Fact or Fiction
March 7, 2014
By Mike Rose
We're officially in the stretch run here of the 2013-14 NBA season, and there are teams jockeying for position in both conferences. To sort through what's fact and what's fiction of what we have seen in the last week in the Association, we're going to go over six pressing topics and make our decisions as to whether they're the truth or just some made up unreality.
It Was Only a Matter of Time Until the Pacers Faced Market Correction: This doesn't mean that Indiana is a bad team. It just means that the market has been going through correction in its games. Sure, the Pacers had no business losing to the Bobcats by 22 on Wednesday night, but that doesn't mean it's the end of the world. It still only counts as one loss. The Pacers have only covered two games in the last month, but that isn't deterring us from thinking that this is still one of the best teams in the league. The ATS defeats though, might continue to pile up.
The 76ers Really Might Not Reach Their Season Win Total: When you've got a season win total of 16.5 and you start out 3-0, you probably should get there. Philly was 15-31 once upon a time too, at least before this 15-game losing streak. When you really look at it, where are the games which the Sixers are winning down the stretch? Utah on Saturday? The Knicks at the Garden on Monday? Sacramento on Wednesday? If not any of those three games, they'll be on a 22-game losing streak for sure when the Knicks come to town on Friday 3/21, and if that game is lost, the losing streak will reach at least 26 until the end of March when Detroit comes to the City of Brotherly Love.
When Healthy, the Clippers Have the Deepest Team in the NBA: Most think that it's San Antonio which takes that title, but when JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford are healthy, this is a heck of a team. We know that the starting five is legit, and beyond that, the Clips would have Darren Collison, Matt Barnes (or Danny Granger), Crawford, Willie Green, Reggie Bullock, Hedo Turkoglu, and Glen Davis to choose from. That's an amazing roster full of guys with playoff experience on it. Head Coach Doc Rivers might be the man who can get these Clippers into the NBA Finals.
The Spurs Proved That They Should Be Amongst the Favorites To Win the Championship When They Beat Up Miami: Sorry, Spurs fans. We just don't believe it right now. Sure, San Antonio whooped up on the Heat last night, but the reason why we don't think that that win was good enough to get the Spurs the inside track is because the Western Conference is just so darn stacked. Even as the #1 seed in the West, the Spurs are likely to have to deal with a team like Memphis in the opening round of the playoffs, and beyond that, it could be Portland or Houston or LA. None of those are good matchups for sure. The Spurs might be the best in the West, but the best doesn't always end up being the deserving favorite.
This Is the Year the Charlotte Bobcats Win Their First Playoff Game: Charlotte has only been to the playoffs once in team history, and it was swept in four games by the Magic several seasons ago. This year, the Bobcats will get into the playoffs again, and many think that a win over Indiana by 22 points at home on Wednesday is an indication that this is the best edition franchise has ever had. That might be true. (As sad as that is.) However, the Bobcats, unless they can run down Brooklyn, who is three games in front of them at this point, will have to deal with either Miami or Indiana in the opening round of the playoffs. Don't think for a second that when all the cards are on the table that there will be any give in either of those teams' games at that point.
The Phoenix Suns Are the Sleeper Team in the Western Conference: Color us unimpressed right now with the Suns. Sure, they have games like they did earlier this week against Oklahoma City when they shoot lights out, Gerald Green goes off for 41 points, and they beat a team they probably had no business beating. But in the playoffs, you have to be consistent. Can the Suns win two games in a six-game series? Surely. But they aren't going to be able to win 12 games against three of the best teams in the NBA just to get to the NBA Finals this year. We love the energy this team has and think Hornacek has done a heck of a job in his first year at the helm, but let's be realistic here for a moment. Teams that play matador defense just don't win championships. It didn't work for the Suns back in their heyday with Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, and it isn't going to work with Dragic and company this time around either.
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