Coronavirus (COVID-19) NBA Update – March 30th Edition

Hope remains for the NBA. The National Basketball Association has yet to announce that they’ve canceled the current season. They haven’t announced that they will resume the season at some point. But, for now, no news is good news. There are positive rumors and predictions about the National Basketball Association regarding the pause due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Let’s get to the weekly NBA update!

2020 NBA Championship

  • When: TBD
  • Where: TBD

2020 NBA Championship Odds

  • Los Angeles Lakers +200
  • Milwaukee Bucks +225
  • L.A. Clippers +300
  • Houston Rockets +1500
  • Boston Celtics +1500
  • Toronto Raptors +1600
  • Denver Nuggets +2000
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2800
  • Utah Jazz +3300
  • Miami Heat +2800
  • Dallas Mavericks +3500
  • Indiana Pacers +8000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +10000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +2000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +10000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +50000
  • Brooklyn Nets +50000
  • Orlando Magic +50000
  • San Antonio Spurs +50000
  • Phoenix Suns +100000
  • Sacramento Kings +100000

Some in the Know Almost “100-Percent” Sure NBA Resumes Without Fans

On a recent podcast, LeBron James, whom everyone agrees speaks for the players in the league, said that he couldn’t imagine a sporting event without fans. But, that’s not likely to happen. If the NBA does resume, those in the know like Brian Windhorst of ESPN is almost positive that it will resume without fans.

The key for any sports league to resume play is to first ensure a safe environment for players, coaches, and television crews. Like the NFL, NHL, and MLB, television contracts bring the most revenue to the National Basketball Association. ABC, TNT, and ESPN will want to ensure that their employees are safe from Covid-19 exposure.

We’re a long way from actual play in the NBA. Luckily for fans, there’s a blueprint.

NBA Could Follow the Chinese Basketball Association’s Lead

The CBA hoped to resume play the first week of April. They moved that to April 15. Now, the Chinese Basketball Association has said that they’re resuming play either in May or June.

Just last week, the Chinese Basketball Association recalled American players back to China. That’s great news. NBA players like Jeremy Lin and Lance Stephenson should have landed in China, or are in the process of going back to their place of employment.

If the 3-month period the Chinese Basketball Association appears to be working on is the same for professional basketball in the U.S., the NBA could resume in late May or early June. That’s the time-period the NBA has discussed in closed-door discussions with owners.

Like CBA, NBA Could Cluster Teams in 2 Cities

It’s important for the NBA to at least have the 2020 playoffs. That’s not even a discussion. Executives have taken a 20% pay cut. Soon, players may also take a pay cut. The NBA will resume playing this season.

When the NBA does, the play could resemble what the Chinese may do. Although nothing is set in stone, the CBA most likely will create a bubble where games are played in a round-robin format in just 1 or 2 cities.

The NBA could do this. Per Windhorst, the NBA could play at a casino property in Las Vegas, somewhere in the Bahamas, or at a college campus in the Midwest. Owners and players may agree to play at all 3 of those locations.

It all depends. No matter the decision, it will be nice to at least view NBA games on television. It will also be great for NBA bettors like us to get back to wagering on games.

In the meantime, while you wait for hockey to resume, check out MyBookie’s current betting options. They include horse racing and plenty of eSports. Also, future betting on the NFL, NCAA College Football, and the 2020 Major League Baseball Season!

Bet on NBA2K and NCAA 2K March Madness Simulation Matchups

While we wait for more information from the National Basketball Association, you should head over to MyBookie and get your hoops betting fix by wagering on NBA2K and  NCAA 2K March Madness Simulation games. It’s almost like wagering on the real thing!

Place your bets on What will be the first league to play? on our Coronavirus Odds.

Here in MyBookie.ag Sportsbook including this NBA Update, we will keep you informed on the status of the main leagues. We also have the NHL Coronavirus (COVID-19) Status and MLB Coronavirus (COVID-19) Status.

Or you can also access all the updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sports Updates.

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NBA Update – March 23 Edition

A couple of huge developments in the National Basketball Association should give us hope that commissioner Adam Silver and NBA owners are hatching a plan. Check out current NBA Championship odds and then read on for this week’s NBA Update!

2020 NBA Championship Odds Update March 23rd

  • When: TBD
  • Where: TBD

2020 NBA Championship Odds

  • Los Angeles Lakers +200
  • Milwaukee Bucks +225
  • A. Clippers +300
  • Houston Rockets +1500
  • Boston Celtics +1500
  • Toronto Raptors +1600
  • Denver Nuggets +2000
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2800
  • Utah Jazz +3300
  • Miami Heat +2800
  • Dallas Mavericks +3500
  • Indiana Pacers +8000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +10000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +2000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +10000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +50000
  • Brooklyn Nets +50000
  • Orlando Magic +50000
  • San Antonio Spurs +50000
  • Phoenix Suns +100000
  • Sacramento Kings +100000

NBA Will Pay Salaries Due April 1, But After That…

The NBA has committed to paying player salaries due on April’s Fools Day. That’s the first of April. But after that, things could get dicey. In the latest collective-bargaining agreement, players signed off on a 1.08% salary reduction in times of war or, in this case, a pandemic.

