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PB: For Louisville one win may mean so much

Thread Starter PB: For Louisville one win may mean so much
David Malinsky
Joined: 08/11/2014
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Point Blank – March 9, 2017

For Louisville, one win may mean so much…It was Madness indeed, already…Why was it so grisly for the Grizzlies (a playoff team just can’t lose a home game to the Nets)…

Wednesday brought the quick reminder of just what conference tournament play can be all about, the added pressure elevating some teams, while making weaker squads even more fragile, and if you were following the scoreboards over the course of the day there were some shocking moments. I’ll get to a few in just a bit.

First let’s set some background for the day, and now it is time to delve more deeply into why some folks remember Peter Green so well, despite his place in music history only being a footnote for others. It is so much about what could have been, those early flashes of a particular brilliance that ended up lost in a mist because of acid, which took a toll on so many across that generation. We will never know just what his particular genius could have turned into, but there are some archives that will live on, like the soulful blues from this version of “A Fool No Moore” - 

That provides some good audio background on a busy work morning, and perhaps a theme for Rick Pitino, the title rather appropriate after the program’s inability to properly handle some issues left them home for the post-season last March.

Item: Louisville may really want to win a game today

It will not come as any surprise that I am in play on #714 Louisville (2:30 Eastern) today, a game that naturally found its way into the latter parts of the Wednesday thread, and even through the markets are now adjusting I believe it works up to -3, largely because the game allows one to play in play from both directions – both ON Louisville, and AGAINST Duke.

The issues for the Blue Devils have already been dealt with here a couple of times this week but let me go back to them because there was some added evidence from Wednesday’s sluggish win over Clemson. It wasn’t a case of Duke playing all that well but the Tigers not stepping up with a high level of execution, which was enough for Mike Krzyzewski’s team to move on, but there was something rather glaring – Grayson Allen is still nowhere near 100 percent.

Allen sat out Duke’s loss to Miami two weeks ago, and since then it has only been 51 minutes across three games, but instead of getting closer to full health he struggled mightily on Wednesday, going without a point on 0-4 across 12 minutes of action, with only one assist and one rebound. If that is all he had in the tank then, there is not much reason to expect all that much more today, and it becomes a major issue for a team that is do depth-shy – the Blue Devils reserves committed more fouls (6), than they had points, rebounds, assists and steals combined (5). Krzyzewski was right to the point concerning Allen in yesterday’s aftermath - “I think the injury is a huge part of it because he has not been able to really go after it in practice and he’s lost his timing, his rhythm.”

Now this afternoon’s problem for Coach K – not only is Louisville a deep and talented team that will bring pressure defense to tax that depth, but what is the upside of winning? Another showdown with North Carolina tomorrow. Does he really want to put his team through that, given the current roster limitations?

And then there is the flip side. I believe merely winning this game today means a great deal to Pitino and his players, and given how much energy means in the scope of their game, they will play hard. Hard should be enough to win, and if they also play well, it may be enough to win comfortably.

 

Here is the gist – Louisville has yet to win an ACC tourney game. The Cardinals were knocked out in the first round two years ago, and then had that post-season ban last March. I believe that creates an extreme level of hunger for this setting, especially given the particular opponent, and they could build up the intensity by sitting and watching Duke play yesterday. You know what the tactics will be – while it is not easy to force the Blue Devils into turnovers, or make them lose their poise via defensive pressure, there is the ability to wear them down. With Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum both playing 39 minutes yesterday, they can be vulnerable to just that.

Item: You know it’s tournament time when…

To set the proper tone for today, and the rest of this frenetic cycle, may we offer up the following –

11:25 First Half – Air Force 25 Wyoming 0

 ---

Halftime: San Jose State 31 Utah State 31

Final: Utah State 90 San Jose State 64

 ---

Halftime: Washington State 41 Colorado 27

Final: Colorado 73 Washington State 63

 ---

17:30 Second Half - UNLV 37 San Diego State 16

End of Regulation – UNLV 50 San Diego State 50

Final – San Diego State 62 UNLV 52

 ---

14:30 Second Half – Duquesne 55 Saint Louis 39

0:20 Second Half – Duquesne 71 Saint Louis 66

Final – Saint Louis 72 Duquesne 71

 ---

10:30 Second Half – Texas Tech 42 Texas 31

Final – Texas 61 Texas Tech 52

Yes, it will get a little cleaner today, with some of the lower rungs of the totem pole, which bring such fragile aspects into play, having been eliminated. But the pressures of Win and Advance, the realities of Lose and Go Home, do create some unique game flows, and some challenges in the grading.

There is also a challenging setting in the NBA tonight, the current state of the Memphis Grizzlies…

Item: Why has this week been so grisly for the Grizzlies?

Among the more stunning results of the recent NBA board was a 122-109 win by Brooklyn at Memphis on Monday, the Grizzlies getting thumped 34-18 in the fourth quarter against the kind of team that they usually control (they were -10.5 at post-time). Admittedly Memphis had lost two in a row prior to that one, but there did not seem any cause for concern, yet there was a major change in the player rotation for the game against the Nets, Tony Allen and JaMychal Green out of the starting lineup and Andrew Harrison and Brandan Wright in. It didn’t work, one of the NBA’s best defenses getting exploited to the tune of 53.4 percent shooting, and 14-30 from 3-point range.

