All Numbers below are in points per 48 minutes Adjusted for strength of opponent.-
Jamaal Crawford totally keys the offense, while Curt Hinrichs has killed their offense. Al Horford has played poorly lately. If healthy watch for Jason Collins’ great defense off bench. Dwight Howard deserves defensive player of year (adjusted +/- defense rating of-14) but little known Ryan Anderson has played fantastic (+14 Adjusted +/-) during the last 2 weeks.
Lately Douglas, Jeffries and Walker have been great for Knicks. MOst of Celtics problems has been due to poor bench play by Murphy, Kristic, Pavlovic, Murphy and West. Cut out their minutes and go with Wafer, Arroy, Green, and an O’Neal off bench and Celtics will be a force to be reckoned with.
Rose is great but the unsung key to this team is Deng’s great defense and the great bench defense from Asik (and to a lesser degree) Brewer, Watson, and Korver. Noah and Boozer are overrated as keys to Bulls success. Bulls should close every game with Brewer Deng Korver Noah and Rose. This lineup plays 35 points better than average per 48 minutes. For the Pacers Dunleavy’s return will help a lot but Rush’s defense lately (+18 ) has killed Pacers.
Brand has fantastic Impact on the game (3rd in league). To have any shot Nocioni’s (adjusted +/- -12) and Turner’s (-10) minutes need to disappear. Hawes offense (-22) has disappeared during the last two weeks. For the Heat in addition to the Big 3 James Jones has an incedible impact on winning games. He needs to be on court when game is on line. Eddie House always has a favorable impact in the clutch.
How could Kobe not be suspended for his remarks Tuesday night? Because the league wants the Lakers in the finals, that’s why. Lakers get a walk in the park here over the crippled Hornets. Lately Kobe’s defense (+14) and Barnes’ offense (-13) have killed Lakers. Lately Bellinelli, Green and Ariza have played poorly. I see Laker 4-0 sweep.
Manu (+13 Adjusted +/- and league’s 6th best Impact) totally keys this team. If he misses games or is subpar I see a Grizzlies victory. Lately Conley and Randolph have been great and Tony Allen (-10 defensive rating) has been a defensive stalwart. This could turn out to be a great series.
I am confident this will be the best series to watch, but will probably have the lowest ratings. Denver has been the league’s best team since Melo trade. Nene (+7 Adjusted +/-) and Felton (+8 Adjusted +/-) have been great. Birdman has been great (+22 Points rating last 2 weeks) lately and he needs to be healthy. Felton and Lawson on court Nuggets are 23 points better than average. For the Thunder the best thing about trade was not getting Perkins, but getting rid of Green so COllison could play more (+6 Points rating). Lately Maynor (+34 Impact) has really provided a spark off bench. KD is probably the league’s most consistent super star and this series should go 7.
To win this series Mavs need to play Brewer more minutes than Roddy B. Roddy has a -7 Points rating and -9 points rating last 2 weeks. Brewer has a +13 points rating the last 2 weeks. Rudy and Andre Miller are underrated (+7 Points ratings) and Dallas must stop them to win. We predict Brewer’s defense will be a key to this series.