EF Private Play Parlay Now Available!!

Big Week Ahead Opt In Now!!!



Thursday, December 16, 2010

NBA Picks and NBA odds

Johnny C gave out his NBA Picks for tonights Wizards vs. Nets game and he took the Nets moneyline thus telling his clients that the Wizards can and will not win on the road. Well sure enough JC was correct in his premonition and his against the spread NBA odds betting system continues to accumulate betting units this season:

The Washington Wizards even with the number one draft pick in Wall with Arenas by his side still can't take down the Nets. With Devin Harris scoring 29 pts with 9 assists, as the New Jersey Nets beat the dismal Washington Wizards with a final score of 97-89, snapping their 8 game losing streak.

Brook Lopez scored 18 points in the Nets 1st victory since beating the trail blazers right after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Nick Young hit an impressive 22 points & Gilbert Arenas scored 19 points but couldnt stop the curse of being helpless outside of the nations capital being an impressive 0-13 on the road in the 2010-2011 season.

Both teams stand at the bottom of the Eastern-conference with just six victories.

The wizards came back from being down 23 points to tie it up at 75 but never could put enough pep in the step to make it happen as the Nets led the entire way.

Some noticeable things about this game are that its surprisng that rookie point guard John Wall didnt come out from his hurt knee and that the last 4 games between the two teams were dominated by Washington last year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Orlando Magic vs Portland Trailblazers, -2.5, 184.5

When the Magic take the court to face the Blazers tonight, they will be starting a treacherous 4 game road trip where they will have to face the Blazers, Clippers, Jazz and Nuggets. This will be a very important road trip for Orlando because it will test their ability to withstand two of the more powerhouse teams of the Western Conference. This will be Dwight Howard and the Magic’s first trip out west for the year and it should give a real idea of how well they can play when they are put outside of their element.

The Magic are supposed to get their starting point guard Jameer Nelson back tonight from a stomach ailment that has kept him out of action for the last 3 games. On the other side of the ball, the Blazers are also supposed to get their starting point guard back tonight, but for very different reasons: Andre Miller was suspended one game because of an altercation with Blake Griffin. Blazers back-up center Joel Pryzbilla is supposed to miss this game for personal reasons [grandmothers funeral], and that will definitely hurt the Blazers depth when they try to guard the best center in the league in Dwight Howard. The Magic are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings versus the Blazers and are also 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games playing on two days rest, which I honestly think is very important when you are handicapping specific NBA teams.

My lean here is on Orlando because of it being their first game on this west coast road trip and the fact I think the Blazers will have a very tough time guarding Dwight Howard in this one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks, -2, 189.5

When the Milwaukee Bucks tip-off tonight versus the Indiana Pacers, the Pacers would have played 5 of their last 6 games on the road and tonight I think the traveling will catch up to them. The Bucks have been at home for almost a week by now and have already gone 1-1, beating the Orlando Magic and losing to the Miami Heat. The only injury to speak of in this match up is Drew Gooden, forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, who will be missing this game due to Plantar Fasciitis.

The favorite in this match up is 16-7-2 in their last 25 meetings and the Pacers are 1-6 in their last 7 meetings as well; the difference in this game will be the play of both point guard and center Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut for the Milwaukee Bucks. In both teams last 5 games overall, the Pacers are scoring 10 more points than the Bucks, but allowing 5 more points as well. In the end this is going to be a very close game going into the 4th quarter and it will turn into a defensive battle in the final minutes, where the Bucks will come away with a win behind their defense and play of versatile point guard Brandon Jennings.

I am leaning on the Bucks in this match up for small play at home versus the Pacers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Denver Nuggets vs Charlotte Bobcats, -1.5, 203

When the Nuggets take the floor Tuesday night, they will be playing mostly for George Karl and that is not just because he is their head coach; Karl will be going for his 1000th win. The Nuggets have covered 4 of their last 5 match ups with the Bobcats, while Charlotte is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing 100 or more points in their previous game. The Nuggets are 13-6 so far this season, but where they have struggled has been covering spreads, where they are 6-11-2.

Another trend for these two teams has been the over in their past few games with it going 5-1 in their past 6 match ups. In Denver’s last 5 games, the Nuggets are averaging over 111 points per game and with that trend, I think the over is a good pick because the Nuggets are allowing over 100 points as well in their last 5. Charlotte Bobcats guard Stephen Jackson sat out of practice Monday due to a cramp in his left calf, he is expected to play in this game but I really think it will affect the way the Bobcats will run their offense and how the Nuggets will have to defend players like Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin.

In this game I have two separate leans, I think the Nuggets and the over are two very safe plays in this match up, especially with the home team going 5-1 straight up in their last 6 meetings.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Los Angeles Lakers vs Washington Wizards, -13.5, 206.5

Let me just start out by saying the Wizards are 0-10 on the road so far this season and have only covered 1 of those road games. In the past 10 days the Wizards have played 6 games with 4 of them being on the road and I do not think the Wizards will be ready for this game versus the reigning two time NBA champions.

This spread is very high, but after the Lakers had just gone on a 4 game losing streak and snapping that streak on Friday versus the Kings, the Lakers have rested all weekend and will be ready to flex their muscles versus the Wizards on Tuesday

The Wizards have been outrebounded in their last 4 games by a combined 42 rebounds and tonight with Pau Gasol on the other side of the ball I expect the Lakers to control the glass and get out to a quick start. In the Lakers last 10 games overall, 6 of them have been on the road, they will be happy to finally be home for back to back home games and will be back to their comfortable ways

John Wall is currently on his first western conference road trip of his NBA career after losing by 17 in Phoenix on Sunday Night; I am leaning on the Lakers in this one.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic, -11, 192.5

The Magic have won 3 games in a row and are starting to look like the beasts of the East we all thought they could be, but on the other side of the ball, the Detroit Pistons have pretty much started the season the way most analysts predicted them to start with a 6-11 record and a 2-7 record on the road. The problem with the Magic so far this season have been covering the hefty spreads Vegas has set out for them night in and night out; especially against the lower half of the Eastern Conference at home. Tonight is absolutely no different, they are 11 point favorites at home, playing a Pistons team who has lost 3 straight road games and will struggle to defend the best Center in the league in Dwight Howard.

Statistically over the past few years, the Pistons have done a pretty good job covering the spread while playing in Orlando, going 13-5 in their last 18 meetings versus the Magic. The issue for Orlando has been simply covering spreads versus the Eastern Conference, because they have gone 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games versus the East. My lean on this game has to go with the Orlando Magic minus the points because of the advantage in field goal percentage, points per game and rebounding they hold over an overachieving 6-win Pistons.


Orlando Magic-

Vince Carter: Probable, Knee- Sustained injury 11/22 vs. Spurs, has not played since

Daniel Orton: Out, Knee- Surgery, will not play anytime soon

Detroit Pistons-

Terrico White: Out, Foot- Injured during Preseason, will not play

Jonas Jerebko: Out, Achilles- Injured during Preseason, out 5-6 months

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Current NBA injuries

It's been an exciting start to a great NBA basketball season thus far and to much of the south beach chagrin Lebron James and the Miami heat are failing to live up to expectations. The Cleveland Cavalier fans not surprisingly seem to be ecstatic about this even though they stand as one of the worst teams in the league. For live NBA basketball updates such as these current injuries around the league than please check back as we will update the injury report on a weekly basis.

