Tag: betting on NBA
Sure enough the San Antonio Spurs are getting old, but the core of this team has been together for many years now, they’ve stick together through so many games and situations that they really now how to keep their cool and stay focused on the big prize. The Spurs came out a bit slow in their NBA Western Conference Semifinal series against the Golden State Warriors. They gave one game away at home, but came back and won on the road to even the series at two games a piece. But little else changed and as the Warriors were doing what they could to cope with injuries and the ailing ankle of their point guard and sharp shooter Steve Curry, the Spurs just keep on fighting and they managed to win the last two games of the series, including this latest 94-82 win at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California.
It seems that the Spurs know exactly how to manage their times, their tempo, how to wear off an opponent, slowly but surely. Veteran Tim Duncan had 19 points and six rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and 10 rebounds to help shape this outcome. This was a good performance for the veteran Spurs. “They’ve got great character. They’re competitive. They know there’s not a million chances to do this sort of thing. They wanted it,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said to the press about his team’s character.
The Spurs built a lead in the third quarter, and then held on to the furious rally by the Warriors in the fourth quarter, and took this win to earn a ticket to the Conference Finals. They will face the Memphis Grizzlies, the 5th seeded team that defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the next round. Should they managed to dominate that series as well, the Spurs will make it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007, when they swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The dream is now over for the Indiana Pacers. I can’t help but to wonder what this series could had been if the Pacers came along with a much better health. Stephen Curry, the Pacers offensive weapon of choice was a bit off. He shot 10-of-25 from the floor to score 22 points, but did so on an ankle on which most mortals wouldn’t dare to walk on. Jarrett Jack had 15 points as well, but the injury-saddled Golden State finally gave in. Harrison Barnes, the rookie player who’s a key part of the Warriors defense, also suffered a head injury in the second quarter of the game. Sure enough, he returned in the third and made a couple of plays, but he was sidelined in the last 12 minutes with a strong headache.
The Warriors season is now officially over. But they should be proud of their play. “It’s inspiring to think of what we were able to accomplish this year and the foundation that has been laid,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. The team has sted positive. Even the injured Curry looks at this as a learning experience. “It will take a minute to realize the accomplishments we have made, for a Warriors team to be in this position – he said to the press-. “It’s a good thing, and we can build on this for next year.”
It was not a great shooting night for Stephen Curry, the Golden State sharpshooter, who was brilliant in game one at San Antonio in a hearth breaking double-overtime loss on the road. The Warriors had dominated throughout the second half of the game. As a matter of fact, they build a 16-point lead going into the final four minutes of the fourth quarter but they failed to close in the final seconds and gave the Spurs the needed space to make the final shot and force the first of two overtimes. The Golden State head coach Mark Jackson, however, insisted that this loss would not diminish the spirit of the team, but would only fuel them. And even when Curry finished with only 22 points and 4 rebounds despite shooting 2 of 6 from the three point line and 7 of 20 from the field. But it was enough to hold off the Spurs and their fierce comeback to take a very valuable 100-91 win on the road.
The Warriors got plenty of work from Klay Thompson who went on to finish the game with 34-points and 14 rebounds to guide the Warriors to their first win at the San Antonio in their last 30 visits there. “I truly believe the trials and tribulations are transportation for where you’re going,” Jackson said after his team took the win. “Game 1 made us better. We didn’t panic. We made plays. That’s a heck of a basketball team that’s extremely well-coached and has no quit in them. We don’t have any quit in us, either. The bottom line is we made the plays we needed to make.”
The Spurs got plenty of production from their regular stars. Veteran Tim Duncan chipped in with 23 points and 9 rebounds while Tony Parker had 20 points and 6 rebounds but it was not enough to beat the Warriors and Golden State put an end to the Spurs 5 game postseason winning streak. Argentinean Manu Ginobili, who took the winning three-pointer in double overtime on game one, finished the night with 12 points and 4 assists coming off the bench. Kawhi Leonard was the only Spurs to end the game with double figures as he finished off the night with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Many fans and sports commentators believed that it was the young Warriors inexperienced which ultimately cost them game 1. Argentinean Manu Ginobili begs to differ. “What happened in Game 1 wasn’t about their inexperience,” Ginobili said to the press after game 2 loss at the AT&T Center in downtown San Antonio. “It’s one of those things that happens very rarely. We shouldn’t have won that game. They came out hungrier and with more determination. They just did a much better job than us.” And he might be quite right, for all we know this series could have been 2-0 Golden State for all we know. Curry dominated from the start and if he can get the sort of support he’s receiving from Klay Thompson throughout the rest of the postseason, these guys could prove to be very hard to beat.
