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Jimmy Butler Trade Doesn’t Faze Celtics or Raptors, Yet

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For the last eight years, LeBron has guided his Eastern Conference team to the NBA Finals, winning the championship on three occasions. Now that he’s moved to the Los Angeles Lakers to add to his Hall of Fame resume, the Boston Celtics have emerged as the favorites to make it to the finals, per Forbes. But, there’s a sense of optimism among many teams in the east, particularly those in the Atlantic Division, that they can now have a shot at the championship, most likely taking on the eternally powerful Golden State Warriors to do so.

As a show of how optimistic all of the top eastern teams are, the Philadelphia 76ers traded for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves, joining the likes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to form their new big three. The trade cost the 76ers a 2022 second-round pick, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and Robert Covington while they also received Justin Patton, as reported by ESPN.

But, do the 76ers, adding another All-Star to their line-up, enhance their odds of coming out of the Eastern Conference as NBA finalists, or is there simply too much competition to contend with right now?

Toronto Raptors going all-out

After taking the Toronto Raptors to the peak of the Eastern Conference with a 59-23 record, Dwane Casey’s team inevitably fell to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason. Following this, the Raptors opted for a change at head coach after Casey’s seven-seasons of building which culminated in this franchise-record season. Casey’s firing came just two days before he would be named the league’s coach of the year, according to the New York Times. So, with the job handed to Nick Nurse, people expected the team to drop off, somewhat, this season.

But, something that has seemingly helped the Raptors to take that extra step forward and look to capitalize on the James-less conference is the high-risk trade for Kawhi Leonard with the San Antonio Spurs, sending fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan the other way. It was the story of the summer, with many analyzing its long-term implications but, for this season at least, the Raptors have a player who has greatly benefitted from a change of scenery, per The Sportster. At the 15-game mark, Leonard averaged 24.2 points, 1.7 steals, 6.5 defensive rebounds, and 2.4 turnovers per game through 11 starts.

Boston star unfazed by Butler move

From the start of the season, the Boston Celtics have been the favorites from the Eastern Conference to go on to the NBA Finals. When healthy, they are one of, if not the deepest team in the NBA, making them the conference’s most formidable foe for the Warriors. With an 8-6 start, they’re off of the pace set by the Toronto Raptors, but in the NBA, as long as a team makes it to the playoffs, they can overcome their regular season record to come out on top.

Star point guard of the Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving, was posed the question as to how the Jimmy Butler trade impacts the battle in the Atlantic Division. With the Philadelphia 76ers on 9-7 at the time, it could be seen that one new star player might take them past the Celtics. But, at this stage in the season, Irving simply responded: “Who cares, honestly? It’s still so early,” as reported by Celtics Wire.

Did the Butler trade influence the Atlantic Division?

The Boston Celtics boast a remarkably talented and deep team, and the Toronto Raptors are tearing away from the rest of the Atlantic Division, so it would be understandable for neither team to be overly fazed by the Philadelphia 76ers trading for another star player. As deliberated by the NBA Blogtable, experts see the deal as tightening the group, but not enough to push Philly into being true contenders just yet.

The Philadelphia 76ers were a dark horse to make it to the NBA Finals from the start of the season, lining up just ahead of or alongside the Milwaukee Bucks. As of November 15th, with the trade done and dusted, Betway has the 76ers at +400 to win the conference, with the Celtics at +187.50 and the Raptors at +150. While it was, without a doubt, a huge trade in the NBA, in the eyes of the experts, it’s still not enough to push the 76ers ahead of the Celtics or the Raptors as leading contenders for the Eastern Conference.

It may, however, set the wheels in motion for the 76ers to become a super-team next summer, potentially paving the way for them to lead the conference over the next couple of seasons. As explained by Fadeaway World, the Sixers could make a move for pending 2019 free agent Kyrie Irving, should they play their cards right.

If this were to happen, it would be difficult to see any other team coming close in their star power. Only time will tell if the Butler trade has been as influential as it has been suggested, and it may be that it takes until the next year or so before the full effects are seen.

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2021 NBA Predictions

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2019/20

Whether you were betting for your team or betting against your team through SmartBettingGuide.com, there’s no way of denying the fact that the 2020 NBA season was a strange one. The chaos that COVID-19 introduced into all of our lives bled into the sports world and, in doing so, ensured that the National Basketball Association was suspended – just a few months after the death of one of the league’s greatest sons, Kobe Bryant.

If nothing else, the incentive of going on to try and claim yet another NBA championship in the name of Black Mamba was always going to be one of the most powerful driving forces the Los Angeles Lakers could have. With LeBron James serving as their shining light they were the favourites for large portions of the campaign and they were able to take that through to the NBA bubble that was introduced after the pandemic broke out.

The Milwaukee Bucks continued to prove why they’re one of the most exciting teams in professional basketball, and guided by Giannis Antetokounmpo aka “The Greek Freak” they were always going to enjoy some success. Alas, after making it into the postseason, they were unable to maintain the same kind of regular season momentum they had previously enjoyed, and they wound up dipping out of the playoffs thanks to the Miami Heat.

The same Heat would go on to knock out the Boston Celtics, setting up an East vs West clash against the aforementioned Lakers. It’s safe to say the series was far more competitive than most could’ve envisaged with Jimmy Butler doing everything in his power to help Miami succeed. In the end, the Lakers and LeBron took home the crown, setting them up for a season in which the target was well and truly placed on their back.

2020/21

It doesn’t matter whether you like betting for your team or not, because this NBA season is as unpredictable as they come. With the pandemic still looming large nobody really knows if the season is going to be completed in its entirety and even if it is, it’s probably going to look very different to what many of us have expected. Still, the basketball we’ve been allowed to watch so far has given us cause for optimism with plenty of teams riding high and reminding us all why we love this sport so very much.

