NBA finale: What’s at stake for winners, losers

first_img[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’NBA finale: What’s at stake for winners, losers’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=”]Thursday, April 13, 2017[/av_textblock][av_image src=’’ attachment=’103149′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’]Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (left) goes to the hoop in front of Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple during their game in Los Angeles. AP[/av_image] NEW YORK – For some teams, it’s win and they’re in.For others, winning is the worst thing they can do Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).The last night of the NBA regular season isn’t just about playoff spots. It’s also about lottery seeds, the final chance to lock up the best odds possible for landing a high pick in what’s considered a deep draft.The Boston Celtics, with a victory over Milwaukee, will clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they’ve already got the top spot for next month’s lottery. The Brooklyn Nets will finish with the league’s worst record, and their 25 percent chance of winning the lottery goes to Boston as part of the ongoing payment of the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett trade three years ago.But other teams have been doing their best — or worst, rather — to fall down the standings with curious lineups and questionable strategies. Commissioner Adam Silver has noticed the tanking going on and said last week it’s a serious issue for the league.“Sometimes there are opportunities to give other players on the roster additional minutes,” he said. “But there’s no question there’s also a certain amount of jockeying that’s going on there as teams look to go into the draft.”One of them is Phoenix (24-58), which wrapped up the second-worst record in the league Tuesday having already shut down starters Eric Bledsoe and Tyson Chandler a while ago. Charlotte is also finished, but the other 28 teams will be in action one more time.And with respect to the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, who would clinch the final two playoff spots with victories, in some other games there might be more at stake for the team that loses.A look at some games that matter:ATLANTA AT INDIANA, BROOKLYN AT CHICAGOThe Pacers and Bulls are playoff-bound with victories and they should get some help from their opponents. The Hawks have nothing to play for after being locked into the No. 5 seed when they beat Charlotte on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), and the Nets have already announced they’ll rest Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin along with some injured players.Miami is still alive and needs a victory over Washington along with help.TORONTO AT CLEVELANDThe Raptors are locked into the third seed, while the Cavaliers can still be No. 1 with a victory and a Boston loss.If that happened, Toronto could avoid the champs until the conference finals. Beat them Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), and the Raptors are guaranteed to see them one round sooner.PHILADELPHIA AT NEW YORKOne of the only things Phil Jackson has gotten right while running the Knicks is drafting Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 two years ago. New York has its first-round pick for the first time since then and currently has the sixth-worst record, but a victory and the Knicks risk drafting around No. 10 if they were to fall backward the maximum three spots in the lottery.The 76ers are tied with Orlando for the fourth-worst record.DETROIT AT ORLANDONobody celebrates their lottery luck like the Magic, who have pingpong balls in their trophy case in recognition of wins in 1992, ’93 and 2004. But it’s easier to be lucky from No. 4 than No. 5, so another loss couldn’t hurt. Orlando looks capable of one after losing by a franchise-record 47 points to Chicago on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).SAN ANTONIO AT UTAH, SACRAMENTO AT THE LOS ANGELES CLIPPERSA Clippers win or a Jazz loss and their first-round series starts in Los Angeles. Utah needs to win and have the Clippers lose to seize the No. 4 seed. (AP)center_img [/av_textblock][/av_one_full]last_img read more

Reasons the Release of DeSean Jackson Was Far From a Smart Move

first_imgHonestly thought the day wouldn’t come this soon, but DeSean Jackson has been released by the Eagles after having the best statistical season of his career. In move that shocked many, the purported reasoning for his release was his alleged involvement in gang-related activity off-field, attitude, and work ethic. Jackson has thus denied any such off-field activity. In the weeks leading up to his release, speculation had been circulating rapidly, from trade rumors to the idea that he may indeed would have been staying put after assuring his teammates and talking with head coach, Chip Kelly. Whatever the case, there’s no more rumors left, Jackson is indeed gone from Philly, and from what I believe, this decision will not favor Philly for a few simple reasons.Of course, the clearest reason is Jackson’s over the top speed, which would leave defensive coordinators up at night and defensive backs restless. Along with a very quick supporting cast, many saw Philly’s offense as the fastest unit in the league for the time Jackson was there. Now, that notion may very well end up being taken away. Jeremy Maclin is fast in his own right but does not come close to the burning quickness of Jackson. Not only does the offense suffer from this loss, but of course the special teams. Jackson was a formidable force in the return game since the day he came into the NFL, and is perhaps most well known for his walk-off return against the Giants in 2010. Now not only will someone have to replace him at the wideout position, but also as a return specialist, and I doubt a single person will be able to fill bot roles, given Jackson’s exceptional versatility.Another is that I doubt Philly will be able to find another market receiver that will fit Kelly’s system as well as Jackson did. As mentioned before, Jackson had his best statistical year, which gives us all a pretty good idea of how well adept he was to an offense like Kelly’s. When Kelly came from Oregon and arrived in Philly, he was getting ready to coach a virtually identical offense to his college team. Both teams specialized in speed, in which it seemed that was to be found at nearly every offensive position. I cannot see them drafting a receiver (and they most likely will) that will be able to boast the same threat every Sunday that Jackson did.Whatever the reason for his release, Philly has downgraded this offense substantially, rival, interconference, and conference teams will no longer consider their offense too much of a threat even with the acquisition of Darren Sproles. If the Eagles do intend to find someone to fill the shoes of someone of the likes of DeSean Jackson, I can’t see that happening for awhile.Please follow and like us:last_img read more