Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Knicks unsure of starting point guard Wednesday if Marbury hasn't returned
December 4, 2007

Associated Press

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Isiah Thomas refused to say who would start at point guard for the Knicks on Wednesday at New Jersey if Stephon Marbury hasn't returned to the team following his father's death.

Don Marbury Sr. died Sunday night during the Knicks' home loss to Phoenix. The funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Brooklyn, and the Knicks prepared Tuesday to play without their usual starter.

"We don't know that as of yet, but we'll wait and see what happens," Thomas said after practice. "We definitely miss him and we grieve with he and his family. He's in our thoughts and in our prayers and today we had a solid practice and tried to do some things just in case he's not here."

Mardy Collins or Nate Robinson would seem the likely options, though neither is a particularly good one. Collins was inactive Sunday because of a sprained left ankle and Thomas didn't use him in any of the previous four games.

Robinson didn't play in the last two games, though Thomas continues to say that was only because of matchup problems the 5-foot-9 guard faced. That would seemingly still be a problem against the Nets' Jason Kidd.

Though he temporarily removed Marbury from the starting lineup earlier this season, Thomas realizes his importance to the Knicks.

"A lot of what we do revolves around him, the point guard," Thomas said. "You take it out of bounds, you give it to him. The leadership, the trust, the play-calling, a lot of that comes from the point guard position. It's the most critical position in the game."

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

James misses 3rd straight game because of sprained left index finger
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James missed his third straight game Tuesday night because of a sprained left index finger.

The Cavaliers (9-9) are 0-2 without their superstar forward. Coach Mike Brown wouldn't comment on whether James' injury is worse than first anticipated.

James was hurt in the second quarter Wednesday night in a loss to Detroit, when Nazr Mohammed slapped at the ball as James began to shoot.

Devin Brown started in James' place the last two games and coach Mike Brown said a number of players including Devin Brown, Shannon Brown and Eric Snow could start Tuesday night against the New Jersey Nets.

James leads the NBA with 30.7 points per game. He's also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Bryant, Bynum come down with stomach illness
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers both came down with a stomach illness while in Minnesota on Tuesday to face the Timberwolves.

Bryant remained in the starting lineup, but Bynum did not dress after spending some time during the day at a Minneapolis hospital to receive IV fluids.

''I don't think it's life-threatening,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson deadpanned.

The team said the official diagnosis for both players was gastroenteritis, which is more commonly called stomach flu, though it is unrelated to influenza.

For the Timberwolves, point guard Marko Jaric missed the game with a foot/ankle injury.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

NBA Today - Wednesday, Dec. 5
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Chicago at Charlotte (7 p.m. EST). The Bobcats have lost six straight after a 6-4 start.

STARS

Tuesday

- Amare Stoudemire, Suns, scored 42 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Phoenix past Indiana 121-117.

- Richard Jefferson, Nets, had a season-high 36 points to help New Jersey defeat Cleveland 100-79.

- Michael Redd, Bucks, scored 25 points, including 10 in the final 3:36, to help Milwaukee get past the Los Angeles Clippers 87-78.

- Kevin Martin, Kings, scored 25 points before leaving the game in the third quarter with a pulled groin and Sacramento beat Utah 117-107.

LEBRON-LESS

New Jersey beat Cleveland 100-79 on Tuesday to hand the Cavaliers their fourth straight loss, including the past three without LeBron James, out with a sprained left index finger. Cleveland had won three straight against the Nets at home in the regular season, last losing Dec. 9, 2005.

NOT SO GOOD

Kobe Bryant scored 20 points and added five assists to help the Los Angeles Lakers rout Minnesota 116-95 on Tuesday and drop the Timberwolves to 2-14 this season. Minnesota has lost its past three games by a combined 65 points. The win snapped a two-game slide for the Lakers. ... Milwaukee downed the Clippers 87-78 to hand Los Angeles its sixth straight loss, matching their longest slide of last season. The last time the Clippers lost more than six straight was an eight-game slide in February 2005.

STREAKS


Steve Nash had 18 points and 17 assists to help Phoenix get past Indiana 121-117 on Tuesday for its third straight win and fifth straight against the Pacers. ... Detroit downed Atlanta 106-95 for its sixth win in seven games. The Pistons have won 30 of the past 40 games against the Hawks since the 1997-98 season

SNAPPED


Milwaukee snapped a four-game losing streak with an 87-78 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. The win was also the Bucks' first in five tries against the Clippers. ... Detroit beat Atlanta 106-95 to end the Hawks' streak of not giving up 100 points at seven games.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Jermaine O'Neal scored a season-high 30 points on 14-for-20 shooting in Indiana's 121-117 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday. ... Jamaal Tinsley had 19 points and 12 assists in the loss. ... Deron Williams had 30 points and seven assists in Utah's 117-107 loss to Sacramento. Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz and has 14 double-doubles in 18 games this season.

