The Philadelphia 76ers are heading towards another season of disappointment unless the franchise is able to improve their form on the road. Brett Brown’s men made their intentions known ahead of the campaign that they were determined to kick on from the last time when they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals for the second year on the bounce.
Although Jimmy Butler was lost in a trade deal with the Miami Heat, the Sixers emerged with Josh Richardson as part of the move. Tobias Harris’ contract was extended, while the franchise made a significant splash to sign Al Horford, robbing the Boston Celtics of their All-Star center.
Experience was a key factor in Philadelphia’s struggles in their back-to-back post-season exits, and the addition of Horford was supposed to provide guile and nous to a young side as well as stealing a quality player from a rival. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were expected to take another step in their development to help the Sixers become the leading outfit in the Eastern Conference.
However, it has not proven to be the case as the stretch run of the 2019/20 season approaches. Philadelphia is well off the pace of the Milwaukee Bucks in the number one seed, while the form of the Celtics, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and the Indiana Pacers has pushed them down towards the sixth seed. It would create a tougher road in the post-season for the Sixers to handle, although they are still backed in the betting NBA odds as second favorite for the Eastern Conference crown behind the Bucks, despite their issues on the court.
The main problem has been the form and the fitness of Embiid. At his best, the 25-year-old is one of the top players in the NBA – as proven by his third-straight All-Star berth. Embiid’s numbers on the court have been impressive, averaging 23.0 points per game along with 12.1 rebounds. However, there have been occasions where he has struggled to raise the level of his game, particularly against rivals in the East.
Embiid endured one of the worst performances of his career in a defeat to the Celtics, shooting just 1-11 on the night, with nine of his points coming from the free-throw line. A finger injury had ruled him out of action for nine games during January, although he was fine on his return against the Golden State Warriors. If the Sixers are to make a run during the final two months of the regular season they need their All-Star locked in and focused to find the peak of his powers.
Support has not been forthcoming elsewhere in terms of points. Harris has averaged 19.4 points per game, but it’s not quite the standard Brown would have been hoping for from the forward after a five-year $180 million investment in the off-season. Ben Simmons has been impressive around the court, although his production in and around the rim is underwhelming for a player of his ability. Richardson has just been solid, failing to raise the level of his game after leaving Miami.
Then there has been the form of Horford, who has not looked himself on the court. He has struggled to find a consistent role in the team, which has hurt the levels of his output. There could be the possibility at the age of 33 Horford’s skills are beginning to decline. It’s a concern for the Sixers given the contract they handed to the center in free agency worth up to $109 million over four years. He’s not going to improve with age and if this is the best of Horford, then it could be an expensive choice made by the front office.
There’s still ample time for the Sixers to click on the court, but the signs are not looking positive. Philadelphia has talent aplenty, although at the moment it appears that they are a group of individuals rather than a championship-caliber outfit.
Best US Colleges for Students Obsessed with Basketball
College life is exciting and interesting, especially if you enjoy sports. Basketball fans have a unique chance to get a scholarship and a chance to represent the school.
Student life is filled with controversial feelings and different emotions. The success of the student depends merely on his approach to the new reality and surrounding atmosphere. Ambitious, motivated, and goal-oriented students can overcome the existing challenges, find the most reputable online academic writing help and balance their studies with sports activities. Thus, if you have always been passionate about basketball and wanted to immerse yourself in the sport, you need to consider entering one of the below-mentioned universities.
Striving to become a successful basketball player without compromising your academic achievements, one should work hard and do his best in both directions. As a rule, the university staff are very helpful and assistive when it comes to basketball players and their success. They realize both their passion for the game and desire to remain efficient in the class, so they frequently give a helping hand to the ones in need.
If you are the one, who is fully obsessed with college basketball, do not be embarrassed to ask people, “Who can write my essay for cheap?” as it is the only way for you to stay afloat with college studies. Opt for one of the most appreciated and reputable colleges that encourage students’ basketball-related passion.
University of Connecticut
There is no better place for students passionate about college basketball at the University of Connecticut. The unique spirit of motivation, inspiration, strength, and endurance are highly valued and encouraged here. No matter if you enjoy playing or watching the game, you will have an opportunity to participate. The University features numerous basketball teams that represent the school in both male and female leagues.
Located in North Carolina, Duke University is always filled up with basketball players and fans. The staff encourages its students to prosper in athletics without the damage to academic excellence. The phenomenal campus freedom here is beneficial for the majority of students, as it gives a sense of personal responsibility.
University of Kentucky
There is nothing better than feeling the spirit of acceptance and encouragement within the University. Students and professors are proud of their basketball team, as it is the best representation of the school. The University of Kentucky is one of the most advantageous places to study for those who are not only passionate about watching the game but also becoming its indispensable part.
