Friday, May 18, 2007
Think about the action out west - suspensions, ejections, near brawls, a half dozen outrageous fouls that come to mind without even thinking about it, and even some post-game tears after the FIRST round (cheer up, T-mac). Has anything even REMOTELY similar happened in the east? Baron Davis, Boozer, Nash, and several others have been playing like their lives depended on the outcome. Lebron, Vince, and Sheed seem like their playing in a Hoop-It-Up tournament.
The numbers for both teams last night were almost identical. Both teams took/made nearly the same amount of field goals and both shot 5-18 from the 3. Basically, the Pistons shot better from the line - and (big surprise) they turned it up in the 3rd quarter and never looked back.
It's just amazing that they did this exact same routine last year, and they LOST doing it. And to take it a step further - they should've lost to the Cavs had Cleveland been able to get a defensive rebound in the final minute of game 6.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
These playoffs are starting to remind me of one of those college all-day drinking affairs. Right out of the gate, every one's so excited that it can't help but be awesome. Funnels, games of Quarters, someone's getting laid by 11am. Then comes the pre-dinner crash, 70% of the people pass out, a good number of public indecency arrests, and two of your friends have one of those Mom and Dad fights that makes everyone at the party uncomfortable. That's where we are in the playoffs.
New Jersey Nets 82, Cleveland Cavaliers 72
I'm starting to have a hard time believing that this is going to be the series that proves anything about Lebron James, and I'm kind of getting tired of waiting for him to prove me wrong. A 35 year-old point guard is taking over games down the stretch when the 22 year-old phenom is supposed to be making his name. All that being said, I would rather be Yinka Dare than have my name be associated with the 4th quarter of this game. The Nets managed six (!$!@$#$!@$#!@$!!@#@!#!) points on one field goal (!#@(#$@(%!*$@(*$!@#) and still got the win in a 4th quarter that probably actually put more people to sleep than any in recent playoff history. There's little else of note in this game other than another solid J-Kidd performance and a Lebron knee injury that sets the stage for a "miraculous" performance whenever he decides to turn it on and end this series. UGH.
San Antonio Spurs 88, Phoenix Suns 85
Perhaps in a tribute to the fallen Warriors, the Suns went small, smaller, smallest last night against the Spurs. Using essentially a six-man rotation, not counting Pat Burke's three minutes, the Suns did almost everything they could to get the win that was rightfully theirs last night. The missing link was a no-show by Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa. I often refuse to buy into the idea of a Sixth Man being uncomfortable in any other position, but with the numbers Barbosa put up last night it's hard not to feel like he was off his game. Six fouls, four turnovers, and 3-12 shooting. Add to that a mildly unproductive (by his standards) game by Steve Nash and the Suns couldn't do the impossible in this one. Close-out game for the Spurs in San Antonio on Friday. Stoudemire and Nash no-show and the party's over; if they're feeling heroic, I break out my game 7 beer helmet.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Cleveland +4 @ New Jersey 186
Phoenix +3.5 @ San Antonio 202
Picks: NEW JERSEY, PHOENIX, and OVER Phoenix/San Antonio
Games start in a few minutes so I wanted to get the picks up in order to make everyone alot of money. If you are looking for non ball numbers Mets/Cubs Under 8 and Phillies -125 home against the Brewers. I could give you numbers to back all of this but its easier to just trust me and know I'm always right and always make money.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Golden State +3.5 @ Utah 212.5
With only one game on tonight's schedule at least those on the east coast will be able to see more than the first quarter of a Warriors game. Take the warriors tonight. They cover the 3.5, probably win out right. There are numbers to back this up but they dont matter. Utah is allowing Golden State to play the game the way the Warriors want to. Game 1 was a let down game for the Warriors but I think they answer back tonight, especially if Utah now believes they can run.
