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

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 s ame 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.




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NBA Eastern Conference Finals Preview
2010-05-24

The last two Eastern Conference champions will square off beginning on Sunday at Amway Arena in a bid to reach another NBA Finals. The Celtics won the NBA title two years ago but were knocked out by the Magic in last year's conference semi-finals. In that series, Orlando rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to finish off the Celtics with a 101-82 victory in Game 7 at Boston. In defeat, the Celtics felt that an injury had cost them another title. Veteran forward Kevin Garnett wasn't available for that series. The Celtics will have him in this year's rematch but Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen aren't the players they were two years ago. Still, Boston was able to upset the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the conference semi-finals. With LeBron James and the Cavs out of the picture, the road to this year's NBA title will have to go through Orlando. The Magic have been perfect in this year's postseason. Orlando destroyed Atlanta in the Eastern semi-finals. The Magic swept the Hawks with an average margin of victory of 25 points. In the regular season, Orlando won three of its four matchups against Boston. All four of the games were decided by single-digits. In the four games, the Magic held the Celtics to an average of just 87 points per game.  These are the kind of stats NBA betting keep their eyes on. When you place you NBA bets you have to know all the numbers before making a decision.



While Boston's star trio will still play a big role in this series, point guard Rajon Rondo (14 points, 10 assists per game during regular season) is now the catalyst of the team. His triple-double effort in Game 4 of the conference semi-finals sparked Boston to an upset in the series matchup against the heavily-favored Cleveland squad. In the series, Rondo finished with an average of 21 points and 12 assists per game. While Rondo dazzled against Cleveland, Pierce (18 points per game during regular season) struggled against the Cavs. After shooting less than 35% from the field against Cleveland, the Celtics will need Pierce to bounce back in this series. Allen (16 points per game during regular season) has been more consistent this postseason with an average of 17 points per contest. Garnett (14 points, 7 rebounds per game during regular season) has been rejuvenated by the team's postseason run. He averaged 19 points per game against the Cavs and hit on 60% of his field goal tries over the final four games of the series. Against Orlando's Dwight Howard, Boston center Kendrick Perkins (10 points, 8 rebounds per game during regular season) will play a key role in the series versus the Magic. Former Orlando head coach Doc Rivers was able to get the Celtics its first title in more than two decades in 2008.  Which made many NBA bettors happy.



A deep Orlando squad begins with Howard (18 points,13 rebounds per game during regular season) in the middle. The back-to-back NBA Defensive Player of the Year bounced back from a rough opening series against Charlotte to have a dominant run against the Hawks. He hit a remarkable 84% of his field goal attempts against an overwhelmed Atlanta squad. To counter Rondo, Orlando will have a solid point guard of its own. Jameer Nelson (13 points, 5 assists per game during regular season) was on the sidelines with an injury when his team faced Boston in last year's postseason. In this year's playoffs, Nelson is averaging a team-high 21 points per outing. Veteran guard Vince Carter (17 points per game during regular season) is still capable of taking over a game with bursts of scoring. Forward Rashard Lewis (14 points per game during regular season) is the top 3-point shooter for the league's best perimeter shooting team. During the regular season, Orlando hit on an average of ten 3-point shots per game while its opponents hit on just six long range attempts per contest. The advantage has grown in the postseason. The Magic have hit an average of 11 trifectas per game in the playoffs while opponents have connected on just four 3-point shots per outing. With a variety of scoring options on a deep roster, head coach Stan Van Gundy has done an effective job of juggling his deep roster to get the most from his squad. He is hoping that last year's run to the NBA Finals will help his team take one more step this time around.   


Which of these titans are you placing your NBA bet on? Head over to www.sportsbook.com where the best NBA playoff betting lines are.




Charlotte Bobcat’s vs. the Orlando Magic first round NBA Playoffs matchup.
2010-04-23

After getting its first taste of postseason play last Sunday in Orlando, the Charlotte Bobcats will try to even up its best-of-seven series against the Magic in Game 2 on Wednesday night at Amway Arena. NBA odds look long for the Bobcats. This young Bobcats franchise made its playoff debut against a strong Orlando club in Game 1, the squad appeared to be a little overwhelmed by the moment in the early going. Charlotte trailed by 11 after the first quarter as the Magic offense put 31 points on the board. By halftime, Orlando had extended its lead to 16 as it took a 59-43 advantage into the break. After the home club scored the first six points of the second half, the visitors began to climb back into the contest. Charlotte reeled off the next ten points to cut the margin down to 12 midway through the third quarter. Down 76-66 entering the final period, the Bobcats were within striking distance with 12 minutes to play. Charlotte ultimately pulled to within four points at 83-79 with just under four minutes left but would get no closer. The defending Eastern Conference champions were able to come away with a 98-89 victory to open up the series. Guard Jameer Nelson provided an unexpected spark with a sparkling 32-point effort to pace the Magic. He was glad to be healthy heading into this postseason after missing most of last year's playoffs due to an injury. Forward Rashard Lewis added 19 points for Orlando. Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace delivered a big performance in a losing cause with 25 points and 17 rebounds. Three-point shooting was one of the big differences in the contest. While Charlotte only connected on three long range shots, Orlando nailed 13 trifectas in the victory. The Magic also used its defense to its advantage in the victory by forcing 14 turnovers. While Orlando star center Dwight Howard had a quiet offensive night with just five points, he created some havoc in the middle on the other end of the floor with nine blocked shots. And if there is one thing you can bet on basketball in the NBA, Howard will be a force to be reckoned with in every game.


