Tag Archive for: NBA

New LeBron James Record — 2nd to score 38,000 career points

The greatness of LeBron James is difficult to express with ordinary statistics. However, some numbers are too significant to ignore. On the evening of January 15, 2023, “The Chosen One” surpassed 38,000 career points. Along the way, he beat the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O’Neal in NBA scoring. 

Ahead of him in this indicator in entire history, there was only one basketball player – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. From the record of the eternal legend of the Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers, and the whole league, LeBron is now a little more than 300 points. 

How It Was

LeBron James conquered the achievement in the 2022/23 NBA regular season home game. The Philadelphia 76ers played against the Lakers at Staples Center. 

To break Abdul-Jabbar’s record, LeBron had only 11 points to chalk up before the starting whistle. Despite the excellent position of the opponent in the Atlantic Division, no one had any doubts that this figure was achievable against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Therefore, this match aroused great interest among betting enthusiasts. By the way, betting on similar events at the bookmaker www.bodog.eu/sports/basketball/nba is open to European users.

 

It didn’t take long to get the desired result. Already towards the end of the 1st quarter, “The Chosen One” scored the most crucial goal for the record in a jump, being close to the three-point line. A two-point shot brought his team a slight lead – 20:17. However, it was impossible to maintain and develop the advantage. The match ended with a score of 113:112 in favor of the guests from Philadelphia. 

Therefore, despite the historical success and good personal statistics (35 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds), LeBron was not satisfied with the evening. In a post-match interview, he lamented the failure to secure a win, even though the Lakers were able to put on some good basketball.

Relationship Between LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

As you know, the symbols of the past and present of the Los Angeles Lakers are not eager to communicate with each other. The last time LeBron was asked if he kept in touch with the star of previous generations, the basketball player was relatively straightforward. He stated that he had no communication or thoughts on this matter with Karim. 

Basketball fans remember the chronicle of one clash of positions between two legends in the media. During the coronavirus outbreak, Abdul-Jabbar said that LeBron should have shown more responsibility in the issue of vaccination against COVID-19. 

This opinion caused dissatisfaction with “The Chosen One.” However, this did not develop into a severe conflict: Karim apologized promptly, and the story was gradually forgotten.

Extreme differences in the players’ personalities speak in favor of the fact that no genuine rapprochement is expected. LeBron did not develop in the conditions that the stars of previous generations found. He is accustomed to the all-pervading attention of the media and communication with celebrities from other spheres. He understands well the importance of how he is represented on social networks.

The image of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is seriously different. His formation fell in the era of more brutal basketball. He was educated at the University of California, grew up during the civil rights movement, and is now a successful poet.

However, one can speak of an actual confrontation only in the context of the expected drop in the record. Despite their differences of opinion, both figures important to the NBA’s legacy show each other due respect and neutrality. Of course, whether their relationship will develop depends largely on their reaction to Abdul-Jahar to the fall of his record (if it takes place). 

When Will LeBron Break Kareem’s Record?

The official statistics of the NBA recorded that in the last match of his career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left the floor with a total of 38,387 points. After playing the Philadelphia 76ers on January 15, 2023, King James has accumulated 38,072 points. Simple arithmetic shows that at the time of this writing, LeBron only needs 316 points to beat Abdul-Jabbar. 

It is convenient to keep track of current changes on the ESPN counter, the indicators updated from game to game.

Basketball experts believe the record will fall even before the end of the 2022/2023 season in the NBA. Of the significant reasons that can prevent this, we can single out the absence of games due to injuries. 

What will happen if LeBron keeps up with the pace of scoring this season? Then the current performance record will be updated in early February 2023.

It is amazing how close and accurate the onset of this event is. LeBron admitted that before the start of the 22/23 season, he had to seriously think about how close he was to the milestone of 38,000 points. According to him, the pressure on him was added by the fact that most of the NBA audience at that time considered this mark unattainable even for King James. 

LeBron’s current contract with the Los Angeles Lakers ends in 2025. Will the debate about its effectiveness continue when this period expires? And if so, will the King, by the end of this period, have enough physical capabilities and motivation to fight the opinion of those experts who continue to challenge the significance of his sniper achievements? Regardless of the answers, great statistics will remain in history, which you can still increase.

 

Reasons Stephen Curry is the best offensive player in NBA history

 

LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the three biggest names in basketball history. All three players in this discourse are basketball players who have scored more than 30,000 points. Though Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has a long way to go before he reaches that goal, he should be regarded as a more potent offensive weapon than any other player in the NBA. And when it comes to NBA, there is a huge popularity of this amazon the online gaming fans. Are you one of them? If so, FanDuel Ohio can be interesting for you. 

 

Therefore, this article will give you reasons why Steph Curry is the greatest offensive basketball player of all time. So let’s get started! 

3 Reasons Stephen Curry is the best offensive player in NBA history

Here are three reasons why Curry is the greatest offensive player in NBA history:

Stephen Curry is the all-time greatest attacking weapon

 

In the NBA, many players have the ability to score points. Curry is unique because he has a talent that no one else in the league possesses: his three-point shots are so accurate they’re almost impossible for other players to defend against.

When Curry gets into the paint, a defense must guard him but it frequently doesn’t matter whether you have one or two guys on him. He’ll demand payment from either situation.

 

In his career, Curry has averaged more than 25 points six times and more than 30 points a game twice. He holds the record for most 3-pointers made in NBA history: he averages 24.3 per game and shoots about 43% from behind the arc.

 

He has averaged over 20 points per game in each of his 10 NBA seasons. It doesn’t take him many shots to get there, but the majority of his damage is still caused by extremely talented teams and not volume shooting.

Everyone has an issue with him

 

Stephen Curry, who is known for his long-range shots, initiated a shot called the Logo 3. The attempt proved problematic not just for defenders but also for video game developers; trying to make it work was tricky business. Curry routinely hits improbable shots, but usually, that’s because other people are hitting impossible ones.

