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The History of the NBA

For anyone that’s unfamiliar with the National Basketball Association, they are the biggest and best professional basketball league in the world. Although the NBA is based in North America and features 29 American and 1 Canadian side, it is widely recognised that this organisation has the premier players and teams from around the globe. Having been founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, the NBA originally went by the name Basketball Association of America, and it was not until the August of 1949 that National Basketball Association was adopted. The Toronto Huskies played hosts to the New York Knickerbockers in the first ever official NBA game, which took place at Maple Leaf Gardens in Canada.

From 1979, the NBA had a real surge in popularity and one of the more exciting moves by the organisation was to add the three pointer to the rule book which made for more dramatic matches. Also that year, Larry Bird joined the Boston Celtics, while Magic Johnson made his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers. These two giants of the game eventually went toe to toe at the 1984 NBA Finals and so began a rivalry which generated huge fan interest around the world. Both players lead their respective sides to numerous NBA titles and were the most famous names in the game until the arrival of Michael Jordan. Jordan became a global brand all of his own during the 90s and would help the Chicago Bulls secure three NBA Titles in succession from 1991 to 1993. He repeated the same feat in 96, 97 and 1998 before retiring the following year. Jordan did make a comeback with the Washington Wizards but injuries meant his game time was limited.

NBA

The 2014 NBA Championship title race is currently in its latter stages, with the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs battling it out for the prestigious crown. Miami Heat are currently available at odds of 5/7, while the Spurs can be backed at odds of 6/5. There is also betting available on the Series Score which is sure to appeal to a number of basketball fans. The most popular series score at the time of writing is Miami to win by a 4-2 margin and that outcome can be supported at the 12/5 mark. For any San Antonio fans out there, Gregg Popovich’s side are available at generous looking odds of 11/2 to win the title by that same 4-2 score line.

The future of the NBA definitely looks bright and the fact that the NBA players are the world’s best paid sportsmen tells its own story. Betting on this sport and the NBA in particular remains big business. Bookmaker Betfair are one of the very best sportsbooks that provide betting opportunities for basketball punters and there are prices available on the NBA championship as well as individual matches throughout the calendar year.

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NBA Playoffs

After 5 games into what was originally referred to as the semi-final round of the NBA playoffs, there is another title which can be given to this stage of the postseason: A Tale of Two Series.

With one team dominating its counterpart and the other pairing being tied after two games, there is an underlying contrast to how basketball is being played on either side of the country.

In the Eastern Conference we have a battle of two teams that almost everyone predicted would be squaring off in the semi-finals and a hard-fought series that is tied at a game apiece. In one corner, we have the #1 team in the NBA and the defending champions the Miami Heat, and the Indiana Pacers, the team looking to knock them off the pedestal.

Out West, it’s the San Antonio Spurs, a team that finished second overall during the regular season in the Western Conference has a commanding 3-0 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs have been considered too old for pretty much the last decade but are still finding plenty of ways to win.

NBA Playoffs

So, what makes these two matchups so completely different?

Looking at the makeup of all four teams, it’s easy to see how each pairing is similar – presumably the main reason for all of them reaching this point of postseason play.

The Spurs and Grizzlies are balanced teams – shooters, talented big men and dangerous point guards.

The Heat and Pacers are explosive teams – star talent combined with tenacious defense.

Breaking it down like this shows the simple comparisons that can be made, but also why these two different series have turned out as they have.

Simply put, San Antonio’s version of the balanced team is better. The Spurs have so many weapons capable of scoring on one end of the floor, then hustling back and stopping their opponents from scoring on the other end.

The Heat, with all their incredibly talented players are far from perfect. What they lack is exactly what Indiana possesses: a true and skilled big man to dominate the post. Indiana’s Roy Hibbert was crucial in helping the Pacers keep game 1 excruciatingly close throughout, and for pulling out the win in game 2. If the Heat manage to execute as they did during the regular season – being able to destroy opponents with their fast-paced attack and use of their group of future Hall of Famers, they will be able to come out on top.

Seeing as how the Eastern Conference matchup could now go either way, both teams will have to figure out a way to overcome what has until this point made the series a war of attrition.

If the Grizzlies are to pull of the (seemingly) impossible, they will have to find a way to shut down the San Antonio scorers and use their strong players to bully their way to the basket.

While both of the remaining series feature rather different groups of teams, one thing is for sure: all four clubs are providing some excellent basketball. No one would tune in to games featuring blowouts every night or teams that didn’t have any star talent on their rosters. It’s playoff series such as these that keep the fans coming back.

