THUUZ’s Top 10 Most Exciting NBA Teams of the Regular Season

Trying to figure out which teams to watch during the NBA Playoffs? Here are the top 10 “most exciting teams” according to their average THUUZ “excitement rating” across all regular season games!

1. Portland 63.85
2. Oklahoma City 59.89
3. Dallas 59.81
4. Houston 58.03
5. Golden State 57.03
6. Phoenix 56.65
7. LA Clippers 54.91
8. Atlanta 54.39
9. Miami 53.77
10. Washington 53.32
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Some interesting observations regarding this ranking: 1. The top 7 “most exciting” teams are all in the Western Conference.
2. Portland is #1 by a significant margin due to their high-scoring offense and the amount of close games they’ve played in this year.
3. San Antonio doesn’t crack the top 10 despite having the NBA’s best regular season record due to their wide margins of victory and lack of “exciting plays”.
4. Atlanta is in the top 10 despite having a losing record (38-44). Then again… they made the playoffs with that record!
5. Phoenix is the only team on this list that didn’t make the playoffs.

THUUZ’s NBA Awards

The NBA regular season has concluded and the playoffs begin this weekend. With 82 games in the rearview mirror, it’s time to hand out some awards.

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MVP: Kevin Durant (2nd place: Lebron James, 3rd place: Joakim Noah)

Durant was otherworldly during the 2013-14 season, setting career highs in points per game and assists per game while flirting with a 50-40-90 season (FG%, 3PT%, FT%). He led the league in scoring by nearly five points per game. Durant scored 25 or more points in 41 consecutive games to break Michael Jordan’s previous mark of forty. In January, Durant  averaged 36 points per game on 55% shooting. Though Lebron had another great season, you can’t argue with the stats, and Durant’s campaign was one of the most impressive ones in recent memory. KD has proven himself a superstar who can be placed in the category as Lebron, miles above any other player in the league. Their rivalry should be one of the most compelling storylines in the NBA for years to come.

Rookie of the Year: Michael Carter-Williams (Victor Oladipo, Giannis Antetokounmpo)

MCW battled through a tough season with the 76ers, enduring injuries, slumps, and the fact that he was surrounded by D-League talent. Carter-Williams had an electrifying start to the season and finished with 16 double-doubles and two triple-doubles. He needs to work on his deep shooting and assist-to-turnover ratio, but he should develop into an elite NBA point guard. In a weak rookie class, Carter-Williams is the easy choice for the Rookie of the Year.

Defensive Player of the Year: Joakim Noah (Deandre Jordan, Roy Hibbert)

Joakim Noah can be credited with carrying the Bulls to the playoffs and would be the MVP if not for Kevin Durant and Lebron James. Noah did a little bit of everything for a Bulls team that lost Derrick Rose and Luol Deng and had to give players like Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy extensive minutes. Noah averaged 11.3 rebound and 1.9 blocks per game, anchoring the stingiest defense in the NBA. Other rim protectors like Deandre Jordan, Roy Hibbert and Anthony Davis deserve consideration, but Noah was the best all-around defender.

Most Improved Player: Anthony Davis (Deandre Jordan, T3: Gerald Green, Lance Stephenson)

The 2013-14 season saw a lot of resurgent and breakthrough campaigns from a variety of players throughout the league. However, Anthony Davis made perhaps the most frightening leap of all players. In just his second season, Davis has developed into a 6’10 freak of nature, running the floor like a guard, but protecting the rim like a center. The former first overall draft pick averaged 20 and 10 to go with a league-leading 2.8 blocks per game. If Davis’ game keeps accelerating at this pace, he will be a top five player in no time.

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All-NBA First Team:

G: Stephen Curry

G: James Harden

F: Kevin Durant

F: Lebron James

F: Blake Griffin

All-NBA Second Team:

G: Chris Paul

G: Goran Dragic

F: Kevin Love

F: Joakim Noah

F: LaMarcus Aldrige

All-NBA Third Team:

G: Kyle Lowry

G: John Wall

F: Paul George

F: Al Jefferson

C: Dwight Howard

 

THUUZ’s Top 10 Most Exciting Regular Season NBA Games of 2013/2014

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Here at THUUZ we’re all about the excitement that comes from watching sports. Our real-time “excitement ratings” give users the chance to sift through live and upcoming games based on watchability. Users can also look back at completed games to view our “final excitement ratings”. This is especially helpful if you’ve been gone from the sports world for an extended period of time, or are just looking to re-watch a great game. 

