The gambling life ain’t easy, folks — which is where today’s tale begins. But by the time you get to the end of today’s column, hopefully you’ll be amused by my personal adventures and enlightened by my leaguewide analysis. We are at the quarter-pole of the NBA season, and trends have emerged. First, to truly appreciate what it means to gamble on the NBA on a daily basis, you had to experience what it was like to bet on the Philadelphia 76ers
Looks like we’ve got a good old-fashioned rookie duel on our hands. Tuesday’s showdown in Philadelphia between 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams and Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo was more than just a spectacular display by two future stars. It was a microcosm of this season’s race for Rookie of the Year. In case you live in an igloo, both Carter-Williams and Oladipo had their first career triple-doubles in a wild double-overtime affair won by the Sixers, 126-125. MCW had 27 points, 12
Finding a Most Improved Player in the NBA this year is like finding a reasonable, stand-up politician in Congress. It’s so tough to do, it’s almost sickening. With so many teams so tremendously un-improved, there are precious few bright spots in a vast wasteland of awfulness. Just take a look at the Eastern Conference standings. Actually….don’t do that. You can’t un-see the Eastern Conference standings. This, after-all, is a family-friendly website. As we enter Tuesday night’s games, 12 teams in the East have losing records, which
Remember that streak of games hot-shooting LeBron James put together last February? Well, he’s doing it again. Much earlier in the season. And for a longer stretch. And if he keeps it up, it will become historic. Because since the ABA-NBA merger, no wing player or point guard has scored this much while shooting this well. Not Dr. J. Not even Michael Jordan. Yes, really. Through the first month of the season, James is third in the league in scoring at 26.2 points per
Trades happen. And when they happen, good things can follow. Need proof? How about Marcin Gortat’s 11-for-12 shooting performance Wednesday night? Granted, it came against the woeful Milwaukee Bucks. But Gortat is 17-for-20 in his last two games, and the Washington Wizards – who dealt the injured Emeka Okafor for him prior to the season – appear to be headed to the playoffs as they float near .500 in the woeful Eastern Conference – which has two, count ‘em, two! – teams
If you’re anything like me, you still can’t shake the Derrick Rose injury. It sticks with you like a gas station burrito, refusing to leave you alone no matter how badly you want to forget it. Every time I turn on League Pass, I’m reminded that one of the most explosive and entertaining players of this era is gone, and his career is probably never going to be the same. It’s pretty depressing. Fortunately, in times like these, we’ve got the Most Improved Player
Last week, we discussed how the race for Rookie of the Year is wide open because of injuries to several of the top picks. No. 3 Otto Porter, No. 6 Nerlens Noel and No. 10 C.J. McCollum still haven’t taken the court this season. But a couple of first-round picks – both point guards – made their NBA debuts this week. On Monday, it was Dallas Mavericks guard Shane Larkin, who suffered a broken ankle in the last practice before summer league.
People have short attention spans. Milk eggs cheese buttuh … Was there anything else on that list? Sometimes we get really excited about things after small sample sizes, and start declaring them the Greatest Thing since that last Great Thing we can’t remember anymore. It happens too often. Take “Call Me Maybe.” Or Jeremy Lin. Or that “What does the Fox say” video that I wish I could un-watch like I took the blue pill in The Matrix. So when Markieff Morris (twin brother of