Thursday, April 14, 2005

Games Remaining Watch

Now in the final week, if you’ve got games to make up, it says here that guys playing more games help you make them up. I know, revolutionary thinking. Anyhow, almost all the teams in the L have 4 games remaining, but there are a couple with more or less of their calendar:

3 Games Remaining
Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors.


Good news here actually, for Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan owners. Both players are dealing with injuries, so the light schedule, combined with the push for home court as they’re just 1.5 games behind the Suns, means they will likely play in all 3 games and be well-rested for each. Houston might not have many games remaining, but the ones they DO have left to play have such big playoff implications that you’ll be seeing all of their regulars playing major minutes – possibly more than normal. Golden State, well, go Baron go.

5 Games Remaining
New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers.
Two of these teams – New York and Portland, obviously – are ready for the season to end right now. Expect them to just play things out like they have been for the past couple of weeks. Miami might not have much to play for right now either, as they’ve got home court wrapped up already. Look for Shaq to get limited minutes as he rebounds from the stomach ailment that has kept him out of a few games, as and maybe even Dwayne Wade will get some time off to rest up for the playoffs. Remember, he was seen as an injury risk going into the year, so the Heat will likely be extra cautious with him. The last 5 games he’s gotten about 34 minutes, down from his season average of 38.

The other two teams – Cleveland and Philadelphia – are going to be playing for everything over their final five games, and they really control their own destinies. Look for LeBron James and Allen Iverson to have monstrous weeks – if you’re chasing someone in points and they have either of those guys, you might want to re-evaluate your chances there. Also, role players like Iguodala, Gooden, and others are set up for a decent week.

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