cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
On 02/21/2012 12:48 PM in NCAA Basketball

Cnotes Tuesday's Best Bets NCAAB - NBA - NHL ....College Hoops 7 - 1 Yesterday !

Content here...Red-Hot Lobos Take Aim At Colorado State Rams

Upsets. Check. Routs. Check. Teams trending up. Check. Teams trending down. Check.

In so many ways, the latest weekend on the college basketball betting slate was no different than others. There are upsets and routs almost each day on the schedule, not just during weekends. Teams fall into ruts after fast starts, and others come out of their funks after struggling early.

What makes the results from this past weekend seem different is we've hit crunch time when wins and losses are magnified.

The final two weeks of the regular season tipped off Monday night, and Tuesday's card includes several teams coming off upsets, trending up or trending down.

Kansas State at No. 3 Missouri
Columbia, MO – 7:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN2

Frank Martin and the Wildcats returned to relevance with Saturday's 57-56 upset at Baylor as 7½-point underdogs. It appears the Big 12 is destined to get 5-6 invites to the NCAA Tournament, and Kansas State would definitely be among that group if brackets were filled right now. A win Tuesday night in Columbia would guarantee an appearance.

The Tigers are a perfect 15-0 at Mizzou Arena this season, but the Wildcats could be visiting Columbia at just the right time. The Tigers are coming off a 71-62 win at Texas A&M as 7½-point favorites last Saturday, snapping an 8-game losing streak against the Aggies, and can't help but to already be thinking about this Saturday's trip to Kansas.

Revenge could help Missouri avoid looking ahead to the Jayhawks. One of the two losses on the Tigers ledger came at K-State on Jan. 7 in a game that closed as a pick 'em. A win and cover for Missouri on Tuesday would mark the fifth straight season for the teams to split their regular season meetings, grabbing the victories and beating the spread each time on their home courts.

No. 7 North Carolina at North Carolina State
Raleigh, NC – 8:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN3

Mark Gottfried and the Wolfpack are among the teams trending down currently, and an upset over one of their Research Triangle rivals might definitely push them above the bubble for good. North Carolina State seemed to still be reeling from last week's blown opportunity at Duke when the 'Pack took to the home floor on Saturday against Florida State. Closing as small chalk, NC State came out flat and eventually fell to the Seminoles, 76-62. It was the fifth time in the last seven games for Wolfpack backers to drop the cash, and the team's fourth loss in the last seven ACC contests.

Roy Williams and UNC know all about blown chances vs. Duke, but the Tar Heels have bounced back with three straight wins, straight up and against the spread, since their Feb. 8 defeat to the Blue Devils. The latest was Saturday's 74-52 laugher vs. Clemson to remain a perfect 56-0 against the Tigers in Chapel Hill.

That was very close to the same beating the Heels put on NC State in late January. North Carolina took that meeting 74-55 while laying 13, the 11th consecutive win for the Tar Heels in the series (8-3 ATS). Feb. 3, 2007 in Raleigh was the last time the Wolfpack beat their neighbors.

No. 1 Kentucky at Mississippi State
Starkville, MS – 9:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN

The MSU Bulldogs are yet another team presently in a downward spiral after suffering their third straight loss this past weekend at Auburn. The 65-55 setback as 3½-point chalk left Mississippi State 6-6 in the SEC standings, a full six games behind the front-running and top-ranked Wildcats who are 12-0 in league play and riding an 18-game win streak.

Kentucky saw its 6-game ATS streak end in Saturday's 77-62 victory over Ole Miss, but remain a profitable 7-2 ATS the last nine times out after a horrendous start vs. the NCAA odds. A perfect 6-0 on the conference highway so far, the 'Cats have covered their last four SEC tilts away from Lexington.

Last season's get-together was at Rupp Arena where Kentucky had to rally for an 85-79 victory as a huge 17-point favorite. The Wildcats have won the last three clashes, and the 'over' has been a winner each time.

No. 18 New Mexico at Colorado State
Fort Collins, CO – 10:00 p.m. (ET)

With all due respect to No. 1 Kentucky and its 18-game run in the win column, there might not be a hotter team right now than the New Mexico Lobos. They are coming off a huge week that included relatively easy wins over San Diego State and UNLV to take charge of the Mountain West Conference where they have a 2-game lead over both the Aztecs and Runnin' Rebels.

