2018 NBA Western Conference Playoff Preview and Finals Pick

We’ve done the East, now it’s time for the West. As per usual, these are much more gut-instinct heavy than the usual fare around here, because if history has taught me anything, it’s that you can do a bunch of extra work, crunch a bunch of numbers, and be just as wrong, because the playoffs are just a completely different beast from the regular season. Round 1 HOUSTON vs. MINNESOTA – Rockets in 5 I’d have said sweep here, but reportedly Chris Paul is battling some injuries sustained late in the season, which means that the unbeatable triumvirate of CP3, …

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2018 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

The playoffs are upon us, and things tip off Saturday. Which means it’s time to make wild guesses that are almost assuredly going to be wrong, but at least there’s no Maryland-Baltimore County around to render the entire thing utterly silly. In a seven-game series, that just would’ve meant Virginia in five. We’ll start today with the Eastern Conference, do the West later this morning, then go ahead and stick the Finals pick at the end of that West article, so please do stay tuned. This is also going to be a lot more free-flowing and gut-based than your usual …

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All-Everything Postseason 2018 NBA Team Awards

Most of what I’ve had to say about these guys, I said in my companion piece about the end-of-season awards. I will say this: Picking All-Defense is so subjective and I can only watch so many games, so there is a lot of shot-in-the-dark and a lot of “in case of argument, let Basketball Reference be the final arbiter” that I’m convinced there’s no way to try and rank defenders on anything other than reputation, fan bias, or woefully inadequate counting stats like steals and blocks. Defensive Rating tends to overweight players on good defensive teams. Steals and blocks are …

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Official Pace and Space 2018 NBA Awards

We, sadly, do not get an official NBA media ballot here at Mystery Ship Studios, but if we did, you can bet we wouldn’t make head-up-the-rear-end decisions on who to give the major NBA awards to. Which, besides being a “shut up about Donovan Mitchell” argument, informs the philosophy behind this not-at-all-slapped-together completely personal-bias-laden seriously I’m a Pacers fan and if you haven’t figured that out by now you will before we’re done here list of the 2018 NBA awards. Where applicable, these will be as they are presented on NBA.com/official. Meaning top 5 for the MVP and top 3 …

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2018 NBA Playoff Tiebreak Scenarios: Last Day of the Season!

Wednesday night, the NBA tips off a slate of games to close out the regular season. The playoffs are finally upon us. And the standings, especially in the Western Conference? They’re still a hot mess, with every slot from 3 through 9 up for grabs. Only the Rockets and Warriors are locked into their seed; everyone else is fighting for position. Meanwhile, things are a bit quieter in the East, where the Raptors (1), Celtics (2), and Pacers (5) are locked into their seeds, while Philly and Cleveland are fighting for 3 and 4 and the Wizards, Heat, and Bucks …

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The G-League Will Kill NCAA Basketball

Darius Bazley turned a lot of heads when he decided to decommit from the Syracuse Orange to instead declare for the NBA G-League draft. He won’t be drafted by an NBA team; he has to wait a year before that happens, and whichever G-League team picks him will have him as a rental for one year. Just because, for example, he ends up on the Mad Ants does not mean he’ll be picked by the Pacers when the time comes. There are plenty of good reasons why this is the right move for Bazley. For one thing, he’ll be freed …

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Sorting Out 2018 NBA West Playoffs Tiebreakers, Part 2

We’ve got one major set of playoff scenarios left in the Western Conference. Part 1 of the West covered the current 3 through 8 seeds, but we’re going to keep things simple in the second part. Why? Well, besides the fact that we covered just about every plausible scenario involving the Thunder, Pelicans, Spurs, Timberwolves, and Jazz in one go? If we add in the Clippers and/or Nuggets, all the who-beats-whom just basically reverts back to stuff we’ve already covered. So with that in mind, we’re going to restrict this to… WEST 7 Through 10 (Minnesota, Utah, LA Clippers, and …

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Sorting Out 2018 NBA West Playoffs Tiebreakers, Part 1

Welcome back to our efforts to sort out the giant NBA car crash that is the playoff race and all the potential tiebreakers. I’m trying to make this as complete as possible while also making it plausible. Sadly, when Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and the Trail Blazers lost to the Grizzlies on Wednesday, what was already a mess with seven teams all alive to go anywhere from fourth through tenth just became six teams within four games of each other from three through eight. The East at least had two distinct groups around a common linchpin—the Cavs-Sixers-Pacers 3-4-5 race and …

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Sorting Out 2018 NBA East Playoffs Tiebreakers

With just a couple of weeks left in the season, now is the time to start considering playoff tiebreaker scenarios, as many of the NBA’s playoff matchups will be determined based on just who finishes with what record. With both the East and West a complete mess below the obvious top two (Toronto and Boston in the East, Houston and Golden State in the West), it’s time to take a look at the most likely playoff tangles…and just how they’d be resolved. While a lot can happen in seven or eight games, these are the most likely messes and how …

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Andrew Wiggins Is Killing the Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins is reportedly angry about his role in Minnesota’s offense, playing third fiddle behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler in Tom Thibodeau’s surprisingly successful (40-29 and the six seed in the West through games of March 13) scheme. According to Darren Wolfson of KSTP, Wiggins has been whispering to teammates, a carcinoma in situ for the Wolves’ clubhouse that could metastasize into a full-blown clubhouse cancer if something is not done. So something should be done. Surgery. The Minnesota Timberwolves need to trade or release Andrew Wiggins, because he sucks. Earlier this season, we examined just how bad Wiggins …

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