 

Curry changed the game, but only by successfully replicating his offensive successes in real life. That strengthens his argument as the best offensive weapon.

Take Him as a Threat

 

When Stephen Curry grabs a rebound and crosses half-court, he is a danger. Defenses must place their best defenders on him for almost 94 feet. In spite of defenses focusing on stopping him, he frequently creates scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Curry is a constant threat on the open floor, and he presents unique challenges because of it. No other elite scorer moves as quickly or efficiently on the court as Curry does, and that versatility makes him extra dangerous off-ball.

 

Steph Curry is the hardest player to defend alone because defenders are frequently humiliated. He has become a dominant ball handler and humiliates opponents with his skill.

Final Words

 

Although LeBron James and Larry Bird are the only players in NBA history to score at a rate comparable with that of Curry, neither of them ever moved off the ball like he does or handled it as well.

 

Stephen Curry is a tremendously talented player, who does many things well on the offensive end of the court. His ability to shoot threes and distribute for his teammates makes him one of the greatest offensive threats in NBA history, regardless of position or era.

Top 5 Power Forwards The Miami Heat Can Realistically Acquire

With the first month of the NBA season on the cusp of the end, it lies pretty clear what one of the struggles of the Miami Heat is, and that’s the starting power forward position. 

Although Caleb Martin’s numbers have been solid overall, and he is a good asset for the Heat, there is one thing he lacks, which is height. 

At 6’5 Caleb Martin is one of the shorter Power Forwards in the league, the Heat are currently 16th in the league for rebounding.

The Miami Heat currently average 39.4 rebounds a game, which is less than last years 2021-22 season, where we averaged 43.7, so this list is going to show 5 Power Forwards the Miami Heat can realistically trade for.

 

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Jae Crowder

1 of 5

                

Miami Heat Receive: PF Jae Crowder, PF Dario Šarić

Phoenix Suns Receive: SG Duncan Robinson, 2023 first-round pick (unprotected)

 

How The Trade Benefits Miami

Even though it is hard to give away the 2023 unprotected first-round draft pick. 

The Heat trading for Jae Crowder and Dario Šarić benefits Miami in not only reuniting Jae Crowder, who was a good role-player and defender on the 2019-20 Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat, with the team. 

It also adds another PF in Dario Šarić who is a taller, three-point shooting big who just two to three years ago, in the 2019-2020 season was averaging 6.2 rebounds a game. 

The trade also frees up the contract situation with Duncan Robinson for Miami, as he still has three years left on his 5-year 90M deal, and both Crowder and Šarić are on the last year of their contracts.

 

How The Trade Benefits Phoenix

Phoenix not only will be getting the unprotected first-round draft pick that Miami has in 2023, but they will be receiving Duncan Robinson in the trade as well.

Duncan Robinson has a career average three-point percentage of 40.2%, as of right now the Suns have the 8th best three-point shooting percentage in the NBA, at 37.9%.

Even though trading for Robinson can be seen as a risky move, he potentially can add three-point shooting off the Suns bench, to help increase their already good three-point percentage.

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P.J. Washington

2 of 5

                       

Miami Heat Receive: PF P.J. Washington

Charlotte Hornets Receive: C Dewayne Dedmon, PF Nikola Jović

 

How The Trade Benefits Miami

Although losing the new-rookie in Nikola Jović maybe isn’t the ideal choice, this trade does bring in an athletic stretch-big in P.J. Washington, who is only 24, and is averaging 15.1 points per-game, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists with the Charlotte Hornets. 

With Dewayne Dedmon no longer on the team after this trade, it also allows Omer Yurtseven to get a chance to make an impact off the bench for the Heat.

This trade also wouldn’t be allowed to happen until January 15th, due to Dewayne Dedmon being on a recently-signed restriction, and because he re-signed using Bird rights with a 20% raise in salary and the Heat are over the cap.

 

How The Trade Benefits Charlotte

This trade allows the Hornets to get younger with adding Nikola Jović, who is only 19 years old, and also gives them the chance to help develop the rookie from Leicester, England as much as they can.

During the 2021-22 season with KK Mega Basket, a men’s professional basketball club based in Belgrade, Serbia, where Jović played before he got drafted. Jović averaged 11.7 points while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 35.6 percent on threes, 75.4 percent from the free throw line, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists to 2.7 turnovers and 0.4 blocks per game in 25 appearances.

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Julius Randle

3 of 5

 

Miami Heat Receive: PF Julius Randle

New York Knicks Receive: C Omer Yurtseven, SG Duncan Robinson, PF Nikola Jović

 

How The Trade Benefits Miami

The Miami Heat have always been known as a team who chooses not to tank, as well as also being known to be a win-now team, so although we would lose two young and promising players, in Omer Yurtseven and Nikola Jović, we would be receiving the Knicks current star-player in Julius Randle.

Randle as of right now, although having early season struggles, averages 21.3 points per-game, 9.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists so far in this 2022-23 season.

Julius Randle also helped lead the Knicks to the playoffs in the 2020-21 season.

 

How The Trade Benefits New York

The Knicks in this trade, would receive 2 young players, in Omer Yurtseven and Nikola Jović, which they can help develop, as Yurtseven is currently 24 years old, and Jović is currently 19 years old.

Along with receiving the guard, Duncan Robinson who averages 40.2%, from the three-point line, for his career.

New York would be getting younger, and can use a bit of a restart by trading Randle, after failing to make the playoffs last year, having a record under .500,  with 37 wins and 45 losses.

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Lauri Markkanen

4 of 5

              

Miami Heat Receive: PF Lauri Markkanen

Utah Jazz Receive: C Omer Yurtseven, SG Duncan Robinson, 2023 first-round pick (unprotected)

 

How The Trade Benefits Miami

Lauri Markkanen has found himself with the Jazz, as he is currently averaging 21.3 points per-game, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists so far in this 2022-23 season. 

