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MLB Handicapper Free Play: New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates

05.23.2015     07:58 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
New York (Harvey) at Pittsburgh (Burnett) -110 O/U 6.5 
Recommendation: Under

We'll continue to get involved with New York Mets ace Matt Harvey as today we take a look at the under for his start against Pittsburgh. Last week I mentioned that Harvey was using his slider more now that he's built up strength from last year's arm injury. Over his last two outings he's used his slider more than 22% of the time and absolutely dominated the opposition with 15 innings of scoreless baseball and 19 strikeouts. He should be good to go against a Pirates team that out of 15 National League teams ranks 12th in runs scored and 13th in slugging. The Mets may also be walking into a buzzsaw as AJ Burnett continues to churn out upper-tier numbers. He's yet to allow more than two earned runs in a start and while his path thus far (1.38 ERA) is unsustainable, at home, against light-hitting New York, I project another quality performance. After storming out of the gates, the Mets have come back down to earth with a 9-11 record in May. The pitching remains solid but offensively, not so much, with really poor .230/.291/.349/.639 splits this month. Wind not expected to be a factor and game time temps in the low 70s. Runs should be tough to come by as we play under the total.

Tags: MLB New York Mets Pittsburgh Pirates Andrew Lange

MLB Betting Podcast 5-22-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicappers Erin Rynning and Rob Veno

05.22.2015     11:33 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Friday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicappers Rob Veno and Erin Rynning. Rob, Teddy, and host Andrew Lange broke down today's entire MLB card.

Today's segments 
Full Show

Rob Veno - National League

Erin Rynning - American League and Interleague

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: MLB Rob Veno Erin Rynning Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox

05.22.2015     11:29 AM     ICC     Printer Friendly

Submitted by ICC blog entry.
Minnesota (Hughes) +110 at Chicago (Samardzija) O/U 7.5 
Recommendation: Minnesota

My clients and I cashed an underdog winner earlier this week with the Minnesota Twins and I’m more than willing to come right back and endorse them tonight. There is something to be said about momentum in baseball and the Minnesota Twins have it right now after winning 14 of their last 19 games. As for tonight’s two starters, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between Phil Hughes and Jeff Samardzija. Both have had ups and downs and battled inconsistency however Hughes is at least feeling some positive momentum having gone 7 innings while yielding only 2 runs on 5 hits against Tampa Bay his last time out. Hughes allowed just 3 runs in 6 innings in his prior start against the White Sox and his overall numbers when facing the current White Sox roster are solid as he’s allowed a collective .250 batting average. Hughes once again shows a sparkling 35-5 K-to-BB ratio. His biggest knock is the 10 home runs allowed in 51 IP but he should be aided by what expects to be cooler temps and a slight wind in front left field. On the flip side, the Chicago White Sox have lost three straight after having their 6-game winning streak snapped by Cleveland. Samardzija is supposed to be the team’s ace or at least co-ace with Chris Sale but he hasn’t pitched like it. He’s allowed 4+ runs in half of his starts including his prior outing against Minnesota having allowed 4 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings. His 7.56 career ERA against the Twins is also not very pretty. Minnesota is 9th in the Majors in runs scored while Chicago is just 29th ahead of lowly Philadelphia so I give the Twins the edge offensively and their solid bullpen should be rested and ready for tonight’s game after an off day on Thursday.

Tags: MLB Minnesota Twins Chicago White Sox Ian Cameron

Will sports betting change if regulated?

05.22.2015     10:27 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Detailed article courtesy of ESPN about the current climate of sports betting. With regulation comes talk about match fixing and point shaving. Some folks are hopeful that if it becomes legal in the U.S. there will be a decline (or at least not an increase) in the already rare cases of point shaving. We've discussed this multiple times in the past -- even with nationwide legalized sports betting the unregulated offshore/offscreen world will still thrive. And with that, there's the potential to fix games and not be detected. Las Vegas raves about it's ability to "police" irregular line moves. But people who attempt to fix games aren't rushing down to Stations Casino with a duffle bag full of money. They are doing so undetected at countless offscreen sportsbooks across the world so as to not cause any red flags. In the end, regulation is a good thing in that it'll provide your average bettor with access to a safe outlet to gamble. But to a lot of bettors playing at 5Dimes or with a local that provides you a credit account and an offscreen sportsbook remains far more attractive than using your Visa card to play at a regulated sportsbook in New Jersey.

