These 6 NBA teams have already established an identity (and locks for the playoffs)

 

The NBA season is a little over twenty games in and ticking along nicely. Though it’s relatively still, we can really see which teams are coming together and those that have established an identity on both sides of the court; enough so to make some safe predictions for teams that are all but locks for the postseason.

Golden State Warriors The Golden State Warriors could sometimes slip through the cracks but, right now, they look like the real deal to make it to the post season. We are witnessing another historic season out of Steph Curry. Curry is playing at a level even beyond the MVP award right now and those around him is one of the best group that he has ever played with and in a system that maximizes talent. This is all without Klay Thompson active too. The Warriors are not only looking playoff bound, but an early favorite for the championship.

Phoenix Suns Over in the Western Conference again we expect the Phoenix Suns will be making it back in. After losing 3 of their first four games, the Suns are riding a 14-game win streak and, despite getting little media coverage, the duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker are still one of the most formidable backcourts in the league. We can’t forget their supporting cast either, which makes them not only a playoff contender but a Championship dark horse as well.

Miami Heat Going back into the Eastern Conference now, we think that the Miami Heat are good value to make the cut. They have been a strong team the last two years now with Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo bolstering their roster. Throw in the likes of Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker, who joined in the offseason, and you’ve got a stellar team. They seem to have a fantastic chemistry too so it’s hard to see them missing out.

Brooklyn Nets Without a doubt, the Brooklyn Nets will be stamping their ticket into the postseason in a few months. Even though they are playing without Kyrie Irving their roster is incredibly deep behind the superstar duo of Kevin Durant and James Harden. Those wo alone are more than enough to warrant a playoff spot. Add on some excellent role players like Lamarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills then you have yourself a championship contender. If Irving comes back then this is a locked in NBA Finals squad – assuming they all stay healthy.

Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are another team that is odds on to make the postseason even with a middling 10-10 record. Yes, they have struggled the majority of the season, but LeBron James won’t be missing the post season, not with this talented of a roster. They may not be a top three seed like everybody was expecting but James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are strong enough to get them in at some point.

Milwaukee Bucks You would think the defending NBA champions would be much higher on this list, but they’ve been hit by injuries early on. Despite the next level play of two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have struggled on and off. Even with a rocky road, the Bucks have slowly righted the ship thanks to the return of Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.

The best of the rest

Outside of those teams it gets messy but for you can still hazard a guess who enters the mix and who doesn’t. In the East, you have the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks, and Boston Celtics. Then flipping over to the West, there is the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers. Even the Memphis Grizzlies deserve an honorable mention behind the amazing play of Ja Morant.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, our view on how the NBA playoff picture will shape up. It seems we are up for a very interesting playoff showdown when the regular season finishes.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check the latest NBA trade rumors as well, to keep yourself in track of possible changes in the team’s rosters: https://edge.twinspires.com/nba/trade-rumors/

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Bing Bong! The Knicks look to build off last season’s playoff run

The New York Knicks are one of the iconic teams in the NBA, and there is plenty of history behind them. It has not always been easy to be a Knicks fan in recent times, however, which made their first NBA playoff appearance in eight years last season a real coup. Naturally, they’re aiming to to repeat this in 2021-22 – especially as in-city rivals the Brooklyn Nets have reloaded for another deep playoff run. 

The good news for Knicks fans is that people really believe they are looking good for the post-season again in 2021-22. This is also a great sign if you plan to back the team to make the playoffs with real money at a sportsbook online. Just remember to use Betting Calculator first to determine how much you might get back from your stake. Using this trusted resource will make backing the Knicks simpler and ensure you get the most from your betting.

But why is the team from Manhattan expected to make another playoff bow? It’s more than Julius Randle.

Excellent offseason over summer 2021

After their performance last year, many wondered what’s next for the New York Knicks. The answer was the management and coach putting some serious work into having a great offseason. Randle, RJ Barrett and Derrick Rose are back.

This has seen fresh blood come into the locker room to not only fill gaps but give everyone extra motivation.  Although no superstar names came in, players like Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker bring plenty of skill. With Rose brought back into the fold, it all bodes well for this current season. Moreover, with promising draft picks like the tough defending Quentin Grimes and the energetic Miles McBride arriving, the offseason has set the team up perfectly for another good year.

