NBA Prediction Tuesday Game Preview/Pick- Washington vs. Golden State

nba picks wizards vs warriors

NBA Free Pick And Prediction

Washington Wizards (21-22, 11-11 away) @ Golden State Warriors (27-18, 13-7 home) 01/29- 10:30PM EST

 

Line: GSW -8.0

Over/Under: 206

 

On Tuesday night, the Golden State Warriors will look to keep the momentum going against the visiting Washington Wizards after shutting down the NBA’s highest scoring team… the Portland Trailblazers on their last time out.

 

The Warriors (27-18) have enjoyed recent success against the Wizards beating them six straight times and are 10-3 this season against the Eastern Conference, but are just 2-5 in their last seven games allowing 108.4 points per game on 47.8 percent shooting. Before their defense decided to go south, they had been holding opposing teams to 98.3 on 42.9 percent.

 

However, the Warriors defense made a guest appearance on Sunday night as they held the Blazers to just 33.7 percent in a 103-88 win to snap a three-game skid. “Just what the doctor ordered,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said.

 

All-Star Stephen Curry is the go-to man when it comes to scoring (24.1 ppg) to help pace the Warriors at 104.0 points per game, but understands defense is the key to winning…. “We understand that’s been one of our problems—just letting teams kind of cake walk around on the offensive end doing whatever they want to do early in the game,” Curry said.

 

As for the Wizards (21-22), they are a much improved team from last year, but are still performing below expectations this season as Saturday’s loss to Utah 104-101 denied them their sixth opportunity to go over the .500 mark for the first time since starting 2-1 back in the 2009-10 season. Their knock has been they are playing at their opponents level as evident in their loss against lowly Utah.

 

We were running in mud half the game, in my opinion,” coach Randy Wittman said. “We wouldn’t commit ourselves to our pace.”

 

Washington had won five of six away from home before Saturday’s loss, and it’s no surprise the success of the Wizards is on the shoulders of point guard John Wall (20.0 ppg, 8.0 assists per game) who must perform at a high level every night to give his team a chance to win, especially with a bench that only scores 24.8 points per game.

 

The Warriors are last in the league in bench scoring with 22.9 and were outscored 51-27 but won 112-96 win at Washington back on Jan. 5, a game that saw Golden State beat the Wizards for the tenth time in thirteen meetings.

 

Golden State starters center Andrew Bogut (8.0 ppg) and power forward David Lee (19.2) are listed as day-to-day, so look for guard Klay Thompson (19.0) along with Curry to keep the offense productive.

 

Despite the recent struggles on the defensive side of the ball for the Warriors, the oddsmakers have made them a big (minus -8.0) point favorite at home, but stay up to date with the latest odds on the game up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

I like the young Wizards, but with the Warriors having won six straight in the series, I see no reason for them not to have a let down on Tuesday night and predict Golden State winning easy.

 

Prediction/Pick- Golden State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

post

Nowitzki passes Reggie Miller on scoring list

Ellis Leads Mavs Rally Over Rockets

 

DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki climbed another spot increased on the NBA’s all-time scoring list during a spectacular efficiency Wednesday night.

Nowitzki passed Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller for the 15th spot when he hit a free throw with 2:eleven remaining in the first half of the Mavs’ 123-one hundred twenty win over the Houston Rockets. Miller finished his Hall of Fame career with 25,279 factors, 16 more than Nowitzki had getting into the night.

After a classic outing, Nowitzki has 25,298 career points. He poured in a season-high 35 points on thirteen-of-20 taking pictures, together with 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavs rallied from 14 down to drag off the comeback victory.

“That is not dangerous,” Nowitzki deadpanned after the win, referring to passing Miller. “Obviously I did not think when I first received right here that 15, sixteen years later, I’d be within the top 15 of scoring all-time, so it’s great. It was an incredible evening, but I’m actually extra completely satisfied concerning the win, to be honest. Meaning extra to me right now than any of the data.”

Nowitzki bumped Jerry West down a spot on the all-time scoring listing throughout the Mavs’ Nov. 12 win over the Washington Wizards. Nowitzki would undertaking to complete the season tenth on the listing if he stays healthy and continues scoring at his current clip of 20.6 points per game.

“Dirk doesn’t care about milestones,” Mavs proprietor Mark Cuban stated before the sport. “He could care less. Figuring out Dirk, he’d stick on sixteen for the subsequent two years if we’d win video games. That is all he cares about is successful. He actually would not care about that stuff.”

Brooklyn Nets center/ahead Kevin Garnett ranks 14th on the all-time scoring listing with 25,340 profession factors. The following retired participant that Nowitzki would pass is Alex English, who scored 25,613 factors in his career.

Read The Original Article

post

NBA Predictions Week 3 Wednesday Night Games Preview /Picks

NBA-sports-betting1

NBA Predictions and free picks for week 3

 

NBA Wednesday night is packed with 13 games on the schedule. Below is a quick preview with the latest lines spread and my prediction for each game. As the odds constantly change, remember to check back here at Wonder Punter for the latest spread up until tip-off.

 

Good Luck!

 

Wednesday Nov. 20

 

Toronto Raptors (4-7) @ Philadelphia 76ers (5-7) 11/20- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: TOR -3.5

Over/Under: 200.5

Bet On NBA

Both teams are in a two-game skid…. Raptors in a win on the road.

 

PICK: Toronto

 

Miami Heat (7-3) @ Orlando Magic (4-6) 11/20- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: MIA -8.0

Over/Under: 199.5

 

Heat playing in a second in two nights, but should still be able to come away with the ‘W.’
Bet On NBA
PICK: Miami

 

Indiana Pacers (9-1) @ New York Knicks (3-6) 11/20- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: IND -4.5

Over/Under: 191.5

 

Knicks are a mess right now and Carmelo is frustrated. The second of two in two nights for NY against the NBA’s best.

 

PICK: Indiana

 

Brooklyn Nets (3-7) @ Charlotte Bobcats (5-6) 11/20- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: BRK -3.5

Over/Under: 184.5

 

Nets hit by injuries, but I like them in this one.

 

PICK: Brooklyn

 

Washington Wizards (2-7) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7) 11/20- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: CLE 1.5

Over/Under: 195.5

 

Disappointing start for the Wizards so far… and on the road for this one.

 

PICK: Cleveland

 

Detroit Pistons (3-6) @ Atlanta Hawks (6-4) 11/20- 7:30PM EST

 

Line: ATL -5.0

Over/Under: 204.5

 

Back-to-back games for both teams but Hawks at home for this one.

 

PICK: Atlanta

 

Utah Jazz (1-11) @ New Orleans Pelicans (4-6) 11/20- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: NOR -8.0

Over/Under: 202

 

Pelicans will be well rested for the Jazz who begin a road trip.

 

PICK: New Orleans

 

Portland Trailblazers (9-2) @ Milwaukee Bucks (2-7) 11/20- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: POR -4.0

Over/Under: 202

 

Bucks without two of their best players and Blazers playing well.

 

PICK: Portland

 

Los Angeles Clippers (7-4) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4) 11/20- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: LAC -1.5

Over/Under: 212.5

 

T’Wolves in a second of a back-to-back. At home but edge to Clips.

 

PICK: LAC

 

Boston Celtics (4-7) @ San Antonio Spurs (9-1) 11/20- 8:30PM EST

 

Line: SAS -15.0

Over/Under: 191

 

Spurs will be well rested for the Celtics who play in Houston the night before.

 

PICK: San Antonio

 

Sacramento Kings (2-7) @ Phoenix Suns (5-4) 11/20- 9:00PM EST

 

Line: PHO -5.0

Over/Under: 191.5

 

A home and home for these two teams in two nights.

 

PICK: Phoenix

 

Houston Rockets (7-4) @ Dallas Mavericks (7-4) 11/20- 9:30PM EST

 

Line: DAL -4.0

Over/Under: 215.5

 

Houston in a second in a back-to-back, but short trip to Dallas. I like them in this one.

 

PICK: Houston

 

Memphis Grizzles (6-5) @ Golden State (8-3) 11/20- 10:30PM EST

 

Line: GSW

Under/Over: 195.5

 

Grizzles in the middle of a road trip against a tough Warriors team.

 

PICK: Golden State

BetOnline

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

post

Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings- Week 3

NBA_PowerRankings

With just about 3 full weeks of NBA action in the books after the conclusion of Tuesday night’s games… let’s take a look the latest Power Rankings as some teams continue to surprise and others continue to fall. Indiana, the last of the unbeatens suffered their first loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.

 

San Antonio and Indiana are playing like the two best teams in the league while early top 10 Philadelphia is falling fast.

 

Teams 1-30 with records and last weeks rankings in parentheses are as followed:

 

1 Indiana Pacers (9-1 LW 1)- They lost to Bulls on the second of a back-to-back. Danny Granger expected back soon.

 

2 San Antonio Spurs (9-1 LW 2)- The Spurs have won 7 straight while Tim Duncan is averaging career-lows of 12 points and 39.4 percent shooting.

 

3 Miami Heat (7-3 LW 5)- LeBron James is averaging 34 points per game during the Heat’s three game win streak.

 

4 Los Angeles Clippers (7-3 LW 7)- The Clippers have won four straight while Blake Griffin is averaging a double-double with 22.9 points and 10.9 boards.

 

5 Golden State Warriors (7-3 LW 8)- Warriors have won three straight while suffering through injuries.

 

6 Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4 LW 4)- Kevin Love and Kevin Martin have formed the league’s highest scoring-duo in the season’s opening month.

