Tag Archives: Chris Paul

NBA Playoffs – Second Round

The bets for the 1st round on this blog did pretty well going 2-1 for a profit of 3 points. Not bad though a small sample size. 7 series winners were predicted correctly, the only exception being the Spurs failing at the Clippers. Although in fairness my grandmother could have predicted that the Cavs & GSW would have qualified. Still, she wouldn’t have bet on Washington to come through against Toronto.

The second round starts tonight. So this is what I reckon:

The East

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls

The big news coming into this series is that Kevin Love is out for the playoffs with a dislocated shoulder. What a pussy! While the Cavs will miss the floor spacing his 3 point shooting creates, they won’t miss his crappy defence. Also JR Smith is suspended for the first 2 games for punching Jae Crowder. They’ll be missing some of their shooting.

So there’s a great deal of unknowns in which lineups the Cavs will use and how successful they’ll be. Will they go small ball and play Lebron at the 4? Or play Thompson instead of Love? As a result I don’t want to put any money down until I’ve seen what Blatt will do.

I will say this: I expect this series to go to at least 6 games, and if I had to make a prediction I would go with the Cavs to come through as they’ve still got the best player on the planet.

Cavs in 6 Update: Cavs won in 6

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards

Washington swept Toronto, Randy Whitman is a suddenly a coaching mastermind and this team is something special… or so the rhetoric goes. Toronto were pretty awful, so let’s rein the expectations back in on Washington.

Atlanta didn’t play to their early season standards against Brooklyn. Milsap and Horford don’t look 100%. But Atlanta did miss a load of open shots in their first round series. I feel that the Washington sweep and Atlanta underperforming has lead to the generous odds of 1.50 (-200 US) on Atlanta to qualify which I like.

Atlanta in 6 Update: Atlanta won in 6 +0.5pts

The West

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies

With the Spurs out, and Love injured for the Cavs, the Warriors are justifiably the clear favourites for the title. First they need to beat Memphis.

Clash of styles here as GSW play fast & shoot 3s, while Memphis are slow and like shoot inside the arc.  Memphis has next to no shooting.  Mike Conley has a fractured face so it’s unknown when/if he’ll play. Another pussy! Even if he does I doubt it’ll matter as to who’ll be playing in the next round. The only question is if Memphis will win a game (or 2).

I firmly expect GSW to go through but I won’t be backing the best priced 1.17 (-600) odds. I would be interested in the 4-0/4-1 scorelines but no odds for that have been released at time of writing.

Update: I’ve dutched the 2 scorelines 4-0 at 2.4 (+140) and 4-1 at 3.5 (+250)

GSW in 5 Update: GSW won in 6 -1pts

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers

Yet another series where there’s a major injury, with Chris Paul leading the Clippers past the Spurs on one leg. It’s unknown whether he’ll play in the first game, or how bad that hamstring is. As a result no bookie’s have released any series odds yet.

Clippers have played 7 games v the Spurs in an epic series, and now have to play 2 days after an emotional victory. Tough turnaround. While the Rockets have had plenty of rest after toying with the Mavs for 5 games.

I expect this series to go at least 6 games too. With home court advantage and Dwight Howard looking more like the Orlando-Howard, I would have to side with Houston. But everything hinges on CP3’s hamstring.

Houston in 7 Update: Houston won in 7, amazingly.

Bets Summary: 1-1. -0.5 pts

Stop Fouling, Just Play

When talking about how a team should do things in the NBA it’s easy to point to the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve won the most games over the last 10 years. They play the best basketball. They draft well, and never give out bad contracts. They have the best coach that even when he rests his stars can get productivity out of a bunch of scrubs.

So when this team perseveres with a bad play, it’s very odd. What I’m talking about is the Hack-a-DJ strategy that they’ve used throughout their series with the Clippers. And it’s pissing me off.

“I really like watching this guy shoot free throws” – said no one, ever.

The Clippers have an Offensive rating of 112.4, so they score 1.12 point per possession. DJ is a career 42% from the free throw line, so if he shoots 2 FTAs that’s 0.84 point per possession.

0.84 is less than 1.12, what are you complaining about? Intentionally fouling him is clearly a good idea?

There’s more to it that that.

If DJ misses his 2nd attempt the Clippers can rebound it, which they do at an about average rate as his misses fall further away from the rim.

It’s harder for Spurs offensively after these FTAs. It’s harder for an offence to score against a set defence that occurs after FTA (or a made bucket). By putting DJ at the line the Spurs wont be scoring any fast breaks, or exploiting any mismatches than can occur when a defensive rebound has been grabbed. It’s not like the Spurs have a bad defence, they have the 2nd best Defensive rating in the league.

Repeating fouling someone obviously puts your own players in foul trouble, the Spurs have even used Tim Duncan to foul him and then get taken out! I saw them intentionally foul to get themselves into the penalty, then Chris Paul was able to get the line without shooting fouls. This is a 86% FT shooter FFS.

