Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pre-All Star Break Addendum

No new blog...just adding this to the old one!

San Antonio Spurs @ Chicago Bulls (-2) with a total of 190.5;
The Spurs have been nearly immune to scheduling, situational, and all other angles that we can throw at them, but it would take the willpower of a beastmaster to overcome the letdown that has to come with the final game of a 9-game road trip, and the final game before the All Star Break. Then again, maybe not. I decided to do a little digging, and checked out the Spurs last few seasons of Rodeo-ness, and as it turns out, their road trip usually continues on the other side of the Break. This is a rarity, that the trip ends as the Break begins. The last time that happened was in 2008, and they won and covered the final 2 games of their trip that season. In 2009 the Spurs lost their game before the Break, but won the final game of the Rodeo trip, which ended a few days after the Break. In 2010, the Spurs won the final game before the break, but lost the last game of the trip. So, what we're finding is that there's almost zero consistency. It seems like the Spurs rarely win both letdown games, but often win one. But here, they only have one, and it has both angles rolled together. Chicago is on revenge, so they're in the better situational spot, and are also at home, which, as we're seeing, is a decent angle going into the Break. I know Coach Pop isn't going to let the Spurs take a night off, but I wouldn't be completely surprised if they weren't fully focused. Truth be told, this game isn't a great value either way, but given the info, or lack thereof, I lean to the BULLS on the side, and the OVER.

Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns (-1) with a total of 207;
Don't look now, but the Mavericks just got a pretty intriguing player back from injury, and he's flying way, way below the radar. His name, Roddy Beaubois. I think people forgot how skilled a scorer this kid is, and in 20 minutes of garbage time in his first game back all season, Beaubois put up 13 points, 6 dimes, 3 steals, and banged in a three. If not for the Caron Butler injury, which, by the way, he's now saying he can return for the Playoffs, the Mavs might really be in business. And here, on the second half of a back-to-back, Dallas has the depth to deal with potential fatigue. I'll admit, with Phoenix playing better basketball, on revenge, and beating good teams lately, this isn't really a game I want to bet. The Suns are hot, the Mavs are hot, and you have to figure both teams want to head into the Break with good feelings. Unfortunately, only one team can. More interestingly, at least in my estimation, the Suns are playing significantly improved defense. The Suns are still playing high scoring games, but they're holding opponents to under 47% shooting. What's causing the change? Is it a renewed interest in defense? I'm inclined to believe that because the Suns are more content running a half-court offense, it's just simply easier to play transition defense, and teams aren't going to get as many easy buckets. Regardless, the Suns are playing to the Under. Only problem here is that Dallas is going the offensive route. When it all gets boiled right down to the nubs, this game is a perfect no-play all around. Of course, I know that answer doesn't satisfy many of you, and you're still going to ask my opinion on this game. So, for you junkies who won't take my pass in stride, slight lean to Dallas and the Under. Don't do it.

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