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March Madness Bracket
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Phoenix Suns agree to Blockbuster deal with Orlando Magic
Aiming to bolster their chances NFL Betting Lines this season, the Phoenix Suns made their first big move this year when they struck a deal with the re-tooling Orlando Magic squad on Sunday 18 December.
The Suns, who are still in the process of adjusting after losing Amar’e Stoudemire during the offseason, acquired eight-time all-star guard Vince Carter, defensive specialist Mickael Pietrus, center Marcin Gortat, and a first-round draft pick in exchange for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and second-year forward Earl Clark.
“This transaction helps us now and in the future,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said in the team’s official statement. “While it is difficult to see players like Jason, Hedo and Earl depart; we are excited to welcome Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus. Marcin addresses our need for more size, rebounding and defensive presence. Vince and Mickael will be dynamic in our offense and improve our perimeter defense.”
Although he admitted that trading away Richardson, Turkoglu, and Clark was a difficult decision, Babby believes that the deal would benefit the team and will greatly address their lack of size and their poor defense, which has caused some struggles for them this season.
“Carter and Pietrus give us a great defensive presence on the perimeter and they should be extremely dynamic offensively,” Babby said. “And, of course, I think we all recognize that we had a need here for an increased interior presence, size and rebounding. And Gortat is really someone that we've had our eye on since we got here.”
The deal, which was the first major move made by the Suns new front office tandem of Babby and general manager Lance Blanks, also produced speculations that Phoenix will start revamping their roster and dealing two-time Most Valuable Player Steve Nash would be the next big move that the Suns will look for.
However, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver reiterated that they have no plans of dealing Nash and they would not even entertain trade proposals for their backcourt general, who is averaging MVP-like numbers this season: 17.5 points and 10.2 assists in 23 games this season.
“This deal has nothing to do with trading Nash,” Sarver said in an ESPN interview. “We have no intention to trade him.”
Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith, on the other hand, said that the deal would improve their team after struggling this month, dropping six of their last 10 games, while witnessing their Eastern Conference rivals, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, racked up 12 consecutive wins each.
“We’re very excited to welcome these three players to our family,” Smith said. “Richardson is a tremendous athlete who runs the floor, can shoot the ball and loves to compete. We’re obviously familiar with Hedo. He is a great shooter and is a player that has flourished in our system. We liked Clark in the draft a few years ago, and he will help fortify our frontcourt.”
The Magic also acquired Gilbert Arenas in a separate deal that sent sharp-shooting forward Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards, proving that they are dead serious in contending for a title this season.
“We needed a little bit more punch,” general manager Smith said. “All those guys coming in have an ability to move the ball. After looking at our team through 25 games, we were missing a little something. I thought change was needed.”
The Suns and the Magic, who both sit in the middle of the standings of their respective conferences, are expected to improve with the deals that they have made, providing a serious threat to their conference rivals.
After this deal the Magic are +700 to win the Eastern Conference championship according to Sportsbook.com. Are you betting on them? Get over to sportsbook.com and get into the betting action today.
NBA: Los Angeles in command and favored
Have you noticed how calm the Lakers have been this postseason? Yes, they have lost four road games and been 2-2 in two different series, plus gave away a few leads th at caused spread losses for backers, but not once have Kobe Bryant and the rest of his teammates looked truly flustered and exasperated to the point where they appeared beatable in a series. Up 1-0 in the NBA Finals series with Boston, Los Angeles goes into Game 2 on Sunday night as a 6-point favorite according to Sportsbook.com.
Game 1 was perfect example of Los Angeles' confident demeanor, as they were methodical in beating Boston. The Lakers were up by five after the first quarter, led by nine and the half and salted the contest away with 34-23 third stanza, building insurmountable 84-64 lead.
Phil Jackson’s club is 9-2 ATS after a playoff win this spring and are under control. After the Lakers ended the series against Phoenix in Game 6, the talk in the desert was the Suns lack of defensive intensity, as the Lake Show has 91 points after three quarters. Who would have ever guessed the defensive-minded Celtics would have permitted 84 points with 12 minutes still left to play?
It was shocking how little resistance Boston put up. Early today if you Googled the term “non-factor”, pictures of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett all appeared. Paul Pierce was the only Celtics player showing any game close to what Celtics would expect, but that was mostly in the final quarter when the outcome was already determined, as they fell to 6-19 ATS versus up-tempo teams averaging 83 or more shots a game this year.
To borrow a little Dick Vitale speak, the Lakers were ‘windex-men” cleaning the glass, outrebounding Boston by 42-31. With Pau Gasol having eight offensive rebounds, you would have thought he had grown a foot.
