Boston Celtics Ready To Rule NBA East For A Decade
As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors experienced massive offseason change, the Boston Celtics proceeded into summer 2018 with calm confidence. After an incredible run to the eastern conference finals without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics didn’t need to wheel and deal. Instead, Danny Ainge remained rightfully confident with the personnel and prospects of Boston basketball.
The NBA east was shook with the news of Kawhi Leonard joining The North, but the Celtics remain favorites in the east. Toronto’s odds to win a championship are listed at +2000 while Boston has a +650 line, according to CanadaSportsBetting.ca.
Teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks will also challenge Boston – now and in the future – but all signs point to an extended period of eastern conference dominance for the Celtics. The Bill Russell era will never repeat, but Boston’s stockpile of youthful stars, future picks and organizational wisdom could set the pace for the next decade.
Jayson Tatum – Franchise Player
Fellow rookies Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons received the lion’s share of attention for their superb inaugural season, but Jayson Tatum might be the finest baller of the 2017-18 class.
Ben Simmons possesses the more dominant, LeBron-style physicality while Donovan Mitchell could be the best pure scorer of the 2017 NBA draft. As such, both deserved votes received for best regular season rookie. In the playoffs, Tatum left both freshman in the wake of his historic performance.
Post season work crowns any achievement during the regular campaign – just ask King James, who declared Tatum “built for stardom” after the 2018 Eastern Conference finals. Jayson lead the Celtics deep into the eastern bracket despite the absence of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, scoring 18.5 PPG over 19 games.
Jayson became the first rookie since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to notch ten consecutive 20-point games in the playoffs. Tatum was within a single point of breaking Kareem’s freshman record of 352 total points in a single postseason campaign. Sure, Abdul-Jabbar required nine fewer games to amass his total, but this takes nothing away from Jayson’s remarkable introduction to high-stakes pro basketball.
Tatum’s ability to score when points are most scarce reflects the type of skill, mental fortitude, and dedication to fundamentals that transforms top athletes into NBA superstars. This doesn’t include Tatum’s already sound defense, which prevents the opposition from playing him off the floor like Enes Kanter.
“He can get a lot better,“ Celtics coach Stevens said after the conference finals. “I think there are so many little things that he’ll continue to improve upon.”
“Wait ‘till you see him in two years,” Al Horford praised. “He’s way ahead of the game.”
Perhaps the most stunning compliment would be the tacit vote of confidence from GM Danny Ainge over the 2018 offseason. The Celtics refused to part with Tatum for Kawhi Leonard when given the opportunity. Leonard would’ve all but guaranteed an NBA Finals appearance for the Celtics over the next five years after re-upping for the max.
Instead, Boston believes Tatum contains the potential of a generational franchise player, capable of powering a dynasty.
Celtics Stockpile Of Picks & Elite Youth
A half-decade of swindling opposing GMs defines the tenure of GM Danny Ainge. Hoarding first-round picks hasn’t always been popular with Celtics faithful, but a surprise run to the eastern conference finals represents the first wave of success for this strategy. Unlike Philly’s “process”, which involved an historic volume of losing, Boston required only a brief teardown for the picks necessary to reboot.
Boston’s already been richly rewarded for their first wave of first round lottery picks, selecting Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in 2016 and 2017. These two picks alone would be considered a success, but talent like Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart have proven themselves as strong playoff competitors too, selected in the first round during years prior. Rozier’s fantastic performance during the 2018 playoffs, which included ice-cold shotmaking, sparked discussion of Kyrie Irving’s redundancy – previously unthinkable before Irving went under the knife.
Danny Ainge has been so crafty that he stole a lottery pick in 2019 by picking Jayson Tatum – the player they wanted all along – while bluffing Philly into trading up for Markelle Fultz. Over the next three years, the Celtics have their own pick, along with a 2019 first round selection from the 76ers or Kings, and a pick from Memphis and the Clippers over the next few years, depending on conditional protections.
These six picks give the Celtics an absurd amount of leverage and options when pursuing talent. Boston can outbid any team in the NBA in a trade war. Worst case scenario, one or two of these picks develop into stars, eventually replacing aging or injured contributors.
Most teams buckle under the injury pressure experienced by the Celtics during the 2017-18 campaign. Instead, Boston discovered a substantial silver lining of youthful, resilient talent, envied by the rest of the association.
Boston’s Somewhat Fungible Superstars
There’s no insult in referring to Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward as somewhat fungible after Boston’s amazing run through the eastern conference. The Celtics were one game away from the NBA finals without Irving and Hayward, which hints at their replaceability in the grand scheme of basketball.
He may not be a plus defender, but Kyrie Irving remains an elite scoring point guard, capable of getting his own bucket under any circumstances. Gordon Hayward will be the star Boston lured from Utah, combining elite shooting and sneaky athleticism which coach Stevens will leverage to great success.
Ideally, the Celtics would love to keep all their talent together, but the reality of the salary cap will force Danny Ainge’s hand at some point. On paper, losing Irving because of severe luxury tax problems becomes less of an issue with Terry Rozier turning into a star guard. Hayward’s role as a small forward will be scrutinized if Jaylen and Jayson fulfill their promise.
