Tag:NBA Top 5 Games of the Week
Posted on: December 30, 2008 2:41 am
Edited on: December 30, 2008 2:47 am
 

NBA Top 5 Games of the Week

Hope everybody had a great christmas and holidays etc. Right time to preview the 5 top games that will see us into the new year.

Monday 29th December 2008: Orlando (24-6) @ Detroit (17-11)

Orlando Magic (24-6)

Orlando has been on fire this month. With wins over the Spurs, Jazz, Blazers, Hornets and Lakers along with a closs loss to the Suns on the road, the Magic look better than ever. Finally being recognised as one of the elite NBA teams, the Magic look to finish their tougher December schedule on a high note with a win against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. Jameer Nelson has been playing fantastically of late, he is playing his natural game -- being a scorer. Let's take Devin Harris out of the equation for a second, I'd say he has a fairly good shot at MIP.

"We're a lot more mature. We're learning what it takes to win a championship." ~ Jameer Nelson


Detroit Pistons (17-11)

Detroit has dropped from the echelon of the elite, and are slumming it in the middle of the conference for now. Over the past week they have lost to Atlanta, beat Chicago by 6, an 11 point win over Milwaukee and a last second win over the Thunder. They are still a playoff outfit, and teams should be at least wary of them come playoff time (at least in the first two rounds ;P) -- they can still compete, and experience is ever-valuable in the playoffs. There are many reasons they traded Billups away, one of them is because the Pistons management saw something in Stuckey, a leader and a floor general. He has really come through for them -- he even had hist first 40 point perfromance last week.

"When we have the bigger lineup, obviously we're better defensively" ~Tayshaun Prince

Prediction

Detroit have been playing with a small lineup, but with Rip injured they'll go bigger with Amir Johnson likely moving into the starting lineup. I would have like to see Rip guarding one of Turk and Shard...There should be some good shows, but the matchup I want to see is Jameer and Stuckey. The two point guards for the teams are playing fantastic. Stan Van Gundy also has the edge over Michael Curry for me, so overall I can't go past the Magic in this game -- and what better motivation do you need then the Pistons being the team that knocked you out of the playoffs?

 

Tuesday 30th December 2008: Boston (28-4) @ Portland (19-12)


Boston Celtics (28-4)

The Celtics were completely undefeated in December, with good wins over Magic, Hornets, Blazers and Jazz. Coming into a four game road trip to end the year, the Celtics lost the plot. First losing to the Lakers in Los Angeles, which is by no means anything to spit at. But then losing to the Warriors. They bounced back with a nice win over the Kings and now will travel to Portland to attempt to go 2-2 on their road trip. Definitely a disappointing stretch for them. The Celtics crushing defense is still tough for any opposition to crack, and they still are playing like NBA Champions.

"We weren't worried when we were winning 19 in a row, and we don't worry when we lose two in a row. Our (goal) is, by (the) playoffs, to be the best team we can possibly be. That's what we think about every day." ~Doc Rivers


Portland Trail Blazers (19-12)

Portland have had a rough month. They had a few road games -- notably against Boston, Toronto, Utah and Denver. While they have also had tough teams at home; Orlando, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Toronto and now Boston again. Combining to go 7-6 for the month of December. Brandon Roy has become a true leader for this side, and they are really going to need him as their January schedule doesn't make it any easier for them. In the first 14 days of January alone they have the Lakers, Hornets, Pistons and Sixers along with Utah and Cleveland later on in the month. Portland have played very well and have started to compete for the division a lot sooner than many thought.

"If we keep the mind-set, 'Defense first,' we can beat those guys (Boston)." ~Brandon Roy


Prediction
Boston are on the fourth game of their road trip, Portland are great at home, while Boston are great - period. Oden and Aldridge up against Garnett and Perkins, Pierce and Allen against Batum and Roy and Rondo against Blake. There is no doubt who has the most talented lineup and both teams have great benches. I have to give the game to Boston here, four quarters of stern defense and pure talent should be enough to squeak by Portland at home.

