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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

NBA Trak, 12/14

TUESDAY'S SCORES

E

W/L?

OFF

REC

Hawks 100, Cavaliers 94

L

15

0-1

Wizards 94, Nets 74

W

18

1-1

Nuggets 101, Bobcats 85

W

15

2-1

Kings 93, T-Wolves 91

L

9

2-2

Spurs 95, Clippers 87

W

12

3-2

Heat 100, Bulls 97

W

5

4-2

Warriors 110, Sonics 107

W

3

5-2

NBAT LINES:

PREDICTION



ClevelandCavaliers

By

10

WashingtonWizards

By

4

DenverNuggets

By

2

MinnesotaT-wolves

By

8

SanAntonioSpurs

By

5

MiamiHeat

By

2

SeattleSupersonics

By

1

A shocking Cavaliers' loss and a miracle three-pointer from Bonzi Wells were all that kept NBAT (NBA Trak) from forecasting a perfect night. Some good match-ups last night:

ENIGMATIC CAVS

Just what is wrong with LeBron and company? It seems as if James has hot lately because he has been on a scoring tear. Over the Cavs' last eight games, James has averaged 35.4 points per contest. But his EFF average is just 30.0 over that span. When your point average is higher than your per-game EFF, you're playing inefficient basketball.

It may be a case of LeBron trying to do too much right now, but if he's going to make an extra effort, it should be on the opposite end of the floor. Cleveland is in the lower third of the NBA in defensive EFF. As an individual defender, James is getting his share of steals and blocks but his man-on-man indicators are not good at all. In fact, his defensive numbers are so poor that he shows up at #22 in the player rankings. With his ability and skill, he should be in the top five, no doubt.

It's time for LeBron to get serious about defense.

CARMELO RISING?

Great game from Carmelo Anthony last night:

in

Pts

Reb

Ast

Stl

Blk

To

eff

40

42

8

4

4

2

4

48

The consensus is that Anthony has really taken a step forward this season. Has he? Absolutely. Melo is averaging a 19.4 EFF this season after posting 16.5 and 16.9 EFFs during his first two campaigns. What's more, he's doing it in fewer minutes: Anthony is averaging 33.8 minutes this season versus 34.8 last. (The reason, of course, is he had one game where he played only a couple of minutes before leaving with an ankle injury.)

So Anthony is better this season and is showing signs of maturity in that his offensive numbers better reflect his strengths. He is attempting fewer three-pointers this year and, as a result, his FG% has risen to .463 and he is getting to the line more often.

As for the rest of his game, Anthony has been pretty stagnant, which is bad news because he needed improvement. He doesn't rebound well for his size and isn't as adept at getting teammates involved as you'd like your star player to be. His defensive numbers suck - they're so bad that they almost completely cancel out his offensive efficiency.

Anthony is still a winning player and is getting better. But he has a long way to go to be elite.

CLASH OF THE TITANS

The other interesting story last night was the match-up between Elton Brand and Tim Duncan. The Clippers fell just short in San Antonio but even in losing, Los Angeles is showing that they have a complete squad capable of getting a high seed in the Western Conference bracket and winning in the playoffs.

The acquisitions of Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley have worked out far better than anyone could have anticipated and the team really has a nice chemistry. But don't lose sight of the fact that the engine that drives the Clippers is Elton Brand. He was one of the most valuable players in the league last year and, this season, he is doing even better.

Entering last night's game, Brand and Duncan were in the top three of the NBAT player rankings. Even after playing each other last night, they now are the top two thanks to an off-night from Kevin Garnett.

Based on seasonal averages and the minutes played last night, both players should have been expected to post a 35 EFF. Brand ended up with a 24 EFF and Duncan with a 32. So both players hold their opponent beneath norms but the advantage clearly went to Duncan, especially when you consider that Duncan's 3-13 performance from the foul line depressed his EFF. That's not really something that Brand can take credit for.

At this point in the season, Tim Duncan is head and shoulders above Brand, Garnett, Shawn Marion and Dwyane Wade as the league's best player.

TONIGHT'S VIEWER'S GUIDE

Visitor

Home

TIMES CST

QUAL

PREDICTION



AtlantaHawks

Philadelphia76ers

6_p.m.

(16)

Philadelphia76ers

by

8

ChicagoBulls

TorontoRaptors

6_p.m.

(27)

TorontoRaptors

by

1

CharlotteBobcats

NJNets

6:30_p.m.