Sometimes, they say, the best offense is a though defense. No, actually, it goes the other way around. Well, forget the fact that you have the NBA scoring champion in your line-up, because even if Carmelo Anthony is having a good day, the Indiana Pacers defense can be a very difficult wall to overcome. Not only is the team physically bigger and stronger, the Pacers walked into the Madison Square Garden feeling good about themselves and that easily translated into a solid performance both in the offense and defense to take a 102-95 win over the New York Knicks. The Pacers were guided by center Roy Hibbert who finished the night with 14 points and 8 rebounds to spoil what could have been the Knicks first second round game since 2000, but truth be said, the Knicks never really had a chance.
Carmelo Anthony got into foul trouble early in the game, and without missing a beat, the Pacers defense kept on putting him in the spot. Sure he finished the night with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but he was banged up all night long and shot only 10 of 28 from the field with the little space that the Pacers gave him in any play. Point guard Raymond Felton had 18 points and 3 assists, but he knew quite well what the Pacers were all about last night. “Right now they’re just being really physical with him, they’re trying to bang him, they’re trying to frustrate him,” Felton said about the way the Pacers tried to take a couple blows at Melo. “But we’re going to be fine, he’s going to be fine.” They better be fine, as it really goes up hill for teams in the playoffs that lose the first game of the series at home.
David West scored 20 points and Paul George added 19 for the Pacers, who outrebounded the Knicks 44-30. D.J. Augustin had 16 points for the Pacers who managed to open up a 16-point lead in the third quarter when the Knicks were forced to sit down Carmelo Anthony who had gone into foul trouble early after the halftime break.
Shooting guard J.R. Smith has certainly seen better days in his career. Ever since that nasty elbow play with the Boston Celtics, he hasn’t been able to come back. Sure, he finished off the night with 17 points and 5 rebounds. But let’s not forget that those 17 points came from 4 of 15 shooting. Still, the Knicks hope that the rest of their team is going to be healthy before things get really complicated in the series. It seems as if neither Amare Stoudemire, who is recovering from knee surgery, nor Steve Novak, who is suffering with back spasms, are going to be back for game two at the Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. So a win on game two is a must for New York. That way, they can get some rest, have the series even at 1 game apiece before going to Indiana on Saturday. Perhaps by then, both Stoudemire and Novak are going to be back.
I guess they owed it to their fans, particularly after the tragedy that has hit the city of Boston this month. Facing a 3-0 deficit in the series and what most probably would end up been a first round sweep, the Boston Celtics came out with all they had to defend their home court and force a game 5. Paul Pierce guided the Celtics efforts with a brilliant performance that included 27 points, 43 rebounds and 3 assists. Jeff Green chipped in with 26 points and 6 rebounds. Veteran center Kevin Garnet finished the night with a solid performance that included 13 points and 17 rebounds.
But it was Jason Terry, the Celtics shooting guard, still probably feels a bit of pain from the elbow to the face he got on game three from the Knicks own shooting guard J.R. Smith. He took it personally, and he made sure that the Knicks paid for that dirty shot. Terry finished the night with 18 points and 4 assists, including the final 9 points in overtime to give the Celtics a brilliant 97-90 win at home over the New York Knicks.
J.R Smith got a one-game suspension by the league, and the Knicks could have quite clearly used some of his shooting abilities last night. Carmelo Anthony, as usual, guided the Knicks effort with 36 points. It was up to Raymond Felton to cover up for the lack of Smith and he gave the Knicks another 27 points. It wasn’t, however, a good overall game. New York made just 28.9 percent of its shots in the first half as Boston took a 54-35 lead. They managed to come back in the later part of the third quarter. The team rallied from a complicated 20-point deficit to tie the game and force Boston into overtime. But that was exactly when Jason Terry got his groove on, and things started to happen for the veteran team. “It wasn’t really the elbow,” Terry said in the postgame press conference. “It was more (like) this is it. I mean, the season’s over. You can leave it all out here tonight and go home for a long summer or you can live to play another day.”
Game 5 will be played in the Madison Square Garden in New York. The Celtics are still alive, but it is a long shot for this squad to make it into the second round. The Celtics still have a huge deficit in trying to become the first team to win after trailing a series 3-0 in the NBA playoffs. Certainly the odds are not in their favor, but so is the New York Knicks’s most recent history in the playoffs. As a matter of fact, New York is trying to win their first playoff series in 13 years. J.R. Smith will be back for the next game, and it’s unclear whether that will make a huge difference overall. One thing is for sure: the Celtics are going to need another performance like this from Terry and Green in order to give both Pierce and Garnett the backup they need to keep this squad rolling.