Around the NBA in 24 Seconds
by Robert Ferringo and Nolan Sinclair - 03/10/2009
If you listen closely you can hear a very distinct sound vibrating through the halls of NBA stadiums across the country. No, it's not the sound of alimony and child support checks being cashed by ex-wives and mistresses. And no, it's not an echo from the empty seats in these hoops cathedrals caused by our recession. It's something deeper. Coarser.
That sound you hear is war drums beating. It's the sound of select teams gearing up for a final push to the playoffs and, for some, toward a World Championship. It's Money Time in the NBA regular season. And the action is heating up daily. This is the time where savvy bettors make a mint and where novices lose their rent. It's a great time to be alive and be a basketball junkie.
Well, unless you are a Washington Wizard.
Keep that in mind as we head Around the NBA in 24 Seconds:
24. Let's start this off on a very important note, the weekly Syracuse Orange Update: The Orange defeated Marquette in overtime on Saturday to finish the regular season 23-8 and 11-7 in the Big East. The Orange will play on Wednesday night in the second round of the Big East Tournament.
23. The Boston Celtics are 7-4 SU and 4-7 ATS on the season without Kevin Garnett. The C's have beaten New Orleans, Denver, Dallas, and Cleveland during Garnett's absence. Look for Boston to remain competitive while The Big Ticket is out, but if they are faced with big lines I would consider fading them pretty hard.
22. The Toronto Raptors have quietly become one of the better teams to find when wagering on a game. The Raptors are one of the leagues worst ATS teams at 23-39-2, yet one of the league's best at 38-26 against the total. The last five Raptors games have been ATS loses but they have all gone 'over' the total. Teams that quit on the season rarely dig deep on the defensive end and, thus, give up a lot of points.
21. The Detroit Pistons defeated Orlando, Boston, and Denver all in a five-day span to end the month of February and begin March. Look for Detroit to continue to find success in the second half of the season behind the leadership of Rip Hamilton, whom is back in the starting lineup.
20. Don't look now but the Charlotte Bobcats just broke their franchise record with their sixth win in a row. After defeating the Knicks on Saturday night the entire city of Charlotte hit the streets, torching cars, smashing windows, and screaming at police officers. Let me be the first to say congrats Charlotte, your franchise record winning streak is half of what the Jazz are currently on.
19. Ah, the ole' vet Joe Crawford has proven beneficial to those that wager on games that he officiates. Crawford's games are 30-13 against the total and if you can find one where the home team is favored by double digits the homers are 7-0 ATS.
18. The Phoenix Suns love to put points on the board when they are trying to revenge a loss. Over the last two seasons the Suns are 33-16 against the total when playing an opponent that beat them earlier in the season.
17. Dwyane Wade is this season's MVP. Case closed! I know that we did this last week as well, but I figured this is just a small way that I can show my appreciation for the display that this man is putting on this season.
16. When doing some research I found, from my friends at Statfox, that the Philadelphia 76ers love to play 'under' the total when playing a poor defensive team. Yes, you read that right, 'under' the total. The 76ers are 19-6 in their last 25 games against the total when they play a team that gives up 103 points per game or more.
15. It seems as though the Washington Wizards have finally given up on the season. Not only are they 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games but also they don't put up much of a fight regardless of their opponents. Out of their last four games they have only scored over 89 points once.
14. To quote Garth Brooks, "The thunder rolls." In the first half of the season Oklahoma City was one of the best bets in the NBA as they played the roll of the puppy extremely well. Well, to make a long story short, they have continued that first half success. The Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games and that is without Kevin Durant.
13. Just in case you were wondering, Charles Barkley has finished his three-day prison sentence without having to put on the county's signature pink underwear. Yes, you read that right, pink underwear.
12. Josh Howard is hurt again for the Dallas Mavericks and that is not good news for Mavs fans. Dallas is just 6-10 ATS on the season without Howard. The injury doesn't appear to be too serious but he could miss a few games.
11. Jamal Crawford's stint with Golden State doesn't look like it's going to last past this season. According to numerous team sources if Crawford doesn't opt out of his contract he will be traded at the end of the season. This is an interesting decision as when Crawford and Monta Ellis were in the backcourt together this Warriors team was dangerous.
10. News around San Antonio is that Manu Ginobili could be out another three weeks. On the season the Spurs are a boring 12-10 ATS but they are 8-14 versus the total. If Manu does miss three more weeks the 'under' would be a solid bet moving forward.
9. An interesting trend developing in the NBA this season is, teams that have the best ATS record are getting outscored by their opponents. Out of the top eight ATS teams in the league, six are getting outscored by their opponents. Looks like defense is overrated in the NBA.
8. San Antonio, Utah, Denver, Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando are the only teams over .500 with an ATS record of four or more games over .500.
7. The New Orleans Hornets are playing some great basketball as of late, winning seven of their last eight games. Don't let this hot streak fool you at the window though as they are just 3-5 ATS over those eight games. The Hornets have had to deal with lines of 8.5 or more in four of those contests.
6. You have got to love the Shaq/Stan Van Gundy feud. Van Gundy feels that Shaq flopped during their recent contest and he voiced his concerns to the media following the game. The best part was Shaq's rebuttal and how he compared Dwight Howard to one of my all-time favorites Patrick Ewing. According to Shaq, " He (Dwight Howard) came with the same old, stale Patrick Ewing move so I tried to stand there and take the charge. The new rules say if you come through, you fall. But as I fell, I realized that it was a flop and it reminded me of Coach Van Gundy's whole coaching career. The one thing I despise is a frontrunner. First of all, none of his players like him. When it gets tough, he will become the master of panic like he did before and he will quit like he did before.
"I see him (Howard) and Stan complaining the whole game because they have to. I've done more than him, his brother and Patrick Ewing. Stan Van Gundy reminds me of a broke navigational system. He knows everything about everything but ain't never been nowhere." This is just classic! Gotta love Shaq!
5. The Dallas Mavericks were eight point favorites the other night in their contest with the Oklahoma City Thunder and they lost outright. Mark Cuban issued a warning after the game that if this sorry play doesn't improve, there will be wholesale changes. If this doesn't light a fire under some of the players I don't know what will. Cuban is a maniac and he would trade his mother if he could.
4. News out of Portland is that Greg Oden may be out for the remainder of the season as he is experiencing pain in his chipped kneecap. Portland is currently 5-5 ATS without Oden. Let's be honest here. The reason he is hurting is because he is 49 years old and people his age have no business in professional sports.
3. Keep an eye on the Memphis Grizzlies. They are filled with young talent and they seem to always play to the final buzzer. The Grizz are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
2. The Houston Rockets are a tricky team to figure out. Houston is 27-6 straight up at home on the season but just 15-17-1 ATS. Oddsmakers are taking into account how good they are when playing in front of their home crowd and because of that they face big lines each night. The Rockets are filled with veterans that like their rest when they have sizable leads late in games allowing teams to get a backdoor cover.
1. Check back next week for more Around the NBA in 24 seconds.