That could kick into gear for April 15 paychecks. However, it most likely won’t. Why? The league must cancel games first. And, so far, that hasn’t happened. Which brings us to the next important update.

Players Won’t Let Their Salaries Go Out the Window

NBA players won’t let money drain from their bank accounts. Like everyone in the U.S., a single lost paycheck could have a drastic effect. Don’t be fooled. Just because NBA Players make more money than average Americans, it doesn’t mean they put that money into a safe.

Some probably did, but most invested it in the stock market or other ventures. The golden goose has turned to brass. So, NBA Players need their paychecks just like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, they want to go back to work.

NBA Players Will Go Back to Work, And It Could Be Sooner Than We Think

Based on this message from Dr. Oz, there’s hope for fast treatment. Oz believes that two pills could turn Covid-19 into “the flu”. If that’s the case, a ramp-up of production of the 2 pills could lead to a viable treatment plan.

Not only that but a quick perusal of the old Worldometer, and the picture in the U.S. is clear. By far, New York is the hardest-hit state. The National Basketball Association could find ways to play games outside of New York.

NBA Has Discussed Permanent Schedule Change in the Past

Although the likeliest scenario remains the NBA going straight to the playoffs once safe, there’s a chance the league plays the rest of their regular-season games. A huge clue is that the NBA has yet to cancel a single game this season. That sounds strange considering the effect Covid-19 has had on other major sports leagues.

Another clue is that Adam Silver said in a recent interview that NBA owners had discussed changing seasonal dates anyhow. Per Silver, the NBA knows that summer isn’t what it used to be. Fans can watch NBA games anywhere. Even lounging on the beach!

So, who knows? Maybe, the league has seriously considered playing out the rest of the regular season with limited fans, or no fans at all. More information regarding the NBA’s plans should come down this week. We’ll provide it to you in next week’s update.

Bet on NBA2K20 Matchups

While the NBA decides what to do with the 2020 season, check out NBA2K20 simulated matchups. Odds are on the MyBookie NBA 2k Odds site. So, get your NBA hoops fix by wagering on these virtual games!

Place your bets on What will be the first league to play? on our Coronavirus Odds.

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NBA Awards If Season Ended Today

With the 2019-20 NBA regular season on hold and basketball lovers like you likely curled up in the fetal position because of the lack of roundball action,  you’re going to have a brief, light-hearted moment to take your mind off of the global coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe thanks to this fun-filled look at the 2020 NBA awards Odds that would be handed out if the season ended today!

NBA Awards If Season Ended Today

With that said, let’s get started with what wins championships in the NBA – defense!

Defensive Player of the Year NBA Odds

The Defensive Player of the Year Race looks like a done deal to me with reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo as my winner over reigning two-time winner Rudy Gobert, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and the LA Lakers Anthony Davis.

While it is the Greek Freak’s nearly unlimited offensive ability that garners him the lion’s share of the adoration he gets, make no mistake about it, Antetokounmpo is a fierce competitor at the defensive end of the floor.

Milwaukee’s main man can do it all at the defensive end of the floor, from jumping into passing lanes for timely steals and meets opponents at the rim with regularity when he isn’t chasing them down for highlight-reel making blocks. Opponents are only scoring 96.5 points per 100 possessions against Milwaukee with him on the floor and his outstanding defense hasn’t taken away from his game at the offensive end of the floor.

For Gobert, his blocks are down to 2.0 per game which is his lowest number since his rookie season in 2013-14. Anthony Davis doesn’t necessarily show up every night – nor does he show up when it matters most in the fourth quarter. My No. 2 finisher is Philadelphia point guard Ben Simmons, a player that can and often does, guard every position on the floor for the Sixers. Still, for me, Giannis is the clear-cut winner here!

  • Pick Defensive Player of the Year NBA Odds: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

Most Improved Player of the Year NBA Odds

While it’s a virtual certainty that Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo will win the league’s official MOP award, I’m thinking this one could very well go to New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram or Charlotte Hornets point guard Devonte Graham. Adebayo is averaging a career-high 16.2 points and 10.5 rebounds while chipping in 5.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game after putting up just 6.9 points per game as a rookie two years ago and 8.9 points per game last season.

Graham is averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game, although he’s shooting an ice-cold 38.2 percent from the field in his second season with one of the league’s worst franchises. This is a huge jump for a player that didn’t even average 15 minutes per game a year ago.

