One of the most intriguing NBA playoffs in recent memory didn’t disappoint in the first round. Shockingly, the #1 seed San Antonio Spurs fell to the #8 Grizzlies. But I don’t buy into the idea that this means the Grizzlies are now a better team than the Spurs. Ginobili was playing with one arm, and Tim Duncan was probably only 80% coming off his late season ankle sprain. These sorts of unlucky injuries can mean everything in a playoff series. Remember Lebron on one arm?
The Atlanta Hawks also shocked the Orlando Magic. Which shows conclusively that how a team plays down the stretch in the regular season means almost nothing. Was there a worse team than the Hawks in the last month of the season? I remember the Celtics were also horrible last year in March and April. And of course, the Lakers were 3-7 coming into these playoffs.
Round 2 begins tomorrow, and with it the promise of more intriguing matchups. Jump for the 411. Continue reading
Posted in NBA Playoffs, Predictions, Previews, Wagers
Tagged Bulls, Celtics, Grizzlies, Hawks, Heat, Lakers, Mavericks, NBA Playoffs, Preview, Thunder
I’ll be doing a lot of scouting in the first round of the NBA playoffs, but there’s only one matchup that piques my interest. Portland v. Dallas could turn into a competitive series, depending on Marcus Camby’s health. Well, no, it might not even depend on that. But I’m not interested in that series. I don’t like the Blazers at +180 because they have one of the worst playoff coaches in the league. And I’m not interested in the Mavs, because, well, they’re the Mavs. I like to watch Mark Cuban’s face when they lose. Continue reading
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
Last night’s Warriors win over the Jazz has had me at a loss for words for nearly a day. How to characterize this win? It was an ugly win, to be sure. Curry had one of the worst games of his career. David Lee was lackluster, on the back-to-back. Vlad Rad was horrid. Udoh was OK, but gassed on his first road back-to-back at altitude. Several non-shooters were brought off the bench, which for long stretches made the Warriors offense look like it was running in mud. Only great shooting nights from Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams, and a legitimate superstar performance from Monta Ellis kept the Warriors in this game, and ultimately got them over the hump. Continue reading
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Predictions, Recaps
Tagged All-Star Boycott, Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, David Lee, Ekpe Udoh, Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Monta Ellis, Recap, Reggie Williams, Stephen Curry
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
“You are doing the defense a favor when you post up Lee or Biedrins.” — Mark Jackson
I couldn’t agree with Mark Jackson more. We were told by the commentators to last night’s game that Keith Smart and his staff were raving about David Lee’s “surprising” abilities in the low post. (Surprising to whom? Matt Steinmetz et al? They weren’t surprising to feltbot.) Jackson went on to explain that despite Lee’s talent in the post, he is one of the greatest pick and roll players in the league, and that is how the Warriors should deploy him. I couldn’t agree more, as readers of this blog know.
And yet last night we were treated by Keith Smart to four quarters of watching the Warriors trying to post up Lee and Biedrins in the heart of the Lakers defense. Why? For well over three quarters, Smart ran literally no pick and rolls with Lee that were designed to get him a shot. Instead Andris Biedrins was used almost exclusively to set the high picks, with Lee standing uselessly on the wings waiting for the ball that never came. Why?
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Player Analysis, Predictions, Recaps, Wagers
Tagged Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, David Lee, Golden State Warriors, Jeremy Lin, Keith Smart, Monta Ellis, Vladimir Radmanovich
I’ve posted this preview on Golden State of Mind.
I’ve posted this piece on Golden State of Mind.
Two correct calls in the Conference Finals have got me back in the black for these playoffs, although it would have been better if I hadn’t hedged my Celtics bet in the last game. C’est la vie, I think it was the right play, and in sports wagering as well as in poker, all you can do is make the right play. You can’t control that river card.
Now what to do in these Finals? The pundits seem to agree that this time around the Lakers have what it takes to beat the Celtics. They point to the fact that the Lakers have added Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest to the core that faced the Celtics in 2008. They think Pau Gasol is now “tougher,” and that the Lakers now “know what it takes” to win in the finals. They think the Celtics are going to miss a couple of key bench players from the 2008 Finals, Leon Powe and James Posey.
I’m not so sure. Jump for my opinion of the key factors in this series:
You may remember that I bet on the Celtics in this series. I still believe that they are the best team, but I am a little bit concerned about the injury problems that have surfaced in the last few games. Big Baby Davis has been an important piece in the battle to contain Dwight Howard; he is concussed and down a few teeth, and may not be available. Likewise Rasheed Wallace; he is a great player who has really stepped up his play, but he is now suffering severe back spasms. Kevin Garnett has slowed noticably; the knee that has bothered him all season may be on the verge of giving out. And perhaps most importantly, Rajon Rondo has been slowed as well by back spasms. Given these inherently unpredictable factors, I think prudence is the order of the day.