After a nice, full, healthy day of NBA basketball on Martin Luther King Jr. Day I feel like the pro league has turned the corner on the season. Most teams have already turned the halfway pole on their year. Teams are coming out of the “dog days of winter” and now they are really starting to look at where they are, where they want to be, and how they want to get there. The ballin’ and the bettin’ is about to step up a notch
With that in mind here’s 24 Seconds Around the NBA:
24. News out of Portland is that Andre Miller may be on the move. Miller and Brandon Roy have not meshed as a backcourt duo, and the Portland brass need to make a move. The talk around town is that they would be interested in Jeff Foster, from Indiana, as he is a solid defensive post presence that could bang with Pau Gasol. Stay tuned.
23. The Toronto Raptors need to make a decision, and soon. It is pretty much known that Chris Bosh will be on his way out at the end of the season and if they sit on their hands it could be a huge mistake. There are teams interested in Bosh right now and they would be willing to make a trade at the deadline. If Toronto lets this season play out they should make the playoffs and have money to spend if Bosh leaves town, or they could make a trade and get a player with some decent talent like, say, Andrew Bynum…
22. The L.A. Clippers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games and they have been playing some solid all-around basketball. The Clippers have been known as one of the worst teams in the NBA since Al Gore was president (oops) yet in their last 11 games they have beaten Boston, Portland, L.A. Lakers, and Miami. If you take the one blowout loss at the hands of the Lakers then the Clippers have had a chance to win each, or have won all of the other 10 games. Keep an eye on them, as they seem to be clicking.
21. The New Orleans Hornets are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as an underdog. After a pretty ugly start this team is starting to scratch some of that potential.
20. Could Gilbert Arenas join the Orlando Magic? Magic GM Otis Smith has a personal relationship with Arenas and he has spoken with him lately about his “situation.” I for one hope that Arenas does end up in Orlando as he would ruin their chemistry, similar to the way Vince Carter has, and I would be correct on my prediction that the Magic wouldn’t be as good as MOST people thought they would.
Regardless, after watching what happened to Plaxico Burress and the Giants last year I don’t know how any pro athlete could be dumb enough to get busted with a gun.
19. There are only two teams in the Eastern Conference that are more than two games over .500 ATS. The Atlanta Hawks (26-14) and the Charlotte Bobcats (24-15) are also the two best ATS teams in the NBA.
18. In the six games since Danny Granger returned for the Indiana Pacers the fellows from the Pure Hoops State are both 4-2 ATS and 4-2 against the total. Indiana has failed to hit the century mark offensively just once in those six games.
17. Just to make all of you aware, the New Jersey Nets are 3-37 SU. I just laughed out loud by myself as I typed that. Good lord they are awful. How’d you like to be the guy that is sitting on an ‘over’ ticket with their season win total.
16. The Western Conference is already shaping out to be an absolute battle for spots 2-8. Just 4.5 games separate second place from 11th place. Now that Oklahoma City and Memphis have become impressive young teams, and New Orleans has righted the ship, the West has become wild yet again.
15. NBA oddsmakers have definitely earned their paychecks over the last month, as favorites are 103-104-4. Now that’s balanced action.
14. Early on this season Sacramento was one of the best ATS teams in the NBA. Their impressive play has stalled lately, as they are just 3-7-1 ATS and 2-9 S.U. in their last 11 games.
13. Ref Watch: The home team is 20-6-1 ATS in the 27 games that Eli Roe has officiated.
12. The L.A. Lakers are the owners of the NBA’s best record at 34-9. They are also on a fast track to the No. 1 seed in the East. But one team the Lakers do not want to meet in the playoffs is the Portland Trailblazers. The Lakers have lost nine straight games in Portland and they have not looked good in doing so. Portland will host the Lakers on Saturday, Feb. 6 as they try and run their streak to 10 games.
11. The Boston Celtics are 6-3 against the total in the nine games that Kevin Garnett has missed. Without their defensive stopper they tend to speed up the game both offensively and defensively.
10. Don’t look now but after losing 1,457,625 games in a row the Detroit Pistons are 3-1 both S.U. and ATS in their last four games. Up next for Detroit is two home games versus the Celtics and the Pacers.
9. Kevin Durant gets my vote for MVP. Durant is averaging 29 points per game and has scored more than 30 points in 12 of his last 15 games. Durant is also the heart and soul of an Oklahoma City Thunder group that sits five games over .500 after being the third-worst team in the NBA last season.
8. A buddy of mine has told me for the last three seasons to watch out for the Memphis Grizzlies. Every time I see him he goes on and on about Memphis and how they are a dangerous team. Every time I see him I try and tell him he is a moron. I saw him last night and when an NBA conversation came up he just smiled and said “I tried to tell you about the Grizzlies.” Memphis is 23-18 SU and 23-16-1 ATS this season.
7. Syracuse Orange Update: The Orange had a huge win in West Virginia on Saturday and followed it up with another road win at Notre Dame. Some of their youngsters are starting to play impressive basketball even though Arinze Onuaku can’t get out of his own way; I guess I should take it easy on him as he had a nice game versus Notre Dame. The Orange have a sneaky home game Marquette before a huge matchup with Georgetown. After beating the Mountaineers in West VA and the Irish on the road, I truly believe they are one of the best two teams in the country.
6. If you are playing a team from one of the southern divisions you better hope you are playing them at your place. Out of the 10 teams in the Southeast and Southwest Divisions seven of them are at least seven games over .500, and six of them are at least 10 games over .500 at home. All of them have a better than .500 mark ATS at home as well.
5. The L.A. Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Memphis Grizzlies are all interested in New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson. It will be difficult to get a trade done due to his base-year status but he could be a tremendous help to any of those squads.
4. There is a possibility that a big trade could be in the works between the Toronto Raptors and the Sacramento Kings. The Toronto Sun is reporting that the Raptors are considering sending Jose Calderon to Sacramento and receiving Kevin Martin in return. This would be a great move for Toronto as they have Jarrett Jack running the point right now, and doing a solid job at that. Martin would step into the starting shooting guard spot and Demar DeRozan would go to the bench. Man the Raptors could be scary come playoff time.
3. Home underdogs are 90-80 on the year. Over the last week they are 11-3 ATS.
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2. The Milwaukee Bucks went 44-37-1 against the total last season and that was primarily without the services of Michael Redd. Redd is out for the rest of this season and many people think it will hurt the Bucks offensive prowess. Keep an eye on their totals. If they dip a little the ‘over’ could be a sharp play.
1. Check back next week for more 24 Seconds Around the NBA.