While the arrival of Zion Williamson has garnered all of the headlines in New Orleans, it is now, fourth-year shooting guard Brandon Ingram that has made the leap from good to really, good this season by upping his scoring average from 18.2 points per game a year ago to 24.3 points per contest while shooting a solid 46.6 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc. Ingram has improved his free throw shooting percentage from the high 60s to 85.8 percent this season. Yes, he’s in his fourth season and that alone will rule him out for this award in the eyes of many, but really, Ingram’s improvement this season has been as good, if not better, than almost anyone’s.

In the end though, I’m going with Adebayo simply because I don’t think anyone ever suspected we’d see anywhere near the all-around skillset that we’re seeing from the blossoming third-year star. Make no mistake about it, the future is as bright for Adebayo as it is for any of the game’s young stars.

  • Pick Most Improved Player of the Year NBA Odds: Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat

Coach Of the Year NBA Odds

I won’t waste a lot of time beating around the bush since there’s only one pick to win this year’s NBA Coach of the Year award – and that would be none other than Toronto’s Nick Nurse. Despite losing superstar leader Kawhi Leonard after he led the franchise to a stunning upset of Golden State in last season’s NBA Finals, Toronto has remained one of the best teams in the league and it’s been no accident. Nurse has been absolutely masterful in leading his team in a new direction as Pascal Siakim, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet have become the central figures of a raptors team that has looked like a real finals contender all season long. At the hiatus continues, Toronto has the league’s third best record (46-18) and No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. All of that talk about Toronto taking a big step backwards this season has been complete hogwash and that’s in large part because of the coaching of Nick Nurse.

  • Pick Coach Of the Year NBA Odds: Nick Nurse – Toronto Raptors

Rookie Of The Year NBA Odds

This one is a no-brainer as well with electrifying Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant the easy winner of the Rookie of the Year Award. The former Murray State floor leader and No. 2 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft is averaging 17.6 points and 6.9 assists per game while shooting a blistering 49.1 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Just as important as his highlight reel making plays has been his singularly focused desire on winning which has the Grizz in the eighth and final spot in the race for a playoff berth in the loaded Western Conference. While Zion Williamson looks like he’s going to have a fine career, he’s also played in just 19 games and that’s not nearly enough for him to win this award even if he is putting up an impressive 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

  • Pick Rookie Of The Year NBA Odds: – Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies

Sixth Man of the Year NBA Odds

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Dennis Schröder has averaged double digits in scoring in six straight seasons, including the 19.4 points per game he put up for Atlanta in 2017-18. Still as the Thunder’s sixth man, the 2013 first round draft pick has found a new lease on life be coming off the bench to put up 19.0 points per game on while shooting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc.  Schröder leads all reserves in points off the bench per game and looks like the guy that will bring Lou Williams’ two-year reign as Sixth Man of the Year Award to a screeching halt.

  • Pick Sixth Man of the Year NBA Odds: Dennis Schröder – Oklahoma City Thunder

MVP NBA Odds

Sure, there’s been a groundswell of support for LeBron James to win this award seeing as how the four-time league MVP is putting up 27.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game in his 17th season, but for me, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is my pick to claim his second straight league MVP award. The Greek Freak is averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while adding one steal and one block per game this season. Simply put, Antetokounmpo is the best player on the best team in the league and he does all of this without the help of a legitimate second superstar sidekick.

  • Pick MVP NBA Odds: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

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The Most Defining Moments of the NBA 2020 Season

The 2019-20 NBA season might be on hold as the covid-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, but even if the league’s current campaign doesn’t resume, basketball fans and betting enthusiasts everywhere have had a wild ride of a season that will go down as one of the most memorable ever for, both, its, on-court exploits and off-court headline-making events. The 74th season is league history began on October 22, 2019 and was suspended on March 11, 2020. Now, Let’s get started with a look at the league’s most defining moments this season.

The Most Defining Moments of the NBA 2020 Season

Opening Night

LeBron Vs. Kawhi I

The Lakers and Clippers square off in their first meeting on opening night and it didn’t disappoint as Kawhi Leonard and the new-look Clippers subdued LeBron James and the similarly new-look Lakers 112-102. While new Laker Anthony Davis scored a team-high 30 points and James added 28 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, Paul George scored a game-high 31 points while Leonard added 27 in the convincing win. Message delivered.

Impressive Openings

In the Eastern Conference, Atlanta Hawks young point guard Trae Young went off to win Player of the Week honors while Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl Anthony Towns displayed a new three-point shot that won him the award out west.

Over the next five weeks, four different players in both conferences would have monster weeks to win the award including Giannis Antetokounmpo (twice) and James Harden (twice). Then, in December, Jimmy Butler and the blossoming Bam Adebayo would go ‘back-to-back’ to claim Player of the Week in the east before Kyle Lowry, Jaylen Brown and the Greek Freak closed out the month with a bang. Out west, after Luka Doncic made his presence felt with a string of triple-doubles and Carmelo Anthony had a monster week in Portland, Davis and James won consecutive Player of the Week honors before Dennis Schröder and Brandon Ingram would add their names to the Player of the Week role call while James capped off the month with his second standout week.