 

7 Portland Trailblazers (8-2 LW 13)- One of the league’s early surprises…. the Blazers have won six straight.

 

8 Oklahoma City Thunder (6-3 LW 3)- Thunder will be looking for revenge against the Clippers on Thursday night.

 

9 Houston Rockets (7-4 LW 10)- Back up center Omer Asik wants out of Houston and has been benched the last two games since his request.

 

10 Chicago Bulls (5-3 LW 12)- Derrick Rose hits six 3’s in their big win against Indiana on Saturday night.

 

11 Dallas Mavericks (6-4 LW 11)- Mavs look to get back on track when Dwight Howard and the Rockets visit Wednesday night.

 

12 Phoenix Suns (5-4 LW 6)- Suns have dropped three straight by an average 2 points.

 

13 Atlanta Hawks (6-4 LW 17) Another early surprise team is getting it done with Al Horford, Ronnie Millsap and the return of Lou Williams.

 

14 Memphis Grizzles (5-5 LW 9)- They continue to struggle and have the Clippers and Warriors on the road coming up.

 

15 Charlotte Bobcats (5-5 LW 16)- Continue to surprise with Al Jefferson still nursing a bad ankle. Have five of their next six games at home.

 

16 Philadelphia 76ers (5-6 LW 14)- Back to losing but still in first place in a bad Atlantic Division.

 

17 Denver Nuggets (4-5 LW 28)- Have won of four but have OKC, Chicago and back-to-back against Dallas coming up.

 

18 New Orleans Pelicans (4-6 LW 15)- Ryan Anderson lit it up with six 3’s against the Sixers… can he continue?

 

19 Los Angeles Lakers (5-7 LW 19)- Steve Nash is still out… but good news is Kobe Bryant has begun practicing.

 

20 Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7 LW 20) As Kyrie Irving goes, so do the Cavs. Averaging 27.5 in wins and 17.7 in losses.

 

21 Orlando Magic (4-7, LW 25)- Will Aaron Afflalo be traded? He’s averaging 21.7 points per game and playing well.

 

22 Toronto Raptors (4-7 LW 24)- Have lost three of four and still only getting scoring from Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.

 

23 Brooklyn Nets (3-6)- Too much talent to be struggling but dealing with various injuries.

 

24 New York Knicks (3-6 LW 23)- Disappointing start and Carmelo Anthony is unhappy.

 

25 Boston Celtics (4-7 LW 26)- Started 0-4, won four in a row now has lost three straight.

 

26 Washington Wizards (2-7 LW 22)- Turning into a major disappointment early on… not was expected.

 

27 Detroit Pistons (3-6 LW 18)- Josh Smith makes his return to Atlanta on Wednesday night.

 

28 Milwaukee Bucks (2-7 LW 27)- No Brandon Knight, no Caron Butler… now have lost five straight.

 

29 Sacramento Kings (2-7 LW 29)- Only one win in November and three of next four is on the road.

 

30 Utah Jazz (1-10 LW 30)- Avoided tying their worst start in franchise history by beating the Pelicans.

 

 

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

post

NBA Predictions Week 3 Wednesday Games Previews/Picks

nba-picks-predictions

NBA Week 3 predictions and Picks

 

Wednesday night is another full night of NBA games as we have 12 full games for you to place your bets on here at Wonder Punter. Be sure to place your bets early to secure the best odds. So you want to know what are the best picks and predictions for this weeks games? all free? Keep reading

 

Milwaukee Bucks (2-3) @ Orlando Magic (3-4) 11/13- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: ORL –4.0

Over/Under: 193.5

 

Orlando will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak.

 

PICK: Orlando Magic

 

Houston Rockets (4-3) @ Philadelphia 76ers (4-3) 11/13- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: HOU -9.0

Over/Under: 215.5

 

Rockets have lost two in a row, but should be able to handle to Sixers on the road.

 

PICK: Houston Rockets

 

Charlotte Bobcats (3-3) @ Boston Celtics (3-4) 11/13- 7:30PM EST

 

Line: BOS -4.5

Over/Under: 184.5

 

Celtics looking to win their third straight.

 

PICK: Boston Celtics

To Place a bet on this game Go here for the latest lines and upto $1000 sign up bonus, US players accepted

New York Knicks (2-4) @ Atlanta Hawks (3-3) 11/13- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: ATL -3.5

Over/Under: 198.5

 

With J.R. Smith back, I like the Knicks on the road in an upset.

 

PICK: New York Knicks

 

Toronto Raptors (3-4) @ Memphis Grizzles (3-3) 11/13- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: MEM -7.5

Over/Under: 185.5

 

Memphis in an easy win at home. Too much talent still.

 

PICK: Memphis Grizzles

 

Cleveland Cavaliers (3-4) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (5-2) 11/13- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: MIN -8.5

Over/Under: 198.5

 

T’Wolves looking strong with a healthy with Kevin Love back strong.

 

PICK: Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Washington Wizards (2-4) @ San Antonio Spurs (6-1) 11/13- 8:30PM EST

 

Line: SAS -11.0

Over/Under: 200

 

Expect an easy San Antonio win at home. Playing good ball early.

 

PICK: San Antonio Spurs

For a $1000 sign up bonus for this game

Los Angeles Lakers (3-5) @ Denver Nuggets (1-4) 11/13- 9:00PM EST

 

Line: DEN -9.0

Over/Under: 209.5

 

Nuggets will be up for the Lakers…. and expect a home win as the Lakers will their second game in two nights.

 

PICK: Denver Nuggets

 

New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) @ Utah Jazz (0-7) 11/13- 9:00PM EST

 

Line: NOR -1.5

Over/Under: 190.5

 

Like the Jazz in a surprise home win as the Pelicans will be in the second of a back-to-back.

 

PICK: Utah Jazz

 

Phoenix Suns (5-2) @ Portland Trailblazers (4-2) 11/13- 9:00PM EST

 

Line: POR -8.0

Over/Under: 202.5

 

Portland always tough at the Rose Garden.

 

PICK: Portland Trailblazers

 

Brooklyn Nets (2-4) @ Sacramento Kings (1-5) 11/13- 10:00PM EST

 

Line: BRK -1.0

Over/Under: 195.5

 

Winnable road game for the Nets against a struggling Kings team.

 

PICK: Brooklyn Nets

 

Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1) @ Los Angeles Clippers (4-3) 11/13- 10:30PM EST

 

Line: LAC -3.0

Over/Under: 206.5

 

Game of the night… OKC with a big road win.

 

PICK: Oklahoma City Thunder

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

BetOnline

post

NBA Power Rankings 2013

NBA_PowerRankings

 

Week 3 Power Rankings for the NBA

 

With Week 3 of the NBA starting on Tuesday night, let’s take a look at this week’s Power Rankings for all 30 teams.

 

1. Indiana Pacers (7-0)- Paul George is leading the Pacers to their best start in franchise history. The team to beat right now.

 

2. San Antonio Spurs (6-1)- With Philadelphia, Washington, Utah and Boston coming up, they can distance themselves from the pack.

 

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1)- With Russell Westbrook back in the fold, things are looking up.

 

4. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-2)- Having a healthy Kevin Love does wonders for a team.

 

5. Miami Heat (4-3)- A sore back is slowing down LeBron as they work out their chemistry issues.

 

6. Phoenix Suns (5-2)- Eric Bledsoe is leading this week’s NBA’s surprise team as they have won all four of their home games.

 

7. Los Angeles Clippers (4-3)- Big road win at Houston as they are still trying to find their way under coach Doc Rivers.

 

8. Golden State Warriors (4-3)- Warriors have four different players averaging at least 15 points per game.

 

9. Memphis Grizzles (3-3)- Coming off a big home win against the Warriors may jump-start them.

 

10. Houston Rockets (4-3)- They hit the road after dropping their last three-games.

 

11. Dallas Mavericks (4-3)- Monte Ellis leads the team in scoring averaging 23 points a game.

 

12. Chicago Bulls (2-4)- Derrick Rose and the Bulls have a showdown with the Pacers this week as they look to get back to winning and avenge an earlier loss.

 

13. Portland Trailblazers (4-2)- Two of their four wins came against Sacramento with more winnable games coming up against the East.

 

14. Philadelphia 76ers (4-3)- Went 1-3 last week after starting 3-0… is the clock getting ready to strike midnight?

 

15. New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) Big win at home against the Lakers on Friday night, can they repeat that performance on Tuesday night in L.A.?

 

16. Charlotte Bobcats (3-3)- Another early surprise team in the NBA so far.

 

17. Atlanta Hawks (3-3)- Ronnie Millsap is off to a big year for the Hawks so far with 20.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

 

18. Detroit Pistons (2-3)- Josh Smith is fitting in nicely with his new team leading them 18.8 points per game.

 

19. Los Angeles Lakers (3-5)- As Kobe Bryant is still working his way back, Steve Nash is suffering from back pain once again limiting his play.

 

20. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-4)- Kyrie Irving is heating up having scored 25 or more in two of his last three games.

 

21. Brooklyn Nets (2-4)- Nets need more production from K.G who is only averaging six points per game and 6.7 rebounds a game.

 

22. Washington Wizards (2-4)- Still a better team them their record indicates but must finish games.

 

23. New York Knicks (2-4)- Can the return of J.R. Smith give them the shot in the arm they need?

 

24. Toronto Raptors (3-4)- Expect Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan to get their shooting touch back after struggling in the early season.

 

25. Orlando Magic (3-4)- Center Nikola Vucevic is averaging a double-double to begin the season with 15.7 points and 12.1 rebounds.

 

26. Boston Celtics (3-4)- The Celtics have won three straight including a win over the Miami Heat.

 

27. Milwaukee Bucks (2-3)- Their three losses have been by eight points or less.

 

28. Denver Nuggets (1-4)- Rough start under new head coach Brian Shaw as they are off to their worst start since 2004.

 

29. Sacramento Kings (1-5)- DeMarcus Cousins is a one-man show, but it will take more then that as they have dropped five in a row.