Additionally, the over is 11-5 in the last 16 Utah games. If you are looking for prop bets, Deron Williams under 18.5 pays +115. Dont get me wrong, I love Williams just short of having a man crush on him, but he got everyon's attention with that 30 point performance on Monday. Everyone including Baron Davis. I dont see him putting up a big game tonight.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Much like everyone else, I was pretty confused to hear that the Cavs haven't lost in a full month. For a team that isn't that good- that's no small feat. But i think that comes to an end tonight. Game 1 sucked - the final score was 81-77 and don't confuse bad basketball with good defense. Because this was definitely not the latter.
This one is going 7. And tonight I'd be all over the points (4.5) with Jersey probably winning outright.
San Antonio @ Phoenix
It's almost impossible for me to look at this series logically. I'm in the Suns' corner 1,000% and my hatred for the Spurs is reaching heights unseen.
But if you're a betting man- it's pretty hard to take Nash and co. The Spurs are 7-2 ATS when playing AT Phoenix over the past 3 years. Those are tough numbers to ignore considering what a solid home court advantage the Suns have.
I'd grab the 5 and pray it's inside the number.
This Bulls team looks completely lost. It's like a beer league softball team trying to play the Mets. Aside from a couple plays by Ty Thomas (dunk, block, alley-oop all in a row late in the game) and a couple nice plays by C.Webb - this game was a total waste. The Bulls got out-rebounded 51 to 30 and they let the Pistons shoot wide open jumpers all night (53% from 3!!!!).
Wake me up when the Bulls are within single digits in the 4th quarter. Until then, TNT should show Seinfeld re-runs instead.
The G.State-Jazz game was a lot better than advertised. A lot of talk yesterday about Jerry Sloan trying to slow things down and stop the Warriors from.... well.... being the Warriors. This game was a fuckin track meet in the first half. Okur played very well last night, but you know he's begging for some more half court sets. Homeboy's gonna be gassed by game 3 if this style of play continues.
Here's why the Jazz won:
A) Boozer could not be stopped on the boards. The guy hauled in 20 rebounds including 10 on the offensive glass. The last one leading to a HUGE bucket that ended up winning the game.
B) Deron Williams played like a man. 31 pts on 11-21 shooting to go with 8 assists. Most of his assists were early, but he came up with some big shots in the 4th.
C) BD, J-Rich, and our man Stephen Jackson shot 4-15 from 3. This after a 13-25 performance against the Mavs in Game 6.
All in all - I still can't stand the Jazz OR their fans. And this is gonna be one hell of a series.
one more note - Reggie Miller sucks at announcing. He blatantly misspeaks and doesn't correct himself. Last night he used "delight" when he clearly meant to say "dismay" or some other adjective with a negative connotation, but he just glanced over it like no one would notice.
And after BDizzle got fouled on a 3 from the corner (after the ball had clearly left his hands) - Reggie made a point to say:
We get it Reggie. You like when shooters get the foul call.
The shooter cannot be touched throughout the entire act of shooting.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Lebron cranked up that disgusting free throw percentage (81.2%), but I know I'm not the only one dying to see him take the line with the game hanging in the balance.
I see this one going at least 6, probably 7 with the Cavs pulling it out. Now that Dirk, T-mac, Wade, and Shaq are fishing - Do you really think Stern is letting King James pack his tackle box?
Although it blows my mind to think about a Conference Finals where Eric Snow is getting serious minutes. A friend of mine was more than willing to trade E. Snow for a pair of throw back jerseys - and that was over 4 years ago.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
Check out Kissing Suzy Kolber for a great take on the Sports Guy or any Celtic fan as far as I am concerned...
I'm not even just talking about the remainder of the playoffs, I could be talking about the rest of my basketball watching life. Tonight's game was a legitimate epic; at least until midway through the third period when it became clear that Dallas had become completely demoralized and just wanted to get home and watch a rodeo and pass out, or whatever they do down there. Then it just became fun.
Before the playoffs started, I had picked the Mavericks to win, in a rout actually. But like many of my hopes and dreams, I had thrown that pick into the trash about 12 minutes into the actual process. I can't remember any situation where I have seen a team so thoroughly taken to pieces. Sure, this Golden state team may have not been a realistic #8 seed, but they won 25 (25!!!) less games this regular season than Dallas. Within minutes of the start of this series, this Dallas team looked completely lost. They had no answer for the Warriors' ... well for the Warriors' anything.
