NBA 02/03 Thoughts and Blazers/Jazz Analysis and Play

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NBA 02/03 Thoughts and Blazers/Jazz Analysis and Play

We are coming from a good night, as we had a 4-0 sweep. I’ve waited more than the usual to release my final update because I was expecting to get some info about Corey Maggette’s injury and without him my projected line for that game (Warriors/Rockets) was -9.5/12 and so, we would have had a play on the Rockets. Unfortunately, the confirmation was known later and it was a pass. Some notes about yesterday:

- Raptors guard Jose Calderon was limping to the locker-room early in the fourth quarter, as he apparently stepped on teammate Jarrett Jack’s foot. His status for tonight is uncertain.

- Even without Jameer Nelson and Mikael Pietrus, the Magic didn’t have any problem to spank the Bucks for an easy win for us. Vince Carter is back?!? He had probably his best game of the season by shooting 7-15 FG, scoring 17 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists.

- The Cavs showed why they have the best paint defense in the league by shutting down the Grizzlies to just 34 points in the paint. I remember that Memphis is averaging 51.6 points in the paint.

- The Bulls had a tremendous letdown against the Clippers at home, while Chris Kaman showed that without him, his team can’t simply win any ballgame or even compete for it.

- I’ve watched the second half of the Hawks/Thunder game and in my opinion it was one of the best games of the season! Only 17 total turnovers for the whole game and two huge performances from Kevin Durant and Joe Johnson.

- Maggette didn’t play last night against the Rockets. His status for today: “Corey Maggette did not play Tuesday with a hip pointer, but according to the Warriors’ television crew he could have if necessary.”

 

DAILY ANALYSIS:

  
   POR            UTA

 

PORTLAND

Pace: 91.0 (30th of 30)
Offense: 107.6 (5th of 30)
Defense: 104.2 (17th of 30)

UTAH

Pace: 95.7 (15th of 30)
Offense: 106.4 (8th of 30)
Defense: 101.5 (9th of 30)

 

I’ve decided to release early this play, as with the current line of 198 points, according to my projected line, we have a 5-points edge (my real line is 193 points) and so, we have the proper edge to take the Under regardless any prior line movement. I wouldn’t discard to upgrade this play later into a Double Dime Play if 1) the line movement pushes up the line opening a 2 full ball possessions edge for us or 2) the referee’s crew is a strong “under” crew.

What we have in here is in my opinion an over inflated line due to several reasons: The Trail Blazers are a hot “Over” team as 6 of their last 7 games ending up being “Over”; the Jazz are riding a 6-game winning streak and the public perception is that they are playing a killer offense averaging 109.3 points per game during the streak…but they are playing as well great defense and also the first two games of the series ended with 200 and 201 points and so, the oddmakers were forced to push up the line.

This series has been an extreme slow paced series and only exceptional shooting performances can put the Under in danger. That happened with the Jazz as in the first two meetings they have shot above 60% from the field in each contest and literally spanked the Blazers. Note that in the first game the Blazers had a terrible spot for that game by playing in back to back nights and in the last game the Jazz started 22-2 and they never look back, while the Blazers had to push the pace after such early hole.

In my opinion the Blazers have all the conditions to perform better on the defensive end. First of all, Carlos Boozer is out for tonight and he was a “Blazers killer” in the first 2 games by combining 16-21 from the field, 17 rebounds and 7 assists. Paul Millsap is a good player but he does not have the size and length of Boozer. Also the Blazers have now Nicolas Batum and Rudy Fernandez perfectly accommodated into the rotations and they provide the Blazers some missed size and length on the wings. We all know that the Blazers don’t have the same presence in the paint and they were already lacking some defensive presence on the wings. Nate McMillan was forced some times to bring Miller, Bayless and Blake to the court at the same time and we talking about 3 players with 6’3’’, 6’2’’ and 6’3’’! The Jazz game plan relies heavily into cuts and off screeners from their forwards and facing the Blazers was too easy for them. In the last game against the Bobcats, the Blazers showed some signs of good defense by shutting down a hot team like the Bobcats to just 79 points.

Speaking of the Jazz…they are playing some brilliant defense as of late! It’s easy to praise their offense, but their defense has been the real highlight lately. In their 6-game winning streak for only once they allowed their opponents to reach the century mark in points – 115 points from the Suns, but even in that game, the Suns were held to just 46 points in the second half. Last game against the Mavericks, the Jazz showed their good defense in the final quarter by holding Dallas to just 16 team points.

According to my numbers, I have a line of 192/195 points for this contest and so, we have the proper edge to take the Under in here and I don’t discard the possibility of an upgrade.

Pick: 3 units (Single Dime Play) on 719/720 Under 198

 

  • The line dropped to 195 points so this will be a Single Dime Play however we were able to get 3 extra points in this play, good luck for tonight.