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Popularity of Basketball in UK, is it the next Big Market?

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When talking about the most popular sports in the UK, you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear basketball being mentioned. However, the sport has gathered some momentum over the last five years or so and is steadily rising in both participation and spectator numbers.

With this growth in popularity comes the increase in bets placed on the sport. Go to any main bookmaker online and you won’t struggle to find basketball betting among the array of sports to choose from. So, is basketball the next big betting market in the UK? We take a look at how UK basketball has gotten to where it is today and where it could go in the future.

Basketball in the UK has had a rather checkered past. Established in 1987, the British Basketball League (BBL) saw rapid growth in the early 1990s, most likely due to the rising popularity of the NBA in the UK, with Hall of Famer Michael Jordan coming to prominence in the sport and inspiring a generation to get involved in the sport.

For the next decade, basketball in the UK saw healthy progression, with record attendances and commercial sponsorship deals to even rival football, with the likes of Budweiser, Peugeot and Playboy all attaching their brands to the new venture. It looked as though basketball was going to be the most popular pastime besides football betting in the UK – that was until the early 2000s.

The new millennium saw a change in fortunes. ITV Digital, which was set to become the biggest subscription based sports channel in the UK, collapsed. The BBL were due to receive more than £21 million pounds in TV revenue as a result of the deal, but missed out on the essential funding. This led to multiple BBL teams such as Essex Leopards, Birmingham Bullets and the Manchester Giants pulling out of the league, with some franchises folding completely under the financial strain.

It’s taken a long time for basketball in the UK to recover. After sell-out crowds at Wembley Arena in 2012 and 2014; the 2015 BBL play-off finals took place in front of record crowds at the 02 Arena in London. Since then, franchises have continued to develop their facilities and build the necessary foundations for the sport to once again rise to prominence in the UK. The hard work that the BBL and the franchises have put in over the last decade looks to be coming to fruition, as Leicester became the first British basketball participant in Europe for 11 years when they played in the Basketball Champions League and the FIBA Europe Cup in the 2018/19 season.

With basketball in the UK now looking back on the rise, it would be no surprise to see an increase in the amount of bets placed on the sport as a direct result. An indicator that online bookmakers are taking the sport seriously can be seen when looking at the amount of markets that are on offer. It’s not just match outright odds, you can now bet on handicap, or ‘spread’ markets, winning margin and total match points to name just a few.

A recent study by the UK Gambling Commission estimated more than £14 billion is spent on gambling in the UK. Maybe it’s time for basketball to get a bigger piece of that pie.

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Ways to Improve Basketball Shooting Percentage

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Ways to Prove Basketball Shooting Percentage

We are sure you are probably thinking how do the basketball players manage to score so effortlessly each and every time, and have such great shooting percentages, right? Well we have compiled you a list of ways that you can personally improve yourself. Of course, we would not say you will be NBA ready immediately, as it will take time to do so! So, get ready to practice and take our lead, by following through on the tips that we suggest!

In the meantime, while you practice your shooting skills, bet on those that have got excellent aim and shooting percentage, through https://au.picks.nba.com/.

Tip number one: Eyes on the prize

You will need to set your eyes on the target and of course, have your eyes on the prize! NBA players are not players for nothing. They know what they want, so they go get it! By locating the rim, you will give your brain the time it needs to subconsciously aim for the rim of the net and get that ball in there! By building this habit in practice, it really does help your shooting percentage, without a doubt.

Tip number two: Hold the follow-through

You may have actually heard of this one before, but it is very true. When you hold your follow, it can help improve any shooting issues you may have leading up to the point of your being about to shoot. The movement is concise and helps aim a lot for many players. Lebron James mentioned how this was his top go-to goal.

Tip number three: Have a relaxed wrist movement

This one is super legit as you essentially can have better control of the ball if you happen to relax the wrist movement. If you have a stiff wrist, it can actually incur extra bounce, a movement that will defer the concise direction of your throw. Without even actually thinking too much, this can be a habit that you keep on top of, and use within every shooting spur within a game, or practice.