SPEAKING

''You go up 15, and the way you got up there is also the way they're going to get it back. So you just have to kind of put your seat belt on and ride through it.'' - Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni, on the Suns allowing Indiana to rally from a 12-point deficit before winning 121-117 on Tuesday.

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Wednesday's NBA betting matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Phoenix Suns at Toronto Raptors


Phoenix has posted 112.3 points per game en route to winning its last six against Toronto. The Raptors haven't beaten the Suns since a 101-94 victory at Phoenix on Feb. 10, 2004.

Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers

The Celtics have lost three in a row to the Sixers, but split the teams' two meetings at the Wachovia Center last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards

The Cavaliers visit the Wizards in the teams' first meeting since last season's playoffs, when the Wizards played without Gilbert Arenas and were swept.

Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Bobcats

The Bulls have won four of their last five against the Bobcats, but lost 100-85 in their last trip to Charlotte on Feb. 14.

New York Knicks at New Jersey Nets


The Nets averaged 101.5 points while sweeping four games from the Knicks in 2006-07.

Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Hornets

New Orleans and Detroit split two games last season, with each winning on the road. The Pistons have won five of the last six meetings overall.

Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets

The last two season series between these teams have resulted in sweeps. Houston won all four meetings last season, and Memphis took all four in 2005-06.

Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs


The Mavericks are hoping to win five straight against the Spurs for the first time since taking nine in a row in the series from Jan. 2, 1988-Feb. 20, 1989.

Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have won three of the last four games between the teams.

Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors


Golden State lost two high-scoring games to Milwaukee last season, allowing the Bucks to hit a total of 23 3-pointers and score an average of 118 points.

Los Angeles Clippers at Seattle SuperSonics

The Clippers have won seven of the last 10 games between the teams overall.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Detroit (12-5, 9-8 ATS) at New Orleans (12-6, 11-7 ATS)

The surging Pistons play their second road game in as many nights as they travel from Atlanta to New Orleans to battle the surprising Hornets.

Detroit improved to 4-0 SU and ATS in its last four contests on Tuesday, routing the Hawks 106-95 as a six-point road favorite. The Pistons, who are 6-1 SU in their last seven, have averaged 112.5 points during their four-game winning streak, with all four victories coming by double digits.

New Orleans has been idle since Saturday’s 112-108 overtime win over Dallas as a three-point home underdog. The Hornets are 3-1 SU and ATS in their last four overall, but just 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four at home. The straight-up winner is 8-0 in the Hornets last eight contests.

The Pistons are 5-1 in the last six clashes with New Orleans, going 4-2 ATS. Last year, when the Hornets were playing their home games in Oklahoma City, Detroit hammered the Hornets 92-68 as an eight-point chalk. The visitor has cashed in four straight meetings.

New Orleans is on a 20-8-1 ATS roll overall dating to last season.

Despite last night’s win at Atlanta, the Pistons are still just 4-4 in their last eight road games (3-5 ATS). However, they’re 6-0 ATS when playing on back-to-back nights this season.

The over is on runs of 8-1 for Detroit on the road, 20-8-1 for New Orleans against Central Division foes and 3-1 in this rivalry.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DETROIT and OVER


Dallas (12-6, 6-11-1 ATS) at San Antonio (15-3, 11-7 ATS)

Two Midwest Division rivals are set to do battle for the second time this season, this time at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, where the Spurs are unbeaten in 10 games.

Dallas hammered San Antonio 105-92 as a two-point home favorite back on Nov. 15, the Mavericks’ fourth consecutive win and cover over the Spurs and just the second time in the last 15 meetings that the winning team prevailed by double digits. Dallas has scored three straight upset wins in their last three trips to San Antonio.

Despite Dallas’ win in November, the road team is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 Spurs-Mavericks tussles, and the underdog is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 clashes. Also, the straight-up winner is 7-0 ATS in the last seven battles.

The Mavericks are coming off Monday’s 103-98 win at Chicago as a 3½-point road chalk, snapping an 0-6 ATS drought. Avery Johnson’s team is just 3-4 SU in its last seven contests, including 1-3 SU and ATS on the highway.