So while it may be a tale of two series, there will only be one series that matters – and once the Finals roll around, the excitement will be sky high.

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Don’t Go Broke On March Madness

Every spring brings a frenzy of excitement for college basketball fans. Dozens of college teams compete in back to back games throughout the US in hopes to make to the final four tournaments at the end of the month. For many teams this is a last hope, and for others it is the result of hard work and dedication throughout the regular season. For fans it is a blast to watch on television with other friends, or to go to games to cheer on your school. But with tickets, jerseys, food and so much more the price tag can get high quick unless you follow a few simple tips to keep your March Madness budget in bounds.

Even though there is a little time before the basketball madness begins, it is wise to think ahead for gear, food, tickets, hotel rooms and so much more so you can save money by buying ahead of time. Jersey’s alone can run you hundreds of dollars if you wait to purchase them at the arena. And tickets will skyrocket in cost quicker than anything else.

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Now is the time to go online and find your favorite jerseys and clothing at smarter prices. The Tar Heels are a popular team and right now you can get a simple blue and white Carolina tee for less than $13. Or you can get a Nike North Carolina Tarheel white replica jersey for $59.95. If you want to go all out, purchase the replica basketball shorts too for $59.95 or the varsity fleece pants for $26.95. You can find other teams too like the Duke Blue Devils, the Florida Gators, the Pitt Panthers, the Fighting Illini, and so many more.

If you plan on going to the game you may want to have pom poms or lays to wear and wave, they will only run you $1.50-3.95 if you buy them ahead of time. If you want a cave banner to hold up or display on your wall, pregame sale will only cost $19.95. Tailgating is popular with March Madness crowds too and you may want a rolling collapsible cooler for under $50, or a stadium seat for $24.95. At the stadium a giant foam finger will cost you at least $20, but if you buy it before you go it will only be about $5.95.

For those who plan on staying at home, enjoying the craziness from your own couch, you can buy some food and supplies ahead of time. And if you want catered food, call now and get cheaper deals before the prices go up. You may also want to get a few things for the home like an 8-pack of paper plates with your teams logo on it for less than $4, or balloons with your team for less than $7. For some added fun you can purchase team logo items like lantern lights for $29.95 or a decorative chip and dip plate for $13.95, and even a charm set for your guests wine glasses for under $20.

Tickets will be your most expensive purchase, so this should be a priority for planning ahead. For instance, if you want Kentucky Wildcats basketball tickets you can already head to the schools website and purchase 2013 basketball championship tickets for March 21st and 23rd games at Rupp arena. Right now they are running $192-285 a seat depending on where you want to sit, but the longer you wait the more chance the price will go up.

March Madness is an American pastime. And there is no reason you can’t enjoy it without financially penalizing yourself. Just be smart and plan ahead and you can root for your team with no worries!

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What Rondo’s injury means for Celtics

Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo went down with a right knee injury in Friday night’s overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Now we know the extent of his injury, a torn ACL. The team announced on Sunday during the Celtics and Heat game that Rondo suffered a torn ACL and will be out for the rest of the season.

This injury could very well be the thing that keeps the Celtics from making the playoffs. The Celtics were the number eight seed in the weak Eastern Conference as of Sunday night and that was all with the help of a healthy Rondo. Now that he is out for the season it seems the Celtics will turn to Leandro Barbosa to try and take his place as the team distributor.

Rajon Rondo

Barbosa has averaged only 11 minutes per game this year in his limited role, but on Sunday vs. the Heat with Rondo out Barbosa’s minutes jumped up to 30 for the game as he finished with nine points and four assists. Another player that will assume more of a point guard role for the Celtics will be newcomer Jason Terry.

This is Terry’s first year playing for the Celtics and will now prove if the team made the right move in acquiring him this offseason despite them already having Rondo. Terry is in his 13th NBA season and fits right in with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett as veterans of the team. The Celtics are one of the oldest teams is the league and have been criticized so because they are not making an attempt at getting younger.
However, with Rondo going down for the year and this team already on the fringe of making the playoffs, this could be the turning of an era in Boston.  Although the team will not be rid of veterans Garnett, Pierce, and Terry until after the 2015 season, I would expect them to start making moves to acquire draft picks and young talented players as they look towards the future.

With all the questions that will surround the Rondo-less Celtics, there will also be some answered uncovered. In the past the Celtics have dangled Rondo as trade bait because they didn’t see him as their franchise point guard.  However, they kept Rondo and have seen the results of this team when led by him; now that he is injured they will finally be able to see how much of an impact he really does make while on the court.

