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The Thunder Rebuilding on the Fly

We talked on Friday about the surprising season the Pacers have had while missing Victor Oladipo for most of the year. But maybe even more surprising has been the success of the Oklahoma City Thunder.   A History of Star Power  Less than a decade ago, the Thunder had Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook, they drafted all three.  They …

The Surprising Pacers Await Their Leader’s Return

The Indiana Pacers have been a surprise success story this year after losing all-star guard Victor Oladipo the previous January with a torn quad tendon.  That led to an early exit in last season’s playoff and most assumed the Pacers would struggle at the beginning of this year in his absence.  But instead the Pacers …

Is it Championship or Bust for the Rockets?

The Houston Rockets come to Orlando as the team with probably the most at stake.  They swung the huge off-season deal for Russell Westbrook and currently sit just 6th in the Western Conference, ironically tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  They also traded away center Clint Capela earlier this season and now have no true center.    The Rockets …

Can the Sixers Figure it All Out?

For a team that lost by just a point in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last year, there are more questions than answers surrounding this group.  Jimmy Butler seemingly couldn’t wait to move on.  They gave huge contracts to Tobias Harris and Al Horford.  And their two best players can’t seem to stay on the court …

Porzingis is the key to the Mavericks’ run

Now we get into the crowded Western Conference race.  The top seven teams are pretty much in the playoffs.  The 7th seeded Dallas Mavericks are 7 games clear of 8th place Memphis so a single win would clinch that spot.  The Mavericks sit a game and a half behind the Rockets and Thunder and 2.5 games behind …

The Grizzlies are Way Ahead of Schedule

The Memphis Grizzlies traded away their two most recognizable players in 2019, dealing Marc Gasol to the eventual world champion Toronto Raptors and then sending Mike Conley Jr to the Utah Jazz in the off season.  They hired a 35-year old, first –time head coach in Taylor Jenkins and then selected Ja Morant second overall …

The Pelicans are Primed to Make Some Noise in the West

The Pelicans did a pretty good job keeping afloat this season until Zion Williamson finally debuted in February.  He played 19 games for New Orleans before the season was suspended.  He’s now had an additional couple of months to strengthen his knee.  No workout really replicates live game play but I think this is a net positive …

Can the Spurs keep their Playoff Streak Alive?

The San Antonio Spurs will arrive in Orlando trying to make the playoffs for the 22nd straight year.  That includes every season Tim Duncan was in the league as well as the three since he left.  But they have an uphill climb to get to that point, four games behind Memphis and with Sacramento, New Orleans …

Why Doesn’t Anyone Care About the Kings?

No one is talking about the Sacramento Kings but going into Orlando from day one, they are exactly where they need to be to have a shot at a play-in series.  They’re 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies and tied with the Blazers and Pelicans.  The schedule lays out nicely for them, even though they’re …