Playoff Picture Taking Shape

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Spurs have the top spot in the Western Conference locked up.

The Hornets’ ticket to the postseason has been punched. The Pacers are in, too. Wednesday night’s action around the NBA cleared up a few outstanding issues in regards to the playoffs.

Things are finally taking shape.

There’s only one spot left, the eighth and final slot in the Western Conference. And the Hang Time Grizzlies have it within their grasp — they can lock up the spot with a win over Sacramento on Friday night.

We still don’t know exactly how the playoff matchups will play out, there is still plenty of jostling being done in the bottom halves of both the Eastern and Western Conference standings. But we could have all 16 playoff teams locked in before the final weekend of the regular season is 12 hours old.

A few notes, quotes and an opinion or two after eyeballing as much of Wednesday night’s action as we could …

Heat Limping Without Wade

All this LeBron James-for-MVP talk has overshadowed an equally impressive season by Dwyane Wade. Just how different are the Heat without Wade in the lineup? They found out last night when they lost to the Bucks while he sat our resting a bruised thigh. The Heat has a 5-8 record when James, Wade or Chris Bosh doesn’t play or doesn’t finish a game due to injury.

ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst offered up a rather pointed analysis of the Heat’s current state of affairs (you can cover your eyes now, Heat fans):

If the Heat win their last four games, their huge free-agent haul will have meant a grand total of 11 more regular-season wins than the expiring free-agent crew Wade carried around all of last season in overachieving purgatory.

Unless the Celtics lose twice and the Heat win out, adding James and Bosh will have earned the Heat a mere two higher seeds in the standings, unimpressively going from No. 5 to No. 3. Indeed, the playoffs are the time for salvation, but the data doesn’t add up to an inspiring projection.

“What does the 2 seed guarantee you?” asked James, who had 29 points and eight assists in the loss.

“It doesn’t guarantee you win the series. … I’m a prime example. The last two years, I have been the first overall seed of everybody, all 16 teams, and it didn’t pay off for us.”

That’s one of the few things LeBron and Cavaliers fans will agree on!

Spurs Seal The Deal

While the rest of us have been obsessed with who gets the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, the Spurs seemed a bit indifferent after sealing the deal with a blowout win over the Kings and the Lakers’ surprising loss to Golden State, per the Express News:

“We’ve had it and won and had it and lost,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “The best team usually ends up winning.”

Under Popovich, the Spurs have owned the No. 1 seed four other times, parlaying it into championships in 1999 and 2003. In 2005, they won with a two seed. In 2007, they did it from the third slot.

“We knew it wasn’t the end of the world to finish second,” Manu Ginobili said, even before the seeding was official. “At the same time, after the kind of season we had, we wanted it.”

Something tells us the Spurs will appreciate the No. 1 seed a whole lot more if and when they have to use it to their advantage, to get out of a series with a Game 7 on their home court.

Mavs Can’t Stop The Bleeding

Chris Webber‘s words about them being soft will serve as background music for the Mavericks this season if they don’t turn things around in the postseason. Losers of four straight games after the Nuggets popped them last night, we’re officially nervous about a team we thought might challenge for a championship earlier this season.

Granted, Jason Kidd was given the night off to rest. But the fact is, the Mavericks are 8-9 in their past 17 games and haven’t inspired much confidence during this recent slide, losing to the Lakers, Warriors, Trail Blazers and Nuggets. They finish with four very winnable games — Clippers and Suns at home, on the road against the Rockets and the season-and home-finale against the Hornets, a potential first-round foe in the playoffs.

“Right now with our team, it’s not about measuring sticks or anything like that,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told ESPNDallas.com. “It’s about getting our health, getting our physical and mental disposition where it needs to be and then moving forward every day feeling like we made progress.”

Celebration Time In Indy

Carlisle’s former team, the Pacers, spent last night celebrating the playoff bid they clinched with their win and the Magic’s overtime win over the Bobcats. It’s been five years since the Pacers have sniffed the postseason, five long years for Danny Granger, who was on the last Pacers’ team to work beyond the regular season.

Not everyone remembers the promise Pacers boss Larry Bird made, but as my main man Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star points out here, Granger did:

“It’s been a trying time,” said forward Danny Granger, who was on the 2005-06 team that last went to the playoffs. “We’ve had a lot of trades where we re-hauled the whole team and then had the off-court stuff that happened. (Team president) Larry Bird said three years ago we’d be back in the playoffs in three years. He was right. It’s great to be here, honestly.”

CP3 Delivers For The Hornets

As they have all season, the Hornets rebounded from adversity to clinch their playoff berth. They were down 17 to the Rockets in the first quarter before an 80-55 surge punctuated their entrance to the postseason party.

Not bad for a team that’s endured its fair share of drama since last summer, starting with Chris Paul‘s supposed unhappiness with the franchise, as Jimmy Smith of the Time-Picayune points out:

Burdened at the outset of the season only with the expectations of a rebuilding season and his own head-coaching inexperience, [Monty] Williams navigated his way through an offseason of uncertainty surrounding All-Star point guard Chris Paul’s reported unhappiness with the team’s direction. In early December, the NBA assumed ownership of the financially troubled franchise, then the team coped with the tragic death of guard Willie Green’s sister and cousin shortly before Christmas in an automobile accident after a Hornets’ loss in Detroit, and last month’s season-ending injury to leading scorer David West.

Working with a roster that included only four holdovers, Williams instilled a defensive work ethic into the Hornets from the first day of training camp, a mindset that has served the team well and was instrumental in an 8-0 start to the season, and a 10-game winning streak in January.

“It has been a constant all season long,” said Paul who led the way Wednesday night with a game-high 28 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. “The first quarter, we looked like the Bad News Bears, and the last three quarters, we showed up. It’s been our philosophy all season to defend. …Defend, run and rebound. That’s what we did.”

180 Comments

  1. Lakers says:

    The Black Mamba and the Spaniard will be ready come playoff time, no matter what seed they are!

  2. As much as i love to see the lakers an celtics to lose i hate them both but u gotta give them their respect i wouldnt b suprised at all to see them meet again in the finals i lik the bulls they are great but they are going to trip up somewhere an i also believe that boston is the team to beat in the east an people dont sleep on the magic tho they have great players shooters an the addition of hedo will help them out alot i can see them beating the bulls if they meet but saying all this i like miami i just luvs LEBRON an in the west man its gonna b good i cant wait to see the nuggest an thunder play its gonna b good i have the thunder winning in 6 tho there the team nobody wana plays an the blazers just imagine if camby comes bak healthy an brandon roy an fernadez plays lik they were a few years ago they could come out the west I HATE THE OLD SPURS their time is up SORRY GUYS the Mavs pose no threat to nobody THEY PLA FOR THE REGULAR SEASON FORGET THE PLAYOFFS LOL THUNDER LAKERS WEST FINALS IM SO CONFUSED WITH THIS MATCHUP THO MAN DURANT NEEDS TO ATTACK THE BASKET MORE HE SHOOTS TO MANY JUMP SHOTS IF HE ATTACKS AN PERKINS GUARDS BYNUM WELL OKAY IT WILL BE THE THUNDER AN HEAT IN FINALS

  3. 813snoogy says:

    @MJ yea koby is crap but kobe is good lmao.

  4. ProHormone10 says:

    Knicks are dangerous kid I rest my case, whose on the winning streak whose got the momentum, Celtics are overrated and are fading fast they will win first round but wont make it to finals

  5. joso says:

    I´m just so happy that so many Celtics-haters will be dissapointed when they see them in the Finals. Bulls are a great team with the great leader D-Rose, Heat are so attractive with Big 3, but when the playoffs start, there are only two teams that can hold out the pressure. So I say: Boston-L.A. are in the FINALS, where better defence will take the C´ship title. I rest my case.

  6. ProHormone10 says:

    ADAM- I agree with you the Knicks are the most dangerous team in the playoffs for th EAST.

    Bulls are going to go dry—-1 player cannot win the east, and bulls cannot rely all on perimiter shooting! and if I eat my words then I eat em.

    Celtics- A lethal playoff team, plagued with injuries but in my opinion has the post potential in the EAST, but are not the most dangerous

    Knicks- The Knicks and their fans are hungry, frist time play offs 7 years, Amare’ promised “the knicks are back” I think they can through some major upsets if they play Defense.

    Philly- By By first round

    Magic- Dwight Howard along with Nelson will move past the first round.

    Paceers- Bye Bye

    Bobcats- Bye Bye

    and my Miami Heat- If they don’t play the Knicks move onto the seond round and win the East!