What was going on here? Let’s go to David Fizdale for his take -

“We’re stale. Right now we’re 14-14 since January 1. It’s my job to shake it up. There were some good things about it and overall, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who was on the floor for us. We couldn’t guard them off the dribble. That’s the bottom line.”

 

And when the first year HC was asked how long he would stay with the lineup -

“A couple of games and see what it turns into. If this isn’t getting it done, I’m ready to shuffle some more because that’s my job. I’m not going to be satisfied with mediocrity. Since January 1 that’s the best word I can use. We are a mediocre basketball team. That’s on me as well so I’m controlling what I can, which are minutes, lineups and all of that kind of stuff. Hopefully, it’ll have an impact over the long haul.”

Is this the right interpretation from Fizdale? If one would have projected back in October for this roster to be 36-28 after 64 games, might that have been considered a “win”? It raises the question as to whether he has the proper handle right now, which means time to go the players for a bit more. Like this from Mike Conley -

“He asked for our opinion and we just said ‘Do whatever is best, whatever you feel. We’re just trying to win. I thought guys handled it as good as they could. It was a shock for a lot of people involved in it. … We maybe let that distract us a little bit.

“We’re frustrated. We understand what we’re trying to build towards and that’s what’s frustrating. If we didn’t care about what was going on, if we didn’t care about winning a championship, if we didn’t think we’re capable, then morale would be fine. We’ve got a lot of competitors in here.”

Hence the Grizzlies go under the microscope tonight against the equally under-achieving Clippers (they’ll be a lead topic soon). Fizdale may have pressed a bit of a panic button when there was really no need, and there is a prospect that it could backfire.

In the Sights, NCAA Afternoon…

I don’t believe there has been enough adjustment made for the absence of Josh Jackson today, so it will be #754 Kansas/TCU Under (3:00 Eastern), with plenty of 149.5 available in the current trading, and this one good to 149.

Neither coach wants much tempo here – Jamie Dixon obviously knowing his best way to compete today is to make it a slow grinder, and Bill Self fully knowing what is ahead after this, a higher energy affair against the Iowa State/Oklahoma State winner tomorrow, and then a difficult challenge on Saturday if his Jayhawks are still alive.

How limited is Kansas without Jackson? Lagerald Vick would start for a lot of teams, but then what? Carlton Bragg played 13.3 minutes per game In Big 12 play, but across those 18 games all other players combined for just 76 minutes. That is all. Kansas will not have the same offensive efficiency without Jackson, but also has to be pace wary as well, yet this Total is sitting on the same spot as a matchup between these teams in Lawrence two weeks ago, which closed at 149.5. 

 

The complete Point Blank Archive

@PregamePhd (a work in progress, feedback appreciated)

Stallone
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Couldn't agree more with your take on Louisville today Dave.  Im wondering what what point does Virginia Tech interest you.  I see +7.5's now and I'm leaning heavily towards them as I am nowhere near as high on Florida State as the betting markets are.  The only concern I have is fatigue for Virginia Tech as the game winds down, they have a shallow bench and worked hard to make up a deficit yesterday vs. Wake.  I think both teams can trade points with one another in what should be a track meet.  Do you see any value with the Hokies at the current price?  

David Malinsky
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Posts: 12329
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Stallone

Couldn't agree more with your take on Louisville today Dave.  Im wondering what what point does Virginia Tech interest you.  I see +7.5's now and I'm leaning heavily towards them as I am nowhere near as high on Florida State as the betting markets are.  The only concern I have is fatigue for Virginia Tech as the game winds down, they have a shallow bench and worked hard to make up a deficit yesterday vs. Wake.  I think both teams can trade points with one another in what should be a track meet.  Do you see any value with the Hokies at the current price?  

This is where some +4 for the First Half might fit - VT gets the advantage of being familiar with the arena and having some momentum (as noted in the Wednesday edition, because the ACC played all day yesterday, teams like Florida State had to practice elsewhere), and the Seminole depth will not get the opportunity to be that much of a factor.

SportsHec8
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With the Cowboys announcing the release of Tony Romo, I find it appropriate to say some words since I truly believe no man, woman or child is as big of a fan of his as I am.

From a personal standpoint, Tony's career overlapped a period in my life when I peaked as a fan.

When I close my eyes and think of the seven wonderful years I spent in Hoboken, NJ, I always see me wearing that Romo jersey that probably should've been replaced more times than it was (just once).

To me, Tony's career was those blissful, carefree Sunday Funday's when nothing mattered as much as the Cowboys winning a game.

His career was those hazy Monday's when my entire week would either be great or terrible, entirely based on how he performed that previous day.

It was those painful weeks (months?) starting in early to mid January when I would go through every single game, hell, every moment from the previous season and start asking "what if."