 

30. Utah Jazz (0-7)- Jazz are off to their worst start since going 0-11 in their first season in the league.

 

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

Sportsbetting

post

NBA Friday Night Games- Previews/Picks

nba-picks

NBA Free Picks and Predictions for games of 8th November 2013

Friday night in the NBA usually means one thing… a full schedule of games at your disposal to lay your money on. With odds constantly changing, I will give you my straight-up picks on all Friday night games, but be sure to get in on the betting line early to secure the best odds. Whether you like to play the points, over/under or straight-up… you can find it right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Brooklyn Nets (2-2) @ Washington Wizards (1-3) 11/08- 7:00PM EST

 

The Wizards look to win back-to-back games as they take on the Nets.

 

PICK: Brooklyn Nets

 

Cleveland Cavaliers (2-3) @ Philadelphia 76ers (3-2) 11/08- 7:00PM EST

 

The Sixers have now lost two in a row after being a Cinderella team for the first three games. Cavs coming off a big win vs. Minnesota

 

PICK: Cleveland

 

Boston Celtics (1-4) @ Orlando Magic (3-2) 11/08- 7:00PM EST

 

The Celtics got their first win against winless Utah, but the Magic just beat a good Clipper team on Wednesday night.

 

PICK: Orlando

 

New York Knicks (1-3) @ Charlotte Bobcats (3-2) 11/08- 7:00PM EST

 

Trouble in the Big Apple with their beloved Knicks… Charlotte is an early surprise. I like the odds of the Bobcats winning.

 

PICK: Charlotte

 

Toronto Raptors (2-3) @ Indiana Pacers (5-0) 11/08- 7:00PM EST

 

Clearly, the Pacers are the team to beat right now. Impressive win against the Bulls on Wednesday night.

 

PICK: Indiana

 

Oklahoma Thunder (3-1) @ Detroit Pistons (2-2) 11/08- 7:30PM EST

 

With PG Russell Westbrook back, expect the Thunder to start making a run. My bet is on OKC.

 

PICK: Oklahoma City

 

Los Angeles Lakers (2-3) @ New Orleans Pelicans (2-3) 11/08- 8:00PM EST

 

The Los Angeles Lakers will be playing the second of a back-to-back. Have to like the odds New Orleans winning plus they blew out Memphis on the road Wednesday night.

 

PICK: New Orleans

 

Utah Jazz (0-5) @ Chicago Bulls (1-3) 11/08- 8:00PM EST

 

Just what the underachieving Bulls needed, a winless Jazz team to come into town. Easy pick on this one.

 

PICK: Chicago

 

Dallas Mavericks (3-2) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (3-2) 11/08- 8:00PM EST

 

The Mavs will look to avoid two straight road losses after dropping one to Oklahoma City Wednesday night. Should be another tough battle for both teams, but see the T’Wolves as the favorite.

 

PICK: Minnesota

 

Golden State Warriors (4-1) @ San Antonio Spurs (4-1) 11/08- 8:30PM EST

 

All the oddsmakers have to be going crazy with this marquee matchup of two teams who are expected to light it up. Watch for the latest betting line here on Wonder Punter, but for a straight-up pick I like the Warriors on the road.

 

PICK: Golden State

 

Denver Nuggets (0-3) @ Phoenix Suns ( 3-2) 11/08- 9:00PM EST

 

With Phoenix coming off a tough road loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, I like the odds of keeping the visiting Denver Nuggets winless on the young season.

 

PICK: Phoenix

 

Sacramento Kings (1-3) @ Portland Trailblazers (2-2) 11/08- 10:00PM EST

 

Portland is always tough at home… safe pick with Trailblazers.

 

PICK: Portland

 

12 full games to chose from on a Friday night. Check the latest up to the minute betting lines here at Wonder Punter and good luck with your picks!

 By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter

Sportsbetting

post

NBA Power Rankings- Week 1

NBA power rankings

NBA Power Rankings for Week 1 of the games

 

With the conclusion of Tuesday nights NBA games, let’s take a look at the Power Rankings going into the Week 2 with the Philadelphia 76ers 3-1 start shocking everyone who were expected to contend for the worst record in NBA history.

 

1. Indiana Pacers (4-0)- Guard Paul George is healthy and ready to lead the charge.

 

2. Houston Rockets (4-1)- So far the Dwight Howard and James Harden duo is working.

 

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (3-1)- A healthy Kevin Love (29.6 points 14.6 rebounds) can do wonders for a team.

 

4. Miami Heat (3-2)- LeBron James admits to maybe minor chemistry problems on the team… we shall see the effects.

 

5. Los Angeles Clippers (3-1)- Gave a beat down to the Rockets on Monday night.

 

6. San Antonio Spurs (3-1)- Welcome back Tim Duncan and a resurgent Manu Ginoboli.

 

7. Golden State Warriors (3-1)- It’s the Stephen Curry 3-point show on pace for 437 triples!

 

8. Dallas Mavericks (3-1)- Dirk Nowitski and Monte Ellis getting it done so far.

 

9. Oklahoma Thunder (2-1)- With PG Russell Westbrook back sooner then expected, expect them to start climbing up the rankings.

 

10. Philadelphia 76ers (3-1)- They were ranked last to start the season, but thanks to some quality wins, they deserve a Top 10 ranking for now.

 

11. Brooklyn Nets (2-2)- They need a Miami like performance every night if they want to contend for top billing in the East.

 

12. Chicago Bulls (1-2)- Derrick Rose will continue to improve but the Bulls need more scoring.

 

13. Memphis Grizzles (2-2)- Both road losses were on the road to San Antonio and Dallas.

 

14. Phoenix Suns (3-1)- Eric Bledsoe is shinning bright in the desert sun.

 

15. Portland Trailblazers (2-2)- Big home win against the Spurs with Tim Duncan back in the lineup, but spanked at home by the Rockets.

 

16. Detroit Pistons (2-2)- Brandon Jennings is back from his injury early and ready to lead.

 

17. Orlando Magic (2-2)- Young and ready to play with rookie Victor Oladipo.

 

18. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-2)- Did we mention Andrew Bynum is playing this year?

 

19. Los Angeles Lakers (2-3)- Still young, still athletic, still Kobe-less. When Kobe, when? Xavier Henry looking great early.

 

20. Toronto Raptors (2-2)- It’s Rudy Gay’s team now.

 

21. Charlotte Bobcats (2-2)- Can Al Jefferson shake off his ankle problems?

 

22. Atlanta Hawks (2-2)- Safe to say the Hawks miss Josh Smith. PG Jeff Teague has been a bright spot.

 

23. New York Knicks (1-3)- The Knicks are hearing the boos already at home after Bobcats beat them.

 

24. Milwaukee Bucks (1-2)- Center Zaza Pachulia is averaging 13 points and 7.7 boards a game so far.

 

25. New Orleans Pelicans (1-3)- Second-year center Anthony Davis the lone bright spot with averages of 23.7 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks his first week.

 

26. Washington Wizards (0-3)- And to think everybody was talking a playoff team before the season. It’s early but win one first.

 

27. Sacramento Kings (1-3)- DeMarcus Cousins needs help and G Isaiah Thomas may be the answer averaging 19 points and 4.7 assists.

 

28.Denver Nuggets (0-3)- Not what we expected from a team that made the playoffs last year.

 

29. Utah Jazz (0-4)- Desperately need a point guard.

 

30. Boston Celtics (0-4)- Due to play the winless Jazz Wednesday night. 

BetOnline

post

NBA Sunday Games Picks and Predictions 3rd Nov 2013

nba-picks

NBA Sunday Games Picks and Predictions 3rd Nov 2013

 

Brooklyn Nets (1-1) @ Orlando Magic (1-2) 11/03- 6:00PM EST

 

PICK: Brooklyn

 

Boston Celtics (0-2) @ Detroit Pistons (1-1) 11/03- 6:00PM EST

 

PICK: Detroit

 

Washington Wizards (0-2) @ Miami Heat (1-2) 11/03- 6:00PM EST

 

PICK: Miami

 

Phoenix Suns ( 2-0) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (1-1) 11/03- 7:00PM EST

 

PICK: OKC

 

Minnesota Timberwolves (2-0) @ New York Knicks (1-1) 11/03- 7:30PM EST

 

PICK: New York

 

Atlanta Hawks (1-1) @ Los Angeles Lakers (1-2) 11/03- 9:30PM EST

 

PICK: Los Angeles Lakers

 

Place your BETS here at Wonder Punter and Good Luck!

BetOnline

post

Jordan says tanking games no way to build

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As pissed off as Michael Jordan has been over the Charlotte Bobcats’ lack of success, it is simply not in his competitive DNA to tank video games.

Forget that the NBA would seemingly hand down a hefty nice and fans would most likely boycott if a workforce admitted to doing that. Jordan said Friday that purposely dropping video games in hopes of getting a high pick within the subsequent draft is no approach to fix a rebuilding franchise.

The Bobcats proprietor scoffed on the concept, telling The Associated Press, “I do not know if some groups have thought of that. That is not one thing that we might do. I don’t believe in that.”

He laughed heartily and said, “If that was my intention, I never would have paid [free agent] Al Jefferson $13 million a yr.”

Jordan, 50, hasn’t been in a position to translate his on-court success to profitable as an NBA proprietor and govt. He won six NBA titles as a player, however Charlotte is 62-168 in his three full seasons as majority proprietor. The Bobcats had been 21-61 final season.

JordanIt isn’t guaranteed [the player] you are going to get goes to be that star anyway. I did learn that certain groups are enthusiastic about doing it, however I am not one in every of them. So let’s alleviate that conversation.