Great start to 2021-22

The Knicks fast start has also left many believing that another playoff run is likely. They won their first two games of the season, which included an impressive 121-96 defeat of the Orlando Magic away from home. There has also been a dominant 112-99 win over the 76ers to enjoy, as well as a decent win over a strong Bulls side. Although it has not all been plain sailing, they have started well in 2021/22, and this means they look likely to make a serious playoff run.

Coach Thibodeau is a big plus

Coach Tom Thibodeau still being in charge is another big plus. It is obvious that he has what it takes after last season’s impressive showing and the NBA Coach of the Year for 2020/21 award coming his way. After a good start this year, it seems that this was not a flash in the pan, and he should motivate the current squad of players to perform well again.

Knicks look good for more playoff success

Although it’s really early, we should not get too carried away with last season. The fact that the Knicks ended their long playoff drought is significant in itself and with the likes of Randle, Barrett, Rose, and a defensive-minded Thibodeau, there is every reason to believe that they could make it again in 2021-22.

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Deer District: Why the Milwaukee Bucks have such a strong fan base 

The Milwaukee Bucks have had a renaissance over the past couple of seasons. A team that was once deemed mediocre or forgotten about completely, is now the defending NBA champions. 

For a team whose biggest claim to fame was being the home of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar nearly 60 years ago, the franchise has transformed. Now they’re the team you pick for loads of live betting action, and their fans have become known as some of, if not the best in the league. That’s what happens when a long suffering fanbase sees success.

And there’s a lot of reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks have such a dedicated, rabid and passionate fanbase. We’ll go over a few of those reasons below.

Loyalty

Loyalty in sports is easy for some and impossible for others. You want to support your home team or the team you live near, and it can be nearly impossible if they’re just, well, garbage. Bucks fans knew this about their team at some points. 

As mentioned, the Bucks have always been middling, so much so that they were barely spoken about, let alone ever part of any serious playoff or championship conversation.

They were also missing something most other teams had. The Bucks never had superstars like other teams, and there was no legendary star that the fans could rally behind and that the team could work with.  Yes there were all-stars like Sidney Moncrief, Ricky Pierce, Jack Sikma, Michael Redd, Glenn Robinson, Vin Baker, Ray Allen, Marques Johnson, and Terry Cummings.

Not since Kareem and Oscar Robertson teamed up had the Bucks had a player of that caliber and potential. Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to change that, and the fans reacted, being louder and more passionate than ever before. Their loyalty was tested repeatedly, and now they have the payoff they were waiting for. 

Attendance 

Fans show their loyalty by pitching up to games. There are fewer metrics more reliable than attendance to show how much your fans love what you are doing and how much they support you. The Bucks regularly fill seats, their fans pack out home games, and even often make trips to away games. There aren’t many franchises that can say the same. During the Bucks’ playoff runs, the attendance wasn’t just on the inside, but fans showed up in thousands to pack the Deer District, an outdoor space outside of the arena that they could gather and watch the playoff games on a huge, outdoor LCD screen.

Spending 

Fans talk with their wallets; if they aren’t happy with what you are doing, they won’t buy tickets, they won’t buy jerseys, and they won’t even buy a hotdog outside the stadium. Once again, the Bucks fans are pulling through here too. 

As said before, being champions helps, but this is a fan base that has been disappointed before. Instead of turning their backs on the franchise and players they love, they still put on the jerseys and get to games wherever they can. 

Patience 

Patience was the key for Bucks fans for a very long time. They all knew that their luck was going to change at some point, and the stars would align for them. It had happened before. After all, 1971 was a championship-winning season, and they knew they could do it again. 

The fans got what they had waited so long for, and it only reinforced the idea that staying patient and trusting in the team they supported would lead to another championship. Winning title after title is excellent, but fans become complacent. 

The Greek Freak 

Giannis has become the leader and figurehead that the Bucks fans have been begging for, for years now. He is strong, can score, is regarded as one of the best players in the league, and has shown the fans that he is there to win championships for them. 

It might be surprising that, for a player so good, he plays for a team like the Bucks and not someone like the Lakers or even the Bulls, but he calls Milwaukee home, and the fans show him love every time he steps onto the court – love he may not be able to find at another franchise. 

They know failure 

Nothing will bring a fanbase closer than a win after years of disappointment. Bucks fans know what failure is. Therefore they cherish success even more, and they don’t take it for granted. 

