Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 1:34 PM
THE WEST'S FINAL PLAYOFF SPOT GOES TO DENVER AT MINNESOTA WINNER ON SEASON'S FINAL NITE ... PLUS, IT'S TIME TO ANNOUNCE OUR NBA AWARDS
It's always a bit amazing to consider that NBA teams can play 81 of their 82 regular-season games and still not know whether they'll be headed to the playoffs or not.
Consider the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves:
Both of these clubs will head into the final night of the 2017-18 regular season on Wednesday with identical 46-35 records and up for grabs is that final Western Conference post-season berth.
It's the only all-or-nothing game on the NBA's final regular-season night although there will be some scrambling for playoff seeding in both conferences and when all the dust settles we'll finally know the eight first-round playoff matchups beginning this Saturday/Sunday. .
The NBA post-season is an absolute blast - it's basically a two-month sprint to the finish line with lots of great action and a whole lot of winners for Jim Hurley's Network clients.
Just make sure you let Jim's Handicappers and Bloggers continue to bang out the big bucks in this year's playoffs beginning Saturday, April 14th and also cash in big with all our Major-League Baseball winners too -- check it out right here online or 1-800-323-4453 and keep piling up the profits this spring!
On Wednesday night, it's ...
DENVER (46-35) at MINNESOTA (46-35) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Make no mistake about it: The Denver Nuggets have stampeded their way to the finish line having won their last six consecutive games including Monday's 88-82 triumph over the 4.5-point underdog Portland Trail Blazers. Center Nikola Jokic was a veritable stat-sheet stuffer for Denver in that win/cover with 15 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists ... but can the Nuggets count on such productivity here against a Minnesota team that is 29-11 SU (straight-up) at home this season?
The Timberwolves - fresh off Monday night's 113-94 rocking-chair win/cover against 16.5-point pup Memphis - have not exactly taken the bull by the horns late in this campaign while splitting their last eight games and that included last week's tough-to-stomach 100-96 loss in Denver.
No secret that Minnesota's been - at least according to most NBA folks - a major disappointment this year because projections were for Tom Thibodeau's team to finish somewhere in the #4-5-6 seeds. Still, Minny can salvage its underwhelming season here with Karl-Anthony Towns (24 points and 18 rebounds the other night versus the tank-job Grizzles) taking control but we see a real key to this all-or-nothing game being the T-Wolves bench starring veteran G Derrick Rose and C Gorgui Dieng. If they can deliver solid minutes, host Minny should have the advantage with all else being equal.
Here's the regular-season matchups between the Nuggets and Timberwolves this year (note Home Teams in CAPS below):
Hmm, interesting to see that the Timberwolves have covered two-of-three so far in this season series although the Nuggets played well at the Target Center back in late December when Jimmy Butler's 39 points carried Minnesota to the non-cover win in overtime (Butler scored 12 of his team's 14 points in the extra session).
NBA AWARDS TIME
Let's open up the envelopes and real our Jim Sez NBA Award Winners ...
MVP - James Harden, G, Houston ... Count on this being a unanimous choice as the bearded one is averaging a league-best 30.6 points per game while orchestrating the Rockets to the NBA's best regular-season record.
Second Place - LeBron James, Cleveland; Third Place - Anthony Davis, New Orleans
Coach of the Year - Mike D'Antoni, Houston ... You might love this run-run style or hate it but hard to ignore the job done by the Rockets' head coach who has his club playing .800 ball.
Second Place - Nate McMillan, Indiana; Third Place - Dwane Casey, Toronto
Rookie of the Year - Ben Simmons, G, Philadelphia ... You all know Simmons was drafted two years ago but missed the 2016-17 campaign with an injury, so he's eligible to win it and gets the nod while regularly filling up the stat sheet.
Second Place - Donovan Mitchell, Utah; Third Place - Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Defensive Player of the Year - Al Horford, Boston ... The Celtics' All-Star defends the "4" and the "5" spots and he's really helped to hold together this battered bunch.
Second Place - Rudy Gobert, Utah; Third Place - Robert Covington, Philadelphia
Comeback Player of the Year - Ben Simmons, Philadelphia ... Not bad to land up Rookie of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year and for a team that hasn't lost a game since - get this - March 13th!
Second Place - Jabari Parker, Milwaukee; Third Place - Tony Parker, San Antonio
Sixth Man of the Year - Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers ... Look for this scoring machine to nab this award for the second time in four years.
Second Place - Eric Gordon, Houston; Third Place - Fred VanVleet, Toronto.
NOTE: Lots more Baseball and NBA action ahead - plus our NFL Draft goodies are comin' your way soon here at Jim Sez.