- Bobcats proprietor Michael Jordan

Nonetheless, he doesn’t imagine there are shortcuts to profitable.

While the 2014 draft offers hopes to fledgling groups with proficient gamers like Andrew Wiggins at Kansas and Duke’s Jabari Parker, Jordan made it clear he isn’t enthusiastic about dropping.

“It is not guaranteed [the participant] you’re going to get is going to be that star anyway,” Jordan mentioned. “I did read that sure groups are enthusiastic about doing it, however I am not certainly one of them. So let’s alleviate that conversation.”

Jordan, who was in a relaxed mood on the Bobcats’ headquarters hours earlier than his staff’s home opener, has been broadly criticized for his failures with the Bobcats and for his struggles in the entrance workplace with the Washington Wizards.

He mentioned some of that comes with the territory.

“It is considerably unfair, however you come to expect it,” stated Jordan, who grew to become the majority proprietor of the Bobcats in 2010. “You set sure standards as a player that transcend no matter you do. It goes where you go. You’ll be carrying that around your neck in order that when people see the identify they expect the results.

“It is somewhat unfair, but it’s what it is. I don’t let it outline me.”

Jordan mentioned he stays dedicated to the Bobcats and stated he is tried to be transparent with the fans about the route of the crew.

This previous offseason, he used the amnesty clause on ahead Tyrus Thomas, a transfer that took his hefty contract off the books.

The Bobcats still should pay Thomas $18 million, however the move freed up that cash beneath the salary cap as part of a one-time coverage beneath the brand new collective bargaining agreement. Charlotte used that money to sign Jefferson to a 3-year, $forty one million contact and to re-sign guard Gerald Henderson for $18 million over three seasons.

“I imply, that was a press release,” Jordan stated of his commitment to the Bobcats. “I still have to pay greater than $17 million, but it was a transfer that we wanted to make to build and go get a guy like Huge Al.”

Jordan believes that the staff’s younger core of players – together with Jefferson’s expertise – will help the Bobcats turn out to be extra competitive.

He also looks like he finally has the right man in charge in new coach Steve Clifford, a longtime NBA assistant who took over for Mike Dunlap, who was fired after one season.

“We’re centered on what we’re making an attempt to do,” Jordan mentioned. “I think the route we’re moving is positive… It’s baby steps. Every now and again, you have a hiccup. But I must admit that we’re headed in the best direction, and I am very pleased with that.”

The Bobcats, however, together with other small-market groups, are at disadvantage in free company. The celebs need to go “the place the lights are,” Jordan stated.

He said final 12 months he did not think the new CBA did enough to help degree the playing discipline for small-market groups when it comes to helping them land – or hold – high-profile difference-makers in free company.

A year later, after seeing the system at work, he has eased up on that stance.

“It’s better,” Jordan mentioned. “We’re still going by and seeing the full effects of it. From a business standpoint, when you operate your staff in the correct way, it offers you a chance to break even or be profitable. And it makes it harder in your talent to get up and go someplace else.

“You can provide extra benefits than different groups to maintain your player. It is a fair evaluation that when you get your star, you may get parity within the league. I believe parity is starting to happen within the league.”

Jordan doesn’t really feel gamers orchestrating offers that land a trio of stars in massive markets to kind an enormous three is essentially good for the game.

“I’m not a giant advocate for it,” Jordan said. “I came from an era where it didn’t occur. If that happened to evolve from the draft, then you seemed fairly good.”

 

Read The Original Article

post

MJ says Bobcats won’t tank, doesn’t believe in it

Michael Jordan is not a fan of tanking and wouldn't ask to do it.(USATSI)
Michael Jordan is not a fan of tanking and would not ask to do it. (USATSI)

Michael Jordan hasn’t exactly been a profitable staff builder when it comes to getting the workforce into the playoffs. His capacity to identify expertise when he was working the Washington Wizards wasn’t legendary for the appropriate causes (see: choose, Kwame Brown). Since purchasing majority ownership within the Charlotte Bobcats, his workforce has gone from a playoff staff to a rebuilding workforce that had the worst season in NBA history.

Whereas the Bobcats try to execute their rebuilding plan to get again into the playoffs, tanking in an effort to acquire the best odds of successful the NBA Draft Lottery is just not part of the plan. Michael Jordan informed the Related Press that he would not imagine in tanking and it is not something the Bobcats would do.

Neglect that the NBA would seemingly hand down a hefty superb and fans would most likely boycott if a crew admitted to doing that, Jordan mentioned purposely losing video games in hopes of getting a high pick in the draft isn’t any option to repair a rebuilding franchise.

The Bobcats proprietor scoffed at the idea Friday, telling The Associated Press, “I don’t know if some groups have considered that. That’s not one thing that we might do. I don’t believe in that.”

He then laughed heartily and stated, “If that was my intention I never would have paid (free agent) Al Jefferson $13 million a year.”

This is an organization that happened to lose the ultimate 23 video games of the 2011-12 regular season, which happened to be the same year that “can’t miss” prospect Anthony Davis was heading into the draft. The Bobcats ended up not getting the top pick in the lottery, settling for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the second pick. I do not think you may say/show that the Bobcats had been tanking. They were actually awful all of that season so it’s onerous to say they began tanking or they just did not have luck putting a younger roster collectively.

Whatever the purpose they were so bad, lots of people assumed it was tanking because of the extent of ineptitude the crew showed on the court docket. It’s similar to how folks anticipate to view the 76ers this 12 months. The Bobcats actually aren’t going the tanking route this season, as Jordan said after signing Al Jefferson to a giant three-year deal. It’s just attention-grabbing to attempt to discover the road between being poorly run and being intentionally run into the ground so you can rebuild.

It is not a shock that one of the crucial aggressive people in sports activities history would be against purposefully setting your self up to lose.

(H/T – ProBasketballTalk)
Sportsbetting.ag

Read The Original Article

post

Free NBA Picks, Preview and Predictions week 1

nba-free-picks

Free NBA Picks Week 1

With a full slate of NBA games on the docket for Friday night… here are my Free NBA picks for each game:

 

Philadelphia 76ers (1-0) @ Washington Wizards (0-1) 11/01- 7:00PM EST

 

PICK: Washington

 

Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0) @ Charlotte Bobcats (0-1) 11/01- 7:00PM EST

 

PICK: Cleveland

 

New Orleans Pelicans (0-1) @ Orlando Magic (0-2) 11/01- 7:00PM EST

 

PICK: Orlando

 

Toronto Raptors (1-0) @ Atlanta Hawks (0-1) 11/01- 7:30PM EST

 

PICK: Toronto

 

Milwaukee Bucks (0-1) @ Boston Celtics (0-1) 11/01- 7:30PM EST

 

PICK: Milwaukee

 Want to Place a bet?

Miami Heat (1-1) @ Brooklyn Nets (0-1) 11/01- 8:00PM EST

 

PICK: Brooklyn

 

Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0) 11/01- 8:00 PM EST

 

PICK: Minnesota

 

Dallas Mavericks (1-0) @ Houston Rockets (1-0) 11/01- 8:00PM EST

 

PICK: Houston

 

Detroit Pistons (1-0) @ Memphis Grizzles (0-1) 11/01- 8:00PM EST

 

PICK: Memphis

 

Portland Trail Blazers (0-1) @ Denver Nuggets (0-1) 11/01- 9:00PM EST

 

PICK: Denver

 

Utah Jazz (0-1) @ Phoenix Suns (1-0) 11/01- 10:00PM EST

 

PICK: Phoenix

 

Los Angels Clippers (0-1) @ Sacramento Kings (1-0) 11/01- 10:00PM EST

 

PICK: Sacramento

 

San Antonio Spurs (1-0) @ Los Angeles Lakers (1-1) 11/01- 10:30PM EST

 

PICK: San Antonio

 

Good luck with your teams and your Free NBA picks   By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter

Sportsbetting

post

Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings 2013-14

Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings 2013-14

 

With the 2013/14 NBA season upon us starting Tuesday night…. Let’s take a look at the Power Rankings of all 30 teams to begin the season.

 

1. Miami Heat- The defending champion Heat will be looking to three-peat with Lebron James in the final year of his contract.

 

2. San Antonio Spurs- With all the pieces still intact, the Western Conference champs are still the team to beat out west.

 

3. Chicago Bulls- After sitting out all of last season… Derrick Rose is back and ready to lead his team to challenge the Heat.

 

4. Indiana Pacers- Last years team was good, now with Danny Granger back and the addition of Luis Scola… they will be even better.

 

5. Los Angeles Clippers- Can new coach Doc Rivers instill the mental and physical toughness that has been lacking with the Clippers in seasons past?

 

6. Houston Rockets- Can the tag team of Dwight Howard/James Harden co-exist and get them to the promise land?

 

7. Golden State Warriors- Will one more year of experience under their belt make up for the lack of depth at the point guard and center positions? Key addition with Andre Iguodala.

 

8. Oklahoma City Thunder- Still no Russell Westbrook until December… until then, can they keep it together?

 

9. Memphis Grizzles- The addition of Mike Miller should help with a team depleted with shooters.

 

10. Brooklyn Nets- Can an aging Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce be the difference that Deron Williams and new coach Jason Kidd need to contend?

 

11. New York Knicks- J.R Smith is still on the shelve and Amar’e and Kenyon Martin are not quite ready for back-to-backs yet.

 

12. Minnesota Timberwolves- A full year of a healthy Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio can finally make the Wolves a playoff contender after a drought of nine seasons.

 

13. Denver Nuggets- Andre Iguodala is now with Golden State and no Danilo Gallinari until at least December.

 

14. Washington Wizards- Key addition with Marcin Gortat to fill in a true center position and move Nene to his natural forward position.

