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The Houston Rockets Can Win The NBA Championship?

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  • The Houston Rockets have largely been dismissed as credible contenders for the NBA championship. Coach Mike D’Antoni’s small-ball lineups featuring 6’5 PJ Tucker as Houston’s starting center have been dismissed as gimmicks. However, there is value for bettors to take a flyer on the Rockets winning the championship at +1500 odds.
  • The truncated season works to the Rockets’ advantage. The challenge with the Rockets’ small-ball approach is that their players tire out through the course of a long season from having to expend so much energy defending bigger players. This concern should be mitigated by the fact that there are only eight games left in the regular season.
  • In the past, former MVPs James Harden and Russell Westbrook who both have the ability to majorly impact NBA spreads, have struggled in the playoffs after playing so many regular season minutes. Thanks to the four-month layoff, the Rockets should get the best of a fresh and rested duo of Harden and Westbrook. 
  • The end of the regular season and start of the playoffs may resemble scrimmages without fans in attendance. This environment should help a team like the Rockets that relies heavily on the three-point shot.
  • The Rockets are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The team that ended Houston’s championship aspirations the two previous seasons, the Golden State Warriors, have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Shortened Season

It is tough to think of a team that benefited more from the season’s suspension and the shortened regular season than the Rockets. D’Antoni’s small-ball approach has plenty of critics. D’Antoni plays a short rotation where the tallest player on the court for Houston most of the time is 6’7 forward Robert Covington. Even supporters of D’Antoni’s approach worried that the Rockets’ smaller players would simply run out of gas by playoff time from having to play undersized through a long season.

With only eight games left in the regular season, these concerns should be alleviated. D’Antoni is free to run his short rotation as hard as possible without having to worry about exhausting the energy of his players. Houston’s opponents will have less time to adjust to the Rockets’ unique approach before the playoffs with the season almost completed. 

Harden and Westbrook

The Rockets’ championship hopes rest on the shoulders of the two former MVPs on their roster, Harden and Westbrook. Last season, Harden and Westbrook both played on average over 36 minutes per game, which makes them a favorite for NBA public betting and daily fantasy players.. They played so many regular season minutes that it negatively impacted their playoff performances. In the 2018-2019 regular season, Harden averaged 36.1 points per game for the Rockets while Russell Westbrook shot 42.8% from the field for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the 2019 playoffs, Harden’s scoring average dipped to 31.6 points per game while Westbrook’s field goal percentage fell off a cliff to 36%.

The Rockets will be getting a rested Harden and Westbrook for the stretch run. Houston should be hopeful that the four-month layoff provided Harden and Westbrook with enough rest so that their playoff performances will not decline like they have previously.

Three-point shooting

The NBA season will resume in Orlando without arenas filled with fans. The environment at these games will resemble scrimmages more so than professional basketball games. A scrimmage-type game should favor teams with an offensive arsenal that relies heavily on three-pointers. The Rockets led the NBA in three-point field goals made per game at the time of the season’s suspension. If you are a betting man keep your eye on the Rockets over under line for three pointers. This may be an easy way to make some cash during the NBA playoffs. 

The Rockets are a clear underdog to win the NBA championship. However, bettors should remember that the only team that has beaten the Rockets the last two seasons was the Stephen Curry-Kevin Durant led Golden State Warriors. The Rockets are worth a small investment at +1500 odds to bring the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Clutch City.

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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.

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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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The 28 highest-paid players in the NBA for the 2019-20 season

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On-court NBA salaries are based on a player’s number of years in the league and accolades earned, such as awards like MVP which entitle players to a larger percentage of a team’s salary cap. Now let’s get down to it.

28. CJ McCollum

Team: Portland Trail Blazers

Salary: $27,556,959

27. DeMar DeRozan

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Salary: $27,739,975

26. Al Horford

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $28,000,000

25. Nikola Vucevic

Team: Orlando Magic 

Salary: $28,000,000

24. Kevin Love

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers 

Salary: $28,942,830

23. Paul Millsap

Team: Denver Nuggets

Salary: $30,350,000

22. Khris Middleton

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Salary: $30,603,448

21. Kyrie Irving

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Salary: $31,742,000

20. Mike Conley

Team: Utah Jazz 

Salary: $32,511,624

19.Gordon Hayward

Team: Boston Celtics 

Salary: $32,700,690

18. Tobias Harris

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $32,742,000

17. Kahwi Leonard

Team: Los Angeles Clippers 

Salary: $32,742,000

16. Kemba Walker

Team: Boston Celtics 

Salary: $32,742,000

15. Jimmy Butler

Team: Miami Heat 

Salary: $32,742,000

14. Paul George

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Salary: $33,005,556

13. Black Griffin

Team: Detroit Pistons 

Salary: $34,449,964

12. Kyle Lowry

Team: Toronto Raptors

Salary: $34,996,296 

11. John Wall

Team: Washington Wizards 

Salary: $38,199,000

The Top 

Rankings for NBA stars salary are largely determined by their off-court income – with sneaker contracts making up the majority of those earnings. We’ve included endorsements in the Top 10 according to Forbes to give a clear picture of the kind of money these NBA stars are earning. 