NBA Injuries
Atlanta Hawks
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Pape Sy G 10/26/2010 is out indefinitely Out strained lower back
Boston Celtics
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Jermaine O`Neal C 11/15/2010 is expected to miss 2-3 weeks Out sore left knee
Kendrick Perkins C 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out right knee surgery
Rajon Rondo G 11/23/2010 is questionable for Wednesday's game against New Jersey Questionable strained left hamstring
Charlotte Bobcats
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Gerald Henderson G 11/23/2010 missed Tuesday's game against New York Out left knee inflammation
Chicago Bulls
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Carlos Boozer F 10/05/2010 is expected to miss 6-8 weeks Out right hand surgery
Taj Gibson F 11/23/2010 is probable for Tuesday's game against the LA Lakers Probable pinched nerve in right foot
Cleveland Cavaliers
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
No significant injuries
Dallas Mavericks
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Rodrigue Beaubois G 10/13/2010 is out indefinitely Out left foot surgery
Denver Nuggets
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Chauncey Billups G 11/23/2010 is probable for Friday's game against Chicago Probable broken nose/sprained right wrist
Kenyon Martin F 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out left knee surgery
Detroit Pistons
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Jonas Jerebko F 10/08/2010 is expected to miss 5-6 months Out right Achilles surgery
Terrico White G 10/08/2010 is out indefinitely Out right foot surgery
Golden State Warriors
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Louis Amundson F 10/18/2010 is out indefinitely Out right index finger surgery
David Lee F 11/16/2010 is expected to miss 2-3 weeks Out left elbow surgery
Ekpe Udoh G 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out left wrist surgery
Brandan Wright F 11/20/2010 is expected to miss at least one week Out strained lower back/disc inflammation
Houston Rockets
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Aaron Brooks G 11/07/2010 is expected to miss 4-6 weeks Out sprained left ankle
Yao Ming C 11/11/2010 is out indefinitely Out bone bruise in left ankle
Indiana Pacers
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Roy Hibbert C 11/23/2010 left Tuesday's game against Cleveland Out headache
Los Angeles Clippers
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Baron Davis G 11/10/2010 is out indefinitely Out sore/swollen left knee
Chris Kaman C 11/10/2010 is expected to miss three weeks Out sprained left ankle
Los Angeles Lakers
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Andrew Bynum C 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out right knee surgery
Theo Ratliff C 11/16/2010 is expected to miss 4-6 weeks Out arthroscopic left knee surgery
Memphis Grizzlies
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
No significant injuries
Miami Heat
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Udonis Haslem F 11/23/2010 is out indefinitely Out left foot surgery
Mike Miller G 10/22/2010 is expected to miss 2-3 months Out right thumb surgery
Milwaukee Bucks
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Andrew Bogut C 11/23/2010 is doubtful for Wednesday's game against Cleveland Doubtful back spasms/sore right elbow
Carlos Delfino F 11/21/2010 is doubtful for Wednesday's game against Cleveland Doubtful strained neck/concussion-like symptoms
Chris Douglas-Roberts G 10/26/2010 is expected to miss at least one month Out right eye surgery
Darington Hobson G 10/12/2010 will miss the entire season Out left hip surgery
Michael Redd G 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out left knee surgery
Minnesota Timberwolves
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Jonny Flynn G 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out left hip surgery
Nikola Pekovic C 11/13/2010 is out indefinitely Out sprained left foot/ankle
Martell Webster G 10/25/2010 is expected to miss 4-6 weeks Out lower back surgery
New Jersey Nets
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Troy Murphy F 11/23/2010 missed Tuesday's game against Atlanta Out sore right foot
Quinton Ross G 11/23/2010 missed Tuesday's game against Atlanta Out strained left calf
Terrence Williams G 11/23/2010 missed Tuesday's game against Atlanta Out disciplinary
New Orleans Hornets
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
No significant injuries
New York Knicks
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Kelenna Azubuike G 10/21/2010 is out indefinitely Out left knee surgery
Eddy Curry C 10/26/2010 is out indefinitely Out strained right hamstring
Amare Stoudemire F 11/23/2010 played Tuesday against Charlotte Probable sore left ankle
Oklahoma City Thunder
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
No significant injuries
Orlando Magic
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Vince Carter G 11/23/2010 is questionable for Wednesday's game against Miami Questionable sprained left knee
Daniel Orton C 10/13/2010 is out indefinitely Out left knee surgery
Jason Williams G 11/23/2010 is questionable for Wednesday's game against Miami Questionable sore foot
Philadelphia 76ers
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Andre Iguodala G 11/23/2010 played Tuesday against Washington Probable right Achilles tendinitis
Jason Kapono F 11/23/2010 missed Tuesday's game against Washington Out personal
Andres Nocioni F 11/23/2010 played Tuesday against Washington Probable bruised left foot
Phoenix Suns
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Robin Lopez C 11/15/2010 will miss at least one month Out sprained left knee
Portland Trail Blazers
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Greg Oden C 09/27/2010 will miss the entire season Out left knee surgery
Joel Przybilla C 11/23/2010 is probable for Friday's game against New Orleans Probable right knee surgery
Brandon Roy G 11/21/2010 is questionable for Friday's game against New Orleans Questionable sore left knee
Elliot Williams G 11/04/2010 will miss the remainder of the season Out right knee surgery
Sacramento Kings
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
No significant injuries
San Antonio Spurs
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
James Anderson G 11/11/2010 is expected to miss two months Out stress fracture in right foot
George Hill G 11/23/2010 is probable for Wednesday's game against Minnesota Probable cramping in right calf
Toronto Raptors
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
No significant injuries
Utah Jazz
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Mehmet Okur C 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out left Achilles surgery
Washington Wizards
Player Pos. Date Details Status Injury
Josh Howard G 09/27/2010 is out indefinitely Out left knee surgery
Yi Jianlian F 11/23/2010 missed Tuesday's game against Philadelphia Out bruised right knee
Al Thornton F 11/23/2010 left Tuesday's game against Philadelphia Out sprained left ankle
John Wall G 11/23/2010 played Tuesday against Philadelphia Probable sprained/bruised left foot

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NBA Friday Night and Weekend Betting Trends

NBA Friday Night Betting Trends

Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers:

-The Lakers are 5-0 SU at home versus the Raptors since 2006

-The over is 6-0 in their last 6 meetings overall

-The Lakers have won 7 straight games dating back to last years NBA Finals

-The Lakers are shooting 46.8% from 3-point range, while they are only shooting
46.3% from the field this season

Miami Heat at New Orleans Hornets:

-The Heat are allowing only 84.3 points a game so far this season, while the Hornets
are scoring over 100 points a game; something has got to give in this matchup

-The Hornets are 5-0 ATS and SU in their past 5 meetings at home versus the Heat,
while the Heat are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 meetings in New Orleans

-The under has dominated this series in the past 5 meetings going 4-1 and is 11-2 in
the Heat’s last 13 games versus a team with a SU winning record

Charlotte Bobcats at Detroit Pistons:

-The Pistons are 0-5 so far this season, but looking beneath the numbers you will
notice they are 3-2 ATS

-The Pistons as a team so far this season are shooting 66.7% from the free throw

-The Bobcats are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games versus the Central Division and 0-5
ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win

-Pistons are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings versus the Southeast Division

-The Pistons are only allowing a staggering 28% from three point range so far this

Saturday Matchup: Toronto Raptors at Portland Trailblazers:

-Look out for Toronto here, who will be playing back-to-back road games versus
the Lakers and Blazers, after starting out the season 0-2 on the road, allowing an
average of 118 points to the home teams in those matchups

-The Raptors are also 1-5 on the road in their last 6 games dating back to the end of
last season; with their sole win being against the Detroit Pistons

Check out our winning Vegas Insider picks as we are climbing up the Guaranteed
Picks leader board. http://www.vegasinsider.com/handicappers/bios.cfm/hc/250/
mike-cooper or get the best NBA Picks right here at Coopers Pick.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NBA opening Night Preview Celtics vs. Heat