The 2013/2014 NBA regular season is now over and the NBA Playoffs start tomorrow! Here is a look back at what THUUZ rated as the top 10 most exciting regular season NBA games of 2013/2014!

    Away Team (score)      Home Team (score)            Date                          Summary 

1. Miami Heat 111 Golden State Warriors 110. February 12th, 2014. (Lebron hits 3 to win)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 119 Toronto Raptors 118. March 21st, 2014. (Durant scores 51)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder 115 Golden State Warriors 116. November 14th, 2013. (Iguodala hits game-winning 3)
4. Miami Heat 100 Brooklyn Nets 101. November 1st, 2013. (Heat start season 1-2)
5. Golden State Warriors 117 Portland Trail Blazers 119. April 13th, 2014. (Curry drops 47 in a loss)
6. Houston Rockets 112 San Antonio Spurs 106. November 30th, 2013. (Spurs lose 1st home game of the year)
7. Minnesota Timberwolves 122 Miami Heat 121. April 4th, 2014. (T’Wolves pull off upset in 2 OT’s)
8. Oklahoma City Thunder 115 Minnesota Timberwolves 111. January 4th, 2014. (Durant scores 23 in the 4th)
9. Los Angeles Clippers 115 Denver Nuggets 116. February 3rd, 2014. (Nuggets win on Foye buzzer beater)
10. Los Angeles Lakers 99 Houston Rockets 98. November 7th, 2013. (Dwight-less Lakers stun Rockets)
 
*THUUZ acknowledges that identifying the top 10 games out of over 1200 games is a risky business and that there’s no doubt that the “next 10″ games are nearly as exciting if not just as exciting. Happy THUUZings! 

NFL Draft Top 10 Prospects

Top 10 NFL Draft Prospects- prospectorder from CBSSports

With the NFL Draft a little more than a month away, let’s see who the top prospects are in this year’s class.

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1. Jadaveon Clowney- DE, South Carolina

Although all you’ve heard for the upcoming draft is probably about Johnny Manziel, Clowney is easily the most talented prospect this year. Listed at 6’5” and 266 lbs, Clowney ran a 4.53 40 yard dash at the combine, which is insane for someone his size. Even after a subpar season compared to his freshman year, Clowney should still play alongside J.J. Watt as the number 1 pick this year.

 

2. Greg Robinson- OT, Auburn

Offensive linemen can be some of the best talent in the NFL Draft that many don’t know, and Greg Robinson is another example. A key part of Auburn’s fierce running attack, Robinson’s ability to block defenders one-on-one opened up holes in the run game. Wherever he goes, Robinson will be his quarterback’s blind side bodyguard.

 

3. Blake Bortles- QB, Central Florida

A hot topic of conversation is who the best quarterback in the draft is, and that prize falls to Blake Bortles. Build similar to Andrew Luck, Bortles has excellent vision and has an uncanny ability to extend plays for his size. The most well-rounded quarterback in the draft, Bortles has the potential to be a franchise QB.

 

4. Sammy Watkins- WR, Clemson

A speedy receiver with a wide frame, Watkins is the top wide receiver in this year’s draft. Very versatile, Watkins has the explosiveness and speed that a quarterback can throw a deep ball to. Within a few years, Watkins could be a great receiver in the NFL.

 

5. Jake Matthews- OT, Texas A&M

Johnny Football may not even be the best player to come out of College Station. That’s because Jake Matthews owns that honor. A big, physical lineman, Matthews is excellent in run blocking. Although he may not have the quickest feet, he makes up for it with his big body and technique.

 

6. Khalil Mack- OLB, Buffalo

The best player in the draft you’ve never heard of, Mack has the strength and speed to be an elite linebacker. If needed, Mack could also play defensive end. Mack could easily end up as a top 5 pick, depending on the needs of the teams drafting.

 

7. Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M

The most talked about prospect in recent years, Johnny Football impressed at his Pro Day. He showed his arm strength and accuracy, and he all know about his ability to escape pressure and extend plays. Manziel’s one weakness is his height, or lack there of, but regardless it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

 

8. Anthony Barr- OLB, UCLA

One thing coaches and scouts look for in linebackers is their ability to chase down offensive players, and Barr has that trait. If you’ve watched a UCLA football game in the last couple years, you’ve most likely seen Barr all over the field, chasing down running backs and quarterbacks. His size is also another valued quality.