"If the U.S. wants to avoid the European experience, it must first regulate or, at the very least, nationally recognize the reality of global sport betting," Eaton said. "As U.S. sports internationalize, they need to realize that they are entering a vulnerable sport betting market at the same time. U.S. sports must avoid repeating the European error of thinking they can protect themselves at home, while remaining a target abroad."

"Eastern European and Southeast Asian betting fraudsters have driven European soccer into the danger zone," Chris Eaton, a global sports security expert who has worked with INTERPOL and FIFA, said. "The USA very much holds the key to saving international sport from complete loss of credibility."


Tags: MLB Minnesota Twins Chicago White Sox Ian Cameron

NBA Gambling: Atlanta Hawks bet up to -2.5 for tonight's Game 2

05.22.2015     09:57 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Lot of action going on in the betting markets for tonight's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. After the Cavaliers won Game 1, Game 2 opened a pick 'em at CRIS. Pinnacle took immediate money on the Cavs as they jumped to -1.5. But since then, we've seen nothing but Atlanta money with the Hawks now favored by -2.5 at most offshore and Las Vegas sportsbooks. If you prefer the Cleveland side we recommend jumping in now as we expect some buy-back and the game to close Atlanta -1 to -2.

Tags: NBA Atlanta Hawks Cleveland Cavaliers

NFL Handicapping: Week 1 lines are up but no one's betting...yet

05.21.2015     06:29 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Two weeks ago, CRIS posted lines on every Week 1 NFL game -- not the first sportsbook it do so but arguably the most important. Betting on the NFL is really popular -- way more so that the current lineup of MLB, NBA and NHL Playoffs and Arena Football. And despite providing bettors with a 3+ month head start, there has been literally no movement in the betting markets. Sure, the limits are reduced and a lot of teams still have various questions regarding personnel. But unlike college football, everyone has a pretty good understanding of who's going to take the field in Week 1. Yet, of the 16 lines games, not one has moved off of a key number both side and total -- we're not counting the Tom Brady fiasco. There are currently nine games sitting on 2.5, 3, and 6 -- numbers that typically lend themselves to opinion. And while CRIS obviously knows what they are doing when it comes to hanging an NFL line, one would think bettors would want to jump in and take advantage. Not the case. Based on last year's line history most Week 1 games started to move in July and even more so after preseason play got underway. Until then, if you see something you like, take a shot, but if you think there's a chance a better number will be available, you've got plenty of time because for all the hype surrounding how soon the lines are out, the real action is still more than a month away.

Tags: NFL

American Pharoah's owner not very good at sports betting

05.21.2015     06:23 AM     Printer Friendly

Oh, this is good. A horse racing owner -- Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah's owner to be exact -- is being called out for running up and failing to pay a huge sports betting debt. He was playing at some Costa Rican sportsbook we've never heard of and reportedly lost $2 million. The man in question, Ahmed Zayat, is of course denying the whole thing. That is until A-Phar wins the Belmont in two weeks so he can knock out that crazy fig he owes on the sly.

Tags: Horse Racing

MLB Handicapping: San Diego Padres struggle with gopher ball

05.21.2015     06:14 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
One of the many perks of FanGraphs is their ability to help baseball bettors better understand when things aren't going according to plan and whether or not we should expect said things to continue. The other day it was the Minnesota Twins and their "ability" to come through in the clutch. Now we have the San Diego Padres who through 41 games can best be described as "ho-hum" as they enter tonight a game under .500. It's no secret that the offense is much improved but the defense stinks and the bullpen has arguably been the worst in baseball. But one of the biggest problems for the Pads has been keeping the ball in the ballpark. The team's HR/FB ratio is on pace for historical levels despite 22 games taking place in Petco Park and nine others in Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. According to FanGraphs, the high longball rate has cost the team roughly three wins. Now the question becomes, will it continue?

If you can believe it, the Padres have allowed more home runs than any other team in baseball. They’ve allowed two more than the Brewers, who play their home games in a hitter-friendly environment. They’ve allowed five more than the Blue Jays, who play their home games in a hitter-friendly environment. They’ve allowed a dozen more than the Reds, who, you get it. The Padres have featured a dinger-happy pitching staff. Dingers are automatic runs. They’re the worst possible outcome.

