The NBA season is only three weeks old and little more than 10 percent of the schedule has been completed. However, there’s no time like the present to go around the league and cherry pick the best of the bunch so far. Without further ado, let’s go!
Eastern Conference Winners
Toronto Raptors – Despite winning 59 games and copping the No. 1 playoff seed in the East last year, Toronto took six games to dispatch the pedestrian-at-best Washington Wizards and were summarily swept out of the playoffs in the next round by the Cavaliers. Notwithstanding their talented roster, the team lacked grit and many believed their acquisition of the supremely gifted Kawhi Leonard was just a one-year rental for a player who wished to be elsewhere.
However, the Raps are making a case that this year is different and it’s hard to argue as they have the best record in the Eastern Conference in the early part of November. Maybe Toronto had a heart transplant in the offseason but Leonard has proven to be worthy of their pursuits, averaging over 26 points per game which is above his career best of 25.7 during the 2016-2017 season.
Milwaukee Bucks – The Greek Freak is back and he’s better than ever kids. If voting closed for the league’s MVP today, Giannis Antetokounmpo would have our vote and more than a few others. The Bucks’ young forward is averaging 26.1 PPG and nearly 14 boards per game. Milwaukee experienced their first loss of the season after winning their first seven when they fell to Boston 117-113. However, the news is nothing but good in Milwaukee as the Bucks are second in the league in points, third in assists, fifth in points allowed and tops in rebounds. Sounds like the makings of a juggernaut.
Boston Celtics – After finding their early season footing, the Celtics ripped off four straight wins until they had a WTF moment in Indiana and bowed 102-101 to the Pacers. But all systems are go for Boston and bench jockey Marcus Morris is proving to be reliable in his supporting role. The C’s are the top defensive team in the league but their point production has been lacking. Nevertheless, they are the team to beat in the East with all due respect to the Bucks, Raptors, and 76ers.
Indiana Pacers – Although the Pacers had a big victory over Boston it’s not their modus operandi to beat the big boys. Indiana has a flair for kicking the hell out of the weak sisters and thus looking more formidable than they actually are. However, we must include them because their record dictates we do but don’t get used to seeing the Pacers in such elite company.
Golden State Warriors – It’s no surprise the Warriors are here and it would only be shocking if we didn’t see Steph and the boys in the Finals come June. The Warriors are a machine and the only thing we didn’t see coming was the emergence of 26-year-old Alfonzo McKinnie who has come out of nowhere to contribute to the success of the franchise.
It also comes as no surprise that the oddsmakers are routinely favoring the Warriors by double digits and those who make money on such events understand that one of the most trusted online sportsbooks in the industry can be seen at SBR where you can read the Bovada review before placing some action. Yes, Bovada is commonly hailed as the most venerable online sportsbook in the world and if you’ve got an inclination to get in on the action or simply need another out, give Bovada a chance to earn your business.
Denver Nuggets – Say what?! Wow, who would have thought that the Nuggets would jump out of the gates and into contention in such a big way? Not only are they winning but this is a team showing more temerity than we ever thought possible as evidenced by their 35 point fourth-quarter explosion which led them well past the Jazz in a 103-88 victory. But defense, not offense, has been the hallmark of their success on the young season and a penchant for beating up teams on the glass. How long this lasts, who knows? But right now, the Nuggets are pure gold.
Portland Trail Blazers – It’s certainly not startling to see the Blazers here, however, there is a team of note that is missing. Hmm, wonder which team that could be? Oh well, apparently, we have a failure to launch but we’ll eventually figure it out.
Portland is playing a high-tempo offense complemented by a stout defense and is doing it all while punishing the glass. CJ McCollum is not quite up to his usual lofty standards but he’s getting close and Damian Lillard is nearly unconscious with a 28 plus point per game average and hitting everything that moves.
Well, that’s it until next time people, and if you want to put your money where your mouth is when betting the NBA, make sure to check out the best online sportsbooks over at SBR.
Can The Detroit Pistons Make The Playoffs Next Season?
Before you know it, a new NBA season will be starting. Then, it will be time to start arguing with your friends about. Can you figure out who is going to make the playoffs ahead of time? Well, many are arguing that the Detroit Pistons will make it in this season. Last season, the team finished with a record of 41 wins and 41 losses. They were left right in the middle of the pack. They emerged as the number 8 seed in the playoffs. Nevertheless, they have a lot of improving to do during the off season. Will they be able to improve enough to make a real run at the championship this season?
To do so, they’ll need to beat several big teams. These teams will be explored in greater depth below.
