The Houston Rockets have collapsed, which means the 8th seed in the Western Conference is up for grabs. Minnesota, Portland, Utah, and Phoenix are all within one game of each other and Houston seems likely to join them. So who can manage to grab the final spot?
The Suns? Probably not. At the pace he’s playing, their 38-year-old star point guard could collapse with heart palpitations at any moment (not that we would ever wish that upon you Steve. We want to watch you play until chunks of your face start falling off onto the court) and the players surrounding the old man are not capable of much in the way of star power. The Suns should remain a few games below .500 for the rest of the season.
So why not the Utah Jazz? As long as Raja Bell – the guy who travels when given an open three-point shot because he has no confidence – gets more than 10 minutes a game while Alec Burks and Derrick Favors barely manage to break 30 minutes a game, the Jazz will continue be average. Oh and I can’t forget about C.J. Miles… Get him off the freaking court! Give his minutes to someone who deserves them. i.e. Gordon Hayward.
Trail Blazers? Nope. Portland needs at least one more big-name player to be able to contend. Right now Aldridge is managing to keep Portland relevant, but trading Crawford and Felton for future picks and a good point guard seems to be the only way for them to improve. As it stands Aldridge is not enough to get this team to a first round curb-stomping.
That leaves us with the Timberwolves – my pick to take the 8th seed. Minnesota, along with my dismal fantasy team, suffered a huge loss when Rubio went down with a torn ACL. However, Ridnour played out of his mind before Rubio was given the starting job and could return to that type of play now. The Wolves have been using two point guards in their starting lineup, and with Rubio out the entire lineup could shift. This may eventually equate to increased minutes for Derrick Williams. And yes, that’s a good thing. The final verdict: Rubio is gone but Love, horrible awful Pekovic, Ridnour, and even Williams remain very capable players, and will only improve.
So congratulations Minnesota, you will be receiving two home playoff games this year. Two.
That’s straight doctor’s orders.
— DR. A