Lauri Markkanen is averaging better numbers than he had in his one-year stunt with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. 

Markkanen could help space the floor with Bam Adebayo, as Markkanen would play his role as a three-point shooting stretch-big.

 

How The Trade Benefits Utah

The Jazz over the off-season traded the former three-time defensive player of the year, Rudy Gobert, this trade would allow Utah to help develop Omer Yurtseven into the next center for the Jazz’s future.

The Jazz will also be getting Duncan Robinson, who can bring in some firepower from deep off the bench for Utah.

All while giving Utah the unprotected first-round draft pick, that Miami has in 2023, which will add another to the Jazz’s huge pick stash.

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John Collins

5 of 5

                                   

Miami Heat Receive: PF John Collins

Atlanta Hawks Receive: SF Max Strus, SG Duncan Robinson, PF Nikola Jović, 2023 first-round pick (unprotected), 2026 second-round pick via OKC, DAL or PHI

 

How The Trade Benefits Miami

This trade benefits the Heat by getting a 25 year-old star in John Collins, although the Heat might be giving up a lot especially like a core player in Max Strus, and the 2023 unprotected first-round draft pick, you gain an established, versatile scorer in Collins — who happens to be from South Florida and has always expressed an interest in returning.

Collins is also currently in a 5-year 125M deal, which in trading for him, the Heat have a guaranteed player for the next three years.

It has also been reported, by trusted reporter Shams Charania, that the Hawks have opened up preliminary trade discussions involving John Collins.

 

How The Trade Benefits Atlanta

The Hawks would not only be receiving a good role-player in Max Strus, who has come into his own the past year with Miami, elevated three-point shooting with Duncan Robinson, and a young player with potential in Nikola Jović.

Atlanta would also be receiving the 2023 unprotected first-round draft pick, that Miami currently has, along with the 2026 second-round pick via OKC, DAL or PHI.

Trading Collins to Miami would also free up some cap space for the Hawks, as Max Strus is on the last year of his deal.

 

 

The 5 Best NBA Games Of Last Decade

Watching historical games in the NBA is always inspirational and thrilling. However, some of them are left in our minds forever while others are forgotten at once. Which of the NBA games are worth re-watching over again and which of them are better to forget? Below, we have created a selection of the best matches of last decade that you’d better watch if you still haven’t. If you have though, they are definitely worth watching them multiple times. 

Unfortunately, not all of those games are available for your geo-location. This is the biggest problem for many fans. No worries, thanks to VPN servers, you can forget about it and enjoy your favorite competitions no matter where you are or where you go. A reliable VeePN extension will unlock any streaming platform and allow you to enjoy whatever you wish. Use a free trial to unlock the best matches of the decade, as well as to access all coming shows. 

A VPN hides your IP address and connects you to the necessary server. You can use a  VPN in Singapore or any other location you need. A free trial will help you not only connect to the required server and enjoy the content that is blocked in your country but also protect your privacy by not letting any third parties track your IP address and access your personal data. If you are going to watch some of the following best games of the decade, using a VPN in Singapore is a must. Enjoy your favorite games and players to the fullest!

  • Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, 2013

The sixth NBA Finals have seen everything in 2013. This was one of the most incredible finals in the history of basketball. The game is one of the worthiest ever. Plenty of historical moments accompanied that game. Gregg Popovich decided to pull Tim Duncan off the floor. Ray Allen and Chris Bosh changed history forever with their shot behind the three-point line. This was a pure masterpiece that could never be outperformed by any other player. 

  • Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 7, 2016 NBA Finals

The game entered history as one of the best NBA games ever. The Warriors finished the regular season with 73-9 which became the best season record in NBA history. In the finals, they were leading 3:1 before the fifth game started. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving made their team come back remarkably at 3-3. 

With 1:52 left in the fourth quarter, the score was tied at 89 points, and Andre Iguodala had a chance to give the Warriors a two-point lead with a seemingly easy shot. LeBron James came out of the blue to block the shot and give the Cavs the required possession. Kyrie Irving hit a crucial three-pointer, giving the Cavs a three-point lead.

  • San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, 2013

The game was really history-changing. The Spurs won the game and the series – Manu forever! – but it was the Warriors’ starting point, an adrenaline rush in double overtime that turned Curry and Clay Thompson’s expectations upside down. 

  • Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Game 2, 2011 NBA Finals

The Miami Heat hardly expected to win the championship in 2011, as LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the team early in the season to play with Dwyane Wade. Despite a slow start to the season, they eventually got used to each other’s style of play and reached the NBA Finals in their first season together. 

With 7:14 left in the fourth quarter, the Heat won 88-73, 15 points into the second game, and it looked like it would be a blowout win. After that, the determined Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry took charge and led the Mavericks to an incredible comeback, and they ended up winning the game 95-93.

  • Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, 2019

A few days before Game 4, the Nuggets’ must-win, which was the peak of Jamal Murray’s career, was Game 3. Nikola Jokic (33 points, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists in 65 minutes!), Murray (34 points in 55 minutes!), C.J. McCollum (41 points in 60 minutes!) and, last but not least, Rodney Hood, who had ice water running all over his body during the final overtime. The crazy thing about this game is that it probably would have gone to five overtime if Jokic hadn’t missed free throws with 5.6 seconds to go. Either way, it’s a classic.

Conclusion

History has seen plenty of the greatest basketball matches. The last decade was especially rich for masterpieces. On the list above, you can enjoy the most incredible matches that turned basketball upside down. Even the biggest fans have not expected such an outcome. Remember that to enjoy your most anticipated games, it is necessary to use a good VPN extension or app. Then, regardless of your location, you can watch all streaming platforms and your favorite teams and players. 