They still scream and applaud every game like it is the final game for the championship. That type of passion can only be found in fans who haven’t chased glory but have now had a taste and want even more. 

You could argue that some Bucks fans would say one Championship is enough, that their team has done what so many before have failed to do. The deep appreciation they have for success is almost unmatched anywhere in the league. 

They look forward 

Bucks fans are also incredibly good at looking forward. The season hasn’t had the best start this time around, and they know you don’t win or lose a championship spot in the first few games. 

They are well aware that success takes time, and it is how you play the next game that matters, not the result of the previous one. This is the mindset that helped them win a trophy, always thinking ahead and winning the next game, not resting on their laurels. 

Passion 

The Bucks fans are known to be some of the loudest and most passionate fans out there. They don’t go to games to sit quietly and wait for the buzzer to sound, and they make their presence known no matter what. 

Much like how the Bills Mafia are loud and brash, the herd is what keeps the team going when the chips are down, and they don’t miss a chance to show their respect and love for the players on the court. 

Championship Title Comes to Milwaukee

Finally, an NBA championship win is the biggest thing to happen to the Bucks, their fans, and the city of Milwaukee as a whole for the last 50 years. It has united the state and the fans like nothing ever has before, and now everyone wants to see them do it again. 

While failure made them stand firm and not give up on their team, success has proven what they all thought before; that they could do it; they could win a championship. 

Some may argue that the Bucks don’t have the best fans, and they may be right, but going to a home game, listening to the cheers, and seeing the emotion on each fan’s face, will make you think it isn’t possible for there to be a better fan base anywhere else. 

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Which NBA teams are looking promising going into the 2021-22 season? 

With the new NBA season just around the corner on October 19th 2021, basketball fans around the world are eagerly looking forward to another drama-filled year. For most fans and players, the work really starts in earnest when NBA pre-season begins on October 10th 2021.

This not only gives coaches the chance to see how personalities gel together but also gives players the chance to get back into peak shape. For fans, pre-season is simply the time to get a feel for what new players may bring to the team and how successful the coming year might be. But who is looking good going into pre-season?

Sports betting sites give an idea 

As well as being great for picking up a top sports bet of the day when the season gets underway, online sports analysis sites can help pin down which teams are looking good as pre-season looms. The best way is to look at the odds they show for NBA teams to win the 2022 Finals. After all, a team must be in good pre-season shape to be at the top of the betting. 

Currently, the three teams who seem to be most likely are the Brooklyn Nets (+200), LA Lakers (+400) and Milwaukee Bucks (+900). Behind them, the Golden State Warriors are next closest at +1100, with a number of teams such as Utah Jazz, the Clippers and 76ers following them.

But what looks so great about the Nets, Lakers, and Bucks specifically as they go into pre-season?

Brooklyn Nets There really is no mystery as to why this team is looking so great heading into training camp. One look at the Nets 2021-22 roster of elite-level players tells you all you need to know. The prospect of seeing James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant getting more time on court together is certainly a plus for Nets fans. 

While Harden fit in well on the fly last season, the fitness issues he and Irving had last postseason were a real shame, but don’t underestimate Harden. With so much focus on Kevin Durant as this season’s best player in the league, his playoff performances last season, and leading Team USA to an Olympic gold, we’re forgetting that the bearded former NBA MVP is still in his prime and one of the most dangerous offensive weapons the league has ever seen.

This coming pre-season could see them strike up an even better understanding moving ahead. A revamped forecourt with players like Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and James Johnson also looks very promising. If they keep all their key players healthy during pre-season and through the rest of the campaign, they look hard to bet against.

LA Lakers The LA Lakers off-season moves in 2021 excited a lot fans and led to them being very active during the free agency period. Their headline grabbing moves for Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook in particular made waves. Anthony may not be getting any younger, but he still has all the skill that being a 10-time All-Star demands. Westbrook is also a very talented player and, like most of the other new signings, has never won a championship. This should give the Lakers extra motivation in 2021-22 and their current roster looks good going into pre-season. After the relative disappointment of failing to make a serious attempt to retain their 2020 crown, this could be a year when the Lakers shine again.