 

15. New Orleans Pelicans- New team nickname and two nice additions will help the Pelicans improve… Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans.

 

16. Dallas Mavericks- Monte Ellis was added to help give Dirk Nowitski an offensive boost… but it’s the defense I’m worried about.

 

17. Portland Trailblazers- LaMarcus Aldridge vows this years Blazers team will make the playoffs.

 

18. Detroit Pistons- Two big additions with the face of the franchise now Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings.

 

19. Los Angeles Lakers- Much more athletic team then last year’s team, however their season still rides on the shoulders of Kobe Bryant’s return.

 

20. Cleveland Cavaliers- When will Andrew Bynum play? Oh yeah #1 pick Anthony Bennett has a sleeping disorder.

 

21. Atlanta Hawks- No Josh Smith… it’s Al Horford’s team now.

 

22. Toronto Raptors- Andrea Bargnani is now a Knick.

 

23. Charlotte Bobcats- Should improve in the win column with new center Al Jefferson.

 

24. Sacramento Kings- Will DeMarcus Cousins live up to hype of a max-contract deal.

 

25. Utah Jazz- Young talent is nice, but no quality point guard to dish the rock.

 

26. Milwaukee Bucks- Can new coach Larry Drew keep the rebuilding Bucks together?

 

27. Boston Celtics- New coach, new faces and no Rajon Rondo.

 

28. Orlando Magic- Another rebuilding year.. looking towards the 2014 NBA Draft.

 

29. Phoenix Suns- Traded away their best player Marcin Gortat.

 

30. Philadelphia 76ers- Many are predicting the Sixers to challenge for the all-time worst record of 9-73 (1972-73 Sixers).

For more NCAA NBA MLB NFL, Scores, Reviews, Previews, and Picks & Predictions,  feel free to check out our sections from the tabs on top of the page where I will be updating on a daily basis

Would you like to show off your writing skills? opinions? for the sports world to see? If so feel free to contribute and we will publish your stories and reviews Info@wonder-punter.net

By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter

NBA_PowerRankingsThe NEW BetOnline

post

Wizards get Gortat from Suns for Okafor, pick

The Washington Wizards, attempting to strengthen their hand for a playoff push in the Jap Convention, have acquired heart Marcin Gortat from the Phoenix Suns in a 5-player deal reached Friday.

The commerce sends Gortat and guards Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall to the Wizards for the expiring contract of veteran massive man Emeka Okafor and a protected 2014 first-spherical pick (to No. 12).

The 6-foot-eleven Gortat, 29, averaged eleven.1 points and eight.5 rebounds per game final season for the Suns.

The move gives Washington extra of a scoring center to go along with its prized beginning backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, as well as a healthy beginning heart after losing Okafor indefinitely to a herniated disk in his neck. Gortat’s arrival also permits the Wizards – who could have as a lot as $16 million in salary-cap house next summer time – to maneuver Nene to his most popular place at energy ahead.

In a news release asserting the deal, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld referred to Gortat as a “very consistent and productive inside presence” who “pushes us further towards our aim of becoming a playoff group.”

Gortat, in a collection of tweets Friday, said he had no onerous emotions towards the Suns and wasn’t surprised a deal happened.

Okafor, the 2004-05 NBA Rookie of the 12 months, arrived in Washington earlier than last season in a commerce from New Orleans.

The Suns, meanwhile, proceed to position themselves for a total reboot underneath new normal supervisor Ryan McDonough. The first-round pick acquired from the Wizards, if it falls outside of the highest 12, would give Phoenix as many as 4 first-rounders to work with in the a lot-anticipated 2014 NBA draft. Phoenix additionally holds the Timberwolves’ first-round choose (top-thirteen protected) and the Pacers’ first-spherical decide (top-14 protected) in addition to its personal selection.

GortatThe Wizards will get a scoring presence in the paint in Marcin Gortat to go with their prized younger backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

“We’re excited to add one other first-spherical pick in what is shaping up to be the perfect draft in a decade,” McDonough mentioned. “We now have a chance to make four first-round picks in 2014. Emeka Okafor is a strong veteran heart who will assist solidify our front line when and if he is ready to return from damage.”

Marshall was the 13th general selection in the 2012 draft, however the Suns had a glut of guards, including Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe.

The Suns are in talks with Bledsoe – their huge July acquisition – on a contract extension earlier than subsequent week’s Halloween deadline. That deal is expected to establish the guard as one of many workforce’s new cornerstones. There’s a growing expectation in the league that McDonough in the end will look to move properly-regarded point guard Dragic in a Gortat-model deal for more belongings.

The Wizards will waive Marshall, Brown and Lee to cut their roster all the way down to the league-most 15 gamers in time for opening evening, sources instructed ESPN.

Info from ESPN school basketball reporter Jeff Goodman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
For more NCAA NBA MLB NFL, Scores, Reviews, Previews, and Picks & Predictions,  feel free to check out our sections from the tabs on top of the page where I will be updating on a daily basis

Would you like to show off your writing skills? opinions? for the sports world to see? If so feel free to contribute and we will publish your stories and reviews Info@wonder-punter.net

The NEW BetOnline

Read The Original Article

post

Rose has Injured knee, doesnt make the preseason game

Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose didn’t play in Saturday’s preseason game in opposition to the Washington Wizards due to soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

Rose developed the soreness during Friday’s practice. The Bulls stated the decision to hold him out of the sport, which was played in Rio de Janeiro, was precautionary.

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose appeared in every of Chicago’s first two preseason games, playing 20 minutes in the opener and 23 minutes within the second contest.

“We wanted to see the place he was right this moment, but he wasn’t as well as we might have appreciated,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He nonetheless had the soreness. So we anticipated giving him day off. We view our training camp as your entire month. So if he needs a day, or a couple of days, we’ll do this.”

Kirk Hinrich began at point guard in Rose’s absence and completed with eight points and three assists in the Bulls’ eighty three-81 win.

“It is extra, I believe, just a precaution. He is coming off a extremely large injury. We’re not too anxious,” Hinrich said. “He is been good all camp, and I’m assuming everyone is expecting him to be prepared.

“Coming back from an enormous injury like that, you don’t wish to push it too laborious, too quick.”

Rose missed all of final season after tearing the ACL in his left knee through the playoffs in April 2012. The former NBA MVP appeared in every of Chicago’s first two preseason games this month, scoring 13 factors while playing not less than 20 minutes in each contest.

Bulls government vice president John Paxson said Saturday that Rose’s soreness was not surprising and that the staff does not plan to have the three-time All-Star undergo an MRI.

“We never anticipated a straight line,” Paxson said, in line with the Chicago Tribune. “He had a bit of soreness and we are being ultraconservative as a result of it’s the third sport of preseason.

“We all know there’s nothing structurally to be fearful about. It’s just a little soreness. If it was another participant, we’d do the identical thing.”

The NBA star’s absence disenchanted a sellout crowd of 13,635 on the HSBC Arena in Rio – the gymnastics venue for the 2016 Olympics – the place the top ticket value for the preseason sport was 2,000 Brazilian reals ($915).

Followers began chanting late within the recreation “Rose, Rose,” hoping to see him take the floor, but Thibodeau plans on playing it safe together with his star level guard.

“In training camp when guys get sore, you often relaxation them,” he mentioned. “You might be at all times involved with injuries or soreness. We knew coming into the season he is coming off a serious damage.”

Thibodeau was unsure whether Rose would play in the Bulls’ subsequent recreation, at residence Wednesday against the Pistons.

“We’re undecided if he plays on Wednesday,” the coach said. “Right now it’s soreness, so we will just go daily.”

Chicago’s Joakim Noah also missed the sport, sitting out with a groin injury.

“Over the course of a season you are at all times going to have different issues by way of well being,” Thibodeau said. “So we count on when someone is out, the next man will step up and get the job achieved. We had a number of guys try this last year and we expect the identical subsequent 12 months.”

 
For more NCAA NBA MLB NFL, Scores, Reviews, Previews, and Picks, feel free to check out our sections from the tabs on top of the page where I will be updating on a daily basis

Would you like to show off your writing skills? opinions? for the sports world to see? If so feel free to contribute and we will publish your stories and reviews Info@wonder-punter.net

 

The NEW BetOnline

Read The Original Article

post

The 10-man rotation, starring Joe Johnson’s touch in the clutch

Joe Johnson’s again. (Getty Photographs)

A look around the league and the web that covers it. It’s also important to notice that the rotation order and starting nods aren’t at all times listed in order of importance. That is for you, pricey reader, to determine.

C: The Brooklyn Recreation. Devin Kharpertian with an enchanting portrayal of Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, one of the sport’s most cruelly efficient scorers down the stretch of close games.
PF: New York Times. That nagging $1.four million that is getting in the way of Jason Collins joining the top of an NBA group’s bench this season.
SF: Knickerblogger.net. David Hertsberger’s devious detailing of Andrea Bargnani’s promise as a New York Knick.
SG: Grizzly Bear Blues. Six unheralded points of what will doubtless be a captivating 2013-14 season for the Memphis Grizzlies.
PG: Philadelphia Day by day Information. Royce White’s Philadelphia 76ers preseason debut will happen on Friday night.

6th: NBA.com. We’re a bit late on this, but Steve Aschburner’s tackle Michael Jordan’s first retirement, 20 years on, is a must-learn.
7th: Grantland. Zach Lowe observes the demise of the a lot-cherished Toronto Raptors mascot, who is out for the 12 months with a torn Achilles.
8th: Sports activities Illustrated. Paul Forrester breaks down the relative fortunes awaiting the nine (!) rookie head coaches in 2013-14.
9th: SB Nation. Tom Ziller on Ted Leonsis, who’s getting very impatient together with his Washington Wizards.
10th: The Dream Shake. This is a very, very good column on Omer Asik’s influence on the Houston Rockets. Do read.

