In this edition of the podcast, Kurt Helin and I sit down to discuss the two hottest teams in the league right now — the Miami Heat, who have won 24 consecutive games, and the Denver Nuggets, who are riding a 14-game winning streak of their own after coming back late to take care of the Sixers on Thursday.
We wonder how much longer each club can keep it up, while discussing the Heat’s last game against the Cavaliers and all the craziness that surrounded it.
With the regular season winding down, we take a look at the playoff positioning in each conference, and try to figure out where the sweet spots are for teams looking to get an easier first round matchup.
All that, plus a conversation with CBT’s Rob Dauster about the NCAA Tournament, and who the players are you want to watch that might end up going in the early stages of this summer’s NBA Draft.
Click below to listen in your browser, or right-click to download and listen at your convenience.
PBT Podcast 3-22-13
Take comfort, chairs and staffers.
The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.
Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:
This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.
Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.
The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.
This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.
Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.
But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.
The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.
Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.
To be fair, Malcolm Brogdon was already off-balance before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began his crossover.
To be real, DID YOU SEE BROGDON FALL OVER?