Betting News and Notes - November 13th

Betting News and Notes - November 13th

Tuesday's  NBA matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers

Boston has won its first five games, while the Pacers have dropped three in a row since opening the year with three straight wins.

Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have won their first two home games by a combined 30 points while shooting 55.5 percent.

Seattle SuperSonics at Orlando Magic

The Sonics have opened the season with seven straight defeats, while the Magic are 5-2 which is their best start since 2002-03.

Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs

The Lakers are among the NBA's leaders with 108.4 points per game, but Tim Duncan and the Spurs are allowing just 88.3 a contest.

Detroit Pistons at Portland Trail Blazers

Portland and Detroit are two of the better-shooting teams in the NBA. The Blazers are making 46.7 percent of their shots from the field to rank sixth in the league, just ahead of the Pistons' 46.4 percent.

Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies

McGrady and Yao are both in the league's top 10 in scoring, combining to average 51.3 points per game. They've combined to win three consecutive Western Conference Player of the Week awards dating to last season.

Miami Heat at Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte has won three straight against Miami after losing nine of the first 10 games between the teams.

New York Knicks at Phoenix Suns


The Suns have been forced to make some adjustments to their lineup because of injuries to Raja Bell and Amare Stoudemire. With a deep roster, it hasn't mattered much right now.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - November 13th

NBA Today - Tuesday, November 13
SSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Tuesday, Nov. 13

Seattle at Orlando (7 p.m. EST). Kevin Durant and the winless SuperSonics face the Southeast Division-leading Magic.

STARS Monday

- Chris Paul, Hornets, made the tiebreaking layup with 2.6 seconds left and finished with a season-high 27 points, along with seven assists and six rebounds, in an 84-82 victory at New Jersey.

-Allen Iverson, Nuggets, scored a season-high 37 points and added eight assists as Denver won its third straight, 122-100 over Cleveland.

-Carlos Boozer, Jazz, had 32 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season as Utah routed Sacramento 117-93 for its fourth consecutive victory.

ONE-SIDED

Denver is 7-2 against Cleveland since Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James joined the league in 2003, following the Nuggets' 122-100 victory Monday night. The 122 points were the most Cleveland surrendered since allowing 120 to Philadelphia on Nov. 19, 2005, coach Mike Brown's first year.

SHORT-HANDED KINGS

Sacramento center and leading rebounder Brad Miller missed Monday night's 117-93 loss at Utah with a bruised right quadriceps. Forward Ron Artest served the final game of his seven-game league suspension after pleading no contest to a domestic violence charge. Guard Mike Bibby is out until at least mid-December with a thumb injury.

SIDELINED

Nets guard Vince Carter will be sidelined indefinitely with a sprained right ankle. An MRI on Monday revealed Carter sustained a Grade 1 sprain on Saturday night against Boston. New Jersey is 0-4 without Carter since acquiring him in 2004, following Monday night's 84-82 loss to New Orleans.

SPEAKING

''I don't know how we won the game. These are the type of games last year we probably would have lost. It tells a lot about the resiliency we have on this team. Chris Paul wasn't having one of his best nights in terms of taking care of the ball, but man did he come up with a big steal after turning it over.'' - New Orleans coach Byron Scott after a last-second, 84-82 victory over New Jersey on Monday night.

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Tuesday's NCAAB Top 25 matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Chicago State at No. 8 Michigan State

The Spartans are coming off a 23-12 season in which they advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Every significant contributor from that team returns, including Preseason All-American guard Drew Neitzel.

Idaho at No. 14 Gonzaga

Idaho is winless in its last 13 games against Top 25 opponents.

Oral Roberts at No. 14 Texas A&M

Texas A&M is 7-4 against Oral Roberts, which won the last meeting 89-86 in overtime on Nov. 28, 1999.

Northern Arizona at No. 17 Arizona

Arizona has won 23 straight meetings against Northern Arizona and 38 of the last 41 matchups, including last season's 101-79 victory in Tuscon.

No. 10 Washington State at Boise State

The trip to Boise starts a non-conference road slate for Washington State that also features games at Baylor, Gonzaga and Idaho State. The Broncos went 8-4 on the road last season.

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KU's top scorer out six weeks after surgery
Associated Press

Kansas sophomore guard Sherron Collins, the fourth-ranked Jayhawks' leading scorer in their first two games, will be out at least six weeks after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a stress fracture in his left foot.