Tags: MLB San Diego Padres

MLB Betting Podcast 5-20-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicapper Ian Cameron

05.20.2015     10:32 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Wedneday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Ian Cameron. Ian and host Andrew Lange broke down today's MLB card.

Today's segments 
Ian Cameron - MLB

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: MLB Ian Cameron Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets

05.20.2015     10:27 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Rob Veno blog entry.
St. Louis (Martinez) -105 at New York (Colon) O/U 7 
Recommendation: St. Louis

The past couple outings for Bartolo Colon have been shaky at best and look like an indicator to jump in with the few who already are on this “fade train.” As a one-pitch pitcher (85.6% fastballs this season) whose one pitch averages 88 MPH and is constantly around the plate, it’s not tough to see how the aging veteran can be on the decline. What’s most disturbing about the control based Colon’s last couple of starts is not just the fact that he’s given up 15 hits and nine earned runs over the 11 innings, but that 10 of those 15 hits allowed (67%) have gone for extra bases (seven 2Bs and three HRs). Cardinals’ starter Carlos Martinez has run into some trouble lately as well posting a 10.29 ERA, 2.36 WHIP and an extremely high average of 21.0 PPI over his last three starts. However, it seems much more probable that the young righty bounces back in this spot considering the Mets weak .294 OBP and .341 SLG% vs. righties this season. Martinez’s three-pitch repertoire can be overpowering and New York’s 21.7% K rate vs. righties plus lack of patient hitters outside of Granderson and Duda should help him. The bullpen edge in this one is significant since the Cards have four rested “go to” arms compared to only Familia and Alex Torres for the Mets. Price is right here to play the better team.

Tags: MLB St. Louis Cardinals New York Mets Rob Veno

Westgate SuperBook renovations to be completed by football season

05.20.2015     08:34 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
According to Westgate LV SuperBook managed Jay Kornegay, renovations on the facility will begin in mid-June and are slated to be completed by the end of August. The SuperBook will feature a new video wall, counters, and seating areas.

Tags: Las Vegas

MLB Betting News: Yankees place Ellsbury on the DL

05.20.2015     08:06 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Significant injury for the New York Yankees with Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) headed to the DL. The Yankees rank second in MLB with a .399 on-base percentage from the lead-off spot -- most of which courtesy of Ellsbury. He also leads the American League in stolen bases with 14. Brett Garnder will likely assume the lead-off role. Ellbury's absence changes the dynamic of the Yankees' lineup with Ellsbury, a lefty, batting .333 vs. right-handers. Chris Young, who is slated to replace him, shows an extremely strong split (.189 vs. righties, .368 vs. lefties).

Tags: MLB New York Yankees

NBA Gambling Alert: Cleveland's Irving to suit up vs. Atlanta

05.20.2015     07:39 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Cleveland's Kyrie Irving (knee) is expected to start tonight's Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 matchup vs. Atlanta. The Hawks were as high as -1.5 favorites but money on the Cavs has the line down to a pick 'em at a few offshore sportsbooks.

"I would say just my spirits and mental confidence, just being able to actually feel both my feet underneath me, especially when I'm shooting, it feels amazing," Irving said. "You know, just a confidence of getting extra work in and just preparing with my teammates. I think that's the biggest thing I get out of it. I don't want to be on the sideline at all, especially preparing for a big stage like this. I want to be as close to 100 percent before Wednesday as I can be, so just doing the necessary things in order to do that."

Tags: NBA Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks

MLB Handicapping: Indians send Marcum to the hill vs. White Sox

05.20.2015     07:32 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The Cleveland Indians will cart out veteran Shaun Marcum for a spot start tonight against the Chicago White Sox. Marcum hasn't started a game since 2013 though threw five innings (1 ER, 3 BBs, 4 Ks) during mop-up duty back in early April. Marcum has been pitching for Triple-A Columbus where he compiled a 4-0 record and 1.36 ERA in five starts. The quote from manager Terry Francona is pretty telling as Marcum put up similar stats to that of Bruce Chen while pitching in the minors. After being called up Chen allowed 17 hits and nine earned runs in 6.1 inning and earlier this week announced his retirement.

