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The 10-man rotation, starring the mess in Detroit
2014-12-04

C: Detroit News. Vincent Goodwill, as he usually does, adroitly nails down the frustrations Stan Van Gundy is working through as he attempts to turn an entire franchise around. The Josh Smith breakdown is rather frightening.
PF: MLive. David Mayo documents Van Gundys complaints about his messed up team.
SF: Detroit Bad Boys. Jason Brunskowski wonders what the Pistons should attempt to fix first, the offense or its defense? What a depressing thought.
SG: SB Nation. Ricky ODonnell basks in the glow of the Dallas/Chicago contest from Tuesday night, perhaps the NBAs best game of the year. For Mavericks fans, at least.
PG: Blog-a-Bull. From Chicagos end, lets look at where the Bulls (barely) went wrong.
6th: Sports Illustrated. Friendly reminder: Tony Parker is still leading the NBA in three-point shooting.
7th: ESPN. LeBron James half-jokes about saying nah, not so much to an All-Star Game in Cleveland.
8th: Sports Illustrated. Ben Golliver on the Oklahoma City Thunder, who will probably have to win two-thirds of their games from here on out to make the playoffs.
9th: Roundball Mining Company. Breaking down Denvers work from Tuesday night, in the teams close loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
10th: The Classical. Robert OConnell on the ascension of Jimmy Butler.




New York Knicks still needs some more firepower
2011-02-08

The New York Knicks have Apuestas Deportivas Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US NFL Picks earned respect this season with the arrival and stellar play of Amar’e Stoudemire, but former Knicks superstar John Starks believes that the team needs to add a few more pieces in order to contend for an NBA title.

Starks, who have been a constant follower of the Knicks since he retired, said that the sky is the limit for the team, but the Knicks would be more formidable if they would be able to add two or more solid players in their fold.

“We definitely need a couple more players,” Starks said. “I know there's been talk about certain players coming here and Donnie Walsh understands what it takes in order to put together a championship squad. He did it when he was in Indiana and he's doing a masterful job here in New York.”

Starks, who have been a crowd favorite during his eight seasons with the Knicks from 1990 to 1998, remains confident that Walsh is the right man for the job and he believes that the veteran general manager would be able to build a championship contender like what he did when he was still with the Indiana Pacers. Walsh had a successful stint with the Pacers, putting together a team that reached the 2000 NBA Finals, although they vowed to the Shaquille O’Neal-led Los Angeles Lakers.

“You always have to continue to improve. You can't just sit still in this league and hope for the best,” Starks said. “And what Donnie is trying to do is he's trying to put together that team can definitely get us back to the Finals.”

The Knicks have the ability to add another marquee player in their fold because they are expected to be a huge player when the trade deadline approaches. New York was reportedly Carmelo Anthony’s preferred destination.

The Denver Nuggets forward has been involved in a lot of trade rumors since the off-season, and the Knicks are one of the most aggressive suitors for the superstar forward. The Knicks are willing to unload players other than Stoudemire plus first-round draft picks on order to acquire Anthony.

Although Starks did not directly talked about acquiring Carmelo Anthony, Starks said that acquiring an elite player, while giving up a hefty package of players would be a good gamble depending on the quality of player the Knicks would acquire.

“It's happened before in the past and it worked out,” Starks said. “Depending on what player you're going after and what you have to give up. That's the business that's we're in. You sometimes have to give up a little bit more to get the type of player that you want.”

Starks, who was a member of the Knicks that reached the 1993-94 NBA Finals, also expressed excitement about the renewed hope and energy of the Knicks fans. Starks said that the recent decent showing from the Knicks have brought Madison Square Garden to its status of being the best basketball arena in the World.

“You can see the intensity, the energy that's in the building again and it's just exciting to see the city lit up right now,” Starks said. “Walking down the street yesterday and you can hear the rhetoric about the Knicks now, and you haven't heard that in some years.”

After being a regular cellar-dweller in past few years, the Knicks are on pace to return to the playoffs this season and adding another marquee player like Carmelo Anthony would make them an instant title-contender this season. The Knicks are +900 to win the Eastern Conference championship according to the Basketball Odds at Sportsbook.com the home of NBA betting.



