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A Look Ahead In The NBA Playoffs

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As the regular season enters its final days, there are still as many questions as answers when it comes to how the playoffs will shape up. Only one playoff game is set in stone in either conference, so unlike some years, these final matches are of vital importance. Let’s see what is in store.

Three crucial games in the Eastern Conference

The sixteenth playoff spot is a direct battle between the Detroit Pistons, who are currently at 40-41 and the Charlotte Hornets on 39-42. For the sports betting fraternity, those looking to make the best use of free bet offers from their online bookmakers might find the constantly shifting odds a little difficult to keep up with. Right now, those looking for a safer bet but at shorter odds are backing the Pistons, as all they need is to either beat the Knicks in their last regular season game or for the Hornets to lose to the Magic and they will be through. The Hornets, on the other hand need a little help from fate, as both a win for themselves and a loss for Detroit is what is needed in order for them to scrape through.

Those two games are, therefore, the ones that will be truly under the microscope, but there are other factors at play in working out the final seedings. Seeds one to five are now established, and we know the Celtics will face the Pacers in round one. Beyond that, however, much depends on the result of the games mentioned above, and also how the game between the Heat and the Nets pans out.

The Heat are no longer in contention, but they can still affect the playoffs. If they win and if Detroit make the playoffs, the Nets will be seeded seven. A win for the Nets, on the other hand, will guarantee a sixth seed berth and will mean they face the third seeded Philadelphia 76ers.

Seeding in the Western Conference down to the wire

The eight teams from the Western Conference have been set in stone with almost boring predictability for some weeks. However, who will play whom in the playoffs is still far from clear, even at the eleventh hour, and if the deadlock is not broken, we could end up in the convoluted world of NBA tiebreaker rules.

There are four games that will be instrumental here, and these are as follows:

  1. Nuggets at Jazz
  2. Rockets at Thunder
  3. Timberwolves at Nuggets
  4. Jazz at Clippers

If the Nuggets win games 1 and 3 above, they will be guaranteed number two seeding, while the Jazz need to win either game 1 or 4 to finish at least fifth seed. If the Rockets lose and the Blazers win their final two games against the Lakers and the Kings, then the Blazers are guaranteed the number three seed.

Prepare for some classic playoff games

While it might be a case of the usual suspects, the open field as far as seedings are concerned shows just how tightly fought these playoff games will be. Settle back and enjoy, as this year, the NBA is set for one of the most thrilling conclusions to the season in memory.

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TEAM USA Drops To France

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Yesterday, top favorite for winning the World Cup, Serbia, went out in the quarter-finals, while today the US team also got eliminated by France. Although the biggest NBA stars didn’t participate for the USA, they were still considered as the second favorite for retaining the title won in 2014. This is not the surprise after Turkey missed the chance to beat the Americans only due to their own mistakes and fear of a win, but such an experienced team as France knows how to grab this opportunity.

After the first quarter, teams went to the short break evens, while in the second, France started taking the main word in this match. Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert were a dominant duo and after several very attractive actions, France managed to score 27 points into the second quarter. They had a six-point lead after the first 20 minutes of the game. France was almost in the constant lead of the match, while the US side had a maximum advantage of three points in the first quarter.

French side continued in the same fashion in the third quarter as well and their advantage rose to 10 points. However, after several mistakes in their offensive actions, they spilled everything and let go the Americans get a three-point lead. When the current world champions went seven points ahead, 72:65, even French fans doubted that their team will get back into the game and book their place in the semi-finals. In that period, France had a very bad control of a defensive rebound and they conceded a lot of second-chance points.

But something went wrong for the US team as they managed to score only three points in the last three minutes of the game, as reported by BettingTips4You stats. Their free-throws percentage went down rapidly as Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker missed some shots. On the other side, although they were not at the first-half level, Furnier bagged very important shots, while Gobert booked a couple of offensive rebounds which were eventually converted into points. The United States didn’t have the solution for French defense, they even missed some open shots and sitters, while French team was flying on the wings of their excellent effort. Nando De Colo’s cool head and steady arm were keeping the advantage for the French team intact as he scored five puts of six free throws. Eventually, France won by a ten-point margin, they totally deserved the victory and the chance to challenge the top spot.

The US team needed more scorers in this game as only Donovan Mitchell met the expectations with 29 points scored, although his field goals percentage went just above 50%. Kemba Walker was stopped at 10 points with a very bad evening as he scored twice from nine attempts, excluding the free-throws. They were outplayed in the paint as French side booked 16 rebounds more than their opponents. Gobert showed the class with 21 points scored and 16 rebounds, although he spent only six minutes on the bench. Both sides were a bit under 50% field goals percentage but eventually missed free throws cost the US team a win.

To summarize, France is going to take on the winner of the last quarter-finals between Australia and the Czech Republic, while the USA will play classification matches. Ironically, their first opponent is going to be Serbia, but everybody expected to see these two sides in the finals and not in the battle for the 5th spot. The match is going to be played tomorrow and there’s a very little time for preparation, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Serbia pulls an upset as they had a day more to recover. The side which is more mentally strong should win tomorrows match.