NBA Preview Tuesday, October 26th Miami Heat (0-0) at Boston Celtics (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Boston Three Party meet Miami Thrice.
The new look Miami Heat invade Beantown tonight and open up the 2010-11 NBA season by visiting the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.
Superstar Dwyane Wade is still the captain in Miami. He's still introduced last, and he's still the center of attention in all of the team's publicity material, but make no mistake that's all just pageantry now.
Wade has been joined in Miami by two of the highest profile free agent acquisitions in NBA history, the reigning two-time NBA MVP LeBron James, who fled Cleveland after seven seasons for South Beach, along with former Toronto All-Star power forward Chris Bosh.
Meanwhile, Wade's former running rate on the Heat's 2006 NBA championship team, veteran center Shaquille O'Neal, is scheduled to make his debut for a Celtics team that came up just one game short of an NBA title last year.
"I think the NBA did an unbelievable job of picking a great first game," Wade said.
"All eyes will be on the game in Boston, but I think all eyes will really be on Miami," Celtics coach Doc Rivers added. "We are the other team that is playing and we are going to show up. But I'm sure everybody is there to see Miami."
Wade, a former NBA Finals MVP and scoring champion himself, now has a lot in common with Derek Jeter in New York. Like Jeter with baseball's Yankees, he will always be the most popular player for his franchise but Wade is no longer the straw that stirs the drink in south Florida. In the Bronx, that title belongs to Alex Rodriguez. In South Beach, it took all of one day for James to seize the mantle.
James and Bosh kicked off a new era for the Heat with a combined 38 points as Wade went down early with a hamstring injury in Miami's 105-89 exhibition opening win over the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 5.
Of course, preseason wins -- heck, even regular season wins -- aren't what it's going to be about in Miami this season. In fact the Heat may want to embrace Billy Joel's "Pressure" as their anthem this season. Anything short of an NBA championship will be viewed as a disappointment.
The blockbuster moves by Pat Riley in the offseason that netted Wade, who will play tonight despite struggling with the hamstring for much of the preseason, two teammates with 11 All-Star appearances between them also brought a ton of expectations.
A potential minefield of off-the-court distractions await.
"I hope these guys embrace it," former NBA star Chris Webber said of the scrutiny the Heat's three stars will surely face. "Don't apologize for getting together; don't tell us why it happened. Just beat everybody and say 'I told you so.'"
Things are much more tempered in Beantown, where the Celtics are coming off another great season in which they were a couple plays away from winning a second championship in three years.
Led by their own big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen along with emerging point guard Rajon Rondo, Boston fell in Game 7 of the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers, 83-79, wasting a 13-point third-quarter lead in the process, and losing the seventh game of the finals for the first time in the franchise's storied history.
Health is a main issue for the aging core of the C's that now includes Shaq. and Jermaine O'Neal.
Boston center Kendrick Perkins went down with a knee injury in Game 6 against the Lakers in The Finals and his absence was felt inside in the final game. Perkins underwent successful surgery in July to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and is scheduled to miss half of the upcoming season, forcing Boston to ink both O'Neals.
The Celtics will also be without guard Delonte West, who is serving a 10-game suspension for an off-the-court indiscretion. Meanwhile, rookie guard Avery Bradley is out after undergoing left ankle surgery.
For Miami, swingman Mike Miller will be sidelined until at least January after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament and fracture in his right thumb. Miller, who signed a free agent contract with Miami this offseason that was worth $25 million over five years, sustained the injury when he got his hand caught in a teammate's jersey in practice last week. To replace him on the roster the Heat signed veteran guard Jerry Stackhouse.
Boston swept the three-game season series with the Heat last year and has won five straight overall and 11 of its last 12 against Miami. The Celtics also ousted Miami in the first round of the playoff last season but this is obviously a far different Heat team.
"As far as the East, we're the champs," Rondo said. "But that's in the past. This is a new season. We're not going to go down without a fight."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Miami Thrice unveiled

Dwyane Wade is still the captain in Miami. He's still introduced last, and he's still the center of attention in all of the team's publicity material, but that's all just pageantry. Wade now has a lot in common with Derek Jeter in New York. Like Jeter with the Yankees, he will always be the most popular player for his franchise but Wade is no longer the straw that stirs the drink in south Florida.

In the Bronx, that title belongs to Alex Rodriguez. In South Beach, it took all of one day for LeBron James to seize the mantle.

James and Chris Bosh kicked off a new era for the Heat with a combined 38 points as Wade went down early with a hamstring injury in Miami's 105-89 exhibition opening win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.

James scored 18 points on 9-of-18 shooting and played nearly 27 minutes in his Miami debut. The reigning two-time MVP also ignited the crowd with a no-look pass and a brilliant spin move resulting in a thunderous slam.

"I was just anxious to get back on the court," James said after his first outing on the hardwood since sending shockwaves through the NBA this summer with his much-publicized and often-criticized "Decision" to leave his hometown Cavaliers.

"It's something I waited for all summer. The reception from the fans was awesome."

Bosh, who also joined the Heat to form the aptly titled "Miami Thrice" led the way with 20 points and had six rebounds. Wade played just the first 3:17 of the game before exiting with a strained right hamstring.

Of course, preseason wins -- heck, even regular season wins -- aren't what it's going to about in Miami this season. Anything short of an NBA championship will be viewed as a disappointment.

The blockbuster moves by Pat Riley in the offseason that netted Wade two teammates with 11 All-Star appearances between them also brought a ton of pressure.

"Can these guys stay focused amidst the media circus effect and keep their eyes focused on winning the championship?," former Heat star Steve Smith asked before the game. "If they can do that, that is one key to success for their season."

A potential minefield of off-the-court distractions await. Already, Wade found himself in a little hot water back in July with this little faux pas:

"We're going to be wearing a bull's-eye," Wade said before his annual charity basketball game in July. "But that's what you play for. We enjoy the bull's- eye. Plus, there's going to be times when we lose two, three games in a row and it seems like the world has crashed down. You all are going to make it seem like the World Trade is coming down again, but it's not going to be nothing but a couple of basketball games."

In a society that grows touchier by the day, that kind of insensitivity during an off-the-cuff remark will spawn a million headlines that could lead to the losing streaks Wade so inartfully described.

"I hope these guys embrace it," former NBA star Chris Webber said of the scrutiny the Heat's three stars will face. "Don't apologize for getting together; don't tell us why it happened. Just beat everybody and say 'I told you so.'"

Already the posturing about James shrinking away from the big stage and deferring to Wade has evaporated. A well-liked "King" or not is still the best player in the world, and he won't be the one deferring.

"I'm never in 'defer' mentality," James said after the game last night.

Not everyone agrees that should be the course Heat coach Erik Spoelstra should take.

"I think in game situations, the flow of the game will dictate who will take the last shot," NBA Network analyst and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale said. "I like D-Wade for it. When in doubt, give it to D-Wade. I like him at the end of games."

In the end, more often than not talent tells the story in the NBA. That bodes well for the Heat and it's hard to imagine the team struggling much during the regular season, but chemistry should be the deciding factor come playoff time.

"It is going to be fun for the fans in Miami," Webber said. "These guys are so talented and unselfish that I think they are going to play basketball the right way. I think it is going to be a joy to watch no matter what happens at the end of the year."

Pistons' Jerebko out 5-6 months with Achilles tear

Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko will miss five to six months with a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered during Tuesday's preseason game in Miami.

Jerebko is scheduled to have surgery Friday to fix the injury, which was confirmed through an MRI exam Wednesday. He averaged 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds for the Pistons in 80 games (73 starts) last season, his rookie year.

The Pistons have also announced that rookie guard Terrico White, a second- round draft pick, broke a bone in his right foot during Tuesday's contest. White is also headed for surgery Friday, and a timeline for his return will be set after the procedure.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breaking Insider News: Lebron James is coming to the Miami Heat

Insider information from our sources in Miami have confirmed that tonights decision will be the announcement of Lebron James coming to the Miami Heat.

Sources from Cooper's Pick have spoken with individuals from the W Hotel in South Beach and they have stated that Lebron James camp has called and booked 25 Rooms at the hotel obviously in honor of Lebron Coming to play with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

So if you are betting on intrade get to it now or if you need to place a wager with any of our recommended Cooper's Sports Picks online sportsbooks now so you can profit before the 9:00 P.M. announcement comes tonight.

