Connect with us

Legacy

Cinesport Test

Steve Kyler

Published

on

Steve Kyler is the Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA and basketball for the last 17 seasons.

Advertisement




Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legacy

2018 NBA Opening Day Preview & Predictions

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

Mark your Google Calendars and set it to notify you on your smartphones. Oct. 16th is the date we are all waiting for; tip-off of the 2018 NBA season.  Handicappers have already put our early lines out for games the two Tuesday games and a odds on a slew of the Wednesday, Oct. 17th matchups that should be a fairly accurate reflection of what the main books in Vegas are soon to release. If you are in an area where it is legal to bet on sports, research the reviews on different sites to make sure you are getting the most out of your sportsbook. Here is a comprehensive look at Bovada.

Let’s have a look at the two games on opening day.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics

We get to start the season off with a possible playoff matchup between the Sixers and Celtics. Boston is at home in TD Garden and are likely to be listed as a 6-point favorite over the young, but potent 76ers squad.

The 76ers didn’t feel the need to chase a big free agent this offseason. But they did secure JJ Reddick and Amir Johnson, and they added a little bit of depth to their bench by adding Wilson Chandler and Nemanja Bjelica. Some Philly fans might be upset that they didn’t add more fire-power to the roster, but their strategy is sound. They made the playoffs with an extremely young and inexperienced team last campaign. Now that same corps of players is a little more mature and has a lot more experience. So, don’t throw a potential wrench into the mix and mess with a chemistry that is working.

Gordon Hayward had an unlucky break last season, but he and Kyrie are both expected to be on the court for opening night. Speaking of young talent, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are going to continue to grow as well and with Aron Baynes back to back up Al Horford; the Celtics will be tough in the paint all night long.

Six points seem fair, given the fact that Celtics are at home. But the 76ers could definitely cover six given the fact that the last time they played the Celtics won with a score of 112-114, on May 7th of 2018 the Sixers won 103-92, and on the May 5th, the Celtics squeaked out a three-point victory of 101-98. In fact, if you average out the last ten games between these teams, the score would be 100 to 103 for Boston. So look for this game to be closer than the projected line of six points.

Golden State Warriors vs. OKC Thunder

The juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors gets to open their season at home against their Western Conference rivals, the Oklahoma City Thunder. The projected point spread is four buckets in favor of the Warriors.

Eight points at home doesn’t seem like a whole lot given this GSW roster, but OKC has improved significantly over the offseason … at least theoretically. Carmelo has been shipped off to Houston, and the Thunder signed/resigned eight players over the offseason. They hung on to Paul George who was inconsistent last season, but maybe now that he is focused on a four-year deal and isn’t looking to bounce out to LA next summer, OKC will see a different PG13.

The Warriors are scarier than ever … They picked up on of the best big men in the league in DeMarcus Cousins and have Jordan Bell, the young Power Forward/Center out of Oregon to back him up. The Warriors starting line up should be Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins. Then when the stars sit, it doesn’t get much easier because they have guys like Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala coming off the bench.

Continue Reading

Legacy

Boston Celtics Ready To Rule NBA East For A Decade

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

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.

The Wisdom Of Horford & Stevens

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.

Continue Reading

Legacy

What Can We Expect From LeBron With The Lakers?

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

For the third time in his 15-year career, LeBron James decided to change teams and this time he has ended up at he Los Angeles Lakers, penning a four-year deal said to be worth in the region of $154 million. It’s the second time James has chosen to leave his hometown side, and the LA Lakers will be hoping that he can help them rediscover that winning touch which has deserted them for eight seasons.

So, what can we expect from LeBron at the Lakers? Well, first of all, you can say that the move made by James will have a huge impact on the NBA as a whole. The power shift in favor of the West will be even greater than ever before, with all of the NBA’s best players plying their trade in the Western Conference. The East will certainly have to up their game, or they could become irrelevant when it comes to the championship.

For the Lakers, LeBron’s arrival will put them back in contention to win a championship in the not too distant future, but right now they’re still a bit of a way off. James signing is certainly a step in the right direction, but he’s going to need a better quality of player around him if he’s to make the Lakers successful once again. His presence alone will give everyone a great lift though and will also make the Lakers an attractive proposition for some of the NBA’s finest players.

One player who could follow LeBron though the Lakers entrance is Kawhi Leonard and the 27-year old’s arrival looks even more possible thanks to James now being a part of the team. It could cost the Lakers regarding draft picks and potentially some of the young talent they already have but having both LeBron James and Kawhi in the line-up will see the Lakers able to cause every team problems. It could be a match made in heaven as the Lakers enter a new era. Basketball fans can keep track of all the latest happenings at Betting.com, which is one of the best sports sites to keep up with everything going on in the sports and betting world.

LeBron signed a four-year deal with the Lakers, with the final year being the player’s decision, and in that time you’d expect the Lakers to enjoy some sort of success thanks to James. Within the initial three-year period you can certainly see the Lakers winning at least one title, but this could be dependent on rival teams staying on top of their game and the players that the Lakers can recruit.

There’s no denying that LeBron James has the ability to make a real difference for the Lakers but for the first season or two it’s going to be a time of transition as they look to build a team around him. The Lakers will certainly be able to put the cat amongst the pigeons, and they should be aiming to disrupt the stronghold in the Western Conference. A title should come in time, and this would be a great return for them.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

NBA Team Salaries

Advertisement

Trending Now