  7. eYeris says:

    LAKERS VS BULLS – lakers 4-2

  8. mike says:

    Me thinks Lakers hope to avoid the Grizzlies in the first round. Memphis match-ups with L.A as well as anybody. They have big men who rebound in Randolph, M.Gasol (who can play against his elder) and Arthur. They have a young and quick PG in Conley who will get Fisher in trouble. And last but certainly not least, they have TONY ALLEN! Secret weapon against Kobe and a guy who creates easy baskets with his slashing and relentless energy. I’d almost forgot about Battier who can also give Kobe tough looks on offense and spread the floor with corner 3s. Grizzlies are dangerous, I tell ya.

  9. 2K says:

    Never sleep on the underdogs of the NBA
    Denver, NYK = all have playoff potential

    Give it up for the little guys (smaller seeded teams)
    OKC is a huge contender for the Championship with Durant playing awesome b-ball and Westbrook leading the charge
    Harden and Sefalosha are good defenders who showed that they can take on playes like Rose and Kobe

    X – factor team
    Portland – Aldridge being a leader, Miller doing his thing, Batum sparking offense and defense when they need it, and with the addition of Gerald “Crash” Wallace doing his job as a great defender but surprising us by going over his role and providing offensive options the Portland Trail Blazers are a team to beat in the 1st round.

    Drop-out teams
    Dallas, Orlando, Heat and Pacers – these teams have either been playing bad b-ball or are just plain not going anywhere in the playoffs due to various reasons such as bad coaching, player disagreement

    C-ship contenders
    Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Spurs – these teams i know are going to be in the finals. knock some of them off if you wish but i firmly believe in the power of these teams corresponding role-players.

  10. LOKO sikari says:

    i think the pacers and grizz will be a hard match-up for any team they will face.
    and i think the blazers can make a huge upset over their 1st round opponent.
    i admit i am a laker fan but i think they’ll have a hard time if they face miami in the finals.

    GO LAKERS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!

  11. randy says:

    bulls vs lakers in the championship. derrick rose worked hard this year. the spurs out shined the lakers in the regular season but the lakers are 2 time defending champ and they flat out know how to win in the playoffs

  12. bobby says:

    I’m a Miami Fan….. But Sadly I don’t believe they will win it….
    My Prediction- Boston vs LA and LA wins again….
    yep…
    Not a kobe fan, but he is unstoppable in the playoffs….

  13. marduk bel says:

    The playoffs in the east will be very unpredictable this. I remember last year that the west playoffs is more interesting than the east. Now, it is the other way around.

  14. jrthatruth says:

    I like how everyone is trashing on the lakers and saying that they’re pathetic because they lose games they shouldnt.Yea youre right they shouldnt have lost to utah nor gsw,but you have to remember this no matter who they lose to in the regular season they always prevail in the post season.As for miami vs chi town,i do see it but then again you still have boston who has the most experience in the playoffs more than everyone else in the east.Yes they dont have perk and yes they are old but you have to realize they know how to play with each other and trust and believe that rondo will show why he’s one of the top pg’s.But another funny thing is how no one has mentioned portland and how they have been underdogs and still always come out on top,yea OKC is playing good but if they run into portland or denver then we’ll see how good they really are.All im saying is no one knows what will happen in the playoffs so dont write any team off especially the two teams who were in the finals last year

  15. Rey says:

    Eastern
    Chicago1
    Boston2
    Miami3
    Orlando4
    Atlanta5
    New York6
    Philadelphia7
    Indiana8
    1st round
    Chicago1 vs Indiana8
    Boston2 vs Philadelphia7
    Miami3 vs New york 6
    Orlando4 vs Atlanta 5
    2nd round
    Chicago1 vs Boston 2
    Miami3 vs Orlando 4
    Im sure this is gonna happen

  16. rhys says:

    none of youse idiots can read the future, so quit your arguing and grow up?

  17. rai says:

    BTW is Udonis Haslem is playing for the playoffs?

  18. Joaquin Miranda says:

    Steve Nash missing the playoffs hurts me DEEPLY. The Suns management should have traded him, they didnt go anywhere with Nash on the lineup, and will not, they have to rebuild, Why keep Nash? trade him while he is still valuable, the Suns get pieces, Nash gets a chance to win.

  19. dvo.city philippines says:

    @garfield..how come you said those things to Spoelstra!! Miami is a newly build team, Spoelstra and his team are figuring it throughout the regular season and now they come up with a positive results.. How can you explain what happen to the NYK (the new big3)?? is coach Mike D’Antoni unexperienced too?? Think about it!!:-)

  20. ShankS says:

    Possible outcome of playoffs:

    EAST: among top 4 only Magic has the chance to be upset. BULLS VS MIAMI in Conference Finals (too early to predict
    who will win when both teams meet but I count on BULLS).

    WEST: West as always is very exciting! It’s hard to predict but I think only the team that NO will face has the biggest chance
    to advance to second round, the rest will have a hard time, UPSETS might happen. LAKERS/MAVS vs SPURS
    in Conference Finals (this is not the year for OKC, probably next year).

    NOTE: I think EAST will win the championship this year!

    BTW, I am a MAVS fan!!

  21. Haters says:

    So many haters. Lol.
    Again, few of y’all give the Spurs credit, just like the rest of the nation.
    Spurs for the win. Parker finals MVP.

    Want to argue? I’m not checking this again.

  22. Jay says:

    As long as we’re all guessing…
    Whoever wins the Nuggets-Thunder series will win it all.

  23. Youngindy21 says:

    I honestly don’t think that the Bulls will sweep the Pacers. The Pacers actually have a decent team this year despite what their record indicates. You have to take into account that they had a coaching change mid-season and still made the playoffs. They also were missing Mike Dunleavy for about 17-20 games. While D. Rose will certainly give them a lot of problems. I think Darren Collison can effectively defend Rose. I also think that Danny Granger’s (underrated) production could offset D. Rose’s Production. Hopefully either Hibbert or Hansbrough can also get going to keep this series interesting. This is going to be one of the more interesting first round matchups even though I expect the Bulls to win the series, The Pacers have beat the Elite Teams this season (NY, LA,Chicago, Portland, Miami, Boston) so expect a GOOD first round fight.

  24. Stirling says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Portland are favourites to cause a round 1 upset? If they were to play the Spurs or Mavericks you could ALMOST consider them favourites for those series’…

  25. Paul J says:

    I’m happy for Larry Bird for guiding Indiana to the playof after five years of draught. They have a pretty good young players to be able to challenge other teams of the East coast. Good luck to Danny Granger and company. You can do it, just believe you can!

  26. kantankruz says:

    OKC to win it all.

    COME ON!!!!!

  27. BlackRice says:

    When teams are on the courts, nothing is predictable.

    It’s VERY COMMON that top teams are badmouthed by other top teams’ fans. Why? Because of fear, of course. You wouldn’t see fans badmouth teams they don’t think would pose any threat to their teams. In other words, BADMOUTHING IS SIMPLY A FORM OF COMPLIMENT FROM OTHER TEAMS’ FANS..

    — But nothing said from their fans will matter, except fans’ roaring cheers on their home courts. And in the end, only the best team will prevail, and only a small group of fans will then proudly stand uptight and tell the rest to eat dirt.
    Before then, kindly take badmouthing as compliments from fans that fear your teams.

  28. Nisha- Let's Talk says:

    I’m not worried about the Heat.. They will be fine.. Just need to get Wade back, or figure out how to win without him.. All the 2 seed says is home-court advantage.. The Heat are amazing on the road.. They can win in Boston and Chicago.. They may not have proved it, but they can do it for sure..

  29. ma says:

    PACER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. ma says:

    PACERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Celtics suck! HEAT suck! San Antonio Suck! Dallas Sucks !Lakers Suck! Chicago SUCKS! PACERS!!!!!!!!!!!! PACERS PACERS! !!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PACerS

  31. Just a Fan says:

    I agree with Chris that the Knicks blew it! They don’t have anything going on!!!!LOL!!!! They gutted their team to pick up Anthony!!! And we know that Stoudemire can’t carry a team!

  32. ddddd says:

    To all bulls fans— Remember that last year your bulls were fighting for the right to be swept by Cleveland… and look where they are now! Let the Pacers enjoy their moment in the sun and then pummel them in the postseason like we know will happen….

    For everyone else— Let the play in the postseason do the talking! Right now doesnt matter…

  33. Just a Fan says:

    I’m a Laker fan and I will say I disagree that the Lakers are losing games on purpose. They had a huge string of victories after the all star break and, frankly, I think they’re a little battle fatigued right now! I agree with Spurs Fan that the players minutes should be cut down somewhat to avoid too much wear and tear before the playoffs. The unfortunate thing is that Phil Jackson never seems to do that! Although I do think Kobe sat out a few games at the end last year. But that was more due to injury.