Milwaukee Bucks Normally, there is a lot of pressure on the defending champions to hold onto their crown. Such is the hype around the Nets and Lakers for the coming season, but this is not so true for the Bucks. This could be a real advantage and allow the players to relax enough to perform well. They also still have the mesmerising talents of Giannis Antetokounmpo to call on. The Greek Freak is central to their plans, and it is heartening to see him still with Milwaukee. 

One concern is the loss of top players like shooting guard Bryn Forbes and power forward PJ Tucker. They both excelled last year and new players like Tremont Waters need to show their prowess in pre-season to calm fans nerves. Aside from the few crucial players mentioned above, the Bucks have kept roughly the same players who triumphed in the 2021 Finals. This stability could give them an edge heading into pre-season and then regular season. It still remains to be seen if failing to compete for big-names in free agency will come back to haunt them.

Nets, Lakers and Bucks look good as pre-season arrives 

With pre-season almost here, it is a great time to examine which teams look the best going into it. Although this could change as pre-season unfolds, the Nets, Lakers and Bucks look to be the pick of the bunch. It would not be surprising at all to see them do very well as the NBA season gets into full swing.

 

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Brooklyn Nets run it back with Patty Mills, Paul Millsap, Cam Thomas and LaMarcus Aldridge

For much of second half of last season, the Brooklyn Nets were the favorites to win the first championship in the franchise’s history. Under Coach Steve Nash and the Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the team breezed through the regular season, finishing second in the Eastern Conference, just behind the Philadelphia 76ers.

Despite that second place, the Nets were the team to watch as far as most experts were concerned and things started brightly enough with a 4-1 demolition of the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. It all ground to a halt, however, as the Milwaukee Bucks came through by the narrowest of 4-3 scorelines.

Championship goals for 2022

It’s no surprise it’s championship aor bust this year for the Brooklyn Nets.

With the current NBA campaign about kick off, betting markets will soon be in place ahead of the 2022 season. According to SBO, the Nets will feature very strongly once again and coach Nash’s side may even be clear favorites for the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Before the season begins, important trades and drafts will take place and they will have a direct impact on the betting. Fortunately, sbo.net’s panel of sportsbooks will react quickly to any developments and those odds will be updated as soon as anything changes.

Readers of this website can also catch up on the latest basketball news, particularly when anything happens with an NBA focus. From there, it will be possible to take that interest further with sign up offers available from that selection of sportsbooks. A range of funding options and customer service facilities are also in place.

It will be a useful website for anyone betting on the NBA but should they be putting their faith in the Brooklyn Nets ahead of the 2021/22 season?

Strengethened roster for 2022

While the Milwaukee Bucks subsequently eliminated the Nets in a hotly-contested series, the Nets come into the 2021-22 season as the favorites. 

Many of the Nets key players from last season remain on the roster for the new campaign. Kevin Durant is the highest paid player on the roster and is pivotal to the team’s chances next season. He will return for the upcoming, as will Kyrie Irving who is equally experienced and honored by his contemporaries.

That’s even after a little bit of a shake-up after Spencer Dinwiddie opted out of his contract and was traded to the Washington Wizards. That turned out to be the one piece of bad news in what turned out to be a really, really good offseason for the Brooklyn franchise.

The team may have lost Dinwiddie, but they brought in veterans Patty Mills, Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge came back from retirement making them another very experienced team with a lot of all-stars. the team drafted Cam Thomas at #27 and the former-LSU player turned out to be the Summer League Co-MVP

Joe Harris continues to learn on the job and provide consistent shooting to stretch out the floor for Irving, Harden and Durant. The big thing that the Nets have to worry about are injuries to their stars, but with a really strong roster bolstered by former all-stars Blake Griffin, Aldridge, and Millsap as well as Mills, Brooklyn is much more capable of dealing with a few minor injuries and leaves of absence this upcoming season.

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History tells us the Milwaukee Bucks should win the NBA championship, but they won’t

Of all the remaining teams in the conference finals, the Milwaukee Bucks were the team that had earned an NBA championship.

In five consecutive playoff appearances, the Bucks lost in the first round twice, they’ve been eliminated in the semi-finals, they’ve lost a heartbreaking series to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, and now they’re finally in the NBA Finals. If you’re a fan of NBA history then you know that 97% of the time, NBA champions have to through at least a couple seasons of heartache before breaking through.

Based on that established pattern of losing-before-finally-winning, if you were to do some Naija football betting or putting money on the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks would be a heavy favorite to bring home the title.