The Lobos have won and covered their last seven games, a streak that coincidentally began with an 85-52 pasting of Colorado State at The Pit on Jan. 25. That game just stayed 'under' the 138½-point line, the fourth straight game between the two that failed to reach the total.

Colorado State grabbed a 68-62 win last February when the Lobos came to Fort Collins. The Rams were laying 1½ and snapped an 8-game skid vs. New Mexico with that victory.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 12:50 PM

Pistons Firing On All Cylinders, Face Cavs Next

The Detroit Pistons are quietly one of the hottest teams in the league, both straight up and against the spread. They visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday as part of a 5-game slate.

Detroit is just 11-22 SU on the season (15-17-1 ATS), but 7-2 in its last nine following a 96-81 home win over Boston on Sunday. This is a mixture of veterans and young talent, and everyone seems to be buying into what coach Lawrence Frank is selling right now.

NBA betting statistics have also changed dramatically at 9-1 ATS in the last 10, compared to 6-16-1 ATS to start the season. That makes the Pistons one of the hottest ATS teams in the league (see chart). The other two scorching squads also play Tuesday.

Cleveland (12-17 SU, 16-13 ATS) is in the midst of a 9-game homestand that has started 3-3 SU and ATS. Point guard Kyrie Irving has averaged 20.7 PPG the last three games since missing three with a concussion. However, the Cavs have still scored just 90.5 PPG the last four overall, with the ‘under’ 4-0.

Tuesday's 7:00 p.m. (ET) tip at Quicken Loans arena is the second meeting between the division rivals this season. The Cavs beat the Pistons 105-89 in Detroit on Dec. 28 as 5½-point underdogs, the third consecutive win and cover for Cleveland in the series.

Miami 6-0

Detroit 9-1

San Antonio 9-1-1

New Orleans Hornets at Indiana Pacers
7:00 p.m. (ET) on Regional Broadcasts

The Hornets (7-23 SU, 13-17 ATS) are as banged up as any team in the league, playing without Eric Gordon, Emeka Okafor and Carl Landry. They’re remarkably 3-0 SU and ATS their last three pending a tough Monday game at Oklahoma City. The ‘under’ is 3-0 in those contests, scoring 89 PPG and allowing 84.7 PPG.

The Pacers (19-12 SU, 14-17 ATS) got a much-needed 108-73 home win over Charlotte on Sunday as 10½-point favorites. It was their second-straight win, but first cover in nine games. The ‘under’ is 4-0 in their last four, although playing some anemic offenses like Charlotte, New Jersey and Cleveland has helped.

New Orleans is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS the last four against the Pacers, 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS in Indiana.

Sacramento Kings at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. (ET) on NBA-TV

Sacramento (10-21 SU, 15-16 ATS) is on a 5-game losing streak (2-3 ATS), the last four on the road as part of a 6-game trip. The Kings allow more points than any team in the league (101.4 PPG), but have improved offensively in February (98.3 PPG), albeit on a feast-or-famine basis.

Miami (25-7 SU, 17-15 ATS) is taking no prisoners lately with a 6-game winning streak, both SU and ATS. The smallest margin of victory was 12 points at home against Orlando (90-78) on Sunday. This will certainly be a double-digit spread and the Heat are 3-3 ATS in that situation this year at home.

The Kings are 0-10 ATS in their last 10 in South Beach and an incredible 2-19 ATS in the last 21 versus the Heat overall.

Philadelphia 76ers at Memphis Grizzlies
8:00 p.m. (ET) on Regional Broadcasts

The 76ers (20-12 SU, 18-13-1 ATS) lost 92-91 at Minnesota on Sunday as 1-point favorites. They’ve now lost 3-straight games and 4-straight ATS. Philly lacks a superstar with Lou Williams the leading scorer at just 15.9 PPG and scoring has been way down in February (89.7 PPG) versus January (96.2 PPG).

Memphis (18-14 SU, 15-17 ATS) has a 4-game winning streak (2-2 ATS) pending Monday at Houston. The last two home games were close wins over Golden State (104-103) and Denver (103-102), failing to cover either. Balanced scoring the last three games (104 PPG) has helped the ‘over’ go 3-0.