To kick off January, Josh Richardson and Ben Simmons won consecutive Play of the Week honors for Philadelphia while Toronto’s  Pascal Siakim and Boston’s Jaylen Brown has monster weeks to cap off the month. Out west, Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard won back to back Player of the Week honors before an absolutely stunning, record-setting run by Portland superstar point guard Damian Lillard won him consecutive Player of the Weeks awards out west to cap off the month.

Christmas Gifts Delivered

The NBA’s Christmas Day lineup of five games didn’t disappoint and a handful of ‘presents’ were delivered that day. The Celtics took out Toronto in a matchup of two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia stunned Milwaukee as Joel Embiid had a monster game. The reloading Warriors pulled off the big upset over James Harden and the offensive-minded Rockets and New Orleans upset Denver in a stunner. However, the game everyone really wanted to see didn’t disappoint as the Clippers beat the Lakers for the second time 111-106, More importunately, Kawhi Leonard was clearly the best player on the floor as he put up 35 points and 12 rebounds while LeBron James was limited to 23 points and Anthony Davis, 24 points.

Lillard Lights It Up

Beginning with a stupendous 61-point explosion against Golden State on Jan. 20, Lillard scored a mesmerizing 293 points over the next six games while dropping 47 on Dallas, 50 against Indiana, 48 against the Lakers and 51 against Utah. Lillard’s 49 3-pointers during his streak were the most of any six-game stretch in NBA history. Lillard joined James Harden and Kobe Bryant as the only players to score at least 293 points over a six-game span in the last 20 years.

Kobe Bryant Dies

Tragically, the NBA was rocked on the morning of Jan. 26, when reports of Kobe Bryant’s death came out. The NBA legend along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers all perished in a helicopter crash, in Calabasas that sent shock waves throughout the league.  No games were postponed outside the Lakers’ meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers, but there were tributes for Bryant throughout the league and across the globe.

Zion Debuts

After being forced to miss the start of the season because of a knee injury, No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson made his debut for the New Orleans Pelicans by putting up 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and five turnovers in 18 minutes in a narrow, 121-117 loss to San Antonio.

The All-Star Game

With everyone connected to the NBA still in mourning over the loss of Bryant, the league implemented some new rules at this year’s all-star game that made the annual affair a lot better and far more competitive than we’ve seen in past years. After three quarters of play, 24 points—in honor of Bryant—were added to the leading team’s total to create the target score to attain. With no shot clock in the final frame, the Elam ending was a huge success as Team LeBron eked out a narrow 157-155 win over Team Giannis.

Jayson Tatum Reaches Next Level

Starting with a 41-point effort against New Orleans on Jan. 11 Boston Celtics all-star forward Jayson Tatum started heating up in a big way. However, it was on Feb. 1 that the blossoming young star started going completely bonkers with a 25-point night against Philly. In 12 games during the month, Tatum scored 30 or more six times while putting up a career-high 41 against LeBron James and the Lakers in a nationally-televised showdown on Feb. 23. For the month of February,

Tatum averaged a stellar 30.7 points per game to become the fifth player in team history to average 30 points a game in one month, with a minimum of 10 games played. Tatum joins the legendary Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Paul Pierce and the late John Havlicek as the only players to accomplish the feat.

This season, Tatum is averaging a career-high 23.5 points per game. He also holds the distinction of being the first player in NBA history to hold career averages of more than 17.0 points per game in the regular season and 17.0 points per game in the postseason for a player under the age of 21.

LeBron Vs. Kawhi III

On March 8, you’d think the Lakers would have won the championship after beating the Clippers for the first time in three meetings, 112-103 as LeBron James put up 28, 8 and 9 and Anthony Davis contributed a team-high 30 points. Paul George (31) and Kawhi Leonard (27) also combined for 58 points in the loss.

Rudy Gobert Tests Positive – Season Suspended

On March 11, the NBA suspended its regular season after Utah jazz all-star center and two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. The test result came just ahead of tip-off for the Jazz’s game at the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game was canceled.

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NBA Denver Nuggets 2020 Season Analysis

After their stunning regular season success a year ago and ensuing failures in last season’s playoff, the Denver Nuggets entered the 2019-20 NBA regular season with one goal in mind. Winning the Western Conference championship. While Denver remains a legitimate title contender out west, they’ve also been surpassed by two teams, both in the standings and in oddsmakers eyes as potential conference and NBA Finals champions. While the current regular season is on hold as we come to grips with the covid-19 pandemic, if and when the 2019-20 regular season does get underway, the Nuggets will be looking to push a pair of western conference powerhouses to the side in order to reach their intended destination. With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at what’s gone down for Denver already this season and what could lie ahead if or when the regular season resumes. Here’s an overview of the Denver Nuggets 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

NBA Denver Nuggets 2020 Season Analysis

Denver Nuggets Offensive Analysis

Denver ranks an uninspiring 20th in scoring (110.4 ppg) despite ranking an impressive sixth in field goal shooting percentage (47.1%) and decent 15th in three-point shooting percentage (35.8%). All-star center Nikola Jokic is putting up a team-high 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists while gifted shooting guard Jamal Murray is adding 18.8 points per contest. Will Barton, Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant also average double figures in scoring for the Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets Defensive Analysis

The Nuggets have been rock-solid defensively in limiting the opposition to 107.4 points per game (8th) while ranking a modest 14th in field goal shooting defense (45.9%) and eighth in three-point field goal defense (34.6%). Four players average at least 1.1 steals per game while three others are just off that figure.