Bucks lack identity

Getting into the NBA Finals, a team not only has to go through the trial and tribulations, but they spend those years establishing identity; one with predictable and unstoppable offensive sets. That lack of reliable offense is what will hold the Bucks back from taking home the championship this year.

When it comes down to it, the Milwaukee Bucks are way too inconsistent on offense and the Phoenix Suns too reliable on offense for the Bucks to pull out a win the NBA Finals.

We’re all well aware that two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is their superstar, but he’s yet to figure out a way to dominate the Suns when his heads-down drives are walled off. It doesn’t help that his free-throw shooting has been atrocious.

There’s been a lot of talk that Khris Middleton is their closer, but he’s had as many stinker games as he’s had dominant ones. No one dislikes Jrue Holiday, but he simply doesn’t have a scorer’s mindset. Brook Lopez has looked great in a few games, but his presence is too much of a defensive liability to make him worth playing. How many times have we seen Milwaukee’s offense completely abandon them during these playoffs?

On the other side, you know who the Phoenix Suns are on offense. To a man,  each player knows their role. Devin Booker is their primary scoring option and is capable of going off for 35 points on any night, Deandre Ayton picks and rolls and rebounds, Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges hang out at the three point line when the first few options don’t work out.

And that brings us to the other reason why the Bucks are going to have a tough time winning four games in the NBA Finals: Chris Paul. Let’s forget the motivation that comes from CP3’s first NBA Finals in his 16 year career, it’s more about his leadership and ability to create shots on any given play. Whether it’s pick and roll, the threat of lobbing to Ayton, getting Lopez or Bobby Portis on the island, his deadly handles and his deadlier midrange game. His play over the last few seasons has solidified the 6-2 guard as one of the top five point guards of all-time.

Yes, Giannis and Middleton and Holiday will put together some good games, and they might pull out two wins during the series because of that, but their inconsistency has been their identity throughout their 2021 NBA Playoff run. Unfortunately for their fans, the Deer District, and the city of Milwaukee, that inconsistency and lack of offensive identity will result in another season of disappointment.

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So the New York Knicks made it to the NBA playoffs, so what’s next?

For the first time in EIGHT years, the New York Knicks managed to qualify for the NBA Playoffs, while their dream may have come to a short end after they suffered an opening round loss. Things are however on an upward trend, despite them having come up short, with the potential to enter the offseason with plenty of space on the salary cap, meaning WAY bigger things could be on the horizon for the New York based franchise. With that the focus now shifts towards the 2021 offseason, so it’s time for us to take a look at where the Knicks stand. Let’s get into it.

So, where do we begin? First is the NBA’s Most-Improved Player of this season, Julius Randle has a partial guarantee of $4.0 Million for the 2021-22 season and as much as he struggled in the playoffs, the Knicks guaranteeing the entirety of his $21.8 million salary for the upcoming season feels like a pretty safe bet, considering he had a really solid season. Not only that but the Knicks may be set to lose a fair few players, leaving them with quite a lot of roster spots to fill.

Almost certainly the most notable would be Derrick Rose, the Knicks acquired him in the lead up to the trade deadline of this season. He played 35 games this season, in those 35 games D.Rose averaged 4.2 assists and 14.9 points on .487/.411/.883 shooting splits. This man earned enough votes for him to finish in THIRD PLACE in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year, sitting just behind Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson who both play for the Utah Jazz.

Not only that however, Alec Burks, Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson and Nerlens Noel are going to be unrestricted free agents, alongside that, Theo Pinson, Jared Harper and Frank Ntilikina will all be Restricted Free Agents while there’s a team option worth $1.8 million on the contract of Mitchell Robinson.

One thing that the Knicks need to do now they managed to push into the playoffs, even if they didn’t make it deep, is to manage their expectations. There isn’t a single team in the NBA this season that has outperformed their expectations more than the New York Knicks, nobody expected anything from the Knicks. They were predicted to win “24.7 games” which would’ve put them with the 3rd worst record in the NBA. Instead, they went on to win 41 games pushing them into the playoffs for the first time since 2013!

The work that the Knicks have put in this season has not gone unnoticed. In the most recent edition of ESPN’s Future Power Rankings, New York jumped from Number 27 last March to Number 7.