This is the first meeting this season. Memphis is 5-1 ATS in the last six against Philly. The ‘over’ is 4-1 in the last five.

San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers
10:00 p.m. (ET) on NBA-TV

San Antonio (22-9 SU, 18-12-1 ATS) is on a 10-game winning streak pending Monday’s result at Utah. The last six have come on the road as part of a massive 9-game trip. The ATS mark has also been great, 9-1-1 in the last 11. Manu Ginobili (oblique) and Tiago Splitter (calf) could be out Monday and Tuesday, so Tony Parker (25.8 PPG this month) will have to keep stepping up.

The Trail Blazers (17-15 SU, 17-14-1 ATS) will be playing the second-half of a back-to-back after visiting the Lakers on Monday. They’ve been a very good home team at 12-5 SU and 11-5-1 ATS. They’re also fully healthy after getting LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) back last game after a 2-game absence.

The Spurs won the only meeting this year in January, 99-83 as 1½-point home favorites. They’ve lost their last six games in Portland, going 1-7 ATS in the last eight there.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 12:53 PM

Nashville Predators At Home To Meet Canucks

Sunday’s win over the San Jose Sharks gave the Detroit Red Wings their NHL-record 23rd straight win at home. The Red Wings will be back at home to try and extend their home winning streak Thursday, but first they’ll hit the road for a one-game road trip to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. (ET). The game will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network.

Detroit has the best record in the Western Conference at 41-17-2, but the Red Wings are a pedestrian 15-15-1 away from home. After losing nine straight, Chicago (32-21-7) is streaking in the right direction all of a sudden, racking up three straight wins while outscoring its opponents 13-4 over that span. The Blackhawks have been a strong home team this season with a 20-6-4 record in the Windy City.

With two Top-5 offenses clashing, the ‘over’ may seem like a smart play, but all three games between these two division rivals this season have stayed ‘under’ the total with final scores of 3-2. Detroit has won each of the last two meetings in overtime after Chicago won the first one.

Two of the Western conference’s best teams will meet in Nashville Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. (ET) when the Nashville Predators host the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver (38-15-6) has earned points in 13 straight games with a 10-0-3 record in its last three games and is currently on a four-game winning streak. Ranking in the top six in the NHL in offense (3.2 goals per game), defense (2.3 goals against per game), power play (22.3%) and penalty kill (86.5%), Vancouver has no apparent weaknesses at this point.

Nashville (34-19-6) is just 3-5 on the moneyline (3-3-2) so far in February. The Canucks topped the Preds at home earlier this month 3-2 in a shootout.

The Eastern Conference’s top team will get a tough road test Tuesday night when the New York Rangers travel to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00 p.m. (ET). New York (38-14-5) is 7-2-0 in the month of February and 10-2-1 in its last 13 road games. After winning eight straight to close out the month of January, Pittsburgh (33-21-5) has cooled off a bit at 4-4-1 in its last nine games. The Rangers currently lead the season series against Pittsburgh 2-1 with a win at Pittsburgh and a split in two games at home.

Plenty of games with major playoff implications will also take place Tuesday night, including the New Jersey Devils (34-20-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:00 p.m. (ET), the Philadelphia Flyers (32-19-7) at Winnipeg Jets at 7:00 p.m. (ET), and the Los Angeles Kings at Phoenix Coyotes (29-21-9) at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

The Maple Leafs (29-24-6) and Jets (29-26-6) both currently have 64 points and are fighting for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.

The Kings (27-21-11) entered Monday on the outside looking in for a playoff spot, but could move into a tie with Phoenix at 67 points with a win over the Coyotes in regulation. The total has gone ‘under’ in seven of Los Angeles’s last eight games, including back-to-back 1-0 shutout losses heading into Tuesday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 12:56 PM

Tuesday's Tip Sheet

February 21, 2012

North Carolina (23-4 SU, 14-12 ATS) at N.C. State (18-9 SU, 10-13 ATS)

North Carolina has been on a serious roll since it collapsed to Duke (84-85) at home on Feb. 8. The Tar Heels have won and covered three straight behind a defense that has allowed an average of 56 points per game during this stretch.

The Tar Heels have won four straight on the road in conference play, all coming by nine points or more. Tonight, they’re laying six points to N.C. State and they already notched a 19-point (74-55) victory against them on Jan. 26.

