Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 7:00 AM
It’s been a long time since we had a chance to write about the NBA. With the Brooklyn Nets visiting the New York Knicks Wednesday Night in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPN, this seems like the perfect time to get caught up on the big stories in the Big Apple. That will help us transition back to expanded NBA coverage once the NIT and Big Dance are in the books.
Before the season began, Brooklyn and New York were both supposed to play prominent roles in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The betting markets didn’t see them as threats to win the East at the expense of powerhouse Miami. But, they were supposed to be on the short list of teams who were locks to play in the postseason.
PRESEASON EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PROJECTIONS
1…Miami 61.5 wins
2…Chicago 56.5 wins
3…Indiana 55.5 wins
4…Brooklyn 52 wins
5…New York 49.5 wins
6…Detroit 41 wins
7…Cleveland 40 wins
8…Atlanta 39.5 wins
Note that 41 wins means a final record of 41-41. So, only the top five teams listed above were supposed to finish better than .500. They were all supposed to be well clear of it! Of course, you probably remember that New York’s loudmouthed owner announced to the world that he expected to win a championship this season. Let’s look at the current Eastern Conference playoff picture through Tuesday Night’s games.
CURRENT EASTERN CONFERENCE RACE/RECORDS
9…New York 32-43
The Eastern Conference is so bad this year that New York has had what can only be described as a disastrous season…yet they still might make the playoffs! If the Knicks go undefeated from this point forward, they’ll come nowhere near their win projection yet still reach the playoffs unless Atlanta also sweeps.
Brooklyn had a very slow start as you probably remember. Before Christmas, the big news in the Big Apple was that BOTH area teams were huge disappointments. Brooklyn’s veterans paced themselves and finally did kick things up a notch.
Record on New Year’s: 10-21
Record only in 2014 is: 29-12 (pending Tuesday vs. Houston)
Wow…from rags to riches right after Ryan Seacrest led the countdown in Times Square! That 29-12 record equates to 58-24 for a full season…which is certainly something to be taken very seriously. Yes…it’s a weak schedule. And…no…you can think of the Nets as being equal to Miami right now in terms of championship potential. But, the team is at least playing NOW like everyone had expected initially.
And, you can stretch the case a bit to say the same thing about the Knicks. Their “slow start” was much longer, and much uglier. Instead of bottoming out at 11 games below .500, they bottomed out at 19 games below .500. Things sure have been brighter recently.
Record on March 4: 21-40
Record since then: 11-3
And, that 11-3 mark includes road victories over Minnesota and Golden State from the stronger Western conference, and a home victory over Indiana.
Suddenly Brooklyn vs. New York isn’t a JOKE any more! It’s now a meeting of two of the hottest teams in the NBA. And, it’s also happening just as prior powerhouse Indiana has gone into a dramatic tailspin that’s cast doubts on their chances to go deep in the East. Everyone’s been saying the East playoffs won’t even start until the Miami-Indiana championship round. There may not even be a Miami/Indiana championship round!
So…this is a GREAT time to get back into pro basketball…and Wednesday’s Nets/Knicks game is the ideal way to get your head focused on the transition from March Madness to the NBA postseason. JIM HURLEY may or may not be posting a release in this TV game. There’s a busy Wednesday schedule between the NBA and MLB. Clients only get the BEST BETS!
You can purchase those right here at the website with your credit card. If you have questions, call Wednesday during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you check out our seasonal packages. Enjoy a great rate to get basketball and baseball from now through the NBA Playoffs.
Here’s the NOTEBOOK schedule for the next few days:
Thursday: Preview of the NIT Championship
Friday: Preview of Florida/Connecticut in the NCAA Final Four
Saturday: Preview of Wisconsin/Kentucky in the NCAA Final Four
Sunday: Preview of SF Giants/LA Dodgers in ESPN’s Sunday Nighter
Monday: Preview of the NCAA Championship
It’s CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK in basketball (and the Dodgers are the market’s choice to win the championship in the National League!)…so you absolutely, positively need to hook up with WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!