Looks like he's ready to help Wade county bring another championship to Miami.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

NBA Finals Game 1

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers
Thursday, 9:05 pm Eastern – ABC

The best rivalry in the NBA gets center stage as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers meet in the NBA Finals betting. Game 1 is on Thursday night with the Lakers having home court advantage. This will be the 12th meeting between the two teams in the NBA Finals and the second time in three years. Two years ago it was the Celtics beating the Lakers for their 17th title. This time around the Lakers are the favorite as they look to win their 16th NBA title.

The current NBA Odds stand with the Los Angeles is a 5.5 point favorite with a total of 192 at SBG Global.

Boston owned the Lakers in the finals early in NBA history as they won the first eight meetings. The Lakers won the next two meetings while the Celtics won two years ago. The Lakers remember well that loss to Boston and this is definitely a revenge series for Los Angeles even though the Lakers won the NBA title last year against Orlando.

Many of the matchup advantages in this series go to the Lakers. The Lakers have the best player in the NBA betting in Kobe Bryant (sorry LeBron). They have the best coach in NBA history in Phil Jackson and they have the home court edge. The Lakers are unbeaten at Staples Center in the postseason and Boston will have trouble winning in L.A. The Celtics only advantage on paper appears to be with Rajon Rondo at the point but he is not fully healthy. If Rondo doesn’t dominate then the Celtics have no chance of winning this series. Two years ago the Celtics pushed the Lakers around but this is a much different Los Angeles team with Andrew Bynum who didn’t play in the series two years ago and Ron Artest. The Celtics will not be able to bully the Lakers this time. Boston is also two years older and their age is starting to show as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are no longer the dominant forces they used to be.

Here are the betting stats for Thursday’s Game 1. The Celtics are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 NBA Championship games. The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog. The Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Los Angeles.
The Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship odds games.

The Under is 5-2 in the Celtics last 7 overall. The Over is 5-1 in the Lakers last 6 home games. The Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles between the two teams.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Magic Stayin Alive

Final Score: Orlando 113, Boston 92

Jameer Nelson scored 24 points and the Orlando Magic again staved off elimination with a 113-92 win over Boston in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, a contest in which the Celtics came away with a depleted roster.

The Magic, bidding to become the first NBA team to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff series, went 13-for-25 from three-point range. Nelson led the way by going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, and Dwight Howard chipped in 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Boston can still advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years with a victory Friday night at home. If the Magic win, though, Game 7 will be back in Orlando on Sunday.

After being embarrassed in a 94-71 Game 3 loss, the Magic rallied and earned a 96-92 overtime win in Boston Monday night. Orlando is still believing despite the odds still stacked against the Magic. NBA teams are 93-0 in best-of-seven series when winning the first three games.

However, one Boston team has already blown a 3-0 lead this postseason as the Bruins fell in seven games to the Flyers in the NHL's Eastern Conference semifinals earlier this month. Now the Celtics are possibly two losses away from the biggest collapse in NBA history.

In what may have been the final game for the Magic at Amway Arena, last year's Eastern Conference champions made it known they weren't going down without a fight. Orlando also received 14 points from Rashard Lewis and J.J. Redick.

Celtics starting center Kendrick Perkins was ejected in the final minute of the second quarter after picking up his second technical foul. Additionally, Celtics forward Glen Davis suffered a concussion in the closing seconds of the third quarter after receiving an elbow to the face from Howard. Boston swingman Marquis Daniels also came out with a concussion in the fourth.

Rasheed Wallace led the way for Boston with 21 points, but fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NBA Mock Draft

The Great Wall of Washington: NBA Mock Draft v. 1.0

The NBA Draft Lottery would be a lot of fun if it wasn't so much work.

It's like the NBA's version of a cotillion. Everyone gets dressed in their Sunday best for a catered affair at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, NJ.

The only disappointment to me was that the catering crew in no way resembled the cast of Starz' brilliant show, Party Down. If the NBA is looking for a way to improve things for next year, an Adam Scott or Lizy Caplan cameo might put the event over the top.

That said, it's a great place for scribes like yours truly to get some face time with the various NBA big-wigs in attendance. One minute you might be saying hello to the commish himself, David Stern, and the next Larry Legend comes walking by.

A number of teams in the lottery also bring current players. This year I got a few minutes with Indiana All-Star Danny Granger as well as a rising young talent in Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday.

But, the NBA Draft Lottery also means something else -- the annual exercise of futility that is known as the mock draft.

I was far too busy in Secaucus on Tuesday cozying up to the amazing spread to give the actual draft much thought, but a thrilling Wednesday night watching SAO Little League baseball gave me plenty of time to map things out.

Each draft has tiers, and this one is no different. Kentucky point guard John Wall and Ohio State swingman Evan Turner are the head and shoulders of this year's class.

The second grouping consists of three solid prospects, forwards Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech and Wesley Johnson of Syracuse, along with Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins.

Wall and Turner figure as no-brainers to go one-two, and then the fun starts as New Jersey and new owner Mikhail Prokhorov make the first real decision at No. 3.

So here we go -- The Sports Network's 2010 NBA Mock Draft, version 1.0:

1. - Washington Wizards - John Wall (Kentucky), Point Guard - Wall combines rare speed with the ball, along with the size and athleticism to be an elite player very early in his career. He needs to improve his jumper but could be a more-skilled Rajon Rondo.

Think: Rondo.

2. - Philadelphia 76ers - Evan Turner (Ohio State), Combo Guard - The Sixers jumped up from six to No. 2 in the lottery and lucked out with a virtually mistake-proof pick. Turner, the college player of the year, has a tremendous feel for the game and is an extremely efficient offensive player. He should team with Holiday to give the Sixers a top-tier backcourt for the next decade. I could see Ed Stefanski trading out for Cousins but let's assume soon- to-be new coach Doug Collins talks the embattled Sixers' basketball chief off the ledge.

Think: Brandon Roy

3. - New Jersey Nets - Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech), Power Forward - The Nets will have the first real decision in the draft. I think Cousins is the third- best player and has a bigger upside than either Favors or Johnson but New Jersey already has an All-Star type center in Brook Lopez so look for them to go with Favors, a prototypical four in the mold of Kenyon Martin.

Think: Martin

4. - Minnesota Timberwolves - DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky), Center - The Wolves' annual hard luck in the lottery continued, as the team fell from the second spot to No. 4 and will have to make a decision between Cousins and Johnson. Both positions are needs, but it's always harder to find the competent big man and that is Cousins.

Think: Shawn Kemp

5. - Sacramento Kings - Wesley Johnson (Syracuse), Small Forward - Last year Sacramento fell from No. 1 to four in the lottery and managed to snare Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans. This year, they fell from three to five and will settle for Johnson, a silky-smooth small forward with a big wingspan and a nice jumper.

Think: Alex English

6. - Golden State Warriors - Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest), Combo Forward - Since there is a significant drop after the top five players, Golden State was the biggest loser in the lottery, falling from four to six. Aminu has elite physical tools and a nice upside but he's raw and needs to add strength.

Think: Marvin Williams

7. - Detroit Pistons - Cole Aldrich (Kansas), Center - Since Ben Wallace and Kwame Brown were the big men in the Motor City last year, you have to think Joe Dumars goes with Aldrich, a legitimate center with top-tier rebounding and defensive skills. He is limited offensively, however.

Think: Joel Przybilla.

8. - Los Angeles Clippers - Patrick Patterson (Kentucky), Power Forward - The next grouping of players features more than a few power forwards and centers. Since the Clippers have Chris Kaman in the pivot and will have Blake Griffin coming back next year at the four, Patterson seems like a good choice. The Kentucky junior has the ability to move between the three and four, meaning he can play with Griffin and provide insurance at the same time.