An improvement of 22 wins isn’t the result of just taking one quick year of spending like crazy in free agency, making panicked trades hoping for a quick patch up. What they did was acquire the correct coach for their project in Tom Thibodeau, they then worked hard to pick and choose the right talent that would also fit in with their project. The result? New York now has a blueprint to use as the people in charge build their roster, not only for the upcoming offseason, but for the future of the franchise in general.

So, what are the steps they should be taking for the upcoming offseason? There are a few things they could do, they could go ahead and try to build through the draft, they can push development on the inside and re-sign some of their key free agents, such as Alec Burks and Derrick Rose. They could try and land one big-name free agent to try and build their system around, since they may have up to $50 million in salary cap space, though this would definitely be at the cost of their own free agents. Or they could make a big trade using draft picks and young players combined with their cap space.

Realistically what the team currently needs is a starting point guard and a starting short forward, they also realistically need some depth to manage the quick turnaround in games that the NBA has, in almost every position but power forward. They have the following they can use to rebuild;

  • Potentially $50 million in cap space
  • Two first round picks and a second round pick in the draft.
  • Draft assets for 2023
  • $4.9 million cap room around their midlevel in exceptions
  • $5.8 million in cash to send or receive in a trade.

What do you think? What would you do with the resources they have available? Where do you think the Knicks will end up next season? I think there are many Pennsylvania betting sites that are tipping them for a playoff place again, but they have a lot of work to do to ensure they make the playoffs back to back, would you agree? Let us know!

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Here’s our 2021 NBA Power Rankings going into the NBA All-Star break

 

We are at the midway mark of this season’s unique NBA schedule. This break in the schedule is as a good time to evaluate which teams are contenders and the pretenders as anytime.

A handful of the teams that we predicted to be NBA championship-worthy have fallen short while others that were overlooked have risen to the top. Let’s rank the teams from No. 1 through No. 30 and reveal the odds and the top free NBA Picks on each to win the world championship this season.

The Contenders

  1. Utah Jazz (+700) – The Jazz aren’t battle-tested and lack experience, so the team from Salt Lake led by Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Rudy Gobert might not be there when the dust settles three months from now. That said, right now, the Jazz are absolute fire at home and own the best record in the NBA so we have to put them at the top of the list.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers (+280) – The Lakers proved they were mortal when Anthony Davis reaggravated his Achilles and immediately dropped four of five with the big man sidelined. However, the Lakers have gotten back on track and are the odds-on-favorite to repeat as world champs.
  3. Brooklyn Nets (+300) – Offensively, the three-headed monster of Harden, Durant, and Irving is the most lethal in the league but can these egos continue to  coexist, can they dig down defensively when the time comes, and do they have enough bench depth to see them all the way through to the finals?
  4. Los Angeles Clippers (+550) – Their more celebrated neighbors steal all the headlines but this Clippers’ team shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly with Kawhi and company on a redemption tour after they exited the playoffs earlier than expected last season.
  5. Milwaukee Bucks (+800) – The Greek Freak is having another monster season and the Bucks could very well be the Eastern Conference entry into the NBA Finals and nobody would be surprised.
  6. Philadelphia 76ers (+1200) – Joel Embiid has elevated his game this season and the 76ers are better because of it. They currently own the best record in the East but until they prove they can do it in the postseason, we remain unconvinced.
  7. Phoenix Suns (+3300) – The Suns have never won a world championship and have done nothing but lose for over a decade. But a new day is dawning in the desert and the confluence of all their young talent with an 11-time All-Star in veteran Chris Paul has the makings of a Cinderella story.

The Pretenders

  1. Boston Celtics (+2800) – Boston is undeniably the most disappointing team this season, treading water at about .500 for a team that has arguably the two most talented youngsters in the league by the names of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The only slack we will cut the Shamrocks is that their defensive wizard, Marcus Smart, has been sidelined for much of the season but when he returns Boston needs to improve…in a hurry!
  2. Portland Trail Blazers (+6000) – Damian Lillard is a scoring machine but without help from CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers can be bested on any given night. But wait until the duo returns and then you will see Portland takes its rightful place among the Western Conference leaders.
  3. Denver Nuggets (+2800) – Mercurial might be the best adjective to describe this iteration of the Denver Nuggets but whatever you call them, they are certainly a talented squad that tends to lapse against teams they should easily handle.
  4. San Antonio Spurs (+12,500) – The Spurs missed the playoffs for the first time in forever last season but Gregg Popovich has his charges back on track and intent on atoning for their first losing season in 22 years. DeMar DeRozan has been a world-beater this season for the Spurs and this team is doing everything right that they did wrong last year.
  5. Miami Heat (+2800) – It would seem reasonable that last year’s Eastern Conference champions would be considered a stunning disappointment with a .500 record at the midpoint of the following season. However, they were never expected to get that far and the fact that they are not performing at a championship level this year surprises no one except their most ardent fans.