Read original article here

post

Sources: Kings re-up Cousins through 2018

The Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins reached terms late Thursday on a 4-year contract extension value in excess of $60 million, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

The deal is a four-yr most contract for the mercurial huge man, one season in need of the five-yr max Cousins was eligible to receive. It also contains no workforce or participant options, which means Cousins will probably be locked in with the Kings by means of the 2017-18 season.

Cousins

Cousins

The Sacramento Bee first reported the settlement, which takes effect beginning with the 2014-15 season.

ESPN.com reported this week that Cousins was on track to obtain an extension nicely in advance of the Oct. 31 deadline for 2010 first-spherical picks, with sturdy sentiment on both sides to strike a deal before the Kings open coaching camp Tuesday in Santa Barbara to take away the difficulty as a possible distraction for the franchise because it reboots underneath new proprietor Vivek Ranadive, its new front-workplace tandem of Pete D’Alessandro and Chris Mullin, and new coach Mike Malone.

Cousins joins Washington Wizards guard John Wall, Milwaukee Bucks middle Larry Sanders and Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George on the list of 2010 draftees to obtain extensions. Wall and George landed five-year max offers; Sanders signed a four-year deal price $44 million.

D’Alessandro, who had been scouting the EuroBasket match in Slovenia, returned to Sacramento this week to join Ranadive in resuming negotiations in earnest Thursday with Cousins’ brokers Dan Fegan and Jarrin Akana.

Cousins has averaged sixteen.3 factors and 9.eight rebounds whereas often flashing his distinctive gifts for a participant his measurement, however he has additionally led or been near the league lead in fouls committed all through a career marked by defensive struggles. Cousins’ volatility has likewise resulted in a number of suspensions, including a workforce-imposed ban last December for what the Kings termed unprofessional behavior, which is largely why Sacramento insisted on a four-year deal as a substitute of a full 5-year max.

However the constant reward Cousins has received from Ranadive since his ownership group gained a battle with Seattle to keep the franchise in Sacramento had made it extensively assumed in league circles that the Kings have been prepared to make a protracted-time period commitment to the 23-12 months-outdated. Sacramento is now banking on the notion that the security it has extended, as a part of the contemporary-start really feel circulating all through the organization, will lead to a extra plugged-in Cousins.

After announcing the addition of future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal as a minority owner and mentor to Cousins this week, Ranadive instructed USA Right this moment Sports activities: “I don’t need to say something untimely [about an extension], but I have been fixed in my support for DeMarcus. I reached out to him after we first closed the deal. He was the first particular person I reached out to. They’re out there working towards on their very own every single day and he’s on the market leading those practices. He is on the market with the team working towards each single day by themselves. [The players] all came to Sacramento early. I don’t know if that is ever happened.”

Other 2010 draftees labeled by league executives as probably (or no less than potential) extension candidates embrace the Utah duo of Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward, Detroit’s Greg Monroe, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, Boston’s Avery Bradley, and Sacramento’s Greivis Vasquez. The 2010 first-rounders who don’t sign extensions by Oct. 31 will be restricted free brokers in the summer of 2014.

Cousins was the fifth total pick in 2010 after one season beneath John Calipari on the College of Kentucky. He averaged 17.1 factors and 9.9 rebounds last season, but numerous clashes with coaches and teammates and a wavering dedication to protection have led some to question whether or not he can reside as much as a max deal

Read The Original Article

post

The 10-man rotation, starring Isaiah Thomas, who had a way better season than you might think

Which of those two point guards was better final year? Are you positive? (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Photographs)

A look across the league and the Web that covers it. It’s also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren’t always listed in order of significance. That’s for you, pricey reader, to figure out.

C: BBall Breakdown. In the technique of digging deep on Kyrie Irving, Coach Nick found one shocking title that saved popping up across the former No. 1 choose in a wide range of statistical categories — the former Mr. Irrelevant, diminutive Sacramento Kings level guard Isaiah Thomas. After taking a closer look at the sport tape and the numbers for each of the younger triggermen, he got here away thinking that the previous Washington Husky in all probability deserves a lot more attention than he will get.

PF: Concern the Sword. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ chances of making it back to the postseason may rely in large part on the kinds of contributions they get from their three 2013 draft picks — prime overall selection Anthony Bennett, first-spherical swingman Sergey Karasev and second-spherical ex-skater Carrick Felix. Which established professionals should the trio of rookies be learning to speed up their learning curves?

SF: SB Nation. Tom Ziller revisits his “Creation Ratio” metric to take an attention-grabbing have a look at how shot creation and shot utilization broke down among the many three finest offenses within the NBA last season, in hope of making an attempt to determine how successful units are constructed and how profitable defenses break them down.

SG: Sports activities on Earth. One other robust European hoops story from Flinder Boyd, who tells the story of Bo McCalebb, who went from undrafted Summer season League fodder to an iconic level of nationwide delight within the former Yugoslavic republic of Macedonia.

PG: Detroit Dangerous Boys. A EuroBasket-informed look at what Detroit Pistons fans may have the ability to count on once they get their first stateside take a look at lately signed former Italian League MVP Luigi Datome, one of the more intriguing gamers who’ll make his NBA debut this fall.

6th: Bullets Endlessly, SB Nation and Grantland. A trio of reactions to Wednesday’s bummerific harm information for the Washington Wizards, focusing on how Wizards coach Randy Wittman will look to restrict the fallout from shedding beginning center Emeka Okafor (and, to a lesser extent, reserve ahead Chris Singleton), how much the Okafor harm impacts the Wizards’ playoff possibilities and the way the Wizards are, regrettably, “the Jan Vesely of franchises.”

7th: The seven-hundred Degree. Amid studies that Andrew Bynum’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers lineup is a “fluid course of” with no set timetable, Philadelphia 76ers fan Andrew Unterberger asks his brethren: “What stage of misery do we wish on Cavs fans over the course of their group’s two-12 months, up to $24 million take care of Bynum?”

8th: The Two Man Sport. Kirk Henderson simply had the same again surgery that Dwight Howard had again in April 2012, and whereas he freely acknowledges that he isn’t about to be confused with a world-class athlete whose every waking/non-fart-booming second has been spent on getting in peak bodily situation, he nonetheless cannot shake one thought: “I can’t help but suppose that the Dwight Howard who lives in highlight reels and our collective memory could also be gone endlessly.”

9th: Sactown Royalty. On a Sacramento Kings staff that will want scoring, that mentioned goodbye to Tyreke Evans however added rookie Ben McLemore, and that brings again former first-round guard Jimmer Fredette, can undersized gunner Marcus Thornton dwell up to his group-high $eight.05 million 2013-14 price tag?

10th: NBA Couchside. Enjoyable with numbers: Kevin Ferrigan makes use of an adjusted model of the Wins Above Replacement Participant statistic to project the expertise level and sure win whole of the 2013-14 Minnesota Timberwolves: “This ‘Wolves squad has 45 win talent, with out context.” (Ah, sure, however context is the whole lot!)

post

The NBA, A-through-Z: ‘X,’ or, ‘players entering their tenth season.’

Dwight Howard, 10-12 months NBA veteran (Getty Photographs)

The free brokers have nearly all been signed up. The NBA is right down to a collection of Instagram photographs from moving yachts and crossed fingers from worried groups hoping their gamers stay protected in the summertime off. There’s nothing happening, save for that clock on the wall that’s ticking down to the 2013-14 season.

And it’s transferring SO SLOWLY.

This is why we’ve determined to choose 26 things we’re wanting forward to in 2013-14. Or, on the very least, 26 things that intrigue us as we wait out an offseason that feels prefer it has 1000’s of miles left to cross earlier than we will get to Halloween and opening week. As a result of there are 26 letters within the alphabet – you guessed, NBA A-by-Z.

We proceed with ‘X,’ or, ‘players entering their tenth season.’

Dwight Howard – The Superstar

Because of the quickness of his explicit resolution and, some would say, bravery of his alternative in deciding on the Houston Rockets as a free agent suitor, Howard’s repute took in a much-needed shot in the arm in early July. Even whereas debilitated by again and shoulder pain final season, and dealing with an ever-altering array in ball-dominating cohorts in Los Angeles (underneath a coach that didn’t also have a training camp), Howard nonetheless obtained 17 votes for All-NBA First Group, even if he didn’t deal with himself all that effectively professionally. With one more solely new system to adapt to in Houston, Howard would be the most ardently-adopted new face within the NBA in 2013-14. We hope he’s prepared for one more wholesome serving of exterior stress.

Emeka Okafor – The Respected Veteran

Passed over, in a shock to many that’s too-often forgotten practically a decade later, for Howard as the highest general choose within the 2004 draft, Okafor is on his third NBA staff, and looking to make up for his disastrous lone playoff showing from 2011. Emeka was one of the main lights for a Washington Wizards crew that break up its last 50 video games after a 4-28 begin to the 2012-13 season, serving to anchoring one of the league’s best defenses. Okafor has remained consistent, if unspectacular over the last four seasons, however he’s additionally nearing 31, and the Wizards aren’t exactly a lock for the East’s playoff bracket in 2013-14.

Shaun Livingston – The Survivor

It was Livingston – not Howard, and definitely not Okafor – that grew to become a darling of the NBA League Pass set throughout his temporary stretches of play during his first two seasons. His dimension, combined with a loping handle and sound inside court vision, made him a should-watch straight out of high school. Livingston wasn’t precisely slated for stardom halfway by means of his third season, but was anticipated to be a key cog in an up and coming Los Angeles Clippers crew before his crippling knee injury in 2007. The Brooklyn Nets backup is now on his seventh group (not counting second stints in Charlotte and Washington), and at age 27 Livingston managed to post the best Player Efficiency Ranking of his profession in 2012-thirteen. Coming into his prime, that is as good as comebacks get.

