Posted on: October 21, 2010 3:17 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:58 pm
Bodog.com has released gambling odds for the 2010-2011 NBA season. Here's a look at the best and worst bets involving the Miami Heat. Posted by Ben Golliver. Gambling website Bodog.com has unleashed its full list of odds for the 2010-2011 NBA season, and they didn't tread lightly when it comes to Miami Heat bets. (Mandatory disclaimer: the following is for entertainment purposes only.) You can bet on the Heat to: win the NBA title (17/10 odds), win the Eastern Conference (2/3), and win the Southeast Division (1/3). With those numbers, the Heat are the odds-on favorite in each of those categories. The Heat's over/under is set at a league-best 64.5 wins, a full eight games better than the next closest team, the Los Angeles Lakers (56.5). Miami Heat star forward LeBron James (9/2) trails both Kevin Durant (9/4) and Kobe Bryant (3/1) as a favorite to win the NBA MVP award. James's teammate, Heat guard Dwyane Wade, checks in at fifth place (9/1) while Heat forward Chris Bosh is listed, probably as a courtesy, further down the list (40/1). Interestingly, Wade (8/1) is actually expected to be a better bet to win the league's scoring title than James (9/1). This is likely a function of expectations for James to take on a greater play-making role than he had in Cleveland. The more specific and esoteric Heat-related bets are where the real fun starts, though. Bodog sees Miami's ability to win 73 games as something of a longshot (10/1). It sets the over/under on a single-game margin of victory absurdly high (38.5 points). They also set reasonably good odds (8/1) for James, Wade and Bosh to be starters together on this year's Eastern Conference All Star team. While I'm no gambling expert, I do play one on the internet. Here are a few Miami Heat bets that caught my eye. Great Bet
Bodog.com set the line for the Heat's lowest point total in a regular season game at 82.5 points. Given that total points are a direct function of pace and field goal percentage, I would bet the under on this one and not think twice. Many teams will likely look to slow the game down against the Heat this season as a way to make up for the immense talent advantage the Heat bring to the table. And all it takes is a cold shooting night in a slow-paced game to see a score in the low 80s, even in a winning effort. Two other considerations. First, the Heat could be runaway division and conference champions, able to rest key players down the stretch. Second, the Heat has already battled some nagging injuries to star plays during the preseason, and it's shown in their ability to put up points. During two out of the team's six preseason games to date, the Heat has failed to score 80 points. A hamstring injury to Wade has hindered their offensive output during the preseason, but there's no guarantee he (or James or Bosh) will be healthy for all 82 games. Bet the under and cash that check.
Another one I like, in a similar vein, is the Heat's highest point total in a regular season game, with the over/under set at 128.5. I like the over here for many reasons. First, the Heat sport potentially the most explosive offense the league has seen in years. With LeBron James running the show, surrounded by efficient scorers and good shooters, the Heat have the potential to stack up points both from the charity stripe and from deep. If they decide to push the pace as promised, turning James loose in transition, watch out. Points in bunches. Second, the Heat have quality division rivals, especially Orlando, to push them. Orlando has been clocking teams throughout the preseason, running up insane scoring lines, including hanging 135 points on New Orleans and defeating the Bulls 105-67. Magic/Heat has shootout potential written all over it. Finally, the Heat are playing with a chip on their shoulder, monster expectations and insane media coverage. They will want to prove the hype is legitimate and they will have plenty of weak defending teams to prove it against. The Golden States, Torontos and Minnesotas of the world better watch out. Stay Away
Ironically, the one I would caution most strongly against is one that will see a ton of action: the 17/10 odds that the Heat will win the title. The Los Angeles Lakers re-tooled, the Magic look very solid and the Boston Celtics are lurking as long as Kevin Garnett can hang on. In other words, there will be serious tests, and along with serious tests comes a fair bit of risk for gamblers. 17/10 just doesn't feel like enough pay-off to ride this horse, which is susceptible to injuries, streaky play, a young coach and a mix-and-matched reserve unit.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 12:24 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:56 pm
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson tells the Los Angeles Times that he will investigate the options for owning a professional sports team. Posted by Ben Golliver. It's been a busy week for Los Angeles Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. First, he sold his 4.5% ownership stake in the Lakers on Monday. Then, on Tuesday, Johnson announced he was liquidating his Starbucks ownership assets, worth more than $100 million. Tonight comes word from Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times that Johnson will continue to serve in his role as Vice President of the Lakers but that he is interested in becoming a majority owner of a professional sports team but that several rumored deals have not developed or progressed.