The Rest of the Bunch

  1. Golden State Warriors (+10000)
  2. Toronto Raptors (+4000)
  3. New York Knicks (+15000 )
  4. Dallas Mavericks (+5000)
  5. Indiana Pacers (+6600)
  6. Atlanta Hawks (+15000)
  7. Memphis Grizzlies (+15000)
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (+15000)
  9. Washington Wizards (+15000)
  10. Charlotte Hornets (+20000)
  11. Chicago Bulls (+30000)
  12. Houston Rockets (+40000)
  13. Orlando Magic (+40000)
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers (+50000)
  15. Sacramento Kings (+60000)
  16. Detroit Pistons (+100000)
  17. Oklahoma City Thunder (+100000)
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves (+150000)

 

Let’s look at the most shocking bet in the NBA season so far — thanks to Chris Paul

Look no further than the Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder as they continue to stun experts, talking heads, odds makers and even their own fan base. Continue reading “Let’s look at the most shocking bet in the NBA season so far — thanks to Chris Paul”

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2019 NBA Futures: All roads lead though the West (again)

The last time an NBA team was swept in the finals was back in 2007 … it was the Cleveland Cavaliers getting trounced by a younger Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. Well, unfortunately for the town of Cleveland, not only do they own the Browns, but they own two of the nine NBA finals sweeps—and they are back to back.

The problem isn’t with the Cleveland Cavaliers though. The issue is that the Golden State Warriors look like basketball playing robots from another dimension, a superhuman one. And things don’t look like they are going to change much over in ‘The Town.’ Kevin Durant has stated that he is going to resign for another season. You better believe that the nucleus that makes up these unstoppable Warriors of Golden State will stay intact; they want the three-peat.

Futures Odds on the 2019 NBA Title

After checking Bookmaker a few days ago, we found odds on all of the teams and their implied probability to win the NBA Title in 2019. The top ten candidates according to Las Vegas and top online sites like Bookmaker are:

  • Golden State: +120 (45.5%)
  • Houston +450 (18.2%)
  • Philadelphia +500 (16.7%)
  • Boston Celtics + 650 (13.3%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers + 1400 (6.7%)
  • San Antonio Spurs +2000 (4.8%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +2500 (3.8%)
  • Miami Heat +5000 (2.0%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans +5000 (2.0%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +5000 (2.0%)

The funny thing is that as of today, the sportsbooks have pulled the NBA Futures lines —don’t worry they will put them back up soon—so we have to assume that they have received some information that is critical to their mathematical process.

Of course, we see that the Warriors once again lead the way. They are far and away favorites to win in 2019. But what is most interesting to me is the fact that the Las Angeles Lakers are suddenly in the conversation. This leads me to believe that there is some insider info telling the money people in Vegas that Lebron will land in LA.

Low and behold, Bookmaker just released odds on where Lebron James will go this offseason, and the Lakers are -140 favorites. The next closest team is Philly at +400. This means Las Vegas believes that there is a 58.3% chance that Lebron will sign with Luke and the lakers.

With all of this back-room yammering that must be going on about the Lakers and Lebron. I still don’t see how this would make them real contenders. Lebron had Love, Korver, Smith, Hill, Thompson, and a slew of other talented players and still could take down the Warriors. How would going to a team that plays very little defense be any better?

It is all about those little intangible things that create a rare occurrence of dynamics that make the best team. It isn’t always the best player or best players … but the best team. The only other teams that currently have this type of intangible thing going are the Rockets and the Raptors. The Raptors know who they are, but they just don’t quite have the talent to beat Golden State. The Rockets, on the other hand, might have taken down GSW if Chris Paul the 3rd didn’t go down and miss Game 7.