The rest of the season could very well dictate how the Celtics move forward from here; if they crumble it will become apparent that Garnett and Pierce are not the right sidekicks to make a deep playoff run in the future. If the Celtics get on a run and are able to keep playing as they did Sunday when they beat the Heat then questions will surface once again if Rondo will stay in Boston or if he could be traded with either Garnett or Pierce to bring in a young scorer. Then there is the most likely and also most unfortunate result, the team plays average and barely makes the playoffs which will keep the main core intact and keep this team mediocre until they make the decision to build with younger talent.

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NBA Betting is Still on the Menu – Don’t Miss a Game!

Are you looking at betting on all of the big games? Regardless of sport mentioned, sports betting is definitely here to stay. If you want to get in on the action, it’s just a matter of picking the sport to follow and bet on the games with. If you’re stuck, why not look into NBA betting odds at Topbet? The odds are pretty good, and you can make money in the world of NBA betting as long as you’re willing to take a few chances and really look at some hard data.

This is the part that people usually don’t get — if you want to make more than “hobby” money, then you have to get serious about it. Of course, it’s perfectly fine if you just want to bet casually. There are a few things that you’ll find to think about as you get into the games.

NBA Betting
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you are looking for the right sportsbook. You want to make sure that while you can bet on NBA games, you also have other sports that you can think about. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, as it actually makes a lot more sense than you might imagine.

Let’s say that you want to bet on the rest of the NBA season. From game to game, you could certainly do that. However, what about when the season is over? The right sportsbook will feel like a betting home away from home, and that means that you can always bet on another sports season without having to switch gears completely. You want to find a sportsbook that has an easy to follow interface. After all, once you start willing big, you’re going to want to place more bets and let the process multiply.

You also want to look at how you bet. Do you want to just go with a straight bet / parlay, or are you trying to go with more exotic bets? As always, you want to see what the spread is, what the odds are.

If you’re looking around for a great sports betting site, you definitely want to start checking out the NBA odds at Topbet. This is a site that definitely has plenty of other games for you to bet on at any given time. You can also connect to other punters to shade ideas. Betting is more than just making a little money on the side — it’s truly connecting with people that have the same interest that you do. So don’t let the NBA season end without betting on a few games. You can’t win if you don’t play, so go ahead and check it out for yourself!

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Analysis on the Four Headed Dragon in Los Angeles

The NBA; where the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes… poorer?

The Los Angeles Lakers have become richer indeed! They had one of their most epic offseason in a decade. They were able to add 2-time MVP Steve Nash and the best big man in the game, Dwight Howard.

And just like that, the Los Angeles Lakers are now considered as one of the the FAVORITES to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season, and for maybe 2-3 more years! This is, mind you, despite the fact that they had a very rough start to the season and are finding themselves out of the Playoff race. But fear not – because Steve Nash has returned and the Lakers are actually on a 4 game winning streak.

But before we all get excited about what the Lakers have done – let us take a closer look on the 4-headed dragon in Los Angeles, and of course, the X-Factor in their starting 5.

At Point Guard; Steve Nash!

Steve Nash
Steve Nash will go down as one of the best point guards in NBA history. His intelligence and creativity with the basketball is simply unmatched in today’s game. And even at 38 years old, he’s still one of the top point guards in the league.

What he brings to the Lakers though is more than just play making. For once in Kobe Bryant’s career, he has someone in the back court that can take over the game like he can. Someone Kobe can trust. Although Kobe always respected Derek Fisher, Fisher was never the kind of point guard that could impact the game the way Nash can. Kobe can now confidently let his point guard run the show.

Nash will orchestrate the offense and make sure that Kobe, Pau, and Dwight get the touches that they need. Above anything else, Nash will set the pace for the Lakers offense and inject his own style of play. With the Lakers’ offensive playbook now far from what Phil Jackson implemented, Nash will help out his former Suns Coach Mike D’antoni in implementing the offense and act as a playing coach on the court.

At Shooting Guard, Kobe Bryant!

Kobe Bryant
Kobe will always be Kobe. We know him, and we surely know his game. That won’t ever change. No matter how old Kobe gets, he’s still going to shoot the basketball as much as he wants. Only this time, he doesn’t need to shoot as much as he did. With Nash handling the rock, Kobe won’t have to drop 35 points a game for the Lakers to win.

The Lakers are very deep this season, and this is probably one of, if not the deepest team Bryant has ever been.

Make no mistake about it that the Lakers are still Kobe’s team, but he’s a very smart player and he realizes that it’s time for him to play a more team oriented game if he wants to win another title.