Think: Antonio Davis

9. - Utah Jazz - Greg Monroe (Georgetown), Power Forward/Center - The rich get richer, as Utah uses the New York Knicks' pick to select the Hoyas big man as insurance for the injured Mehmet Okur and free agent power forward Carlos Boozer. The 6-foot-10 Monroe is a lefty with the skills of a much smaller player.

Think: Lamar Odom

10. - Indiana Pacers - Ed Davis (North Carolina), Power Forward - Granger represented the Pacers at the lottery and bowed his head in disgust when the team stayed at No. 10. Getting Granger a long, athletic running mate that can rebound like Davis might make up for some of that disappointment.

Think: Dale Davis

11. - New Orleans Hornets - Ekpe Udoh (Baylor), Power Forward - Udoh has the wingspan of a 7-foot-4 player and should develop into an elite shot-blocker early in his career as well as an exceptional offensive rebounder, two attributes the Hornets desperately need.

Think: Theo Ratliff

12. - Memphis Grizzlies - Donatas Motiejunas (Benetton Treviso), Power Forward/Center - The top international player in this year's draft, Motiejunas is your typical European finesse big man with outstanding offensive skills facing the basket. He should be able to complement Marc Gasol on Beale Street rather early in his career.

Think: Mehmet Okur

13. - Toronto Raptors - Daniel Orton (Kentucky), Power Forward - The Raptors figure to lose Chris Bosh in the offseason so they will need a big man and Orton has a significant upside. He's already got the NBA body and has impressive length but his offensive game needs a lot of work despite a very soft touch that is rare among young bigs today.

Think: Marreese Speights

14. - Houston Rockets - Hassan Whiteside (Marshall), Center - Houston has the final lottery pick and takes some insurance for the oft-injured Yao Ming. Whiteside is coming out after his freshman season so he needs some seasoning but will be an imposing physical presence once he grows into his body.

Think: Kwame Brown

15. - Milwaukee Bucks - Xavier Henry (Kansas), Shooting Guard - The Bucks added an impressive quarterback last year in Brandon Jennings and now get his running mate to replace the injured Michael Redd and free agent-to-be John Salmons. Henry, the Kansas freshman, is a physical specimen and is tailor-made for the NBA game.

Think: Dahntay Jones

16. - Minnesota Timberwolves - James Anderson (Oklahoma State), Shooting Guard - Anderson is slight but tough and could be the best shooter in this year's draft, making him a nice complement to Jonny Flynn in the Twin Cities.

Think: Stephen Curry

17. - Chicago Bulls - Damion James (Texas), Small Forward - The Bulls want to win now and may make the big push for LeBron James. I see them going the "best available" route and that might be James, the rare senior that figures as a first-round pick. James excels in transition and is an exceptional rebounder for his size.

Think: Derek Smith

18. - Miami Heat - Gordon Hayward (Butler), Small Forward - Dwyane Wade is the first order of business in South Beach. If Miami gets its superstar back, they could use a weak-side shooter like Hayward to take advantage of the double- teams Wade often gets.

Think: Mike Dunleavy Jr.

19. - Boston Celtics - Avery Bradley (Texas), Shooting Guard - This is a pretty high pick for a team making a serious run at the NBA title. Since Ray Allen will likely move on in the offseason, the C's can take a flyer on Bradley, an undersized freshman that is a pure shooter and scorer.

Think: Jeff Hornacek

20. - San Antonio Spurs - Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky), Combo Guard - The tread is wearing thin on both Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. George Hill could be a difference-maker down the line but the Spurs could use another active body in the backcourt and Bledsoe, while not quite ready, can play both positions and has a solid upside.

Think: Rafer Alston

21. - Oklahoma City Thunder - Larry Sanders (VCU), Power Forward - The Thunder are very skilled on the wings and in the backcourt so they will be looking for another big body. Sanders has the length to be a help on the defensive end and the boards.

Think: Marcus Camby

22. - Portland Trail Blazers - Stanley Robinson (UConn), Combo Forward - Robinson is the type of athlete that will fit right in to what the Blazers are trying to accomplish. He can run the floor and finish, but lacks a top-tier jumper.

Think: Shawn Marion

23. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Paul George (Fresno State), Combo Forward - George is a rangy guy that can handle the ball very well for a wing player and run the floor. Anybody who can put the ball in the basket should be considered by the Wolves.

Think: Trevor Ariza

24. - Atlanta Hawks - Gani Lawal (Georgia Tech), Power Forward - Lawal, a big guy with great length that can play minutes at both center and power forward, stays in Dixie.

Think: Joakim Noah

25. - Memphis Grizzlies - Luke Babbitt (Nevada), Strong Forward - Babbitt is not going to be a star at the NBA level but his energy level will be a great fit for a young team like Memphis.

Think: A more-skilled Louis Amundson.

26. - Oklahoma City Thunder - Armon Johnson (Nevada), Point Guard - Johnson has good size for a point guard and is a lefty, which tends to create problems for opposing defenses. Should be a nice 10-15 minute guy to give Russell Westbrook a blow.

Think: A bigger Damon Stoudamire

27. - New Jersey Nets - Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati), Shooting Guard - A tough, athletic freshman with an NBA-ready body. His power and quickness could cause a lot of trouble on the blocks in a few years.

Think: Aaron McKie

28. - Memphis Grizzlies - Solomon Alabi (Florida State), Center - The Grizzlies probably don't want to pay three No. 1 picks so they will likely move at some point but if they stick why not take the raw Nigerian big man with a defensive upside?

Think: Dikembe Mutombo

29. - Orlando Magic - Devin Ebanks (West Virginia), Small Forward - Normally, I would expect the Magic to take a European player and leave him overseas but a poor performance against Boston means they will take a talent. Ebanks is an active wing player that can get after people defensively and has a nice touch around the basket.

Think: Tony Allen

30. - Washington Wizards - Dominique Jones (South Florida), Shooting Guard - The Wizards finish the first round by getting Wall a running mate in Jones. a powerfully-built combo guard with a nice offensive game.

Think: Vinnie Johnson

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at http://nba.basketballblog.cooperspick.com/.
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 NBA Playoff Preview

2010 NBA Preview

Eastern Conference
Cavaliers vs. Bulls
Cleveland has too much speed, size, athleticism and depth for the Chicago Bulls to hang with them. Chicago doesn’t have a “true” defender to keep James honest. The Bulls’ inconsistency shooting from the outside will hurt them the most.

Prediction: Cleveland in 5

104.5 Off. Eff. 96.7
93.6 Pace 93.6
96.5 PPG 96.5
45.5 RPG 42.5
21.8 APG 22.0
.453 FG% .436
.350 3PT% .327
.680 FT% .716

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 3:00 PM - Saturday, April 17 (Cleveland)
Game 2 8:00 PM - Monday, April 19 (Cleveland)
Game 3 7:00 PM - Thursday, April 22 (Chicago)
Game 4 3:30 PM - Sunday, April 25 (Chicago)
*Game 5 TBD - Tuesday, April 27 (Cleveland)
*Game 6 TBD - Thursday, April 29 (Chicago)
*Game 7 TBD - Saturday, May 1 (Cleveland)

Magic vs. Bobcats
Orlando’s inside-outside is going to be way too much for Charlotte to endure. Their 3-pointers better than all but three other teams, and if they shoot a high percentage, the other team is toast. Charlotte only has two really good players in Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace.
Prediction: Orlando in 5

103.9 Off. Eff. 96.9
90.8 Pace 90.8
96.3 PPG 90.8
40.3 RPG 41.3
19.5 APG 18.0
.448 FG% .450
.352 3PT% .294
.636 FT% .716

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 5:30 PM - Sunday, April 18 (Orlando)
Game 2 7:00 PM - Wednesday, April 21 (Orlando)
Game 3 2:00 PM - Saturday, April 24 (Charlotte)
Game 4 TBD - Monday, April 26 (Charlotte)
*Game 5 TBD - Wednesday, April 28 (Orlando)
*Game 6 TBD - Friday, April 30 (Charlotte)
*Game 7 TBD - Sunday, May 2 (Orlando)

Hawks vs. Bucks
It will be very difficult for Milwaukee to be victorious in this series without Andrew Bogut, but expect Milwaukee to put a supreme effort regardless. Atlanta has tremendous size and athleticism for Milwaukee’s will and determination.