In an NBA which features the highest rate of star turnover in pro sports, Boston’s ability to replace their superstars with young, elite talent improves their immediate outlook while ensuing a bright future during the 2020s.
Youthful talent fuels the upcoming dominance of the Celtics over the eastern conference. However, without veteran leadership, the potential remains unfulfilled. Cue the on-court intelligence and leadership of Al Horford, who helped Boston remain calm and organized throughout the chaos of the 2017-18 season. Kyrie should also receive acclaim for helping Rozier and other young scorers fill Irving’s shoes.
Coach Stevens seems to be the rare bench boss who combines outstanding personnel and play calling strategy with motivational skills which speak to rookies and veterans alike. At the age of 41, Stevens isn’t a generation removed from the 32-year-old Horford. Both will remain for at least a couple of seasons to mold the Celtics into a long-term favorite. Al’s only human, but he might decide to remain with Boston if the current atmosphere of winning continues.
A Look Ahead In The NBA Playoffs
As the regular season enters its final days, there are still as many questions as answers when it comes to how the playoffs will shape up. Only one playoff game is set in stone in either conference, so unlike some years, these final matches are of vital importance. Let’s see what is in store.
Three crucial games in the Eastern Conference
The sixteenth playoff spot is a direct battle between the Detroit Pistons, who are currently at 40-41 and the Charlotte Hornets on 39-42. For the sports betting fraternity, those looking to make the best use of free bet offers from their online bookmakers might find the constantly shifting odds a little difficult to keep up with. Right now, those looking for a safer bet but at shorter odds are backing the Pistons, as all they need is to either beat the Knicks in their last regular season game or for the Hornets to lose to the Magic and they will be through. The Hornets, on the other hand need a little help from fate, as both a win for themselves and a loss for Detroit is what is needed in order for them to scrape through.
Those two games are, therefore, the ones that will be truly under the microscope, but there are other factors at play in working out the final seedings. Seeds one to five are now established, and we know the Celtics will face the Pacers in round one. Beyond that, however, much depends on the result of the games mentioned above, and also how the game between the Heat and the Nets pans out.
The Heat are no longer in contention, but they can still affect the playoffs. If they win and if Detroit make the playoffs, the Nets will be seeded seven. A win for the Nets, on the other hand, will guarantee a sixth seed berth and will mean they face the third seeded Philadelphia 76ers.
Seeding in the Western Conference down to the wire
The eight teams from the Western Conference have been set in stone with almost boring predictability for some weeks. However, who will play whom in the playoffs is still far from clear, even at the eleventh hour, and if the deadlock is not broken, we could end up in the convoluted world of NBA tiebreaker rules.
There are four games that will be instrumental here, and these are as follows:
- Nuggets at Jazz
- Rockets at Thunder
- Timberwolves at Nuggets
- Jazz at Clippers
If the Nuggets win games 1 and 3 above, they will be guaranteed number two seeding, while the Jazz need to win either game 1 or 4 to finish at least fifth seed. If the Rockets lose and the Blazers win their final two games against the Lakers and the Kings, then the Blazers are guaranteed the number three seed.
Prepare for some classic playoff games
While it might be a case of the usual suspects, the open field as far as seedings are concerned shows just how tightly fought these playoff games will be. Settle back and enjoy, as this year, the NBA is set for one of the most thrilling conclusions to the season in memory.
Basketball Betting Basics – Everything you need to know
Basketball is a very common game in every part of the world. This game is played and watched by many people making it again one of the games that people bet on. Many people will bet for basketball as fun and others will bet for it as a way of making some income. Whether you want to bet either to make money or as a way of having fun, then this is the right game for you.
Basketball betting is not a complicated thing and can be done by anybody as long as you understand the game well. What you need for you to start betting on basketball is very little, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t start this great venture if you like betting. While betting on basketball is such an easy task you will need to be equipped with some basics before you start betting on the game.
This guide will help you with some basics about what you need to know when betting on basketball games. Following are some basics on basketball betting.
Use spread betting
This is a popular way of betting to many basketball betting players. It is also called line betting; simply it is a form of handicap betting. If you have checked on any bookmaker that offers basketball betting, you will have seen some games that are listed in a manner such as the one below.
VS Boston Celtics -5.5 VS Los Angeles Lakers +5.5
This implies that if you place your bet on Celtics to beat the spread, they should win the game by more than 6 points. But if you bet lakers to cover the range, they should lose the game by 5 or fewer points, and if they win, it should be outright.
Know the teams
When it comes to basketball betting, you should know your teams very well. This means that you shouldn’t place on any team that you find on the list just because they have good odds. If you don’t know a team, you should do some research about it before you place your hard earned money on it.
Make sure you get their statistics on how they have performed on the last matches. Make sure the team you are betting for is a strong team that most probably will perform according to your expectation.
It is also much recommended to bet on popular teams as they are hardly beaten and you will take less time looking at their history. There are several teams on the platforms that are new, and it can be difficult to predict about them. Make sure you avoid such teams to get high returns and avoid loses.
