According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com, 87.5% of the teams at the top of their division on Christmas Day in the past four years have ended the season still in first place. These odds of making the playoffs shouldn’t come as a surprise to the fans of the Heat, Pacers, Spurs, Thunder, or Clippers but may be odds Trail Blazer or Raptor fans want to hold onto.
A few notes in the Eastern Conference regarding teams that don’t have very good playoff odds.
- It was no Christmas surprise that the Knicks are quickly unraveling this season. Following a double digit blowout to the Thunder, Brian Windhorst of ESPN compared the Knicks continuous offseason mistakes to those of the Thunder’s offseason successes. The Knicks address their transactions with a “think big” mentality which has caused them to whiff big by chasing, and missing, expensive free agents. On the contrary, the Thunder have thought small and invested in young talent through the draft. Windhorst claims the Knicks aren’t planning to stop this cycle anytime soon either as they are now looking at expensive names in their near future such as Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol, Tony Parker or re-signing Carmelo Anthony,
- Speaking of Knicks unraveling, what sold Beno Udrih on signing as a free agent with the Knicks was the opportunity to play in a two point guard lineup with Raymond Felton. Udrih told The Wall Street Journal’s Chris Herring (Twitter link) this selling point has yet to come to fruition with the Knicks even when Felton was healthy.
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.com looked forward to the six NBA players who are most likely to move teams in 2014. The list includes Omer Asik, Kyle Lowry, Jimmer Fredette, Dion Waiters, Iman Shumpert and an assortment of Sixers players.
- Emir Preldzic, whose NBA rights are held by the Wizards, has extended his contract with Turkey’s Fenerbache Ulker through the 2016/17 season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.