 

Tuesday 30th December 2008: Cleveland (26-4) @ Miami (16-13)

Cleveland Cavaliers (26-4)

Cleveland has only suffered one loss this month -- to Atlanta. Denver, Houston and Miami are the three best teams they've played this month -- but they did beat all three. In the first month of the new year they will get to play Jazz, Lakers, Magic, Hornets and the Celtics. Mo Williams appeared to be the perfect fit for LeBron and the Cavs, his appearance at Cleveland has been timed nicely with LeBron playing MVP-calier basketball and Detroit losing their grip on the division.

"His leadership is something no one seems to talk about." ~ Mike Brown (On Mo Wiliams)


Miami Heat (16-13)

Miami are actually playing a lot better than their record suggests. They started off 1-5. Since then they have gone 15-8. If they continue they could potentially be as high as a 4th seed in the talent baron eastern conference. Though in the next fornight the Heat will tip-off against the Lakers, Magic, Nuggets and Spurs. That will be a true test to measure where the Heat are at, and where they - and their fans - should expect to end up come playoff time. Mario Chalmers is also starting to settle in as an NBA point guard. Many may disagree, but if you ask me Chalmers is the best rookie in a Miami uniform so far -- which is more a huge credit to Chalmers than it is a discredit to Beasley.

"We were still up nine and it was our game to close." ~Erik Spoelstra (On the Cavs game)


Prediction
There are good players to watch all over the floor, good matchups, good skills. But what I, and a lot of people, will be looking at is the top two players out right now: LeBron and Wade. Seeing those two in one basketball game, can only be good. I can't watch to see those two play again. Though I can see a repeat of the game at Cleveland. Cleveland takes this one on the back of LeBron.



Saturday 3rd January 2009: New Orleans (18-9) @ Denver (20-11)

New Orleans Hornets (18-9)

For the most part the Hornets have looked like a division winning, all-conquering playoff outfit. But sometimes they look like a playground team, especially against the Magic and Lakers. They have had a topsy-turvy month with wins over Spurs, Suns and Rockets and losses against the Magic, Lakers and Celtics. Chris Paul is playing well as always, and the Hornets are on their road to being anywhere from 1st to 9th in the tough west. We don't know what will happen between now and the playoffs, but the Hornets have experience now, and they almost went to the WCF last season -- who knows the damage they could achieve on a trip back to the playoffs.

"He does what great point guards do. He carries the team on his back." ~Jim O'Brien (On Chris Paul)


Denver Nuggets (20-11)

Denver may have joined a very small group of teams at the 20 win mark, but I don't know if they really impress me [i]that much[/i] - after looking at their schedule. This month they have losses to Spurs, Suns, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Cavaliers and Hawks. Pretty much every elite team they played. The top three teams they've beaten are Dallas, Portland and Toronto -- after that you have New York, Minnesota, Golden State -- not really teams to brag about getting wins from in the west. In January they will have games at home against Orlando, Phoenix, Detroit, New Orleans, Miami, Dallas and utah. As well as road games against the Rockets and the Hornets. So they will have all of January to prove themselves.

"They were letting him play one-on-one and the jumper was going. And we kind of just rode a hot guy." ~George Karl (On Carmelo Anthony)


Prediction
Denver come back from a road trip, and a game in Oklahoma the night before. Whereas New Orleans will be in Portland the night before, and have to travel to Denver overnight. It should be a great game, overall I can't go past the home team on this game. Denver takes it.

 

Sunday 4th January 2008: Portland (19-12) @ Los Angeles (25-5)

Portland Trail Blazers (19-12)

Sergio Rodriguez has budged his way into the rotation, and Nicolas Batum has gotten into the starters, while Rudy Fernandez gets minutes on the bench. Greg Oden is a starter. But Jerryd Bayless hasn't managed to get into a the rotation lately. This is because the Blazers have quite a deep lineup, and they're all young. It all spells for a very good future. If there future is even brighter than what they are acheiveing now, than other teams should all be very scared. But right now they are competeing against the NBA's elite and their fans should be cheering there team on all they can, it could mean a home playoff series at the end of it all.

"We have to play four quarters to get it done" ~Brandon Roy


Los Angeles Lakers (25-5)

The Lakers are the elite team in the West. They are the team with the target on their back. They were called soft, but if how they play is soft, I want to be a soft basketball player too. With a fantastic win against arch-rival Boston, the doubters fade and the homer fans (and of course the genuine supporters) are even louder. The Lakers have great depth, I passed the comment that I wanted to see Sun Yue play, and he got minutes. I just want to see that kid play, just because of the Magic-esque height factor at point guard. It's almost like the Lakers could have anybody on injury report (bar Kobe) and they would be able to cope.

