Tag: Michael Beasley

Kelly Olynyk, Luis Scola

Breaking down Eastern Conference playoff chase with nine days left in season


With just nine days left in the NBA season, the Eastern Conference playoff race still has a lot to shake out.

Not at the top, where the Hawks and Cavaliers are in. But the bottom of the conference races are fascinating.

No. 1 seed: The Atlanta Hawks have officially locked up the top spot. They have home court throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

No. 2 seed: The Cleveland Cavaliers’ win over the Chicago Bulls essentially locked the Cavs in there. Cleveland’s magic number is one to secure the two seed.

No. 3-5 seeds: As it has looked for a while, most likely ends up with the Chicago Bulls in the three seed, the Toronto Raptors fourth and the Washington Wizards fifth. The current three seed Bulls are one game ahead of Toronto, which is one game ahead of Washington. What could lead to movement is Toronto does not face another team over .500 the rest of the season. The Bulls schedule isn’t much tougher, but Toronto might get on a run and push Chicago for the three spot. Washington has a tougher schedule and is going to need some help to get past Toronto and get home court in the first round.

No. 6 seed: The Milwaukee Bucks are two games up on seven seed Brooklyn and likely finish here. That said, the Bucks have a bit of a tough schedule the rest of the way and if they stumble much they could slip down the standings.

No. 7-8 seeds: This could go just about any direction. Here is where things stand now:

7. Brooklyn —
8. Boston (-1 game)
9. Indiana (-2 games)
10. Miami (-2 games)
11. Charlotte (-2.5 games)

The Nets picked up a nice win Monday night over Portland and are now two games clear of falling out of the playoffs, with a magic number of just three to clinch a playoff spot.

Boston has the eight seed but also a looming home-and-home series with Cleveland. If the Cavs rest key guys (say, LeBron James) it would be a big boost because Boston could use a split.

Indiana got the boost from Paul George’s return and has a couple easy games before a tougher stretch to close out the season.

Miami has been struggling of late and now have lost Luol Deng and Michael Beasley for the rest of the regular season. Charlotte is not out of it but they are going to need some help.

Khris Middleton hits buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer against Heat (video)

Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks

Khris Middleton missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, but the Bucks didn’t stop fighting.

Ersan Ilyasova grabbed the offensive rebound and drew a shooting foul. He split at the line, but Jerryd Bayless tied up Michael Beasley going for the rebound and won the ensuing jump ball. Bayless missed a shot, but Zaza Pachulia saved the ball and got it to Middleton.

This time, Middleton – who was 4-of-16 from the field and 1-of-7 on 3s before the attempt – didn’t miss.

Report: Heat to sign Michael Beasley for remainder of season

Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors

Michael Beasley has been a mixed bag for Miami the last 10 games. What else did you expect from the former No. 2 pick?

He’s played good defense — surprisingly — and been able to score pretty efficiently when he gets around the rim. However, his shot selection remains dubious. At best. He’s averaged 9.5 points a game but needed 9.9 shots a game to get there.

He’s gone through two 10-day contracts in Miami, and they are going to keep him, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

Beal has been averaging 22 minutes a game since joining the team, which speaks to Miami’s need for depth (especially with Chris Bosh out.

But this shot chart shows a guy the Heat may not want to lean heavily on in the postseason.