24 Seconds Around the NBA
by Robert Ferringo and Nolan Sinclair - 11/2/2009
The NBA is finally here and a few things have caught my eye as the first few jump balls hit the air. One, the good teams are really good. And two, the bad teams are really bad. If this sounds at all familiar I know why: it is just like the NFL this season. But we'll have to wait and see if double-digit favorites will have as much success on the hardwood as they have had on the gridiron.
Many players changed addresses over the summer and the rich definitely got richer. The Cavs and the Lakers seem to have made the biggest noise this offseason but both seem to be starting out a little slower than anticipated. Cleveland can right their ship very easily, as LeBron needs to realize that passing the ball less will help them sky right back to the top of the totem pole. Out West, L.A. has it tough as night in and night out they will face the best that their opponents have to offer. For many of the cellar dwellers a matchup with the Lakers is like their NBA Finals.
But those are just two of the many subplots that are already starting to take shape.
If you haven't taken advantage of the free NBA League Pass you should be ashamed of yourself. Not only are the best players in the game even better, but we have also had the opportunity or the pleasure of watching some newcomers strut their stuff. All in all it was an enjoyable, and hopefully profitable, first week of the season.
Ladies and gentlemen, I now give to you 24 Seconds Around the NBA:
24. Carmelo Anthony is incredible. Anthony is averaging 35.5 points per game to start the year and it looks as though it is just the beginning. A friend of mine said that Carmelo Anthony is like Dominique Wilkins with a better jump shot and a that he is a better rebounder. I started to argue with him and then decided I couldn't. Is Carmelo already better than Nique? Wow, that's ballsy, but I like it.
23. If the Washington Wizards can stay healthy this season they have the capabilities to make some noise and fill some wallets. Their team is deep and explosive on the offensive side of the ball. They have already lost Antwan Jamison for a few weeks and Caron Butler missed their last game. Like I said: if they can stay healthy. When they have a full squad they can beat anyone.
22. Do yourself a favor and watch the highlight of Manu Ginobili swatting a bat out of mid-air. It is fantastic.
21. Andre Blatche of the Washington Wizards has come out of the gates like a lion. Blatche is averaging 21 points and 6.3 rebounds over the first three games of the season and he looks impressive doing so. His length and athletic ability are now coming to fruition for the 23 year old that went right to the NBA from high school.
20. The 'under' has hit in over 62 percent of all non-overtime games thus far this season. If totals start to dip a bit don't shy from the 'over' play. Many teams made changes in the offseason and they will need to kick off the rust and get used to playing with their new teammates.
19. The Houston Rockets sent Ron Artest packing and they have been without the services of both Tracy McGrady, out until at least the end of November, and Yao Ming, out for the rest of his life. In steps Trevor Ariza and his 23.3 point per game and Houston doesn't look as bad as we all thought they would. The Rockets are 2-1 and tied for first after the first week of the season.
18. Note to the rest of the NBA: don't sleep on the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are better than you think.
17. Normally during the 24 Seconds Around the NBA I give you a Syracuse Orange update. Since they aren't playing yet I will let you know that Carmelo Anthony, Jonny Flynn, and Hakim Warrick have combined to average 67.5 points per game over the first week of the season.
16. Is it just me or do the Cleveland Cavaliers look old and sluggish? If I were LeBron I would just tell everyone to get out of my way and let me shoot every time down the floor.
15. The NBA's Atlantic Division is 10-5 versus the total.
14. The Dallas Mavericks have always been known as one of the best home teams in the NBA. However this season Dallas lost their home opener to the Wizards but won their first two road games at the Clippers and at the Lakers. Must be nice to not have to leave your hotel when you have to play two road games.
13. Richard Hamilton missed both Friday and Saturday's games with a sprained right ankle. Both games resulted in a Pistons loss and his status is up in the air for Tuesday's contest versus the Magic. Detroit offense has struggled without Hamilton and if he continues to miss time we have a great opportunity on our hands with the totals and playing against Detroit.
12. The New York Knicks are 0-3 SU, and 0-3 ATS. They are, however, 3-0 versus the total. Keep an eye on their totals, as they will become inflated very soon. This Knicks team plays absolutely no defense, but if they are matched up versus a defensive ball club they will struggle to score, as they love to force shots.
11. The Phoenix Suns are averaging over 115 points per game yet they are 0-2 versus the total heading into Sunday nights game versus Minnesota. The Suns will have a difficult time beating the total as they have seen it posted at 217.5, and 233 in their first two games.
10. Chris Bosh is doing his best to show the people of New York that they might want him instead of LeBron James. Bosh is averaging 31 points, 14.7 rebounds and one block per game over the first week of the season. I watched him play versus the Magic Sunday and he is an absolute stud.
9. Earlier we spoke about how well Trevor Ariza has been playing for the Rockets and yet we haven't mentioned his replacement on the Lakers. Ron Artest is averaging just more than six points a game for LA and the Lakers look "awkward" on the floor. Did they make a mistake? Only time will tell.
8. Home favorites are 20-7 SU and 17-10 ATS heading into Sunday's games.
7. Delonte West is back for the Cleveland Cavaliers and not a moment too soon. The Cavs have looked sluggish over the course of their first few games and they need the services of West badly. West is struggling with bipolar disorder and some off-court incidents and he may miss games throughout the season. If he misses time keep an eye on the Cavs' lines, as they are not the same team without Delonte.
6. Devin Harris will be out at least a week with a sore groin. New Jersey is already 0-1 without Harris as the Wizards beat them by 19 Friday. The Nets line should be pretty hefty over the next few games, but don't be scared to lay the points as New Jersey doesn't have much left in the cupboard without their speedy guard. Over the course of this week the Nets are scheduled to play at Charlotte, and at Philly, and home games versus Denver and Boston.
5. The Miami Heat are Top 10 in the NBA in ATS rankings, points for, field goal percentage, rebounding margin, and total team defense. Last year Miami was a solid home play but if they keep this up they will be a solid play regardless of their jersey color.
4. They say that defense wins championships. If that is the case it looks like Boston Celtics will be raising another banner to the rafters. I know it is early but the Celtics defense looks scary good. Boston is giving up a meager 79.3 points per game.
3. Heading into last night's games the NBA's Southeast Division is 11-2 ATS, with only Charlotte and Washington failing to cover a line. This makes perfect sense considering that is one of the most competitive divisions in basketball.
2. For all the talk about the referees and their contract situations I have limited my focus to their actual performance on the court. Ed Malloy is both 3-0 ATS for the home team and 3-0 versus the total. Scott Foster is in a similar position in that he is also 3-0 ATS for the home team, but he is 0-3 versus the total. A lot of points for Malloy and a little for Foster means money for us.
1. Check back next week for more 24 Seconds Around the NBA.
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