Michigan State University
Is it strange for you to see athletes in basketball uniforms on the campus? Michigan State University students are used to it, as they can notice different players walking on the campus and getting ready for the game. In fact, basketball is an integral part of the campus life here, while the whole school cheers for their team. As a result, it creates a unique atmosphere of support and encouragement between students involved in the game and their fans.
University of Maryland
Throughout history, the University of Maryland has featured an excellent fan section. According to the comments of the students, basketball is a crucial part of their lives, so people get involved, creating a unique spirit, and encouraging players for new achievements. Believe it or not, but a considerable number of students search for professional help with assignments to have a chance to cheer for the school team.
Ohio State University
No matter what type of sport you consider, the Ohio State University team is likely to be the best. The University is ultimately proud of its amazing athletic teams that are the best representation of the school. Every new game brings joy not only to the players who win but also to fans and staff who watch.
Butler University in Indiana is one of the leading schools that encourage the athletic achievements of its students. The unique support of fans is precious and inspiring, so the men’s basketball team of Butler University is considered to be the most popular on campus. Irrespective of the game or the opponent, the student section is always full.
Winona State University
Winona State University is a perfect place for students who cannot imagine their lives without basketball. The college provides unlimited support to those who do their best to represent the school during the important championships and games. The players appreciate fantastic school spirit and fan support. Additionally, an opportunity to find a qualified homework helper for science among fellow students is also valued by basketball lovers.
University of Illinois
There is nothing more exciting than the school dedicated to your favorite sport. The University of Illinois is the best place for students passionate about basketball. The support of fans and fellow students is something unreal, especially during tense and complicated games.
University of Oklahoma
Despite the school is the last on the list, it is not the least in the chart. The University of Oklahoma is characterized by the best basketball team in the country. Supportive and dedicated fans will not only cheer for their athletes during important games but will also give a helping hand with college studies. No matter if you need to find quality speedypaper reviews or order a custom paper, just ask for help and get recommendations right away.
Can The Toronto Raptors Do The Impossible And Win Back-To-Back Championships?
Last season was mesmeric for the Toronto Raptors, as they were finally able to get their hands on a prize that they never believed in their wildest dreams that they would. A Kawhi Leonard-inspired Raptors clinched their first NBA Championship win success over the Golden State Warriors, and there was already a sense that it was never going to get better than this.
However, the almost inconceivable back-to-back dream could be on the Raptors’ agenda this season, and teams should underestimate them at their peril. The Milwaukee Bucks have been getting all the attention, with Giannis Antetokounmpo being the standout star, but there is an argument to be made that the best team in the Eastern Conference is actually the Toronto Raptors.
Defensively Sound Unit
Defense is the name of the game when it comes to winning championships, and there are very few better than the Raptors. The team bases itself on the core defensive principles. The players’ determination to win another championship can be seen in the effort they put in when protecting their basket. The stats also point to the Raptors defense being an asset, as they have allowed the fewest opposition points per game, and rank as the third-best team in terms of steals.
Fred VanVleet has been a revelation this season, and he has made an average of 1.9 steals per game. The averages of the players when it comes to blocks per game are further evidence of their team defensive unit, with Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, OG Anunoby, and Marc Gasol averaging over 0.5 blocks per game.
The Toronto Raptors arguably have the best coach in the NBA, with Nick Nurse revolutionizing not only the Raptors as a team but also the way that Canada sees basketball. Nurse very rarely gets his tactics wrong, especially when the pressure is really on. The series against the Golden State Warriors in last year’s final is evidence of that.
Many coaches may have panicked with the departure of Leonard, but Nurse has reinstalled trust in the remainder of the team that won the championship, and they have delivered in their spades in this season. Siakam, VanVleet, and Kyle Lowry are all averaging over 17 points per game. It is also important to remember that the Raptors have a record of 52-19 to this point, which is better than the record that they had last season.
When it comes to winning the NBA Championship, experience is one of the most crucial factors according to the experts at USsportsbonus.com. That is one of the biggest factors why the best sides that have been able to build a dynasty have remained dominant. The Raptors have that experience, and that will mean that their confidence going into the post-season will be sky-high. The run to finals last season also wasn’t easy for the Raptors, as they had to overcome Jimmy Butler’s Philadelphia 76ers and Antetokounmpo’sBucks.
The playoffs are completely unlike the regular season, and Toronto’s experience last season will leave them in a great position to repeat that feat. It also plays to their advantage that they have been overlooked throughout the majority of the season, with some experts even predicting that the Boston Celtics are really the team to watch from the east despite having a worse record. Teams underestimated the Raptors last season and paid the price, and that will certainly be the case again next season if they fail to respect the reigning NBA champions.
