<![CDATA[NBA RSS Feed]]> en 120 <![CDATA[Indiana Fever vs. Dallas Wings - 5/30/17 WNBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/30/indiana-fever-vs-dallas-wings-5/30/17-wnba-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Indiana Fever and Dallas Wings meet Tuesday in WNBA action at the College Park Center on ESPN3.

The Indiana Fever look for their first road victory of the season to get back to a .500 record. The Indiana Fever are averaging 77.6 points on 44.1 percent shooting and allowing 87 points on 52.6 percent shooting. Candice Dupree is averaging 14 points and 6.2 rebounds while Tiffany Mitchell is averaging 12.4 points and 1.4 assists. Shenise Johnson is the third double-digit scorer and Briann January is dishing 3.2 assists. The Indiana Fever are shooting…

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The Indiana Fever and Dallas Wings meet Tuesday in WNBA action at the College Park Center on ESPN3.

The Indiana Fever look for their first road victory of the season to get back to a .500 record. The Indiana Fever are averaging 77.6 points on 44.1 percent shooting and allowing 87 points on 52.6 percent shooting. Candice Dupree is averaging 14 points and 6.2 rebounds while Tiffany Mitchell is averaging 12.4 points and 1.4 assists. Shenise Johnson is the third double-digit scorer and Briann January is dishing 3.2 assists. The Indiana Fever are shooting 36.6 percent from beyond the arc and 87.4 percent from the free throw line. The Indiana Fever are allowing 39 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 25.8 rebounds per game. The Indiana Fever have lost four straight road games.

The Dallas Wings look for their first home victory of the season to get a game above a .500 record. The Dallas Wings are averaging 78.5 points on 42.1 percent shooting and allowing 84 points on 44.1 percent shooting. Skylar Diggins-Smith is averaging 13.5 points and 5.5 assists while Allisha Gray is averaging 12.8 points and four rebounds. Kaela Davis is the third double-digit scorer and Karima Christmas-Kelly is dishing 1.8 assists. The Dallas Wings are shooting 20.6 percent from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent from the free throw line. The Dallas Wings are allowing 31.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 33.8 rebounds per game. The Dallas Wings have lost six of their last seven home games.

The Fever are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 1 days rest, 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 road games and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Wings are 34-15-3 ATS in their last 52 Tuesday games, 6-13 ATS in their last 19 home games and 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games overall. The Fever are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings and the under is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings in Dallas.

The Wings weren't given any favors in their early schedule with a game against the Lynx and two road games against the Mercury. Dallas has still managed to win two of those four games. On the other hand, the Fever have been blown out twice on the road and their two victories have been decided by one bucket each. Indiana hasn't been impressive to say the least. With a big game from Diggins and Glory Johnson, this is a game the Wings should win and cover the small number.

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Mon, 29 May 2017 16:19:27 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86490
<![CDATA[Los Angeles Sparks vs. New York Liberty - 5/30/17 WNBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/30/los-angeles-sparks-vs-new-york-liberty-5/30/17-wnba-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty meet Tuesday in WNBA action at Madison Square Garden on ESPN2.

The Los Angeles Sparks look for their first road victory to get a game above a .500 record. The Los Angeles Sparks are averaging 85 points on 49.2 percent shooting and allowing 81.2 points on 50 percent shooting. Nneka Ogwumike is averaging 21.3 points and 4.5 rebounds while Chelsea Gray is averaging 17.8 points and 3.8 assists. Candace Parker is the third double-digit scorer and Odyssey Sims is dishing 4.5 assists. The Los Angeles Sparks are…

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The Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty meet Tuesday in WNBA action at Madison Square Garden on ESPN2.

The Los Angeles Sparks look for their first road victory to get a game above a .500 record. The Los Angeles Sparks are averaging 85 points on 49.2 percent shooting and allowing 81.2 points on 50 percent shooting. Nneka Ogwumike is averaging 21.3 points and 4.5 rebounds while Chelsea Gray is averaging 17.8 points and 3.8 assists. Candace Parker is the third double-digit scorer and Odyssey Sims is dishing 4.5 assists. The Los Angeles Sparks are shooting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent from the free throw line. The Los Angeles Sparks are allowing 38.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 26.8 rebounds per game. The Los Angeles Sparks have lost five of their last seven road games.