San Antonio destroyed the Trailblazers 100-79 on Sunday, covering as a 14-point home chalk, but they lost star forward Tim Duncan to injury in the victory. Since losing to Dallas, the Spurs have won eight of nine (7-2 ATS), including three straight wins and covers.

The Spurs have won all 10 of their home games by an average of 10 points per game (102-92), going 7-3 ATS.

San Antonio had a four-game “over” streak snapped when Sunday’s game against Portland stayed under the total. The over is also 13-5 in Dallas’ games this season, including 9-2 in the last 11 and 4-1 in the last five on the highway.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(5) Georgetown (5-0, 2-3 ATS) vs. Alabama (4-2, 0-3 ATS),

at Birmingham, Ala.

The Hoyas take their perfect record to Alabama for a non-conference showdown against slumping the Crimson Tide in Birmingham.

Georgetown has won all five of its games by at least nine points, including four double-digit wins. On Saturday, the Hoyas topped Fairfield 61-49, but never came close to covering as a 25½-point home favorite. Georgetown has followed up a 19-3-2 ATS run by going 3-6 ATS in its last nine.

Alabama followed up last week’s 76-63 loss at Texas A&M by nearly losing to Southeast Louisiana, prevailing just 63-61 in overtime in a non-lined game. The Crimson Tied have alternated SU wins and losses in their last five games, but they’re just 1-5 ATS in their last six lined contests dating to last season.


The Hoyas are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 on the highway.

Alabama is mired in a 2-7 ATS funk at home and an 8-20 ATS slump in non-conference action.

The biggest discrepancy between these teams is on the defense end of the floor, as Alabama gives up 75.7 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting, whereas Georgetown holds opponents to 50 points per game on 34.3 percent shooting.

The under is 38-16 in Georgetown’s last 54 games. However, the over is 7-2 in Alabama’s last nine non-conference contests and 8-0 in its last eight against the Big East.

ATS ADVANTAGE: GEORGETOWN


(8) Washington State (7-0, 3-2 ATS) at (17) Gonzaga (7-1, 6-2 ATS)

Washington State and Gonzaga meet in their annual instate battle, this time as two of the top-ranked teams in the land.

The Cougars survived their biggest scare of the season in their most recent game on Friday, holding off Baylor 67-64 as a 1½-point road favorite. It was the second-most points Washington State has given up this year, as the Cougars are outscoring their foes by an average of 20 points per game (72-52).

Gonzaga has rebounded from its first loss of the season – a 73-63 defeat to Texas Tech on Nov. 23 – with three straight wins and pointspread covers. The Zags concluded a five-game road trip with Saturday’s 85-82 win over UConn in Boston, cashing as a 5½-point underdog.

The host has covered in each of the last seven meetings in this rivalry, including last year, when Washington State snapped a seven-game losing streak to Gonzaga with a 77-67 victory as a 2½-point home underdog. Seven of the last nine head-to-head battles have been decided by double digits.

Gonzaga is on a 12-3 ATS run overall and an 8-2 ATS roll at home.

Washington State is 4-0 away from home, but just 2-2 ATS.

The over is 8-3 in Gonzaga’s last 11 home contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: GONZAGA

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Looking for Revenge
VegasInsider.com

Wednesday’s NBA slate features 13 games on tap, including five contests with teams seeking revenge.

“Revenge is often overrated when it comes to handicapping, but it could play into the line at times. It’s just another factor in one’s handicapping style. How much you use it is up to you.” said VegasInsider.com expert Dan Berube.

“I wouldn’t look specifically at one matchup, rather a handful of recent games played between the two. I know Dallas has matched up well with San Antonio and they took advantage of a cold-shooting Spurs team earlier in the year. One would think that they bounce back tonight, especially at home where they’ve dominated this year.”

As Berube mentioned, revenge should be one of many factors in handicapping. Injuries are another and San Antonio (see below) has been plagued recently.

Let’s take a closer look at the handful of revenge games!

Chicago (4-11 SU, 4-10 ATS) at Charlotte (6-10 SU, 7-9 ATS)


Chicago only has four wins on the season, and one of them came against Charlotte (111-95) last Saturday. Prior to this victory, the Bulls had eclipsed the century mark just twice in their first 13 games. Scott Skiles’ team shot a blistering 54 percent from the field, as Ben Gordon (34) and Luol Deng (29) combined for 63 of the team’s 111. Including this win, the Bulls have won and covered four of their last five versus the Bobcats.

