Category Archives: Previews

King James Ascends the Throne: Heat v. Mavericks Preview

I have already predicted that the Miami Heat will win the championship, and as great as the Dallas Mavericks have performed so far in these playoffs, I don’t see any reason to change my mind.  Here are my reasons:              Continue reading

NBA Western Conference Championship Preview: Thunder v. Mavericks

The Mavs looked to have the better of this matchup during the regular season, but all three games were played before the trade that sent Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to the Celtics for Kendrick Perkins.  So this is an extremely difficult series to handicap.                                           Continue reading

Previews: Grizzlies v. Thunder, Game 7 + Heat v. Bulls, Game 1

Grizzlies v. Thunder, Game 7

This one has played out almost exactly as I believed it would.  The key to game 7 will be the officiating, as Jeff van Gundy slyly hinted in the last game when he said this regarding the Grizzlies’ physical defense of Kevin Durant: “I’m curious to see whether those bumps will be fouls in Oklahoma City.”                      Continue reading

NBA Playoffs Game 3 Previews: Lakers v. Mavs; Thunder v. Grizzlies; Bulls v. Hawks; Heat v. Celtics

Feltbot’s got action in every series in round 2, but after the first two games hit the books, only one series is really making him sweat.  Jump for the 411.

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NBA Playoffs Round 2 Preview: Lakers v. Mavs, Bulls v. Hawks, Celtics v. Heat, Thunder v. Grizzlies

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

How I Know Joe Lacob Kept the Warriors Out of the Playoffs (Ch. 6) + Thunder v. Nuggets Game 2 Preview

From the Scott Ostler article on Don Nelson in today’s Chronicle:

Nelson says his plan for the 2010-11 season was to play David Lee at center, because he considers Lee a good power forward and an All-Star center.

“I told (management), ‘Look, I want (Anthony) Tolliver. I’m gonna need a power forward who can shoot.’ They wouldn’t give me Tolliver. He was pretty cheap (Tolliver signed with Minnesota for $2.2 million). I didn’t ask for much. That’s when I knew I was gone.”

Thunder v. Nuggets Update and Game 2 Preview:

I won my game 1 bet, getting +5.5.  They’re down to +4.5 in tonight’s game, and Afflalo is still out, but I’m still betting it. The Nuggets want this game.

Hoping for an adjustment on Durant.  Stop letting him go left and shoot over his right shoulder, for pete’s sake!  Nellie knew how to guard him: Push him right, and make him turn left shoulder.

For those looking for me to take back my evaluation of Westbrook, game 1 simply confirmed my opinion of him.  He got more shots for himself than all of his big men COMBINED.  A selfish gunner, with no vision or court sense.  Not a great point guard.

If Westbrook cools off, which his season averages suggest he will, the Thunder will struggle for scoring.  I sincerely doubt at the very least that he continues shooting 75% from three.

But if the Nuggets ever get Aaron Afflalo back healthy in time to make a difference in this series, Mr. Westbrook’s life could get very difficult indeed.

One thing I failed to take into account in this series: How much David Stern and the NBA want Durant to advance and become the new face of the NBA. We may have seen this in that ignored goaltending call late in game 1. (What are the chances that play was missed by 3 officials? What else could they have been looking at?)

I have a rule never to bet against David Stern, which I unwittingly violated with this pick. But in for a penny…

NBA Playoffs, Baby!: Thunder v. Nuggets Preview

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

Pre-Game Jitters: Sixers at Warriors

The Warriors’ prolonged skid may have opened up another betting opportunity. I can’t make sense of their -3 line in this game, even with Biedrins out. They should make mincemeat out of this Sixers squad, playing on a road back-to-back.

Pre-Game Jitters: Warriors at OKC Thunder

Warriors are +5.5 at OKC tonight. The key to this game, in my opinion, is the way Smart chooses to guard Russell Westbrook, who has emerged as a true beast. It seems obvious to me that Monta should be assigned to him, and Curry to the offensively challenged Sefelosha and Harden. The Thunder are unaccustomed to running their offense through their two-guards, and if they want to attack Curry in that matchup it would force their offense into an uncomfortable direction. And Curry on Westbrook would be a disaster. Immediate foul trouble. This is obvious, right? Unfortunately, nothing has been obvious to Coach Smart lately.                         Continue reading

The Warriors Bet Ends and Pre-Game Jitters: Suns at Warriors

Um, the Warriors are -2.5 FAVORED against the Suns tonight?  For those following along, The Warriors Bet is off, and now that I see this line I think it will remain off.  Bookies never remain behind the curve for long, and they have had ample time to size up this Warriors squad and review their mistakes. I don’t see any edge in this bet, and will be following Feltbot’s First Law of Sportsbetting: Continue reading