Posted Saturday, May 23, 2009 09:25 PM
When LeBron James hit that 25-foot prayer at the end of Game 2, I, as someone who has a healthy futures bet on the Cavs to win the championship, didn't feel relieved.
I sat there in defeat knowing that while my team pulled out a miracle win, there was no way Cleveland would be able to win this series against Orlando.
This league is - pardon the cliché - all about matchups and the Magic just happen matchup extremely well against the Cavs.
Mike Brown is comfortable playing one offensive big man and one defensive rebounder/hustler. The problem with this strategy is that it allows Dwight Howard to man the paint and leave the offensively challenged Cleveland big man - be it Ben Wallace or Anderson Varejao - alone to wonder the perimeter.
That means any time LeBron heads to the basket, the NBA defensive player of the year is there waiting for him.
That's only part of the problem for Brown. His best two-guard is too short (Delonte West) is too short to guard any of Orlando's wing players. James is the only starter who can effectively guard Hedo, Rashard and Pietrus but he can't guard all three at the same time. Plus having him work hard on the defensive end leaves him with less juice in the fourth quarter to create scoring chances for the Cavs.
I'm going to load up on Orlando to win this series hoping to recoup some of the money I foolishly put on Cleveland a couple months back.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 08:27 PM
I think the Lakers are better than the Nuggets and the NBA will get the Finals it wants (L.A. vs. Cleveland), but I don't think enough people are talking about how cool it'd be seeing Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James faceoff in the Finals.
The Black Mamba vs. The Chosen One would be fun to watch (and would make a hell of a video game title), but I don't think you'd see Kobe Bryant guarding James very much.
In the past when the Lakers and Cavs play, Kobe doesn't man up against LeBron until the final minutes of the fourth quarter (I don't understand why a guy who plays defense 5-10 minutes a game should be on the All-Defensive team). LeBron would have to guard his All-Star counterpart if Mike Brown sticks with Delonte West at the two guard (West is way too short and small to try and defend Bryant).
Now, Carmelo and LeBron would almost surely have to guard each other because they both play the small position (small forward) and they both have similar height, weight and quickness (although LeBron probably has the edge in all three categories).
I think Denver will win two games against the Lakers, but the Nuggets are still worth a small futures bet (+350 at Betjamaica
) to win the Finals.
Whoever represents the West in the Finals should provide the Cavs with strong competition and help make ... [More]
Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009 09:39 AM
It’s safe to guess who’ll be the final four in the NBA playoffs. I like to put on my neon-green visor and play oddsmaker for the potential Game 1 lines.
The Los Angeles Lakers still have to win one more game before advancing but I think it’s safe to assume they’ll finish off the Rockets in six. Even though they were embarrassed (just admit Phil) in Game 4 on Houston’s court, the Purple and Gold have too much talent to lose again to the Yao and T-Mac-less Rockets.
Denver will put the finishing touches on Dallas Wednesday night (8.5-point favorite at Betjamaica.com
), which means we’ll see a Kobe-Melo Western Conference finals.
There’s usually always a tax when playing the Lakers because of the team’s large group of backers, but the club’s mediocre ATS record this postseason (5-5 entering Game 6 vs. Houston) should eat into the duty.
And of course the betting public has affection for the Nuggets thanks to their sparkling 9-0 ATS mark.
I see the Game 1 line between L.A. and Denver opening at -5. An oddsmaker told me he probably open Lakers -6. The Lakers don’t seem too interested in playing defense these days but they have the man power to matchup well against Carmelo Anthony.
Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom both have the length and strength to jam up Melo from getting the ball where in ... [More]