111.8 Off. Eff. 105.7
89.0 Pace 89.0
101.7 PPG 98.7
43.7 RPG 40.0
17.7 APG 20.7
.492 FG% .428
.370 3PT% .351
.714 FT% .847

Prediction: Atlanta in 6

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 5:30 - Saturday, April 17 (Atlanta)
Game 2 7:00 - Tuesday, April 20 (Atlanta)
Game 3 7:00 PM - Saturday, April 24 (Milwaukee)
Game 4 TBD - Monday, April 26 (Milwaukee)
*Game 5 TBD - Wednesday, April 28 (Atlanta)
*Game 6 TBD - Friday, April 30 (Milwaukee)
*Game 7 TBD - Sunday, May 2 (Atlanta)

Celtics vs. Heat
This will not be as simple as it appears to be for the Boston Celtics. The aging Celtics is just that and some would be blinded by their remarkable talent. Just like everything else that slows down by aging, players slow down especially while running up and down the 94 foot floor for approximately two and a half hours. Expect Miami to turn up the “heat” by playing up tempo. However, like a solid team that Boston is, expect them to counter with their fourth best defense in the league.

Prediction: Boston in 6

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 8:00 PM - Saturday, April 17 (Boston)
Game 2 8:00 PM - Tuesday, April 20 (Boston)
Game 3 7:00 PM - Friday, April 23 (Miami)
Game 4 1:00 PM - Sunday, April 25 (Miami)
*Game 5 TBD - Tuesday, April 27 (Boston)
*Game 6 TBD - Thursday, April 29 (Miami)
*Game 7 TBD - Saturday, May 1 (Boston)
*If necessary. All times ET.

Western Conference
Lakers vs. Thunder
When they tip-off this series, it will be business as usual for Los Angeles. Experience wins this alone.
Prediction: Los Angeles in 5

97.9 Off. Eff. 96.7
96.4 Pace 96.4
97.0 PPG 95.5
42.8 RPG 42.5
17.8 APG 21.0
.437 FG% .433
.276 3PT% .218
.768 FT% .821

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 3:00 PM - Sunday, April 18 (Los Angeles)
Game 2 10:30 PM - Tuesday, April 20 (Los Angeles)
Game 3 9:30 PM - Thursday, April 22 (Oklahoma City)
Game 4 9:30 PM - Saturday, April 24 (Oklahoma City)
*Game 5 TBD - Tuesday, April 27 (Los Angeles)
*Game 6 TBD - Friday, April 30 (Oklahoma City)
*Game 7 TBD - Sunday, May 2 (Los Angeles)

Mavericks vs. Spurs
This will be a very intriguing series to say the least. The Mavericks have a revamped line-up since the trading for Heywood and Butler. However, the lack of continuity sometimes slows the team up and that maybe their Achilles heal in this series. In stark contrast, San Antonio is back at full strength after sustaining injuries all season long as they played their best ball at the end of the season.

Prediction: San Antonio in 7

102.3 Off. Eff. 98.7
93.1 Pace 93.1
97.5 PPG 94.5
45.5 RPG 45.3
19.3 APG 20.8
.416 FG% .446
.344 3PT% .349
.781 FT% .690

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 8:00 PM - Sunday, April 18 (Dallas)
Game 2 9:30 PM - Wednesday, April 21 (Dallas)
Game 3 9:30 PM - Friday, April 23 (San Antonio)
Game 4 7:00 PM - Sunday, April 25 (San Antonio)
*Game 5 TBD - Tuesday, April 27 (Dallas)
*Game 6 TBD - Thursday, April 29 (San Antonio)
*Game 7 TBD - Saturday, May 1 (Dallas)

Suns vs. Trail Blazers
The Phoenix Suns have been playing championship brand of ball since the All-Star break not just because of their offense but due to their drastically improved defense and outstanding play by their second unit. Injuries and the lack of depth spells trouble for Portland in this series.
Prediction: Phoenix in 6
104.4 Off. Eff. 109.7
92.8 Pace 92.8
98.7 PPG 100.0
39.7 RPG 40.3
19.7 APG 18.7
.446 FG% .461
.379 3PT% .326
.821 FT% .735

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 10:30 PM - Sunday, April 18 (Phoenix)
Game 2 10:00 PM - Tuesday, April 20 (Phoenix)
Game 3 10:00 PM - Thursday, April 22 (Portland)
Game 4 4:30 PM - Saturday, April 24 (Portland)
*Game 5 TBD - Monday, April 26 (Phoenix)
*Game 6 TBD - Thursday, April 29 (Portland)
*Game 7 TBD - Saturday, May 1 (Phoenix)

Nuggets vs. Jazz
Both teams had “jekle and hyde” season. Due to the unclear status of Kirilenko and especially Boozer, it's tough to project who will win this series.

Prediction: Denver in 6

Game Schedule/Result
Game 1 10:30 PM - Saturday, April 17 (Denver)
Game 2 10:30 PM - Monday, April 19 (Denver)
Game 3 10:30 PM - Friday, April, 23 (Utah)
Game 4 9:30 PM - Sunday, April 25 (Utah)
*Game 5 TBD - Wednesday, April 28 (Denver)
*Game 6 TBD - Friday, April 30 (Utah)
*Game 7 TBD - Sunday, May 2 (Denver)

Projected Finals: Phoenix at Cleveland

Prediction: Phoenix in 7

To purchase NBA playoff Picks click here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Medal Game

According to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the Olympics is a measure of many enduring characteristics -- even masculinity:

"The people responsible, or some of those responsible for the preparations, should do the manly thing and make the appropriate announcement. If they're lacking in decisiveness, we'll help them."

Medvedev is referring to Russia's Olympic officials following what the Russian government considered to be a weak showing at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games (Russia finished with 15 medals, it's lowest output since 1956). The head of the Russian Olympic Committee, Leonid Tyagachev, resigned two days later, citing the team's "unexpectedly" lackluster showing in Vancouver.

Ah, there's the Olympic spirit.

There's no shame in tracking the medal count in the inset of your morning paper and beaming in pride at your country's latest bronze medal in underwater basketweaving, but at what point did the collective hardware haul of each nation become the barometer of success?

The Olympics should be defined by moments -- Dan Jansen's victory lap with his daughter, Kerri Strug's one legged vault, or my personal favorite, four limping Jamaicans carrying their rickety bobseld to the finishline.

The idea that the number of medals a nation wins has any correlation to the greatness of a nation (or genetic superiority) is backwards -- Olympic success has and always will be the direct result of the amount of time and money a nation puts into developing athletes and building top notch facilities. The best example of this is the evolution of the Chinese Olympic program over the past couple decades: the government took proactive measures to start investing in events outside of its traditional strengths (diving, table tennis, gymnastics) in anticipation of hosting the 2008 summer games. They targeted niche events (rowing, beach volleyball, shooting) by outsourcing the best coaches and plucking prospects from each respective sport at an early age. What the Chinese Olympic program did was akin to creating a AAA farm system to nurture and develop their athletes and in the end, they were rewarded: 51 gold medals, including their first medals of any color in obscure sports such as windsurfing (how is this an Olympic event?).

So what's wrong with these so-called medal factories (by the way, you're delusional if you think the United States doesn't run its own). The real danger lies in how they shift the focus of the Olympics from celebrating sportsmanship and the lifetime achievement of selfless athletes to a rogue 'me against the world' mentality.

We've seen the Olympics used as a pedestal for bigotry (Hitler's '36 games) and terrorism ('72 Munich). It's been used as a political chess piece (The USA's boycott of the 1980 Moscow games) and as a platform for social justice (Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the '68 Mexico City games). The international stage the Olympics provide have always left the games vulnerable to extracurricular agendas. This will never change.