"They had won 19 straight games, so they were due for a couple of bad ones." ~Kobe Bryant (On the Celtics)


Prediction
Portland has a tough week. The Lakers are the Lakers. I would love to say more, but I don't think there is much else to it. I predict a win for the Lakers. There will be some good matchups though. For instance, Oden and Aldridge down low against Bynum and Gasol. You have Roy against Kobe, if Roy needed a better measuring stick to see where he is in terms of elite guards in the NBA -- here it is. It'll be good to watch, but I can see the Lakers taking it.

Category: NBA
Posted on: December 22, 2008 2:13 am
Edited on: December 22, 2008 4:44 am
 

NBA Top 5 Games of the Week

Hey guys, I'm back with the top 5 games of this week. Happy reading, and also Happy Holidays. I appreciate all comments. Many Thanks.

Monday 22nd December 2008: Portland (17-10) @ Denver (17-10)
Tuesday 23rd December 2008: Denver (17-10) @ Portland (17-10)

Portland

Before the season started many predicted that Portland would build on their .500 record from last season and continue to improve. But Portland has emerged as a top team in the West. They have turned the Northwest Division from the weakest division, to one of the most competitive. They have 5 rookes - Batum, Rodriguez, Bayless, Oden and Fernandez - and they are all playing quite well. This team is very young, but they have the pure talent and ability to go along with it. The rise and rise of Portland is a great story for the NBA and has unveiled a future face of the league in Brandon Roy.

"These are huge games for us, even though they're early in the season. We'd love to sweep them, and we can't afford to get swept." ~Brandon Roy

Denver
Chauncey Billups has been like a God-send for Denver. But that hasn't stopped them from losing their last three games against top teams. They lost by 12 on the road to Houston, got thumped by Cleveland at home and lost on the road to Phoenix. Denver could have been 19-8, had they gone 2-1 on that tough strech. That would have them with the elite teams and in the West two wins could make the difference between 5th and 6th seed, or 2nd and 3rd seed. These two games, while very early in the season, could turn out to be very important. Right now if one team wins both they will take the lead in the division as well.

"We're beating ourselves a little bit," ~ George Karl  (On his team having 20 turnovers.)

Prediction
Nothing like a divisional home and away back-to-back matchup. Both teams will look to make their home ground their fortress. In the first game Denver will be back at home and look to make amends for their past losses. Denver matches up quite well against Portland, with Billups against Blake and Anthony against Batum. Portland also has Roy up against Jones. I can really see the impact of the stars and the big men deciding the games. A big defensive game from Nene could turn it, or possibly a huge game from Aldridge could swing it Portland's way. For the first game, I am going Denvers way. Back at home, I think they can turn it around, even against a very hot Portland team. For the second game, I think Portland will have a healthy win against Denver. It is their home ground, the teams are close. I can see Denver potentially losing two in a row, but not Portland, not at this stage.

Thursday 25th December 2008: New Orleans (16-7) @ Orlando (21-6)

New Orleans

New Orleans has quietly gone about their business. While everybody is talking about the Lake Show, Cavs, Celts, LeBron and DWade, New Orleans has won 11 of their last 13 and 4 in a row. Chris Paul is playing MVP competitor ball again, and the team do not need to worry when their bench comes on. Antonio Daniels, Posey, Hilton Armstrong and Sean Marks are all doing a fantastic job and are playing very well from the bench. Everybody is contributing, and COY Byron Scott must be loving it.

"I like the fact that we've crept up and nobody is really talking about it. Everybody is talking about the Lakers and the Celtics and the Cavaliers." ~Byron Scott

Orlando
After wins against the Blazers, Jazz, Spurs and Lakers, in the past week or so, you would expect the entire NBA community to be buzzing over the Magic and their success. Again, they really don't seem to get the same coverage as the Lakers, Celtics or Cavaliers. At least this season the NBA knows they are right there though. As usual the big 3 are playing out of their skin and playing fantastic basketball. Not just that, but Jameer Nelson is playing some real quality basketball and has stepped his game up a notch since seasons past. The bench is starting to contribute quite well as well. Pietrus, Battie and even little known Gortat are playing better than usual off the bench. Battie gives that impact that they didn't have last season. A player that won't have Magic fans sweating nearly as profusely when Dwight takes a break.