Futures Assessment

Looking at where the futures were (it remains to be seen what they become), I believe that the Rockets should actually be closer to +250 and then everyone else nudged back some more … the closest competition out of the east right now shouldn’t be set higher than +600 (six to one). Maybe if Lebron goes to the 76ers, they might have a shot. But again how will he mesh? Philly has a good thing going on. Would Lebron just be a cog in their wheel?

In 2019 all roads lead through Houston and Golden State. Whoever wins the West wins again.

 

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“What is March Madness?” and 14 NCAA basketball phrases you need to know

It’s that time of the year when everyone from college basketball fanatics to haven’t-watched-a-basketball-game-in-my-life / since last March Madness all print out and populate out their NCAA brackets to join their March Madness office pool. Continue reading ““What is March Madness?” and 14 NCAA basketball phrases you need to know”

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Where to watch University of Michigan football, basketball games in San Francisco?

As much as the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is respected as one of the top universities for their academics and rigor, it’s just as much of a sports school known for their athletics. Continue reading “Where to watch University of Michigan football, basketball games in San Francisco?”

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Despite NBA Title, Kevin Durant makes Cleveland Cavs underdogs in 2017

The signing of Kevin Durant to a team that had already won a NBA all-time record of 73 wins have had reverberations across the entire league. Continue reading “Despite NBA Title, Kevin Durant makes Cleveland Cavs underdogs in 2017”

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What is Stephen Curry’s ethnicity and race?

Even if you’re not an NBA fan, there’s no escaping Stephen Curry. If he isn’t already, Curry is quickly becoming a household name.

Jeremy Lin’s heroics for Hornets nearly shot down by Kristaps Porzingis

Jeremy Lin scored 17 points including several crucial plays at the end of the game that helped the Charlotte Hornets hang on a tight two point win over the New York Knicks. Continue reading “Jeremy Lin’s heroics for Hornets nearly shot down by Kristaps Porzingis”

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Here’s all the Jeremy Lin hairstyles throughout the years

This is nothing more than a post about Jeremy Lin’s hairstyles. Continue reading “Here’s all the Jeremy Lin hairstyles throughout the years”

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Jeremy Lin highlights vs. Los Angeles Clippers in NBA Global Games

Jeremy Lin’s midrange jumper was on point and the crowd in Shenzen, China loved watching Lin during the Hornets 106-94 win over the Los Angeles Clippers last night. Continue reading “Jeremy Lin highlights vs. Los Angeles Clippers in NBA Global Games”

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The best bar/restaurant to watch University of Michigan games in New York City

Are you a University of Michigan alumni living in New York City and looking for an establishment to watch the Wolverines with other UM fans and alumnae? Continue reading “The best bar/restaurant to watch University of Michigan games in New York City”

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Jeremy Lin sees “good fit” with Charlotte Hornets, signs two-year deal

In “out of left field” news, free agent Jeremy Lin announced on his social media accounts that he signed with the Charlotte Hornets for the 2015-16 NBA season. Continue reading “Jeremy Lin sees “good fit” with Charlotte Hornets, signs two-year deal”

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John Wall’s ‘360 midair layup’ is quickly becoming his signature move

John Wall is quickly making his high-flying 360 layup his calling card. Continue reading “John Wall’s ‘360 midair layup’ is quickly becoming his signature move”

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NBA releases ‘Geeked Up’ Golden State Warriors championship t-shirt

I’m a big fan of the Geeked Up t-shirts that the NBA puts out from time to time. Continue reading “NBA releases ‘Geeked Up’ Golden State Warriors championship t-shirt”

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Awesome Steph Curry “DUBS” mural found in Oakland

It was great to follow the Warriors on their way to the NBA championship while on the East Coast. Continue reading “Awesome Steph Curry “DUBS” mural found in Oakland”

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Andre Iguodola deserved the NBA Finals MVP because WINNING

I wouldn’t have argued loudly had Lebron James won the Finals MVP, but it wasn’t a travesty that Andre Iguodola took home the trophy. Continue reading “Andre Iguodola deserved the NBA Finals MVP because WINNING”

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Cavs’ 7-Man Rotation Will Cost Them 2015 NBA Championship

Believe it or not, there’s a bright side to the Cavs getting beat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Cleveland. The bright side is that the game was over and they could rest. Continue reading “Cavs’ 7-Man Rotation Will Cost Them 2015 NBA Championship”

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