While history assures us that there will always be turmoil in the world, there's no reason why the Olympics have to reflect reality. As Russia scrambles to engineer the ultimate medal machine program for the 2014 games in Sochi, their driving motivation for the games needs to lie beyond repairing a bruised ego.

Don't be surprised if the Russians dominate everything from the iditarod to curling in four years. The best thing Americans can do is focus on genuine moments of Olympic joy, regardless of nationality. If you get too wrapped up in the medal counting game you might just miss four Jamaicans in a bobsled.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The United State(s) of Hockey

The results are in: 27.6 million redblooded Americans watched Sunday's USA-Canada gold medal hockey game. The overtime classic pummeled the 2002 Salt Lake City USA-Canada gold medal match ratings by over 10 million viewers. This number surpasses both the highest rated individual game of the '09 World Series (22.8) and the '09 NBA Finals (16.0). Still not impressed? It's overnight rating tops any Final Four basketball game since 1998, any NBA finals game since '98, or any World Series game since 2004.

Move over, Lebron. It's time to make way for Leclaire. Forget Yankees-Red Sox, have you heard about the heated Caps-Senators rivalry?

OK, so we're getting a little carried away. Before puck purists prematurely crown hockey as the next great American past time, the sport must first overcome the following obstacles:

1. Olympic and NHL hockey are two entirely different brands. Yes, both can market the supreme talents of Ovechkin and Crosby but the similarities end there. The Vancouver Olympics provided the perfect storm for Americans to watch the finale: they were fresh off the most prolific medal count in Winter games history, the game was broadcasted live mid-day on a weekend preventing word of mouth or internet spoilers, and it was the last medal event of the games (which is not always the case). Finally, let's be honest -- a lot of Uncle Sam backers were licking their chops at the prospect of beating Canada at it's own game. Americans had more incentive to tune in for this game than they ever will for a domestic NHL Stanley Cup playoff game. One more thing -- the game was actually on regular TV. Which brings us to the NHL...

2. It's not on TV. In the age of HD television and network sponsored internet broadcasts, an overwhelming majority of fans are enjoying games from their armchairs. The NHL has had several stints on major networks (does anyone remember the flaming puck on FOX?), each ending without a contract renewal due to abysmal ratings. At it's lowest point, Americans were more likely to watch re-runs of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman than a budding regular season rivalry such as Red Wings-Avalanche. Ouch.

It's no coincidence that the NFL was the sole professional sports league that the gold medal game could not surpass in viewership. The $20 some billion dollar TV contract the league boasts is the result of savvy marketing campaigns promoting couch potato services such as real time fantasy stat trackers, the Redzone Channel, and NFL Sunday Ticket. Meanwhile, the NHL toils in obscurity on second tier cable networks such as the Versus channel or the Outdoor Life Network (anyone up for some curling?). The fact that the Stanley Cup playoffs aren't broadcasted on a major network immensley hurts the league. Unforunately, the ugly ratings precedent has networks unwilling to make a leap of faith that the Olympic finale will carry over even a minute fraction of it's audience over to the NHL.

3. Accessibility. Hockey is an specialized sport -- from ice rental time to expensive equipment, it's an activity that requires planning and deep pockets. Outside of the occasional frozen lake in Duluth, pick up hockey in the States simply cannot exist because it's a logistical nightmare for penny pinching parents. Kids in warm weather climates can't be expected to pass up the outdoors on a sunny day for the chilly confines of a local ice rink they share with other ice-related sports. Poor attendance for franchises residing in cities absent of sub-zero winters reflect this disconnect.

I'll give the NHL credit for countering this with its annual outdoor game: it's a unique idea that appeals to both diehard and casual fans. Having the stones to place franchises in the south was an admirable attempt to widen the NHL's fan base, but four of the five teams on the brink of collapsing reside in sweet tea country (Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville). Again, this is no coincidence. An unnamed executive hypothesized that as many as 15 NHL teams would bite the dust in the next two years. This is likely an exaggerated prediction, NHL commish Gary Bettman would sooner slash payrolls by 50% before he allowed half of the league's teams to contract. Still, the fact that the NHL has to even consider such a scenario doesn't bode well for the league's future.

Finally, we have to wonder what kind of boost a United States victory would have provided for the sport. There's no doubt the David and Goliath storyline would have inspired feel good Disney remakes for years to come but beyond that there's little evidence to suggest such an improbable triumph would have solved hockey's long term problems. While the Olympics creates a new wave of Wheaties Box heroes every two years, the NHL struggles to find sponsorship on the side of your local ice cream truck.

Sidney Crosby erased any potential speculation American hockey had surpassed their northern neighbors with a quick overtime goal. The universe was restored -- hockey was still Canada's game. You can't help but feel it's better off in their hands.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What Athletes Can Learn from Tigergate

It's official: Tigergate has reached nauseating levels of overexposure.

So why dignify the latest chapter of this tireless saga with this entry? Frankly, Woods has given us little choice by how poorly he has handled the fallout. Rather than examining whether Woods is sincere in his apology (I'll leave that up to Barbara Walters and The View), we need to warn future athletes who stray off course on precisely how to avoid the next ad nauseum nightmare. The lesson here is simple: in the wake of an extramarital sex scandal, athletes need to learn from Woods' unintended tutorial on exactly how not to deal with the media.

Newsflash: Woods isn't the first athlete to cheat on his wife. Adulterous sports idols are a dime a dozen and we're rarely surprised when news leaks regarding multiple extramarital affairs with cocktail waitresses half their age. Their behavior is expected and arguably condoned in the culture of modern sports machismo.

Need examples? One Michael Jeffrey Jordan was slapped with paternity suits and extortion schemes from alleged mistresses throughout his career. His wife ultimately filed for divorce and was awarded with a record nine-figure alimony parting prize. Despite Jordan's meteoric status this news barely made a ripple in the sports world.

Alex Rodriguez's wife very publicly filed for divorce on the grounds of her husband's repeated infidelities. Yet her public smear campaign garnered little attention beyond local New York tabloids.

So why has Tigergate so transcended his high profile predecessors in infamy? Possible theories include the idea that golf is more an individual "gentlemen's game" which holds it's athletes to higher moral standards. Hogwash. If this is true how can someone such as John Daly continue to be granted sponsors exemptions? Another argument is that evolution of media and blogging enable more platforms for cross-pollination between a gossip based company such as TMZ with the once beloved ESPN. I'll concede that the line between sport and pop culture is blurry nowadays, but let's not forget that "Stray-Rod" tabloids ran less than nine months ago and didn't reach one-hundredth the decibel the Woods story has.

The real reason why Woods has reached Gosselin status is because of the way he's unintentionally baited the media. The silent treatment is an ageless method for flying under the radar but Tiger has rendered it useless because he consistently promises the media he will return and address them again. To make matters worse, he does this after vaguely admitting infidelity, leaving the door open for wild conjecture on the nature (and number) of his affairs.

Woods doesn't owe us a return ticket in front of a million flashbulbs. He doesn't need to provide us juicy details on whether he prefers blondes or brunettes. Drifting in and out of the public eye in any other capacity is hurtful for both him and the sport because he is only attracting more non-sports related media by addressing us off the greens. What he needs to do is come back to the sport when he feels he's ready and face the music back where we got to know him: on the golf course. Sports media will still feel compelled to write about how he's performed post Tigergate but the basis of these stories will center around golf rather than his former mistress landing the lead in the sequel to "Debbie Does Dallas."

It's easy to preach that monogamy is the best way for athletes to avoid future scandals such as these. The reality is many will continue to succumb to temptation and stray from their marriages. The lesson learned is that in the event that you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, do both yourself and sports fans a favor and keep the ball in play. Don't hire clueless PR firms who employ a juicy game of hide and seek with the mass media. Keep it in house in the sports world and as far from the paparazzi as possible.