Johnson said Wednesday he will "look at every opportunity" in the future to become a majority owner of a sports team, but that he hasn't joined forces with anybody yet. However, Johnson said he wants to play a role in bringing the NFL back to Los Angeles. "I talked with Golden State. I will talk with [Ilitch about] Detroit," Johnson said. "Just because you talk, that doesn't mean you are going to do a deal. But I'll be looking at every opportunity because I'm a businessman and that's what I do. I look at deals every day."Turner notes that Johnson says he hasn't yet had any discussions regarding bringing a National Football League team back to Los Angeles, but that he "really, really wants" the NFL to return to the city. Johnson also is quoted as saying that he would welcome discussions regarding the NFL "in two seconds." It has been 15 years since the NFL had a franchise in Los Angeles. The NFL's Rams franchise left Los Angeles for St. Louis in 1995. The NFL's Raiders franchise left Los Angeles for Oakland in 1995.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 11:47 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:56 pm
Michael Jordan's Mercedez Benz SLR 722 is reportedly being sold on eBay. Posted by Ben Golliver. I won't kid myself and I won't waste your time: it really doesn't matter what I write in this space, because directly below these words will appear multiple pictures of NBA Hall Of Famer Michael Jordan's 2007 Mercedes Benz SLR 722, which is currently being sold on eBay. Please re-attach your jaw to your face. This car is absolutely sick and, if given the option, I would trade my entire car for just one of the Lambo doors on this bad boy. Are you kidding me? Both pictures via eCarlist. Follow the link for many more. OK, it's time for a few specs if you haven't passed out on me yet.
You are looking at a very rare Mercedes Benz SLR 722 in mint condition. Clean 1 owner Carfax. This was the one and only Michael Jordan's 722 with title signed by him! This car is loaded with carbon fiber from the hood to the floor pans and wheel wells. Still has Mercedes Benz factory warranty till aug of 2011 or 50,000. Comes with all papers, books, keys, trickle charger, k40 radar, and SLR car cover. Owned by the one and only, Michael Jordan.Best of all, the Benz has less than 1,000 miles on it. Worst of all, the price tag is $429,000+, which is more expensive than most houses. But I'd probably prefer to live in this Mercedes compared to most houses, so it seems like a good value all things considered. Is there room for a half-bath?
Posted on: October 20, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:57 pm
LeBron James retweeted a racist message on Twitter to show the world the racist hate that comes his way. Did he make his point? Posted by Ben Golliver.
Yesterday, we noted that LeBron James declared "Today is Hater Day" on Twitter and used the social network to let the world in on some of the negative comments he receives on a regular basis. If that sounds like a bad idea, that's because it was. And it ended in predictably ugly fashion when a racist message was sent to James, who subsequently made the decision to "retweet" the message to all of his 918,000+ followers. Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com captures the day after scene.
To illustrate that sometimes unpleasant interaction, James took the unusual step of retweeting some hateful Twitter messages to his 900,000 followers on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, the Miami Heat star said he did it to show people what he deals with on a daily basis. "I just want you guys to see it also," James said after the Heat's practice Wednesday afternoon. "To see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes. Everybody thinks it is a bed of roses and it's not."One message James retweeted was particularly hateful, featuring stereotypes and slurs. Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports weighed in on James's decision today, taking issue with James's statement that overt and nasty racism over Twitter is a daily fact of life.
Would it be nice for him to be able to have a nice Twitter back and forth, like the rest of us? Sure, but it'd also be nice for him to walk into a movie theatre without getting mobbed. It is, unfortunately, the price you pay for fame. So while I appreciate the insight in what he has to slog through every day, understand that it's his choice to slog through it, and nobody else's. I don't read the comment sections on this website, and I don't take a second look at the sometimes daily Tweets I get from morons who might (all at once) be confusing my gender, sexuality, and the amount of effort I put into my job.Let's be crystal clear: no one should ever use such language nor should anyone be forced to deal with hate speech being used against them, online or otherwise. That goes without saying. So James is right to bring the issue to light, especially if it's bothering him. But while this might have been a cathartic exercise for James, it's unlikely that it will have any real staying power. Rather than a lesson in the continued struggle African-Americans face with regard to racism in America, all that we learned yesterday is that if you provoke nearly 1,000,000 people on Twitter, at least one will respond by crossing publicly accepted lines of decency. But, as Dwyer explains, we already knew that. It's the internet. So, in other words, James taught us nothing. That is a shame, because he is uniquely positioned as a popular public figure at the center of a media storm in one of the United States's most diverse cities to really make an impact, on any issue of his choosing. If he debuts a new sneaker, we write about it. If he isn't feeling like the new technical foul rules, we write about. If he openly mocks his "haters" and then points out that life is difficult as a professional athlete when they respond, we write about it. Did he really advance the racism in America discussion as he had hoped? No one is asking for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leadership here. He is a basketball player, not a political leader or a minister. But shouldn't King James think a bit more deeply on the issue and pursue a path that could lead to some serious change? He has resources, power, connections and a support system matched by only a few African-Americans in our country's history. If this is James's cause, and we should celebrate him if it is, hop off of Twitter for a few days, thumb through that Rolodex and get to work building something that matters. Tweets are forgotten almost as soon as they are sent; real leaders imagine and effect change that lasts for generations.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 2:58 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:56 pm