The total in the first meeting between the pair closed at 159 and it was never threatened. With the recent play of UNC’s defense, the books have tonight’s ‘over/under’ much lower (149.5).

N.C. State does have something in common with UNC, it also collapsed to Duke and it was probably worse than the ‘Heels. The Wolfpack led by as many 20 points against the Blue Devils in the second-half but couldn’t hold on in the end, losing 77-73 at Cameron last Thursday. They did cover as 10-point road underdogs.

The Wolpack had a chance to rebound from the Duke setback but they came out flat on Saturday and got beat by another ranked ACC school in Florida State, 76-62.

Can N.C. State get the formula right tonight? The venue should be jumping at RBC Center as the school will honor the 1988-89 team that featured Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta, who were both ejected from Saturday’s home game against FSU for excessive behavior. Let’s see what happens tonight against UNC.

Virginia (20-6 SU, 13-8 ATS) at Virginia Tech (15-12 SU, 7-15 ATS)

This intrastate rivalry has had some tight affairs recently and the oddsmakers believe we’ll have another one tonight, listing Virginia as a two-point road favorite.

The Cavaliers will be looking to avenge a 47-45 loss to the Hokies on Jan. 22. They shot 33 percent from the floor and were just 1-of-14 from 3-point land. When Virginia scores 60 or more point this season, the team has gone 16-0.

Will the offense show up in Blacksburg tonight? In conference play, Virginia has dropped three straight on the road and is 2-4 (4-2 ATS) outside of Charlottesville.

V-Tech is off a 74-73 overtime win against Georgia Tech on Saturday. Including the win over the Yellow Jackets, the Hokies have gone 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in their last three, and all of the games were decided by exactly one point.

Instead of choosing a side here, the ‘under’ might be worth a look just based on the trends. Virginia (18-3) and Virginia Tech (14-9) have both leaned to the ‘under’ this season, plus the last four encounters between the pair have gone ‘under’ as well. The total is hovering between 114 and 115 points.

Kentucky (26-1 SU, 11-14 ATS) at Mississippi State (19-8 SU, 11-14 ATS)

How do you bet against Kentucky these days? The school is hands down the best in the country and they’re dominating teams on both ends of the court. The Wildcats are giving 9 ½-points on the road and that line seems too small when you realize Kentucky has won 21 of its 26 games by double digits.

In conference play on the road, Kentucky has gone 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS. In those games, bettors might look at the outcomes against Tennessee (65-62) and Vanderbilt (69-63) as reasons to back Mississippi State tonight.

The Bulldogs have the talent to compete yet it’s hard to back a team that comes into this game with three straight losses albeit two were in overtime.

Miss State has gone 15-2 SU and 6-10 ATS at home this season. Most of the wins came against inferior opponents and the Bulldogs have only been underdogs once, which resulted in a win over Alabama (56-52) as a 1 ½-point pup.

Rather than betting on Kentucky each night, the better investment is taking the school to win this year’s championship. Right now, you can bet the Wildcats as high as 3/1 odds at some offshore outfits. The school will be favored here on out you’ll be presented with plenty of hedge and middle opportunities. Even against another contender like Syracuse, the ‘Cats will be giving six or more points on a neutral court.

New Mexico (22-4 SU, 17-5 ATS) at Colorado State (16-9 SU, 12-10 ATS)

Gamblers riding the Lobos have been seeing the cashier early and often lately. New Mexico has won and covered seven straight games and that includes back-to-back impressive victories over San Diego State (77-67) and UNLV (65-45) last week.

Tonight, New Mexico has been made a 5 ½-point road favorite at Colorado State. The Rams have been a solid investment at home, going 12-1 SU and 5-5 ATS. The lone loss occurred in mid-November to Southern Mississippi (58-79), who shot lights out from the floor.

CSU has only been a home ‘dog once this season and it defeated San Diego State 77-60 on Jan. 28.

You could look at the revenge factor here too with the Rams, since New Mexico blasted Colorado State 85-52 on Jan. 25, easily cover as an 11 ½-point home favorite.

The Mountain West Conference is expected to see three teams earn bids for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. CSU isn’t in that group but a win here would certainly help its cause. The money-line price on the Rams is plus-200 (Bet $100 to win $200).

