NBA Prediction Week 7 Game Preview/Pick- Portland vs. Cleveland

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Portland Trail Blazers (21-4) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (9-14) 12/17- 7:00PM EST

Tonights NBA Free picks and prediction with lines and Odds

Line: POR -4.5

Over/Under: 205


Tuesday night’s matchup will feature two young point guards at the top of their game as the Trail Blazers travel into Cleveland.


The Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday for the three games he played last week when he averaged 29.0 points and 6.3 assists while shooting 50.8 percent. Irving also averaged 2.3 steals, shot 40.0 percent from behind the arc and made 14 of 15 from the charity stripe.


He deserves it, he put up some big numbers for us, and he was aggressive especially at the right times for us,” coach Mike Brown said. He can get a lot of accolades because he has the chance to be that good. He has special talents.”


Matching up against the talented Irving will be Damien Lillard of Portland, who hit the game winner at the buzzer to give the Blazers a 111-109 overtime victory at Detroit Sunday.


It felt good,” said Lillard. I had a lot of shots that I let go that felt good that didn’t fall. When that one went in, I was like ‘thank you.’ I’m happy the shot went in.”


Lillard had 23 points to go along with seven assists as Portland (19-4) won its fourth straight game and have the best record in the Western Conference, thanks in part to an offense that averages 107.9 points a game, while shooting 45.9 percent… both which rank near the top of the NBA.


To compliment Lillard is power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 23.5 and 10.9 rebounds per game as he is getting it done in the paint.


Throw in a team that is shooting 41.2 percent from 3-point land and we can see why they are one of the best in the NBA this year so far.


But, if there is any area they can improve in, it would be defensively where they are allowing 100.6 points per game.


Cleveland was riding a three-game win streak before the Miami Heat handed them a 114-107 loss on Saturday and know they will have a great challenge against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.


The Cavs only average 94.4 points per contest and with the amount of points the Blazers put up, the oddsmakers have made Portland a (minus 4.5) point favorite on the road. Get the latest lines on the game up until tip off right here at Wonder Punter.


Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, no other player outside of Irving scores more then 14.5 points per game and with a hot Blazers team that can light up the scoreboard, I predict the Trail Blazers taking care of business on the road and stay undefeated against the Eastern Conference (10-0) this season.


Prediction/Pick: Portland

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter


Jack Jewsbury: Portland Timbers “similar” to his 2004 Wizards team that overcame two-goal deficit

Photograph Credit score:

Craig Mitchelldyer,

BEAVERTON, Ore. – It was one of many precept highlights of Jack Jewsbury’s laudable eleven-12 months MLS career.

It was 2004, and Jewsbury’s then-Kansas Metropolis Wizards had been heading into the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs trailing the San Jose Earthquakes by two targets in the mixture.

Within the memorable game at Arrowhead Stadium, a first-half goal by Kansas City rookie Khari Stephenson gave the Wizards life. Then a second-half personal purpose by San Jose’s Brian Ching appeared to have the game destined for extra time.

However Jewsbury, then in his second skilled season out of St. Louis University, grew to become the unlikely hero with an exhilarating stoppage-time aim that sent his crew to the MLS Cup final. Now Jewsbury’s Portland Timbers are in the identical situation after their four-2 loss to Real Salt Lake final Sunday in the first leg of the Westerm Conference Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium.

“I just remember once we were within the recreation and we have been in a position to get a goal in the first half, I feel that obviously modifications the game as a result of a two-purpose lead is a tricky one, you’re feeling pretty assured about where you’re at,” Jewsbury said, recalling that recreation in a conversation with after Monday’s coaching session at the workforce facility. “But you get the primary one and the mindset modifications on either side.”

Even though Jewsbury stated there hasn’t been a lot discuss of the foremost hurdle the Timbers face heading into Sunday’s game at JELD-WEN Field (9 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes) and nor are his teammates asking about that sport in 2004, he did say he sees a lot of similarities in the two teams in how they’re approaching the challenge.

“It’s a very related locker room by way of there’s just a perception throughout the group,” Jewsbury stated. “No person is absolutely speaking about what a big surprise it will be if we had been in a position to overcome it. … It was a really arduous working trustworthy crew; it actually does remind me of this group, a very humble group and a group that was successful throughout the year. And it does have some mirror images of what this workforce stands for.”

And Jewsbury may very properly again play a key position if the Timbers are capable of match what the Wizards achieved nine years ago. The correct again has two assists within the playoffs after recording only one in the common season.

He said it’s been a mix of higher balls into the box on his part, timed with good runs and the protection collapsing on Portland’s harmful playmakers in the middle of the field, most notably Darlington Nagbe.

“We have now sufficient guys in the last third and our front 4 and five guys that they’ll create their very own probabilities. If there’s a chance to get ahead and get some balls in and create some chances, obviously I want to do that,” Jewsbury stated of his assists, which included the cross that set up the Timbers’ key second goal in stoppage time in opposition to RSL.

And in a game the place the Timbers will look to be on their front foot all night time, sending big numbers forward might imply one other situation for Jewsbury heroics.

“It’s a effective line since you wish to push forward and create chances,” he mentioned, “but on the end of the day, your first position is to stop them from scoring and maintaining a clear sheet.”


Read The Original Article


Quirks of the WCC’s schedule leave Portland with a bizarre, challenging slate

Portland coach Eric Reveno is probably not thrilled along with his workforce’s backloaded schedule (Getty Photos)

Even though the addition of Pacific enabled the WCC to adopt a real double spherical robin league scheduling format next season, the return of travel companions apparently did not ensure 10 evenly matched convention slates.