When Doc Rivers was asked about the last time he remembered his team being so outclassed on the boards, he responded this way. “I don’t know if I recall one,” he said. “But I know if there was, we lost that game, too. I can guarantee you that.”
You don’t rebound; you don’t win. What’s true during the regular season holds even truer now.
“They killed us on the glass,” he said.
What can Boston do to plot an upset in Game 2? Of course they have to rebound better, which might entail sending more players to the glass on the defensive side and once the ball is secured, immediately find Rondo and let him fire up the jets to beat L.A. down the floor. Rondo has to show better judgment with the ball in his hands.
The Celtics staff has to find ways to rub Pierce off Ron Artest’s “krazy glue” defense. Garnett can’t be dominated by Gasol, he has to work harder for rebounds and make medium range jump shots to pull the big man from Spain away from the bucket.
The Lakers offense is especially fluid at the Staples Center, which suggests Perkins has to be more a factor on the offense end besides setting screens. Though his scoring skills are limited, Perkins has to defeat Andrew Bynum in the post and be fed the ball for dunks or layups. Rivers and his coaches usually make solid adjustments and are 9-1 ATS off a road loss by 10 points or more over the last two seasons.
Sportsbook.com has L.A. as a six-point fave with total of 190 and they are 8-3 ATS after breaking the century mark. With two days between contests the Lakers are 12-4 UNDER this season. The Celtics will have to be much more assertive and are 22-10 ATS away from home after consecutive games with 19 or less assists. The last five times Boston has allowed 100 or more points, the next contest goes UNDER the number.
This matchup has an earlier start time of 8:00 Eastern on ABC and this is an absolute must win for the team in green, as it appears very unlikely they would sweep three at home.
StatFox Power Line – Lakers by 2
San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks first round NBA Playoffs
Well it is that time of the season again and with the playoff time that has just about kicked off in the “Western Conference”, it’s important that you stay updated with your favorite players and the happenings around the league as betting on basketball take one very important thing, knowledge.
If you have been loyal to the game you would then know that every year the Mavericks always play a full 48 minutes of hard fought basketball and in turn award their fans with a punched out opponent. So will this be any different this year, NBA odds are unsure. Taking into consideration the Western Conference is filled with a range of playoff teams each with 50+ wins, it is seen that the Mavericks went gone over the hill to do an improvement of their abilities; this has been noticed with the team being redone and upgraded. Howard and Gooden have been traded away for Caron Butler and Brandon Haywood.
There have been more points averaged than what Josh Howard averaged with the fantabulous entry of Butler, while it has been noticed that Haywood has contributed to becoming the motivating factor on defensive gaming techniques for the spirit of the team, so lets take the big-man who is the younger one of the lot and just averaging under Gooden’s point totals, nevertheless scored more rebounds than him, plays better at blocks and the critics are of the opinion that involving him was a good move which will now only bring on success and fortune to the game and the team members at large for the team of Dallas in the coming years.
Jason Kidd is at the starting line and is with the league now for a very long time; on the other hand we have off the bench names like Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, and Erick Dampler and Dirk Nowitzki. However for Mavericks would be Tim Thomas, has a reputation of 9 seasons in which he has been associated with seven teams. He is known for his lazy attitude which led him out of the team. It was in the beginning of 2010 whilst Thomas was not regularly heard or seen of and no where on the Mavericks roster was he to be seen and rumors went abuzz of a clash between him and the Mavs that led to cut ties with him. Well baseless as it was Thomas was actually quiet and not as the media said making a ruckus in their locker room, nor was there a clash between him and the team. The young player was away to attend to his ailing wife and to quote Thomas who clearly stated that he was out and away taking care of his better half and hence had to sacrifice many a games with the team. Now that is one dude I would love to meet for sure, someone who stands up against the tide and knows his head from his shoulders and yet swims the tardiest of waters to be a successful survivor at the end of it all. Nevertheless irrespective of whether Thomas is in the team or not , San Antonio Spurs have to be extremely cautious when it comes to playing with the Mavericks since they probably will be one hell of a team to defeat , namely with the passion and aggression each of the Maverick’s have with respect to winning the game.
Now it is important to the San Antonio Spurs and L.A. Lakers to make and have a combination and collaboration to win 7 of NBA Championships from a total of 10 if they aim at keeping the game spirit on track, which by all means is not an impossible feat for the two. The Spurs just as in the case of the Mavericks, are known for the talented scouts it owns and hence are a tough to tackle with the playoff around the corner.
Manu Ginobilli, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker are well known players on whichever team in basketball much more than the likes of a Kobe, Gasol or Melo and Billups. The only comparison that I can make here is Garnett, Pierce and Allen. This is going to be a war of a series and a great one to place your NBA bet on at www.sportsbook.com