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
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
Here’s my look at the first round of the Western Conference playoffs: Continue reading
For the second straight season, Nellieball will rule the NBA finals. This season, it ruled even in the conference championships. Those series were played almost entirely without centers. Joel Anthony, Greg Stiemsma, Tiago Splitter, Dejuan Blair — and even Kendrick Perkins at times — were all sent to the bench, revealed as regular season cannon fodder. The power forwards — Serge Ibaka, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett — were shifted to the middle, and the small forwards — Durant, James and Battier, Pierce, Leonard and Jackson — became Nellieball power forwards.
The Nellieball four is now supreme in the NBA. Is it a coincidence that the last two NBA finals have featured the three greatest Nellieball fours to ever play the game? Dirk Nowitzki, Lebron James, Kevin Durant.
At a time when Joe Lacob is trying to turn back the clock, and turn the Warriors into a 1980’s style halfcourt team, the NBA is moving in a completely different direction. At a time when Joe Lacob is insisting on “changing the culture” of the Warriors back to the Ewing Knicks and Smits Pacers of coach Mark Jackson, the culture of the NBA is moving in the opposite direction, towards the vision of a crazy man with a penchant for Dewars and fish ties.
The undercards are finished. Only the heavyweights remain. Let’s get ready to rumble….
Jump for Feltbot’s platinum-plated picks for the 2012 NBA Playoffs Conference Championship Series! Continue reading
Here are my top three reasons the Heat, Celtics, Thunder and Spurs advanced. With one bonus reason apiece. Continue reading
Wow. If someone would have told you beforehand that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would combine for 2 points in the fourth quarter of this game 7, would you have picked the Clippers to win by 10? Continue reading
Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever said before: Thank God we now have the opportunity to watch some basketball played by teams that are trying to win.
Jump for my 2012 NBA playoff first-round predictions. As well as my bonus predictions for the conference champions and the NBA title, in case you happen to be looking at those lines (I’m not). Continue reading
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
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
Posted in NBA Playoffs, Previews, Wagers
Tagged Bulls, Durant, Grizzlies, Heat, Lebron, Randolph, Rose, Thunder, Wade, Westbrook