 

A guide to betting on the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most popular sports in the United States. It is a league that has 30 teams in total, and it is considered one of the major premier sports leagues on the North American continent. Not only that but it’s also considered the best basketball league anywhere in the world.

The league was founded in New York over 70 years ago and has hosted some of the most dramatic games in the history of American sports. It has spawned countless films, books, television shows and documentaries which feature the game heavily.

It has also produced a number of crossover stars who are prominent figures in American society, including legends such as the late Kobe Bryant and the phenomenal Michael Jordan.

The legendary Chicago Bulls talisman has featured in huge films such as Space Jam and recently had a Netflix documentary about him called The Last Dance, which was released in 2020 to critical acclaim.

This documentary detailed the sensational skill and mentality Michael Jordan displayed in the 1997-98 season, which was his final season with the Chicago Bulls. The league has also been home to characters such as Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James.

Gambling on the NBA has been available for quite some time. Initially, it was something that was more or less exclusive to Las Vegas-based casinos that had sportsbooks dedicated to major professional leagues, including the NFL and NHL as well.

 

NBA betting is a market that is now available in most countries around the world — the ones that allow gambling on their shores of course. There are several types of markets you can bet on when it comes to Basketball, and today we’re going to explore them in finer detail.

 

You can place a wager on a whole range of markets, this includes betting on one specific team to win a match, one team to win by a certain number of points or a team to lose by a certain number of points. 

 

On top of this, you can also gamble on the outcome of the season’s matches. You can bet on who you think will make the playoffs or who will become champions at the end of the season.

The Golden State Warriors are the most formidable team of their generation, and this excellent crop of current players added yet another title to their collection last season. They were favorites for many going in and did not disappoint.

Many analysts and players consider them to be favorites again this season, despite other teams making strong additions to their roster. Only time will tell if the Golden State Warriors can scoop up yet another title, but it is certainly looking promising for them.

Most people consider it a straight shootout between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics, two of the most legendary teams in professional basketball. Some may slightly favor the Celtics, and some people may slightly favor the Golden State Warriors. There is no doubt that it will certainly be an exciting season.

Another type of betting you can explore is parlay betting. This is a relatively new version of gambling markets, and it is very popular in countries such as the United Kingdom, where it is known as an accumulator. When several matches will start at or near the same time, you can combine the outcomes for a larger payout.

 

This – of course – is a more difficult way to place a bet. It can be hard enough to bet on one team, never mind four or five! However, it can pay dividends as the odds are multiplied together. So, if you have a hunch that a few teams might win, it could be quite the payday.

 

It is important to note here that you must only gamble what you can afford to lose. If you stop enjoying gambling but continue to do it, despite the negative consequences, you should seek help and stop.

You can also make use of gamble limits or timers to ensure you do not get too carried away on certain gambling sites. This can also help limit you to ensure that you gamble for fun and do not consider it as a source of income.

Handicap betting is a popular form of betting across a range of team sports –  it is also referred to as spread betting. Essentially, it involves giving one team a virtual deficit (a handicap) to overcome at the start of the match. 

 

When it comes to handicap betting, the higher the handicap, the better the odds usually are. This is true for the vast majority of handicap bets involving NBA teams.

 

In addition to all the markets we have mentioned, you can also combine the different types of odds. For example, you may place a bet on the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat to both win their games, you could then combine this with a bet for the Celtics to win the Playoffs.

 

This would be considered a treble bet, but you can usually combine up to about 10 specific selections. You could also look to bet on the outcome of certain playoff games and the final score.

Let’s say, theoretically speaking, that the Boston Celtics were playing the Golden State Warriors in the final. The Playoff final, as we all know, is a best-of-seven matchup. If you thought the Celtics were going to emphatically beat the Warriors, you could bet on them to win 4 games to 2.

You could also bet on other outcomes, such as 3-0 or 4-1. Although the final two are unlikely, this will be reflected in the odds.

Usually, the bulk of NBA betting consists of betting on a handicap. For example, you can gamble on whether a certain team scores over or under a certain number of points. 

 

You can combine this across the market between different teams, and it means you can get a bit more out of your bet. If you want to combine your bet across a range of different sports, including the NBA, plenty of online bookmakers also offer this option as well.

 

Betting on the Retooling of the Miami Heat

A rumored deal is just a rumor – until the deal is signed. 

This is how it is in the NBA, or anywhere else in the world of professional sports.  

Rumor mills churn out and circulate just about anything there is to hear about player recruitment and transfers when contracts end at the close of each season, especially for top caliber players. 

It’s that time of the year when team owners and players get together, not in a huddle to execute a play, but to negotiate for salaries and perks within the ground rules set by their respective governing sports bodies.  

Sports analysts and bookmakers at sports betting sites then pause awhile to take a second look at statistics, historical precedents, player movements, and other data that could impact on the future of every team.

For fresh recruits and rookie players in the NBA, it’s called draft season, where young college standouts apply and make themselves available for the big league.  For seasoned players with ending contracts from their home teams, it’s time to negotiate for a better deal, or look elsewhere for another team with a more promising outlook.

Last July 3rd, speculations about Miami’s interest in a 19-year-old draftee from Serbia finally ended, with last season’s semi finalist actually recruiting Nikola Jovic. Yes, the 6’9” forward is 19 and is from Serbia.     

With old contracts up for renewal and new ones up for grabs, the Miami Heat, according to the NBA Central, is reportedly determined “to exhaust all options” to haul in Kevin Durant to beef up Miami’s sterling power forward Jimmy Butler and company.  

Durant is reportedly unhappy over his team’s unsuccessful bid in the16-team playoff round last season and is looking for a new band to strut his wares and win a third championship ring.  He has won two with the Golden State Warriors, in 2017 and 2018.    

KD might just be the guy to help Miami Heat win an NBA title in the forthcoming season, but the Brooklyn Nets are even more resolute to get a better package to replace their all-star poster boy.  And with the Nets in the third wheel, the Heat and KD romance faces a not so certain future.     

