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
This is going to be brief, because I didn’t see much of interest in the pre-season win totals. But I did make a couple of bets, and in the tradition of this blog I want to play my cards face up for my readers. I found it very interesting that the Warriors win total was 30.5 (-130 over [the juice on this bet has now gone up considerably, indicating betting interest on the over]) while the Washington Wizards win total was 32.5 (-130 over, EVEN under). Are the Wizards, led by a rookie, and with the always unpredictable Gilbert Arenas playing a major role, really 2 games better than this Warriors squad, even accounting for the conferences? I’m comfortable wagering a 5th round pick on Arenas to produce stats in fantasy basketball, but it’s quite another thing to wager money on him to produce wins. Continue reading
USA basketball update: Jeff Green and Javale McGee were just cut, leaving the squad with 13 players and one cut yet to be made. Stephen Curry is reported to be on the bubble with Eric Gordon. I really wonder about that on a team with Billups, Rondo, Rose and Westbrook. Continue reading
Yesterday, the Pistons signed Tracy McGrady to a 1 year deal. Today a massive 4 team deal was announced:
In the proposed deal, the Houston Rockets will send Ariza to the Hornets, who in turn will send Collison and James Posey to the Pacers. The Pacers will send Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets. And the Nets will send Courtney Lee to the Rockets.
Here are my thoughts on these deals as they potentially impact the Warriors’ quest to fill out their roster:
This is a very odd year in the NBA. I cannot recall a season where so many important players were fighting through injury coming into the playoffs: Kobe, Bynum, KMart, Parker, Hill, Marion, Kirilenko, Okur, Shaq, Garnett, Pierce, Jackson, Noah. Needless to say, it makes it extremely difficult to evaluate even otherwise mundane series. But here we go:
Would you like a 3.3% return on your money in a one-week investment? Put everything in your savings on the Cavaliers to win this series. (That’s a joke, haters!) But a word to the wise: Do NOT bet against Lebron in any playoff series this year. David Stern badly wants Lebron to win this year, and betting against what David Stern wants is like setting a blowtorch to your money. Just ask Mark Cuban and Bill Simmons. No Bet.
Well, after getting back from vacation yesterday, I had one day to qualify for the 10k World Poker Tour in San Jose, and managed to win my first satellite. So I’ll be extending my break from blogging for at least another day (and hopefully several more!) to play in this tournament. If you want to follow my progress, I’ll be posting updates on Twitter on my feltbot account.
Jump for my last Mavs bet update: