Around the NBA in 24 Seconds
by Robert Ferringo and Nolan Sinclair - 03/02/2009
The economy has definitely started to take its toll on the NBA just as it has on the rest of the real world. The league has lined up $200 million to give to NBA teams that are in need of some financial assistance. The NBA is going to distribute between $13-$20 million to the 12 teams that need help. The money can be used in any way, but it will help teams deal with operational losses due to the slumping economy.
This information won't have much of an impact on the rest of this season because we are already past the NBA trade deadline. It certainly will be interesting to see how the feeble economy and shaky standing of some NBA franchises will effect some college players' decisions to leave early and enter the NBA Draft. Also, this will have a significant impact on the free agency market this summer, similar to what we saw occur in Major League Baseball.
This is the NBA's way to show that they are staying strong during a financial crisis. According to NBA Commissioner David Stern, "this is exactly the opposite of a bailout. This was a show of strength in the credit worthiness of the NBA."
With all of this said, I give you a zero percent financing edition of Around the NBA in 24 seconds.
24. Just when we thought the Detroit Pistons were being left for dead they took our advice and returned Rip Hamilton to the starting lineup. I know this was done because AI got hurt, but who really cares why they did it, just that they did it. Detroit has won two straight games outright and three straight against the spread since Rip has gotten the start with wins over Boston and Orlando. If Rip stays in the starting five than success should return to the Pistons.
23. I know I spoke about this earlier in the year, but man the "birdman" is a psycho, and I don't mean Larry Bid. Chris Anderson for the Denver Nuggets is absolutely out of his mind. He has every single color from the Crayola 64 pack on his arms and he is third in the NBA in blocked shots. Gotta love the "birdman" and what he's bringing to the Nuggets every night.
22. Out of all the NBA Trends on the season (favorites, underdogs, 'overs', 'unders') none are hitting at higher than 51.2 percent. Damn the oddsmakers are good.
21. News out of Oklahoma City is that Kevin Durant looks to be out for up to a month. Throughout this season teams have played great basketball without their best players but in this situation I don't see the Thunder recovering from this one. Oklahoma City is currently 1-1 ATS without Durant but the win came against Memphis, who is equally as bad.
Also, Jeff Green is battling a sore back. He is out for Monday's game against Dallas and this could be a lingering issue: not bad enough to knock him out, but tough to play through. Green and Durant are OKC's two leading scorers and their best two players. Some teams raise their game when they lose their best players. But I don't think the Thunder are deep enough to weather this storm.
20. The Boston Celtics had found great success playing without Kevin Garnett last year and that has continued this year. However the only thing we care about is how they fare ATS and Boston is only 2-3 on their current run without The Big Ticket and Garnett is out for at least another few games.
19. Luol Deng is currently day-to-day for the Chicago Bulls and this doesn't spell good news for Bulls backers. The boys from the Windy City are just 2-7 ATS on the season without Deng. Keep an eye on Bulls games in which Luol sits.
18. The Golden State Warriors have become a hot bet as of late when they are a dog. The bite of this puppy could get considerably less scary if all of their stars continue to miss time. Jamal Crawford, Andris Biedrins, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Brandan Wright are all nicked up for the Warriors.
17. The start of February didn't look too promising for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they opened the month just 2-3 ATS, including three losses in a row. But since that streak the Cavs have gone 6-1 ATS to end the month.
16. News around the NBA is that a big free agent forward may have their contract bought out and the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in acquiring said forward. The name wasn't released at first but after further research we found out that Drew Gooden is the player being discussed. If the Cavs can land Gooden teams will have to make their run to the title through Cleveland. (Oh, and god help Chicago if they run into Gooden with the Cavs.)
15. Shaq had a huge game versus the Raptors in a Phoenix 133-113 win. The Big Cheater had 45 points but Chris Bosh said Shaq wasn't playing fairly. Bosh complained that Shaq just camped out in the lane and their officials wouldn't call three seconds. This is classic, the Raptors lose and Bosh says, "That's not fair, they cheated!" Nice!
