Posts Tagged ‘NBA Championship’

Mickey Mouse’s Magic March

March 11th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on Mickey Mouse’s Magic March

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The 2008-09 Orlando Magic were about as close as you can get to winning their first NBA Championship in franchise history. In the offseason, the team cut ties with F Hedo Turkoglu, a man that was largely considered the heart and soul of a squad that is headlined by C Dwight Howard.

In order to replace the Turkish superstar, GM Otis Smith went out and traded G Courtney Lee and a few other minor pieces for G Vince Carter, who was largely thought to be washed up, and a host of role players, including F Matt Barnes, G Jason Williams, and C Brandon Bass.

So just like most Magic fans, I immediately thought to myself, “Fantastic. We just replaced a superstar for a has-been, two stiffs, and a nut case.”

All that has-been has done this year is average 16.3 points per game and rejuvenate his career.

All the nut case does is annoy the heck out of the opposition, score 8.7 points per game, and does a little bit of everything. Oh yeah, and he got down and dirty and got into the face of G Kobe Bryant when the Lakers came to town last weekend.

Believe it or not, this version of the Orlando Magic may really be better than ever. And there’s never been a better time to strike and capture the city’s first major championship ever than right now.

Just take one look at the Eastern Conference. Even though things aren’t as disgraceful this year as they were a year ago when everyone outside of Orlando, Boston, and Cleveland were all god awful, they’re still pretty bad.

Does anyone really believe that the Magic (or Cavs for that matter) are going to even get remotely challenge by Miami, Charlotte, or anyone else in the bottom of the Eastern Conference in the first round?

Setting up a date with the Celtics in the second round seems like a very realistic possibility, and it also feels like a lot easier task than the Magic faced last season when they had to win Game 7 at Boston Garden to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

So let’s just fast forward to the inevitable Orlando/Cleveland matchup, shall we?

Last season, there really wasn’t a warm body that could hang with F LeBron James defensively. Now, that nut case Barnes is the man that can get the job done. F Rashard Lewis and Cleveland’s F Antawn Jamison are largely the exact same player and will cancel each other out.

Who’s stopping Superman again? Shaq? I think not.

Cleveland may be the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but after six games, Orlando will once again be the team playing in the NBA Finals.

However, that’s not good enough in the home of Mickey Mouse this year. It’s championship or bust, and the entire franchise and the city of Orlando both know it.

Unlike last year’s team that lived and died by the three-pointer and Howard in the post, this team has more slashing ability to the paint. Carter isn’t afraid to get his jersey a little messy, and G JJ Redick has developed a lot more of an inside game that he has had in years past when he was nothing but a three-point shooter. The bench is utilized a lot more as well, as any combination of 11 guys can play 15+ minutes any given night. It’s also a team that can play at the sluggish knockdown , drag out pace that both Cleveland and Boston like to play at.

No team in the NBA is holding teams to a worse shooting percentage than Orlando is at 43.6%. Its 95.3 points per game allowed in the sixth best mark in the league.

The one thing that you can’t measure based on statistics is heart, and it’s that heart, along with tenacity, and toughness that has led the Magic to a six-game winning streak that will probably be stretched out to at least 11 before playing at Atlanta on March 24th.

Mickey Mouse has an angry scowl on his face this season, and if he doesn’t walk away from this season with an NBA Championship, he may never get one.

2009 NBA Finals Betting Preview & Picks

June 1st, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on 2009 NBA Finals Betting Preview & Picks

The NBA Playoffs have provided some extremely exciting games during the 2009 playoffs in what has become one of the best postseasons in recent memory. The Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics battled in perhaps one of the best opening round series of all-time. The Orlando Magic conquered Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers who were big favorites to win the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile out West, some familiar faces have taken down the Conference in the Los Angeles Lakers. Now we are down to only two remaining teams as Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic will battle Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in a best of 7 series for an NBA Title. The stakes are not only high on the court, but also high in the sports betting world. All major sports books are providing various types of props and ways to bet on the 2009 NBA Finals are we will break down some interest bets to consider before Game 1 takes place this Thursday night. We take the opportunity to make some money off these interesting odds and betting lines provided by

NBA Finals Prop Bet #1

Who will be the 2009 Finals MVP?

Kobe Bryant -300
Dwight Howard +275
Pau Gasol +600
Rashard Lewis +850
Hedo Turkoglu +1200
Lamar Odom +2500

Predicting this year’s Finals MVP will not be an extremely difficult task. In fact, it would be pretty safe to say that this is a two horse race. Kobe Bryant will definitely be the most lethal scoring threat on the floor. Bryant who is arguably the best pure shooter in the NBA will be the leading favorite to take home the Finals MPV honors this season. Bryant has been knocking down 30 points per game during the playoffs while shooting 47% from the field. Bryant has high probability to average 30 points during the Finals which make him rightfully the leading candidate for MVP. However, Dwight Howard has already dethroned one King during the playoffs and he could play spoiler to Bryant’s MVP opportunities as well. Howard has dominated the inside game averaging 15.4 rebounds per game and posting 22 points per game during the playoffs. Howard has also knocked down 62% of his shots from the field that leads the 2009 post-season. The Magic’s big man has been very impressive during the last few games and his ability to not only score points, but dominate the glass give him an extra category to help him pull off the MVP upset. Considering the betting odds are so heavily favoring Bryant, we will place some extra cash with Howard and hope for the very profitable payoff.

Pick – Howard +275

NBA Finals Prop Bet #2

Series Total Games – 5 ½ Over -220, Under +175

The 2009 playoffs have been filled with back and forth series and we believe the stage is setting up to be another similar scenario in the Finals. The Orlando Magic have a strong inside game lead by Dwight Howard aided by some outside shooting the looks pretty dangerous at times by Rashard Lewis and an emerging Mickael Pietrus. The Lakers not only have one of the most dangerous shooters in the NBA, but a cast of outside shooters that can get hot on any given night. These two teams are going to find ways to give each other troubles and there is not much of a chance that this will be 4-5 game series. Throw in the fact of how wild everything has played out thus far in the post-season and you can rest assure there are a lot of fireworks left to be displayed. Simple fact is here, that the home court will be huge to each team as it normally is during the playoffs. The Lakers are sure to benefit from the first two being at home, but Orlando should be able to hold their own ground as well. There are those that believe that the Lakers high scoring offense may be too fast paced for Orlando. While that may be true in some ways, the Magic have been able to score more points lately as well. Orlando simply is too good to be shut out or dominated in this series and we don’t believe there is much of a chance for the series to be held under 6 games.

Pick – Over -220

NBA Finals Prop Bet #3

Who will win the first game and win series?

Magic to win game and win series +550
Magic to win game and lose series +500
Lakers to win game and win series -190
Lakers to lose game and win series +500

This particular prop bet is one that should open a lot of eyes. There are so many ways that could make a big payout if just the Lakers lose Game 1 or lose the series. However, that will be difficult considering Game 1 is inside the Staples Center and the Lakers seem to be the rather sizeable favorites for the Championship. However, people are quick to forget that the Magic were 2-0 against the Lakers during the regular season which included a victory on the Lakers home court. The odds are for going against the Lakers in this situation are just very inviting especially considering how well Orlando has played over the last few weeks. Going back to the previous article where we predicted a back and forth series, that would also play favorable to this prop bet. If Orlando is to come out and stun the Lakers in Game 1, either way the series ends is +500 or better odds. The difficult part of this bet is deciding which outside chance bet to take. However, the Magic winning Game 1 before Kobe and company get hot is just too profitable to not take a gamble towards making some extra cash.

Pick – Magic win game and lose series +500