Wrapping Up the NBA Regular Season
Wayne Root: Wrapping Up the NBA Regular Season
In honor of my "Wrap Up Game of the Week"that goes tonight on the final evening of NBA action, I wanted to spend today reviewing lessons from the abbreviated 2012 regular season. I'm looking forward to the start of the playoffs on Saturday of course. But, let's devote a little time to looking back and how things went down in the build-up to the championship run.
The first thing that jumps out to me is how the sports world finally stopped talking about the Miami Heat becoming a dynasty that would utterly dominate the sport. Hey, the Heat could still win the championship this year. But, nobody's talking about them going 72-10 over an 82-game schedule, or winning five or six championships in a row. Supposedly the acquisition of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh had made basketball anywhere else irrelevant for the near future. That's not what happened. Miami's one of many dangerous contenders. You can't "buy"a championship. You can only buy the ability to contend. It still takes a TEAM to win a championship.
Staying in the Eastern Conference, I think many people learned this year that Derrick Rose was NOT a one-man team in Chicago. Rose was terrific last year. He got the credit he deserved, plus the credit that the coach deserved, plus the credit that the best defenders on the team deserved, and probably credit that a few other role players deserved. This year, Rose was injury prone...and the team kept right on winning without him. When he first came back, he messed up what had been working! That's not what "most valuable"means at all.
We're still probably looking at either Chicago and Miami being the eventual representative in the Eastern Conference in the Finals down the road. Wrapping up the regular season helps remind us that teams win championships while the media hypes individuals. Picking winners means focusing on what wins championships! Don't spend too much time listening to media hype in the postseason.
Over in the West, everyone learned that the San Antonio Spurs still had plenty of life left in those boots. Last year's first round playoff loss to Memphis was supposedly the end of an era. Instead, it inspired a fantastic 2012 campaign that earned the top seed again despite multiple tank jobs. The Spurs were so good they could afford to take games off to rest and still win the #1 seed!
The lesson here? Veterans determine who wins the games that matter. And, veterans who play together well have the best chance to consistently play high level basketball. If you watched a lot of games this year, you saw a lot of possessions that devolved into isolation plays with a star forcing up a bad shot. The Spurs were one of the few teams down the stretch who kept playing "real"basketball in a way that got the whole team involved.
The final note I want to mention today involves how many examples we saw in both conferences of players not being on the same page as their head coaches. A few franchises had to fire respected coaches. It looks like Orlando may be doing that soon as well. Pro basketball more than any other sport needs this element to be in place because there are so few starters and so many games. I bring this up now because I think it's a great transition point for the playoffs. There are STILL multiple teams that don't support their head coaches with 100% loyalty. A key factor from the regular season is about to become a key factor in the playoffs.
You can purchase my "Wrap Up Game of the Week" here at the website, as well as my full postseason basketball package. If you have any questions about available offers or finding a program that best suits your individual needs, call my handicapping office at 1-877-766-8946.
Be sure to check on baseball too. There are a lot of DAY games Thursday so take care of business early if you want the baseball. I got off to a red hot start in this sport, winning my last 6 games and starting the season 24-9...and we're not even one month into the season yet. You should plan on building your bankroll Thursday and Friday so you're ready to jump into the playoffs aggressively this weekend.
Being a winning handicapper and sports bettor in Las Vegas involves truly understanding what's happened in the past so you can make informed decisions about what's going to happen in the future. I'm THE KING OF LAS VEGAS because I've mastered this reality over the past few decades. I hope today's article has helped get you into that kind of mindset.
Regular season dynamics have set up some very clear tendencies for the playoffs. That means it's time for you go to W.A.R alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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