The Bulls have been outscored by nine points (96-87) on the road this year en route to a pathetic 1-7 record both SU and ATS. The ‘under’ has gone 5-3. The majority of Charlotte’s wins have come at home (5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS) this season. The Bobcats are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, going 2-4 ATS during this stretch as well.

Dallas (12-6 SU, 6-11 ATS) at San Antonio (15-3 SU, 11-7 ATS)

The Southwest Division has been owned by Dallas of late, evidenced by the club’s current four-game winning streak against San Antonio. The Mavericks blast the Spurs 105-92 in wire-to-wire fashion on Nov. 15 as a two-point home favorite. Josh Howard led five players in double-figures with 23 points in the win. The losing streak could continue for the Spurs on Wednesday, especially without Tim Duncan (knee) and a “questionable” Manu Ginobili (finger).

San Antonio has been on a roll of late, winning and covering three in a row by an average of 17 points per game (105-88). Dallas has been inconsistent on the road, going 4-5 SU and 2-6 ATS. The Spurs remain one of two teams (Boston, 9-0) that are undefeated at home this year, posting a 10-0 SU and 7-3 ATS record.

Dallas has watched the ‘over’ go 13-5 on the year, including 6-3 on the road.

Memphis (6-11 SU, 9-7 ATS) at Houston (9-9 SU, 7-11 ATS)

Houston will be looking to avenge a 105-99 loss to Memphis on Nov. 13 as a 6½-point road favorite. Both clubs shot the ball well, but it was the Grizzlies that earned 17 more trips (41-24) to the free throw line. Pau Gasol led Memphis with 26 points, which included 14 free throws. Tracy McGrady (41) and Yao Ming (22) scored 63 of the team’s 99 points. The victory for Memphis snapped a four-game losing streak to the Rockets.

The Rockets have been up and down all year, and it’s clearly evidenced by their last five games. Prior to its current two-game skid, Houston had ripped off three victories in a row. The Rockets’ defense held teams to 82 PPG in the wins, but 110 PPG in the losses. Houston is 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS at home, while Memphis has posted a 2-6 SU and 4-4 ATS ledger on the road. The Grizzlies still remain one of the worst defensive squads in the NBA, giving up 105.5 PPG.

L.A. Lakers (9-8 SU, 9-8 ATS) at Denver (11-7 SU, 9-9 ATS)


Last Thursday, the Nuggets were embarrassed 127-99 to the Lakers as five-point road underdogs in a televised tilt on TNT. Surprisingly, Denver led 57-55 at the break before getting outscored by 30 points (72-42) in the final 24 minutes. Adding insult to injury, Denver’s Carmelo Anthony was ejected midway through the fourth quarter after hitting the Lakers' Sasha Vujacic in the neck. Vujacic lit up the statsheet for 22 points, while Anthony led the Nuggets with 23 points.

The loss to the Lakers was the Nuggets fifth straight setback. Since then, Denver has quietly captured back-to-back games in double-digit fashion. Denver has dominated teams at Pepsi Center, going 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS. Los Angeles is 3-4 both SU and ATS away from home and is playing in a back-to-back spot tonight. The Lakers are 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS in their previous three trips to Colorado.

L.A. Clippers (6-9 SU, 5-10 ATS) at Seattle (3-15 SU, 7-11 ATS)


The Clippers have gone 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in its last four meetings against the SuperSonics, including a 115-101 thrashing on Nov. 4 as a six-point home favorite. The Clippers outscored the Sonics by 12 points (37-25) in the fourth quarter en route to the win and cover. Corey Maggette led the Clips with 27 points, while rookie Kevin Durant paced Seattle with 24 points and eight boards.

The Clippers have struggled on the road this year, going 2-4 both SU and ATS. Meanwhile, the Sonics have posted a league-worst 1-8 SU and 4-5 ATS at Key Arena. The Sonics have watched the ‘under’ go 7-2 at home this year.

Keep an eye on injuries in this contest, as the Clippers could be without Corey Maggette (hamstring) and Sam Cassell (calf) for Wednesday.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Wednesday's NCAAB betting matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

No. 4 Georgetown at Alabama

Alabama leads 2-1 in the all-time series with Georgetown, winning 94-73 during the 1982-83 season in the teams' most recent meeting.

No. 17 Clemson at East Carolina

The Tigers have only one previous meeting with the Pirates, a 74-40 Clemson win on Dec. 29, 2004.