First and foremost, the Pistons will have to contend with the Milwaukee Bucks. In just a few years, Giannis Antetokounmpo will become a free agent. That will prove to be a big blow to the Bucks. Nevertheless, the team has attempted to soften the blow of his departure with the signing of Khris Middleton to a 5-year contract. Middleton will be paid $178 million. To bring the signing to fruition, the team had to make some hard choices elsewhere. Those decisions may backfire in the near future.
The team has lost Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic. These losses may very well give Detroit the ability to slide past the team and obtain a higher ranking next season. It is only a matter of time before you get to see how everything unfolds.
Next up, you have the Philadelphia 76ers. The team managed to rank higher than the Pistons last season. They ended things with a final score of 51 wins and 31 losses. Unfortunately, the team has lost some big players. For starters, Jimmy Butler is out and he is taking JJ Redick with him. However, they picked up Josh Richardson and Al Horford. There is a real possibility that the team will be required to swap Embiid and Horford in and out for games. Horford is getting old and Embiid has a history of getting injured. That could create major problems for the 76ers when they face off against some of the better teams.
This is one of the main reasons online pokies pro and other analysts believe that the 76ers will actually do worse this season. Will they be right? You’ll find out soon enough.
The Raptors were spectacular last season. After all, they snatched the NBA title away from the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, the off season has not been kind to the Raptors. For starters, the team has let Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard enter the free agency. The team still have some great players though. For instance, they’ll still have Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Kyle Lowry. Unfortunately, they’re going to have a much tougher time defending their title. Without Leonard and Green, the team is not going to be the favorite heading into next season.
Will they do better than the Pistons? That is a toss-up at this point. Anything can happen between now and then. However, the Detroit Pistons should have an easier time at least gaining ground here.
Finally, you have the Boston Celtics. The team finished the season with 49 wins and 33 losses. They were slightly better than Detroit. Danny Ainge focused intently on attempting to bring Anthony Davis in. That fell through. Nevertheless, the team should bounce back from last season. While they’ve already lost Kyrie and Horford, they should be able to replicate last season’s success and do even better. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum should be able to pick up the pieces left behind by Horford and Marcus Morris. If they’re able to do that, the Celtics will have a shot at the championship.
Enes Kanter should be a good addition too. He might lack in terms of defense but his offensive production is exactly what the Celtics need right now. So, will they be able to end the season ahead of the Detroit Pistons? At this point, the answer seems to be yes. However, the Pistons may surprise everyone next season.
Lakers vs Pacific Division – H2H trends to watch in 19/20
The LA Lakers beginning July 2019 as +280 favorites to win the NBA Championship spoke volumes about how 2019/20 is expected to unfold. With the Golden State Warriors +1000 to win the big one, the winner of the Pacific Division seems like an open-and-shut case at any rate, especially with Kevin Durant leaving the Warriors earlier this summer.
Some would say that Anthony Davis and LeBron James could win a championship by themselves, and this is certainly reflected in their standing, as joint fifth-favorites by a leading sportsbook, to be crowned the 2020 MVP. However, with other high-quality acquisitions expected to arrive over the summer, Lakers fans can safely look forward to some high-scoring wins and memorable margins.
Do the Lakers’ head-to-head histories with their Pacific Division opponents back up this belief? Be in suspense no longer…
With the Clippers, the Warriors and the Lakers in the top five of most futures lists to win the NBA finals in 2020, it is easy to write off every other franchise in the Pacific Division – especially with Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns priced at +10000 and +20000 to stun the world.
The real contenders to win the Pacific Division are clearly marked by the trusted sports betting sites. There’s usually as little difference in the odds as there is between the processes of placing a bet with each of these sites (meaning bettors usually have to seek better value through the range of sizeable bonuses available). But there is still a lot of room for some drastic fluctuation in the days immediately after the start of the free agency period. In turn, this makes the analysis of head-to-head trends all the more important, when it comes to calling games.
As ever, the Lakers’ meetings with the Clippers will be an obvious highlight, and the final quarter certainly brings out the big guns in these battles for LA bragging privileges. In terms of pure results, the Lakers’ win over the Clippers back in April was also their first in regular NBA time in exactly a year.
By contrast, Sacramento Kings are one of the Lakers’ favorite opponents, with the Lakers winning four of the last five H2H fixtures, and the sole loss in that sequence coming by just one point. On that occasion, the Lakers were also leading 95-84 after three quarters, with only a late collapse preventing them from getting what would now stand at a flush run of five H2H wins.