The New York Liberty could use a nice home victory to get a game above a .500 record. The New York Liberty are averaging 73.5 points on 39.3 percent shooting and allowing 77 points on 39.6 percent shooting. Tina Charles is averaging 17 points and 8.5 rebounds while Epiphanny Prince is averaging 14.5 points and 3.5 assists. Sugar Rodgers is the third double-digit scorer and Brittany Boyd is grabbing four rebounds. The New York Liberty are shooting 35.5 percent from beyond the arc and 76.9 percent from the free throw line. The New York Liberty are allowing 37 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 37 rebounds per game. The New York Liberty have split their last eight home games.

The Sparks are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 road games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss. The Liberty are 6-22 ATS in their last 28 home games, 1-8 ATS in their last 9 Tuesday games and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in New York and 23-9 in the last 32 meetings.

The Sparks have had their way with the Liberty in recent meetings, but they haven't been very good on the road this season and are struggling on the defensive end. The Liberty have held their own at home this season and continue to be a sharp defensive team that plays physical and hangs around. The value is with New York and the points here, as I think the Liberty can win outright, especially if the Sparks continue to have a hard time on the defensive side.

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Mon, 29 May 2017 16:04:53 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86487
<![CDATA[NBA Mock Draft 2017: Phoenix Suns Will Select Jayson Tatum]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/29/nba-mock-draft-2017-phoenix-suns-will-select-jayson-tatum#comments The Phoenix Suns have a young, intriguing core in place to help get them get to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The No. 4 pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA draft is another piece the Suns will use to add to this roster in hopes of taking that next step.

The Suns will draft small forward Jayson Tatum out of Duke.

Tatum isn't a finished product, as there's questions about his defensive ability and just how effective he can be as a shooter from the outside. But the Suns aren't ready to contend next…

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The Phoenix Suns have a young, intriguing core in place to help get them get to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The No. 4 pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA draft is another piece the Suns will use to add to this roster in hopes of taking that next step.

The Suns will draft small forward Jayson Tatum out of Duke.

Tatum isn't a finished product, as there's questions about his defensive ability and just how effective he can be as a shooter from the outside. But the Suns aren't ready to contend next season anyway, so he's a project this franchise can take a chance on and even have him come off the bench behind TJ Warren for the time being. Tatum is a fluid athlete with a long wingspan, and he has the ability to dominate the post. He handles the ball well for a big and is extremely reliable from the midrange.

Tatum is a legit offensive talent, he just needs coaches to tap into his defensive ability and get him to play the game with a little more feistiness. He’d immediately replace Derrick Jones Jr. as the backup small forward and add a spark to a Phoenix bench that shot just 43.7 percent from the field, which was 19th in the NBA last season.

Some think the Suns should spend the pick on point guard De'Aaron Fox. I love Fox and actually think he could end up being the best player in this draft. However, how many guards are the Suns going to run through before they start committing to building a team? And they already have a talented backcourt in Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe. Booker has proven to be one of the top young scorers in the league and Bledsoe is under a respectable contract until 2019-20. Not to mention backup point guard Brandon Knight is under contract until 2020-21. Unless the Suns are shopping those guys and ready to make Fox a starter, there's no point. Besides, Bledsoe is still young at 27, and I’m not sure Fox is going to be better than him within a year or two, especially with him playing his best ball the last two seasons.

The Suns have a real hole at backup small forward and need depth to help take some of the scoring pressure off of the starting backcourt. Also, a front court of Tatum and Marquese Chriss could be special in a few years, especially when you realize Booker will be considered one of the best shooting guards in the league by then.

The Suns have a lot of talented players who could come together and start making noise within a year or two. Adding Tatum just makes Phoenix that much scarier as a team on the rise and would give the Suns an actual scoring post presence they haven't had since Marcin Gortat.

