-40
4/18/12 Milwaukee Bucks Washington Wizards Bucks 21-41
4/21/12 Washington Wizards Miami Heat Heat 21-42
4/23/12 Charlotte Bobcats Washington Wizards Wizards 22-42
4/25/12 Washington Wizards Cleveland Cavaliers Wizards 23-42
4/26/12 Miami Heat Washington Wizards Heat 23-43

Click here to see predictions for all 990 games of the 2011-2012 NBA season