The real great thing about this upset is that there's no end in sight. The Dallas Mavericks handled most of the teams in the NBA for most of the regular season, what's to say that the team that took them to pieces can't do the same to the rest of the Western Conference? A big part of what has been done by the Warriors here is a another step towards the parity that makes sports like NCAA basketball and the NFL so great. The Warriors have a chance to do something big here, take out either the #4 or #5 seed, and try to put on a show in the Western Conference finals. It's not likely, but according to me and the experts over at ESPN.com, neither was this. Cue ELO's "Showdown" and let's hope the Warriors don't Munson this one.
By the way, I don't know if you noticed who had 33 points tonight, but, you know...
Thursday, May 3, 2007
The numbers for Thursday's games:
Houston +4.5 @ Utah 184
Dallas -3 @ Golden State 209
I want to put on the table that I have no allegiance to Houston, though I picked them in 4 of the 5 games of this series. But tonight, HOUSTON has to be the pick and this is the scenario that necessitates it.
If Utah wins this series and IF Golden State wins tonight, these two square off in the second round. If Golden State doesn't win another game they are still a playoff success. Lets say Golden State comes out and has a big let down, then the Western Conference Finals we have been waiting for all year might be Utah and San Antonio, with the Pistons waiting in the Finals for the winner. This scenario would put the NBA back at least 15 years. I think about this scenario in the same way I think about putting a needle in my eye.
I can not allow this to happen. If Houston wins, while its not the run and gun we hoped for at least we have the star power of McGrady and Yao. Utah and San Antonio play in the Western Conference Finals and the NBA world will implode and life with basketball as a legitimate sports may be over. HOUSTON has to be the pick for all our sakes. Take Houston to win and waive the points, even if you lose, at least you will wake up tomorrow knowing you had no part in the possible demise of the NBA. (I realize that Houston could still win game 7, but this is too important to leave up to a game 7).
On a side note, can we please have no more shots of Stan Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan in HD. My God are they frightful. If my kid (there is probably one out there somewhere) wanted to get into coaching I would show him clips of these two as a scared straight video. When TNT goes to shots of the sideline they need to blur out the two coaches faces like they do on Dateline for people who's identity needs to be kept secret.
The second game is the one everyone is waiting for. Before game 5 of the series, I was going to write (had I been able to use a computer) that it would be a great time to buy Dallas to win the series. I figured teams get down 3-1 more often then we think, only to turn it on and leave the lower seed wondering what just happened after game 7. Just last year the Suns were down 3-1 to the Lakers before winning in 7. Then of course the Mavs went out and won the game. Not only that they stole it from Golden State. So Mavs have to be the pick.
Umm, not so fast there Corso. GOLDEN STATE is taking the series tonight. We have seen this same scenario play out in MLB two years ago with the Cardinals as heavy favorites against the Astros. Everyone is getting warmed up for a Game 7 in Dallas only the Warriors are going to end things tonight. How have teams fared up 3-2 in a series? They are 174-30 all time and 14-2 in the preliminary round. Take Golden State and waive the points.
Picks: HOUSTON and GOLDEN STATE... waive both spreads, and for a real return parlay the two (Houston +170 and Golden State +120).
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
- This is a perfect example of the "Sportscenter Syndrome" or a "Box Score Fan". Sure it LOOKS like Dirk took the game over MJ-style with 12 points inside the 3 minute mark. But the truth is - Dirk was an absolute GHOST in the 2nd and 3rd quarters - and even the 4th quarter up until those 2 3's. It wasn't as if Dirk commanded the ball on the block and imposed his will on Golden State. At no point did you get the feeling, "wow- Dirk is just NOT losing this game. He's carrying this team kicking and screaming back to Oakland if he has to."
Let's preview tonight's action:
Denver @ San Antonio
I totally agree with the Don - one of these games will be a blowout, one will be relatively close, but both series are definitely getting wrapped up tonight. Don't be surprised to see 2 blowouts, though. We had the privilege of seeing 2 gems last night - I have a feeling we won't be so lucky tonight.
