Around the NBA in 24 Seconds
by Robert Ferringo and Nolan Sinclair - 12/09/2008
We all know what the Detroit Pistons have done with the Allen Iverson trade. You know, dismantling a dynasty with one swift and crucial decapitating blow. But here is exactly what the Pistons should have done prior to the Allen Iverson/Chauncey Billups trade:
Pistons Front Office: You think someone might have thought, "We are trading away our floor general, the guy that has lead us to two Central Division crowns and the NBA title in 2005. Not to mention the fact that we were inches away from going back-to-back but that Spurs team had just enough to beat us in Game 7. Chauncey was one of the main reasons for the success that this team has had since the early part of this decade. He is loved by the fans and the community and he does nothing but play hard for us night in and night out. He makes all of his teammates better and he is an unselfish player in a me-first league. Chauncey averages 18 points a game, gives out seven assists a game and shoots 90 percent from the free throw line. However, we will be getting Allen Iverson. This is a man that single-handedly took the 76ers to the NBA Finals and almost won a title. He is nearly unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor and he plays relentlessly when he is out on the court."
Mailroom Clerk: "Yeah, that is nice, but Allen Iverson hates practice, is only about himself, shoots a poor percentage from the floor and won't make any of our players better. Plus he knows that his salary will come off the books in a year and probably won't care how we do as long as he gets his."
Pistons Front Office: "Who is this clown, where do you work? The mailroom, get this kid out of here! What does this kid know? Lets do this trade!"
*Minutes later the Pistons and the 76ers announce that Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess have been traded for Allen Iverson.*
Jump Ahead to one month later: Detroit is 7-8 since the trade and 5 ½ games behind the Cavs in the Central Division. Denver is 12-4 since the trade and only a half game behind Portland in the Northwest Division.
Pistons Front Office: "Shit."
But the bottom line is that this trade was so ridiculous that if any portion of it had leaked out, the guy who cleans the toilets of the Palace or the guy who delivers the mail would have been able to tell Joe Dumars what a bad idea this was. It's as if Dumars got wasted at a lunch with Kevin McHale and Isaiah Thomas and they talked him into this one.
But I guess everyone is willing to throw away their season for LeBron James in 2010. And with that, I now give you 24 Seconds around the NBA:
24. Cleveland has won (and covered) eight games in a row by double figures. Five of those eight games they were favored by at least 11 points and covered in each of them.
23. After starting 6-1 ATS the Atlanta Hawks went 0-7 ATS. But since then they have covered in four of their last five games. I think having Josh Smith back from injury helps tremendously. This team will be around at the end of the season and if the Cavs and the Celtics aren't careful they might just get upset.
22. Not many people would have thought that the Knicks and the Nets would be above the 76ers and Raptors in December. Both the 76ers and the Raptors have some serious problems with their play of late so the Knicks and Nets might be above them for a little while longer.
21. Out of the top 15 teams in the league Denver, New Jersey, and Cleveland are the only teams that are at least three games above .500 ATS.
20. The Lakers and Celtics are a combined 36-5 S.U., but only 21-17 ATS. The oddsmakers are setting the lines extremely high in all Boston and L.A. games whether they are at home or on the road.
19. Dwight Howard is enormous! I can't get over how good this guy is or even could be if he could hit 70 percent from the foul line. He is averaging 22 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks a game and he only shoots 58 percent from the free throw line. Imagine the possibilities. He may be Shaq Lite.
18. Don't look now but Devin Harris is being mentioned in the early season MVP talk. Maybe the Nets did have a clue when they dumped Kidd for the much younger Harris.
17. If I am playing at home and I want to score a lot of points I want Joe Crawford as one of my officials. As of Dec. 6 Crawford was 8-2 against the total and the home team was 7-3 ATS in games he officiated.
16. The Utah Jazz are 5-3 ATS without All-Star forward Carlos Boozer. When he comes back this team is going to be really good. I mean, REALLY good. As in better than the good that they are now. And that's pretty good.
15. If the final four teams in the NBA are Boston versus Cleveland and the Lakers versus Utah we are all in for a treat. The Big Three versus LeBron and the team game of Utah versus Kobe and company.
14. San Antonio is healthy again and they look good. Ginobili and Parker are both back and they are getting back that championship swagger. They covered at Denver with a 17-point victory and followed that up with a 35-point win at home against Golden State. I really think playing without their stars has helped this team gel and will be a benefit in the long run.
13. Weekly Syracuse Orange check: 8-0 and now ranked 16th in the country. A huge game at Memphis looms Dec. 20, mark your calendars. I know mine is!
12. Golden State team leader Steven Jackson is playing through tremendous pain in his hand and it may cause him to miss some time. If this happens Golden State could be in even more trouble than they already are. This team doesn't defend and their run-and-gun-and-gun-and-gun style is getting old now that they don't have the talent to make it work.
11. Cleveland and Boston are the only two teams in the NBA that rank in the Top 10 both offensively and defensively. Hence the 37-5 combined record.
10. Home teams are only covering the spread at a 46 percent clip, but the Knicks, Cavs, Bucks, and Blazers are all three games over .500 at home.
9. The New Jersey Nets are 7-2 ATS on the road. This team is starting to surprise people and the oddsmakers will be making some adjustments very soon.
8. The Oklahoma City Thunder have changed their starting line-up to speed up the pace and it has resulted in an increase in scoring. The team is averaging 10 points a game more since the change and they have covered in seven of their last eight games.
7. Is it just me or is 2010 the only thing anyone in the NBA cares about? I guess with a free agent class of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and Joe Johnson I would be a little excited too.
6. Kevin Garnett was upset with Glen "Big Baby" Davis and the rest of the Celtics reserves when they began to squander their 29-point lead over Portland. Doc Rivers had to call timeout and put the starters back in. During the timeout Garnett yelled at Davis and following the timeout Davis could be seen crying on the bench. Now I get the nickname.
5. Only four teams in the Eastern Conference have a winning record against the total, compared to eight in the Western Conference.
4. Phoenix is now 10-1 when they score over 100 points and just 2-8 when they don't. Someone tell Terry Porter that he is hurting this team but slowing them down. Yet, if one looks deeper maybe it isn't just Terry Porter, Nash is getting older and Shaq slows down the pace. I think they should have just kept trying to outrun people. It was at least more fun for the fans.
3. I will be the first one to say it, or at least I like to take credit for things even if I am not…Houston is a better team without Tracy McGrady. Their bench is quickly becoming one of the better benches in the NBA. It's karma baby.
2. Don't look now but the Dallas Mavericks are starting to get hot. The Mavs have won nine of 10 games and have covered in seven of 10.
1. Check back next week for more Around the NBA in 24 Seconds.