"We feed off of that flying-under-the-radar stuff. It feeds our fire. Keep pouring gasoline on the fire. It's going to keep flaming up." ~Rashard Lewis

Prediction
These two teams are under-the-radar on a relative level compared with the buzz following Boston, Los Angeles and Cleveland. It should all come together for a Christmas day battle that will be great to watch. Orlando is coming off a streak of wins against top teams and has an 11-3 record at home. New Orleans is also red-hot winning 11 of their last 13. This game should be a cracker, in a close one I have to go with the home team -- Orlando. I wouldn't be surprised no matter which way this one goes, will be a great game either way.

Thursday 25th December 2008: Boston (26-2) @ Los Angeles (21-5)

Boston
Yes, everyone has been talking about how good they are playing and how they can repeat etc etc. But I haven't really seen anyone talking about the fact that they have won 18 games in a row. It was only last season Houston set the 2nd longest win streak in NBA History, and Boston are at 18 now. But they face a road trip, after the Lakers game they play Sacramento, Golden State and Portland.

"We won the championship, so we've got a big target on our back." ~Paul Pierce

Los Angeles
This team has so many options, you know that when Kobe Bryant isn't having the same impact he
 had on the stat sheet from last seasons. He still has a huge impact though, and one of the reasons the Lakers are a top team is because of Kobe. Jordan Farmar is injured, which will force Derek Fisher to play a heap more minutes -- which isn't the worst thing, because he has been playing very well. You know what I'd like to see if one team is winning by a lot, is for Sun Yue to get some minutes -- just for the sheer hell of it. Against the Magic Andrew Bynum was in a key matchup against Dwight Howard, but once again he fouled a bit too much in the early stages of the game and failed to have a huge impact.

"They're not the same at all. Dwight's a big guy in size, but he's not Shaq. Shaq is a mountain. I'm not saying that Howard's a molehill, but he's not a mountain." ~Phil Jackson (Comparing Dwight to Shaq.)

Prediction
Boston has won 18 in a row. They are the defending champions and they are playing better right now. Los Angeles have had tough losses to Orlando and Miami and play New Orleans before this game, but if anybody can rally them back it is the Zen Master. But I can't go past Boston in this one. No question that this finals rematch should make for a brilliant game.


Friday 26th December 2008: Houston (18-9) @ New Orleans (16-7)

New Orleans
New Orleans holds a slim lead in the division, and face a very tough week of Lakers, Magic and Rockets. Past this week though, they have Indiana, Washington then a tough road trip against Portland, Denver, Lakers and Utah. So in their next 9 games, they will play 7 of the leagues best. In the tough western conference this could make a huge difference. I really feel for this Hornets team, this is an incredibly tough schedule. I think a huge factor as to how they will get through these games is how quickly Antonio Daniels can completely develop his feel for the Hornets offense. If the second unit can play better than ever, and the starters continue to play well, I think this Hornets team could go .500 through this strech, and that would be absolutely fine.

"The West is what it is, you have nine teams that are very good, and just like last year, somebody's going to win 50 games and not make (the playoffs). We're going to continue to knock each other off all season." ~Byron Scott

Houston
The Rockets always seem to have somebody injured -- I would imagine that that would get rather annoying if I were a fan. Nonetheless, the team still plays very competitive basketball. They are still a top team in the West and I think they will stay a top team even if one of their big 3 suffers a major injury. Tracy McGrady is playing well, Yao Ming and Ron Artest are great in support. The bench and role players are playing very well. They have great depth and a good squad. If they play to their potential they are capable of anything, even winning the Championship.

"I felt like, 'OK, my heart is back in my chest instead of up here (in the throat).'" ~Yao Ming (On his game-winning shot.)

