Tag Archive: Pau Gasol

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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Los Angeles Lakers 2013-2014 Game-by-Game Predictions

Actual 2012-2013 Record: 45-37; Random NBA Fan’s Predicted 2012-2013 Record: 64-18

The Los Angeles Lakers come into the 2013-2014 season with a lot of questions buzzing around them.  When will Kobe Bryant return from his Achilles injury, and what kind of player will he be when he does return?  Will a return to the post help Pau Gasol return to All-Star form?  Can the soon-to-be-40-year-old Steve Nash stay healthy?

These questions and many more will hang over Los Angeles this season.  But how these three future Hall of Famers respond to these particular questions will pretty much define the Lakers’ season.

If Bryant, Gasol and Nash can all play 60 or more games for the Lakers this season, that will give the Lakers a sense of stability that they simply never had last season.  With the three Hall of Famers providing a stable foundation, it will be Mike D’Antoni’s responsibility to build around that trio with the right complementary pieces.

D’Antoni has some talented and hungry players who want to be in Los Angeles and are a better fit for his offensive system.  Jordan Farmar, Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman and Nick Young can make positive contributions to the Lakers this season, and all of them will get ample opportunities to do so.

Last season, even without a training camp and all the injuries, D’Antoni’s Lakers finished in the top 10 in points and offensive efficiency.  I fully expect them to be amongst the top 10 in each of those categories once again this season.

The Lakers struggled defensively last season (22nd in points allowed and 19th in efficiency), and without the three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard back there to serve as the last line of defense, conventional wisdom would suggest that the Lakers would be an even poorer defensive team this season.  But that is not necessarily the case.  Yes, the Lakers interior defense will suffer, but Johnson and Young are long and athletic and have the potential to become disruptive forces on the defensive end.  Now whether the Lakers can get them to be willing defenders is another story.

But D’Antoni did hire Kurt Rambis, who was the architect of the defense that helped the Lakers win the 2009 NBA title, to shore up the defense.  If Rambis can get Johnson and Young to play with the same type of defensive intensity that Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar play with, there is no reason that the Lakers cannot become a middle of the pack defensive team.

If the Lakers can finish in the top 10 in scoring and offensive efficiency and be an average defensive team, they should be able to equal last season’s 45 wins.  If they can do those two things and also get Bryant, Gasol and Nash to each play at least 60 games, the Lakers just might have a 50-win season.

Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2013-2014 Los Angeles Lakers:

 

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

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
8:00 PM Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics Lakers
10:30 PM Chicago Bulls Denver Nuggets Bulls

Two of the most-storied franchises in NBA history—and possibly the history of sports—will meet in today’s NBA Game of the Day when the Boston Celtics host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight. Both the Celtics and Lakers (who together have won three of the last five NBA championships) came into this season hoping to compete for titles 18 and 17, respectively. As rich as their histories have been, this season has been less than lustrous for both teams thus far.

Boston, who has won five straight Atlantic Division titles, currently trails the division-leading New York Knicks by six and a half games and is currently the eighth-place team in the Eastern Conference standings. However, since Rajon Rondo’s season-ending injury, the Celtics (25-23) have won five straight and are in a virtual tie with the Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston can move into seventh place in the East with a win over Los Angeles tonight.

The Lakers, who trail the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers by a whopping 11 games, will need the help of multiple miracles to win a sixth straight division title this season. But even more pressing for the Lakers and their fans is the fact that they trail the Houston Rockets by three games for the eighth—and final—playoff spot in the West. The 10th-place Lakers can and, in my opinion, will likely make up those three games before the end of the season. However, particularly with injuries to Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, there are no guarantees, and the Lakers (23-26) must play each of their remaining games with a sense of urgency that has eluded them for much of the season.

Los Angeles, who has won six of its last seven games, including three straight on the road, has beaten the Celtics in six of the last eight regular-season meetings between the teams and has come away victorious in its last four trips to Boston.

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
Charlotte Bobcats 95 Cleveland Cavaliers 122 Cavaliers Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers 86 Orlando Magic 76 Magic Clippers
Indiana Pacers 88 Philadelphia 76ers 69 76ers Pacers
New York Knicks 96 Washington Wizards 106 Wizards Wizards
Boston Celtics 99 Toronto Raptors 95 Celtics Celtics
Memphis Grizzlies 92 Atlanta Hawks 103 Hawks Hawks
Brooklyn Nets 93 Detroit Pistons 90 Nets Nets
Houston Rockets 108 Miami Heat 114 Heat Heat
Phoenix Suns 84 New Orleans Hornets 93 Hornets Hornets
Golden State Warriors 98 Oklahoma City Thunder 119 Thunder Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers 99 Dallas Mavericks 105 Trail Blazers Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs 104 Minnesota Timberwolves 94 Spurs Spurs
Milwaukee Bucks 86 Utah Jazz 100 Jazz Jazz

Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 10-3
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Season: 466-266

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NBA Game of the Day: Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors

Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):

 

Time (ET) Visitor Home Prediction
7:00 PM Atlanta Hawks Cleveland Cavaliers Cavaliers
7:00 PM Philadelphia 76ers Toronto Raptors Raptors
7:00 PM Utah Jazz Charlotte Bobcats Jazz
7:30 PM Phoenix Suns Boston Celtics Celtics
8:00 PM Houston Rockets New Orleans Hornets Hornets
8:00 PM Milwaukee Bucks Chicago Bulls Bulls
8:00 PM Los Angeles Lakers San Antonio Spurs Spurs
8:00 PM Minnesota Timberwolves Oklahoma City Thunder Thunder
9:00 PM Orlando Magic Denver Nuggets Nuggets
10:30 PM Memphis Grizzlies Golden State Warriors Warriors
10:30 PM Dallas Mavericks Los Angeles Clippers Clippers

The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies, whom they trail by half a game for fourth place in the Western Conference standings, in today’s NBA Game of the Day. On November 2, 2012, the Grizzlies defeated the Warriors for the seventh straight time and spoiled Golden State’s home opener. This will be the second of three regular-season meetings between these two teams.

With a win, the Warriors (22-11) would wrest fourth place from the Grizzlies and tie the season series at one game apiece. Golden State, who has won three straight at Oracle Arena, would also match last season’s win total of 23 with a victory over the Grizzlies tonight.

Memphis has already defeated the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings on this three-game road trip. Tonight, the Grizzlies (22-10) will try to close out a perfect road trip of three or more games for the first time since Pau Gasol led them to a 4-0 trip back in March of 2004. The Grizzlies, who will be playing for the third time in four nights, will visit a Warriors team that has not played since a 115-89 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, January 5.

Yesterday’s Results:

 

Visitor Home Prediction Result
Miami Heat 77 Indiana Pacers 87 Pacers Pacers
Brooklyn Nets 109 Philadelphia 76ers 89 76ers Nets
Los Angeles Lakers 112 Houston Rockets 125 Lakers Rockets
Phoenix Suns 99 Milwaukee Bucks 108 Bucks Bucks
Atlanta Hawks 103 Minnesota Timberwolves 108 Hawks Timberwolves

Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 2-3
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Season: 324-190