Portland, in particular, has essentially the most to gripe about on account of a WCC schedule that’s almost comically back-loaded.

The Pilots will open WCC play with five straight house games, all of which will take place before Portland students return to campus from winter break on Jan. thirteen. The downside to so many early residence video games then comes in the second half of league play when the Pilots finish with seven of 9 video games on the highway.

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“I might worry about any schedule that is unbalanced between house [and] away, [however you] by no means know the actual ramifications till the season,” Portland coach Eric Reveno mentioned via textual content. “Beginning with 5 games at home could possibly be nice or it is perhaps robust with the followers [gone] and academically with so much time on the the street.”

Of course, Portland is not the only team who can complain a couple of scheduling quirk.

As’s Greg Wrubell notes, eight of the WCC’s 10 groups will play 4 straight road video games in some unspecified time in the future throughout league play. Gonzaga’s schedule is nearly as ugly as Portland’s as the Zags open with four straight residence games earlier than college students are back on campus and shut with 4 straight on the street including fellow league title contenders Saint Mary’s and BYU.

Why couldn’t the WCC assemble an easier spherical robin schedule in which no workforce plays greater than three straight residence or road video games? Convention spokesman Jeff Tourial informed the Spokane Spokesman-Assessment that the problem was demands by ESPN to have premier matchups on sure dates.

“With the return to our travel pair mannequin this yr, we are very limited in terms of leeway to move video games round,” Tourial advised the newspaper. “For instance, if ESPN takes a Gonzaga-BYU sport on a given date, then that affects Portland and San Diego’s games for that weekend, too. Then, on the opposite day that weekend, in the event that they seize Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary’s, then that locks in Pacific and San Francisco’s video games as nicely. Instantly, the only teams “left” in this situation are LMU and Pepperdine – who would play each other. Suddenly, our flexibility is all but gone.

“For ESPN Networks, their radars are heightened by new competitors from different networks and so their need to have the “finest games” has by no means been better.”

The clarification from Tourial isn’t only affordable but additionally an incredible window into a few of the challenges conferences face assembling their schedules. In this case, the WCC had to sacrifice balance to generate as a lot publicity and TELEVISION income as potential.


The Portland Trail Blazers’ Rose Garden sells corporate naming rights, renamed Moda Center

Blazers fans say hello to Damian Lillard on the Rose Garden in April (Sam Forencich/ Getty).

It is now commonplace observe for brand new sports stadiums and arenas to sell their naming rights to a company sponsor, a transfer that earns the franchise millions of dollars and gives the successful company a very public commercial that doesn’t always look like an intrusion on followers’ and consumers’ consideration. With franchises increasingly being run like more conventional companies intent on making as a lot cash as doable, it’s a relatively easy way to boost income. Actually, it’s considerably stunning when an enviornment does not have a corporate title nowadays.

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On Tuesday, a kind of final remaining arenas changed course and joined the overwhelming majority of branded buildings. As introduced on Tuesday, the Rose Garden, the home of the Portland Trail Blazers since October 1995, has been renamed the Moda Heart at Rose Quarter. From Anne M. Peterson for the Related Press:

The Portland Trail Blazers announced a ten-year settlement with insurance provider Moda Well being on Tuesday to rename the Rose Backyard. […]

At the request of staff proprietor Paul Allen, the new logo will incorporate a rose as a tribute to the followers and town. Allen originally named the world the Rose Backyard.

”The Rose Garden will not be going away. It’ll be part of our history and heritage,” [Blazers president Chris] McGowan mentioned. ”The Moda Middle is going to take us into the longer term.”

Moda Health, based in 1955 and primarily based in Portland, offers medical, dental, pharmacy and vision plans to 2 million members in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Previously often known as ODS, the corporate changed its title in Might. […]

Asked what he would tell fans equally connected to the Rose Backyard name, McGowan mentioned: ”Hopefully, they will perceive that this is what organizations do to go to a different degree.”

McGowan’s rationale is questionable — funding in a company takes it to the following level, and Allen already has loads of money at his disposable to do this — however he is absolutely appropriate that this resolution will not be a uncommon one. There at the moment are two arenas with non-company names: the Detroit Pistons’ Palace of Auburn Hills and the New York Knicks’ Madison Sq. Garden, which maybe would not even rely if we consider it to be an ad for the eponymous company that owns it. The Blazers may be trying to sell this decision as a step as much as a brand new level, but they’re really just joining the rest of the pack.

It’s tempting to take this moment as a possibility to bemoan the elevated corporatization of professional sports, however the reality is that this argument was misplaced years in the past. Even when the Rose Backyard held that title, the fan expertise was typified by branded timeout leisure, garish advertisements all through the arena, and similar experiences on TV broadcasts. The NBA is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise with close ties to related companies, and its working logic proceeds as such. It is telling that, in the official press launch for the title change, McGowan and Moda Well being president Dr. William Johnson speak of a basketball staff and medical health insurance firm as if they’ve the same goals and ideas. Once more, the shock right here is that the Blazers hadn’t already renamed the Rose Garden, not that they determined to do so in any respect.

Fans have cause to be upset, though, because the Rose Garden name was a well-known one tied to many good memories from an objectively profitable interval in Blazers history. Their saving grace, I suppose, shall be that no rules prohibit them from referring to the sector as “the Rose Garden” from now till its close. The official name might have changed, however that does not mean fans have to recognize it. They do have some power, nonetheless minor it could be.