(9)

NJNets

by

4

IndianaPacers

BostonCeltics

6:30_p.m.

5

IndianaPacers

by

1

OrlandoMagic

NYKnicks

6:30_p.m.

(17)

NYKnicks

by

4

SacramentoKings

DetroitPistons

6:30_p.m.

11

DetroitPistons

by

8

LAClippers

NOrleansHornets

7_p.m.

7

LAClippers

by

5

LALakers

MemphisGrizzlies

7_p.m.

2

MemphisGrizzlies

by

3

MiamiHeat

MilwaukeeBucks

7_p.m.

4

MilwaukeeBucks

by

1

PhoenixSuns

DallasMavericks

7_p.m._(ESPN)

35

PhoenixSuns

by

pick'em

PortlandTrailBlazers

UtahJazz

8_p.m.

(23)

UtahJazz

by

10

HoustonRockets

GSWarriors

9:30_p.m._(ESPN)

(1)

GSWarriors

by

3

TEAM RANKINGS

.

POWER

14-Dec

1

PhoenixSuns

22.4

2

SanAntonioSpurs

20.0

3

LAClippers

13.5

4

DetroitPistons

13.1

5

DallasMavericks

12.8

6

MinnesotaT-wolves

11.9

7

IndianaPacers

8.9

8

DenverNuggets

7.1

9

MiamiHeat

5.7

10

ClevelandCavaliers

3.4

11

MemphisGrizzlies

2.0

12

GSWarriors

1.2

13

LALakers

(0.4)

14

Philadelphia76ers

(0.4)

15

SacramentoKings

(0.6)

16

UtahJazz

(1.5)

17

HoustonRockets

(1.9)

18

MilwaukeeBucks

(2.6)

19

WashingtonWizards

(2.7)

20

NJNets

(2.8)

21

BostonCeltics

(3.3)

22

CharlotteBobcats

(6.0)

23

NOrleansHornets

(6.7)

24

ChicagoBulls

(7.1)

25

OrlandoMagic

(8.4)

26

NYKnicks

(9.3)

27

SeattleSupersonics

(9.5)

28

AtlantaHawks

(16.2)

29

TorontoRaptors

(19.3)

30

PortlandTrailBlazers

(21.8)

PLAYER RANKINGS

No.

TPR

14-Dec

1

duncan,tim

16.75

2

brand,elton

14.43

3

garnett,kevin

14.41

4

marion,shawn

13.40

5

wade,dwyane

12.94

6

camby,marcus

11.82

7

mcgrady,tracy

10.82

8

o'neal,jermaine

10.46

9

gasol,pau

10.14

10

nowitzki,dirk

9.78

11

billups,chauncey

9.49

12

nash,steve

8.56

13

frye,channing

8.51

14

ming,yao

7.88

15

stoudamire,damon

7.67

16

maggette,corey

7.57

17

redd,michael

7.57

18

abdur-rahim,shar

7.23

19

howard,dwight

7.00

20

okur,mehmet

6.50

21

parker,tony

6.49

22

james,lebron

6.35

23

francis,steve

6.09

24

butler,caron

5.97

25

jones,james

5.91


BOTTOM TEN


1

james,mike

(12.17)

2

rose,jalen

(10.45)

3

simmons,bobby

(9.74)

4

najera,eduardo

(8.05)

5

daniels,antonio

(7.57)

6

graham,joey

(7.22)

7

mason,desmond

(6.47)

8

dixon,juan

(6.16)

9

calderon,jose

(6.11)

10

rush,kareem

(6.08)

TOP SINGLE-GAME TPRs FOR LAST WEEK

12/11

wade,dwyane

61.09

12/10

james,lebron

52.07

12/12

webber,chris

50.91

12/9

carter,vince

48.48

12/13

allen,ray

46.00

12/13

anthony,carmelo

44.81

12/11

butler,caron

43.48

12/13

duncan,tim

42.72

12/10

brand,elton

42.24

12/10

iverson,allen

41.52

12/12

kirilenko,andrei

40.74

12/7

duncan,tim

40.72

12/11

brand,elton

40.20

12/12

frye,channing

38.29

12/9

przybilla,joel

36.78

12/10

harrington,al

36.72

12/11

paul,chris

36.59

12/7

garnett,kevin

36.47

12/11

abdur-rahim,shar

36.31

12/9

jefferson,richar

35.97

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