Tip number four: Try a different colored ball

This tip may seem a little crazy, but believe us, it helps extremely. Why? Because you actually can visually see the ball rotation and that can help you improve the moments up and leading to your shot, especially when you are aiming.

Tip number five: Master the normal shot before you start with Kobe’s air shot

So many people starting out with basketball are very mesmerized by Kobe’s amazing air shot and for that reason, they start off with something that is considered to be one of the hardest moves within basketball. While it is an epic move, we definitely would not recommend beginners start with this, as it decreases your shooting percentage massively, being that you have less control over the ball. Kobe has been in the game for a very long time, and while he has left the aspiring basketballers with amazing hacks and tricks, god rest his soul, that kind of move is what we call freakishly amazing and insane! Who knows? Maybe you will be able to adapt to this move and try it out for yourself one day, but make sure you clean the normal shot first, as that will be your go-to.

Tip number 6: Do not think of how your shot will go in live games

It is obvious that you will want to conquer your shot within a game, and thinking about its technicality before you do it, is all you want to do. Yet subconsciously, this will increase doubts and anxiety within the game that may put you off actually performing in the way that you should. You will miss some shots, that is natural. Yet, the more you think, the more it can mess with your confidence and head. So, do not overthink everything too much and just go with the flow.

By telling yourself that you do not care about whether you make the shot each and every time you attempt to shoot, you will subconsciously be able to develop a very laid-back approach when it comes to you and your shooting attitude. Remember, the calmer you are, the more control you will have over your gameplay and shots. 

Tip number 7: Develop the optimal Arc

Some statistical facts for you now, to blow your mind. Did you know, when you shoot with a 35-degree arc, it has only a 6 percent chance of creating a clear shot, while the rest of the probability will be that you hit the rim. So you have to make sure that is near perfect. The more you increase the arc, the more your shot will have a greater degree of error, so optimizing it, will make sure that you have less margins of error. You will know that you have perfected your shot, due to less and less attempts actually hitting the basketball rim. It will eventually become a unified rhythm within your gameplay.

Tip number 8: Watch back on some gameplay shots

By watching back on past games and shots by many prestigious players, you will be able to see their techniques of having a great shooting percentage. You will of course need to have great attention to detail, to identify patterns and trends with each player’s shooting style. Nevertheless, it is actually a great way of self-improvement. You could incorporate from what you see, to your everyday play. Slow playback is a great way of seeing how the Lakers manage to make their shots count. They did win the most recent season to pass, did they not? So, make sure you learn from their mistakes and spot where you can improve. A wise man will always learn from the mistakes of others.

Tip number 9: Film your shots

The best way to visually see where you are heading when you are leading up to a shot and actually making it, is by filming. There you can repeat with a slow playback and see exactly what needs improvement from your shooting game. It is a whole new world of reflection when you managed to sit back and criticize your gameplay from your own vision. Playing and seeing is a completely different vibe entirely. So, make sure that you see yourself doing it! 

Once you have made a habit of playing back your shots when you practice, you will need to immediately make it your mission to improve. The sooner you are conscientious of your shooting, the more you will embody a better shooting percentage. Correcting your shot is imperative and a habit. If you do not see that you fix it, it could ultimately get worse and you will then find it harder to improve on. We are creatures of habit after all.

Tip number 10: Keep your motion balanced 

When you do not have control over your motion, that will of course mean that you will not be able to control the shot that you are about to make, for that reason, you will need to work on stopping the jerky movements and giving your shots one complete unified movement, with absolute control and balance. If you do not have balance. That will ultimately affect your margin of error ever so slightly. This should help you be more consistent, for your information.

Tip number 11: Practice 50 shots before a big game

Before a huge game, make sure you practice your hits and hit up to 50 shots before a game, with your practiced, strong focus and balance when you shoot. If you practice and start strong, you will of course go out with far greater confidence overall, so it would definitely be within your favor. Remember, the sooner you are aware of your abilities, you will go out there and make your talent shown because you will have complete control over your shots.

 

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2021 NBA Predictions

Basketball Insiders

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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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