It's probable that when Woods finally decides to call it quits, Tigergate won't be the first thing we remember about him. But it's important to remember moments like these because we see how vulnerable the sanctity of sport has become. We can all play our part by pretending to look the other way but the ultimate welfare of sport is in the hands of the athletes, not the peanut gallery. Keep your fingers crossed that Woods can pitch himself back onto the fairway so we can enjoy the Masters TMZ free once again.

Tigeragate is brought to you by your loyal friends of Cooper's Sports Picks. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Delaware: the true state of sports betting

It's official: the 2009 August decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that left Delaware with only parlay bets on NFL games will stand. What does this mean for American sports bettors?

1. Bettors in Delaware remain restricted to minimum three team parlay wagers in the NFL. This is similar to the 1976 sports lottery which lasted just one year in Delaware. The 2009-10 NFL season brought in a modest number of sports bettors into Delaware casinos but history suggests without the presence of single game wagers there won't be enough traffic to sustain will eventually

2. The Delaware ruling will serves as a significant precedent for other states hoping to pass future legislation allowing sports betting. Nevada remains the only legitimate state in the US which allows sports betting (Oregon recently revoked their status and the sparsely populated Montana's sports lotteries are rarely used). Rival states concerned about losing gaming revenue to Delaware kept a close eye on the results of the federal appeals court ruling. Had Delaware won it's appeal a domino effect of state lawsuits would have followed (starting with New Jersey and New York) and likely opened the doors to sports betting across the country.

3. Professional sports leagues have flexed their muscles in a hypocritical effort to stop legalized betting. The NFL, NBA, and NHL filed an injunction in Washington challenging the Delaware sports lottery. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spearheaded the opposition, claiming that "State promoted gambling not only adds the pressure on our coaches and players, but creates suspicion and cynicism toward every on-the-field mistake."

The consensus among professional sports leagues is that gambling threatens the integrity of competition. If this is true why are stadiums plastered with local Casino and gambling-related advertisements? Why are there countless online poker and indian casino commercials during their broadcasts? How can these partnerships not create the same suspicion and cynicism that commissioner Goodell claims to fear?

The reality is that leagues such as the NFL are wary of state-sponsored wagering because they have no way of regulating the money coming in. Huge corporations such as the NFL simply have nothing to gain by allowing a cash strapped Delaware the opportunity to raise funds for he higher purpose of trying to put a dent in it's ten figure deficit.

So what does this ultimately mean for sports bettors? It means they'll have to continue to navigate through a minefield of crooked locals, opportunistic middle men payment processors, and scheming overseas bookmakers. It's inevitable that Americans will continue to bet on sports regardless of legislation. The real travesty is the uncertainty that honest bettors must continue to face due to the lack of domestic regulation protecting their funds.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

George Karl Diagnosed with Canccer

With a form of cancer that is treatable none the less it is sad to say that the Denver Nuggets head coach as of Tuesday February 15th has publicly announced to the public about his diagnosis and how he will cope and deal with the cancer while still staying on as head coach of the Nuggets.

"The treatment began today, and in general it's about a six-week treatment," Karl said. "There could be a possibility throughout the six weeks that I could miss games and practices, depending on my pain and fatigue levels. My hope is that it is a curable and treatable disease. I hope to be as close to 100 percent as I can come playoff time in April."

"My family has battled cancer, but it is something that has to be treated immediately," Karl said. "I think I'm very blessed to have great family and an organization that has supported me throughout this. I will need them in different ways, but I don't think I'm a guy that needs sympathy, but I do need support. The major desire for me is to kick this cancer's butt and to stay with a team that I think can win a championship."

Karl went on to say that he will likely miss two games in the near future: at Golden State on February 25 and at Minnesota on March 10. In those instances where Karl is unable to coach, assistant coach Adrian Dantley will serve as the head coach.

Karl's 968 career wins over 18 seasons, with Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle, Milwaukee and the Nuggets, are the seventh most in NBA history.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dalembert Delivers

Dalembert delivers

By John McMullen, NBA Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Samuel Dalembert isn't the most popular athlete in Philadelphia.

In fact, Sammy D. and his massive contract, have turned the player into a bit of a pariah in the City of Brotherly Love. Despite possessing the length and natural instincts to be an excellent rebounder and top-tier shot blocker, Dalembert has always been something of a disappointment.

A lack of basketball IQ and disdain of the weight room made Dalembert the poster boy for underachievement in a moribund era of Philly basketball. His six-year contract that dwarfs the deals of other sports stars in the city like baseball's Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, football's DeSean Jackson and hockey's Mike Richards, has caused many fans to label him as overrated.

Any perceived deficiencies on the basketball floor were dwarfed this week by Dalembert's work in the real world, however.

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dalembert spent the first 14 years of his life in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country before moving to Montreal. He may have moved on and moved up, parlaying a couple of seasons at Seton Hall into a shot at the NBA, but he never left Haiti behind.

Currently the only active Haitian player in the NBA, Dalembert is scheduled to make $12.12 million this season. The average per capita income in Haiti is $1,300.

The Sixers' center understands he rose from the depths of poverty and has taken a keen interest in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program, traveling all over the world to expand the game's reach and help the poorest among us. In the last offseason, Dalembert returned to Haiti to scout locations for a children's academy.

In fact, Dalembert has done so much for the same community that often boos him, he was awarded the NBA Community Assist Award last February in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the Philadelphia area for his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work.

Understandably, Dalembert was devastated as news trickled in of the catastrophic earthquake in his homeland earlier this week a disaster that has killed up to an estimated 50,000 people and left thousands more homeless, hungry and in despair.

Although most of his family has moved to the United States, Dalembert thought of his many friends and more distant relatives and wanted to charter a flight to Port-au-Prince, but it just wasn't feasible.

Instead, he did what he could, using his power as an NBA player to educate many of us on the history of Haiti and encourage anyone who could to pledge their support, after he scored 12 points and pulled down a season-high 21 rebounds against New York on Wednesday.

Dalembert himself is scheduled to present a personal check of $100,000 to Caryl M. Stern, the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, before the Sixers host the Sacramento Kings at the Wachovia Center on Friday.

A long-time NBA partner who has been on the ground in Haiti since 1949, UNICEF is currently providing support to the victims of this unfolding humanitarian crisis. Funds are being used to provide safe water, temporary shelter systems and essential medical supplies and additional services to the estimated three million victims, at least half of whom are thought to be children.

"My heartfelt thanks to Samuel Dalembert and the Philadelphia 76ers for their generous contribution," said Stern. "This will help provide essential life- saving supplies to the people of Haiti, especially for the thousands of children most in need without shelter, clean water, nutrition, and those separated from their parents in this disaster."

In addition to his personal contribution, Dalembert has also pledged to match the amount of money donated by Sixers fans at the UNICEF table on the concourse during the game on Friday.

"While I cannot begin to imagine what my friends and family are going through as they deal with this terrible tragedy, I will do everything that I can to help raise funds to aid in the relief efforts," said Dalembert.


Not today.

-Those who would like to help in the Haitian relief effort can text GIVE to UNICEF (864233) to donate $5.

01/15 12:35:45 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.


Coll Hoops Lock

Private Play


Buy Now

Coops Parlay

Holiday Special


Buy Now



WagerWeb offers Coopers Pick clients an extra 1/2 point for most betting events.
SBG Global
SBG's online wagering sportsbook sets industry standards for sports betting.
Sports Betting
Sports Betting offers online sports betting from a single account.
OddsMaker is a sportsbook offering 100% bonuses for Sports Betting Picks

Whether you bet for fun or to make money at the sportsbook coopers pick can help you.


NBA Basketball
Professional Football
College Football
College Basketball
Major League Baseball
Professional Hockey
Mixed Martial Arts


NBA Playoff Picks, news, discussion, Gameday picks, Post-season service plays, and other basketball blog information

Powered by Blogger.

NFL lines provided by IN S PIN