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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The Brooklyn Nets are screwed for a long time.

The Brooklyn Nets famously got fleeced by the Boston Celtics in 2013 in one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. In exchange for a way-past-his-prime Kevin Garnett and the short-term rental of Paul Pierce, Brooklyn gave up three prime first-round draft picks, the last of which just got sent during last year’s offseason to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving. The Celtics are a powerhouse, fresh off an Eastern Conference Finals appearance and well-positioned to make another one as the No. 2 team in the East, and they’ve done this even as the biggest free-agent acquisition the franchise …

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Russell Westbrook is Oklahoma City’s biggest problem

When is a great game not a great game? Russell Westbrook puts up fantastic counting stats; after averaging a triple-double in 2017, he’s got 18 triple-doubles this year and sits just 25 rebounds short of averaging another one for the season. Trouble is, he’s also shooting the Thunder out of games, and especially lately, his downright atrocious shooting has either caused a loss or led to something like the game against Sacramento last week in which Westbrook hit only four shots on 15 tries, his insistent bricklaying leading to Oklahoma City winning by just three points. Since January 28, he’s …

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What Steve Kerr and the Warriors Teach Us About Leadership

Steve Kerr let his Warriors players coach themselves in a game on national television (NBA TV) Monday night. It was exactly the kind of game where shaking things up a bit might prevent a disastrous Trap Game loss against a far weaker opponent. It worked. Golden State beat the Phoenix Suns 129-83. It also caused an uproar on Twitter and on the NBA TV broadcast itself. In particular, former Timberwolves coach Sam Mitchell took umbrage at the “disrespect” shown to the Suns: Steve Kerr let the @warriors players coach tonight. @CaseyStern, @SamMitchellNBA and @steve21smith broke it down. #FastBreak pic.twitter.com/sT0PhDNiC1 — …

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Blake Griffin Trade: How the Clippers Fleeced the Pistons

The Los Angeles Clippers traded Blake Griffin, along with Willie Reed and Brice Johnson, to the Detroit Pistons. In return, LA gets Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, HERO OF SERBIA fan favorite Boban Marjanovic, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick. In other words, the Clips shipped out an oft-injured guy who hasn’t come close to playing a full season’s worth of games since 2014 and hasn’t made the All-Star Game since 2015, who is nearly 29, and whose scoring efficiency has cratered without Chris Paul getting him the ball. And they got back a defensive wizard who has played with …

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Offensive Rebounds Vs. Getting Back On Defense: Which Is More Effective?

There are two maxims in the NBA that are seemingly contradictory. To do one, you must concede the other. One is “you need to limit your opponent to one shot.” The other is “you need to get back on defense and prevent transition baskets.” After all, if you miss a shot and you’re getting back when the shot goes up, you have given the opponent the former…but if you crash the boards to try to get multiple shots on the possession, you’re vulnerable to a 2-on-1 or a 3-on-2 going the other way, especially in an age where more and …

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The Denver Nuggets: The NBA Friday Champions

Statistical anomalies are as much a part of data as anything else. Just because something has a tiny chance of actually happening doesn’t mean it never happens; just ask anyone who’s ever won the lottery. But a lottery is, ultimately, a large sample size. Hundreds of millions of people buy tickets, so something that has a hundreds-of-millions-to-one chance must happen eventually, sometimes after a dry spell that pumps the jackpot up over a billion dollars. And indeed, when you hear that there were three winners splitting one of those billion-dollar jackpots, it’s little more than a small piece of statistical …

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