Tag: NBA betting blog
The Chicago Bulls are fighting against the odds. Very few people out there believe this team has the stamina and the courage to beat the Brooklyn Nets. On the one hand, the Nets hold home court advantage throughout this best of seven series of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. On the other, it is clear that they will have to keep on going without their best player, Derrick Rose.
It hasn’t made much of a difference however, and despite losing their first two games on the road at Brooklyn, the Bulls gave it all they had to take this vital win at the United Center in Chicago behind Carlos Boozer and his 22 points, 16 rebounds and 3 assists. It wasn’t a pretty game, it lacked that luster that makes the NBA the perfect place for the exciting highlight reel worthy plays. Still, it was the sort of game that the Bulls needed to take a 76-79 win over the Brooklyn Nets to shorten the deficit in the series.
Chicago really needs to work around the schedule and win the next two games if they hope to make it into the next round. There’s no doubt that winning at home is a must for Chicago, and taking the next road game is what could turn this 2-1 deficit into a first round playoffs upset. Loul Deng, on the other hand, chipped in with 21 points and 10 rebounds to help starve off the Nets who gave it all they had to close down the gap late into the fourth quarter. Deng is one of those players that will not be making the highlight reels anytime soon. He plays in the background but he is as vital as any player could be for his team.
He was the guy who got Chicago rolling strong in the third quarter for the second consecutive game. The All-Star forward scored 12 points in the first 4 minutes after the halftime break seemingly making life a living hell for Gerald Wallace who was trying to stop him on the other end. In the third period, the Bulls turned a seven-point halftime advantage into a 16-point lead.
“I had a few good minutes,” Deng said about his performance in the postgame press conference. “I felt like I could have shot the ball a lot better. I don’t know how many minutes, seven or so of great minutes. They could have sent me home after that.” The Brooklyn Nets would give it one last shot in the fourth quarter and behind Brooke Lopez, who finished the night with 22 points and 9 rebounds, including eight points in a 10-2 spree that got Chicago withing 77-74 with 14.4 seconds left in the game. The Bulls didn’t break under pressure and they managed to control the game in clutch time. Nate Robinson and Joakim Noah each hit a free throw in the final seconds of the game. The Nets had one last chance to push for a tie and into overtime but guard C.J. Watson air-balled an open 3 at the buzzer and the Bulls took this vital win at home.
The LA Lakers have been able to turn a very mediocre first half of the season and managed to qualify into the postseason. Most of that success can be traced down to one phenomenal player, the veteran Kobe Bryant. He has played many minutes, averaging 35 plus minutes per game in the last few weeks. And because of that, and his ability to score under pressure, the Lakers are now 43-37 for the season. On LA’s latest win, Bryant had 34 points and 5 rebounds, but even though he pushed his body to it’s limits, pretty much playing all of the second half with obvious pain in his left leg. But with 3:06 to go in a game where the home team took a 118-116 win over the Golden State Warriors, Bryant’s Achilles tendon gave in, and he had to be carried out of the court after shooting a pair of free throws with one leg.
Before that injury, however, Bryant hyperextended his left knee early in the third quarter. He managed to come back and keep on giving his team a good fight, as the Lakers are fighting it to the end with the Utah Jazz for the last spot in the playoffs in the Western Conference. But in what seemed to be an easy drive into the paint, Bryant went to the ground, holding his ankle. After the game, Bryant could be seen talking to the press, on crutches, as he left the Lakers locker room. Bryant called it the most disappointing injury of his career “by far.” He even said that at one moment he tried to put some weight on his left leg, to see if maybe he could walk. It became evident to him right there that this one was going to cost him the rest of the season. “We worked so hard to put ourselves in position and control our fate,” he said in an impromptu press conference on his way out of the Staples Center. “I certainly have done a lot of work to prepare myself. It’s just bad luck.”
This is one though player. No one doubts that this is serious. After all, Bryant is the man behind this steam. He is the man who makes this engine works. Forget the other Lakers stars, truth is that while Pau Gasol and Steve Nash have missed long stretches of play with injuries this season, and while Dwight Howard struggled to recover completely after last year’s back surgery, it was Kobe who kept this boat from sinking. Bryant played through a sprained ankle and countless minor woes to keep the Lakers chances of making it into the playoffs alive. They are there now, but without Kobe, they might as well just call it a season when the regular season ends.
“MRI, surgery and then recovery,” Bryant said to the press before undergoing surgery this Saturday in the afternoon. He is expected to be out anywhere from 6 to 9 months. “I was really tired, man. Just tired in the locker room and dejected and thinking about this mountain to overcome. I mean, this is a long process and wasn’t sure I could do it. Then your kids walk in and you’re like, ‘I need to set an example. Daddy is going to be fine.’ I can do it. Work hard and just go from there.”