The battle for Pacific dominion
As the second-favorites to win the Pacific Division, Golden State Warriors are expected to be the Lakers’ biggest obstacle towards winning the division. The Lakers won the last encounter as recently as 3 July in a summer league clash, and the ten-point margin represented a huge swing from the last NBA meeting, which yielded an 18-point defeat for the Lakers.
In NBA meetings alone, the last two meetings have shown a downturn in the cumulative points tally, and, quite poetically, this has also had a knock-on effect on the number of points scored in the final quarter. The last clash was also the first time in six encounters that one team failed to hit triple figures.
Ultimately, based on the last five H2H encounters, the Lakers’ matches against the Clippers and the Kings are likely to be close-fought in 2019/20. Indeed, just one or two shrewd signings for either of the Lakers’ main rivals can only see the currently short odds against the favorites lengthen in due course.
Basketball Hoops, Nets and Balls: The Basics of Having Basketball Right in Your Backyard
One of the most important aspects of being healthy is physical activity or exercise. In fact, eating healthy is not enough for an optimum state of healthy living. Even without exercise but with proper diet, you may lose weight but your body will still feel off. Physical activity such as any kind of exercise helps our body process all the nutrients that we are taking in every day. It burns excess calories and also helps the body in its general development. Exercise helps our muscles avoid degradation and strengthens our bones as well. It also helps with our mental state as it releases all the stress that we take in through the day. If you do it in the morning, it is also the best kind of perking up instead of that sugar bomb drink disguised as coffee that you often get from that shop.
Deciding on what kind of physical activity that you want to engage in can be tough. It will always depend on you and the time that you want to invest in that certain activity. If you have a really hectic schedule, maybe you can something that you can do with your short free time. Jogging around your neighborhood or following through simple workout videos from YouTube can be your options. If you have the time, you can join a gym or training center. Learning martial arts not just helps with your need for physical activity; it may also come in handy in times of crisis. If you already have a family, you can also let them join the fun. Why don’t you try learning a sport together? It isn’t just a physical activity; it’s also something that you can enjoy with the ones that you love.
A sport is also a physical activity that you can learn something from doing it. It is not like the monotonous moments of running on an empty sidewalk. You are interacting with other people and forming a relationship. Teamwork is an essential part of any sport and with it, camaraderie and harmony forms within the group. Working together also helps in creating a better environment for the whole game. If you want your children to learn more than just the physical aspect, try taking them with you in your training. Of course, if you are single and living alone, you can still join in on local teams. There are tons out there, you just have to look.
Now, one of the sports that you can get into is basketball, one of the most famous ball sports in the world. A little bit of a fun fact: it was developed by James Naismith to provide an “athletic distraction” to his rather problematic students. It was the height of winter back then, and they need a physical activity that they can do indoors. The first “baskets” were literally peach baskets and a soccer ball to shoot. Who would’ve thought that it would become an iconic sport in the modern world? Now, people from all over the world are familiar with the game and the rules it follows. The prevalence of NBA in the sporting world has also paved the way for its familiarity.
With the aid of modern technology, you can also have a basketball game right in your backyard. You do not need to go to the local community center to share basketballs and wait for your term to use the court. However, if that’s your kind of game, then feel free to join them. On the other hand, if you want to have an accessible court for your family friends, then you may want to have one of your own. Here are the things that you need to do before building your own basketball court:
Have ample space for your basketball court.
This is a no brainer as you need lots of space for any kind of sport. For basketball, you may have the option of only building a half-court so that you can save space. Since basketball also requires a lot of running, a lot of space is also needed so that it would minimize the possible hazards. You are lucky if you have a backyard that you can convert into a court. However, for those who do not have space, you can always go to your local center and play with others.
Always check for the best equipment.
Even if this is just for recreation, always choose the best equipment for your family. High-quality equipment means safety and security for anyone who uses them. You do not want to play with an easily deflated ball or a broken ring. If you want to build a small court right in your home, then you must go all out. You can visit sport equipment shops for your needs. Most of the people there are actually experts and they know what they are doing and what you need the moment you asked for it. The internet can also be your best friend in all of this. You can check out review sites to see which items are the best for you and your family. This page for example, gives you the top 5 of the best hoops and nets on the internet. Checking out sites like this can help you decide on which one you should buy.
Know if your family also enjoys it.
Lastly, if you are going to bring your family in all this make sure that they also want it. Remember, basketball is a team sport. The greatest teams always work toward similar or same goals. This will not work if you just forced it upon yourself and your family. If you do this, all of you will not be enjoying the game anymore. If you really want it, then talk to them first. You are a family, and the decision of one can affect the rest. Understanding what all of you want and reaching a compromise is one of the best things that you can do to help each other enjoy the game.