NBA: Celtics vs Lakers Betting Preview
2010-06-03

In the history of the NBA, two teams stand above the rest, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. These two franchises have combined to win 32 NBA titles. Boston has beaten the Lakers nine of 11 meetings in the NBA Finals which substantiates the point for many people of substance over style. The teams meet again in the 2010 NBA Finals, starting on Thursday night. Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com have installed Los Angeles, who has the home court advantage, as a -180 series favorite.
The Lakers like to make the argument that in spite of having a couple less titles than the Celtics, theirs is the better franchise having a bit of Jack Nicklaus in them, finishing runner-up 16 times.
What makes this appointment television is history. For many of the players let alone those tuned in to watch, this matchup is about Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Jerry West. What made this important is they met one another over a short period of time. Boston defeated the Lakers seven times from 1959 to 1969 and they met three times in four years from 1984 to 1987.
That is what makes this renewal even better than two June’s ago. The last time basketball fans had a 21-year break between heated encounters, this time most of the combatants are the same that met two years prior. What is different this time compared to 2008 when the Celtics hung their first NBA championship banner since 1986?
Trust and Age
Though Ray Allen was having brutal postseason two years ago, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in particular were at the top of their respective games. Each was able to dominate for lengthy periods of any contest and did in those six games.
Today, neither KG nor Pierce has that same ability; both can make a series of outstanding plays to help Boston, just in a shorter time span. The Celtics are helped by Allen being a much stronger contributor now, but the driving force of this Doc Rivers club is Rajon Rondo. The former Kentucky product has exploded onto the scene in the playoffs and been the catalyst behind the Celtics success. The C’s now feed off what Rondo delivers.
Two years ago, Kobe did not trust his teammates. He demanded total effort in the biggest games and they did not deliver to his liking. Last year’s title drive was all about finishing the deal and becoming champions again and though Bryant has his doubts from time to time about the 2010 edition of the Lake Show, he knows what to expect from Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and to a lesser degree Lamar Odom and Ron Artest.
It’s all about the matchups
How does Boston limit Kobe’s effectiveness? Doc Rivers coach’s by feel more than X’s and O’s during games. Rivers will go after Bryant with Baskin-Robbins approach, using a variety of methods. Guard Kobe tight to force him to drive into lane where the Celtics big men can create issues. Let him shoot from the outside to prevent him from getting fouled too often and adding up points. They will double Kobe on the wings or single him up in the middle of the floor and go with what works best.
Derek Fisher took it as personal mission to stay with Steve Nash in West finals, but he has nowhere near enough foot speed to stay with Rondo. That means Bryant will see Rondo aplenty and if Boston wants to slow the pace, L.A. will be cool with that process, since Bryant can use his size and wing span to stay in front of Rondo. Expect coach Rivers to dictate to Rondo to run at every opportunity to maximize his effectiveness.
Pierce and Artest is a potential swing matchup in the series. Pierce’s jab step jumper is more deadly when he sets up defender by driving to the bucket. If he can make Artest indecisive about his intentions, he could frustrate Ron-Ron into drawing silly fouls and taking him mentally out of the game.
Artest has to knock down enough shots to keep Pierce honest on defense and prevent him from clogging driving lanes. Artest’s job on the other end of the floor is to limit Pierce’s scoring ability and work him so that his legs don’t give him the leverage he needs late in the game to make jumpers.
In the frontcourt, Boston will try and manhandle the Lakers bigs with their imposing strength using Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace to roughhouse. Los Angeles should be accustomed to these tactics, expect Phil Jackson to try and manufacture matchups playing to the strengths of Gasol, Odom and Andrew Bynum in the triangle offense.
Coaching counts
In 2008, the Rivers vs. Jackson coaching matchup was thought to be akin to choosing between Snookie of “Jersey Shore” and Megan Fox. Rivers it turns out is the right coach for Boston, continually pushing his club to do better thru effort and precision and working game plans with mastermind assistant Tom Thibodeau.
Jackson was almost passive when his club lost to the Celtics in the finals two seasons ago, but has been much more involved the last two years, not sitting idly by wanting players to learn from adversity. He’s been more aggressive in substitution patterns and back to trying different bench players in various situations to find the spark when needed.
ATS nuts and bolts
Both teams were unreliable home teams wagers with the Lakers 42-7 and 21-27-2 ATS record and the Celtics 31-19 and 19-30-1 ATS. Given their ability and skill, each was a factor as visitors with Boston 31-18 (26-22-1 ATS) and L.A. 27-22 (22-26-1 ATS).
In the last three years the Celtics “Big Three” is 7-5 and 9-2 ATS against Los Angeles. The road team has won five games outright of the previous 13 meetings, however just one was in the finals in 2008.
You will read the home court is not a significant factor because of how the visitors have played lately, but if you are making series wager, the teams with home court advantage has won eight of last ten.
What happens?
Only once in the previous 25 years has seed other than No. 1-3 won the NBA championship and Boston was a four seed coming into the postseason. Eddie House and Leon Powe were significant players for the Celtics in the last finals meeting, both play elsewhere today.
Gasol and Bryant together are better players than the previous finals confrontation and the Lakers are 44-0 in any series with Jackson as coach if they win Game 1.
This will be rugged, physical series, with the trophy staying in L.A.
Pick- L.A. Lakers (-180) in seven over Boston (+150)


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