Flipping talented guards leaves you in the same spot you’ve been for the last few years. Adding frontcourt help to a team that has its backcourt solidified makes the Suns a team to watch very closely.

Tatum switches the blue and white for the purple and orange.

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Mon, 29 May 2017 01:24:30 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86475
<![CDATA[NBA Mock Draft 2017: Philadelphia 76ers Will Select Josh Jackson]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/28/nba-mock-draft-2017-philadelphia-76ers-will-select-josh-jackson#comments The Philadelphia 76ers have won under 30 games in each of the last four seasons and find themselves with another high draft pick. It’s about trusting the process in the city of brotherly love, and after 28 wins last season and competing in many others, there's reason for optimism.

With the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the 76ers will take Josh Jackson out of Kansas.

Jackson is a two-way forward who is already extremely polished defensively who plays the game hard and wants to win. He's a versatile offensive player…

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The Philadelphia 76ers have won under 30 games in each of the last four seasons and find themselves with another high draft pick. It’s about trusting the process in the city of brotherly love, and after 28 wins last season and competing in many others, there's reason for optimism.

With the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the 76ers will take Josh Jackson out of Kansas.

Jackson is a two-way forward who is already extremely polished defensively who plays the game hard and wants to win. He's a versatile offensive player with great athleticism, his ability to beat his man off the bounce and has improved his post scoring. There's a lot of upside with Jackson considering the defense, size, athleticism, ball handling and even passing ability are all there. I also don’t think it was a coincidence that Kansas folded like a beach chair in the Big 12 Tournament without his services.

The main issue with the Kansas forward is his shot, as Jackson made just 56.6 percent from the free throw line and wasn't very confident from the outside. Of course, shooting is something that can be improved, as John Wall would be your most recent example. Heck, even Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, guys who Jackson is being compared to, had their offensive issues when first coming into the league. Current head coach Brett Brown and his staff also have a nice track record of improving players ability to shoot the basketball.

At the end of the day, if his shot improves, the 76ers have themselves one of the better two-way players in the league. If it doesn’t, the 76ers have a terrific wing defender, which is still valuable with so many stars playing the position and reliable stoppers being so hard to find.

Some would say Jackson isn’t the best fit on this current 76ers team with Philly already having decent starting forwards in Dario Saric and Robert Covington. True, but when a franchise has been the doormat of the league for quite some time, it’s just about bringing in talent and hitting on your draft pick. You figure out lineups and fit later. Just get guys who can play and have the ability to improve your record while having the potential to become All Star caliber. Besides, Covington will become a unrestricted free agent in 2018-19 and will demand a nice pay rise. It’s no guarantee he will stick around for the long term.

Jackson has an elite skill set to where he can contribute in a big way his rookie season while having potential to take his game to other levels. A trio of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jackson in the next three years could end up being one of the best in the league.

The 76ers take another step forward to climbing out of the NBA cellar with the selection of the 6’8” forward.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 23:03:45 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86463
<![CDATA[Connecticut Sun vs. Chicago Sky - 5/28/17 WNBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/28/connecticut-sun-vs-chicago-sky-5/28/17-wnba-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky meet Sunday in WNBA action at the Allstate Arena on NBATV.

The Connecticut Sun still look for their first victory after a rough 0-4 start to the WNBA season. The Connecticut Sun are averaging 74.8 points on 40.7 percent shooting and allowing 81 points on 43 percent shooting. Morgan Tuck is averaging 13 points and 1.5 rebounds while Jonquel Jones is averaging 12.5 points and 10 rebounds. Jasmine Thomas is the third double-digit scorer and Courtney Williams is grabbing 4.3 rebounds. The Connecticut Sun are shooting…

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The Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky meet Sunday in WNBA action at the Allstate Arena on NBATV.