The total opened at 134 and spiked to 135 ½ at most shops. The ‘under’ has cashed in the last four head-to-head affairs, including the first meeting this season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 12:58 PM

Preview: Spurs (23-9) at Trail Blazers (17-16)

Date: February 21, 2012 10:00 PM EDT

For the second straight season, the San Antonio Spurs have a chance to win 12 straight games. In order to repeat that feat, however, they must find a way to win in Portland.

The Spurs look to extend the NBA's longest winning stretch of the season and snap a six-game road skid against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Tony Parker had 23 points with 11 assists, Tim Duncan added 20 and Richard Jefferson hit a 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left to seal San Antonio's 11th consecutive victory, 106-102 at Utah on Monday. The Spurs (23-9), winners of 12 straight from Nov. 1-24, 2010, have won eight in a row on the road, including the first seven on a nine-game trip that ends Thursday in Denver.

The Spurs, who last won nine straight away from home Jan. 16-Feb. 12, 2006, have averaged 107.3 points in the last three games. They also continue to win the close ones, with the last four decided by seven or fewer points.

San Antonio overcame a 10-point third-quarter deficit to extend a winning streak that dates to a 101-100 overtime loss at Dallas on Jan. 29.

"Persistence,' said Duncan, averaging 16.2 points in the last 10 games. "It kind of shows the character of this team, how we've been playing over the last 10-15 games. We're really starting to turn that corner.'

San Antonio, however, has averaged 90.3 points during a six-game skid at Portland that dates to a 72-65 win April 6, 2008. It's the team's longest current losing streak to a single opponent.

Parker had 20 points and nine assists in San Antonio's 99-83 home win over the Trail Blazers on Jan. 13, but he's averaged 10.8 and 3.8 assists in the last four at Portland.

The veteran point guard has averaged 25.5 points in the last 10 games overall, including 29.0 and 11.7 assists over the last three.

"Tony's an All-Star,' coach Gregg Popovich said. "He had another magnificent game (Monday) - scoring, finding people, playing tough, being a leader. He was good.'

The Spurs continue to succeed despite playing without injured contributors Manu Ginobili (oblique) and Tiago Splitter (calf), both expected to miss two weeks.

"When you have guys that go down, I think sometimes it helps guys re-focus knowing you have less room for error,' Jefferson said. "Everybody has to contribute.'

Though the Spurs have had their problems in Portland, the Trail Blazers (17-16) have lost four of five at home since winning 11 of their first 12 at the Rose Garden. Portland snapped a four-game home skid with a 97-77 win over Atlanta on Saturday, but fell 103-92 to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Monday.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum each had 18 points as the Trail Blazers were unable to overcome a 29-7 first-quarter deficit Monday. It was the lowest-scoring first quarter in club history.

"We have to have everyone ready," Aldridge said. "We all have to be ready to play our best game. (Monday) it wasn't there."

Despite his team's inconsistency, Batum has averaged 21.8 points on 51.2 percent shooting (43 of 84) in the last five games since entering the starting lineup.

Aldridge, who had 29 points at San Antonio earlier this season, has averaged 23.2 during the Trail Blazers' home winning streak in the series.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 01:00 PM

Preview: Pistons (11-22) at Cavaliers (12-17)

Date: February 21, 2012 7:00 PM EDT

The Detroit Pistons' improved defensive effort continues to pay off.

Detroit goes for its fourth straight victory overall and first three-game road winning streak in more than three years Tuesday night when it visits the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Pistons are in last place in the Central Division but have won seven of nine and three straight, including two victories over Boston last week.

Detroit (11-22) is coming off a 96-81 win over the Celtics on Sunday. The Pistons shot 37.8 percent, but scored 40 points off 24 Boston turnovers.

"I was happy with our guys," coach Lawrence Frank said. "Their intensity, the ability through defense (being) able to create offensive opportunities, the deflections to active hands."

Prior to its recent run Detroit had lost seven straight while giving up an average of 102.4 points. In the last nine games, however, it has allowed 91.7 points per game.

A big effort on the glass has been key as the Pistons have held a 5.4-rebound-per-game edge in that span. Jason Maxiell, whose move into the starting lineup coincides with the turnaround, had six points and 10 boards Sunday.