"Shaun and Chen put up fairly similar numbers at Columbus," said Francona. "Shaun has been with us for two years. He's rehabbed a bunch and he's worked hard to get this opportunity."


Tags: MLB Cleveland Indians Chicago White Sox

NFL Handicapping: League moves PAT attempts back to the 15-yard line

05.20.2015     06:12 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The NFL announced that PAT attempts will be moved back to the 15-yard line this season. In 2014, kickers hit 96.7% from that range -- without the ability to place the ball in a preferred spot like they can with a PAT. It will however make for some great Twitter the first time a kicker doinks one off the upright to miss out on a pointspread cover.

Tags: NFL

Floyd Mayweather remains undefeated at the sportsbooks

05.19.2015     01:27 PM     Printer Friendly

Floyd Mayweather is back to never losing anything he bets on...


Tags: Floyd Mayweather

Sports Betting Podcast 5-19-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicappers Teddy Covers and Rob Veno

05.19.2015     10:19 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Tuesday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicappers Teddy Covers and Rob Veno. Teddy and host Andrew Lange broke down today's MLB card while Rob previewed both NBA Conference Finals matchups.

Today's segments 
Full Show

Teddy Covers - MLB

Rob Veno - NBA Conference Finals Preview

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: MLB NBA Teddy Covers Rob Veno Andrew Lange

NBA Gambling: Timberwolves have best odds to grab top draft pick

05.19.2015     08:21 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The NBA Draft is about a month away which means various sportsbooks are offering odds on who will pick the frozen envelope and snag the No. 1 pick. Statistically the Minnesota Timberwolves have the best chance followed by the Knicks and 76ers.

Odds to Win 2015 NBA Draft Lottery (Greek)  
Minnesota +200 
New York +250 
Philadelphia +300 
LA Lakers +400 
Orlando +650 
Utah +800 

Tags: NBA Minnesota Timberwolves New York Knicks Philadelphia 76ers

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Cincinnati Reds at Kansas City Royals

05.19.2015     08:33 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Cincinnati (Cueto) at Kansas City (Ventura) -115 O/U 7 
Recommendation: Kansas City

The Kansas City Royals come into tonight's game against the Cincinnati Reds winners of three of their last four games.  The Royals sit atop the AL Central with a 1.5 game lead over the Detroit Tigers as they are once again playing consistent ball.  Young right hander Yordano Ventura takes the mound for the Royals looking to stay out of trouble in more ways than one.  Ventura has been involved in two games this season where he was the instigator in "disagreements" against Oakland and Chicago White Sox.  He served his seven-game suspension and came back and pitched in two losses with a nagging blister.  He has since healed and I look for him to get back on track against a soft-hitting NL squad.  Ventura is a good matchup vs. a Reds lineup that shows weak splits vs. right-handers (.235/.697). Johnny Cueto continues to pump out impressive numbers but takes a step up in class here by facing an American League team on the road as oppose to the right-handed heavy lineups of the National League Central. Note too the late innings advantage the Royals have with their bullpen should the game be close late.

Tags: MLB CIncinnati Reds Kansas City Royals Sammy P

NFL Gambling Update: Brady-less Patriots settle in at -2.5 for Week 1 vs. Steelers

05.18.2015     02:46 PM     Printer Friendly


Now that everyone has had a chance to return their heart rate to normal following the announcement that Tom Brady will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season (could be less following his obligatory appeal), a handful of offshore and Las Vegas sportsbooks have posted bettable lines for Week 1's game vs. Pittsburgh. Here's what we got...

Pinnacle: New England -2.5 O/U N/A 
5Dimes: New England -2.5 O/U 49 
BetOnline: New England -2.5 O/U 48.5 
CG (Cantor): New England -2.5 O/U 49.5 
Westgate (LVH): New England -2.5 O/U 49 
Golden Nugget/Stations: New England -2 O/U 49

NFL Handicapping: Betting markets react to Brady suspension

05.12.2015     07:19 AM     View Original Blog
No shock to see some betting market chaos following the announcement of Tom Brady's four-game suspension. Not only did it impact the Week 1 and Game of the Year lines but futures odds as well. A few Las Vegas oddsmakers chime in with what they feel Brady is worth to the pointspread. Cantor (CG Gaming) is one of the few sportsbooks currently offering a line of New England's Week 1 game vs. Pittsburgh. They reopened the game Patriots -1 and it was bet up to -1.5. The game originally opened -6.5.