14. The Houston Rockets are playing some solid basketball as of late and the trade of Rafer Alston has been a benefit to this team. Aaron Brooks has done an outstanding job as the starting point guard but he was very close to not having the job. Just before the Alston deal, a trade fell apart that would have sent Alston and Ron Artest to the Clippers for Baron Davis. When Tracy McGrady got hurt the Rockets decided not to pull the trigger. If I were a Houston fan I would be thanking my lucky stars that this trade didn't happen. This team is just fine with Brooks at the one and more of the spotlight on Artest and Yao.
13. The Utah Jazz are now healthy and winning. Utah is 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. If this team stays healthy they will be tough to beat come playoff time. If I was the L.A. Lakers I would be very nervous.
12. Scott Foster is 33-14 versus the total on the season. The teams are combining for 202.2 points in games he officiates. Phil Robinson has continued to earn his "homer" title as the home teams are 27-13 ATS in games he refs.
11. Dwayne Wade is this year's MVP, hands down, no question about it! Just look what he did to the Knicks when New York pissed him off over the weekend. He outscored them BY HIMSELF in the fourth quarter and led his team to a five-point comeback win.
10. Weekly Syracuse Orange Update: The Cuse just absolutely destroyed St. Johns and Cincinnati after they dropped out of the Top 25. The Orange will end their regular season with games at home versus Rutgers and on the road versus Marquette. As of now they are seventh in the Big East at 21-8 (9-7).
9. The Phoenix Suns are back to "seven seconds or less" on offense and their players are enjoying themselves much more than they were. The only thing is the major proponent of this style is out for the year. Oh well, the Suns are now 5-2 SU now that they have sped up their offense and they are averaging 128 points a game. I like to watch this style but we all know that this doesn't win championships.
8. If the Detroit Pistons let AI and Rasheed Wallace walk and if Kwame Brown doesn't pick up his player option they will be $22 million under the salary cap. One of the big names would immediately make this Detroit teams one of the best in the NBA.
7. The Celtics finally did it. The finally bit the bullet and added Stephon Marbury. I know they had to wait for the buyout from the Knicks but you and I both know that if they really wanted him earlier it would have taken place a long time ago. This will be interesting to watch, as Marbury is a bum on a team filled with champions. Lets see what trait wins out.
6. Don't look now but the New Orleans Hornets are starting to get hot. New Orleans has won four games in a row as Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler are regaining their 2008 compatibility. Before we get excited we need to take a look at the most important part of this streak: the fact that they are 0-4 ATS. The Hornets are winning games but not covering the high lines that they are facing.
5. The Dallas Mavericks welcome Jason Terry back tonight and he couldn't have come back at a better time. The Mavs only have a game and half lead over the ninth seeded Phoenix Suns and they were just 4-4 ATS without Terry. Look for the Mavs to make a push late in the season, as many of their bench players got extra time in Terry's absence and they played good basketball in his stead.
Speaking of the Mavs, do yourself a favor and watch one of their home games. When the TV crew scans over the crowd you will see some HOT looking women!
4. The LA Clippers have been on the receiving end of eight lines of nine points or higher since Jan. 25 and they are 1-7 ATS in those eight games.
3. The New Jersey Nets have been on fire versus the total as of late. In the Nets last seven games they are 7-0 versus the total. The Nets are also 3-0 ATS in their last three games. Each of these games was against excellent competition as New Jersey was victorious against the Hornets, Bulls, and 76ers.
2. Only 10 of the 30 NBA teams are at least five games over .500 ATS on the season. The Cavs, Magic, Thunder, Bobcats, and Bucks are all 10 games over .500 ATS. Is it possible to bet against everyone every night?
1. Check back next week for another edition of Around the NBA in 24 Seconds.