Coach Bill Self told The Associated Press the 5-foot-11 Collins visited the doctor after experiencing pain in the foot on Monday and X-rays revealed the fracture. During Sunday night's game against Missouri-Kansas City, Collins rolled an ankle but was thought to be OK after he returned to the play.

The fracture was in the fifth metatarsal of the left foot.

"He didn't know he was hurt," Self said.

The Jayhawks (2-0) already are without All-Big 12 guard Brandon Rush, who is recovering from knee surgery and expected back around Dec. 1.

"What they think is that what happened last night triggered the pain. We have no idea when the original injury happened," Self said.

"The doctor said he could probably have taken time off and let it heal on its own, but there's a better chance it wouldn't heal on its own. I asked the doctor what was the best-case scenario and he said, 'Bill, we do these things all the time and it's six weeks regardless. Just plan on it being six weeks."'

Collins averaged 16 points the first two games. At the urging of coaches, he had gotten his weight down to about 200 pounds, the lightest since arriving on campus as a freshman.

The plan will be for Collins to take two or three weeks off and then slowly ease back into practice.

"The pounding, the punishment of actual games will take about six weeks," Self said.

"He looks so much faster than he was last year. He's really been looking good. I'm confident he'll do what he needs to do in these next few weeks and keep the weight off."

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Marbury leaves Knicks
November 13th, 2007

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Guard Stephon Marbury has reportedly left the New York Knicks after being told he was being benched for Tuesday's game against the Phoenix Suns because of poor defensive play.

According to New York newspapers including Newsday, Marbury did not show up for the team's morning shootaround and it is unknown whether he will be at Tuesday's game.

It was also reported that head coach Isiah Thomas stated Marbury would be allowed back if he would "play the way the team wanted him to play."

Marbury, who is owed approximately $42 million over the next two years, is averaging 15.2 points and 6.8 assists this season.

In 804 career games with Minnesota, New Jersey, Phoenix and New York, the former Georgia Tech star holds averages of 19.8 points and 7.9 assists per game.

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Stephon Marbury's days with Knicks might be numbered

PHOENIX - The customary postgame meeting between Garden chairman James Dolan and Isiah Thomas seemed to go on longer than usual late Sunday night in New York. Those sit-downs could be potentially harmful to a head coach. But in this instance, the discussion between Dolan and Isiah Thomas could mean the beginning of the end of Stephon Marbury.

A high-ranking team official told the Daily News that Thomas and Dolan have been in talks in recent days concerning Marbury's future. Knicks brass is considering what options it has to reduce Marbury's role or get rid of him entirely.

A trade is unlikely because Marbury, the team's controversial point guard, is scheduled to earn $42 million over the next two seasons. Dolan's and Thomas' history suggests that they would not rule out negotiating a buyout for Marbury, who then would become a free agent. At the very least, Marbury's minutes could be reduced substantially for as long as he remains on the team.

The Knicks are 2-3 entering tonight's game in Phoenix. Marbury, 30, made the trip west but there is some uncertainty whether he will even play. The Knicks traveled to Phoenix yesterday afternoon and were not available for comment. Attempts to reach Thomas at the team hotel were unsuccessful.

Marbury accepted responsibility for Sunday's loss to Miami after he threw away a pass in the final minute and allowed Heat guard Jason Williams to get open and hit the go-ahead jumper.

However, blaming Marbury for the Knicks' record is unfair, especially since Jamal Crawford had a similarly brutal turnover and has struggled defensively. The same is true of Eddy Curry, who was a nonfactor in back-to-back performances against Orlando's Dwight Howard and Miami's Shaquille O'Neal.

Perhaps Marbury is being set up as the scapegoat in the aftermath of the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment trial. Marbury testified that he once referred to Sanders as a "bitch." It was also revealed during the trial that Marbury, a married father, had an affair with a Garden employee who was a public relations intern at the time.

Also, Marbury made several infamous and bizarre television appearances over the summer that embarrassed the organization. Marbury has maintained a low profile since the start of training camp and has even attempted to extend olive branches to those members of the media that he has feuded with for the past several years.

A person close to Marbury says he is beaten down emotionally from everything that transpired over the summer and through the Sanders trial and that deep down he would welcome a change of scenery. In five games, Marbury is averaging 15.2 points and 6.8 assists. Now in his 12th season, Marbury has averaged 19.8 points and 7.9 assists over his career with four different teams.