The adjustments “are not enough,” The Wynn’s John Avello told The Linemakers on Sporting News. “I could see it as a pick or even the Steelers as the favorites.”

Tags: NFL New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers

NBA Gambling: Warriors and Cavaliers Conference Finals series favorites

05.18.2015     02:35 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The NBA Conference Finals are set with action getting underway on Tuesday. In the Western Conference, Golden State takes on Houston. The Warriors, who have homecourt advantage, are around a -850 series favorite (Rockets +600) and a -10 favorite for Tuesday's Game 1. In the Eastern Conference, the top seed Atlanta Hawks own homecourt advantage but find themselves series underdogs. The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently -200 to -215 series favorites (Hawks +175/+180). Interestingly, the Hawks are Game 1 chalk with most offshore shops offering -1 or -1.5.

Pinnacle's NBA Championship Futures Odds 
Golden State -179 
Cleveland +296 
Atlanta +1018 
Houston +1400

Tags: NBA Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks

American Pharoah a 2-1 favorite to win Belmont Stakes

05.18.2015     10:27 AM     Printer Friendly

Last weekend, American Pharoah won the Preakness Stakes setting up yet enough Triple Crown attempt three weeks from now at the Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah is currently a 2-1 favorite. Since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, there have been 13 attempts including California Chrome last year. Of the 13 failed tries, four horses finished second.

Tags: NBA Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks

MLB Handicapping: Miami Marlins hellbent on making things worse

05.18.2015     10:14 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Just in case you needed more evidence that the Miami Marlins are a total mess, check this out...

For Jennings’ part he knows that this hire was not conventional, saying that it was “definitely a different avenue” to becoming a manager. He also said “even my mom, whom I love, asked me, ‘Are you crazy?'”


Tags: MLB Miami Marlins

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: Golden State Warriors primed to win NBA title

05.18.2015     10:10 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
We’re down to the Final Four in the NBA Playoffs, but the path to a championship is crystal clear for only one team – the favorite (and favored for a reason) – Golden State.  Why do the Warriors have such a significant edge over the remaining field?  I’ve identified five reasons, breaking them down in detail in this week’s Wiseguy Report. 

The Warriors opened in the -850 range in their Western Conference Finals series against the Rockets, as big of a favorite as you’ll ever see in any third round playoff series.  The first reason to like Golden State’s chances to win the title is that their path just to reach the Finals is easier than any other team’s path based on the price alone. The Rockets are big underdogs in this series, and the Cavs are only in the -200 to -220 range against Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Secondly, the Warriors are as healthy as any team remaining in the field.  The Cavs lost Kevin Love in the first round of the playoffs, then watched Kyrie Irving come up lame in the second round.  Atlanta lost designated LeBron-stopper Thabo Sefolosha to a season ending injury just before the playoffs started.  Houston lost starting point guard Patrick Beverly and starting power forward Donatas Montejunas before the postseason began as well.

When we look back at this year’s playoffs, the endless barrage injuries are going to be the #1 thing that people remember.   More than one series has been decided based more on happenings on the injury front than any other factor.  Do the Bulls beat the Cavs if Pau Gasol stayed healthy?  Do the Clips beat the Rockets if Chris Paul is at or near 100% in their blown Game 6 closeout?  With a healthy John Wall, do the Wizards knock off Atlanta?  Would a fully healthy Kyle Lowry or Damian Lillard have made a difference in the Raptors or Blazers ugly first round showings?

The Warriors have basically stayed healthy thusfar.  Their second round opponent, Memphis, did not, with starting point guard Mike Conley battling multiple injuries throughout the first two rounds.  Even with a healthy Conley, the Grizzlies would have been hard pressed to beat Golden State four times in a two week span.  Without him anywhere near 100%, the Warriors survived a ‘fat and happy flat game’ in Game 2 and a ‘miss a ton of open shots game’ in Game 3 to control the flow in each of the final three games of that series.

The third reason that the markets have Golden State priced correctly right now – as prohibitive favorites among the four team field – is because of the Warriors enormous home court advantage.  The key to winning playoff series is stealing games on the road.  The Warriors have notched four road wins in their first two series, as did the Cavs.  Atlanta took three games on the highway, including their closeout games against both the Nets and the Wizards.  Houston won a pair on the road, one in each round, including one of the greatest ‘facing elimination’ comeback victories I’ve ever seen, in Game 6 against the Clippers.