  34. Chris says:

    Well, whatever happens this year, the future rivalry will be OKC and the Bulls. They are the two most stable teams and the most likely to keep good young talent, and develop together. The point guard match-up between Rose and Westbrook is awesome (compare their stats side by side). OKC and the Bulls are the best teams from the east and the west with a future. New York blew it, and I just cant see the 3 big stars shinning together for long (someones ego is gonna blow it up). This fad of gathering big ego and talent will fade with a lack of results and the high cost.

  35. CCR says:

    Two words: Indiana Pacers

  36. TheQUick says:

    If the HEAT survives the first round, they will win this year,,, all they have to do is survive the first and the next will be easier,,, Go Heat,,, LBJ for MVP

  37. gilbert tualla says:

    i think chicago vs lakers in finals

  38. Albert Allego says:

    @prix, you still don’t get it do you? You’ve been criticizing Lakers as if you have the analytical skill; you talk what you saw, what you didn’t see is the application of the “line of attack”. Why seek for number 1 where you will bleed dry and exert too much energy that should be spent in the playoff? A loss to Nuggets was a loss but the losses to Utah and Golden State was a rehearsal; Lakers is practicing right now the playoff scenario where they are down by points and the endgame is critical; that’s what they’re doing, the only noticeable so far is that they didn’t have the success in doing that stuff in two games against Utah and Golden State. About the standings, Lakers is in the strategic position where they will hold home court against tough teams like Boston, Miami and Orlando and that’s all that matters. There are 1 and 2 alright but the no. 1 is aged and the gas is almost emptied and no.2 is rookie and the nerve is yet to be tested. Let’s see who will emerge victorious in the 2nd round where Chicago’s possible opponent is Boston while Spurs’ is Dallas and after the 2nd round, Lakers has the home court advantage above the rest; did you get that? Review the last year playoff.

    • rhys says:

      STFU, no team tries to get down and come back.. your an idiot, no team can turn it on wheneve rthey want either, weel just have to wait tll playoff time and then everyine can start yapping!!! D.Rose MVP

  39. garfield says:

    the heat won’t make it if they’d still stick to spoelstra as coach. if he can’t win a game with two of the big three then it would be better for him to step down and give way to someone more experienced when it comes to playoff time. ever noticed how spoelstra just opens his mouth like a mongoloid when the heat are in trouble? anybody would agree that the heat would be a better team right now if they had a soda dispenser as coach rather than that that spoelstra who is not man enough to admit that he doesn’t know how to coach

  40. Bull Fan says:

    I am just happy cuz the Bulls are in the playoffs. In the begining of the season everything was about the Heat and the Lakers, nobody counted on the Bulls. Even if they don’t make it to the finals, the whole city of Chicago will be more than happy with this great team cuz they have accomplished more than anybody could imagine. I am pretty sure that next season no matter what happens in the playoffs this season, the Bulls will be serious contenders to the tittle next year and people will have to talk about this team. D-Rose for MVP, why not? The facts are there, do I need to say more? I will be crushed if Kobe o LeBron get the MVP award this season, don’t get me wrong, they are really good players but they don’t deserve the award, at least not this season. Go Bulls!!!!

    • juicy says:

      Kobe, Lebron and D-Rose all deserve the MVP but only one player can win it.

      I hate Kobe, but you cant deny that he’s one of the best players in the league. Not to mention the most intimidating guard in the league. And, nobody can take over a game in a clutch situation like Kobe.

      Lebron is statistically the Best player in the league. enough said.

      Rose has done great things in chicago this year, but you cant forget that they also got a new coach who’s system has been perfect for this bulls team.

  41. ILoveCookies says:

    Personally, I just don’t want another Lakers v Celtics finals. That stuff is getting boring.

    Lakers v Bulls would be a much better finals (and yes, I am a Lakers fan, so I will have a Lakers bias).

    • juicy says:

      WOW, a 7 game NBA finals series between the Lakers and Celtics is BORING??? Seriously??? with each of them winning one the last 2 times they met in the finals, i would say that this matchup would be ANYTHING BUT BORING..

      • Kingsfan says:

        Agreed Juicy! I have heard quite a bit of people talk about how they are bored with seeing lakers vs. celtics etc. That’s basketball and it’s great basketball to watch!

  42. Joseph says:

    STOP CALLING LEBRON KING JAMES. Hes not the king of anything, he has no rings and even if he wins 10, he had to join another mans team to do it! A KING DOESNT LEAVE HIS PEOPLE SO HE CAN GET DRUNK ON SOUTHBEACH. If -ANYTHING-, he was the king of Clevland, but thats obviously not the case anymore. Next peron to call him King James is geting kicked in the nuts.

    King JORDAN, thank you goodnight.

    P.S NY KNICKS ALL DAY!!

    • juicy says:

      PS nobody called him king james on this page. Nobody really calls him King James at all anymore. and, are you a Jordan fan rooting for the Knicks?? That makes NO sense if you are. Unless of course you were just acknowleging that Michael Jordan is the Best player of his generation.

      And here it is, I’m calling him KING JAMES because he is the best player in the NBA. If you want to kick me in the nuts just ask, and i’ll send u my email adress, then i’ll email you my real adress and you can come and try it.

      Forgive my anger on this post, but people post WAY too much ignorant crap on here, and it’s hard not to point it out. Lebron traded to Miami from cleveland last summer and we’ve been through almost a whole NBA season since then so GET OVER IT!!!

  43. Casey says:

    You gotta admire what they’ve done in New Orleans. Rookie coach. CP3 talked about being traded plus the injuries. David West went down. It ain’t easy makin’ playoffs in west

  44. unbiasedobserver says:

    there is no chance in hell that LA will get their three peat this year, they diffinatley will come close but this just isnt their year. too many revamped teams that are hungrier and the spurs are on their way to another finals appearance. the bulls and celts will duke it out in the east but i believe that experience will pay off and the celtics will win their last title for a while. Other teams to watch out for would be the thunder in the west and the heat in the west, but i stand by choice and say that boston gets the crown this year. My second option would have to be the bulls.

  45. David says:

    When the Heat win the championship every1′s gonna be mad because the bad guys that everyone loves to put down won.

  46. Jose Pedro says:

    The Miami Heat don’t have an impressive record because they had a lot of things to figure out. They played awful the first 12 games of the regular season because they had to get to know each other and also, very important, Wade started the season awfully recovering from a severe injury. As soon as Wade started to play well, they took off. Also, they had another crisis when they lost 6 games in a row, as they were letting Lebron “be the guy” the last 5 to 8 minutes on those games. As soon as they changed that and let Wade do it, that problem was solved too.
    To me, this is just great as they have it all figured out right now to became the next NBA Champions. And there is a simple reason to that: Wade is the best player in basketball since Michael Jordan retired. He is a great scorer, he is way smarter than Kobe or Lebron and he plays great in playoffs or finals, as he did in 2006. He has had some severe injuries and a couple of years with a terrible supporting cast, but not this year. Wade only needs to have a good team with him to win a championship, and this year he has a great team. Wade will beat everyone if the Heat don’t get major injuries. Also, the Heat coaching staff have to let Wade play and acknowledge that Lebron is really “Wade’s Pippen” as you can see in some T-Shirts.
    As for the Heat’s regular season record, who cares about the regular season?

    • juicy says:

      First and formost, if you are going to compare Lebron and Wade, just pull up their stats and put them side by side.

      Lebron has posted better stats than D Wade this season and every season befor he came to miami. Dwayne Wade is great but he gets hurt ALL THE TIME. Before the season started, i remember watching footage of a Miami Heat practice and at the end of it, D. Wade was clowining on Lebron for icing his knees and ankles after a practice by saying “this is just practice.” Lebron just looked at him like an idiot. Now think about that scenario and think about how many games D. Wade has sat over his career with injuries compared to Lebron. Think about how many games Wade has sat this season ALONE compared to Lebron.

      • JGentry17 says:

        Wade’s stats this season…25.7 pts, 6.5 rbs, 4.5 asts, 1 stl, 1 bl…..James 26.7 pts, 7.5 rbs, 7 asts, 1 stl, 0 bl…not alot of difference….Wade has sat out 3 out of 76 games this season…James has started all 76…not a big difference….career averages…Wade….25.5 pts, 5.1 rbs, 6.3 asts, 1.8 stls, 1 bl…James….27.7 pts, 7 rbs, 7 asts, 1 stl, 0 bl….not a big difference…yeah LeBron is a 2x regular season MVP….but Wade has a championship and is a Final’s MVP….If I were starting a franchise today, I would take Wade over LBJ any day. Wade has more heart, he finishes the game better than LeBron (more clutch) and Wade is much better perimeter defender. Yeah LeBron has been healthier than Wade with LeBron playing in 624 games compared to Wade’s 544 games, but Wade, record wise, has done more with little than LeBron, seeing as LB had the best record in 2 consecutive seasons with the Cavs. LeBron is the most athletic player of all time, but Wade is a better player than LeBron. LeBron does do a better job of making his teammates better (better pg skills than Wade).