10. Damian Lillard

Salary: $29,802,321

Endorsements: $14 million

Oregan-based Damian Lillard signed a 5 year contract with Portland Trail Blazers and has endorsement deals with Adidas, Powerade, Spalding, Panini, Foot Locker, JBL, Biofreeze, Moda Health, and Hulu. Lilliard would not have made our top 10 based on salary alone, in 2014 he negotiated a 10 year deal with Adidas worth up to $100 million, seeing him come in at number 10 for the 2019/20 highest paid NBA players with an estimated total of $43.8 million.

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Salary: $25,842,697

Endorsements: $20 million

Greek-born Giannis Antetokounmpo who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks on a 4 year contract makes our number 9,  at an estimated total of $45.8 million, where without endorsements he would only have been the 41st highest paid player. Giannis has endorsement deals with Nike, Hulu, T-Mobile, JBL and 2K Sports. Signing a deal with Nike in 2017 reported to pay an estimated $9 million in the first year. Nike released his first signature shoe in 2019. His second edition dropped just a few weeks ago.

8. Chris Paul

Salary: $38,506,482

Endorsements: $8 million

Oklahoma City Thunder’s point guard Chris Paul’s salary of $38,506,482 is the second highest NBA salary in the 2019/20 season. Paul has endorsement deals with Nike, Spalding and Walt Disney, as well as being a regular in commercials for insurance giant State Farm. We estimate his 2019/20 salary at a total of $46.5 million.

7. Klay Thompson

Salary: $32,742,000

Endorsements: $15 million

Known as one of the best shooters in NBA history, Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson finds his place at number 7 on our list. Making 72.42 percent more than in 2018/19, and with endorsements from Panini, BodyArmor, Anta Sports Products, Electronic Arts, and Gillette, we estimate this NBA star at a total salary of $47.7 million for 2019/20 season.

6. Kyrie Irving

Salary: $31,742,000

Endorsements: $20 million

Kyrie Irving signed a 4 year contract with the Brooklyn Nets, seeing his on-court salary come in at $31,742,000 this season. Irving endorses major brands including  Nike and Pepsi, seeing his total estimated income at $51.7 million. His Nike shoe is among the NBA’s top sellers, and Irving donated $1.5 million to help cover the salaries of WNBA players sitting out this season.

5. James Harden

Salary: $37,800,000

Endorsements: $17 million

One of the NBA’s most prolific scorers, James Harden cements the top 5 on our list. Three times league MVP runner up in 2015, 2017,and 2019, and 2018 ‘s MVP, Harden has partnered with Amazon to share his go-to workout products, and has endorsement deals with Adidas and BodyArmor. This season his estimated salary comes in at $54.8 million.

4. Russell Westbrook

Salary: $38,178,000

Endorsements: $18 million

Nine-time NBA All-Star, Russell Westbrook, signed a 5 year Super Max contract with Oklahoma City Thunder and was traded to the Houston Rockets. A year after signing the largest contract in Jordan Brand history in 2017, Westbrook got his own signature shoe. Apart from Nike, Russell endorses global brands like Samsung and PepsiCo, giving him an estimated total income of $56 million for the 2019/20 NBA season.

3. Kevin Durant

Salary: $37,199,000

Endorsements: $35 million

Power Forward Kevin Durant plays on a 4 year contract for the Brooklyn Nets. This ten-time All-Star earns an estimated $35 million from endorsement deals with Nike, Google and Alaska air group. Durant is also an avid investor with stakes in more than a 100 emerging companies. We see him at number 3 with a total of $72 million this 2019/2020 season.

2. Stephen Curry

Salary: $40,231,758

Endorsements: $45 million

Golden State Warriors’ point guard Stephen Curry, is the highest-paid NBA player of the season. Analysts and players alike have called him the greatest shooter in NBA history. Since 2014, Stephen has had a shoe deal with Under Armour, which contributes to his endorsement income (which has tripled in the last year), among other partnerships with JP Morgan Chase, Vivo and Brita. His total income this season comes in at an estimated total of $85 million.

1. LeBron James 

Salary: $37,436,858

Endorsements: $55 million

Based on salary alone, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers would otherwise have ranked in at #4 on the list, however, with Nike as his biggest backer, LeBron lands the number 1 spot for highest paid NBA player for the sixth year straight, coming in at an estimated $92 million for the 2019/2020 NBA season. James holds equity in a number of companies, including his own film and TV brand the SpringHill Company, which co-produced the upcoming sequel to Space Jam. 

 

Have your part

While you may not be an NBA All-Star yourself, you can still join in on the fun! Sportsbook casinos allow you to get in on the action of your favourite sports stars. Not into sports betting? Why not try something more up your alley like online bingo

 

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