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> The Heat Dont Seem Like Locks For A Third Straight Title
postare Aug 6 2019, 03:40 AM
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MIAMI -- Before the season started, a poll suggested that the Miami Heat were the overwhelming favourite to win the NBA title, collecting a whopping 76 per cent of ballots cast. The voters werent some know-nothings, either. No, this was a polling of NBA general managers. Things seem quite a bit different now. The Heat dont seem like locks for a third straight title anymore. San Antonio and Indiana are top seeds. Brooklyn, Chicago, the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City, Golden State, Houston, Portland and the Heat all figure to have a legitimate chance at being the club to hoist the Larry OBrien Trophy in a couple of months. Usually, the NBA playoffs arent so wide open. Things might change over the next couple of months. "There are 16 teams that have a chance to win it," said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, whose team is seeded No. 2 in the West. "If youre in the playoffs, you have a chance. There are some good teams. Any team can beat each other. The West is deep. There are two teams that are really good that didnt make it and had great years. Its definitely open. Theres a lot of good basketball teams that are fighting for the championship." For as good as San Antonio and Indiana were all year -- well, for most of the year in Indianas case, before the Pacers faltered down the stretch -- its never a certainty that the No. 1 seeds reach the NBA Finals. Its happened that way only 11 times in the last 35 years. Then again, the last time that there wasnt either a No. 1 or a No. 2 in the title series was 1978. So while upsets can happen, its not all that common to see bracket craziness -- akin to a No. 7 and No. 8 seeds Connecticut and Kentucky playing for the NCAA title earlier this month -- happening in the same NBA playoff season. "It is going to be tremendous from a fans standpoint, watching," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "It going to be a lot of fun." Brooklyns Jason Kidd has plenty of post-season experience as a player. He believes the NBA championship is up for grabs, but also probably knows history doesnt favour his sixth-seeded club. Since 1979, only five teams seeded No. 4 or lower in their conference have reached the finals. But Kidd sees reason for hope. "Its always wide open," said Kidd, the first-year coach of the Nets -- a veteran-laden team put together to win a title this season. "You guys sometimes limit it to just two teams but guys that are playing on a daily basis in the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference feel like theyve got a chance." This year, that doesnt just seem like coach speak. Take the East. On paper, the biggest mismatch is No. 1 Indiana against No. 8 Atlanta, especially because the Hawks are the only sub-.500 team in the playoffs. And just a couple weeks ago, the Hawks went to Indianapolis and absolutely embarrassed the Pacers, running out to a 32-point halftime lead in one of the more stunning games of the entire NBA season. "Theres some good teams out there," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "Every team in the playoffs have given us some problems. Weve been able to win against them as well. But its certainly shaped out to be a good conference." No. 5 Washington won the season series over No. 4 Chicago. Out West, the third-seeded Clippers and sixth-seeded Golden State split four meetings. Memphis ousted Oklahoma City a year ago and those clubs meet in the first round. And San Antonios quest to avenge last years loss in the NBA Finals starts against Dallas -- the last team to beat Miami in a seven-game series, winning the title in 2011. So there are some good stories, and theres intrigue with every first-round series. That doesnt mean everyone in the league thinks itll be a year laden with surprises. Philadelphia coach Brett Brown put it simply -- to him, the game changes in the playoffs, period. "The regular season and the playoffs are like two different sports," Brown said. "If you put me in a bubble and you drag me out in May, I can say this is different than the game Im seeing in November. Its just entirely different." Thats why Brown, a former Spurs assistant, thinks theres a very small number of teams capable of winning it all. "To be the last man standing is so ridiculously hard," Brown said. "People have no idea what its like to play in June." Michael Rasmussen Red Wings Jersey . However, Therrien added that Galchenyuks status for next Wednesdays game against the Detroit Red Wings is questionable. Galchenyuk has been out since Jan. 6 with a broken right hand. Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey . PAUL, Minn – The clock lingered for what seemed like an interminable two minutes and 51 seconds before Mark Fraser finally escaped to the bench during a wildly one-sided first period of an eventual loss to Boston. .35 million, avoiding arbitration. Davis led the majors last season with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs, both career highs. He earned $3. Gordie Howe Jersey . Bjoergen pulled away from Swedens Charlotte Kalla on the final straight to win in 38 minutes, 33.6 seconds and defend her title from the 2010 Vancouver Games. Kalla was 1.8 seconds back. Heidi Weng of Norway took bronze. Ted Lindsay Red Wings Jersey . Patrik Bartosak turned away 50-of-52 shots for the Rebels (28-26-4), who halted their losing streak at seven games. Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes of play, Feser forced overtime with his second goal of the game at 5:35 of the third period. Its Sunday afternoon and that means NFL football. Todays early games in Week 4 can all be seen on CTV networks live now, including a matchup between the Seattle Seahawks (3-0) and Houston Texans (2-1), who sit first and second in the NFL in yards allowed. The Seahawks/Texans game can be seen live now on CTV British Columbia, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan. In London, England, Matt Cassel gets the start as the Vikings face the Pittsburgh Steelers in a battle of 0-3 teams who are desperate for a win. Catch Vikings/Steelers live now on CTV Winnipeg. Elsewhere, Joe Flacco leads the defending Super Bowl chaampion Baltimore Ravens (2-1) into Buffalo to take on rookie pivot EJ Manuel and the Bills (1-2).dddddddddddd You can watch Ravens/Bills live now on CTV Toronto, CTV Ottawa, CTV Kitchener. Also, the surprising Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) play host to Eli Manning and the struggling New York Giants (0-3). Catch it live now on CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic, CTV Northern Ontario. Later Tom Brady clashes with Matt Ryan as the New England Patriots visit the Atlanta Falcons on TSN beginning with Sunday Night Countdown at 7pm et/4pm pt. Keep track of all the action throughout the day on our TSN Scoreboard. ' ' '
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