Denver Nuggets Offseason Movements

Signed coach Michael Malone to a contract extension through the 2022-23 season. Agreed to terms with F Vlatko Cancara on a multiyear contract. Signed G Jamal Murray to the five-year contract extension, through the 2024-25 season. Obtained F Jerami Grant from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2020 first round pick. Waived G Gerald Green.

Denver Nuggets Prediction

The Nuggets have been rock-solid at home (25-8), but they’ve struggled on the road in going just 18-14. Still, Denver has gone 26-13 against their Western Conference rivals although they were struggling by going just 5-5 over their last 10 games before the league’s suspension.

While the Nuggets have a real superstar in the do-it-all Jokic, Denver really needs Jamal Murray to take the next step toward all-star status and they could definitely use more depth on the bench. I’d personally like to see young power forward Michael Porter Jr. get more playing time, but outside of that, the Nuggets just don’t have the quality depth they need on the bench in order to take down conference rivals like the Lakers and Clippers and possibly some other offensively explosive teams like Houston or even Dallas. Last but not least, the current suspension could be a good thing for a Nuggets team that has seen Paul Millsap miss 21 games, Porter Jr. miss 17 contests and talented backup shooting guard Malik Beasley miss 24 contests.

If the Nuggets can improve their offensive production, they could challenge both of their Los Angeles-based conference rivals, but I’m thinking that’s a stretch, simply because they don’t have a second all-star on the roster or many players that create their own shot off the dribble. Another 50-win season was a near lock before the hiatus, but in the end, no matter how hard I try to envision it, I just can’t see the Nuggets making the jump to conference champions.

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NBA Utah Jazz 2020 Season Analysis

The Utah Jazz have been a perennially-solid franchise that has reached the postseason in each of the last three seasons and eight of the last 13 overall. Along the way, the Jazz have won six of their eight first round playoff series while reaching the western conference semis in two of the last three seasons. However, following their first round smackdown loss against Houston last season, the Jazz entered the 2019-20 campaign resolving to take the next step toward being a legitimate NBA Finals contender. Here’s an overview of the Utah Jazz 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

Utah Jazz 2020 Season Analysis

While the current regular season is on hiatus, if or when the NBA does get back underway, the Jazz will be looking to resume their quest to claim the western conference crown. With that thought in mind, let’s find out what’s gone down for Utah so far this season and what could lie ahead for the championship hopefuls.

Utah Jazz Offensive Analysis

The Jazz are currently 41-23 and in second place in the northwest division and fourth place in the western conference playoff standings. Offensively, Utah is ranked a modest 17th in scoring (111.0 ppg), fourth in field goal shooting percentage (47.5%) and second in three-point shooting (38.3%). All-star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell is putting up a team-high 24.2 points per game while sweet-shooting forward Bojan Bogdanovic is putting up 20-2 points per contest in 41.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Veterans Jordan Clarkson and Rudy Gobert both average an identical 15.1 points per game.

Utah Jazz Defensive Analysis

The Jazz have been solid, if not quite as good as they’ve been in the past defensively. Utah ranks ninth in points allowed (107.9 ppg), 11th in field goal shooting defense (45.2%) and 12th in three-point defense (35.1%). Defensively, the Jazz are led by the reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert who averages 13.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.

Utah Jazz Offseason Movements

Traded Dante Exum for Jordan Clarkson. Signed Juwan Morgan as a free agent. Signed Isaac Hayes as a free agent. Waiver forward Mike Scott. Waived guard Trevon Bluiett.

Utah Jazz Prediction

Utah has been equally impressive in going 21-10 at home and 20-13 on the road this season. While the Jazz went 5-5 in their last 10 games before the league suspension, they did manage to win five of their last six and nine of their last 14 games overall while taking out the likes of the playoff-bound Rockets, Mavs and Celtics along the way. Still though, Utah has lost their way defensively by allowing 113 points or more nine times over their last 14 games.

For a team that routinely relied on shutting down their opponents and one that is offensively limited outside the quartet of Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson, it’s not a good sign for if or when the regular season resumes.  In the end, I’m expecting Utah’s playoff run to come to a crashing halt against one of the western conference’s better offensive ballclubs, much like each of their last three playoff appearances.

