Around the NBA in 24 Seconds
by Robert Ferringo and Nolan Sinclair - 03/16/2009
Even though the NCAA Tournament starts this week the NBA season is heating up as teams are nearing the home stretch for the run to the playoffs. Once again, I give you Around the NBA in 24 Seconds.
24. Weekly Syracuse Orange Update: The Orange finished the season with a loss to Louisville in the Big East finals following two outstanding contests in the quarters and semis. If you didn't get a chance to see the game against UConn you missed what some are calling the Greatest Basketball Game Ever Played. (And by "some" I mean me!) Syracuse is the No. 3 seed in the East and they open with Steven F. Austin. GO ORANGE!
23. Many people, myself included, thought that the Hawks might suffer when Marvin Williams went down with a back injury. But we were wrong. The Hawks have covered four games in a row without Marvin and they are 6-1 ATS on the year without his services. Take note, however, that they are also 0-4 versus the total in their last four ATS wins. The Hawks defense has been smothering as of late.
22. The Detroit Pistons are 7-4 without Allen Iverson in the lineup this season and they are playing considerably better basketball as of late. However, they are now without Rasheed Wallace and this is a more significant injury. Detroit is 3-4 ATS on the season without Wallace and things don't look good moving forward as they have upcoming games at Dallas and at Houston.
21. The New York Knicks are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven contests with wins over three teams (Detroit, Milwaukee, and Atlanta) that are higher than them in the playoff standings. This Knicks team doesn't seem to be showing signs that they will give up their quest for the playoffs anytime soon so when you get some points with the Knicks take them and run.
20. Cleveland has clinched their first division title since 1976 and they did it with 16 games remaining in the regular season. The Cavs have been the stepchild of the Central Division for decades, as they had to deal with the Bad Boys of Detroit and MJ's Bulls. Now it seems as though King James has settled nicely onto his throne.
19. Only six games separate the sixth seed and the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference, while only five games separate the second seed and the eighth seed in the West. Wow.
18. Danny Granger is still struggling with his foot injury and it looks as if he may be out for another game or two, or possibly more. According to the Indiana medical staff, Granger had targeted Friday as his return date but he was still dealing with soreness in the foot. Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien said Granger isn't close to 100 percent. Indiana is 9-4 ATS on the season without Granger. The oddsmakers are buying into the fact that Granger is a key component of the Pacers offense, but you shouldn't because they are still a tough matchup without him.
17. Throughout the season I have kept you up to date on officials that you want to find when gambling on a line or a total, but I always tell you about the official that hits on 'overs' when discussing totals. This week find games that Marc Davis officiates and focus your attention on the 'under'. On the season Davis is 15-37 against the total.
16. Devean George is likely out for the season and this will worsen the Dallas Mavericks defense. Keep an eye on the Mavs upcoming totals, as the 'over' might be a profitable bet with George on the shelf.
15. News out of Washington is that Patrick Ewing has a shot at their head coaching position next season. All I know is, if they take one look at that new Snickers commercial they should hire Patrick in a second! You have got to love Patrick Chewing.
14. According the "Los Angeles Times," Shaq wants out of Phoenix. He is upset that they considered trading him last month and that they have returned to their up-tempo style of offense. I would call him the "Big Baby" but A) Glen Davis has dibs, and B) Shaq might rip my arms off.
13. Greg Popovich is becoming increasingly concerned about Manu Ginobili. This Thursday will be four weeks since Manu has been off his crutches and if he doesn't find himself on the court practicing the Pop will really start to worry. Spurs backers, however, will be sitting a little more at ease, as San Antonio is 14-11 ATS without Ginobili, which includes a 9-4 ATS run in their last 13 games.
12. According to Phil Jackson, Andrew Bynum is likely to only get six games of work prior to the postseason. This is actually good news for Lakers fans as those six games should be enough time to reacquaint Bynum with the offense and improve his wind. This is also good news for Lakers backers as they should be a solid home bet in the playoffs. L.A. is 11-9 ATS without Bynum on the season.
11. Luol Deng's second opinion on his shin injury was similar to the first: rest and rehabilitate. There is a chance we could see him again. Currently Chicago is on a 4-2 ATS run without Deng but they are just 6-9 ATS on the season without him. Deng is an integral part of this Chicago team as his leadership and defensive ability are significant. If Chicago makes the playoffs they will need Deng back in order to get out of the first round.
10. The Cavs, Magic, and Thunder are the only ones with a shot at getting to the 50 Win ATS Club and each one of them would have to play solid ATS basketball to get there. The Magic and Cavs need to play .500 basketball ATS to get there and the Thunder would have to go 10-6 ATS to reach the 50-win ATS plateau.
9. Kevin Durant is ready to return. He is no longer worried about his ankle but his wind is still an issue. The Thunder will welcome back their leading scorer with open arms as they still have a shot at the 2010 playoffs…sorry about that Thunder fans, that was mean. Oklahoma City was 5-2-1 ATS in the games that were affected by the Durant injury and they are 40-24-1 ATS on the year.
8. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new worst team in the NBA. I didn't think it would be possible for the Washington Wizards to not have this title bestowed upon them but the Sacramento Kings now own the league's worst record at 14-52. Congrats Maloof brothers, go drown your sorrows at one of your casinos.
7. Home favorites are an impressive money line bet as they are hitting in over 72 percent of their games. However, when covering spread they aren't as profit-worthy. Home faves are only covering 49 percent of their games overall.
6. The Minnesota Timberwolves are struggling to win games and cover lines as the season comes to a close. The Wolves are 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 contests. Minnesota is also just 3-7 versus the total in their last 10.
5. This may sound weird to many of us that have followed the NBA over the years but in the Central Division the Detroit Pistons are the only team that has a losing ATS record. The Pistons have only finished more than one game under. 500 once in the last six years.
4. The Utah Jazz won 12 games in a row at the end of February and the beginning of March but since then they have lost three in a row both straight up and after the spread. An interesting tidbit about the last three ATS losses is that they were all against current Eastern Conference playoff teams.
3. Out of all the games played this year 496 games have gone 'over' the total and 482 games have gone 'under' the total. The Toronto Raptors are 40-27 versus the total to lead the 'over' brigade, and the 26-34 Philadelphia 76ers are the best 'under' bet.
2. In the beginning of the year we talked about how big a mistake it was for the Washington Wizards to give Gilbert Arenas such a big contract, and Gilbert has done a great job of proving us right. It looks as though Arenas will not suit up this season. At the beginning of the year it was said that Gilbert was supposed to be back before the all-star break, and woe is the Wizards he won't come back at all. What a waste of money. I blame Gilbert Arenas for our depleted economy!
1. Check back next week for more Around the NBA in 24 Seconds.