The Connecticut Sun still look for their first victory after a rough 0-4 start to the WNBA season. The Connecticut Sun are averaging 74.8 points on 40.7 percent shooting and allowing 81 points on 43 percent shooting. Morgan Tuck is averaging 13 points and 1.5 rebounds while Jonquel Jones is averaging 12.5 points and 10 rebounds. Jasmine Thomas is the third double-digit scorer and Courtney Williams is grabbing 4.3 rebounds. The Connecticut Sun are shooting 40.3 percent from beyond the arc and 75.9 percent from the free throw line. The Connecticut Sun are allowing 32.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 33.2 rebounds per game. The Connecticut Sun have lost five of their last six road games.

The Chicago Sky look for their first home victory to rebound from a 1-4 start to the season. The Chicago Sky are averaging 73 points on 38.1 percent shooting and allowing 80.4 points on 41.6 percent shooting. Cappie Pondexter is averaging 15.4 points and 8.2 assists while Allie Quigley is averaging 15 points and 4.5 rebounds. Tamera Young is the third double-digit scorer and Stefanie Dolson is grabbing six rebounds. The Chicago Sky are shooting 32.4 percent from beyond the arc and 76.8 percent from the free throw line. The Chicago Sky are allowing 26.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 37.6 rebounds per game. The Chicago Sky have won five of their last seven home games.

The Sun are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 road games, 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Sky are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games, 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss and 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games playing on 1 days rest. The Sun are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Chicago and the over is 14-6 in the last 20 meetings in Chicago.

The Chicago Sky opened up as five-point favorites, so getting them at two seems to be where the value is at. The Connecticut Sun just haven't looked good on the road and are struggling shooting the basketball, just barely clearing 40 percent from the field. Chicago is due for a breakout performance and if it doesn't come here at home, I'm not sure when it's going to happen. So, in a toss-up game, I'll side with the Sky and the small number.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 12:24:02 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86343
<![CDATA[Indiana Fever vs. Seattle Storm - 5/28/17 WNBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/28/indiana-fever-vs-seattle-storm-5/28/17-wnba-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Indiana Fever and Seattle Storm meet Sunday in WNBA action at the Key Arena.

The Indiana Fever look for their first road victory of the season to get a game above a .500 record. The Indiana Fever are averaging 79.5 points on 43.9 percent shooting and allowing 85.2 points on 50.6 percent shooting. Candice Dupree is averaging 14.8 points and 6.5 rebounds while Tiffany Mitchell is averaging 12.3 points and 1.5 assists. Shenise Johnson is the third double-digit scorer and Briann January is dishing 3.3 assists. The Indiana Fever are shooting 39.3…

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The Indiana Fever and Seattle Storm meet Sunday in WNBA action at the Key Arena.

The Indiana Fever look for their first road victory of the season to get a game above a .500 record. The Indiana Fever are averaging 79.5 points on 43.9 percent shooting and allowing 85.2 points on 50.6 percent shooting. Candice Dupree is averaging 14.8 points and 6.5 rebounds while Tiffany Mitchell is averaging 12.3 points and 1.5 assists. Shenise Johnson is the third double-digit scorer and Briann January is dishing 3.3 assists. The Indiana Fever are shooting 39.3 percent from beyond the arc and 85.3 percent from the free throw line. The Indiana Fever are allowing 37.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 27.2 rebounds per game. The Indiana Fever have split their last eight road games.

The Seattle Storm look for a fourth straight home victory to build on their 3-1 start to the season. The Seattle Storm are averaging 80.8 points on 47 percent shooting and allowing 78 points on 41.1 percent shooting. Jewell Loyd is averaging 23.5 points and two assists while Crystal Langhorne is averaging 14 points and 6.3 rebounds. Breanna Stewart is the third double-digit scorer and Sue Bird is dishing eight assists. The Seattle Storm are shooting 38.7 percent from beyond the arc and 86 percent from the free throw line. The Seattle Storm are allowing 41 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 32 rebounds per game. The Seattle Storm have won eight straight home games.

The Fever are 4-0-2 ATS in their last 6 Sunday games, 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 18-7-3 ATS in their last 28 games playing on 3 or more days rest. The Storm are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games, 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 home games and 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall. The Fever are 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Seattle, 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings and the over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.

