Evan Turner claims Kyle Korver 'can't guard to save his life'
2014-12-04

After a promising 3-3 start capped by a victory over the Chicago Bulls a month ago, the Boston Celtics began blowing big leads on a near nightly basis. Their inability to close games has translated into eight losses in their last nine games, punctuated by the Atlanta Hawks' 23-point comeback on Tuesday night.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens stopped short of calling his team soft, but he might as well have during a self-described "broken record" of a postgame session. "When it comes easy, we've been good," he told reporters after the 109-105 loss. "When it gets tough, we haven't. It's a pretty simple formula."

And, yet, here is Evan Turner complaining about Kyle Korver's defense in Wednesday's Boston Globe.

They started pressuring and its tough to score when you have two hands inside your jersey as well, he said. At the same time, I got a foul call on Korver and they said I pushed him and tripped him and he just fell. He cant guard to save his life and hes grabbing Marcus Thornton and hes grabbing me and he has no business being in the game on the defensive end but what can you possibly do if theyre allowed to have their hands on you?

Just a hunch, but Stevens might suggest Turner return that physicality on the other end.

Regardless, it's never a good look when a player blames one more choke job in a string of choke jobs on jersey-clutching a savvy tactic adopted by any number of veterans over the years especially when Korver torched the Celtics for 24 points on nine shots to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Oh, and, as Peachtree Hoops rightly notes, the Hawks switched Korver onto Rajon Rondo down the stretch.

It's also fairly comical that Turner is the one to claim Korver "has no business being in the game on the defensive end," since the former No. 2 overall pick has never been lauded for his own defense. The Celtics currently rank 27th in defensive rating, allowing 110.3 points per 100 possessions, according to Basketball Reference, and that number is more than three points worse with Turner on the court (113.7). For the most part, those numbers are consistent with his career in Philadelphia and Indiana as well.

In addition to their defensive woes, nobody on the Celtics has proven capable of creating his own offense when the NBA game gets tight in the fourth quarter. Rondo facilitates, Jeff Green excels in transition and Jared Sullinger either hangs out at the 3-point line or cleans up offensive rebounds. Ironically, Turner was their best option down the stretch on Tuesday, and that suggests bigger issues than a jersey tug or two.




BOSTON CELTICS (41-41) at NEW YORK KNICKS (55-28)
2013-04-23

Boston will be looking to Apuestas Deportivas Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US NFL Betting even up the series at one game apiece when they play in New York on Tuesday.

The first game between these two teams on Saturday ended up in a sloppy 85-78 game in favor of the Knicks. They really clamped down on defense in the fourth quarter and held the Celtics to just eight points in those final 12 minutes. The Knicks are now a sizzling-hot 17-2 SU (15-4 ATS) in their past 19 games, including 11 straight home wins (9-2 ATS) to improve their record at Madison Square Garden to 32-10 SU (25-17 ATS) this season. Boston is just 5-12 SU (7-10 ATS) in its past 17 games overall, and 14-28 SU (16-24-2 ATS) on the road this season.

The Celtics were up by as much as seven points in the third quarter of Game 1, but could not get anything going in the fourth quarter. PF Jeff Green was dominant in the first half of the game, but nowhere to be found in the second. He finished the game with 26 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, but he had just six of those points in the second half. He will need to be aggressive for the entire game if Boston is going to upset New York. SF Paul Pierce also struggled in the second half, but played very well overall for the Celtics with 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes. But both Green and Pierce turned the ball over six times apiece, contributing heavily to the team's 20 miscues. Boston will need more scoring out of PF Kevin Garnett, who played well defensively (nine rebounds), but finished with just eight points on 4-of-12 shooting. PG Avery Bradley was on top of his game though, going 7-of-14 from the field with 15 points, four assists and three steals. The Celtics are going to need a lot more production from their bench as it combined for just four points, missing all seven FG attempts on Saturday. SG Jason Terry was 0-for-5 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-point range in 20 horrible minutes.

