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Predicting the NBA Western Conference… Like A True G.

Who will win the NBA’s Western Conference? Our experts weigh in on the top eight contenders, so pay attention and get ready.

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Alright gang, let’s get into the real meat of the league, the Western Conference.   We all saw the power shift that occurred this offseason with so many Eastern Conference stars heading West, making the divide greater than ever before.  Besides the Cavs and maybe Wizards and Celtics, the Eastern Conference is super weak while the Western is stacked.  Who will win the West? Our experts weigh in, so pay attention.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

 

1-Warriors

Well, this should be no surprise to anyone with a pulse, the Warriors are the best team in the NBA again.  Steph Curry and Kevin Durant together are just too nasty for anyone to handle.

 

2-Rockets

Houston really amped up their chances by adding Chris Paul to the already heavy-duty roster.  The former Clipper floor general will settle this feisty team down at the right times.  Should be an interesting team to watch.

 

3-Thunder

Who knows what this team will be like with so many new faces and players that like the ball in their hands.  How will Carmelo adjust to playing the 4? Can Russell Westbrook actually pass the ball?  And how will Paul George fit in?

 

4-Spurs

You just can’t count out a Popovich coached Spurs team, never, ever, ever. Can the old guys stay healthy and can Aldridge snap out of his slump?

 

5-Blazers

The Blazers pulled out all the stops to try and get Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks but failed so do they have enough firepower?  Lillard, McCollum and upstart Nurkic form a nice trio.

 

6-Jazz

Losing all-star Gordon Hayward definitely hurts but with a defensive stud like Rudy Gobert in the middle, it will be hard for anyone to score.  I see them as a middle team in a deep division.

 

7-Timberwolves

The Timberwolves definitely got better with the addition of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague and hopefully, their young studs improved as well.  The West is really tough and I’m not sure these youngsters are ready yet, maybe next year.

 

8-Clippers

Losing Chris Paul will be tough to handle but grabbing Gallinari could help offset some points.  Blake will be Blake and probably get hurt near the end of the season again…  But he sure can dunk…

 

Rounding out the bottom of the Western Conference will be the Nuggets, Grizzlies, Mavericks, Pelicans, Lakers, Suns and the Kings.  The West is just too deep for all these good teams.  There is a lot of promise with these young squads but they need time to develop.

 

That is our predictions, and hopefully, we are exactly right, cause we just bet the farm…

 

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Dwyane Wade Turns Back The Clock Against 76ers

Dwayne Wade scores 28 points in just 26 minutes in the game two matchup against the 76ers.

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Dwayne Wade looked like the Dwayne Wade of ten years ago when he took the court in Philadelphia for their game two matchup against the 76ers. He came off the bench, as he has most of the season, but it still didn’t matter as he put up 28 points in just 26 minutes. to tie the series at 1-1. It was a sight for sore eyes for Heat fans, who have been wondering if their glory days were over after Wade left Miami in 2016. But he pulled out some classic Wade heroics to at least keep their chances alive for this season.

It seemed to be a clear effort by coach Eric Spoelstra to make Wade more of a focal point in game two. Wade only played 19 minutes in game 1 and had very little impact in the game. But for whatever reason, Spoelstra took the chance and rolled the dice on Wade and his rapidly deteriorating knees in an effort to swing the series in their favor. And swing the series they did.

Oh, and did we mention the victory ended a 17-game win streak by the 76ers? Because it did.

Who knows where the series, and postseason as a whole, will go from here, but his performance Monday night has many fantasizing about one last championship run by Wade. There are already rumors that this could be his last season. And he’s made a career out of being one of the toughest guys in the league and doing whatever he needs to do to help his team win. So maybe, at this point, “whatever he needs to do” might just mean giving literally everything he has left. Because after all he’s given over the years, he honestly might not have much left.

“A lot of people think that if you do decide to go out it’s because you weren’t supposed to be able to play no more. It’s not always supposed to be that,” Wade commented after the game. “Just taking time to think, that’s all I’m doing [in the off-season]. Taking time to think and looking at every angle and what’s the best situation for me to be in. That’s all. It’s a lot of different things that come into play.”

Maybe he will go on a tear and take the Heat past the first round and beyond. Maybe he does have enough left to get them all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Or maybe this was just one last great game from one the greatest players of his generation. Either way, it was a beautiful thing to see and it has been an absolute pleasure to watch this man’s Hall of Fame career. Even if the Heat lose the series to the 76ers and Wade retires after the season, he will not soon be forgotten.

 

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Duke Loses All Five Starters To The Draft

Freshman Wendell Carter Jr. announced today that he will declare for the NBA Draft, making him the fifth of five starters last season for Duke that will not be returning next season. 

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Freshman Wendell Carter Jr. announced today that he will declare for the NBA Draft, making him the fifth of five starters last season for Duke that will not be returning next season. He joins three other freshmen, Trevon Duval, Gary Trent Jr., and Marvin Bagley III. Along with the troublemaking senior, Grayson Allen. It’s just one example of the wild turnaround many college coaches have to deal with these days thanks to one year wait period required after graduating high school before a player can declare for the draft.