The Seattle Storm is one of those teams that I'm watching closely, and they continue to play well and cover games, especially at home. Seattle already beat Indiana this season, and the confidence seems to be growing with this team with each passing game. Not to mention the Fever aren't playing a lick of defense so far. I have to side with the Storm and the reasonable number.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 12:20:51 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86346
<![CDATA[San Antonio Stars vs. Minnesota Lynx - 5/28/17 WNBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/28/san-antonio-stars-vs-minnesota-lynx-5/28/17-wnba-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The San Antonio Stars and Minnesota Lynx meet Sunday in WNBA action at the Xcel Energy Center.

The San Antonio Stars still look for their first victory of the season after an 0-4 start. The San Antonio Stars are averaging 73 points on 39.4 percent shooting and allowing 83.5 points on 41.7 percent shooting. Monique Currie is averaging 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds while Kayla McBride is averaging 16 points and two assists. Isabelle Harrison is the third double-digit scorer and Moriah Jefferson is dishing three assists. The San Antonio Stars are shooting…

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The San Antonio Stars and Minnesota Lynx meet Sunday in WNBA action at the Xcel Energy Center.

The San Antonio Stars still look for their first victory of the season after an 0-4 start. The San Antonio Stars are averaging 73 points on 39.4 percent shooting and allowing 83.5 points on 41.7 percent shooting. Monique Currie is averaging 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds while Kayla McBride is averaging 16 points and two assists. Isabelle Harrison is the third double-digit scorer and Moriah Jefferson is dishing three assists. The San Antonio Stars are shooting 28 percent from beyond the arc and 77.1 percent from the free throw line. The San Antonio Stars are allowing 29.5 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 33.5 rebounds per game. The San Antonio Stars have lost nine of their last 11 road games.

The Minnesota Lynx look for another victory to build on their impressive 5-0 start to the season. The Minnesota Lynx are averaging 82.2 points on 42.9 percent shooting and allowing 73 points on 39.8 percent shooting. Sylvia Fowles is averaging 21.2 points and 10.4 rebounds while Maya Moore is averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 assists. Seimone Augustus is the second double-digit scorer and Rebekkah Brunson is grabbing 7.8 rebounds. The Minnesota Lynx are shooting 34.5 percent from beyond the arc and 79.5 percent from the free throw line. The Minnesota Lynx are allowing 36.8 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 38.2 rebounds per game. The Minnesota Lynx have won 12 straight home games.

The Stars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games, 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Sunday games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Lynx are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win. The Stars are 3-7 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Minnesota, 2-5-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings and the over is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings.

The San Antonio Stars still have yet to show they can finish a game and majority of the games against the Lynx have been downright ugly. I hate laying big spreads, but I have no choice here, as the talent gap is quite large. Assuming the Lynx come to play, they should be able to put away the Stars early.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 12:16:54 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86349
<![CDATA[NBA Mock Draft 2017: Los Angeles Lakers Will Select Lonzo Ball]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/28/nba-mock-draft-2017-los-angeles-lakers-will-select-lonzo-ball#comments Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers seem like a match made in heaven, and I’m not sure how much of it has to do with basketball. Ball is a Cali kid from Chino Hills, has some flashiness to his game and his father, LaVar Ball, just can’t seem to stay out of the headlines. Even if Ball ends up being a bust, people are going to be entertained and watch Lakers games for the drama. Like it or not, this is a business, and the Lakers need reasons for fans to show up while they rebound from a combined 43 wins the last two seasons.

It’s been made clear…

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Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers seem like a match made in heaven, and I’m not sure how much of it has to do with basketball. Ball is a Cali kid from Chino Hills, has some flashiness to his game and his father, LaVar Ball, just can’t seem to stay out of the headlines. Even if Ball ends up being a bust, people are going to be entertained and watch Lakers games for the drama. Like it or not, this is a business, and the Lakers need reasons for fans to show up while they rebound from a combined 43 wins the last two seasons.