Prediction
Houston has had a strech of games close together, but now they are rested. While New Orleans play at Orlando the night before. Chris Paul and New Orleans are a tough side, and they are at home. While Houston seems to lose focus in some games, and are on the road still. So I will go with New Orleans. Their are plenty of reasons both sides could lose and this is a tough game to decide. It could go either way.























Sunday 28th December 2008:
Miami (14-12) @ Cleveland (23-4)

Miami

Dwyane Wade is leading his team to a respectable record, and they could potentially earn a playoff spot. Though it is early days yet, DWade is a frontrunner for MVP but will have to get past LeBron for the title. Wade has a good supporting player in Marion, but he doesn't really fit their system, and Haslem and Chalmers aren't exactly the best options in the world. So having a record just above .500 is very respectable.

"The lesson we learned was our defense really closed the game for us." ~Erik Spoelstra

Cleveland
Cleveland are undefeated at home. Their home record stands at 13-0. LeBron James continues to dominate opposition and is the leader for MVP at the moment. Cleveland are among the leagues elite, yet I question whether they can really beat the Lakers or the Celtics in a seven game series. The fact that they are a top side well remain to give their fans the very small hope that LeBron may choose to stay with them beyond 2010. Though unless they actually win a championship, LeBron most likely still plans to leave.

"He's leading his team the right way." ~Mike Brown (On LeBron.)

Prediction
I'm not sure if this game will be overly competitive. But the Heat did win against the Lakers. I can't see Cleveland losing at the moment though. This game is here because it features Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. I can't wait to see those two matched up against eachother.

Category: NBA
Posted on: December 15, 2008 2:39 am
Edited on: December 15, 2008 3:32 am
 

NBA Top 5 Games of the Week

Hey guys, on every Monday morning from here on out I will make my top 5 or so games of the week. I will write a bit about each team and predict a result. I hope that this will get some comments, and I would welcome anybodies opinions on anything from their opinion on a team, their own top 5 games, their own predictions, anything. Enjoy.

Tuesday 16th December 2008: Denver (16-7) @ Houston (15-9)

Chauncey Billups brings to Denver what George Karl previously could not, Leadership.Denver
Since Chauncey Billups has arrived in Denver, their record has been 15-4. Billups bring leadership, experience, direction and, most importantly, defense. Now the teams star, Carmelo, has somebody passing him the ball, instead of somebody else driving to the hoop and trying to score all the points. They have changed their own destiny from being an also-ran to a real playoff competitor in the West.

Houston
I swear to God...Why does everybody in Houston get injured?! How many times this season have they had Yao, Scola, Artest, T-Mac and Alston on the floor together? Even with a constant flow of injuries, Houston has still put up quite a commendable record, and when the team is fully healthy, everyobdy should be scared. I'll come out and say, that if all teams are at full health, the Rockets could be the team to knock the Lakers the their perch in the playoffs, if somebody has to do it. T-Mac is also starting to combine with his team-mates very nicely.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                           
 Prediction
I'm going with Houston in this one. Denver is coming off a road game the night before in Dallas before this game. These two teams are fairly evenly matchup, but if anything swings it, it is home-court. T-Mac and Yao should be too much for Chauncey and Melo in this one. I also think Houston has a slightly better bench and slightly better role players in the starters.



 Wednesday 17th December 2008: San Antonio (15-8) @ New Orleans (13-7)

San Antonio

As usual many had written then off before the season saying they are old and over the hill. But, as usual, the Spurs has silenced critics and despite injuries to key players, they have held a fantastic record. Tony Parker is playing out of his skin, he scored 55 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds in the last game. Oscar Robertson is the only other player in history to play a 55-10-7 game, a true representation of how great of an achievement it is. Timmy D still holds down the paint and Manu is fantastic off the bench.

Over the hill? I don't think so, Timmy D still holds down the paint better than most in the NBA

New Orleans
This New Orleans team doesn't seem to have the same form about them as the team that went far in last seasons playoffs. They are still a great team though. Chris Paul, while is a great leader of this team, still doesn't seem to have that 'iconic' leader feel. I don't expect him to have it yet, but I'm sure it will come with age. New Orleans are still putting together a record worthy of a good playoff spot in the west, but their play will need to improve if they want coveted home-court advantage when it comes to playoff-time.