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NBA Sacramento Kings 2020 Season Analysis

The Sacramento Kings haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season and most likely aren’t going to this year, either, as they have taken a small step back under first-year coach Luke Walton. The Kings were 28-36 before the NBA season was postponed. Here’s an overview of their season. Here’s an overview of the Sacramento Kings 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

NBA Sacramento Kings 2020 Season Analysis

Sacramento Kings Team Analysis

The Kings sure look like they blew it by firing coach Dave Joerger after last season and replacing him with Luke Walton. After all, Kings last year had their winningest season since 2005-06. The veteran coach posted a 39-43 record in his final year at the helm of the Kings and a 98-143 record overall.

Sacramento got off to a horrible start under Walton, whom GM Vlade Divac had wanted to interview Walton for the opening three years ago before hiring Joerger but never got that chance as Walton took the job with the Lakers instead. He wasn’t going to miss his chance again. Divac called Walton one of his basketball “soul mates,” who embraces the same philosophies in style of play and building culture on a team. They were teammates on the Lakers in 2004-05.

To be fair to Walton, the Kings were playing a lot better in the past few weeks to make a playoff push. They team has dealt with some injuries as well, mainly to forward Marvin Bagley III. Bagley, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, has appeared in only 13 games this season, averaging 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds.

It was questionable whether Bagley would play again this season as entering the suspension of play he had missed 29 of the last 33 games due to a left midfoot sprain. Bagley had not been ruled out for the remainder of the season, but there was still no timetable for his return. Perhaps Bagley might be able play when the season does return. Bagley was on the All-Rookie first team in the 2018-19 season, averaging 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Underrated big man Richaun Holmes also missed several games with a shoulder injury but had returned right before the break. In one game this season, Holmes became the first Kings player to total nine or more rebounds on the offensive end since DeMarcus Cousins who had 10 offensive rebounds on Mar. 24, 2015. Holmes has posted 20 points and 15 rebounds in two games this season, which is the most by a Kings player since Cousins had seven games.

Sacramento Kings Key Numbers & Key Players

Sacramento and Oklahoma City are the only teams this season with two wins in games where they faced a deficit of 20+ points. Since returning from the All-Star break, the Kings were 7-3. They were one of six teams with at least seven wins since coming back from the break; the Kings are tied for the fourth highest winning percentage after the All-Star break.

In those 10 games, the Kings were averaging 114.8 points, 24.4 assists, 8.6 steals and just 12.7 turnovers per game, and are tied fourth in turnovers per game over that span. The Kings have been solid defensively over the 10-game period, posting a defensive rating of 110.1 over which is 11th in the NBA during that time as opponents are averaging just 111.5 points per game. The Kings also rank ninth in the NBA in free throws made per game since returning from the All-Star break as Sacramento is averaging 19.3 made free throws per game over that stretch.

Point guard De’Aron Fox is one of five players this season to record 25 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in consecutive games along with Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Lakers forward LeBron James and Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Fox is currently averaging 20.4 points, 6.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game and could join Reggie Theus as the only players in franchise history to post 17.0 points, 7.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game in multiple seasons while appearing in 58 games or more. Fox could also become the fifth player to average 20.0 points and 7.0 assists per game in at least 58 games in franchise history and the first since Theus averaged 20.3 points and 8.8 assists per game during the 1986-87 season. Fox could become the first Kings player to average to 7.0 assists per game in back-to-back seasons since Kenny Smith (1987-89).

Buddy Hield has totaled 244 makes from 3-point range this season, second in the NBA. Hield is on pace to make 313 3-point field goals, which would surpass his previous franchise record of 278 treys as the fourth-year guard, Rockets guard James Harden, Heat forward Duncan Robinson and Hield are the only players this season on pace to make 300+ 3s in a single season. Only two players in NBA history.

Hield is just the fourth player in franchise history to make 700 3-point field goals and he has the most 3s by a player through their first four seasons eclipsing Damian Lillard (828) on Mar. 3 vs. Washington. In his 296th career game vs. San Antonio on Jan. 8, Hield made nine 3-point field goals to become the quickest player to reach 800 3-pointers as Stephen Curry was previously the record holder as it took him 305 career games.

Sacramento Kings Playoffs panorama and Championship Odds

If the playoffs started today, the Kings would not be in the field. Sacramento, which is 3.5 games behind No. 8 Memphis in the West, is +100000 to win an NBA title.

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NBA New Orleans Pelicans 2020 Season Analysis

This season is going to be a success for the New Orleans Pelicans regardless because they have a future superstar in rookie Zion Williamson and did quite well in the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers. The Pelicans were 28-36 before the NBA season was postponed. Here’s an overview of their season. Here’s an overview of the New Orleans Pelicans 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

NBA New Orleans Pelicans 2020 Season Analysis

New Orleans Pelicans Team Analysis

The Pelicans were making their final push for the playoffs when the league was suspended. New Orleans had won eight of its past 13 games and was looking at a favorable schedule over the league’s final month. In that span, Zion Williamson was averaging 25.9 points per game on 61.0% shooting, while Lonzo Ball was averaging 14.2 points while shooting 46.3% from deep.

