Once again we have an ultra-competitive Western Conference, where 48 wins might not be enough to to get into the playoffs, and a handful of teams have a legitimate shot at the top spot. Here’s my forecast, along with my picks against the Vegas Win-Totals Lines. Regular readers know I’ve had pretty good success with these historically, and particularly recently, going 10-1-1 the last two seasons. But I found only two lines to bet this season, because I demand a lot of edge, and I just don’t see it this year. Sometimes the bookies are pretty good.
[edit: I’m now betting THREE Western Conference lines, going over on the TWolves.] Continue reading
“The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You that way: we this way.” — Armado
Kevin Love to the Cavs for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. That’s the melancholy news greeting Warriors fans this morning. Continue reading
Mike Malone has been going beserk in Sacto, trying to instill “culture change”. He’s been calling his players out in the press, and in the last game benched his starters for good in the third quarter, for lack of defensive effort. Continue reading
Here are my picks to contend for the 7th and 8th seeds in the West, and a quick analysis of the cellar dwellars. (Check out my analysis of the best six teams in the West here, if you haven’t already.) Continue reading
Posted in Around the NBA, Predictions, Previews
Tagged Jazz, Kings, Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pelicans, Suns, Timberwolves, Trailblazers
Anyone who tells you they know exactly how the West is going to shake out this season is deluded. This is probably the most wide open the top of the West has been in over 20 years. I give 5 different teams a legitimate chance (10% or better) to finish with the best record. It’s Open Season.
So when I tell you my pick for the top team in the West, you should understand that I’m only giving that team about a 20-25% chance of actually finishing on top. That just happens to be a higher percentage than I’m assigning any of the others.
What might be more interesting to you are my picks against the Vegas Win-Total lines. I’ve had a pretty good record with these historically, including last year, when I went 5-1. These lines are among the very few all year that the Vegas bookies can get egregiously wrong. Mainly because the preseason enthusiasms of the fans can have an outsized effect on them, but also because of the difficulty the experts have in forecasting the effects of new rosters and new coaches.
In reverse order (because, drama), here are my picks for the top 6 seeds in the West: Continue reading
Posted in Around the NBA, Golden State Warriors, Predictions, Previews, Wagers
Tagged Clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets, Spurs, Stephen Curry, Thunder, Warriors
I’ve been waiting for Bogot long enough. With the start of the NBA season around the corner, it’s time for me to once again start putting my opinions on the line.
What follows are my regular season rankings for the Western Conference. Please note that my playoff rankings might differ considerably by the end of the season. My opinion of the Lakers is the most obvious example. If they manage to reach the end of the season with a healthy and rested (and somewhat deeper) roster, I will rank them higher for the playoffs.
Along with my ranking, I’m going to offer opinions of the Las Vegas regular-season win total lines for some teams. But when I offer a win total opinion in this post, that does NOT mean that I am going to bet this line. (I need a substantial perceived edge to bet. I’ll let you know which lines I’m betting in a later post.) Today’s opinions are just another way of stating which teams I think are over/undervalued headed into the regular season. Continue reading
My NBA Western Conference rankings will be far more idiosyncratic than most. First of all, because they are made with absolutely no reference to the schedule, which by all accounts is extremely unfair. Unlike normal years, not everyone plays the same teams the same number of times, at home and away. I’m plenty nerdy, but not nerdy enough to weight all that. (Particularly since I can’t find a bookie willing to give season win totals this year. Bah humbug!)
Second, because my rankings have almost nothing to do with who I think will win the Western Conference. Continue reading
Malcolm Gladwell has just penned a brilliant piece entitled “The Nets and NBA Economics” on Grantland, that exposes David Stern’s big lie regarding the profitability of the New Jersey Nets. I highly recommend it, especially for those who think that the NBA owners have been straight-up about their desperate straits. What goes for the Nets goes for every NBA franchise: the real money is made away from the public eye, behind closed books.
I also like Gladwell’s larger point, that we can see in the NBA owners’ stance a reflection of our current politics and class divisions. Who is waging war on whom?
Thanks to all who have been reporting the “progress” of the talks in the comments to this blog, as I laze through this dreary lockout. Here’s another clean well-lighted thread for your efforts.
You get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
It’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team
– Pink Floyd
I’ve had second thoughts about doing my draft analysis, although I’ve already written it several times in my head. I think I may just save it until after the lockout ends in a year, so that it will be more available for everyone to analyze and critique as the season begins.
Or perhaps that’s just rationalization, and I’m giving in to my lockout doldrums…
I don’t expect to write much, if anything about the lockout. I don’t expect it to provide much interest, perhaps because I’ve already forecast the result in my mind. Here are my predictions, colored by what I learned practicing my previous twin disciplines of the law and the markets:
1) The lockout will end as these things always end, with the stronger party (the owners) prevailing. The NBA is a virtual monopoly, and there is no place for labor to escape (Europe and the other leagues have little room, and less money).
2) The players will capitulate to the owners’ demands at the very moment that the most expansionary world economy in history kicks into high gear.
I will of course continue sniping and carping in the comments section, and enjoying whatever conversation ensues in this, the summer, fall and winter of our discontent.
That giant thud you just heard was the corpse of this Warriors season hitting the ground. A victim of homicide, stabbed in the heart by the inventive GMs of the Western Conference.
And stabbed in the back by Joe Lacob.
Unless you are a Warriors fan, the NBA trade deadline didn’t disappoint. A lot of fascinating deals went down. Jump for my complete analysis, including playoff predictions, fantasy basketball ramifications, and for you fellow degenerates out there, betting opportunities. Continue reading