It’s been made clear by LaVar that the Lakers are the prefered destination, and the only other team that's been granted a workout is the Philadelphia 76ers. It would be humbling if LA passed on Ball for De'aaron Fox, but the upside of the UCLA Bruin may be too high to turn down even if his pops seems to have a few loose screws.

Ball has incredible size for a pint guard at 6’6”, and his passing ability is out of this world. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen somebody who sets up his teammates and sees the floor the way Ball does. He makes quick and sharp decisions with the ball and was the main reason UCLA was able to double its win total in one season. His basketball IQ is high for a player his age and he’s a proven leader who just wants to win games and doesn't worry about his stats. Of course, the main concern with Ball is his shot mechanics, as its extremely unnatural and his release may take too long for NBA standards. However, not sure you can argue with somebody who shot 55.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three.

In a league where point guards are looking more and more like two guards, Ball is a true one with the ability to get his own shot and take over offensively when needed. He's the best of both worlds and it has a lot of scouts highly interested in just how good he can become. One comparison that keeps popping up throughout the basketball community is Jason Kidd, a 10-time All Star, future Hall of Famer and one of the best passing guards of all time. The Lakers should be doing backflips if Ball ends up being half the player Kidd was during his lengthy career.

As for where Ball fits on the Lakers, he’d instantly be the best point guard on the team and can make a lot of these promising, young players better. Imagine Brandon Ingram getting more open looks and being hit in his bread basket. Julius Randle becoming a threat in the pick and roll. Heck, Jordan Clarkson would love not having to work so hard for his shot.

The one player this pick would impact the most is current point guard D'Angelo Russell, who has had moments in his two seasons but is a career 40.8 percent shooter at the end of the day. Worst case scenario, Russell is still under team control for three more seasons, so he's a nice trade chip. Best case scenario, Russell moves to shooting guard and becomes a more effective player off the ball. Either way, it feels like we’ve seen enough from him in his current situation to realize it’s probably not going to work.

The Lakers are doing a nice job of adding some talented players and there’s rumblings of Paul George or Russell Westbrook wanting to join the franchise in a year or two. The future seems bright and it may not be long before the purple and gold is relevant for the right reasons.

But first, you need a star point guard in today's game to become a championship contender. Ball has that ability.

It feels like LaVar and his family are going to get their wish.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 03:16:13 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86403
<![CDATA[NBA Mock Draft 2017: Boston Celtics Will Select Markelle Fultz]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/05/28/nba-mock-draft-2017-boston-celtics-will-select-markelle-fultz#comments The Boston Celtics are in an unusual spot with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft after making the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite getting beatdown by the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games, the Celtics showed they're already one of the top teams in the East, and having the first pick gives them even more leverage to add another building block to inch closer to title contention.

We’re going to hear trade rumors, as the Celtics could flip this pick in a package for possibly Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins or Jimmy Butler. Boston could move back…

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The Boston Celtics are in an unusual spot with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft after making the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite getting beatdown by the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games, the Celtics showed they're already one of the top teams in the East, and having the first pick gives them even more leverage to add another building block to inch closer to title contention.

We’re going to hear trade rumors, as the Celtics could flip this pick in a package for possibly Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins or Jimmy Butler. Boston could move back in the draft to add a rotation player while still adding a college prospect. There's a lot of possibilities and different ways to make this team better with this incredibly valuable chip. Assuming the Celtics keep the pick, they’re taking Markelle Fultz out of Washington.

Fultz is an NBA ready point guard at 6’5” with great athleticism, a reliable jumpshot, good ball handling, above-average passing ability and terrific quickness to get his own shot. He's a player who will quickly develop into a go-to scorer and has legit All Star ability. There's some comparisons of James Harden out there, and while that may be big expectations for a young man who struggled to make a difference record wise for the Washington Huskies, Fultz has all of the tools to be the face of a franchise.

With the first overall pick, it's not a matter of need. It's a matter of not missing and making sure you're getting a difference maker. Fultz is somebody who can step on the court right away and instantly make the Celtics a better basketball team. While Lonzo Ball may be the better true point guard, there are questions with his shot and with his overbearing parent, Lavar Ball. I also wouldn't suggest taking a player who refuses to give you a private workout. That’s a clear sign you wants no part of your franchise, and the last thing you want is an Eli Manning situation when trying to build a championship roster.