This season almost is irrelevant because the Pelicans are on the rise behind the rookie Williamson and a breakout season from Brandon Ingram, part of the Anthony Davis trade from the Lakers. While New Orleans isn’t likely to reach the playoffs this summer, this is a potential powerhouse in two seasons.

Zion already is one of the most popular players in the NBA and showed his leadership by pledging to cover the salaries of all Smoothie King Center workers in New Orleans for 30 days following the NBA suspension: “My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have,” Williamson said with his pledge. “These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus.” Very cool!

The rookie entered the NBA like a wrecking ball after suffering a preseason injury that required surgery and has not looked back. Williamson is averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds while thrilling crowds nightly with his highlight reel dunks. He is 17.3 points in the paint, ranked 2nd in the NBA; 4.4 second-chance points, ranked 4th in the NBA; and 4.2 fast-break points, ranked 6th in the NBA.

JJ Redick (hamstring) will likely be healthy by the time the season resumes, and that could mean a near-complete roster for New Orleans — outside of Darius Miller’s Achilles injury — for the first time all season. Redick was injured in late February and like to miss at least three weeks. He ranks 14th in the NBA in 3.0 three-pointers made per game and second in three-point field goal percentage (45.2).

New Orleans Pelicans Key Numbers & Key Players

Williamson became the first rookie since Michael Jordan to post 16 20-point games within their first 20 career games. Zion was the first teenager in NBA history to record three 30-point games in their first 15 career games. He needed the third-fewest total games played (14) needed for his first 10-game streak with 20 points, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain and Elvin Hayes (10 each) and George Mikan (11).

Zion had the 4th fewest games needed for his first career 30-point game, and the fastest since Allen Iverson (1996-97). Williamson also became the third player with seven 20-point games in his first 10 career games over the last 30 seasons, joining Grant Hill and Shaquille O’Neal, and the first player since Ron Harper (1986-87) to do it within his first 9 games.

Ingram was the likely Most Improved Player in the NBA. Ingram was on pace this season to cement career-highs in points (24.3), 3-point shooting (38.7%), rebounds (6.3), assists (4.3) and minutes (34.8). After posting at least 17 points, five rebounds and five assists in a combined seven games through his first three NBA seasons, Ingram accomplished that feat 17 times this season.

In the 17 games that the Pelicans have started Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Ingram, Williamson and Derrick Favors, that line has shown it can be among the best in the league. That group holds an offensive rating of 117.9, which is the 11th best five-man lineup in the NBA with at least 100 minutes together and would rank 2.0 points higher than the best ranked offensive team in the NBA (Dallas – 115.9).

Those five hold a defensive rating of 91.6, which is the 2nd best five-man lineup in the NBA that has played at least 100 minutes together, and is 10.0 points lower than the best ranked defensive team in the NBA (Milwaukee – 101.6).

Their net rating of 26.3, which is the 2nd best among five-man lineups with at least 100 minutes played together, and is 15.6 points higher than the highest rated net rating for teams in the NBA (Milwaukee – 10.7

New Orleans Pelicans Playoffs panorama and Championship Odds

If the playoffs started today, the Pelicans would not be in the field. New Orleans, which is 3.5 games behind No. 8 Memphis in the West, is +10000 to win an NBA title.

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NBA Portland Trail Blazers 2020 Season Analysis

The Portland Trail Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals last season, but took a big step back this year for a few reasons – including injuries. One of the West’s biggest disappointments for sure. The Blazers were 29-37 before the NBA season was postponed. Here’s an overview of their season. Here’s an overview of the Portland Trail Blazers 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

NBA Portland Trail Blazers 2020 Season Analysis

Portland Trail Blazers Team Analysis

Portland has one of the NBA’s best backcourts in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but they are thin up front and that’s a big reason why the team has underachieved. Top center Jusuf Nurkic was hurt late last season and hadn’t played yet this season – but was expected to debut on March 15 so that’s a cruel irony with the season being suspended.

On March 25, 2019, the Trail Blazers were engaged in a brutal double-overtime game at home against the Brooklyn Nets. With under three minutes remaining in the game, Nurkic fell to the ground, his lower left leg twisted at an unnatural angle. Nurkic suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula, similar to an injury suffered by Paul George in 2014 when he was playing for the Pacers.

The skilled 7-footer averaged 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line last season. Nurkic had 36 double-doubles and one triple-double in 2018-19.

The Blazers also have dealt with serious injuries to Zach Collins and Rodney Hood this year. Collins dislocated his shoulder in the third quarter of a game in Dallas on Oct. 27. He had surgery and was set to miss four months; in theory, if the season resumes he should be ready.  The 21-year-old averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in three games.