The Knicks didnt play their best in Game 1, but they certainly will take the final result, which was a win over a tough division rival. SF Carmelo Anthony was hot in the first quarter, struggled in the second and third, and then heated up again in the fourth quarter for New York. He was hitting timely buckets when the Knicks need him and finished the game with 36 points (13-of-29 FG), six rebounds and four steals. He was focused defensively and played with tremendous effort. SG J.R. Smith went ice-cold from three-point range, going 1-for-7 on his way to a 7-of-19 shooting performance, but it is unlikely that Smith is that off again. New York was able to get only 20 minutes of playing time out of C Tyson Chandler, who took zero shots in the game after coming back from a bulging disc in his neck. Chandler said after the game that he was rusty, so look for him to improve in Game 2. The two difference makers on Saturday were veterans PG Jason Kidd and PF Kenyon Martin. Kidd finished the game with eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. He also hit back-to-back threes in the third quarter to stop a very threatening Boston run. Martin was also magnificent off the bench, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds (five offensive) and two blocks, including a huge swat on Jason Terry that had Madison Square Garden roaring.



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2015-04-15

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NBA Double Header
2012-01-11

DALLAS MAVERICKS (5-5) at BOSTON CELTICS (4-4)

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Boston -5.5 & 183.5
Opening Line & Total: Celtics -5.5 & 185.5

The Mavs look to build on their first road win of the season when they visit a well-rested Celtics team on Wednesday night.

After losing their first three road games of the season (the final two by 17 and 22 points), Dallas cruised to a 100-86 win in Detroit on Tuesday. The Mavs, 4-1 (SU and ATS) in their past five games, continued their excellent team defense. In the past six games, no Dallas opponent has shot above 45% from the floor, averaging 89.2 PPG on 42% FG. The Celtics haven’t played since Friday, an ugly 87-74 home loss to Indiana, but none of the Dallas starters logged 30 minutes in Tuesday’s victory, so fresh legs should not be an issue in this one. And even though Jason Kidd (back) won’t play, Delonte West proved himself more than capable of running the point in Detroit with 10 assists, two turnovers and five steals. Since the 2005-06 season, the Mavs are 9-3 ATS (5-7 SU) against the Celtics, and with a moderate point spread, that trend should hold true again.

Dirk Nowitzki posted an incredible +42 rating in his 28 minutes of action on Tuesday, finishing with a team-high 18 points (9-10 FG) and seven rebounds. Six other Mavs scored 9+ points during the balanced attack. Nowitzki has always enjoyed facing Boston in his career, pumping in 27.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 3.1 APG in 24 lifetime meetings. The scoring average is his highest versus any opponent in his NBA career, helped by 31.2 PPG (57% FG) in his past five meetings with the Celtics. SG Jason Terry continues to provide a lift off the bench, as he’s second on the team with 13.8 PPG. Terry has been the team’s lone marksman from three-point land (44%), as the rest of the Mavs are a pathetic 25% from downtown this year. SG Vince Carter (9.1 PPG) is finally starting to find his rhythm though, connecting on 9-of-18 FG in his past two games. He started the season in a 20-of-58 funk (35%). Dallas is still waiting for offseason acquisition Lamar Odom to get comfortable with his new team. So far Odom is shooting a laughable 28% FG (21-for-75) including 5-of-31 (16%) from three-point range.

The Celtics offense was horrendous in Friday’s 87-74 loss, especially Paul Pierce (3-of-17 FG). Pierce also had five turnovers in the defeat. It’s been a rough season for Pierce (39% FG), but he usually plays well against Dallas in his career with 22.0 PPG on 46% FG. In contrast to Pierce, Ray Allen has been lights-out on the offensive end all season. He leads the team with 20.4 PPG on 58% FG, including an amazing 63% from three-point land. Allen had 23 (7-of-11 FG) of his team’s 74 points in Friday’s loss. Three other Celtics are shooting better than 50% this year -- Rajon Rondo (14.8 PPG, 52% FG), Kevin Garnett (12.9 PPG, 52% FG) and Brandon Bass (12.9 PPG, 53% FG). Rondo continues to be a great ball distributor (10.5 APG), but he’s committed a career-high 4.1 turnovers per game. His decision making will be key against an improving Mavs defense.


MIAMI HEAT (8-2) at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (4-3)

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Miami -4 & 203
Opening Line & Total: Heat -4 & 202

There will be no shortage of star power when Miami stops into L.A. for a matchup with the new look Clippers on Wednesday night.