Choose your betting site well
As of late basketball, betting has been very popular, and many betting sites are offering the service. However not every website that you will find when browsing is worth using. Some sites are scammers with poor odds and others may end up disappearing with your money even if you win which can be very frustrating.
Choosing a reliable site will determine your success to a large extent. You should ensure the site you choose offers the best odds, and they are licensed by the responsible authority so that you can be sure of payment when you win. Make sure you get enough information about a platform before you can open an account and deposit your money.
While there are many scammers in the market, there are also some trustworthy sites that you can use to bet and get guaranteed about the security on your money. An excellent example of a reliable website that you can use for basketball betting is Wetten.com. The site offers the best services, and you will never regret joining it. You can even bet on Games of the German Basketball-League BBL.
Bet on totals
Another great tip when it comes to basketball betting is betting on total points. This will not only be a simple way of betting, but it will also reduce losses. Betting on totals means predicting the total points to be scored. This shouldn’t be a complicated thing as you only have some few considerations to make your final prediction on the range of total points to be scored.
In many of the NBA matches the total points will range between 180 and 220 points while in European and college basketball matches many of the total points lies between 120 and 160 points.
After having your average points, you will need to consider how many times the team has gone above or below that points. If you find it has either gone above that points so many times than it has gone below the points, then you may need to adjust your prediction. Also considering the last meeting between the two teams will help you to predict the total points easily. Use the average of the previous matches between the two teams to get the outcome of the game.
Public opinions affect the betting world to a great extent. If many people have goodwill in a particular team, they will bet on it making the odds to be lowered. This doesn’t guarantee you that the team is strong enough and it will win, but it’s only that many people are supporting it. Make sure you avoid betting on those teams completely and if you do bet lesser. Stake your cash on teams that you understand well and you know they are strong enough to win but not just because many people support them.
You need to do a good follow up before you can bet on a team to win. Have the reasons behind the winning or losing of a specific team before you stake on them and avoid people opinions. This way you will never go wrong, and you will always get high returns from your betting.
If you want to boost your returns from basketball betting, then you need to equip yourself with the essential tips before you start betting. Ensure you choose the best betting platform to avoid frustrations in the process. A reliable basketball betting company will never let you down, and you will always be smiling.
How To Identify The Bracket Busters In The NCAA Tournament
On 17 March 2018, UMBC shocked Virginia 74-54 to become the first No. 16 seed in the history of the NCAA tournament to beat a No. 1 seed.
And with that upset, the remaining 25 perfect brackets among the tens of millions completed before March Madness were ruined.
The quest for the perfect bracket continues this March, so we have analyzed the past 10 years of the tournament identify this year’s potential Cinderella stories.
Whether you’re filling out your bracket or making your college basketball betting picks, these are the trends that could help you spot a shock.
Know your numbers
We’re going to classify a first-round upset as a team seeded 10th or lower advancing, as the chances of a No. 9 seed beating a No. 8 seed are too high to be considered a shock.
In the last 10 years, there have been 72 such upsets, an average of approximately seven per year. There have been no more than 10 first-round upsets in a single year, and no fewer than five.
So while it’s worth populating your bracket with a few surprise wins in the first-round, double-digit upsets are unlikely.
It’s also not worth wasting one of those surprise picks on a No. 16 or No. 15 seed.
While UMBC are the only No. 16 seed to ever win an NCAA tournament game, just eight No. 15 seeds have ever progressed to the second round.
The question, then, is which teams seeded 10th to 14th are most likely to cause a shock?
The First Four – a series of play-in games played prior to the tournament – is an excellent place to start.
Since its conception in 2011, a team that triumphed in the First Four has gone on to win in the first round of the tournament in every year.
In general, low seeds tend to fall into two categories: mid-major conference champions and teams that finished lower in the standings in major conferences.
In terms of first-round upsets, mid-major teams are the ones to watch.
In the past 10 years, 44 of the 72 teams to cause shocks in the first-round were from mid-major conferences, with the Atlantic 10 the top conference with eight.
Conference-USA has also been a great source of upsets recently, with its champion advancing to the Round of 32 in each of the past four years.
While surprise teams are spread fairly evenly across America, Ohio is the home of the upset.
Nine teams seeded 10th or lower from the Buckeye State have won in the Round of 64 since 2009 – three more than any other state.
Unsurprisingly, upsets occur far less frequently when the first round is out of the way.
Just 23 teams seeded 10th or lower have advanced past the Round of 32 in the past 10 years, 20 of whom were seeded between No. 10 and No. 12.
While mid-major teams performed well in the first round, the split is more even in the later stages, with 12 of the 23 teams that reached at least the Sweet 16 in the past 10 years having come from a major conference.
Of the five teams in the past 10 years that have made it all the way to the Elite Eight, just one won their conference.
So while you might have a hunch that a low seed from a smaller conference will upset a powerhouse in the first round, you’re better off sticking with college basketball’s big guns as the tournament progresses, regardless of where they finished in the regular season.
While 2018 was the year of the upset, with UMBC winning in the Round of 64 and Loyola-Chicago making it all the way to the Final Four, it’s likely that the more familiar teams will be the ones making deep runs into the tournament this time around.