 

9. Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Louisville

After his subpar pro day, many scouts questioned if Bridgewater should even be taken in the first round. Although he had a pretty bad pro day, Bridgewater still could help out a team very much, especially one that needs a quarterback, like the Vikings or the Browns. One aspect of Teddy’s game many don’t know is that he is very mobile.

 

10. Justin Gilbert-CB, Oklahoma State

In a position that is somewhat thin in the NFL, Gilbert possesses some traits that are very useful in the NFL. His speed and quick feet can help many teams, especially those that like to play in the nickel defense. A 4.37 40-yard dash time definitely helped his cause as well.

Final Four Preview

After one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memories, complete with a plethora of overtime games and enthralling upsets, we have reached the Final Four. Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Kentucky survived their respective regions and will play on Saturday in Dallas. All four teams were written off at some point during the season and no one could have predicted that these four would end up playing for the national championship.

Florida vs. Connecticut

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Florida Gators (#1 seed): As the number one overall seed and winners of thirty consecutive games, predicting that Florida would have an easy path to the Final Four would be within reason. But many “experts” cited Syracuse or Kansas as the team most likely to survive the South region, underestimating Florida’s status as the number one team in the country. Granted, four of the top six seeds in the South were eliminated from the tournament after the first weekend, but Florida has remained consistent in its journey to the Final Four, winning every game by double digits. Led by seniors, Scottie Wilbekin, Patric Young and Casey Prather, Florida will look to follow Louisville and Kentucky as another number one overall seed to win the tournament. However, both the Gators’ losses have come against Final Four teams (Wisconsin and UConn).

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Connecticut Huskies (#7 seed): Led by the heroics of senior Shabazz Napier, the Huskies have carved a path to Dallas by upending the #2,3 and 4 seeds in the East region. Napier’s tournament performance have UConn fans remembering the 2011 tournament, where Kemba Walker carried the Huskies to a national championship. Entering the tournament, Connecticut was viewed as a possible upset victim at the hands of St. Joe’s. However, after squeaking by St. Joe’s in overtime, the Huskies laid siege to Villanova and Iowa State with high-powered offensive performances, then punched their ticket to Texas with a gritty win over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. Look for a heroic performance from Napier in UConn’s rematch with Florida in the national semifinal.

 

The Pick: Florida

 

Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

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Wisconsin Badgers (#2 seed): Wisconsin escaped a tough West region by defeating #1 seed Arizona in the Elite Eight, a team who many thought were destined for a national championship. The Badgers navigated a double digit halftime deficit to Oregon in the round of 32 to reach the Sweet Sixteen, where they held Baylor to 31.6% shooting in a seventeen point blowout. The season has resembled a roller coaster for Wisconsin, starting 16-0, losing 5 of 6, then recovering to take 13 of 15 to reach the Final Four. Frank Kaminsky leads a balanced offensive attack for the Badgers, who will look to slow down a red hot Kentucky team by controlling the pace of the game. Wisconsin may not look like a national championship team, but it’s been a crazy tournament and they’ve gotten this far, so why not?

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Kentucky Wildcats (#8 seed): John Calipari’s “legendary” recruiting class has lived up to their potential at the perfect time of the season to reach Dallas. The most heralded recruiting class since the Fab Five at Michigan failed to live up to their preseason #1 ranking and mutterings of a perfect season, proving early and often that they were too green to contend with the elite teams of college basketball. Maybe Coach Cal lit a spark in the hearts of his Wildcats, or maybe the players realized that they actually have to play well in order to get drafted, but Kentucky has been on a tear, playing its most cohesive and efficient basketball of the year. Julius Randle has been a steady double-double machine, complemented in the post by the emergence of Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee in the absence of Willie Cauley-Stein. The Wildcats handed Wichita St. its first loss since last March in the round of 32, then defeated cross-state rival (and underseeded) Louisville before Aaron Harrison’s three pointer with under three seconds left dispatched Michigan and paved Kentucky’s road to the Final Four. The Wildcats have had perhaps the toughest road to the Final Four, and with the way they are playing, they cannot be considered an eight seed anymore.

 

The Pick: Kentucky

 

National Championship: Florida over Kentucky