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NBA Players at FIBA World Cup  

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FIBA World Cup is the top basketball event this season and by September 15th, we are going to find out who is the best national team in the world. Although some of the biggest NBA stars canceled their participation as they want to prepare for the upcoming season, there is a number of NBA players in other national team rosters. As a result, a record 54 current NBA players is participating on FIBA World Cup. We are going to mention some of the biggest names and take look at their stats at this tournament. Also if you wish to bet on remaining WC games, check BettingOffers.Cash for latest promos.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks star, who was voted as the Most valuable player in NBA league last season, was tipped to drive Greece towards the very latest stages of the tournament. However, they failed to reach the quarter-finals and Antetokounmpo somehow didn’t meet the expectations. In the key games against Brazil and the USA, which Greece lost both, Giannis managed to score 13 and 15 points respectively, with pretty weak field shots percentage against the Cariocas. Czech Republic’s defense also managed to stop him, since Giannis finished the match scoring 12 points and getting into foul trouble very early in the game. All in all, the expectations were much higher for the NBA league MVP.

Nikola Jokic

It is the first time after a while that Jokic is going to play for Serbian national team on a big tournament. Serbia’s roster is full of talented players and Nikola is certainly one of the biggest names. Denver Nuggets power forward hasn’t scored too many points so far in the competition, but since Serbia was pretty confident in the first and second round, there wasn’t a need for having Nikola more than 20 minutes per game. Jokic has a very good field shot percentage, which is nearly 80% on the tournament level, and it might be even better if Nikola and the team haven’t put a pretty poor performance against Spain. Definitely, we can expect to see more from this guy, and he might be the one who can lead Serbia towards the battle for the world champion title.

Rudy Gobert

Interestingly, top three NBA stars come from the non-US national teams. French center and Utah Jazz star is one of the best defenders in the tournament. Although he is not a top-scorer, Gobert is putting constantly good performances at the World Cup. He is dominating in the paint and collecting a number of defensive rebounds. His current average is 8.4 rebounds per game in addition to 11 points for 25 minutes spent on the court. However, France lost the top position in their group and they need to take a much harder path toward the very latest stages of the tournament. We will see how much Rudy Gobert can help his national team enter the battle for the trophy.

Kemba Walker

Finally, we have the first US player in this list. This point guard showed some good displays at this tournament and most importantly, he is one of the most consistent US players at the World Cup. Walker is scoring between 13 and 16 points per game, however, he is taking a lot of shots and his field shot percentage is at 50%. On the other hand, Kemba is positioned in the top 10 list for most assists on the tournament and so far, he is booking 6 assists per game in average. The US team needs him to keep up and continue with good displays in order to reach another finals and the battle for the world crown.

Danilo Gallinari

Italy failed to qualify for the knockout stage, but Danilo Gallinari was one of the best players in the team. Italians lost their key match against Spain in which Danilo contributed with 15 points. However, he didn’t manage to put a replay from the match against Serbia when he bagged 26 points from all positions. Currently, Oklahoma City Thunder power forward is among the 15 top scorers on the tournament, but he is certainly going to decline as the championship deciders are about to be played. So, this was an individually good campaign for Gallinari, but it wasn’t followed by the national team success.

Marc Gasol

Marc is one of the leaders of the Spanish national team and they are going to be involved in the battles for medals. Although they have several injured players, Spain is still one of the candidates for the highest-ranking and Gasol’s experience will be crucial. He had a bad night only against Italy, but fortunately for him, Spain managed to win and book their ticket for the knockout round. In that match, Marc scored only one two-pointer from six shots during his 27 minutes in the game. In other matches, he was one of the central figures as he was scoring 10+ points per match. Gasol should be looking forward to improving the percentage of 3-point shots as he is under 20% regarding this parameter. We expect him to be one of the central figures in the Spanish national team in the upcoming matches.

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Bogdan is one of the candidates for the tournament’s top scorer title as he is currently over 20 points per match in average. Sacramento Kings’ and Serbian shooting guard is driving his national team in the battle for the top spot as they are considered as the favorite number one for lifting the World Cup trophy. Bogdan didn’t have his best evening in the match against Puerto Rico where he scored only five points with the field shots percentage of 1/8, but he managed to bag 26 and 31 points against Spain and Italy respectively. He is expected to be the driving force along with Nikola Jokic and Nemanja Bjelica, other two Serbian NBA stars in the upcoming matches and if he keeps it up, Bogdanovic will be one of the top picks for the tournament’s best line-up. Bogdanovic is at the peak of his career and besides being a high-scorer, he also produces almost five assists per match in average.

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Can The Detroit Pistons Make The Playoffs Next Season?

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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.

The Bucks

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.

The 76ers

 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.

Toronto

 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.

Boston Celtics

 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.

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