  47. Alan Hollway says:

    Well the West is as predictable as it can get. Final Spurs versus Lakers, Spurs may have to tough it out against the Thunder in a semi final and Lakers will get easily by Mavs or Hornets. Final will depend upon how the lakers ego tripping is going and whether Spurs can produce their best offensive effort. In the East not so predictable but leaning towards a Bulls and Celtics match up with C’s coming through.

  48. BullsFan1020 says:

    Bulls all the way

  49. Kingsfan says:

    So playoffs almost set, how about some predictions?

    Spurs vs grizz – spurs win 4-1. Grizzlies get their first ever playoff win
    Lakers vs Horners – Lakers win 4-1. paul has a triple double in game 4 to win 1 and send it back to LA
    Dallas vs Portland – Dallas wins 4-3. This was the tougest one to come to. Portland is ready for this upset!
    OKC vs Denver – OKC wins 4-2. Perk and Ebaka are going to be huge. Durant averages 30 for the series.

    Bulls vs Pacers – Bulls win 4-1
    Celtics vs 76ers – celtics win 4-2, 76ers give them a run but in the end not enough experience
    Heat vs Knicks – Heat win 4-2
    Orlando vs Hawks – Hawks win 4-3, yes the hawks upset Orlando

    Lakers vs Dalls – LA wins 4-2, Bynum eats up Chandler and spits him out.
    Spurs vs. OKC – OKC wins 4-2, The old wheels can’t keep up with the running guns

    Bulls vs. Hawks – Bulls win 4-1
    Celtics vs. Heat – Celtics win 4-2, too much experience and team play for Miami to keep up with. And Lebron will choke in closing moments in game 5.

    Lakers vs OKC – Lakers win 4-3, Kobe averages 30pg and bynum averages 15rbg
    Bulls vs. Celtics – Bulls win 4-3, Home court pays off, Rose tears it up averaging 25, 5, 5

    Lakers vs Bulls – Lakers win 4-2, Kobe and company steal game 2 in Chicago and run the table at home game 3-5.

    Flame all you want, that is just my opinion of how its going to play out. Either way, going to be extremely fun to watch!

    • 80s90sBaller says:

      I am extremely excited to see how the OKC vs. LA rematch is going to go in a couple days when they meet for the last time before the playoffs..

  50. ray allen fan says:

    hey guys I just noticed something…if you scroll up on this page at the top right hand corner there is a small smilely face…this is crazy!

  51. BeliSRB says:

    again this idiot prix..LOS ANGELES LAKERS-16 TITLES..and your fu**** miami only 1..moron!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Paul J says:

    With out Wade, Miami certainly will play an uphill battle against Boston, Chicago, Orlando who plays with superb teamwork most of the time. James can score 30 plus a game but having hard time winning against .500 team. It’s not time yet to panic and they can adjust playing without injured Wade. A change in play strategy perhaps one way of overcoming a Wade less team .

  53. LegendaryHeatFan says:

    Oh an BTW Adam, the Cavs would beat the Knicks if they were in the playoffs. The Knicks play NO DEFENSE and their best rebounder is a rookie. Who will choke his first year. Melo cannot D up LeBron, LBJ is the best perimeter D player in the League. Second is Wade and no on can gaurd him on the Knicks either. Joel Anthony can shut Amare’s SOFT self down. Amare has 2 moves and thats a floater and a dunk. And hes got a tweaked ankle. I will say that the Knicks are a scary matchup, but the Heat play Defense and thats what seperates the good teams from the great teams this time of the year. And I think the Boston and LA rivalry is better then the Chi NY one.

  54. Khan says:

    alot of people have the knicks upsetting the miami heat and i see the knicks losing in five simply because you cannot play the way the knicks do in the playoffs absolutely zero defensive responsibility and it will be a quick series carmelo is great but that team is awful.

  55. JKey says:

    I’m looking forward to the battles in the Western Conference this year and not the East.

  56. LegendaryHeatFan says:

    I think the Lakers are losing because they dont want to play against the Thunder in the second round, kind of like I want the Bulls and the Celtics to take each other out in the Second round (avoid playing the Heat till Conf. Finals.) Once post season arrives, the regular season is thrown out he window. Who cares about the reg. season matchup records. Cavs are perfect example of that. I am biased but Heat have a legit chance of making it to the Finals along with the Thunder. LeBron and Wade are not going to roll over and let ANYONE take it from them.

    • 80s90sBaller says:

      Finally someone making sense without being a fanboy. You are right, fanboys & girls are just pushing their own team disregarding that there are legitimate competition out there.

      The Heat have a chance if they get any help from anybody but the 3, which is sad because they are yet to get any consistent help from anybody. Bibby is a small improvement from Arroyo but they still have Professional NBA Players that can’t make open shots still on that team.

      The Thunder almost took the Lakers to 7 without a legit big man, let alone a tough one. Even Kobe gave Durant and Westbrook their props when he was interviewed he said he loved those guys and how they play with no fear. I don’t think anyone really wants to face the Thunder but they will have to eventually.

  57. Greg says:

    Lets see if Wade comes back healthy. Indiana, Hornets, Knicks will likely lose in the first round. Miami could easily lose in the second against Boston – health of the players would be key in that series. My son likes Miami. I see occasionally flashy plays in transition and frequently a lot of standing around in half court setting although I thought they weren’t quite as ugly last night. Their centers are not good.

  58. Lets GO Pacers!! says:

    Pacers will beat the bulls in 7. D Rose will = Grangers production, Collison and AJ Price will be productive. Paul George is a great defender and can score. Hibbert will play well as well as tyler H. Dunleavy back brings some offense and team defense…Basically your taking Deng, Boozer, Rose Vs. Granger, Hibbert, Collison. Thats the small picture and the bulls win that battle, but when you look at the other players we got the better bench.

  59. Adam Washousky says:

    Lets be realistic gentlemen…The best ever basketball in the history of basketball involves rivalries all surrounding the New York Knicks. The NEW NYK have the largest and most loyal fan base and play in the world’s most famous arena. They have been horrible the past few years very up and down. I respect Amare for what he did and Walsh for bringing in Anthony, that combo is lethal.

    That being said, I’m a die hard Miami Heat fan, the rivalries I refer to are Knicks Heat, Knicks Bulls, Knicks Boston. No one here can deny those are the top rivlaries in the history of the NBA, no one can deny NEW YORK is the most critical city in the world and gets the most attention. I think My Miami heat will unfortunatlly play the knicks and will lose. LEbron gets killed my Mello, and Amare crushes Bosh. An ideal situation would be if the heat played sixers and then saw the Knicks. I still can’t see the Heat or any team for that matter beating the New York Kknicks and their momentum in the East.

    • juicy says:

      I think the play of the Nuggets as of late is proof that the Knicks gave up too much to get Carmelo Anthony.

    • juicy says:

      Also, the best rivalry in the history of the NBA is the Lakers/Celtics rivalry

  60. ray allen fan says:

    but what if the pacers some how wiggle their way through the playoffs and won the NBA championship….reggie miller would kick garbage cans!

    I think that would be good for the league :)

  61. hahaha says:

    @? say the fact you rose sukker. I know d-rose is the MVP for this season and how great he is but say the fact. How come D-rose is better than Lebron?? different position and D-rose doesnt have any accomplishment yest am i wrong?? Lebron already got 2 MVPS, 1 socring title, 8th player to scroe 7 consecutive 2000 points man. also took his time to the final. No one could say D-rose is better than Lebron just becuz hes getting MVP this season.

  62. js says:

    Are you all delusional? Miami all the way, its their 1/7 championship ring. Spolster coach of the year.

  63. lance Broussard says:

    yup to be that the hornets are the sixth seed and are gonna smash dallas

  64. Lonestar189 says:

    HEY SPURS FAN Note: ya you guys have the best record in the west but you guys are way to small do you really think matt bonner and djaun blair are going to be able to match up against paul gasol,andrew bynum and odom there gonna get killed in the paint i dont care how tired the lakers are they are just to big like i said before the spurs shouldve traded richard sorry jefferson and matt red head looser bonner for another shot blocker to contain the lakers and help tim ducan in the paint

    • juicy says:

      Paul Gasol?? LOL once again:

      Tim Duncan – F
      Antonio McDyess – F/C
      Dejuan Blair – C
      Matt Bonner – F/C
      Tiago Splitter – F

      last time I checked, all of these players are big men for the Spurs, all of the are 6’7 or taller, and a couple of them are 7 footers. The Lakers got Bynum, Gasol and Odom (if you want to call Odom a post player). I think that the last thing that the Spurs need is another big man, unless they’re moving Duncan to small forward lol.

