Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

LeBron James confident as NBA playoffs begin

LeBron James confident as NBA playoffs begin

That seems a little more predictable; for one, LeBron James has ended up in six in a row.

"I've got the answer", he said. All they could do was have enigmatic shooting guard Lance Stephenson blow in his ear. In a presentation at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, NBA senior VP of basketball strategy and analytics Evan Wasch showed that removing conferences would create matchups in which teams traveled across three time zones (not possible until the NBA Finals now) some 18 percent of the time, while matchups occurring within the same time zone would decrease from 55 percent to 30 percent. The Pacers must first play the Cavs while the Bulls take on the Celtics. To put it quite simply, this is the worst the Cavaliers have looked in years.

James is one of the few people in the league that you can give the ball to anywhere on the court and have faith that you have a decent chance of scoring (besides the free-throw line). Prove me right Jazz and don't prove me right Clippers.

"You guys can harp on the regular season". Houston was hit with some injuries through the latter part of the season, but the Rockets will have their full rotation available to open the playoffs. That was the big body to replace Nene [who left for Houston last offseason]. I think they have the best coach in the game and probably the best system in the game. IN came into the final day with a one-game advantage and, holding no tie-breakers over either the eighth-placed Chicago Bulls or ninth-placed Miami Heat, had to win to secure their fate. Like James before him, if this were any other season, Leonard would likely be notching his first regular season MVP award.

This season, James averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 37.8 minutes of play over 74 games.

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Can the Atlanta Hawks depend on Dwight Howard? This is all about Russell Westbrook versus James Harden.

How did Harden and company respond? That streak is eight seasons longer than any other National Basketball Association franchise ever posted, and also the longest in any North American major pro sport (the Montreal Canadiens and San Francisco 49ers had winning percentages of.600 or better in 16 consecutive seasons).

Despite all those three-point shots, they also led the league in field goal percentage. Whether it's upsetting a third seeded Denver Nuggets or overcoming a 1-3 deficit in the Western Conference Finals, this team always finds a way to pull off the spectacular. They boast winning records against the Celtics and the Cavaliers. "If you don't have scrutiny, if you don't have pressure, if you don't have spotlight, you're not doing something right". This could end up being a third consecutive year in which the Warriors face the Cavaliers. Westbrooks insanely high usage percentage only begins to tell that tale. These Grizzlies are a veteran group, with a nucleus - center Marc Gasol, guards Michael Conley and Tony Allen and reserve power forward Zach Randolph - that has played together for several seasons. Paul George is averaging 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds while Jeff Teague is averaging 15.3 points and 7.8 assists. No. 6 Oklahoma City ThunderNo. Westbrook is the be-all, end-all for the Thunder. That's been the case for the past decade, and he's coming off his best statistical regular season since rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers. San Antonio lost four of its last five games.

Atlanta (43-38) is locked into the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, sealing that spot with a 103-76 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday. There were many who doubted George would ever be the same player, but he came back, won an Olympic gold medal and set his sights on greater glory.

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