Marbury was, of course, Thomas' first blockbuster acquisition. The January 2004 trade was celebrated because it meant that Marbury, the Brooklyn legend, would be returning home. But Marbury quickly alienated teammates, coaches and the media with his moody behavior. He was involved in a memorable altercation with former teammate Kurt Thomas and later with current teammate Quentin Richardson. Both players wanted to fight Marbury.

Through it all, including the losing seasons and zero playoffs wins, Isiah Thomas stood firmly behind Marbury and exiled anyone that had a problem with his guard - including Kurt Thomas, Shandon Anderson, Tim Thomas, Keith Van Horn and Dikembe Mutombo.

Marbury's career in New York, which seemed so promising, appears to be headed for an ugly divorce. If the Knicks were to sever ties with Marbury, it is uncertain how it would impact Thomas' future.

www.nydailynews.com

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Skiles considering lineup maneuvers

Paxson places onus on players to put brakes on bad start

A busy Monday at the Berto Center featured a 3-hour-10-minute practice, a players-only meeting and Bulls coach Scott Skiles looking at lineup changes.

Beyond all that, one comment stood out.

"After what happened right before training camp with all the [Kobe Bryant] rumors out there, to start more would be a really bad thing," general manager John Paxson said. "I'm not going there."

In other words, it's on the current batch of players to dig themselves out of this mess — for now.

"I evaluate every day," Paxson continued. "Time will tell what direction we need to go."

A lengthy players-only meeting called by Adrian Griffin is a start. So are lineup changes, with players confirming Skiles began looking at some of several different combinations in the first of three practice days before a six-game trip begins Thursday night in Phoenix.

"We're not going to do anything crazy," Skiles said. "But is 1-5 the right time? 1-9? It's not even so much the record. It's the way we've played. This is different than wanting to hold, say, two guys accountable or anything like that.

"We have to find a way to get shocked out of our malaise. It's probably going to have to come initially from me and then see what happens."

At least one known lineup under consideration features guard Ben Gordon coming off the bench, according to players.

Skiles also said he would revisit the inactive list, with both Griffin and Thomas Gardner likely to be activated. That could mean struggling second-year guard Thabo Sefolosha could get an unwanted break.

"Our spacing hasn't been good," Skiles said. "So a change may be something that hopefully provides us more spacing. The other thing is we have to get better bench performances. If that means I have to take somebody out of the lineup because I like them matching up against some second-unit guys, then that's an element too."

Starting carries with it a certain prestige. Team chemistry has been a strong suit of recent Bulls teams. So it'd be interesting to monitor the reactions of any player who might be demoted, Gordon in particular.

Though he was the first player in NBA history to win Sixth Man of the Year as a rookie, Gordon has always stated his preference for starting.

Paxson supports whatever changes Skiles might make, even if feathers get ruffled.

"This is a business where if you're too sensitive, you don't belong here anyway," Paxson said.

"It's investing in the team. If Scott and his staff think certain changes need to be made with personnel to get us on the right track, then I would say to those players, invest yourself in what we're trying to do and help us win."

Skiles and Paxson also are in sync in the intangible reasons for why the Bulls currently are the league's 29th-ranked scoring and shooting team.

"We haven't played with the intensity and passion that's been our trademark," Skiles said. "Whenever we've left that page, it's become pretty evident we can be not very good."

Paxson touched on similar themes when detailing how injuries during training camp caused him concern because the core group never played together.

"But that ends up sounding like you're making excuses, and I'm not going to do that," Paxson said. "Whatever happened in camp is behind us. We're not playing at the level we should be playing at.

"This group won 49 games last year playing a certain way with a certain intensity and competitiveness. That's what this group on the floor has to get back to. If not, there's something wrong.

"Six games in, I'm not sitting here blindly saying everything is going to be fine. The Eastern Conference is better. The league is better. But I do say this group won 49 games last year and is older and more mature, so they should be getting it together here soon."

A typically honest and reflective Skiles suggested he may have waited too long in the past to make lineup changes. The Bulls, after all, have solid practice at such slow starts.

With six straight road games in places where the Bulls historically have fared poorly, Paxson acknowledged that matters could get worse before they get better. For a team many considered a contender for the Eastern Conference title, that's shocking.

"Mentally, our players have to get it together," Paxson said. "And that's not a knock on anybody. You have to invest yourself in the team. This is still a team that won games last year. And they didn't do anything over the summer to get worse as players. But they have to come together as a group.

"There's no sense in pointing fingers at anybody. Point them at me. I put the group together. Our guys have to appeal to their own personal pride and find their way out of it. Nobody is going to give it to them."

www.tribune.com

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