"I think we've found our effort, focus and intensity," said Greg Monroe, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. "Everyone on this team understands their role now, and we're all working."

Detroit also got another solid effort from Rodney Stuckey, who held Ray Allen to two first-half points. Stuckey shot just 2 of 10, but still averaged 25.0 points in four games last week.

While the Pistons are playing at their highest level of the season, Cleveland (12-17) is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 1 and 3.

The Cavaliers are coming off a 93-92 victory over Sacramento on Sunday. The Kings' DeMarcus Cousins scored with 2.9 seconds remaining, but Kyrie Irving was fouled with 0.4 seconds left and hit two free throws to cap a 23-point game.

"Even if they didn't call a foul, I saw the lane open up a little bit and I was going to go for a layup," Irving said. "(Tyreke Evans) fouled me. It was a unique situation."

Cleveland shot 36.0 percent - its second straight game below 40 - but held Sacramento to 37.6 percent.

The Cavaliers have gotten consecutive good performances from rookie Tristan Thompson, who recorded his first double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds Sunday. He also had three blocks.

Thompson, who had 12 points and six boards against Miami two nights earlier, missed four games earlier this month with an ankle injury.

"I thought he played pretty good (against Miami) and I thought he started to get his confidence back," coach Byron Scott said. "I think the ankle is starting to get to a point where it's not a problem."

Cleveland beat Detroit 105-89 on Dec. 28 at the Palace, shooting a season-high 57.1 percent and putting six players in double figures. The Cavaliers have won three straight and 10 of 12 between the two.

The Pistons, who have won consecutive road games following a 1-12 start, haven't won three straight away from Auburn Hills since Jan. 19-Feb. 7, 2009.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 01:02 PM

Preview: Hornets (7-24) at Pacers (19-12)

Date: February 21, 2012 7:00 PM EDT

A favorable stretch against some inferior opponents has allowed the Indiana Pacers to regroup following their longest losing streak of the season.

The Pacers look for a third consecutive victory when they host the lowly New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.

Indiana (19-12) snapped a five-game skid with a 93-88 win over New Jersey on Thursday, then followed with a 108-73 rout of Charlotte on Sunday.

Consecutive victories over a pair of teams with a combined 14 wins has the Pacers back on track. They have a chance to make further progress with games against New Orleans (7-24) and the four-win Bobcats before this weekend's All-Star break.

Roy Hibbert had 18 points with 14 rebounds while Danny Granger and former Hornet David West each scored 14 as the Pacers went 39 of 78 from the field Sunday. The 73 points allowed were the fewest by Indiana since an 86-73 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 25, 2010.

"I wish we could win them all like that,' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

That's very much possible with their two remaining games this week.

Though the Pacers have lost six of seven to the Hornets, New Orleans is last in the Western Conference and looks to bounce back after its season-high three-game winning streak was snapped with a 101-93 loss at Oklahoma City on Monday.

Tuesday's contest marks West's first game against the team he spent the previous eight seasons with before signing with Indiana in December. Though West (12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds per game) has seen his scoring and rebounding production slip because he's surrounded with more talented players like Granger and Hibbert, he's averaged 16.1 points and 7.4 boards in the last seven games.

Headed to his first All-Star game, Hibbert is averaging 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in the last three. Despite being held to two and three rebounds in a 94-93 home win over the Hornets on Dec. 20, 2010, Hibbert has averaged 16.0 points in three career contests versus New Orleans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Indiana also could receive a boost if defensive stalwart George Hill returns Tuesday from an 11-game absence due to an ankle injury.

The Pacers are 14-5 with Hill on the court, allowing an average of 90.5 points and 41.6 percent shooting in those contests. They've given up 94.8 points per game on 44.5 percent shooting while going 5-7 without him this season.

"He's a sound basketball player," Vogel told the Pacers' official website. "He's a guy that's in his help spots all the time. He's a guy that's very good on the ball. Just his solid fundamentals defensively in transition and the halfcourt, as well, have been a factor."

Ex-Pacer Jarrett Jack had 18 points, five assists and five rebounds Monday as the Hornets fell to 2-1 on a six-game road stretch that continues after the All-Star break.

"It's a learning process for a young team like us,' said second-year guard Greivis Vasquez, who had 15 points against the Thunder. "It doesn't come overnight.'