With the KD deal a bare possibility, the Heat is also in the mix of interested parties wanting to acquire Utah Jazz’ star Donovan Mitchell. Both Jazz and Mitchell are open to trade scenarios, if the price is right – which could actually go sky high.

After all, the Jazz knows the value of Mitchell, who averaged 23.9 PPG, 4.5 APG, and 4.2 RPG in over 300 NBA regular-season matches. With Mitchel in Heat uniform, betway other bookmakers could place them side by side with the Golden States Warriors and Boston Celtics in their list of favorites to win the championship next season. 

Utah’s rotations had once revolved around Mitchell and Frenchman Rudy Gobert, but Jazz has decided to rebuild after the team failed to advance in the first-round playoff last season. Gobert has moved to the Minnesota Timberwolves.   

Unlike Jazz, the Miami Heat is not in rebuild mode.  The Heat has re-signed Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon.  Veteran Udonis Haslem, the lone holdover of the team’s 2013 championship run, may continue to don the Heat uniform for a sentimental 20th season.  

However, free agent PJ Tucker is finalizing a three-year, $33.2 million fully guaranteed deal with the 76ers.  Markieff Morris has also expressed a desire to leave Miami to play for Philadelphia, where he was born and raised.  And rumors have it that he might just get his wish.

With the NBA’s rumor mills still twisting and turning, there’s nothing certain yet about the Miami Heat, except that Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra are working together to give it a big boost with a more potent game changer. 

And they’re not giving up on Durant just yet, according to the word on the street.

Miami Heat Summer League Preview: Who’s got a Shot?

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is the famous saying about Sin City. But when we’re talking about Summer League basketball, what happens in Vegas can determine whether or not you have an NBA job next season. Myself and Tony Schwartz will be in the desert to cover the Heat during the Vegas Summer League so stay tuned for more updates this weekend. Here’s a quick look at the Heat’s roster heading into Vegas: 

 

Tier 1: Guaranteed Roster Spots: 

Nikola Jovic – After a slow start, Jovic shined in the Heat’s win over the Warriors on Tuesday. As expected for the 19 year old rookie, the game seemed to fast for him at times. His 25 point (5/7 3PT) and 9 rebound explosion showed the promise that Miami drafted him for. It’s just one game though, so continuing to show growth in Vegas where the competition level will rise is important momentum heading into his first season in Miami. For more on Jovic, check out Brady Hawk’s film breakdown. 

Haywood Highsmith – Highsmith had a solid showing at the California Classic – averaging 10.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.7 SPG. Most importantly, he showed the shooting ability that should keep him on the roster (41.7% on 4 attempts from behind the arc). While I’ve listed him on the “guaranteed” tier, Highsmith’s contract becomes fully guaranteed on July 15th so keep an eye on that date to see if any of the prospects below (or on another team) might impress enough to steal his roster spot. 

Omer Yurtseven – One of the stars of last summer’s team, Omer has yet to appear as he competes with the Turkish National Team. He is expected to be in Las Vegas but may not actually appear in any of the games. If he does suit up, it would provide the Heat an offensive hub and rebounding threat that does not exist on the rest of the roster. Players returning to summer league for the second year usually stand out – so best case scenario is Omer appears to “not belong” in this setting. 

 

Tier 2: Two-Way Contracts: 

Mychal Mulder – After a disappointing California Classic, Mulder will likely need to show shooting progression to maintain his two-way spot. He had the “green light” from Malik Allen to fire from behind the arc, averaging nearly 8 three-point attempts per game. But to be labeled as a “shooter” and only connect on 21.7% over three games is not promising. I believe he will shoot better in Vegas, but at 28 years old, what is his upside beyond shooting? 

Javonte Smart – Smart also was not overly impressive in the California Classic. In the first two games, Smart averaged 12.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.5 SPG. While he finished 5th overall in scoring during the showcase, his 27.3% field goal percentage and 21.4% three point percentage leaves plenty to be desired. The Heat’s offense did not break 70 points in either of

Smart’s two games, and without him Tuesday, the offense was much more efficient, powered by Allman Jr. and Bouyea at point guard. 

 

Tier 3: Emerging Prospects To Watch 

Kyle Allman, Jr. – After three games in California, you could argue Allman has been as good as anyone not on a guaranteed contract. With a few good games in Vegas, he could be the favorite to push into the two-way conversation. After going undrafted and spending three seasons overseas, the soon-to-be 25 year old Allman brings a mature game at point guard. His athleticism brings rim pressure that is scarce on the current Heat roster. He averaged a team-best 6 assists per game in California, highlighted by a 10 assist game against the Warriors on Tuesday. While creating for others, he also contributed 9.0 PPG and shot 35.7% on nearly 5 three point attempts per game. 

Jamaree Bouyea – I spoke about Bouyea in my Draft Preview article and he fit the description in the California Classic. Like Allman, they have downhill ability to get into the paint with their athleticism. Bouyea 6-7 wingspan has been on display with craft finishes and as an active defender. Bouyea finished the three game showcase with 13 points and 6 assists against the Warriors. While his shooting leaves plenty to be desired, his all-around point guard skills have emerged as someone who could compete with Smart and Allman Jr. for a two-way roster spot. 

Orlando Robinson – While Allman Jr. and Bouyea have shined at the guard position, Robinson has emerged as the Heat’s best interior player – averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds in California. At 6-11, 244 lbs, with a 7-4 wingspan, his measurables stand out. He’s more Kelly Olynyk than a traditional center, displaying promising passing and perimeter shooting abilities in college. He isn’t an elite athlete like Bryson Williams, but his skill level is much higher. If Omer returns to play in Vegas, it will diminish his minutes significantly but he should still have an opportunity to show his potential to stick around with the Heat on an exhibit 10 or two-way contract. 