With only 13 road wins during the regular season, Charlotte will be hard pressed to gain a victory away from home against an elite squad in this series. A big key to any upset hopes will be veteran guard Stephen Jackson. When he was acquired early in the season from Golden State, the Bobcats were just 3-9. As it turned out, Jackson's arrival provided a major spark as the club went 41-29 the rest of the way. Jackson ended up leading the club in scoring at 21 points per outing. Wallace (18 points, 10 rebounds per game during regular season) is the club's other significant offensive threat. Charlotte's biggest asset might be on the sidelines. Bobcats head coach Larry Brown is in the NBA Playoffs with his eighth different club. He has taken two different franchises all the way to the NBA Finals and won a championship six years ago with the Detroit Pistons. With an NCAA title on his resume as well, Brown is the only head coach to win championships in college hoops and the NBA.After a strong second half of the season, Orlando is a confident squad heading into this postseason. Orlando is now 35-7 at home during the 2009-10 campaign after Sunday's victory.  Howard (18 points, 13 rebounds per game during regular season) is the focal point of the squad in the middle. While he is still evolving as an offensive player, Howard's defensive presence is overwhelming at times. He was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in rebounding and blocked shots during the regular season. After the free agent departure of Hedo Turkoglu during the summer, Orlando worked a deal with New Jersey to bring in veteran guard Vince Carter (17 points per game during regular season). While he is no longer a dominant offensive force, Carter is still capable of getting hot at various times throughout a particular game. Lewis (14 points per game during regular season) is the club's top long range shooter. Head coach Stan Van Gundy is trying to recapture last season's playoff success again. He has done a nice job of incorporating some new players onto this year's roster. Can the Bobcat’s pull off a victory in this series? Get over to www.sportsbook.com and place your bets now.  





NBA: Cavaliers at Celtics Betting Matchup
2010-02-26

The Cleveland Cavaliers ended their three game losing streak with a 105-95 non-cover over New Orleans Tuesday, next up is to a end losing skid that goes back years. Cleveland has made nine trips to Boston and has come up on the short end of the score each time. The last time the Cavs (44-14, 28-29-1 ATS) won at TD Garden was Jan. 3, 2007 and they are 6-3 ATS in those visits, which is little consolation unless you are a sports bettor. Cleveland is favored at Sportsbook.com, making it an interesting decision for those wagering.

There has been a great deal of doom and gloom surrounding Cleveland’s recent slide and the fact they are 1-6 ATS in their last seven, but a certain high profile Cavs player tries to put things into perspective.

“There are 82 games in the regular season. You’ll have ups and downs,” said LeBron James. “We’ve had way more ups than downs. We have the best record in the Eastern Conference and one of the best records in the league. You can go two or three games where you don’t win a game. That’s not our worries.”

Cleveland’s recent struggles have had to do with defense. Coach Mike Brown’s squad prior to last game had allowed 100 or more points in five of previous six contests. Before this, the Cavs surrendered that many points over a span of 26 games, showing the decline in effort. They will seek reversal and are 8-4 ATS off a victory.

Like anything in life, it could be worse, like being a loyal Boston Celtics (36-19, 21-33-1 ATS) bettor. Boston has won four of its last five, but for Celtics backers, betting the C’s is similar to getting a hot stock tip that the Hummer is coming back strong, with 8-18-1 ATS record since Dec. 27.

General Manager Danny Ainge was being barbequed in Boston until he made the bold moves to bring in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, which restored Celtics pride and brought a championship. This would have never happened had Boston lost the top pick in the draft in the lottery, which would have brought Kevin Durant and the Celtics would more likely resemble Oklahoma City, than the current model.

Like most GM’s in the NBA, do one thing right and you have a free pass for years. Ainge thought Rasheed Wallace would be good fit for the green and white and he probably more than any other player exemplifies what is wrong with Boston this season and in part explains why they are 3-8 ATS off a SU win.

No question injuries have played a part in Boston’s season and Paul Pierce is doubtful for this evening. The Celtics are 6-18-1 ATS at home and 1-7-1 ATS with a day between contests.

Sportsbook.com has Cleveland as 1.5-point faves and they are 7-3 ATS with one day of rest and they are 5-1-1 OVER this month after scoring 100 or more points. Boston has covered 17 of last 25 Thursday assignments and is 20-8 UNDER on this day of the week going back even further.

This confrontation of Eastern powers begins just after 8:00 in the East time zone and the home team is 16-1 SU, though just 8-8-1 ATS in previous 17 meetings. The StatFox Power Line shows the wrong team is favored: Boston by 1