At Power Forward, Pau Gasol!

Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol is one of the most skilled big men in the game. His offense will be an asset for the Lakers, especially against the Miami Heat who has no answer for Gasol’s offensive prowess.

Gasol will benefit from Steve Nash’s play making skills. He will get easy baskets that he never had in his entire career. If given enough touches, Gasol may be poised to have his best offensive season, thanks to Steve Nash.

Despite the trade rumors of him being traded elsewhere, Gasol looks to be part of this Lakers team for the long haul – or until after this season at least.

At Center, Dwight Howard!

Dwight Howard
Well, what can we say? The Dwightmare finally ended when the Orlando Magic decided to pull the trigger and send Dwight Howard to the L.A. Lakers.

Now, the Lakers have the best big man in the game once again (see: Shaquille O’neal, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain). Dwight is an obvious upgrade from Andrew Bynum, despite Bynum being the better offensive player among the two.

With Howard’s superior defense and presence in the paint, the Lakers became instant favorites to win the title. Howard fell to Bryant’s Lakers back in 2009 in the NBA Finals. Now, Howard will have a shot to win a title alongside Kobe Bryant. With Howard manning the middle, the Lakers are confident that they have what it takes to make it out of the Western Conference and beat the Miami Heat.

These four are giving every Lakers fan a brand new hope and excitement for their team. But if they want to win it all, the other guy from the starting line-up should contribute, *cough* Metta *cough*.

To know more about the Lakers’ X-Factor, read our next article about him.

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Dark Horse Teams this 2012-2013 NBA Season (Western Conference)

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at 2 teams that have a shot to pull off an upset and go all the way to the NBA Finals. Of course, we’re not going to take a look at how the Sacramento Kings can miraculously win 55 games and make it out of the West.

The 4 dark horse teams (2 from the East, 2 from the West) that will be analyzed have just enough talent to compete for a title, but aren’t really considered as legit title contenders.

Let’s start with the Western Conference:

1.)    Los Angeles Clippers

Los-Angeles-Clippers
The Clippers quietly put together a great offseason. They acquired Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom, and Jamal Crawford. They were able to add a lot of depth to their team.

While everyone was busy celebrating the Howard and Nash acquisitions in L.A., people sort of forgot that the other L.A. team was putting together a roster that could rival the Lakers. The main problem that the Clippers had last season was pacing. Chris Paul, at times, was not able to completely lead the Clippers’ offense the way it should be.

Obviously, Vinny Del Negro isn’t the best X and O’s guy, so it is expected of CP3 to carry the offensive load. The Clippers often found themselves trailing big in the 4th quarter or blowing huge leads in the end. They lacked veteran leadership and guidance which is why they added Grant Hill to the mix. With Chauncey Billups making a comeback, the Clippers will have the veteran leadership and poise that they lacked last season.

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are an amazing tandem. There’s no questioning their scoring ability, but what’s important is how they fare on the defense. Paul has been slowed down by injuries, but he’s still the undisputed number 1 point guard in the game. His defense will be crucial for the Clippers if they want to make serious noise in the Western Conference.

Deandre Jordan is also an interesting subject when looking at the Clippers. Jordan worked hard this summer on his game, and has shown glimpses of his hard work during preseason. If Jordan can be more of an offensive threat rather than just being a “tip in” or garbage guy type of player, the Clippers will be very special.

The Clippers have a legit shot to make it out of the West as long as CP3 and the gang remain healthy. The question is… Will they?

2.)    Denver Nuggets

Denver-Nuggets
The Lakers aren’t the only team in the West that benefitted from the Dwight Howard trade. In fact, the Denver Nuggets got a great gift for being one of the facilitators of the Howard blockbuster deal. The Nuggets gave up Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington in exchange for Andre Iguodala!

The Nuggets got a steal in Iggy. Not only is he a major upgrade from Afflalo (although Afflalo is a good player as well), they were able to get rid of Al Harrington’s contract! The black hole is officially out of Mile High city!

Now, the Nuggets are looking very scary with Iguodala in the mix. George Karl’s Nuggets will run, run, and run some more! With Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and Javale McGee; Iggy will have a lot of options on offense. Whether he’s acting as a facilitator or in the receiving end of Lawson’s passes, Iguodala will catapult the Nuggets to the upper ranks in the West.

But the best part about Iggy isn’t his offense. It’s his performance on the other side of the court. Iguodala is known to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. His elite defense is just what the Nuggets need to be serious playoff contenders. If the Nuggets have any shot to overthrow the Thunder and fend off the Lakers, Iguodala must play his best basketball.