The Most Important Basketball Matches To Bet On In 2020
With basketball and the NBA season set to restart on the 30th of July after a gap of more than 4 months, betting on the sport will now again be peaking. With that in mind, here is a set of 10 games that you need to think the most about putting your money on. This will be a list of important games to bet on, rather than important games to watch out for basketball action:
- Clippers vs Lakers, 30th July
The presence of the best player in basketball makes the odds lopsided in the Lakers’ favor. Their significantly superior record compared to the Clippers has given them the oddsmakers’ benefit of short odds on every remaining matchup. But betting on the Clippers in this game could turn out to be a really wise move.
Powered by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers can punch way above their weight and make you a killing on the +165 odds on offer.
- Celtics vs Bucks, 31st July
Normally, when the best team in basketball goes up against the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference, the odds are supposed to be shorter. But Bet way has offered tempting odds on the Celtics in this game, giving a payout of +170 despite the fact that they have 3 players averaging 20 points per game.
While the Bucks, led by Giannis, have been in rude form throughout the season, the Celtics beat them early in the season by 12 points. Going with the Cs in this game will be a handy basketball gamble to make.
- Pacers vs Sixers, 1st August
The Sixes and the Pacers sit on exactly the same record (39-26). But the difference is that the Sixes are at full strength with the resumption of the basketball season, while the Pacers will miss Sabonis.
However, the line offered on Bet way of +195 on the Pacers is far too tempting for an avid gambler to pass up. You’d be well-advised to put your money on Pacers basketball for this game. Especially with the expected comeback of Victor Oladipo.
- Clippers vs Pelicans, 2nd August
The absence of Lou Williams due to a silly decision of going out to have chicken wings at Magic City will deplete the basketball roster of the Clippers for the first 3 games.
The Pelicans, on the other hand, will be at full strength, including the likely return of rookie sensation and #1 NBA draft pick in 2019 Zion Williamson. There are great chances that the Pelicans receive a +140 line or so and go on to win this basketball game.
- Clippers vs Suns, 5th August
The Clippers have gotten off to a sluggish start in the scrimmages, especially Kawhi Leonard. With the Phoenix Suns at full strength and Lou Williams likely to miss their first 3 games, there’s a good possibility that the Clippers will rest one of Leonard or George for this game.
The betting line will still be at least +140 in favor of the Suns, who will look to Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton to provide them with the scoring punch. A bet on the Suns wouldn’t go amiss on this game of basketball.
- Nuggets vs Trail Blazers, 7th August
The Nuggets are comfortably placed at 3rd in the Western Conference. They are likely to finish at that spot and have no basketball reasons to overexert their squad during the seeding games.
The Trail Blazers, on the other hand, sit at 9th in the Conference and will be aiming to make the playoffs. They are likely to receive a line of +1300 or better. Powered by Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Nurkic, the Blazers have a real shot at beating Denver in this game.
- Bucks vs Heat, 7th August
The Heat and the Bucks are separated by the significant margin of 12 games in the Eastern Conference. The two teams are well set to meet in playoff basketball given their status as the #4 and #1 seeds respectively.
The last time the Bucks played the Heat, Giannis had his worst scoring game of the season. The odds will definitely be quite short on the Bucks, so picking the Heat could prove to be a real steal on this one.
- Rockets vs Lakers, 7th August
The Rockets would be aiming to finish 5th in the Conference, tied as they are with the Thunder on a 40-24 record. Their faceoff with the Lakers would be a pivotal game of basketball in this path.
The Rockets are likely to receive a line of +130 or so for this game. They beat the Lakers in their last faceoff, after the Clint Capela trade. So going for a Rockets W for this game is solidly advisable on betting factors.
- Bucks vs Mavericks, 9th August
The Mavericks beat the Bucks in their first meeting of the season in Milwaukee, despite not having MVP candidate Luka Doncic in their ranks. Despite this, the odds line is likely to heavily favor the Bucks, to a tune of at least -450.
Betting on the Mavs, who’re likely to get a payoff of +150 or more, will be a handy pick. Basketball is a make-or-miss game, and the probability of the Mavs making their shots in this game seems pretty high given their size and versatility across the board.
- Nets vs Magic, 11th August
These two basketball teams are destined to meet each other twice in the bubble. While their first meeting will likely be quite competitive, by the time they meet the second time, the Magic will probably have secured 7th seed by a significant margin.
This would put the betting line in their favor, and the Magic would have the chance to rest its players before a possible playoff matchup repeat against the Raptors. Betting on the Nets in this game, for a prospective line of +140 or so, would be the way forward.