Prediction
New Orleans is coming off a road trip against Boston, Toronto and Memphis. Plus I think the form that the Spurs players are showing right now is fantastic, while the Hornets look average in relative terms to their expected performance.
I have to go with San Antonio in this one.

Aldridge has been playing so well about both ends of the floor - with and without Oden alongside him.Thursday 18th December 2008: Phoenix (14-10) @ Portland (15-10)

Phoenix
It was commonly suggested before the season that Phoenix were a team on the decline. That was after Terry Portner was installed as coach, but since Jason Richardson and Matt Barnes have been added. These transactions, especially Barnes, seem to have gone under the radar compared to others. Phoenix has still managed to put together a decent record and are well inside the playoff race. We will have to see how they fare without Raja Bell and Boris Diaw from now on. Their future is still uncertain though as they have Shaq and Hill as starters who definitely will retire in the near future.

Portland
Portland has the most road games in the league so far, with 16. That is a huge amount, that means only 9 games at home. Yet they have still managed an impressive 15-10 record. Oden is always injured in one way or another and Webster is also injured. Brandon Roy seems to have developed nicely into a "follow-me" type guy on the court, and that can only be good for Portland. Aldridge is holding down the paint really nicely with and without Oden and is slowly developing into a really talented big man.
                                                                          

Prediction
                 
Portland is finally at home, and they should be rested. Also looking at their overall records and taking into account the home and away games, Portland just seems like the better team right now. I will take Portland in this one for sure. No doubts here, the home team takes it.


Friday 19th December 2008: Cleveland (20-4) @ Denver (16-7)MVP! MVP! MVP! At times it seems like LeBron is posing for dunks. This season he has been aboslutely unstoppable.

Cleveland
LeBron James has been dominating everybody and Cleveland are riding him. Cleveland made a great accquisition in Mo Williams, but their 2 guy is still a 3 guy and their 3 and 4 guys should be 4 and 5 guys. They are still one piece away from a truly complete team. for now, LeBron is completely dominant and is clear favorite for MVP right now. I don't think Cleveland will win the Championship, but I have to ask, if they do, would LeBron stay?

Denver
Denver has tried to make itself a championship contender. First they pulled the trigger on Iverson, and who wouldn't? It didn't work, and it was soon clear why. Now they have Billups and Melo, and they might have found their golden ticket. Say what you like about Denver, but you can't say their front office hasn't at least tried to make their team capable of winning that elusive championship.
                                                                                                                                                                                      
Prediction                                                                                                                                                                  
All four of the games Cleveland has lost have been on the road. They were also against very tough    teams. Cleveland and LeBron will be aware of this and Denver has just come home from a tough,    
albeit short, road trip against Dallas and Houston. So for this one, I'll pick Cleveland and LeBron to
win it on the road. I have no doubt that this game will be the game to watch this week. I won't be surprised no matter who wins this one.

Dwight Howard has continued to develop and is now widely regarded as the best center in the league and is being included in MVP talks as well.Saturday 20th Decmeber 2008: Los Angeles (19-3) @ Orlando (18-6)


Los Angeles
Kobe Bryant still has a huge impact on this team, even though the impact may not be as big on the scoresheet. Los Angeles still hold the west and are the team to beat. They have a solid foundation and seem to have a plethora of players of most positions. Something to note - Luke Walton seems to have gained ground on the SF depth chart, startin gin the last game. Ariza's talents still being used from the bench and Radman not playing at all.

Orlando
You get the feeling that after two playoff seasons, and now a season where they are destroying all competition in the East, that everybody is finally starting to see the Magic as an elite NBA team. Dwight Howard is still developing and is definitely one of the top 5 players in the league right now. Hedo is hitting his shots and Rashard is causing mismatches. Everybody is doing their job and the team continues to chug along nicely and they look like they are on the road to another home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. A truly elite team in the NBA, and they are out for blood.

Prediction
The Lakers look on course for another 60+ win season, and they will only be losing a handful of games this season. This will be one of those games, if they have to lose some games, it may as well be against another top team while they are on the road. The Magic and Dwight Howard match up nicely and is will be a very close match and I for one am definitely looking forward to it.














 Magic: Hedo Turkoglu has hit shot
after shot this season. Above, he 
celebrates his winning three point
shot against the Blazers.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com