Bryson Williams – While I don’t necessarily think Bryson is someone who will steal a two-way spot, I think he’s a strong possibility for an exhibit 10 contract. Physically, Bryson might be the most imposing athlete Miami has outside of Bam Adebayo. At 6-9, 237 lbs, with shoulders that barely fit inside of a standard door frame, he has drawn comparisons to a young Udonis Haslem 

by David Thorpe on the True Hoop podcast. His stats didn’t jump off the page in the California Classic, only 3.5 PPG and 1.5 RPG, but he seemed to display the grit Miami loves. As a developmental prospect, I’d personally love to see him stick around in Sioux Falls this season. 

Marcus Garrett – Last summer, his game-changing defensive abilities earned him a two-way spot on the Heat’s roster until he was replaced after midseason wrist surgery. Garrett is still recovering and his availability in Vegas is still in question. If he suits up, he would immediately be impactful on defense. The question will be whether he’s grown on offense over the past year to compliment his strengths. The Heat obviously saw something in him last summer, so he’s someone to keep an eye on regardless if he’s able to play this week.

 

Tier 4: Sioux Falls or Bust 

Jamal Cain – Only appearing in one game (8 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL) in California, the sample size on Cain is limited. Greg Sylvander reported that Miami had interest in him pre-draft, so he is someone who we should keep tabs on. The athletic scorer will have to show more in Vegas in order to push himself into the conversation of making the real roster. 

Jalen Adaway – Only averaging eight minutes in his two games in California, Adaway has a pretty limited statistical profile. However, his athleticism guarding full court, attacking the glass, and seemingly playing harder than everyone else on the floor could be something to watch in Vegas. He’ll need more minutes in order to make a significant impact and make the roster, but he could be someone to store in Sioux Falls and develop. 

Bryce Hamilton – Another player who has had limited opportunities so far, but Hamilton was solid on Tuesday with 9 points and 7 rebounds. He led the Mountain West in scoring last season, so if he can capitalize in his minutes in Vegas, he could be someone to monitor for Sioux Falls this season. 

Aaron Wheeler – Did not appear during the California Classic.

 

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The Miami Heat’s Summer Goals

The legendary coach John Wooden once said “The best way to improve the team is to improve yourself.” While many are turning their attention to transactions after the Heat’s disappointing loss to the Celtics, let’s look within and provide a focus for each of the current Heat players for this summer. 

Javonte Smart 

Entering his second summer with the Heat, Javonte needs to put his strengths on display to have a chance to make the Heat’s roster next season. In his final year at LSU, he led the SEC in 3 point shooting percentage. He also scored nearly 22 points per game with Sioux Falls this season. He’s proven to be a scorer, but at 6’4” he needs to show his ability to be a playmaker at point guard while being able to defend at a high level. 

Omer Yurtseven 

Omer shined last summer, and previewed flashes of excellence this season especially on the glass, but the leap to regular rotation minutes is enormous. He must improve his foot speed to stay on the floor in today’s NBA. He also must improve his finishing, where he was below league average finishing compared to other bigs at the rim and in the mid-range. With a big summer, Omer could be in line to overtake the backup big minutes behind Bam. 

Haywood Highsmith 

Similar to Javonte, this could be a make or break summer for Highsmith – especially with the Heat having a contract guarantee deadline in mid-July. After shooting nearly 40% from behind the arc this season in the G-League, Haywood has proven his ability to shoot but his path likely requires him to prove that his 6-7 athletic frame and 7-foot wingspan can be impactful on the defensive end of the floor. The path for Highsmith to make the roster and find meaningful minutes seems difficult, but it’s also hard to doubt the Heat’s ability to develop shooters. 

Mychal Mulder 

The Heat called up Mulder in March from Sioux Falls, after he averaged 18-5-3 with the Skyforce. Mulder is 27 years old (2017 NBA Draft) and so his window to land in the NBA permanently is slowly closing. He needs to show the shooting potential that we spoke about with Highsmith, but at only 6-3, his ability to defend both guard positions is critical to keeping his two-way contract next season. 

Tyler Herro 

After gains last offseason, Tyler needs to have another offseason getting stronger. He’s still only 22 years old, but his body still hasn’t matured to that age. With his added strength, he

should be able to add more physicality to his game. He’ll never be Jimmy Butler – but the ability to be more physical on drives, absorb contact and still finish (or create more free throw opportunities) will boost his scoring output. The strength will also help him survive better on defense when teams look to hunt him. His continued development as a playmaker is going to elevate his game from the 6th Man of the Year to a star talent who is a threat to score 25+ nightly while also recognizing opportunities to set up teammates. Finally, continuing to sharpen his strengths in shooting while creating a quicker trigger on his jumper (especially off the dribble) will take his game to another level. 

Bam Adebayo 

While many point to Bam needing to add a three point shot, I tend to disagree (for now). You have to learn to crawl, then walk, and then run. Bam first needs to become confident in shooting from the 14-16 foot range. Adding the threat of a jumper from the short corner, elbows, and nail puts the defense on notice. This would keep Bam within one dribble of the rim to layer counters with simple shot fakes, or back down smaller defenders. In that range, he can continue to also utilize his comfort zone of the DHO to initiate offense. According to Cleaning the Glass, Bam showed growth in the 2020-2021 season, shooting 14% more mid range shots (9% more long mid range) and hitting 16% better on those long mid range while shooting 7% better from mid range. However, this season Bam saw a 4% decrease in mid range shots (5% decrease from long mid range) and his accuracy dropped 3% from mid range and a significant 7% drop from long mid range. Add a 14-16 foot jumper to 24 year old Bam and you’re invested in a perennial All-NBA player for the rest of this decade. 