Hood suffered a torn Achilles in early December vs. the Lakers that ended his season. Hood was having one the best seasons of his career, averaging 11.5 points per game while shooting 49% on 3-pointers, third-best in the NBA.

Portland Trail Blazers Key Numbers & Key Players

Portland is 4-0 this season when four players score 20-plus points. It last happened on March 10 when Lillard (25 points), (22 points), Trevor Ariza (22 points) and Carmelo Anthony (21 points) all hit the mark.

Lillard shot 3-of-5 from 30 feet or further against at the Suns on March 10. For the season, Lillard is shooting 43.0% on those shots (49-of-114). His 49 three-pointers from 30 feet or further lead the NBA. Lillard ranks fourth in the NBA in three-pointers made (226). His 226 three-pointers are the fourth-most in a season in franchise history. He needs 12 three-pointers to break his own franchise record for three-pointers in a season (237, 2018-19).

Lillard scored at least 20 points in 23 straight games from Jan. 3-March 6, representing the longest streak of his career and the fourth-longest streak in franchise history. Lillard has scored at least 20 points 50 times this season, which is tied for the second-most in the NBA. His seven games with 40-plus points this season are tied for the fourth-most in the NBA and are tied for the most by a Portland player in a season in team history (Clyde Drexler, 1988-89).

Finally, Lillard averaged 48.8 points (54.8% FG, 57.0% 3-PT, 92.3% FT), 7.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists over the six games from Jan. 20 to Feb. 1. He totaled 293 points in that six-game span, which is tied for the third-most points in a six-game span since the NBA/ABA merger ahead of the 1976-77 season. Lillard is one of six players in NBA history with multiple career games of 60-plus points and is one of 10 players in NBA history with nine or more games of 50-plus points.

Lillard is fifth in the NBA in scoring (28.9) and ranks sixth in the league in assists (7.8). McCollum ranks 18th in the league in scoring (22.5). Hassan Whiteside ranks second in the league in rebounds (14.2), is first in blocks (3.07) and is sixth in field goal percentage (61.8%).

Whiteside is riding a streak of 14 straight double-doubles. His 51 double-doubles are the second-most in the NBA this season and the fourth-most in a season in Trail Blazers history (54, Mychal Thompson, 1981-82). His 14 double-doubles in a row are tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history (34, Bill Walton, 1976-77).

Portland Trail Blazers Playoffs panorama and Championship Odds

If the playoffs started today, the Blazers would not be in the field. Portland, which is 3.5 games behind No. 8 Memphis in the West, is a +20000 long shot to win an NBA title.

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NBA Boston Celtics 2020 Season Analysis

It is more than a little frustrating to be locked up at home with no sports to watch and wager on. We are all adopting a wait and see attitude and hoping that this coronavirus scare blows over sooner rather than later. There is currently no return date being floated by the NBA, although there is talk that we are potentially looking at May before we get to see the players return to action. Whether that is to play out the remaining season and playoffs remains to be seen, as it may end up simply being a truncated version of the season that goes into play. Everything is up in the air at the moment, but what we can talk about is the games that have already been played. We are going to be looking at all the teams in the NBA and how things have gone for them this season, so let’s get the ball rolling with the Boston Celtics. Here’s an overview of the Boston Celtics 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

NBA Boston Celtics 2020 Season Analysis

Boston Celtics Season So Far

The Boston Celtics had, by their own admission, a bit of a down season last year, winning a total of 49 games. They are currently sitting at 43-21 this year, so well on pace to surpass that total from last season. Given that we all had an idea that the Milwaukee Bucks might dominate in the Eastern Conference this season, Boston were realistically looking at the #2 seed in the conference. They are sitting in the #3 slot right now, 3 games back of the Raptors in second. Boston has been solid both at home and on the road. They have gone 23-9 in their own building this season, while compiling a 20-12 record away from home. They are 27-10 in conference play, but they have struggled a little in their division, going 7-6.

Boston Celtics Key Season Stats and Personnel

Much like the Toronto Raptors, the Boston Celtics are relying heavily on their work on the defensive end of the court to get the job down. That is not to suggest that they are poor offensively, as their 113.00 PPG has them in 11th in scoring. Jayson Tatum is at the top of the scoring stats for the Celtics, averaging 23.6 PPG. He is joined by Kemba Walker, who has 4.9 assists per game to lead that category for the Celtics. Gordon Hayward leads in FG% at 50.2.

As mentioned earlier, the Celtics have been very good in their own end of the court, holding opponents to an average of 106.8 PPG, which is good enough for second in the NBA in that category. Enes Kanter is leading the way for the Celtics in rebounding with 7.7 per game. Marcus Smart is the leader in steals, while Daniel Theis leads the way in blocks per game.

How do the Bookies View the Toronto Raptors?

The Boston Celtics are one of only three teams in the east to have clinched a playoff spot at this point, so they do need to be considered a legitimate threat. All roads are likely to run through Milwaukee, so the Celtics are still a bit of a longer shot at +1500.

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