24 Seconds Around the NBA
by Nolan Sinclair with Robert Ferringo - 2/16/2010
The first “half” of the NBA season is in the books and now we’re into Money Time. The stretch run is quite pronounced in the NBA season and over the next couple months it’s going to be an all-out scramble as teams try to find their way into the Second Season.
But there are always more dynamics at work beyond teams fighting to find their way into the playoffs. As we’ve already seen, trades can completely alter the dynamic of any division or conference race. We have teams mailing it in to boost their draft positions, other teams will be shaving salary to try to cut into the millions they are already hemorrhaging, and still other teams will catch lightning in a bottle and enjoy the role of “spoiler” or “playoff party crasher” with a late-season push.
With that in mind, here is 24 Seconds Around the NBA:
24. The Cleveland Cavaliers had won 13 games SU heading into the break. The Cavs were also 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games during the streak. The rumor out of Cleveland is that they are making a strong push for Amare Stoudemire. If this trade goes through we may never see Cleveland lose again.
23.The Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards just completed a seven-player deal. Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and Deshawn Stevenson are now wearing Mavericks uniforms and Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton are now playing in our nation’s capital. Many people are going to love the Mavs now but the trade doesn’t make them that much better. Howard and Gooden were key pieces and I’m not sure that Butler makes up for that. Also, Haywood has been a model of inconsistency. Be wary.
22. Over the last month away dogs are winning at a 56-percent clip. At 88-68-5 ATS it seems that the books are overvaluing the home teams a bit.
21. Nate Robinson won his record-breaking third dunk title over the NBA All-Star Weekend. This year’s dunk contest could possibly be the worst that I have ever seen. The watered down version featured Robinson and three others players that no one really cares about. DeMar Derozan, Gerald Wallace, and Shannon Brown all had no business being in the contest and if the NBA doesn’t do something soon it may become extinct. In fact, I think that it might work in the NBA’s favor to either A) cancel it for a few years and then make it that much more exciting when it comes back, or B) invite non-NBA players in.
20. The Oklahoma City Thunder are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games including 12-3 ATS in their last 15 roadies.
19. I really can’t stand Zach Randolph. He has had an outstanding season but he seems to just loaf around the court playing zero defense and just waiting for his teammates to do all the work to get him an open 15-footer. Maybe I am overreacting a bit but I really don’t like him.
18. The Atlanta Hawks are 18-9 ATS at home this season but they open up the second half of the season with four straight road games versus Western Conference teams. The Hawks are .500 ATS against the Western Conference this season and we might be able to bank against them.
17. Rumors out of New York are that the Kicks could have some interest in signing Tracy McGrady long term. This seems like something that Isaiah Thomas would have done. He didn’t take the team back over, did he?
16. Since the Chicago Bulls historic five-game road winning streak versus over .500 Western Conference teams they are just 2-4 ATS. That, my friend, is lightning in a bottle.
15. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 18. Have your calendars marked as the Mavs/Wizards trade has sparked the flames for many teams. This should be an interesting week.
14. In the last seven days leading up to the break away teams were 32-15-2 ATS. That is good for a winning percentage of over 68 percent. Early in the season teams playing their home openers were solid wagers, and the first game out of the break is similar to the home opener as teams are rested and fans are antsy.
13. The two big dogs for the Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, combined for just 24 minutes in the All-Star Game. The only people to play less than Garnett were Pierce, David Lee, Chris Kaman, and Jason Kidd. My how the mighty seem to have fallen. This might be the gasoline on the fire to get the Celtics going in the second half.
12. Ref Watch: Leon Wood is 26-14 against the total in his 40 games officiated this season. Teams are combining for over 206 points per game.
11. Shaq and Dwight Howard are having a new form of “battle.” Normally in the NBA when two giants have a disagreement it typically comes down to fisticuffs. In this situation however copyright infringement is angering both players. Will the real “Superman” please step forward?
10. Don’t shy away from the New Orleans Hornets when they are without the services of Chris Paul. Paul is out until mid-March but the Hornets are 10-5 ATS and 10-4-1 versus the total in games that he has missed. They appear to be a much stronger bet without him rather than when he’s on the court.
9. Don’t look now but the NBA looks like it is heading for a lockout in 2011. If it is anything like baseball The League may never recover. Interest has already been waning for a while, and that’s resulted in teams just bleeding money over the past few seasons. Flailing interest is leading to owners losing money, which is leading to the lockout, which will likely lead to even less interest. Round and round we go.
8. Phoenix, Golden State, and Memphis are three of best offenses in the NBA. They are also three of the best ATS teams in the league. Out of the top 10 NBA offenses only Denver and the Lakers are under .500 ATS. Defense wins titles but if you can score you can cash.
7. Looks like even a billionaire can’t lure away Coach K from Duke. The Nets were interested in having the “K” fill their coaching vacancy next season but there is no way that is going to happen. Coach K’s response to the rumors in New Jersey, “The guy's Russian, right?" Krzyzewski said. "You think he'd hire a Polish guy?" Classic.
6. Only six of 15 Eastern Conference teams are above .500 ATS while eight of 15 are above that mark in the West. In the Northwest Division four of the five teams are above .500 ATS with only division leading Denver under .500.
5. Looks like this might be the end of the line for Allen Iverson. After missing the All-Star Game, rumors started circulating that AI is about to call it quits. I for one think that is the right call. He has provided us all with many highlights and impressive feats, but enough is enough. Untie the shoes and put them up on the shelf. I always wondered how Iverson would exit Da League, but I never thought this would be it.
4. The 2003 draft class (LeBron James, Carmello Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Kaman) combined for 105 points, 34 rebounds, 21 assists, and 11 steals in this season’s All-Star Game. That is an average of 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals per player. Nice class. (Well, except that whole “Darko” thing.)
3. Eric Dampier is battling a sore knee and that spells good news for people that like the ‘over’ in Mavs games. Dallas is 9-2 versus the total in the 11 games that Dampier has missed this season. Say what you want about this oaf, but he is the only one that can defend the basket for Dallas.
2. Syracuse Orange Update: The Cuse has not played up to its potential as of late and it finally came back to bite them in the rear. Syracuse lost at home to Louisville yesterday to drop their record to 24-2. They should still be considered one of the best teams in the nation and a front-runner for one of the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Both Georgetown on the road and Villanova at home are on the horizon and the Orange better be focused or we could get crushed.
1. Check back next week for more 24 Seconds Around the NBA.
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