Jack is averaging a career-high 14.9 points, but has totaled 18 on 6-of-23 shooting in three games at Indiana since he spent the 2008-09 season with the Pacers.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 01:04 PM

Preview: Kings (10-21) at Heat (25-7)

Date: February 21, 2012 7:30 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade finished his workout Monday and approached about a dozen reporters, one of the smallest media turnouts at a Miami Heat practice this season.

These days, the team with the NBA's best record almost seems like an afterthought.

"If it was packed in here right now, it would mean we were losing,' Wade said. "When we look over and see a lot of people in here, we're not playing well.'

And that certainly isn't the case.

Winners of six straight, all by at least 12 points, the Heat are in their best stretch of the season. The midpoint of the regular-season schedule awaits Tuesday when Miami (25-7) hosts Sacramento (10-21), losers of five straight. Here's one example of how wildly different things have gone for those clubs: Miami has led by at least 20 points in each of its last six games, while the Kings have only enjoyed that margin once this season - for all of 37 seconds.

If the spotlight is going to shine elsewhere these days, the Heat are fine with that arrangement.

"It's quiet as hell around here and we're doing pretty good,' forward Chris Bosh said. "But that's to be expected. And we wouldn't have it any other way. That's just the name of the game. That's the business. That's how it's always going to be. You're more of a story when you have controversy.'

Or a phenomenon.

Already in Miami - and to the team's chagrin, given that Sacramento is next on the schedule and therefore supposed to be the focus - there's no shortage of talk about Thursday night's home game against the New York Knicks, and none of that buzz is surrounding the years-old rivalry between the teams.

No, the Jeremy Lin craze is going strong, with ticket demand for Thursday rivaling what was going on during last season's NBA finals against Dallas.

So as Linsanity reigns, other NBA story lines like the Heat passing Chicago for the NBA's best record, San Antonio taking a 10-game winning streak into its game Monday night, even the looming All-Star weekend seem almost forgotten.

"We don't know if people get bored (with Miami winning) or not,' forward LeBron James said. "We just know there's a lot more going on. I guess there's other, better story lines right now going on in the league, so we can go out and just play the game and just try to do it at a high level. Let everybody else get the headlines right now and just play Miami Heat basketball.'

Miami's numbers of late, including this six-game winning streak, are flirting with absurd.

Wade has connected on at least half his shots in 10 straight games, his longest run since doing that 11 straight times as a rookie. The Heat are shooting 49.2 percent over their last six games - the second-best mark in the league since Feb. 10, 0.1 percent off Oklahoma City's pace - while holding teams to an NBA-best 39.3 percent mark from the floor over that span.

Things are going so well for Miami, neither Wade nor James have been asked to play much in fourth quarters lately.

"Getting tired of sitting down in the fourth quarter, personally,' James said Monday, the look on his face making it clear that he wasn't being entirely serious. "It's messing up my averages.'

James and Wade might not have to play much in the fourth Tuesday, either. Sacramento is 3-16 on the road - 0-4 thus far on a six-game trip - and has lost its last three against the Heat by at least 20 points.

The Kings have lost six in a row and 14 of 15 in the series, and their nine consecutive losses in South Beach have been by an average of 17.8 points.

James scored 31 points in 30 minutes in the Heat's 117-97 home win over Sacramento last Feb. 22.

James has been talked about as an MVP frontrunner for weeks already and was at the center of a huge story last week when he said he would not rule out one day maybe returning to Cleveland as a player. The Heat are sending six representatives to All-Star weekend, where the second half of the season, the chase for the 2012 championship - and the loss in the 2011 finals - are sure to be popular topics.

So when the all-about-Miami craze returns, the Heat say they'll be ready.

"We're comfortable in our world now,' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday. "There can be a lot of noise. It can be relatively minimal noise. I think we're able now to compartmentalize and focus on what's real, our team and trying to improve and trying to get ourselves ready to play at our optimal level during the playoffs. That's the only thing that matters.'

Wade almost said he's welcoming the break, both in terms of getting some late-game minutes off, and without the levels of all-the-time scrutiny that has seemed to follow the Heat since he, Bosh and James teamed up in 2010.

"It's great,' Wade said. "We're focusing on what we need to do. The only attention we're thinking about is giving each other the attention that we need as a team and making sure that everyone in here knows how they important they are to our success and what our goal is. Our goal is to be the best team in the NBA at the end of the year and not right now.'