Tony's Cowboy career was exceptional in so many ways, but tragic in so many others.

He was the reason I would jump around my favorite bar on a Sunday night like a 4 year old, but also the reason I would occasionally get kicked out for throwing a tantrum like a 2 year old.

There is no doubt in my mind that #9 is the best Cowboys QB of my lifetime. But that recognition is simply impossible to bestow on him since he never even reached a championship game.

When the Cowboys made their great run this past season, I had many people ask me why I wasn't more excited. While I could never articulate it in the moment, the reality is that I knew I was watching the previous decade worth of tears, anger, ridicule and joy all ripped away long before I was ready.

When I think about that decade, I can picture the individual plays that could've changed the whole narrative. What if Dak doesn't bring them back against Pittsburgh and Tony gets the start the next week? What if the Dez catch was called a catch? What if Miles Austin doesn't lose the ball in the lights? What if Parcells comes back for the 07 season?

I wish Tony the best of luck on his future team... may he get that shot at lifting the Lombardi trophy he deserves.

As for me, I will obviously continue being a big fan of the Cowboys. But I'll never care quite as much as I did during the Tony Romo era.

That in itself makes that era pretty special.

David Malinsky
Joined: 08/11/2014
Posts: 12329
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Time to add one for the pocket - 

In the Sights, NCAA Afternoon…

I don’t believe there has been enough adjustment made for the absence of Josh Jackson today, so it will be #754 Kansas/TCU Under (3:00 Eastern), with plenty of 149.5 available in the current trading, and this one good to 149.

Neither coach wants much tempo here – Jamie Dixon obviously knowing his best way to compete today is to make it a slow grinder, and Bill Self fully knowing what is ahead after this, a higher energy affair against the Iowa State/Oklahoma State winner tomorrow, and then a difficult challenge on Saturday if his Jayhawks are still alive.

How limited is Kansas without Jackson? Lagerald Vick would start for a lot of teams, but then what? Carlton Bragg played 13.3 minutes per game In Big 12 play, but across those 18 games all other players combined for just 76 minutes. That is all. Kansas will not have the same offensive efficiency without Jackson, but also has to be pace wary as well, yet this Total is sitting on the same spot as a matchup between these teams in Lawrence two weeks ago, which closed at 149.5. 

wbunting4
Joined: 11/05/2016
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Dave, how about over the Louisville TT as another approach to play on Louisville.  I am seeing 74.5 out there.  Duke's offense is capable of stepping up and knocking down shots.  It seems that Duke's energy on defense along with Louisville's up tempo approach could be a way to take Duke's efficient offensive potential out of play.  This could turn into a shootout.

David Malinsky
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Posts: 12329
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wbunting4

Dave, how about over the Louisville TT as another approach to play on Louisville.  I am seeing 74.5 out there.  Duke's offense is capable of stepping up and knocking down shots.  It seems that Duke's energy on defense along with Louisville's up tempo approach could be a way to take Duke's efficient offensive potential out of play.  This could turn into a shootout.

Nothing wrong with that - the Duke defense has been passive in ACC play, rating #8 overall, with the lack of depth not just meaning conserving energy, but also in that there aren't many fouls to give. A good way to see that inside the numbers is that they were #11 in the ACC in Steal%, and #12 in TO% forced.

fortunaught
Joined: 04/05/2013
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G'Day Dave,

I am here to ask a somewhat redundant question in as much as I'm looking to fade Cuonzo Martin once again while it's still an option. I don't doubt that Cal will be at attention based on what happened last time they met, but being asked to lay 3.5 in a tourney setting where I can get home with made throws down the stretch, and my only scary scenario is a very tight one possession game type of finish, then I think I'm going back to the well one more time and make this Cal team prove they have more of a backbone than I am currently giving them credit for. I'd be curious to know how many points they'd have to give you with Cal before you became tempted, but for me the number is way north of four.

sportsinvestingtoday
Joined: 10/25/2014
Posts: 1136
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Hi David,

Phoenix Suns have been traded down to -2.5?? opened at 7, if Bledsoe does in fact sit, this line has moved too far, no? interested to get your thoughts?

my mistake David, I must have looked at the 1st half line....

David Malinsky
Joined: 08/11/2014
Posts: 12329
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fortunaught

G'Day Dave,

I am here to ask a somewhat redundant question in as much as I'm looking to fade Cuonzo Martin once again while it's still an option. I don't doubt that Cal will be at attention based on what happened last time they met, but being asked to lay 3.5 in a tourney setting where I can get home with made throws down the stretch, and my only scary scenario is a very tight one possession game type of finish, then I think I'm going back to the well one more time and make this Cal team prove they have more of a backbone than I am currently giving them credit for. I'd be curious to know how many points they'd have to give you with Cal before you became tempted, but for me the number is way north of four.

I was a little surprised at how high the markets went with this one, essentially higher now on a neutral than last week in Salt Lake City. Cal does show for me at +5, at what will likely be a grinder of a tempo, but I am not sure that it ever stretches out that far.

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