Gabe Vincent 

Like most young guards, Gabe can afford to add strength that will make his improving skills more effective. He could also continue sharpening his ball handling especially against pressure. He’s more of a combo guard than a true point guard, but the added experience, strength and improved handle will make his ability to initiate even easier. After only hearing about his shooting abilities, Gabe put all the doubters on notice this season shooting a career-best 37% from behind the arc. With his improved shooting, he should expect defenses to adjust to his strengths moving forward. Adding a mid range shot that can be utilized as a counter to teams running him off the line, but also to add another weapon to DHO and ball screen actions that he often passed up on during the playoff run. 

Caleb Martin 

Another gem for the Heat’s scouting and player development, Caleb proved this season that he belongs in the NBA. His defensive versatility is his definite strength and should not fade anytime soon at only 26 years old. His two-way ability should be highly sought after in the free agent market, but the price he commands is most determined by what he can provide on offense. He improved 15% from behind the arc to 42% from his previous season. His shot mechanics won’t be part of any instructional videos, but more important than the visuals are the

efficiency and consistency. In addition to his outside shot, adding to his offensive toolbag beyond relying on his elite athleticism seems to be the path to more consistent minutes. 

 

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Max Strus 

Strus seized his opportunity shooting 42% and making 130 more three point field goals from the previous season. As we’ve seen around the league, the one dimensional shooter is being pushed away for guys who do “more”. Max said himself that his goal this summer is to “be more complete” which would assume he plans to add more playmaking and counters to teams limiting his opportunities behind the arc. Similar to the conversation last summer with Duncan Robinson, adding a shot fake and 1-2 dribble pull up would serve Max very well. He also could improve as a playmaker creating off the dribble and when using his athleticism to get into the paint. In addition to his offense, Strus needs to continue the growth on the defensive end of the floor. 

Duncan Robinson 

After a historic season shooting 45% from behind the arc in 2019-2020, Duncan has seen negative regression in each of the past two seasons. Over that time, he has shot 8% worse and made 36 less threes (on 30 more attempts). In the context of the entire league, 37% and 226 3PTM is very, very good – but what has lacked is consistency. On nights when he’s on, he can drop eight threes, but on nights that he’s not, he is unplayable at times. Most importantly, Duncan needs to restore his own confidence in what is undeniably an elite talent. If his shooting is restored, you can then look at counters (shot fake, 1-2 dribble pull up) when defenses try to take him away. With his defensive struggles, you could point to lacking strength, but that added muscle has to come without hampering his shooting or slowing him down even more. 

Victor Oladipo 

Of the entire team, Victor’s offseason program might be the most interesting. Because most of his time was spent rehabilitating rather than developing, this might be the first time that Victor can focus on sharpening skills and adding to his game since 2018. While strength and conditioning will certainly still be part of his summer, continued development on the offensive side of the floor is crucial. He shot better than his career numbers behind the arc this season, but can that last over the course of an entire season? His playmaking as a combo guard is apparent, but can he be more efficient in that role and reduce turnovers. 

Jimmy Butler 

After a dominant playoff run and an All-Star season, even Jimmy has summer work to improve his game as he ages. As we saw with an aging Dwyane Wade, the ability to create and make mid range shots will be important to extending Jimmy’s star play. You can extend that out to behind the arc, but it’s such a small part of Jimmy’s game that I don’t know if it warrants a

summer focus. Part of extending Jimmy’s window is going to be treatment for his knee, which could require surgery. 

Dewayne Dedmon 

After being a productive addition to the Heat, Dedmon’s effectiveness faded this season. At 32 years old, Dedmon likely isn’t adding major facets to his game at this stage of his career. This season Dedmon shot a career-best 45% from behind the arc on limited attempts, and that could be something as he ages that could keep him relevant as a back up big. You could also focus Dedmon’s work on developing better touch around the rim. If the Heat intend to bring him back, the summer work should revolve around how Miami intends to use him behind Bam. 

Markieff Morris 

Similar to Dedmon, Morris is at a stage in his career where he likely isn’t adding major facets to his game and his return to Miami is questionable. Missing much of the season after a flagrant shove by Nikola Jokic was unfortunate and his role never recovered. While focusing on strength and conditioning, Markieff needs to be an effective stretch big to have a role in this league. Enhancing his shooting from 16 feet out to behind the arc is the key to his ability to find minutes. Without it, he’s likely spending the end of his career nailed to the bench. 

Kyle Lowry 

The first and foremost priority has to be his conditioning. The time away for personal reasons certainly impacted his conditioning during the season, and you could argue it never really recovered and may have played a role in his hamstring injury during the playoffs. As Kyle moves into the summer, the Heat should challenge him to come back into training camp in the best shape of his career. That will not only allow Kyle to thrive in his role, but provide the team the point guard they desperately need. As should be expected as he ages, Lowry saw career-lows in attempts in the paint this season. This makes his efficiency in the mid range and behind the arc most important to his scoring especially with the amount of opportunities he gets from DHO and ball screens. 

PJ Tucker 

Tucker shot a career-high 41% from behind the arc this season. If Tucker can continue to shoot at that clip and continue his consistent toughness, win-now teams will be lining up for his services. Beyond shooting, we saw flashes of playmaking from PJ that many did not know even existed. If he’s back in Miami’s system, the counters he can bring to DHO and short rolls make him a bigger offensive threat than most expected. Finally, being 37 years old, PJ clearly must maintain elite fitness to maintain his level of play as he ages. 

Udonis Haslem

You don’t send the soon-to-be 42 year old with summer homework. Udonis knows to continue to be an active player, he must continue to maintain excellent fitness and there is no doubt he’ll live up to that expectation. Keep that short corner jump shot polished, hold players accountable, and be ready for one more season as the standard-bearer of Heat Culture.

Why are the Warriors favored for NBA title?

The Golden State Warriors are very close to reaching the NBA Finals, their fifth for this generation of players and the head coach Steve Kerr. But not only this, the NBA betting trends suggest that the Warriors stand as the favorite to win the Larry O’Brien trophy, regardless of the rivals coming from the East.

