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Friday, April 12, 2013

Hoopshysteria: The Final Push

Wild on Sports
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Hoopshysteria: The Final Push
By Wild on Sports Analyst Talyon Perry

With just under a week left in the regular season the Jazz and Lakers are still fighting for the 8th seed in the West. Currently the Lakers lead by one game with both teams having 3 remaining games (Lakers play the Spurs and Thunder in their last 2 games). I talked about this last week so I won't go into further details but I am confident that the Lakers will still pull it off.

In Chicago, the Bulls finally snapped the Knicks 13 game streak dispute Carmelo going for 36pts and 19. The Knicks lost the game because they only had 8 fast break points to Chicago's 16. With an offensive center team like the Knicks their fast break number must be much higher for them to win in the playoffs.
One interesting note -- this is the second major streak that the Bulls have stopped this season as they famously ended the Maimi Heat's run earlier in the year.

Players of the Week
3. John Wall
Wall is in the final year of his rookie contract, and is showing that he is worth a max deal by getting 30+ points in two of his last three games. Only thing he needs to do now is pass the ball.

2. Kobe Bryant
How can you not like when a guy plays 46+ minutes at the age of 34? This includes playing all 48 min and getting 47 points against the Trailblazers. I wouldn't want anyone else on my team down the stretch.

1. Carmelo Anthony
This guy can shoot the ball like no other. Over the last 4 games Melo has put up 36+ points (including 41 against the Bucks) and got a double-double in three of those games. He is now in front of Kevin Durant by .39 points in the race for the scoring title.

Key Match-ups of the Week
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat
The last time these two met it was the Jeff Green coming out party as the young guard poured in 43 points, nearly leading the Celtics to what would have been a streak ending victory. Instead, Lebron showed why he is the best player in the world, taking over down the stretch and keeping the streak alive. Fast forward three weeks and the two teams meet again under much different circumstances. Both teams are just getting their top players back from injury and easing them into the mix in preparation for the playoffs. Not really a whole lot at stake here in terms of seeding as the Heat will be #1 and the Celtics likely #7 but there is no love loss between these two. Expect both to come out firing, trying to send a message one last time preempting a potential future playoff match-up.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Utah Jazz
The two teams meet up twice this week, beginning tonight in Utah. These are both must win games for the Jazz who now sit a game behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot. The two have met twice so far this season with the Jazz coming out on top in both contests. For the Timberwolves, while their playoff hopes are long since over, they have a great chance to play spoilers here. Taking just 1 of 2 would greatly cripple Utah's playoff chances with just three games remaining. From a match-up stand point, Utah on paper should win their last three games. You just never know this time of year.

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