No. 9 Pittsburgh at Duquesne

Pitt has won the last six matchups by an average of 17.0 points and 25 of the past 28 meetings to take a 44-31 lead in the overall series.

Creighton at No. 20 Xavier

The Bluejays have taken two of the last three meetings on the Musketeers' home court, including 73-72 on Nov. 30, 2004 in the most recent meeting in Cincinnati.

North Texas at No. 5 Texas

This will be the 34th meeting between the Mean Green and the Longhorns. Texas owns a 28-5 advantage in the series, and has won six straight against North Texas.

Eastern Washington at No. 3 Kansas

Kansas, which looks to improve to 8-0 for the first time since winning its first 14 games in 2004-05, will try to extend its home winning streak over non-conference opponents to 15 when its faces Eastern Washington for the first time.

Wake Forest at No. 25 Vanderbilt

These programs have split eight meetings all-time. Vanderbilt has won 17 of its last 18 overall home games.

Weber State at No. 22 Brigham Young

BYU has won the last four games between these teams, is 16-0 at home versus Weber State and leads the all-time series 22-10.

No. 6 Washington State at No. 19 Gonzaga


Washington State and Gonzaga have played each other 141 times. Washington State leads the series 96-45.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Injury won't keep Darko off the court

Banged-up center vows he will play today against Yao, Houston

Darko Milicic has no intentions of being labeled damaged goods.

At least that's essentially what came out of his mouth Tuesday after practice.

Whether his sprained left ankle agrees tonight when the Grizzlies play on the road against the Houston Rockets is another story.

Milicic, who went down with what appeared to be a serious injury early Monday during the Grizzlies' 106-105 loss to Portland in FedExForum, is being listed as day-to-day.

As soon as the Grizzlies' trainer walked away, Milicic delivered his own status report Tuesday.

"I'm going to play," he said. "It's not that bad."

That was one reason for coach Marc Iavaroni to smile after another defeat by three points or fewer. The Griz own an NBA worst 0-5 record in those games.

Having Milicic, however, improves the Grizzlies' chances against the Rockets, given that he brought excellent defense against Yao Ming and played a large role in a victory during their first meeting on Nov. 13.

"He wants to play and he wants to help us win," Iavaroni said. "He feels you can't do that sitting on the bench."

Milicic played in just his second game back (after a seven-game layoff) from a sprained left thumb when he took a tumble midway in the first period of the Portland game Monday.

He landed on Joel Pryzbilla's leg and writhed in pain for several minutes before attempting to leave the court.

He grimaced while trying to put pressure on the ankle and eventually hopped off the court on his right leg.

Medical staff used a wheelchair to escort Milicic into the locker room, where they learned that X-rays were negative.

The keyto his willingness to try to play, says Milicic, is that the ankle didn't swell excessively overnight, unlike the ankle injury that caused Pau Gasol to miss half the preseason.

"That's how some ankles work," Milicic said. "It's really not that bad. I'll try it (today) in shootaround. But I'm sure I'll play."

The Griz sorely miss Milicic when he's absent. He not only bolsters the team's rebounding efforts, but no one on the roster has defended the post with Milicic's effectiveness.

Take last Saturday's win over Minnesota, for example.

Milicic didn't shoot well, but he blocked five shots and was instrumental in holding Al Jefferson -- a 20-point, 10-rebound player -- to just nine points and seven boards.

"He fronts. He works his body. He moves his feet," Iavaroni said.

"He's a very confident and active defensive player. Now he's got the fouls out of his game, too."

Milicic is hoping he's also purged himself of the injury bug.

"That's why I'm trying to come back (today)," Milicic said.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

LeBron's injury more than bruise

Sprained finger might keep him out tonight, too

INDEPENDENCE: After practice Monday afternoon at Cleveland Clinic Courts, LeBron James silently left the facility.

He looked healthy.

His sprained left index finger, which has sidelined the Cavaliers' star for the past two games (both losses), remains a source of speculation, however. Will the league's leading scorer (30.7 points a game) be ready for the Cavaliers' home game tonight against the New Jersey Nets?

''He's day to day,'' Cavs coach Mike Brown said.

And that's all the information he would give.

Brown knows James wants to be on the court. The extent of the injury, however, is more than a mere bruise, Brown said.

''It's a slow process, the injury he has,'' Brown said. ''It's a funny injury when you're talking about your knuckles and your fingers. When you get that ball in your hand, you have a lot of guys swiping at it. Officials think he's the strongest human in the world, but it's a tough thing to have to deal with.''