 

All the bookmakers and the majority of the analysts claim that the Dub Nation will beat the rivals from the East. There are various explanations to back up their claims, and we are going to present a couple of the most important ones. 

 

Home-Court Advantage

The Warriors will have a home-court edge in the finals, regardless of the rival. Up until this point, they haven’t lost at Chase Center during the playoffs. Not only that, they have been quite confident, trashing the Nuggets and Grizzlies and currently leading against the Mavericks. 

 

Golden State’s crowd has the experience of participating in the finals and knows how to behave in certain moments. It might sound odd to you, but that is the case. These fans witnessed three championship quests and two more trips to the finals, and for sure know how to disturb the rivals. 

 

As said, they have been undefeated since the start of the postseason and really look flawless at home. That no doubt gives a massive boost to their stocks right now. 

 

Bloodbath in the East and Injuries

 

This is maybe the biggest reason why we personally see the Warriors as the favorites. While they have relatively a calm series against the Mavs, without too much intensity, things are quite the opposite in the East. 

 

The Heat and the Celtics are practically killing each other. Their game is much more physical, with harsh and very tough defenses, which eventually produce lots of injuries. 

 

Pretty much all of the key players have some sort of health issue. Marcus Smart already missed a few games, Al Horford too, and Jayson Tatum has problems. On the other side, among the Heat, Kyle Lowry only recently came back, Tyler Herro skipped the most recent event, and Jimmy Butler had a mild groin injury. We aren’t mentioning several other players who are in the same position. 

 

Now compare that with the Warriors’ situation. They are all in perfectly good health and have a chance to finish the series earlier than the rivals, which would give them an additional edge in terms of recovery and health. 

 

Plus, a very valuable time for scouting the opponents and preparing the tactics. 

 

Experience and Finals Chemistry

The Warriors have experience in these situations. With all due respect to Boston and the Heat, they don’t have players who were at this stage often. Yes, the Heat reached the finals in the bubble, and they landed Lowry and PJ Tucker, but still, that is not even near the Warriors’ experience.

 

Things are even more evident with Boston, who did have some trips to the East finals but didn’t feel what it is like to play in the finals. That might be too big of a challenge for them. 

 

While the Heat has Spoelstra, who already won titles, Ime Udoka used to be an assistant coach in San Antonio’s championship run back in 2014. Yet, that is not even near his current position. 

 

Golden State’s core (Steph, Klay, Green, Igoudala) and Kerr have patterns they already repeated so many times in the Finals, that they became a routine. The pressure, the hype, the stress, they don’t feel that like potential rivals. Curry already stated recently that the playoffs are, in fact, a period of frequent adjustment.

 

He and his teammates have been doing that very well. They adjusted to the Mavs’ defense, which was one of the best in the league, destroying it in the opening two events.

 

The NBA Finals start on Thursday, June 2, which is around the corner. Stay tuned for more NBA news and content. 

 

NBA Eastern Conference Finals MVP Odds

The Eastern Conference Finals between the (2) Boston Celtics and the (1) Miami Heat have been blowouts throughout the first four games of the series. The series is tied at two games apiece. This series will either end in Game 6 or in Game 7. It feels like it will go to distance.

 

NBA lines have been changing on a constant basis throughout this series. This is how it works most of the time in Vegas. Speaking of odds changing, what are the odds for the Eastern Conference Finals MVP, for the first time ever?

 

Jayson Tatum -120

 

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is the favorite on BetUs to win the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals MVP. When Boston has won their games not only in this series but in the postseason, it feels like he has exploded for 30 or more points in those games. Tatum was just named to the first-team ALL NBA for the 2021-2022 NBA regular season. 

 

Jayson Tatum has taken his game to another level this season. Tatum can’t just be just good for Boston in order to win. He has to play sensational in order for them to win because he is their number one option currently.

 

There is a reason why he is the favorite to win it. Vegas feels like the Boston Celtics are going to win this series over the Miami Heat because of Jayson Tatum’s play.

 

Jimmy Butler +175

 

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat has the second-best odds, according to BetUs, to win the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals MVP. Butler has been by far Miami’s best player in this series and throughout the NBA Playoffs. They would be lost without his play and his valuable leadership.

 

Jimmy Butler had at least one game in this series by scoring over 40 points. Back in Game 3, Miami had a big lead with Butler on the floor before he got hurt. When he exited the basketball game, the team almost collapsed. That would have been really bad, but they showed they don’t have the depth when Jimmy Butler leaves the floor.

 

If Butler leads them to the NBA Finals, this would be the second time in three years the Miami Heat will be in the NBA Finals. They lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games back in the 2020 NBA Finals in the bubble in Orlando, Florida.

 

Jaylen Brown +800

 

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics has the third-best odds to win the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Finals MVP. He has been solid for Boston. When Brown is their best player, they appear to lose because Jayson Tatum doesn’t play well.

 

Jaylen Brown has to be the number two option for this basketball team in order for them to succeed. That is not a bad thing at all because that means they are winning basketball games. Brown is talented enough to be the best player in the next two-of-three games for Boston and win the award.

 

However, if it is Jaylen Brown playing well and Jayson Tatum isn’t the odds are that the Boston Celtics are not going to the NBA Finals and the Miami Heat are though.

 

Bam Adebayo +1000

 

Bam Adebayo has the fourth-best odds to be the Eastern Conference Finals MVP. He has been inconsistent for the Miami Heat, but Adebayo has been by far their second-best player. When he is on his game, he is on. Adebayo has played much better at home in this series, it feels like, than he has been on the road.

 

Bam Adebayo is one of the better big men in the NBA. If Jimmy Butler’s injuries continue to bother him and if the Miami Heat wins this series, you’ll probably see Bam Adebayo as the Eastern Conference Finals MVP then if that’s the case here also. He is also a force on the defensive end of the basketball floor and is a solid rim protector for this basketball team.