MOMENTUM: Who’s got it and who doesn’t?
Each season we see it. The most talented team (let’s call them the Heat) or team with the best record back their way into the playoffs with high expectations and are unable to deliver. This may be due to injuries, poor chemistry, or exhaustion. This year, add in the wrinkle of a condensed season and you may find the standings once again don’t tell the full story. Here are a few teams WITH and WITHOUT momentum heading into the final stretch of the season.
Riding the Momentum wave into the Playoffs
So far they have been successful fighting through the injury bug. It APPEARS that Derrick Rose will be 100% come time for the playoffs. There are still lots of questions surrounding a team trying to return to the finals for the first time since Mr. Jordan played, but consistency isn’t one of them. They have been the model of stability in the East.
They are running on fumes of momentum. Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett are all locked in on the goal of one last run. There is no way this stretches another season so it’s now or never. NOTE: Wrote the exact same sentence last year, so, you know…
Jason Kidd has the Dallas offense humming, Vince Carter wants to play the role of X-Factor, and the Lamar Odom drama is over. After an up and down season the Mavs are finally mentally prepared to defend their title.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Kobe Bryant has been out for five games, but his team has had his back! The Ramon Sessions deal although wasn’t headline grabbing at the time was quietly the most impactful deal from the trade deadline. Kobe will be back and the Lakers will once again be in the hunt.
Riding the Wrong side of the Momentum Train
They continue to have no identity and their best player continues to fade away late in games. When you look at the standings and see Knicks vs. Heat as a potential first round match up and realize you could see the Knicks stealing a couple of games you know you have problems.
The fairy tale of 2011-2012 season is no longer. The veteran vs. youth movement is not on the same page and Doug Collins is ALREADY wearing on his team. If they hang on to the final playoff spot it should be viewed as a success.
After last season they were going to take the “next step”, at least this is what we were promised. Each game continues to be a gritty battle which means this team will be a “tough out”, but also that they are not ready for the “next step.”
The Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns are on their tail for the final playoff spot. If I was forced to put money for or against the Rockets, I would place it all against!
By: David. S. Grant
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