Carter released a statement that read as follows, “I want to thank Duke University, my coaches, and teammates for helping me so much, not only on the court but off it as well. We’re all brothers, we all have each other’s backs. I’m really going to miss being around my friends, but I’m really going to cherish the moments we had together. I’m very excited and very happy to say I was part of something special here at Duke.”

During his one and only season at Duke, Carter averaged 13.5 points and 9/1 rebounds. He is considered by many scouts and executives to be a lottery pick, which makes the decision likely a smart one for Carter. Not to mention, all signs point to his Duke teammate, Marvin Bagley III, being taken in the lottery as well. Bagley entered his Duke career as one of the top prospects in the country and didn’t disappoint during his freshman campaign.

Trevon Duval averaged 10.3 points, 2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists a game. His decision to turn pro was slightly more surprising than Bagley and Carter, but he is likely hoping to ride his intangibles onto an NBA roster. While Trent Jr. averaged 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Much stronger numbers that should help him make a roster. Not to mention he’s 6’6” and 209 pounds. Giving him the ideal size and skill level to play multiple positions at the next level.

Then there’s the ever-controversial Grayson Allen. His four-year career at Duke was well documented for both his successes and his odd behavior. While his skill level, overall production, willingness to leave it all on the court would be desired but just about any NBA franchise, his dirty play, and occasional bad attitude has to be a red flag for many GMs and owners. It could definitely hurt his draft stock, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t get drafted at all. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see how he will be welcomed into the NBA by veterans who may not be too crazy about his behavior. He might be in for a rude awakening.

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The NBA Playoffs Are Finally Here

Another fantastic and exciting NBA season is in the books, and now it’s time for what really matters: the playoffs.

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Another fantastic and exciting NBA season is in the books, and now it’s time for what really matters: the playoffs. Sure, players can make a great career out of regular season success. Maybe they’ll even be considered a “star” for some of those seasons. But heroes? Heroes are born in the playoffs. If you want to go down as one of the greats, you sure as heck better hit some game winning shots and give absolutely everything you’ve got to try and get your team a championship. And I for one have got a feeling we’re about to see quite a few heroics in the coming weeks.

This excitement of this season went right down to the wire this year. Specifically, The Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets met in their final games of the regular season, with the 8th seed in the West and a trip to the playoffs on the line. It was an incredible game that went into overtime, but by the end, the Timberwolves had prevailed. They’re in for quite a shock now, though, as they’ll face the all mighty Houston Rockets in the first round.

In Portland, the Utah Jazz came to town with the 3rd seed in the west on the line. It was a very interesting game because if Portland would have lost, everything would have basically stayed the same. Utah would have stayed the 3 seed and Portland the 4, giving them both home-court advantage in the first round. But because Portland won, they jumped into the number 3 spot and Utah dropped all the way to the 5 spot. They will now face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, with OKC benefiting from home court advantage. Portland, meanwhile, will face off with Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, while the 2nd-seeded Golden State Warriors will face the 7th-seeded San Antonio Spurs.

In the East, the Washington Wizards snuck in as the 8th seed and will face the top-seeded Toronto Raptors in the first round. It could be a tough series for the Raptors though, as it’s likely the Wizards are only the 8th seed because they were without their star point guard, John Wall, for much of the season. But many believe, especially those in Toronto, that the Raptors are finally due for playoff success and a trip to the NBA Finals.

The rest of the Eastern Conference match-ups look like this: (2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Milwaukee Bucks, (3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Miami Heat, and (4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Indiana Pacers. And make no mistake, despite all the attention I gave the Western Conference at the beginning of this article, there are definitely some intriguing match-ups in the East.

You can never count out the Brad Stevens-led Boston Celtics, but due to the recent announcement that Kyrie Irving is out for the rest of the season, the 7th-seeded Milwaukee Bucks might be in the perfect position to reach the second round for the first time since the ’00/’01 season. While the 3rd-seeded 76ers are riding a 16 game winning streak into the playoffs, which could spell disaster for the Miami Heat. But, then again, can you ever truly count out Dwyane Wade?

And last but not least, you have the 4th-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers against the 5th-seeded Indiana Pacers. In any other season, this would seem like a relatively easy first-round match-up for a Lebron James-led team. But this has been, in his words, one of the most difficult seasons of his career. So there’s no telling what kind of mindset the Cavaliers are in. While the young, underdog Pacers have played loud and fast all season, thanks to a stellar season by their star, Victor Oladipo. For me, this is one of the trickiest match-ups in the first round. Because, on one hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cavs yet again make it to the NBA Finals. But, on the other hand, I can’t say I’d be surprised if the Pacers steal this one from Cleveland and knock them out in the first round.

Either way, I am very excited for whatever is about to happen.

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