Our aim is to give you a glimpse into what you can expect to see between now and the scheduled NBA Finals, and beyond that, it’s up to you, the fans, to sink your teeth into some of this glorious action.

With that being said, it’s time to run through the teams we believe you should all be keeping an eye on.

Los Angeles Lakers

Those of you who are making the executive decision to put some money down with SmartBettingGuide.com should probably be aware of the following information: the Los Angeles Lakers are going to be the favourites to win the NBA title again this year. Off the back of LeBron’s continued rise to legendary status and the complete nature of their squad, they possess the sort of chemistry that is just mind boggling in how scary it is. They’re not just good, they’re great.

Los Angeles Clippers

They’ve been known and joked about as the great underachievers in the National Basketball Association for years now with the Clippers failing to take the power of the city away from their superior neighbours. If they’re ever going to find a way to change the status quo in that, though, you’d have to think Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be at the heart of it.

Both are natural winners with Leonard, in particular, being the sort of player who is more than capable of dragging a franchise to the finals.

Phoenix Suns

For years now the Phoenix Suns have been viewed as little more than a joke team in the Western Conference, but in the seeding games once the NBA returned from its break, they set themselves up as a team to watch in the future. They’ve kept that trend going into the first few games of the new season as Mikal Bridges and Chris Paul search for a brighter future that includes a few late runs deep into the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors

It’s time to stop pretending like the Golden State Warriors are dead and buried in this league because they’re not. Sure, their form has dipped in a dramatic way in the last few years, but ruling them out would be the biggest mistake of all. Steph Curry doesn’t know how to quit and he’ll want to prove that over the course of the next few years, and that means the rest of the NBA should be very afraid.

Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will get the Celtics back to the top of the mountain if it is the last thing they do and that is a near enough guarantee. Boston is a city of champions and that’s been the case for longer than most of us care to remember, and even though they’ve been positioned as the villains for years now, all they really want is to have their hand raised in victory once again.

Philadelphia 76ers

Remember a few years back when the Sixers were laughed out of every building they played in? Well, that doesn’t happen anymore. Instead of just having one or two veterans or young stars leading the charge, there’s a community feel to the operation that has been put in place in Philly. They’re not always pretty, but you don’t need to be to win the big one.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Greek Freak needs to prove that he has what it takes to guide Milwaukee to the big dance, especially when you consider the fact that he’s in the prime of his career. He won’t get many better opportunities than right now to guide his team through the East, and if he can just find that chemistry with the rest of the starters on a consistent basis, they should have no issue in going straight to the top of the mountain.

Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant now knows what it feels like to taste success at the very highest level, and he wants to bring that winning vibe to Brooklyn. Despite their .500 start they are beginning to gather some pace in a league that we all know to be pretty unforgiving at the worst of times. If they remain focused, the Finals could be in sight for them.

Denver Nuggets

Whatever you do, do not rule out the Denver Nuggets. They have more heart than most of the teams in the West combined and that makes them a threat in every single playoff game they play – if they get there, of course. 

Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler may be anonymous right now and the Heat might be out of the playoff picture, but we all know there’s a good chance that won’t last very long. A nice run of wins will get them right back on track and if you’re a Miami kid, betting for your team at SmartBettingGuide.com would be wise.

PREDICTION: Los Angeles Lakers defeat Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 to win 2021 NBA Finals

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The Famous Pepsi Center Changes its Name

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The Famous Pepsi Center Changes its Name

Everybody knew that the Denver Nuggets played at the Pepsi Center. They played here in front of crowds for 20 years. However, it is now the end of an era and the team are going to have to get used to its new name. This is all part of the Ball Corporation and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) and the Global Partnership that has been formed, calling it the Ball Arena.

The KSE is a Unique Global Partnership

This Global Partnership is the first of its kind, connecting venues across the world. In particular, this is London, Denver and Los Angeles, three places where sport is a big thing. The purpose of this agreement is to innovate and encourage sustainability in sports, as well as making the fan experience more environmentally friendly. As part of this agreement the Denver Nuggets, as well as the Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Mammoth are going to play under its new name. This time it is called the Ball Arena.

Interesting to note that Pepsi will still be the official beverage sponsor at the stadium. One of the biggest deals is that they want to change aluminum beverage packaging and increase recycling. They also want to help the local community and make sure that live sport can be responsible when it comes to the environment. Indeed, previous studies have found that sports teams were generating 35,000 metric tons of CO2 every year thanks to the waste created by the fans. Thus, this new approach by the Ball Arena may persuade other sports teams and arenas to follow suit.

About the Ball Arena

The facilities at the Ball Arena remain unchanged; it is still a fantastic multipurpose stadium that is located in Denver, Colorado. The NBA 2020-21 season looks like it is going to be returning in December 2020 and this is when the Denver Nuggets and their fans should return to the Ball Arena.

Therefore, there are still going to be 19,099 seats available for basketball games, as well as 18,007 seats for hockey. For a game you will not forget, there are 89 luxury suites available over two levels and 1,900 club seats. There is Wi-Fi available for all fans, which allows you to browse the web at any time or check out online gambling promos for example during games. There is also a JBL Vertec sound system for the ultimate game experience. There is even a projector system that allows a 4K resolution screen during events. After every five basketball games, the net is replaced. There are 233 pieces that make up the basketball floor. When a game is on, it will take over 1,000 staff members to make the day great for everyone.

Fans might not be aware that the Ball Arena has practical facilities for the team inside. This is one of the few stadiums to have this in the country. For instance, there is a full-size basketball court especially for the Denver Nuggets. The stadium is built over 45 acres of land and took 21 months to build. The Ball Arena cost $180 million and first opened in October 1999.

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Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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