Playing the NBA Stock Market: Buy or Sell
by Josh Nagel - 11/17/2008
Sometimes, betting on the NBA can be a lot like buying and selling in the stock market. If you're not careful, it can have dire consequences, but if you look carefully and do your homework, you can be handsomely rewarded.
What's more, betting on the NBA also requires the same sort of patience that Wall Street investors need to realize their fortunes. Most NBA teams, much like the games in which they play, come and go in streaks and it's easy to give up on a team if it hits a rough patch. But often, determining a good value in a club and sticking with them is the way to go.
Here is the first edition of Playing the NBA Stork Market: Buy or Sell, in which we'll look at a few teams that might be worth an investment and others that you might want to stay away from for the time being.
Cleveland Cavaliers - It pains me to admit this, as I find the Cavs to be extremely proficient at presenting the league's most boring team despite having its most dynamic player. However, it can't be ignored that they have won seven in a row, covering in five of those, and have winnable games coming up against the Nets and Hawks, sandwiched around a visit to Detroit. Cleveland currently is 7-3 ATS and 7-3 against the over.
Milwaukee Bucks - The Bucks are just 5-6 straight up, but they are an impressive 8-3 ATS. This is a team to look out for because it probably still won't get a lot of respect from the oddsmakers for a while, but this team has long had better talent than its record suggests, and noted NBA bad cop Scott Skiles is the right guy to demand that they start getting the most out of their potential.
Golden State Warriors - Undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow came out of nowhere to score 37 in a win over the Clippers, and he is just the latest bright spot in what could be shaping up as a breakout year for the Warriors. Suspended guard Monta Ellis has yet to play and forward Al Harrington is on the trade block, and yet a core that includes Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette and Andris Bierdrins, who might be the league's most underrated big man, have things headed in the right direction. Home games against Portland and Chicago this week are worth a look.
San Antonio Spurs - Even at full strength, this team was destined to struggle this year. But with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli out with injuries, there will be only so much that Tim Duncan's talent and Gregg Popovich's sheer will can do for this team. Stay away until further notice.
Dallas Mavericks - Rick Carlisle inherits an aging team whose prime is in the rear-view mirror, and he may soon have to decide whether Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd are enough firepower for one more run. Otherwise, it's close to rebuilding mode. They were put there by the ill-advised trade of Devin Harris for Kidd, and this team is still reeling from the move. The Mavs are 3-7 ATS and the outlook doesn't appear bright.
Los Angeles Clippers - By signing Baron Davis, the Clippers brought on board a guy that really likes to shoot the ball to go along with … players like Tim Thomas and Al Thornton, who each really like to shoot the ball, too. Meanwhile, a guy who should get the ball a lot more, Chris Kaman, doesn't see it nearly enough. The cash given to Davis would have been better spent to keep Elton Brand in town. Instead, the new-look Clippers are back to their familiar look in the standings, going 1-8 overall and ATS.