Josh Smith – The Enigma

For years, the wonder behind Josh Smith’s up and down play for the Atlanta Hawks at all times came all the way down to the setting. Was his inconsistency and at-occasions iffy shot selection a product of only realizing one system (mainly, unfold out over two head coaches), one workforce, and one city? Or was he to stay a project-type deep into his 30s? On a unique staff for the first time in his career, one that’s stuffed with players which have their very own mitigating criticisms, Smith now has a chance to show that those 20-footers were always someone else’s fault. Enjoy the ride, Detroit.

All coronary heart, grit, and grind. (Getty Pictures) Tony Allen – The Goofball

Some 4 and a half years ago, Allen ranked as public enemy number one by Boston Celtics followers. Tony played a skittish model of ball in the crew’s first round win over the Chicago Bulls, reportedly fearful over retribution for a Chicago-area taking pictures that occurred in 2005 for which Allen was round for, but not implicated in. Sent to Memphis to resurrect his career, he’s responded by turning into one of the league’s top defenders and … nicely, he’s nonetheless type of a large number on offense. Still, Allen’s effusive persona and hilarious Twitter web page have endeared him to local fans, and earned him a new free agent deal in 2013.

Kevin Martin – The Employed Gun

Martin’s ascension came at a time when a whole new era of NBA followers began to pay attention to issues like per-minute statistics, and general effectivity, which helped us recognize that the man who averaged simply 10.eight factors per recreation in his second 12 months might in some unspecified time in the future be able to a lot more. Like, “nearly two and a half times”-more, as evidenced by his 24.6 factors per contest for the Sacramento Kings in 2007-08. Dealt to Houston and then Oklahoma Metropolis to help shore up their offenses in the years since, Martin has now latched on in Minnesota, re-uniting with Rick Adelman – the coach that guided him during these adolescence.

Andris Biedrins – The Reclamation Project

After he practically averaged a double-double in only 27 minutes per sport at age 21 in 2007-08, main the NBA in shooting proportion alongside the way in which, Biedrins regarded like an actual comer for his Golden State Warriors. He performed just as well the following season, but completely misplaced religion in his always-awkward free throw stroke in the years since. Teams responded by fouling deliberately, and Biedrins started to play a timid fashion of ball, all while working on a boo-inducing six-year, $54 million contract. Traded to Utah over the summer season as a draft pick-gaining asset, and fewer of a enjoying asset, Biedrins will attempt to re-find the boldness that led him to change into one of many NBA’s greatest younger centers. With just 19 free throws made in seventy eight total tries since 2009, he has a long way to go.

Al Jefferson – The Go-To Guy

The low post demon has served as a force down low for a rebuilding Boston Celtics crew, a rebuilding Minnesota Timberwolves workforce, and a mediocre Utah Jazz staff over the previous couple of years, all the time getting as many touches as he may handle with teams that were desperate for his scoring. Just 28, he’ll be requested to work in his prime for a suitably-desperate Charlotte Bobcats squad, one which finished 28th in offense final 12 months before throwing three years and over $forty million at Massive Al. One problem with that? Someway, the Bobcats fared even worse defensively last year, ranking last in the league, and Jefferson is more than conscious that he owns a reasonably poor status as a defender.

Andre Iguodala – The Respected One

Even although Iguodala doesn’t have the offensive juice needed to guide a team deep into the playoffs (Philadelphia’s 2012 trip, over a Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah-less Bulls squad and in opposition to an ancient Boston Celtics team, doesn’t rely), that doesn’t imply he isn’t one of the NBA’s most coveted throughout skills. Denver badly needed Dre before buying and selling for him last yr, and Golden State normal manager Bob Myers drove himself batty trying to clear cap area to put Iguodala on the Warriors this summer. Golden State has its offense in place, now they’re anticipating the defensive-minded Iguodala to put them excessive.

Kris Humphries – The Punchline

Known mostly for his sham of a marriage to a actuality tv present participant, his low (or, “least”) likability, and numerous d-baggy exploits, Kris Humphries will try and extricate himself from his persona and re-set up himself as a basketball player-first with the Boston Celtics this yr. At age 28, Humphries in all probability sees Boston as one final attempt to LOL I can’t even write this with a straight face. Sorry Boston followers, you deserve higher.

post

10 other intriguing, noteworthy games worth watching on the 2013-14 NBA schedule

Sacramento Kings followers will have many reasons to cheer once they tip off this season. (Rocky Widner/Getty)

When the NBA launched the full 2013-14 regular-season schedule on Tuesday evening, intrepid Yahoo! Sports activities NBA columnist Marc J. Spears immediately made his picks for the ten must-see matchups of the forthcoming season, giving hoop fans the dates he believes most merit circling on the brand new NBA calendar. While we would by no means presume to contradict our colleague, in a slate this huge, there’s bound to be a slew of different video games value keeping track of, so why not dig a bit deeper?

Eric Freeman has discovered 10 he liked in each of the past two seasons, and this 12 months, he is invited Dan Devine along to pick a number of he is keen to look at. Here’s what they came up with:

***

Denver Nuggets at Sacramento Kings: Oct. 30. When the Kings final played in mid-April, their future was unsure, with the NBA’s Board of Governors but to weigh in on their potential sale to the Seattle-based ownership group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. Might’s decision and subsequent sale to the local group headed by Vivek Ranadivé has saved the group in Sacramento, as well as given your complete franchise new hope after several years of subpar management from Joe and Gavin Maloof. It is a new day for the team and its fans.

The last few years have seen passionate assist from devoted Kings followers on game nights when it appeared as if the franchise was close to relocation. This season’s residence opener can be a different, an event outlined not a lot by desperation as the pride and optimism that comes with a fresh begin. It will likely be a starting, not the potential finish of a protracted journey. — Eric Freeman

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder: Nov. 1. As I wrote earlier this offseason, I am not totally sure that bringing in/again Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer and first-spherical choose Shabazz Muhammad (especially while subtracting Andrei Kirilenko) will make the Wolves a demonstrably better basketball team this season. I do, nonetheless, assume those acquisitions will assist make Minnesota a greater offensive workforce, especially when mixed with a completely healthy (fingers crossed) Kevin Love, a version of Ricky Rubio who’s had a full NBA offseason with out rehabbing from a catastrophic knee injury and (provided this glacial contract course of ultimately culminates in a re-signing) a healthy, rested and paid Nikola Pekovic.

I think that Minnesota team will be, if not glorious, then not less than immensely watchable on a night-to-evening foundation because of improved outdoors capturing, punishing inside-out play from Love and Pekovic, the always-appointment-viewing passing of Rubio and a new slew of active wings capable of activating offense in Rick Adelman’s nook scheme. I’m additionally willing to consider the chance that they will be better than I anticipate defensively, as they were in 2011-12 earlier than Rubio’s torn ACL despatched the team careening off the trail. At worst, they’re going to be fun; at greatest, they could be a risk. So let’s line them up against perhaps one of the best team within the Western Conference — a group led by Love’s Team USA buddy, Kevin Durant, and whose second-in-command, Russell Westbrook, is on observe to be back from the knee injury he suffered through the playoffs — and see which path these Wolves are on.

Also, I bear in mind this happening:

… and, seeing the prospect of early-season well being for all involved, I am very amped. — Dan Devine

Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards: Oct. 30 (Opening Night), Dec. 28, Dec. 30, Jan. 18. At first look, this is the kind of mid-profile sport that pops up on the NBA schedule each night time, a nondescript contest between two playoff hopefuls with comparatively small margins of error (and injury). But, from one other vantage, it is a matchup that makes League Go the most effective bargains in your cable company’s order form.

This offseason, the Pistons dedicated themselves to watchability after several seasons within the aesthetic doldrums, acquiring level guard Brandon Jennings and mercurial ahead Josh Smith to affix man-youngster Andre Drummond and the skilled Greg Monroe. The Wizards, alternatively, have probably the most promising younger trios within the league in max-level point guard John Wall, capturing guard Bradley Beal, and rookie ahead Otto Porter. Their 4 matchups this season could not qualify as main games between contenders, however they provide startling potential for the random leisure that makes the NBA so watchable on a nightly basis. — EF

Andrew Bynum’s return to Philly must be fascinating. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Photographs) Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nov. 8 and Nov. 9. A home-and-residence, back-to-back, Friday-and-Saturday pair that includes the staff that simply signed growth/bust lottery ticket Andrew Bynum and the group whose new CEO just needed to apologize for the previous regime buying and selling for him feels like a pretty closely emotional and compelling set. Plus, the double-dip takes place early sufficient in the season that Philadelphia can neither be mathematically eliminated from anything yet or do too much harm to their tanking strategy by winning, so they may find some compelling incentive to attempt to win. Sincere(ish) competition!

If Bynum is, as planned, able to go for training camp and capable of stay upright/cellular by way of the beginning of the season — hey, it’s nonetheless the offseason, let’s stay optimistic — this might represent the first opportunity for Sixers fans to really see the 7-foot center play stay skilled basketball, which the Wells Fargo Heart devoted will likely reward with either polite applause or hurled hunks of jagged, flaming particles. It is unlikely that eventual centerpiece/2013 lottery choose Nerlens Noel can have returned from rehabbing his torn ACL in time to do something more than watch this one from the sidelines, however even when that is all he does, as we discovered last year, there’s fun available simply watching an apparently coiffed big man trip the pine for Philly.