Houston Rockets forward Chuck Hayes has suffered an ankle injury that will keep him until opening night. Posted by Ben Golliver. Sam Amick of AOL Fanhouse reports on Twitter that Houston Rockets forward Chuck Hayes has suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of the Rockets' final two preseason games. Those two games are a Texas two-step, as Houston travels to San Antonio to face the Spurs Thursday night and to Dallas to take on the Mavericks on Friday night. Marc Spears reports on Twitter that it is a "mild to moderate sprain" so one would expect Hayes will be ready to go on opening night. The Rockets open the regular season in Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Oct. 26. Hayes had played in all six of Houston's preseason games to date, and had averaged 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game. The Rockets have been spreading around the minutes during the preseason, in part because franchise center Yao Ming is on a strict minute limit. Indeed, Jason Friedman of Rockets.com reports on Twitter that coach Rick Adelman plans to hold Ming out of Thursday's game against the Spurs. This should be a good chance for some of Houston's younger players, like second-year power forward Jordan Hill or rookie forward Patrick Patterson, to see some more court time in Hayes's absence.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 10:18 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:55 pm
Golden State point guard Stephen Curry is growing up fast, focused on making the Warriors a playoff contender. Posted by Ben Golliver.
“You make me feel old.”
That was the reception from a middle-aged woman for Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, as he emerged from the Rose Garden’s visiting locker room on Saturday night after nearly going quadruple double -- 17 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds and 8 turnovers -- on the Portland Trail Blazers in a meaningless preseason game.
The 22-year old Curry hears that a lot when he travels the league, in part because of his baby face, in part because of his slight frame, in part because so many people remember him tagging along his father Dell, a long-time NBA veteran. But as Curry begins his sophomore trip through the league, after contending for Rookie of the Year honors last season and winning a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship this summer, he’s hearing a lot of others thing too. Like, “One of the best shooters in the league.” Like, “All star potential."
That’s the story for Curry and his new-look Warriors this season: emerging. “He surprised everybody last year because we thought maybe he wasn’t ready for the NBA,” Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said. “He seems more mature. He has learned the NBA game.”
Curry says he’s ready to take on the full time playmaking point guard duties that new head coach Keith Smart has laid out for him. “Down the stretch of last season with so many injuries I think my role would be to distribute the ball, and 1A was to score. This year I think it’s more managing the game, we have such a powerful lineup this year I’ll be able to pick and choose when I want to attack, when I want to get people the ball.”With the offseason additions of power forward David Lee, forward Dorell Wright and big man Lou Amundson, there’s a steadiness in the Bay that wasn’t there last year. “We had so many guys rotating in and out with injuries,” Curry lamented on Saturday. “Coming from the D-League, guys who are going to be here for two weeks until somebody gets healthy. Playing with unorthodox lineups on the floor, it’s kind of tough to be consistent throughout the course of a season so hopefully that doesn’t have to happen this year. Right now we have more of what I’d call a traditional lineup, our big guys are healthy, we can go out there and know the rotation that coach is going to put in, know what to expect night in and night out, not have to adjust on the fly as much as we did last year.”
The bread and butter of Curry’s game remains his gorgeous shooting stroke, which he works at harder than just about any one in the league. Two and a half hours before Saturday’s preseason game, Curry went through his “plan” with Stephen Silas. The plan consists of getting up “about 200” shots prior to a game, although Curry says he takes even more some nights to get his rhythm. This isn’t a standstill three-point contest. Curry works on catching the ball in awkward locations, creating a clean look off the dribble while moving in all four different directions, stopping and popping, floating through the lane, you name it.
All the work has paid off. “He’s always been a pretty good shooter with range,” says Blazers coach Nate McMillan, who coached Curry during the World Championships as an assistant for Team USA.” Now he’s proven he can shoot the NBA three. He’s definitely one of the top shooters in the league.” Batum agrees. “He is a top two or three [shooter] in the NBA for sure. When he has the ball he’s very dangerous. You have to remember where he is. If you lose him, bam.”
Bam, indeed. While the Blazers threw three different guards at Curry and occasionally extended their ball pressure full-court to make his life even more difficult, Curry found his shots again and again on Saturday night. Pull up three in transition, stopping on a dime. Cross-over dribble for a step back mid-range jumper. Darting off of a high screen, squaring his shoulders and letting fly.