But it’s hard to project the Rockets, Cavs or Hawks to win games in SU fashion at Oracle Arena.  It’s important to note that I’m not talking against the spread here – Golden State has a losing ATS mark at home here in the postseason; a home court (and a team) that isn’t offering bettors many bargains at this stage of the campaign.  We’re talking about a team that went 39-2 SU on this floor in the regular season.  They’ve already suffered one home loss here in the playoffs, but they’ve also won three of the other four home playoff games by double-digit margins (it would be four for four, but the Pelicans went on a late run in the Warriors very first playoff game to lose by only seven).

Bottom line?  The Warriors homecourt is as strong as any in the NBA.  They also went 28-13 SU on the road in the regular season; now 4-1 SU on the road here in the playoffs.  We can expect Golden State to notch at least one road win in the Western Conference Finals, another in the NBA Finals.  For the team with homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs, if the Warriors notch just a single road win in each of the two potential remaining series, their opponent is going to have to win at Oracle twice to win the series.   With three SU losses on this floor in 46 tries this year, it’s hard for me to picture that Warriors home court edge suddenly dissipating into thin air.

The fourth reason to like Golden State moving forward is because the Warriors have played championship level defense all season long.  Whether it’s Steph Curry’s and Draymond Green’s quick hands forcing steals leading to fast break points at the other end of the floor, or Andrew Bogut clogging up the paint and blocking shots, or Andre Igoudala and Harrison Barnes manning up opposing three point shooters on the wing, the Warriors defense acumen can only be described as elite.

Those defensive numbers remain elite here in the postseason.  The Warriors aren’t giving up points in the paint or points in transition, and they’ve been clamping down on opposing three point shooters (29% three point shooting allowed in the first two rounds).  The Warriors +2.2 rebounding margin here in the playoffs ranks second to Cleveland among playoff teams remaining in the field, and the only reason the Cavs are ahead is because they were able to dominate the glass against the Celtics in the first round.  And, of course, with Steve Kerr’s regular season rotations largely intact due to the Warriors good health, we can expect the Warriors defensive chemistry and intensity to remain at an elite level over the course of their next two series.

Last, but not least, Golden State hasn’t peaked yet.  Of my five reasons, this might be the most important of the bunch.  It’s hard to picture Houston playing for an extended stretch any better than they just played over the last three games facing elimination against the Clippers.  The banged up Cavs might not have another gear to shift into right now, looking more and more like the ‘LeBron and the Seven Dwarves team’ that got swept by the Spurs in the Finals back in 2007. 

Of the other three teams remaining in the field, you could make the argument that the Hawks, too, haven’t peaked yet here in the playoffs, potentially capable of stepping up their game.  But the Hawks consistent end game woes in each of the first two series are clearly problematic moving forward for a team that peaked during their incredible run between Christmas and the All-Star break but hasn’t looked as good at any point since that mid-season hot streak.

Golden State showed signs of looking like the elite team that they are while closing out the Grizzlies with three consecutive impressive victories.  If that’s a harbinger of things to come for a team that appears more than ready to click on all cylinders over the next few weeks, the Warriors will bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy and earn their first NBA title since 1975.

Follow me on Twitter @teddy_covers.

Tags: NBA Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks Teddy Covers Las Vegas

NBA Handicapping: Golden State not looking for a free throw fest

05.18.2015     09:00 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
If you were paying attention you probably noticed there were a handful of free throw attempts during the Clippers-Rockets series. And by handful we mean 71.8 per game. Yes, most of the series was played at a fast pace but the Hack-A-Dude mentality played a fairly significant part in six of the seven games going over the total. But heading into the Western Conference Finals, it doesn't sound as if Golden State is going to play that game.

“Our team is all about rhythm and flow, and fouling stops the game. We want the game to go,” Kerr said. “We like our pace. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t done it. I won’t rule it out, but I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of it.

“We trust our defense. We think we can get stops. We want to get out and run and let the game flow, but it’s always there. You know, everything is different in the playoffs. You have to have every option at your disposal.”


Tags: NBA Houston Rockets Golden State Warriors

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