      • tj says:

        Bynum 7’1″, Pao 7’0″, Odom 6’10″
        McDyess 7’0″, Duncan 7’1″, Tiago Splitter 7’0″, Bonner 6’10″, Blair 6’7″ but plays like 6’10″
        get your facts straight homie. it will be a good series and could go either way. As they have proven Spurs are not that old as they have succeded playing uptempo basketball all season, certainly not older than Boston, and not more than a year or two older than Lakers average.Hate all you want on the Spurs, we thrive on proving haterz wrong. It will be a great series and i can’t wait for playoffs to begin.

  65. morger says:

    Bulls are as overrated as they come and Bulls fans are just jealous we got Lebron. Have fun with your first round playoff exit, Bores fans. Derrick will win MVP and then promptly choke it up on the big stage.

    • ? says:

      @morger you have no idea how stupid you sound. Trust me, no body is jealous the heat got Lebron. Matter fact, anybody who knows anything about basketball would most likely take D Rose of Lebron. D Rose is better than Lebron. Lebron isnt even capable of winning a championship, looks like D Rose is. So again, you sound like a complete idiot.

      • LakersWillWin says:

        What?? I know bball and I’d take LeBron over Rose. Sorry… And I like Rose and dislike Bron, if that says anything.

      • juicy says:

        yet another ignorant post from “?”. Leborn should be the MVP but Rose will get it because of the backlash of Lebron’s decision. but if you look at these two player’s statistics side by side, it’s really no comparison.

        And how has Rose proven that he’s capable of winning a championship??? He hasn’t even been to the finals (which Lebron has, with a Cleveland team that was waaaay worse that the team Rose has). So what has Rose proven?? He’s showed us that hes a great player, but as far as championships go, “Derrick Rose” and “Championship” are words that you cant say in the same sentence unless the sentence is “Derrick Rose has NEVER won, or played in the Finals for an NBA Championship.” As for Lebron you can say “Lebron James has played in the Finals for an NBA Championship, but he lost.”

  66. Backlash says:

    boston didn’t do a whole roster change idiot ..they kept all their same players except for a few.

  67. MiamiChick says:

    Miami will beat the Knicks so badly if they play eachother on the first round of the playoffs…

  68. Gus says:

    yeah so I say it again, watch out for NY to upset the Heat, I don’t trust LBJ and wade is too vice Carter lately with injury after injury and please Lebron will always beat Melo on stats, but Melo will always win the game, they’re almost the same anyway just that Melo got sweet jumpers and nice post ups and LBJ doesn’t wanna learn anything cos he treats the court like is crapping pot. Back to my team the Lakers, everybody thinks they so invincible bit trust me they’re not, they just find a way to win. Also the Lakers will beat any team in the finals but one and that is the Miami Heat. Please don’t ask me why cos it’s quite obvious. LBJ by himself and now with Wade can disrespect the paint of the Lakers better than anyone cos they are quick and ferocious and they can do it b4 the defense sets, that’s the reason for LBJ’s success in the past and now also the Heat’s success against the Lakers. They can get to the paint or the foul line better than anyone ( except maybe Melo) against the Lakers so trust me Kobe don’t wanna see the Heat in the finals but as I said b4 they won’t worry if NY or even the C’s or Chicago draw’s the Heat later on. But hey I’m willing to bet with anyone that the Knicks upset the Heat, if and only if they get to play the Heat in the first round. Lakers in 6 for 6 in the finals!!!

  69. Alonso Michael Zamarripa says:

    GO MAVS!

  70. Gus says:

    @ The analyst..first of all I wanna say Hahahahahahaha you are outta ya mind about the Knicks/Heat match up. Lebron MSG = Knicks…the NY fans don’t cheer up away fans anymore mayne. They got they own team and guess wat? Mike d’antoni’s offense might be weak but the Denver boys, yes the Denver boys Melo, billups, Carter, Sheldon, have a mix of offense and defense. And please check the history man Lebron against Melo has always been stats for LBJ and the win for Melo. Oh and that home court advantage u talk about is really for NY cos they got more fans on the road than even the Lakers and even more fans in MIA cos of the 80′s 90′s rivalry. Dude you don’t know what you talking about, it’s gonna be a tough a game yes but when the game is slowed down and everybody is pinned down and they is no help defense around, amare and carmelo are the best iso players with the exception of Kobe n maybe pau

    • ? says:

      No team has more road fans than the Lakers. Do you hear the way road fans cheer for the Lakers, its like they are at the staples center.

  71. clay says:

    it would be a much bigger deal if the top 3 seeds in the east weren’t so closely matched. I think the seeding of the top 3 seeds is meaningless as to determining which squad is ultimately better

  72. The Analyst says:

    Lebron + MSG= Epic
    Lebrons performances in the rough house of the NBA’s playground are always epic. True that NY is a touch matchup however with Lebron on Melo, Wade on Chauncey, and Bosh/Amare both being equally weak defensively…this while it may be a fun matchup, I give advantage to the Heat. Homecourt advantage, two time MVP against D’antonis weak defense? I’m sorry I just dont see them containing him. Remember that D’antoni had Nash, Amare, Marion, JoeJohnson, Raja, Barbosa etc. All during their primes annd still went 7 games against the post Shaq- Pre Gasol era Lakers. Kobe grilled them for 30 plus a game and that was with Kwame/B. Grant senter, Odom SF, Kobe and I believe Fisher was in Utah that year. I just dont see them containing Lebron and or Wade…sorry Knicks Fans.
    As far as ANYONE thinking a possible Bulls upset is in place…doubt it, Boston makes the argument that with Perkins last year would have been a different story, and now Shaq…fine…agreed. You’re a better team with them. Kudos. However Bulls with no Noah, No Boozer are the best team in the leauge. With them…sorry.
    I actually think that Boston has the least chance of winning head to head vs The Bulls. No disrespect but what people over look besides their record is that they have taken Boston 7 games before with a very young roster and the dim witted Del Negro. Coach Tibbs designed the Celtic defense as a coordinator under Doc Rivers and now with a more developed team, a great defense and a self -less break out player like Rose…I just don’t see it happening either. Now I will say Rondo is probably the top defensive point guard in the league but he does lose athleticism..and Rose does the little things…BOX OUT…Rondo won’t get easy rebounds or force Rose into stupid mistakes like turnovers….I see the bulls playing tight on every one but Rondo and Allen…Forc e them to shoot and follow the shot. Not to say they wont have a hand in the face but I have a strong feeling that Tibbs will know how to defend The big three and shutting down perimeter and , then forcing them to shoot over you is what they do best. Interesting matchup.
    Out West…wont touch that much
    Lakers, Spurs probable matchup…never sleep on Durant.
    My under dog bone gets thrown to Portland,
    follow me for a minute
    Marcus Camby=Joaquim Noah
    Aldridge= Boozer
    B-Roy=D Rose
    x factorBatum+Mathews=Bench points
    Bulls lost Boozer/ Noah 1 seed
    Blazers Lost B Roy…equivelant to Bulls losing Rose.
    Now B Roy has been patient, and blazers are top ten offensively and defensively and we have YET to see them healthy..
    presumably this is the healthiest we hae ever seen them…
    They have my vote for most likely to upset.
    They are a great road team and a great home team.
    Aldridge on a break out and Roy on the comeback and if you have never been to PORTLAND…you dont want to…fans are incredible…
    all im saying is….look out WEST.

    • juicy says:

      The Bulls went 7 games with Boston when KG was injured. Great series, but the Celtics are a different team with KG on the floor so keep dreaming dude.

      Also, Brandon Roy doesnt have any knees left, just bone on bone. Definetly not the player he was a couple years ago. Thats not to say that Portland is a bad team because they are very good, when they’re healthy.

      But you are right about one thing, the bulls are just like Portland. And by saying that I mean that if you took the Bulls and dropped them in the Western Conference, they’d be the 7th seed, just like Portland.

  73. think says:

    right now, its all about getting healthy…

    for teams like LA and Boston, its not really the matchups or the home-court advantage they’re more concerned of. I mean these guys have that swagger that they know they can beat anybody in the playoffs (yes, even for the aging boston). This is the mindset of the teams who play for the championship (and not just for a playoff spot).

    The key to these teams is their health. They knew that their stars, key guys and even their reserves are essential to be healthy and ready. Its time for these teams to rest their stars and have their reserves and key guys play as much as they can.

    While other teams are more concerned on the advantages (homecourt, match-ups) they can have during the playoffs, championship teams are just focused on having their unit in full force.