Also, in on-courtroom terms, it ought to be fun to see which weapons All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving brings out to combat Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams, whose 6-foot-6 body and quickness suggest an intriguing defensive prospect. My guess? Whichever weapons Kyrie desires, early, typically and repeatedly, persevering with a brutal starting to the Syracuse product’s NBA career that will see him face the Miami Heat, then need to examine Irving twice, John Wall twice, Derrick Rose (hopefully), Stephen Curry and Tony Parker inside his first two weeks as a professional. Welcome to the NBA, younger fella. — DD

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder: Dec. 29. The James Harden trade is certain to define any matchup between these teams for the following a number of seasons, or a minimum of so long as it represents the moment at which the Thunder inadvertently turned a rival right into a contender while concurrently hurting their very own possibilities at a title. Despite no matter occasions received them up to now, though, these two groups figure to be two of the West’s top groups for the foreseeable future, longer than the aging (if also ageless) San Antonio Spurs, the Chris Paul-dependent Los Angeles Clippers, and the more tenuously successful Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies. Each rosters function young-ish stars with room to develop (or, in the case of Dwight Howard, return to prominence), and their general managers appear to have sufficient flexibility to improve their groups when vital.

The Harden trade, then, is nearly a distraction from the instant pleasure of watching two exciting, superb groups play each other several instances per season. The season’s first matchup ought to remind us that each one our chatter about storylines exists to organize us for what really issues: the video games. — EF

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors: Dec. thirteen. Two seasons in the past, these teams finished in the draft lottery. Final season, they climbed up into the Western Convention’s top eight behind the electrical guard play of James Harden and Stephen Curry, with Houston giving the (shorthanded) Thunder a rough go of it in Spherical 1 and the Dubs turning into postseason individuals’s champs by knocking off the Denver Nuggets and scaring the daylights out of the San Antonio Spurs. This season, they’ve made arguably the 2 largest pickups of the offseason, particularly on the defensive finish, with the Rockets landing All-Star heart Dwight Howard to anchor the interior and the Warriors executing a 3-group sign-and-trade to import Andre Iguodala to lock down the perimeter. (And lest we overlook, the Warriors had been one of many few teams granted a free-agent audience with Howard, who reportedly came away very impressed with Golden State’s workers and group.)

Both ranked in the prime five in possessions per game last season, so they like to rise up and down the ground. Both ranked within the prime 11 in points per possession, too, in order that they know what to do with the ball as soon as they cross half-courtroom. They both seem to have improved across the board, supplementing their major acquisitions with smart lower-key add-ons that seem to have bolstered their benches and neatly fleshed out their rotations. And their 4 conferences last season were bookended by Houston hanging 140 on the Warriors earlier than Mark Jackson ordered intentional fouls to keep the Rockets from setting an NBA record for made three-pointers, and Curry going off for 29 points and eleven dimes as Golden State blew Houston out by 30. Draymond Green says he doesn’t like the Rockets; the sensation, we’re certain, is mutual, and I’m betting Howard hasn’t forgotten that stray elbow from Golden State energy forward David Lee while Dwight was carrying purple and gold.

Add up the scoring, the speed, the sparks that have flown between the two groups and the inimitable spirit of the Oracle followers, and I am betting that Friday night matchup’s going to be value staying house to catch. — DD

Expect Andrew Wiggins to be a significant matter of dialog in 2014. (Sam Forencich/Getty)

Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic: March 2. Although much is subject to alter over the subsequent 10 months, the 2014 NBA draft seems to be the strongest on the prime since Greg Oden and Kevin Durant entered the league in 2007. It figures, then, that the league’s worst teams will interact in a similar rush to the underside to increase their lottery odds, all in the hopes of nabbing a future famous person in June.

The Sixers and Magic aren’t certain to end up as the NBA’s backside two squads in 2013-14, however they’re likely to challenge for the league’s dunce cap. As such, their closing matchup in March may have a big impact on the lottery, and by extension the next decade of basketball. (Or, you understand, possibly the team with the second decide will find yourself with the far better participant.) — EF

New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Path Blazers: Dec. 21. If not for the Pistons, the Pelicans might need entered the season as the league’s most intriguing group. A lottery squad in each of the final two seasons after Chris Paul’s departure, the Pelicans elected to make a push for respectability next 12 months by trading its prime picks in 2013 (which wound up being Kentucky middle Noel) and 2014 (a high-5 protected choice) to the 76ers for All-Star level guard Jrue Holiday. They then engineered a 3-team deal to import former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, with visions of versatile wing lineups featuring some mixture of these two, reportedly-now-healthy maxed-out shooting guard Eric Gordon and 2012 first-rounder Austin Rivers making issues occur on the perimeter, opening up opportunities for emerging beast Anthony Davis and flooring-stretching marksman Ryan Anderson.. offered, in fact, all of it comes collectively.

Quiet as it’s saved, though, the Blazers (who’ve also missed the playoffs in each of the final two seasons) have made an identical push toward relevance, drafting exciting small-faculty combo guard C.J. McCollum to both pair with and again up reigning Rookie of the Yr Damian Lillard, and making a number of shrewd strikes (signing swingman Dorell Wright, snaring 2011 lottery choose Thomas Robinson for a pair of second-round picks, landing middle Robin Lopez within the three-teamer that despatched Evans to New Orleans) that seem to have fortified what was arguably the league’s worst bench final season.. supplied, in fact, it all comes collectively.

By the time these teams meet at the Rose Backyard, Portland will have performed 27 games and New Orleans could have performed 24. They will have had nearly three months because the begin of coaching camp to have labored out rotations, began to develop chemistry amongst all the brand new and current items, and have had the opportunity to figure out whether their respective pushes towards capital-m Mattering in the NBA playoff conversation seem ready to take off or have stalled, which is interesting sufficient in a macro sense. And from an instantaneous run-of-play perspective, the sheer array of interesting combine-and-match talents on the ground — Davis’ awkward-yet-easy apositional frontcourt box-checking, LaMarcus Aldridge’s considerably Boshian 4/5 bristling, extra ball-dealing with guards who can play the nominal one or two than you would shake a stick at, outsized threes/small-ball fours Nicolas Batum and Al-Farouq Aminu, and so forth. — to make this a enjoyable watch in and of itself that might wind up telling us one thing more about the Western playoff picture.

And if all that does not tickle your fancy, I’ve acquired 4 words for you: Robin Lopez Revenge Sport. — DD

Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks: April 16. The final evening of the 2012-13 season featured an excessive amount of excitement, with Stephen Curry setting a brand new file for 3-pointers in a season, the Los Angeles Lakers avoiding embarrassment and clinching a playoff berth, and Sacramento Kings fans doubtlessly watching their workforce for the final time. Solely time will tell what 2013-14’s finale brings, but we can bet it’s going to be magical.

One thing we do know, not less than as of this writing, is that a national TELEVISION viewers will get to benefit from the season-closing tilt between the Hawks and Bucks on ESPN. It appears as though the Worldwide Chief has banked on these squads battling for a playoff spot, and it sure looks like a doozy. Will Jeff Teague rating 20 points and switch the tide in a number of fantasy leagues? Will Ersan Ilyasova take a nap in the course of the third quarter? Will Al Horford and Paul Millsap even have to play? Keep tuned for “SportsCenter!” — EF

When Rudy returns to Memphis, neither he nor Z-Bo figure to be smiling. (Joe Murphy/NBA/Getty Photographs) Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies: Nov. thirteen. The Raptors and Grizzlies faced off once last season after the trade that despatched Rudy Gay north of the border, but the meeting took place at the Air Canada Centre — Homosexual scored 13 points on 15 pictures, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 17 apiece and the Grizzlies earned a six-level highway win. It will symbolize Homosexual’s first journey to FedEx Forum as a visitor after 6 half of seasons and more than 8,500 factors scored in a Grizzlies uniform.. and yet, you surprise if Memphians really miss his iso-heavy, accuracy-light, volume-taking pictures wing sport as much as his prior level of productivity would seem to dictate.

As I’ve written prior to now, Memphis improved on each ends of the floor after the three-workforce deal that despatched Homosexual to the Raptors, redistributing the possessions beforehand utilized by the athletic swingman to more environment friendly gamers like Conley, Randolph and (most notably) Marc Gasol whereas persevering with to lock down on the defensive end en route to a visit to the Western Convention finals — a level of success they by no means reached with Homosexual playing a pivotal role. However would that method — ditch shot-jacking, unfold responsibility around, emphasize elevated participant and ball motion, operate extra via the 2 huge guys and rating just enough to let your clamp-down D take you residence — be lauded fairly as a lot as it has been if Memphis is not successful?

What if the Grizzlies — who look robust again after re-upping perimeter defending ace Tony Allen, snaring amnestied shooter Mike Miller and trading for regular backup huge man Kosta Koufos — get off to a slow begin in opposition to a troublesome slate that includes the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, revamped Pistons, reloaded Warriors and Jap Conference doppelganger Indiana Pacers? What if Gay — his jumper instantly scorching after long-overdue offseason vision correction surgery — gets off to a sizzling begin and has Toronto wanting like they may compete for one of many East’s lower-tier playoff spots? Might those few lingering voices that take a look at Memphis and say, “It would be good to have someone who may reliably create his personal shot,” find some extra pals? Or has the Grindhouse come far enough to rest on what it is aware of about its group’s id, salute Rudy for his service and return concerning the business of not bluffing?

I suspect I do know the reply to that question, however like every part else we’re talking about right now, we won’t actually know for positive until the season gets getting in earnest; then, all of the questions we pore over during the summer time will likely be changed by entire new units of quandaries that we’ll spend the subsequent eight months attempting to solve. It’s going to be great. — DD