“He has no conscience,” former NBA player and three-point ace Hersey Hawkins, who has known Curry since he was a child, laughed last week. “I think every guy that’s been labeled a great shooter shoots the ball with confidence, regardless of makes or misses, they’re constantly looking for their shots. He moves well without the ball, that’s a plus for being a good shooter. He knows how to free himself up to get his shot off. And then he has a variety of shots. He can put it down, shoot the floaters, shoot runners, of course we know he can shoot the three. When guys like that get on a roll, they’re just unstoppable.”
Curry isn’t yet an unstoppable force, but he’s getting there. The game plan to defend him involves denying him clean looks and forcing him to make plays under pressure. Curry’s 11 assists on Saturday speak to his developing vision, but his 8 turnovers make it clear there’s still work to be done. “It’s still a little bit of an adjustment,” Smart said after the game, pointing to the team’s addition of true low post players as a contributing factor. “We won’t have as much space on the floor that we’ve had in the past. There’s nothing major that’s going on right now. He’s going to figure it out.”
A number of Curry’s zip passes hit unprepared teammates in the hands. “We shared that in our shootaround this morning. You guys need to make sure when you’re cutting to the basket, be ready to receive the ball,” Smart said. “Don’t just run through the lane. He’s putting the ball on the money in some places but they’re dropping too many of his passes. But those things are correctable. They can correct the pass, they can correct the catch and we can move forward.”
Curry smiled when asked about the turnovers. “I won’t have that many every night.” He says he’s still adjusting to his new teammates, and vice versa, and feels like he’s being given as much time and space as he needs to develop into the point guard role. “They want me to be aggressive, make plays, but you can’t be careless with it,” Curry says. “You can’t take that freedom and running around the floor. I think they trust me to be smart with the ball, be aggressive, make the right play. Nights like tonight where I’m making a lot of dumb plays, it shows the trust they have in me to make the right ones by keeping me out there and letting me work through it.”
That work, on his jumper, on his maturity, on his playmaking, is turning heads. Asked if Curry will make an all star game in the near future, Hawkins didn’t hesitate. “Oh, yeah, definitely. I think he’s that good.” McMillan agreed. “He enjoys the game, he works at it. Just a talented player. If he continues to have that success and his team wins, you certainly have to consider that.”
Team success is on Curry’s mind too. “We have a lot of pieces we need to make that push, be in the mix with those eight or nine teams in the West competing for those playoff spots.” Whether it’s this year or next, Golden State is playoff bound in the near future. Young Curry will see to that, as he makes us all feel old in the process.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 9:07 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:54 pm
Maverick Carter, manager for Miami Heat star LeBron James, has reportedly been charged with physically and psychologically damaging a teenage woman in a dispute over a pendant. Posted by Ben Golliver. File this one under: Are you serious? It's one disaster after another for Maverick Carter, LeBron James's manager and founder of LRMR . First there was "The Decision". Then, there were his allegations of media mistreatment of James because of his race. And now, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ.com , Carter has been slapped with a lawsuit surrounding a dispute over a $10,000 pendant that he claims was stolen from him.
TMZ has obtained a lawsuit filed by VaNeisha Robinson -- in which she claims Maverick Carter and his mom staged a 9-man ambush to jack a $10,000 pendant she claims she bought at a garage sale for $5 back in 2005 thinking it was costume jewelry. Turns out, it was real. Carter maintains the pendant was stolen from him roughly 3 years ago ... and he had no idea where it went until he saw that Robinson was trying to sell it on eBay.So, while James is busy stacking so much cake and influence he recently made Forbes's "40 under 40" list , Carter is (allegedly) licking the crumbs off the linoleum. Let me lay out a simple commandment for all of the aspiring managers of aspiring billionaires out there: No chain is worth a lawsuit. Ever. Because we're talking about Carter and his questionable decision-making, I'm obligated to cite one of the funniest paragraphs ever written in the English language. This from ESPN's Arash Markazi, who tagged along with Carter and James during a three-day long party in Las Vegas this summer for a story that was eventually spiked .
Carter, LeBron's childhood friend and manager, begins dancing around James like Puff Daddy in a Notorious B.I.G video. A giant red crown-shaped cake is brought over to James while go-go dancers dressed in skimpy red and black outfits raise four lettered placards that spell out, "KING." Carter grabs a bottle of Grey Goose and pours a quarter of it on the floor and raises it up before passing it off.For the record, TMZ reports that Carter is "denying all allegations" in the pendant case and it's unlikely the bling lawsuit will amount to much. But the greater point here is that someone charged with building and protecting James's brand finds himself working counter to those goals once again. I cut people out of my entourage for not tagging blog posts properly, so what is Lebron James's hold up? It's time to get professional representation. Finally, this case should serve as a good cautionary tale for all you online shoppers out there. There's nothing but creeps on eBay and Craigslist. Never, ever meet them in public ... especially if they promise LeBron James will be there.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 7:57 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:54 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.