  74. Cibbue says:

    Lot of chatter! No one has mentioned the Spurs here. Talking like they do not exist. You are all delusional. Lakers will be lucky to get out of the first round. (All Spurs Fans are Laker Haters, sorry).Spurs are the best there is this year, and they are not even in Playoff Mode.
    Greg Popovich coach of the year and Spurs take it all. Go Spurs Go!!!!

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Thibs coach of the year. Brought an 8th seed to a 1st seed with almost 60 wins. That’s incredible.

    • ? says:

      We know your a Laker hater, just take a look at the stupid stuff that you write. Like the Lakers will be lucky to get out of the first round. Idiots like yourself have been saying that for 3 years now.

  75. Banks says:

    This a stupid Article….it should also mention that Several teams are way better than they were the last year, and the NBA is a very lookin NBA from last year…the Miami Heat from last year would have barely made the playoffs…and a mere 2 or 3 seeds from 5th place is a HUGE improvement for Miami Heat organization and I don’t think they are complaining….

  76. Lonestar189 says:

    yea the spurs have the best record in the west but they are not the best team they shouldve traded for a shot blocker to help tim duncan in the paint now the lakers are gonna tear the spurs apart in the paint. I live in san antonio and everybody here in san antonio is saying garbage like go spurs go were gonna win it all when they have no clue what the lakers are gonna do to them in the post i hate the lakers but if you know anything about basketball you cant really believe that the spurs are gonna win it all they are just to small they have the best coach but not the best team…Now to the east i am a longtime miami heat fan i just think if they can take care of buisness and rest for the 2 round against boston we have a shot a beating boston especially if we get the 2 seed in the east and another thing if they just let bibby run the point miami would be a hell of alot better 10 times better i hope spolster figures that out

    • juicy says:

      too small to beat the lakers??? This is seriously getting rediculous. The more and more i read thru these posts, the more I wonder if you guys even pay attention to the NBA at all. I’m not a Spurs fan AT ALL, but let me just say a few names:

      Tim Duncan – F
      Antonio McDyess – F/C
      Dejuan Blair – C
      Matt Bonner – F/C
      Tiago Splitter – F

      last time I checked, all of these players are big men for the Spurs, all of the are 6’7 or taller, and a couple of them are 7 footers. The Lakers got Bynum, Gasol and Odom (if you want to call Odom a post player). I think that the last thing that the Spurs need is another big man, unless they’re moving Duncan to small forward lol.

  77. Ya Boy says:

    2011 NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers. Chicago takes it in 6. I am from the future. I know this. TRUST ME.

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Wouldn’t it be crazy if the Bulls DID in fact beat LA 20 years after Phil got them their 1st championship?? I was thining about that last night. Phil’s 3peat spoiled by the team that started it all. Cruel twist of fate.

    • MKE says:

      lakers in 7

    • MKE says:

      i hate lakers…go bulls go heat..

      cetlics and orlanda..i hate

    • ? says:

      Wow, so no experience beats a lot of experience.

      • juicy says:

        yeah, year after year of playoff apperances equals no experience. The ignorance of fans never ceases to amaze me.

  78. pwave says:

    haha heat suck

  79. Mike says:

    Just want to know what Charles Barkley has to say now if he still thinks the Mavs are the best in Texas and still will win the west. Go Spurs Go

    • BLM73 says:

      Nah man, the Pundits never stick to their guns in regards to their predictions, Barkley will probably not even mention Dallas the rest of this season unless specifically asked about them.

  80. MJ says:

    I hate Dllas!!! 4 losing …in the end of season??? and they do this when lakers lose 3 ??? come on!! they don´t want whit heart!!!

  81. DaTruth says:

    The Celtics are talented but I dont see them in the Conference Finals this year. This is the beginning of the end for them.

    • juicy says:

      Thats what everybody said last year when they were the 4th seed in the east. Then they dismantled the “best” team in the league (Cleveland) and went to the finals and pushed it to 7 games. This year they’ve had a better season and a higher seed. That must mean that this is the “beginning of the end” for them huh?

      Get a clue. If you are going to bad mouth an elite team, make sure you know what you are talking about first. I’d just like to know who’s going to knock Boston off before the conference finals?? Really, who??

  82. Got 3's? says:

    @objectiveanalysis Boston WON A CHAMPIONSHIP AS SOON as they changed the whole roster and U ask Who did so good after a roster change? You gotta be dumb and by the way, Boston’s got the real big 3 Miami are just Pretenders.

    @Prix…You are just plain Delusional! Thats all I can say!

    @Bossman…Facts remain that the health of these big guns in the Celtics would be the most prime concern. I have observed off late that if Boston takes an early lead in a game, they throw it all away at the end, and lose it! But if the score is close or they trail in the beginning they win the game. I think they are just plain complacent. I’m a Celtics fan and I know come Play offs, they will win the Eastern Conference but the one true test would be Chicago. Heat’s out! NY is just dreaming right now!

    • Gary says:

      They didn’t change the whole roster. They got rid of bench guys and added Garrnett. Rondo, Allen, Perkins and Pierce were all there from last season.

  83. Joseph says:

    I don’t give a crap what the media or anybody says…Mavs fan for life!

  84. JDanger says:

    All I know is Portland is looking primed to knock off Dallas this year. GO BLAZERS!!!!

  85. bossman says:

    how bout them celtics, winning without our big men, and going for a championship run this year

    • MJ says:

      thai is why the can´t compite agains lakers…and lose last year..because Gasol and Odoom…that is why oklahome lose…firs round last year….cuz gasol and Odoom…c…lakers have tree great centers now…no one can´´ beat in a 7 games that battle…

      i am Celtics and Bulls fan…but no one beat that…they need to beat LA big gyus…2 …not only one. (Koby is crap)

      If bulls, Boston, Miami. Orlando, Dalla…Oklahoma…have Griffin…OMG!

  86. objectiveanalysis says:

    Add to this the fact that U. Haslem, Mike Miller, D. Wade have been injured. The fact that this team was just constructed, and the fact that they even added Bibby so late in the season.

    Considering all that, they did quite well actually. I would like to see how many teams did this good after performing a complete overhaul on the roster…

    • No D? says:

      The Bulls…only kept Rose, Noah, Deng, and Taj. Noah and Boozer out for over 1/2 the season. New coach. Closing in on 60 wins. Stop making excuses for the Heat

    • BBall4Life says:

      The Nuggets got almost a complete overhall when they lost 2 starters and added 5 new players. Considering their record of 16-5 since the trade, and wins against BOS, SA, LA, NOR, ATL (twice), and now DAL, I’d say they have done exactly what the Heat SHOULD have been able to do all year…

    • SpursFan says:

      @objectiveanalysis
      Boston won in their first year with a total overhaul.

      • YV says:

        miami heat won on their first year too of a total overhaul 2006, this season is not over yet for the heat and they have a really good chance of winning it all. When they want to play hard and they know they have to win, they play really good. nuggets did what? they were doing ok during the season and when they made the trade they were struggling. they traded two players and got really good players in return. the bulls did a good job, but still boozer was the only major addition, its true they had injuries, so did miami ontop of the new of the new team which hasnt been able to play an entire game healthy. when the season started wade was coming off an injurie, mike miller was injured, they haslem, chalmers, wade again, lebron, big z, and so on.

      • juicy says:

        @ YV The Heat did not win on their first year ov ttheir ‘total overhaul.” They had their overhaul in 05 by getting shaq, and got beat in the ECF by the Pistons. They won it all in 06.

      • Gary says:

        Boston in 2008 wasn’t a overhaul. The had Pierce, Rondo, Ray, Perkins and Tony Allen(yes Tony Allen) from the previous season. The swapped out bench players, and added another star (Garnett) and still had Doc Rivers.

  87. blablabla says:

    prix is the best troller of this season ^_^

  88. Zzanzabar says:

    Everyone is positioning themselves for the best match-ups in the playoffs. Don’t think that even the elite teams are beyond losing a few just to match up with what they might consider an easier opponent, no matter what they say to the contrary. The lower teams are also scrambling to avoid certain teams but they are trying to stay out of the 2nd spot (Lakers/West, Boston/East) if they can avoid it. Teams are also beginning to rest certain players and give their second units more playing time even if it means losing a game or two down the stretch. Phil Jackson is famous for that tactic.

    • Gary says:

      Teams lose because they get beat point blank. LA is not dropping games on purpose. Stop taking credit away from hard working teams.

      • ? says:

        I wouldnt say the Lakers are losing on purpose. But whats the point going out and playing hard against teams like the jazz and the warriors, teams that are going no where. Why should the Lakers go out and play hard and risk getting hurt?