The Celtics may also need a starting point guard a season from now with Isaiah Thomas becoming an unrestricted free agent. I love IT as much as anybody, as he has great heart and has overcome incredible odds, but he’s still 5’9”, spotty defensively and is easy to trap which leads to being turnover prone. There’s also the hip injury, which can’t be a good thing with a player this small who relies on his quickness to get by. Word is it may require surgery, and that's a serious red flag.

Can you win a title with Thomas as one of your top players? Are the Celtics really committed to backing up the Brinks truck for someone who is always the smallest guy on the court? A team is going to throw max dollars his way, and Boston will have to make the tough decision of letting him walk or matching. That could open up the point guard spot as early as 2018-19, making the Fultz pick even more crucial.

Fultz doesn't fix the Celtics rim protection issues, which have to be addressed for this team to have any chance of being a serious title threat. But he's a polished player with star potential and another building block to getting Boston that much closer. It’s all about slowly putting pieces together and being ready to pounce the moment LeBron James starts to slow down.

If they don't trade the pick, Fulz will be wearing green and gold in a few weeks.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 00:08:03 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86394
<![CDATA[Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors - 6/1/17 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> https://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2017/06/01/cleveland-cavaliers-at-golden-state-warriors-6/1/17-nba-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers collide in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at the Oracle Arena on Thursday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers blew past the Celtics by 4-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals to book their ticket to the NBA Finals for the third straight season. LeBron James has led from the front with averages of 32.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game during these playoffs and he has had plenty of help from his teammates. Kyrie Irving is averaging 24.5 points and 5.6 assists, Kevin Love is averaging 17.2 points and 10.4 rebounds while has been consistent…

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The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers collide in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at the Oracle Arena on Thursday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers blew past the Celtics by 4-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals to book their ticket to the NBA Finals for the third straight season. LeBron James has led from the front with averages of 32.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game during these playoffs and he has had plenty of help from his teammates. Kyrie Irving is averaging 24.5 points and 5.6 assists, Kevin Love is averaging 17.2 points and 10.4 rebounds while has been consistent with averages of 9.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. As a team, the Cavs went through the entire playoffs undefeated until that one hiccup during the Eastern Conference Finals, but they’ve been untested for the most part. Defensively, the Cavs have improved a fair bit since the regular season, but it has been on the offensive end where they looked to have flipped the switch as they averaged 120.4 points per game during the Eastern Conference Finals.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are coming into the NBA Finals with a ton of momentum as they’ve yet to lose a game in these playoffs, winning 10 of their 12 games by double digits. Stephen Curry has led the team in scoring with averages of 28.6 points and 5.6 assists and he has been well supported by Kevin Durant who is averaging 25.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game during these playoffs. Klay Thompson has averaged 14.4 points but is shooting just 38.3 percent from the field, while Draymond Green has been a daily triple-double threat with averages of 13.9 points with 8.7 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. Zaza Pachulia missed games with a heel contusion but should be ready for Game 1 while Andre Iguodala looks to have recovered from his knee injury that caused him to miss a game.

Looking at the betting trends, the Cavaliers are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight road games, 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five NBA Championship games. Meanwhile, the Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a win of more than 10 points, 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last five games playing on three or more days’ rest.

Head to head, the Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, the under is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings overall and the under is 8-1-2 in the last 11 meetings in Golden State.

At long last we have the Cavs and the Warriors colliding for the third straight season which has never happened in the history of the NBA Finals. The Cavs were solid yet unconvincing in a 51-win regular season that saw them finish with the second seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Warriors were never in doubt of finishing atop the standings with a 67-win season. Barring any suspensions (to Green) or injuries, I think the Warriors win this series in six and I’m backing them to draw first blood with a win and cover at home. 

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Sat, 27 May 2017 19:01:51 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86358