Defense first to go when teams quit

March 25, 2008 6:00 PM
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Feist Facts by Jim Feist | With three weeks to go in the NBA regular season, some professional athletes will be going on vacations while others will be working hard until June.

Now let me ask you, Will the majority of the players on the Sonics, Clippers, Heat, Knicks and Grizzlies be working as hard the next few weeks as those teams on the NBA playoff bubble (Hawks, Nets, Warriors and Nuggets)?

Good coaches can get their players motivated, even on a losing team this time of the season. However, the fact is good coaches are hard as hard to find as self-motivated athletes. Some disappointed teams play out the schedule and think more about golf and early spring/summer family vacations.

Teams hit the 70-game mark this week, and many players on losing teams realize they have no shot at the postseason. That means the year was a failure.

Some fans and local newspapers are focused more on where their team will end up in the draft, rather than show an interest in the last few weeks of the season. Teams like the Clippers, Sonics, Heat and Bucks were hoping to have better campaigns.

The Miami Heat have been a go against all season, at 10-23 ATS at home and 4-22 SU (7-18 ATS) in the conference. Over the last few months, the Clippers have played lethargic ball (2-12 SU, 3-11 ATS).

Athletes that have nothing to play for are more inclined to pad their own stats on the offensive end, but expend less energy on defense.

The Seattle SuperSonics are on an 8-2-1 run over the total, and allowed 121 and 168 points in back-to-back games last week! In a loss at Denver, they gave up 48 points in the first quarter and 84 points in each half!

The Milwaukee Bucks continue to play no defense, something that was also a major problem last year. The Bucks just lost on their home court 112-106 to Miami. The Bucks are on a 5-14 SU, 9-10 ATS run, including 16-3 over the total.

There are plenty of go-against spots and over teams to consider.