      • SpursFan says:

        @?
        A lot of reasons but mainly because they still had a really good chance of getting the top spot in the west when they played Utah, they were only a game and a half behind at that time. Don’t wanna risk getting injured???? That’s a total cop out, if your on the court you should be playing hard regardless of what team your playing.

        @Zzanzabar
        I think Phil’s done a poor job of managing people’s minutes. He hasn’t got Lamar any rest whatsoever and he’s basically been playing through since the start of the 09/10 season considering he played with the US National team. Kobe, Pau, Artest, Lamar and Fisher have all played in every game so far which shows he’s given them no time off.
        Pop does a great job at managing mins. He’s started giving Manu, Tony, Dice and Tim nights off since around the start of March. And no one on our team plays more than 32 mins/game and Tim’s at a career low 28 so there will be less wear and tear on his body.

      • think says:

        right now, its all about getting healthy.

        for teams like LA and Boston, its not really the matchups or the home-court advantage they’re more concerned of. I mean these guys have that swagger that they know they can beat anybody in the playoffs (yes, even for the aging boston). This is the mindset of the teams who play for the championship (and not just for a playoff spot).

        The key to these teams is their health. They knew that their stars, key guys and even their reserves are essential to be healthy and ready. Its time for these teams to rest their stars and have their reserves and key guys play as much as they can.

        While other teams are more concerned on the advantages (homecourt, match-ups) they can have during the playoffs, championship teams are just focused on having their unit in full force.

      • Gary says:

        Yeah I’m sure they aren’t playing these games with playoff intensity but you were saying that they were strategically losing. Either way I think LA would be concerned about winning because dropping more games could put Dallas back in 2 and them in 3rd meanig they most likely face the Blazers. If that’s Phil’s strategy good luck.

      • ? says:

        @spurs fan you should focus on your team and be concerned about them. I would bet you anything your spurs wont make it to the finals. Doesnt matter if they have the number 1 seed. The young guns on the that team that have played well in the regular season will get shut down in the post season. Then who are you going to depend on, Duncan? Good luck.

      • Zzanzabar says:

        @Gary
        At this time in the schedule (and their corresponding position) , there is no doubt that a Golden State game means as much as it would if they were indeed tied with the Spurs. I think that the Denver game was both a wake-up call and a scare when BOTH key big men went down with minor injuries. While losing on purpose might be a stretch, playing with caution is not beyond what a sensible coach would do.

        @ Spurs Fan
        I’ve watch the Lakers for many years and Phil Jackson when he was with the Bulls, he is famous (or should I say Infamous) for leaving the bench in LONG after they have begun to lose their edge. There are a handful of games (5 or 6 to be exact) that could have handily been won if the starters were back in but he let them get ‘away’. He has often stated his coaching philosophy on this as ‘if they got into trouble, let them play themselves out of it’. It may not be pretty to watch and frustrating for those who ‘bet the spread’ but it is hard to argue with 11 or 12 rings.

        As for strategically losing, that might be a little harsh but knowing who to prepare for and whom to scout is too good an opportunity to overlook for any savvy coach.

    • voa says:

      @? they should play hard cause it’s about momentum. The whole problem with the Lakers is that they think they can turn it on at anytime. Not totally true. You shouldn’t have to play hard to beat the jazz or warriors. Even tho u don’t get the top seed in the west, the lakers still need to worry about having the better record than the bulls, heat, or celtics for home court in the finals.

      • ? says:

        @voa I think over the last three season the Lakers have proved that they can turn it on whenver they so choose. Have you not watched them play the last three seasons. The only team the Lakers should have their eye on, not be worried about is the Bulls. Anyone who thinks any other team can beat the Lakers in a 7 game series, just stay tuned. People like to continue to talk crap about the Lakers, fact is nobody has been able to knock them off of their throne.

      • juicy says:

        @ ?

        The only team that the Lakers should have their eye on is the Bulls??? Did you watch the Finals last season?? Did Boston just roll over for them?? Last time I checked, it went 7 games, and game 7 was VERY close. And If i’m not mistaken, the Celts came into the playoffs at the 4 seed last year. Not to mention, they’ve already proven they could beat the Lakers in 6 games back in 08 (not that long ago) and the only reason they werent back in 09 is because of KGs injury. So all I ask is that you think before you talk about teams that the Lakers should be worried about, especially when you don’t even mention the Celtics.

        Also, did everybody forget that the Spurs are the best team in the entire league right now?? Did everybody forget that the Bulls are having a spectacular season (2nd best team in the league) backed by the probable 2011 MVP?? Did everybody forget about the Heat’s summer trades and the fact that they have 2 of the top 5 NBA players on their team?? Or did everybody forget that the OKC Thunder took the Lakers to 6 games in a competitive 1st round series last year?

        All I’m saying is that the Lakers have been beaten before. They are not invincible. By the end of the playoffs they’ll be draining Bynums knee after every game just like the last three seasons.

        These are the teams that the Lakers should be worried about, especially if they think they have a chance at a 3 peat:

        First: The Spurs. The best team in the league. A team that has proven, more than once, that they can beat the Lakers in the playoffs. They have also proven that they can win CHAMPIONSHIPS, plural.

        Second: The Celtics. “Kendrick Perkins is gone so it’s over for them” blah blah blah. As long as the big 4 (KG, Pierce, Allen, Rondo) are in tact, this is a team that EVERY team should be worried about in the postseason.

        Third: The Heat. I’m not a fan, but you cant deny that these guys are a building force that will only get better over the next few years. And last time I checked, the Heat have beaten the Lakers everytime they’ve played since the Lebron/Bosh trades.

        Fourth: Nobody can deny what the Bulls are doing this season. I can only hope that the old Bulls fans leftover from the Jordan era dont get their hopes too high. Thats not to say that this team doesn’t have a chance.

        In the west, the Lakers should hope that they dont see the Spurs, Thunder, Mavs, or even the Nuggets for that matter. These are all teams that could upset the champs. But they really need to worry about who comes out of the east, because no matter who it is, they are gunna have a tough Finals ahead of them. That is of course if they make it there.

      • Toro says:

        @juicy u sound so indecisive in ur analysis u have a lot of ifs and buts….as for the heat beating the lakers everytime so what??? the heat are not gonna be in the finals so the lakers dont have to worry about them…and if u think the spurs and bulls can beat the lakers in the playoffs in this era u are out of ur mind….the east is weak anyway u could have a losing record and still be sith or seventh…lol

      • juicy says:

        @ Toro, Whats your point?? Basketball is an imperfect game, FULL of ifs and buts. So really what are you trying to say?? Also, What makes you so sure that the Lakers are gunna beat the Spurs if they meet?? Please give me an intelligent response with reasons for your opinions instead of just saying “u are out of ur mind”

      • juicy says:

        @ Toro – i wasnt indecisive, I was just stating FACTS, no ifs, no buts. Did you even read the whole post?? How bout you and Prix and ? all get together and try to post an intelligent comment for once. Use statistics and actual reasons for your opinions instead of just calling people stupid and sayin that they dont know what they’re talking about. I never once said that the Lakers aren’t gunna win it all because NOBODY knows what will happen. i just stated my opinion about the comment that they dont have to worry about anybody in the playoff because that is just plain rediculous. NO team has won a championship just by showing up.

  89. Gary says:

    Brian Windhorst analysis is pretty one dimensional. Yes the Heat only improved their record by about 10 games (When it’s all said and done) but the team wasn’t formed to win the REGULAR season. Lebron said it himself and so has everyone else, “The number one seed guarantees nothing”. If the Heat get knocked out 1st, 2nd or even in the Conference Finals, then criticize and critique because they got together to win championships and until that does or doesn’t happend there’s no way to grade them.

    • Toro says:

      umm i agree with u but do u really think the heat can get past the celtics or bulls?? just like we cant say this heat squad is a flop because they havent been eliminated u cant say the heat can beat the celtics or bulls in the playoffs because they havent proven it yet….

      • Gary says:

        Well lets see, no they haven’t proven they can beat the Celtics or Bulls yet but honestly what does that prove in the regular season? Especially considering they beat the defending champs twice. None of this matters unless you don’t like the Heat and need a reason to say they will lose. Again when/if they flop in the playoffs, fans will shut up, but until then why should we not fully support our team?

      • juicy says:

        well said Gary

    • David says:

      His analysis also ignores the fact that the Heat have played the entire season without their 4th best player and with their 5th best player recovering from injury and having a horrible season. On top of that, they have no semblance of a center so in many respects they truly aren’t much better than they were last season. It’s disappointing when so-called “experts” can’t or don’t want to understand that basketball is a team game. There’s only so much a couple of stars can do when the rest of the team is soooo bad. It’s more understandable when fans can’t understand this.