Both teams are traveling from the Pacific Northwest after tough losses: the Heat went to overtime in Golden State while the Clippers lost at Portland Tuesday night. Fatigue is more likely to be a factor for Miami, who has a banged-up superstar and a short bench. The Heat led by 12 after three quarters and by as many as 17 on Tuesday before blowing the game in Oakland. SG Dwyane Wade returned to the lineup for the first time in eight days because of a bruised foot. He played 37 minutes while LeBron James (43) and Chris Bosh (38) played heavy minutes as well.

Wade (21.0 PPG, 5.9 APG) played well in his return to the lineup, scoring 34 thanks to 16 trips to the line at Golden State. But it’s yet to be seen how his foot will react to a back-to-back. Going with pretty much an eight-man rotation, the Heat got nearly no help from their bench, which scored just 16 points in the loss. Veterans Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem came off the bench and posted atrocious plus/minus numbers, -12 and -15 respectively. The Heat got another big game from James (29.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.6 APG), who had 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. But the return of Wade coincided with the disappearance of Bosh (19.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG), who had just 16 points and four rebounds against a weak Warriors front line.

The Clippers were competitive in Portland, one of the NBA’s toughest road venues. Blake Griffin (23.7 PPG, 10.6 RPG) posted another double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds), but PG Chris Paul (14.6 PPG, 8.4 APG) is still not being assertive. He scored just 11 points on nine shots with three assists on Tuesday. Perhaps the marquee matchup against the Heat will bring out a little more fire in him. He had 13 points and 19 assists in a home win over Miami with the Hornets last year.

The Clippers continued to struggle from behind the arc (6-for-23, now 31.4% on the season). The good news is that they had their best game of the season on the boards. After allowing 11.8 offensive rebounds per game through their first six games, they held Portland to just seven offensive boards on 35 misses on Tuesday night.



NBA: Home Rules the West
2010-05-25

Phoenix took advantage of its home court Sunday night and has a chance to even its NBA Western Conference Finals series against the Lakers on Tuesday night. So far, the hosts have won all three games of the set. Sportsbook.com apparently expects that trend to be broken for Game 4 however, as Los Angeles is listed as a 1-point road favorite at last check, after opening up as a 1.5-point dog. Is this movement public sentiment weighing in, or are the Lakers just too good to lose two straight?

People tend to hear and then add their own personal twist to what they just listened to, which ultimately tends to change or exaggerate the original topic. The Phoenix Suns had gone from a terrible defense team to one that was competent after the All-Star break this season. The more games Phoenix won and their players and coaches talked about improved defense being the difference, the more the media and public bought into it.

After holding Portland and San Antonio to 95.9 points per game in their first two series triumphs, the mantra was viewed as the new and improved Phoenix Suns.

The Los Angeles Lakers being more talented, with better offensive weapons, quickly put Alan Gentry’s team more into proper perspective, averaging 126 points in the first two games against the Suns.

Gentry is an affable coach, quick to give praise to his team and at least publicly, measures his disappointment when he sees a lack of effort or execution. For Game 3, Gentry knew a couple of areas that needed immediate improvement.

He started with realizing his club was no match to play the Lakers straight-up defensively and that doubling different L.A. players was failing as badly as British Petroleum’s attempt to solve the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gentry knew his team was still below average defensively, but was capable of making SOME stops, which might just be enough to knock off the Lakers if the offense continued to be productive.

The head coach and assistant coaches went to a zone defense, which took Kobe Bryant and his teammates out of the triangle offense. Gentry and his staff hoped Los Angeles might become content to fire away from long range and kept his fingers crossed they wouldn’t bury too many. Though the Lakers made nine three-point baskets, it took them 32 attempts to reach that level, lowering their record to 7-3 ATS as road underdogs.

Offensively, Phoenix got aggressive taking the ball to the basket. The Suns went at their “giant” foes with abandon and ended up shooting 42 free throws (37 made) to their counterpart’s smallish total of 20. The 118-109 victory brought Phoenix back into the series and gave them hope for the next contest where they are 37-10 and 29-16-2 ATS.

Two main players on the floor changed the direction of the series. Amare Stoudemire was virtually unstoppable with 42 points and 11 rebounds and Lamar Odom returned to the planet earth, with 10 points on 4-14 shooting and had as many fouls as rebounds (6).

Though it probably won’t show in Game 4, Los Angeles has had ample rest, however another loss in the desert could make the series a far greater challenge, forced to play every other day, where they are 4-12 ATS with one day off.