Here's the deal - Denver is 1-6 (both SU and ATS) the last 3 years when trailing in a playoff series. Also keep in mind that George Karl has a 3-11 playoff record with the Nuggets (for his career, he's 14 games UNDER .500 in the postseason). And he hasn't escaped the first round since he coached that 50 win Bucks team.
I think the Spurs are completely in their heads and the Nuggets have their fishing gear packed.
Lakers @ Suns
If you honestly have the stones to lay some serious cash on the Lakers in this game - my hat is off to you. Because I don't think there's any chance in hell of this thing going back to LA. That would probably require Kwame Brown to duplicate his game 3 performance - which is damn near impossible.That being said - beware of the "last gasp" game. Kobe's not the type to go quietly - look for the Lakers to go down, but go down swinging.
It's borderline depressing the Dallas - Golden State series is taking place in the Western Conference. These games are probably the best advertising and promotion that the NBA has had since Lebron James was a senior in high school, and no one is seeing them except NBA superfans and people who don't have to be awake before 11am (fortunately I belong to both camps). I hate to get all high and mighty on the NBA; hell we've got young, up and coming NBA blogger Bill Simmons for that, but this game ended at 12:45am on Wednesday and it was probably the earliest finish of the series. And the NBA may end up regretting this...
The league has worked many angles in the last decade to recruit fans who have never watched basketball/bring back fans who have stopped watching. Let's look at some of them, the target audience, and the end result:
- WNBA(female viewers): The WNBA has maintained a rather strong fan base... for the WNBA. I don't know that any WNBA fan would think about the NBA itself, other than to proclaim the superiority of the fundamentals-based game in the WNBA. I can't imagine any way that the NBA has benefited from the WNBA, especially given the massive amount of face time and marketing the NBA has had forced on it.
- The Rookie Superstar(young kids, those looking for the "next Jordan"): The big example here would be Lebron James' appearance on the NBA scene as a junior in high school. Although, many basketball purists and internet columnists who are bummed their teams are in the lottery would have you believe that the Oden/Durant situation is one of national interest. The very audience targeted here becomes the problem. By trying to entice the people who want the next Jordan, criticism is invited. These are the fans who won't buy tickets to see their local team because they don't have one of the ten legitimate Superstars in the league.
- NBDL(stat geeks, guys who follow minor league baseball): This move was aimed towards people who already follow the game of basketball at an extremely dedicated level. At best, it keeps these people seriously involved. At worst, you end up watching an NBDL game.
- The Dress Code/Age Requirement(cranky white people): Give it up, these people are watching the NFL, where any semblance of personality or showmanship will likely earn someone a vertebrae-crushing gang tackle. All these rules have done is heightened the non-viewers' reaction to any incident. Look at it this way, whose public tantrum-throwing kid looks worse? The parent who drags them out by the hand and grounds them at home; or the strung-out parent that starts screaming louder and more obnoxiously than the kid? David Stern is looking more and more like a mother of three at Six Flags every day.
The games, stupid. The games. I read this week that even good basketball is conducive to the highlight package; alley-oop, hard foul, game winning shot, box score. The idea that any sports fan would prefer that to the entire second half tonight is absurd. Tonight, one of the most exciting basketball games I have ever watched unfolded in the late-evening/early-morning hours. The second half was a flurry of back and forth threes, drives, and a lot more threes. If you show this game to ten people who haven't watched a game all year, nine of them would probably watch the rest of the playoffs.
But until David Stern manages to trim the excess of the playoffs, these games will remain unseen. My solution? Contract the league and schedule, put six teams per conference in the post-season, five-game first round. Completely unrealistic and excessive, but it would guarantee parity, quality, and excitement in the playoffs. This series arrived by the grace of god. No eight seed has ever been this well prepared for the top team in the league. It will likely never happen again. But with a lighter playoff schedule the public would be able to watch nightly, prime-time match ups, and the likelihood of catching a game like tonight's would increase tenfold. The more people that see it, the more people that enjoy it. Who knows, this might not make any sense since it's 3am now.