      • thesmooth001 says:

        Actually, the Heat have not had a bad season as a team, they have had ups & downs like all the other teams. Remember they are only 3 games behind the Bulls and a half game behind Boston, and the Eastern Conference is very top heavy as compared to the West.

        So, Miami deserves credit coming together as practically a completely new or overhauled team, (for any team or group of individuals that is not an easy task.)

  90. Howard S Powell says:

    I think there might be some upsets in the making in this years playoffs all the teams that are predicted to go all the way may not and im talking bout the Heat cause they might be facing New York Knicks and they can upset Miami cause they have beaten them even though the regular season doesnt matter it shows a measuring stick for the playoffs i think Heat and New York rivalry will bring out the best in the first round and maybe Knicks advancing

  91. Adrixe says:

    I think Idiana is going out early! poor wizards!

    • SMOOVE says:

      Sad to say but yes. Nobody expects the Pacers to win against the Bulls.

      • David says:

        You have to give the Pacers a little credit. They are absolutely capable of making this a series against the Bulls. They match up well against the better teams in the conference because of their depth. Don’t forget that they are top 5 in rebounds per game. If D-Rose has a few bad games, look for Indiana to push this to 7 games.

      • think says:

        well, they just wanted to be in the playoffs… so there, kudos to Indiana :)

  92. prix says:

    Top 2 in the East are not yet decided as Miami will face the Old Boston…surely Miami wins simply because Boston are already empty inside..Spurs dominate the West as the Lakers campaign to be on the top failed, losing 3 in a row to much lower teams is unbelievable,but L.A fans always have an excuse as it was a strategy of Phil lose games…damn idiots!!! its a disgrace to the Champs, seeing them dominate by Lee inside and Hayward the day before… L.A dont deserve to be in the finals this year…love to see OKC-Nuggets 1st round in the west and maybe Boston-NY,just love to see NY upset Boston..this is gonna be an epic!

    • SMOOVE says:

      It didn’t sound so epic when you said it.

    • Law064 says:

      @prix your mking foolish comments as usual Miami plays old Boston Miami surley wins?? Miami is 0-3 vs Boston. The Heat just lost to the Bucks last night without Wade. Boston is empty inside just because Shaq is still not playing? Your a true idiot and know nothing about the game. Boston has played without Shaq or JO for most of the year. Perk only played like 3 or 4 games before the trade. You always say it’s a Disgrace when LA lose. You are a true Celtic & LA hater. You must be 1 of those stupid band wagon Miami fans no disrespect to real Heat fans. You keep saying LA don’t deserve to be in the finals but if they make it there then they sure deserve to be there. NY upset Boston LMAO you are a true idiot Boston has D NY has zero Defense. The Knicks better hope they face Miami but it looks like Miami will be in 3rd place if Wade don’t play a couple more games. The Knicks are gone fishing no matter who they play in the 1st round.@Prix please stop posting your dumb comments your a MORON. Every post you have is full of delusional pointless garbage.

      • prix says:

        WE ALL WITNESS! BULLS BEAT DOWN THE OLD AND WEAK CELTICS TO THE GROUND… i feel bad for the Celtics, their reign in the East is over! As predicted Bulls-Miami…

      • wow says:

        The only fans of boston are bandwagon jumpers. As soon as they got good everyone hopped on. Why is it so wrong that people do the same for Miami?

    • Nile Goodwyn says:

      You got straight Qs on your report card. Throw some Zs on that crap.

    • Toro says:

      nah miami will lose to the celtics once AGAIN…simply because miami is not good enough to beat boston…as for the lakers not being no. 1 in the west who cares ??!!! Lakers are still the team to beat because they are the defending Champs!! the spurs are gonna run out of gas…they are already showing signs theyll be gone after the second round…as for new york even with melo the knicks are still a joke squad…miami is another team that will be gone after the second round, and all that talk about lakers cant beat miami, lakers wont have to worry about them because they wont face them at the finals..@Law063 ur right this guy is an idiot and doesn’t know anyting….@prix this miami squad is gonna be an EPIC FAIL!!!! lol

      • Law064 says:

        @Prix that 1 game just means the Bulls made it 2-2 on the season series. Miami is not going anywhere. The Heat have not beat the Bulls or Celtic’s. @wow I’ve liked Boston since Dee Brown was there but I’m a Ray Allen and KG fan. Boston have had fans forever but in Miami case everyone jumped on the wagon this past summer. They thought they would win it all and look how foolish they look now. We’ll see what Miami do Sunday vs Boston.

    • thesmooth001 says:

      I agree that the Lakers should not be playing as pitiful as they have these past 3 games, and there is no guarantee they or any other particular team is going to win the C-Ship this year. However, the Lakers have already proven over the past 2 months that they can play better when they actually decide to do so, (sorry to say, but it is true.)

      Although the Lakers are my team, the team that seems to have the hunger, the right superstar and the chemistry to win the C-Ship this year is the Bulls. They are are lacking in playoff experience, but don’t forget that epic battle with Boston in the 1st round 2 years ago, now D. Rose is 2 years better, don’t sleep on him possibly going all the way. Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that the Bulls would have finished ahead of Boston, Miami & Orlando, but they have done it because D. Rose is and has been on a mission like no other.

      • Observer says:

        I agree that they finished off ahead of the other teams in the east, but the post-season is way different than the season. Not all teams that finish 1st will win in the playoffs. The bulls still lack more skill. Their teamwork carried them all the way but in the playoffs, that is when the teams do all their best. Check the averages of D wade and LeBron James in the playoffs, compare it to their regular season averages, it’s way better. And, the heat would not blow out a lot of teams if they were not strong. I admit that when 1 superstar is not in the heat, they are a very weak team but that is the reason why the 3 of them are on the team. The C’s are indeed a strong team. With their big 4 playing on the field, they are a very hard team to beat. If in any case, the C’s will finish 2nd in the east, then i bet the C’s will beat the bulls in the 2nd round because of more experience and better players. D Rose will not beat the Celtics’ defense. In the east, i’m sure that the lakers will be west champs again because of their Complete team. They will surely win if kobe improves his shooting % because i realized he misses a lot nowadays. I really don’t know what will happen in the playoffs, but i’m sure it will be fun. No bad comments please, my comment is opinionated. ^_^

    • hahahahahaha says:

      @prix im not making excusses for the lakers they lost 3 games at the end of the season after going 17-1 now they are 17-4 in the last 21 games if you have not noticed thats on pace to win 66 games that would put them number 1 in the nba so not worried good luck rest of the league haha i love this guy he makes the dumbest comments

      • Gary says:

        You got to be kidding right? LA has 4 regular season games left so even if they win all they won’t get to 60(not even sure how you figured 66), LMAO.

    • Leo says:

      @PRIX….You have no clue on what you are talking about! MIAMI is 0-3 against Boston and the margins are not small! What you need to do is update yourself!

    • omega says:

      first of all miami wont even make it past the second round and even if they do, they wont get past a much better complete chicago team. Rose will pick apart the Heat just like he did in the regular season, i can see your another Laker hater so thanx for the laugh, the Lakers dodnt need the top seed to win the western conference, the lakers size along with Kobe will be more than enough to handle for any team in a seven game series.

  93. SMOOVE says:

    You guys should’ve included “Celtics Back in Business”.

    • thesmooth001 says:

      The Celtics suck!

      They will be lucky if they make it to the Eastern Confernece Finals this year.
      Big mistake trading Perkins, Shaq appears to be done for his career, (he was way too big when he tried coming back this last time) and Jermaine O’neal has already been done for the past 2 seasons.

      • Manofmywords says:

        It’ll be playoffs soon. and you’ll see how pathetic and stupid you are.

      • Clakers says:

        All I am going to say is “I will not be surprised if it is Lakers vs. Celtics again this year.”

      • chicago vs la finals 2011 says:

        amen

      • CooCoo says:

        Let’s get this out of the way…I am a Laker for life so I give them the west by default which has been a safe bet…since the Lakers have been to virtually half of all the finals ever played( not hyperbole, look it up). But the East, is worth chiming in on. The Bulls are second in defence in this league and one of the toughest teams out there. They at the very least will make it to the conference finals. Miami heat, however fixed they are, have no presence in the middle and can’t when any championship playing isolation basketball. Star players win games, teams win championships. Orlando is far too inconsistent to make it back to the finals and too many elite teams have Howard’s number. Celtics, very sorry to say, are the only thing that make a Lakers v Bulls Final an inevitability. There is only one thing that makes me happier than a Laker win…A Celtic loss. That being said, They have the wherewithall, in the form of the leagues best defence, to make it to the finals. I have a feeling that the Bulls will have something to say about that…

      • thesmooth001 says:

        The Celtics just got waxed by D-Rose and the Bulls, for Celtics fans time to get ready for the end, Sorry!