The Spurs seem to have a inconsistent approach to intentionally fouling DeAndre Jordan. They’ve done it when they been winning, when they’ve been losing. If he somehow makes both FTs then they have stopped doing it for a stretch. Often I’ve seen them do it when they’re winning but they’ll foul early into the shot clock. At least let some more clock run out rather than extend the game.

In this series the Spurs have a massive advantage in terms of the strengths of depth. The Clippers have 3 bums in Austin Rivers, Big baby & Spencer Hawes coming off the bench. Clippers have had to play their starters big minutes as a result. So when Chris Paul has his hands on his knees, and is sucking air, having a large number of free throws lets him and the other Clippers’ starters get some much needed rest.

Spurs should have won this series in spite of this stupid strategy, now they could be eliminated in the first round. I’ll be watching the decider tonight, I haven’t got any bets on it (yet). My thought are now that I may be backing the Clippers in-play if I spot value.



I backed the Clippers mid way in the 4th quarter when trailing by 4 after Pop called for an intentional foul on DJ. Clippers went on to win an epic…

NBA Playoffs – First Round

The NBA playoffs start tonight. So I thought I’d write a quick post on the first round matchups and my predictions:

The (L)East

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

Before the season who would have said that the Celtics would get into the playoffs? …Don’t’ lie. No one. This tells you 2 things:

  • The East is terrible, as has been compared unfairly to a dumpster fire. (Unfairly for dumpster fires).
  • Also it shows how good a coach Brad Stevens is by getting this rag tag bunch of scrubs and cast-offs to the playoffs.

I’ve watched the Celtics more as the season has gone on and Stevens can coach the shit out of every possession. With approximately 64 picks in the 2 drafts, and the best young coach in the game, the future looks bright for Boston…

…But in the immediate future I expect them to lose this series to LeBron’s team. In fact I would back the 4-0 series scoreline at 3.25 (+225 US) if I didn’t have such faith in Coach Stevens somehow winning at least 1 game.

Cavs in 5 Update: Cavs won in 4, no Stevens magic.

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards

Only people who live in these 2 cities, gambling degenerates and insatiable basketball fans will be watching this series. (I’ll leave you to decide which group I belong in!). I believe the value’s on Washington here at 2.6 (+160) and I’ve had a little of that.

Washington in 6 Update: Washington won in 4, surprisingly. +1.6pts

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks

Bulls in 5. That is all. Update: Chicago won in 6

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets

Atlanta have been coasting for a long time, everyone is well rested relative to the league except Millsap. I think people have forgotten what a great team Atlanta is and will show that a team like Brooklyn doesn’t belong in the playoffs.

Atlanta in 5 Update: Atlanta won in 6

The West

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans

Amazingly the Pelicans beat the Spurs on the last day of the regular season to make the playoffs. What that really means is that after playing 82 games, their reward to play another 4. And that’s 4 games against the best team in the league. GSW have been historically good: they have the 8th best MOV ever in the NBA. Plus they have the best offensive and defensive eFG%. The only intrigue here is if New Orleans manage to somehow win 1 game, I doubt it.

GSW Sweep at 3.40 (+240) Update: GSW won in 4. +2.4pts

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

Every though it’s obvious that to stop Houston you need to target Harden, Dallas have been pretty awful for remainder of the season. Dirk is now totally immobile and teams know that there’s no point of guarding Rondo.

Houston in 5 Update: Houston won in 5

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers

We’ve got 2 beat up teams here. Mike Conley looks likely to play so I expect Memphis to qualify, but no bets here.

Memphis in 6 Update: Memphis won in 5

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs

The best first round matchup is definitely between the Clippers & the Spurs. The Clippers went 14-1 to finish the season and their reward is facing the Spurs. Unlucky. Blake Griffin wasn’t happy about it either:

You probably never want to play the Spurs in the first round if you had your choice

When the odds for the first match of Spurs @ Clippers came out they were 2.10 (+110). I’ve had a bit of that thank you very much.

Chris Paul is the Clippers. I’ve briefly posted previously about the MVP discussion, but CP3 will definitely NOT get the recognition he deserves for this season. He’s been amazing, on both ends of the court. If they are gonna get out of this series he will need to play well. Unfortunately for him the Spurs have the best wing defender in the game: Kawhi Leonard. When the reigning finals MVP isn’t guarding Paul, the Spurs will probably have their backup point guards hound him constantly. I doubt he’ll have an easy time bringing the ball across the court, and this is a player who’s played a shit load of minutes this season:


Another thing I’m sure we’ll see is Popovich using the hack-a-Jordan approach when trailing. I’m not a fan of this from a viewer point of view, and because I don’t think it’s +EV. But who am I to question coach Pop?!

Spurs in 6 Update: Clippers won a classic series in 7. Spurs lost the 1st game -1pt

Bets Summary: 2-1. +3 pts