James injured his finger in the first half of Wednesday's 109-74 loss at Detroit and sat out the second half. He still led the team in scoring with 15 points.

Since then, the Cavs have lost twice. Although their scoring has fallen off dramatically, they have made stops on the defensive end. They lost 91-82 at Toronto on Friday, then dropped an 80-70 decision Sunday to the Boston Celtics, the league's best team with a 14-2 record.

Boston ''is a very efficient offensive team and the best defensive team right now in the league, and I thought defensive

ly we did some things against them that we've been preaching all along. And we're getting better,'' Brown said. ''If we can get that on a consistent basis, we'll be pretty good.''

What the Cavs need in James' absence is more aggressive play offensively from everyone.

''LeBron gives guys easy looks and looks that they'll be able to take a second to get their feet set and get locked into that basket,'' Brown said. ''Without him on the floor, they don't have as much time to get those buckets.''

That's why second-year point guard Daniel Gibson is trying to make things happen.

''I understand with LeBron out, he does so much for our team as far as getting guys looks at the basket, making big shots and pretty much doing everything,'' Gibson said. ''When he goes down, it's a mental thing for me to understand that I have to step my game up and take my game to another level.''

In Toronto, Gibson scored a team-high 24 points, registered a career-high in assists (seven) and free throws made (six), and played almost 42 minutes.

''Daniel has gotten a little bit more aggressive (offensively) and we've given him more opportunity to be aggressive,'' Brown said.

The coach said there is one positive aspect with James' injury.

''My reasoning is to err on the side of caution, because he does so much for us and plays so many minutes,'' Brown said. ''So, to put a positive spin on it, he's getting time to rest his body and his mind.''

'Jay' Z

Zydrunas Ilgauskas has one of the best jump shots for a guy his size, and Brown has always been a fan. Take Ilgauskas away from the basket and he can knock down the outside shot on a consistent basis.

''Z is one of the most professional guys I've ever been around,'' Brown said. ''He works extremely hard in the offseason, he comes here early and stays late. He gets his work in.

''And he plays off LeBron very well. Teams are in a predicament when it comes to LeBron and Z playing pick and roll. You have a 7-foot-2 guy that can knock down a 19-foot shot and you have a 6-8 guy who can knock down a shot or dunk on you in a heartbeat.''

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Kings' Martin out 4-to-6 weeks
December 5th, 2007

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Martin is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with a strained right groin suffered on Tuesday.

Martin left in the third quarter of the team's 117-107 win over the Utah Jazz, after pulling the groin.

Martin, the Kings leading scorer with 24.5 points-per-game, had scored 25 points in just over 30 minutes of playing time.

In his absence, Francisco Garcia is likely to be elevated to the starting position.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Cavs match Charlotte's offer sheet to Varejao
December 5th, 2007

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Wednesday that they have matched the Charlotte Bobcats contract offer sheet signed by restricted free-agent forward Anderson Varejao.

Varejao, who is now under contract with Cleveland, signed an offer sheet by the Bobcats on Tuesday and the Cavaliers had seven days to match.

Terms of Charlotte's offer were not disclosed but the Charlotte Observer reported it was for three years and worth $17.4 million.

The unhappy 6-foot-10 Brazilian has not played this season for Cleveland because of a contract dispute.

Last season, the 25-year-old Varejao averaged 6.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest for the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers.

Cleveland also announced that guard/forward Demetris Nichols has been waived.

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Re: Betting News and Notes -Dec 5th

Huskies' Oliver to transfer
December 4th, 2007

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - The University of Washington announced that sophomore guard Adrian Oliver is leaving the men's basketball team and will transfer to another school.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Oliver played in five of the team's seven games this season, averaging 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds.

"He let me know today," Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. "He thought being away from home was something that he could adjust to. But being here has just been too difficult for him, being away from his family.

"Freshmen, when they get away from home, usually are homesick. Just about every one of them go through it. Most don't (leave) after that period. But in Adrian's case it was a little more difficult for him. He's been injured as much as anyone and that doesn't make it any easier."

Oliver cited family issues as his primary reason for transferring.

"At this point my family needs me and I need to be closer to them," Oliver said. "I'm going to find a school down there where I can be with my family at the same time."

A product of Modesto Christian California High School, Oliver played all 32 games last season as a freshman for the Huskies who posted a 19-13 record. He started 13 games, averaging 4.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest.

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