It wasn’t easy that’s for sure. For a moment there it seemed as if once again the Miami Heat would end up losing to a team that has no chances of making it into the postseason. But at the end of the day, the Heat came back, played like the NBA defending champions they are and gave us a little glimpse of something we usually don’t see. LeBron James took the decisive game-winning shot that put the Heat over the edge against the Orlando Magic in a stunning 97-96 matchup at South Beach. LeBron James has been criticized over and over for his lack of performance in clutch situations. Sure he is among the finest players to have played the game, there really is no doubt about that. And yet, it seems as if he goes a little shy when it comes to making that decisive shot. Well, not this time.
The Orlando Magic had managed to turn a 20-point deficit and turn things around in a very dominant third quarter to take the lead on the road against the most dominant team in the Eastern Conference. That is certainly a huge feat for a team that at 17-45 is certainly not at it’s finest, but that has shown that they have the potential to play well even if their biggest star, Dwight Howard, has moved to the LA Lakers. It was a though loss for the Magic. They really fought for this game, they gave it their best. It just wasn’t enough despite a solid performance from their starters. Nik Vucevic guided Orlandos’s efforts with 25 points and 21 rebounds. Yes, that’s the second time in his career that Vucevic records 20+ rebounds: both times against the Miami Heat.
The Magic got plenty of help from their point guard Jameer Nelson who had 16 points and 14 rebounds in a good all-around performance. Tobias Harris also added 16 points for the Magic and, Arron Afflalo and Maurice Harkless had 13 and 12 points each respectively.The Orlando Magic are now 0-2 for the season against the Miami Heat. But to be fair, both games have been loss by less than three points. “This is tough,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said in the postgame press conference. “You’ve got guys who battled, who really wanted to win this game and deserved to win this game.”
LeBron James guided the Heat efforts with 26 points and 3 rebounds including the go-ahead layup after getting past DeQuan Jones with 3.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The fine tuned Dwayne Wade had 24 points for the night as he now records his 7th game shooting over 62%. Chris Bosh chipped in with 17 points and 10 rebounds, to round up the Miami Heat’s Big Three performances. It was a bit alarming that they let the game get out of their hands so badly in the third quarter. And it was a bit alarming how dominant under the paint Vucevic was in that period. He recorded 10 rebounds in that period alone. Compare that with three boards from the entire Miami Heat crew. Just a little something head coach Erik Spoelstra should look at before the postseason kicks in.
Well, it seems that the Jeremy Lin’s successful but short run with the New York Knicks has come to an end. Earlier last week, the Houston Rockets made a big offer to Jeremy Lin to join its troops, and for a moment there it seemed as if the young player who came undrafted from Harvard and that became a sudden sensation in February, turning things around for the Knicks when both Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were not at their best is now going to move on to the Houston Area. A week earlier it seemed really hard to believe that the New York Knicks would not give a fight for Lin’s services. After all, it was them who took the chances of brining him on, and it was them who had really discovered the full potential of this fast-paced point guard. At the end, however, the $25 million, three-year offer from the Houston Rockets was a little too much for the Knicks organization.
The problem is not the overall amount, but the wording in the contract set up byt the Houston Rockets. In his third year at Houston, Jeremy Lin could make as much as $14.8 million, more than half of what his three year deal will bring. Now, the issue here is that if the Knicks went on to equal that offer, because of the luxury tax, it will cost the Knicks somewhere around $30 million to get Lin playing that year. The big issue here is that Lin might ultimately cost the New York Knicks more than $30 million just around the time they would have to give up a combined $62 million for Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.
Knowing that Jeremy Lin was certainly out of the picture, the Knicks went ahead and got a little backup. The Knicks just signed Jason Kidd for three years and re-acquired Raymond Felton for three years, after they had sent him over to the Denver Nuggets as part of the multi-player transaction that landed Carmelo Anthony in the Madison Square Garden a season earlier. Now, the Knicks do realize that Jeremy Lin has potential, but then again, it’s unclear if that means that Lin will in three years become the next Rajon Rondo or Chris Paul for that matter.
Don’t get us wrong. The kid certainly is got game. Let it there be no doubt, we’ve got this one straight: any NBA player, even more, any rookie who can score 38 point against the Los Angeles Lakers, and who can follow that with 28 points and 14 assists on the Dallas Mavericks (the defending champions, at that) and who averaged more than 14 points and 7 assists in 25 NBA matches certainly has his game.
Last season, Jeremy Lin, made $788,000 last season and was crashing in one of his teammates sofas in New York City. He averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 35 games with 25 starts before his season was cut short because of surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. He didn’t came back in the postseason. He was either too worried to get injured again and risk a new signing, or he was just not willing to play at 85% in the playoffs and appear weak before a new signing. Whatever his reasons, let’s only hope he can deliver in the Western Conference.