The money at Sportsbook.com is mostly riding on the Lakers, now a one-point favorite after being a 1.5-point underdog to open, with the total higher yet again at 222 after three straight Over’s.

Kobe and company are 18-7 ATS in road games after scoring 105 points or more in three consecutive contests and 23-12 OVER having won two of their last three games this season. Phoenix will try and square up the series and is 22-8 ATS after a tilt where both teams scored 105 points or more. The team with shaggy-haired point guard and fractured nose is 41-22 OVER when both teams score 98 or more points in a game this season.

TNT will against provide this West Finals conflict starting at 9:00 Eastern with coaching adjustments very important. The home team is on 8-1 ATS run between these Pacific Division competitors.

The StatFox Power Line shows Phoenix by 6, indicating that oddsmakers had the opening line closer to the truth.


Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Atlanta Hawks first round of the NBA playoffs
2010-04-23

In reality, the Milwaukee Bucks season may have ended before the club took the floor last Saturday in its playoff opener in Atlanta. A late season injury to center Andrew Bogut has severely altered the makeup of one of the most improved squads in the league. This injury sent the basketball betting in a different direction. In Game 1, the absence of Bogut was immediately felt as the Hawks rolled to a 34-17 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The outlook didn't get better in the second quarter as the home squad took a 62-40 halftime lead. In the second half, the Bucks showed some life. Milwaukee cut the margin from the break in half to trail 81-70 entering the final period. While the Bucks were able to get the margin down to seven points in the final quarter, Atlanta was able to finish off the short-handed Milwaukee squad for a 102-92 victory. All five Hawks starters scored in double figures. Guard Joe Johnson led the balanced attack with 22 points. In defeat, rookie guard Brandon Jennings paced the Bucks with a dazzling 34-point effort. Without Bogut to protect the middle, the Hawks were able to shoot 54% from the field in the win. In Game 2 on Tuesday, Milwaukee kept the game tight throughout the first half to trail by only six points at intermission in a 52-46 contest. In the third quarter, Atlanta pulled away to lead by as many as 19 points before the Bucks cut the margin to 14 heading into the final quarter. Milwaukee pulled to within eight points in the fourth but ultimately suffered a 10-point defeat for the second straight game in a 96-86 Atlanta win. Johnson once again led the Hawks with 27 points. Guard John Salmons paced Milwaukee with 21 points while Jennings struggled in a 3-of-15 shooting night from the field. Now, the two squads will get a little break before Game 3 in Milwaukee on Saturday. After posting a 28-13 mark at home during the regular season, the Bucks will be seeking a boost from its home fans in a must win game with the NBA odds against them.


After posting a 17-24 record in the first half of the season, the Bucks weren't viewed as a viable playoff team by most people entering the second half of the season. In a surprise run, Milwaukee was one of the top squads in the league in the second half with a 29-12 mark. Salmons (20 points per game in 30 regular season games for Milwaukee) provided a major spark for the squad after being acquired from Chicago in the second half. Bogut (16 points, 10 rebounds per game during regular season) suffered a broken wrist just two weeks before the start of the postseason to derail some of the club's momentum. Jennings (16 points per game during regular season) had an up and down rookie campaign that was highlighted by a 55-point outburst against Golden State in his seventh NBA contest back in mid-November. Former Bulls head coach Scott Skiles has brought some toughness to the club that had been lacking. 


Atlanta posted its best regular season record in 13 years in the 2009-10 season. After its two victories to open this series, the Hawks are now a dominant 36-7 at home. While Atlanta has one of the most balanced lineups in the league, Johnson is the top scoring option for the squad. With Johnson (21 points per game during regular season) entering free agency this summer, the Hawks may not get a better chance to make a deep playoff run. Guard Jamal Crawford (18 points per game during regular season) is one of the top sixth men in the league as Atlanta's biggest threat off the bench. Up front, the Hawks have a strong combo to work with. Forward Josh Smith (16 points, 9 rebounds per game during regular season) is one of the top defenders in the NBA. Center Al Horford (14 points, 10 rebounds per game during regular season) emerged this year to earn a spot on the Eastern Conference roster in the All-Star game. Head coach Mike Woodson has been able to improve his squad's record in each season during his tenure since suffering through a humbling 13-69 record in his debut year with the Hawks in 2004-05. Do you basketball betting at www.sportsbook.com where everybody bets!