Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
Long Road Trips for NBA Bottom Feeders
by Bryan Leonard - 03/26/2008
As we wind down the end of the regular season, this is a great week to look at teams that have already packed in the season. There happens to be tough road trips this week for some REALLY bad NBA teams. Take the Knicks â€“ please. The Knicks just had their 50th defeat, on the path to the franchise's first 60-loss season. On a mission to drop to the lottery's second seed, the Knicks were thrashed by another bad team, Minnesota, 114-93, at Target Center to fall to 19-50.
Zach Randolph is not playing (Isiah wants to go with the kids), and free-agent-to-be center Randolph Morris finished his two-night starting audition pitifully, a combined 2 for 15 in the two games. After signing Morris last March out of Kentucky, Thomas thought so highly of him he branded him a lottery-caliber player. They are 0-6-1 ATS the last 7 games. The road the next two weeks get even worse, playing 5 in a row on the road. They play Friday and Saturday at Toronto and Atlanta, then next week they play 3 games in 4 nights on the road. Good luck, Isiah!
Just as bas the road trip this weekend for miserable Miami. They play Thursday at Detroit and Friday at Boston! Theyâ€™ve had five key players lost to injuries and the fewest wins in the NBA. â€œThe thing to do now is to make sure we get a good draft pick, clear up [salary cap] space this summer and make some additions to the team,â€쳌 guard Ricky Davis said of the Heat's priorities. That must make season ticket holders feel good.
Veteran centers Earl Barron and Mark Blount and first-round draft pick Daequan Cook have been left on the bench late in the last two games in favor of D-League call-ups Stephane Lasme, Blake Ahearn and undrafted rookie Joel Anthony. The Heat needs to finish 4-9 to avoid the franchise-worst 15-67 record set during its 1988-89 inaugural season. Miami hasnâ€™t had much offense of late, going 6-2-1 under the total.
Charlotte just got a win over Miami, ending a 5-game skid. The bad news is that the Heat stayed with the Bobcats (25-44) into the fourth quarter, trailing by three with less than 10 minutes left. Some more bad news is that Charlotte is on a 4-game road trip this week, including two back-to-back road situations. They play Tuesday and Wednesday at Utah and the Lakers, then Friday and Saturday at Seattle and Portland. Thatâ€™s real bad for a team that is 6-27 SU, 11-21 ATS on the road.
The Clippers are limping to the finish line in losses and players. They equaled a season-high losing streak of seven and have dropped 15 of 17 games.
"Even at this point, I don't know exactly who my starting lineup will be," Coach Mike Dunleavy said about 90 minutes before tipoff. The Trail Blazers' muscle did in the Clippers. They had 22 second-chance points to the Clippers' six and Portland center Joel Przybilla had a career-high 25 rebounds! It gets worse, as the Clippers are playing at San Antonio and at Utah this week. It will be their 9th road game over the last 11 games.
Meanwhile, Memphis is also a mess and has the worst week of all, playing three straight road games this week. They end the week at the Lakers Friday and at the Clippers Saturday. Thatâ€™s a long way from home! At least the offense is clicking: Over the past two games -- both victories -- the Griz have averaged nearly 119 points on 51-percent shooting. Both went over the total.