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 01:06 PM

Preview: 76ers (20-12) at Grizzlies (18-15)

Date: February 21, 2012 8:00 PM EDT

The Philadelphia 76ers are assured of heading into this weekend's All-Star break with the Atlantic Division lead.

It could have been a much larger advantage had they been better in close games.

Philadelphia will try to snap a season-high three-game losing streak Tuesday night when it visits the Memphis Grizzlies, who are looking to bounce back from their first loss in five games.

While 76ers coach Doug Collins is proud of his team's perseverance through a recent rough portion of its schedule, he's still concerned about his players' ability to close out games. Philadelphia (20-12) has lost seven times this season by seven points or fewer including Sunday's 92-91 defeat at Minnesota.

Kevin Love hit two game-winning free throws with 0.1 seconds left following a foul on Philadelphia forward Andre Iguodala.

"It's a shame we haven't been able to get that critical stop," said Collins, whose team holds a 4 1/2-game divisional lead over New York and Boston.

The league's best scoring defense (87.3 points per game) has helped Philadelphia win seven times by at least 20 points, but the team has come out on top just four times in games decided by fewer than 10.

"We've just got to find a way to regroup and find a way to finish these games off," forward Elton Brand said.

The 76ers are now trying to avoid dropping four in a row for the first time since a five-game skid Nov. 10-17, 2010.

The Grizzlies (18-15) were hoping to carry a five-game winning streak into this contest, but they lost 97-93 at Houston on Monday.

Memphis' four consecutive wins were all decided by 10 points or fewer, including consecutive one-point victories Friday and Saturday on tip-ins in the closing seconds.

"We played it right to the end,' coach Lionel Hollins said.

The Grizzlies, who are playing their final game before the All-Star break, go for their third consecutive victory over Philadelphia as these teams meet for the only time in 2011-12. Memphis completed its first season sweep of the 76ers since 2004-05 with a 102-91 victory at FedExForum on Feb. 15, 2011.

Mike Conley scored all 22 of his points in the second half of that game as the Grizzlies avoided a fourth straight home loss in the series.

On the downside for Memphis in that contest, Rudy Gay was lost for the rest of the season after injuring his left shoulder on a foul by Philadelphia's Evan Turner.

Gay is scoring 21.1 points per game - 2.1 more than his season average - over his last eight games, six of them Grizzlies wins.

Power forward Marreese Speights is averaging 12.5 points and 10.4 rebounds in that stretch, providing a huge lift with Zach Randolph still trying to return from a torn MCL. Speights will face his former Sixers teammates for the first time since being traded to Memphis on Jan. 4 in a three-team swap.

Speights and All-Star center Marc Gasol won't have to contend with 76ers center Spencer Hawes, who will miss his eighth straight game with a strained left Achilles'. Hawes is not expected back until after the All-Star break.

"Our offense is not the same without Spencer," Collins said following Monday's practice. "... What's happened now is the floor has shrunk on us a little bit, and we end up having to shoot a lot of jump shots."

The 76ers are averaging 88.1 points on 41.4 percent shooting over their last seven games.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34934 Followers:38
02/21/2012 01:09 PM

No. 1 Kentucky travels to Starkville Tuesday



Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Kentucky -8½, Total: 140½

Another school will get a chance to knock off the top team in the nation when Mississippi State plays host to No. 1 Kentucky at Humphrey Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Although the Wildcats have had trouble ATS this season overall (11-15), they have been rolling with a 6-1 ATS mark in their past seven games, including a perfect 4-0 ATS on the road. But MSU is 8-4-1 ATS in this series since 2002. Can the Wildcats cover the hefty spread on the road? For the answer, check out the College Basketball Weekday 6-Pack for picks covering all the big games in college basketball each weekday.

Kentucky has four truly elite scoring threats, all of whom can lead the team on a given night. Doron Lamb (13.8 PPG) has been particularly strong as of late with two consecutive 16-point performances and two straight 18-point performances before that. Freshman center Anthony Davis (13.9 PPG, 9.7 RPG) leads the team in scoring, however, and is a monster on the interior as the team leader in boards. He is also the best shot blocker in Division I (4.9 BPG), which has continued with 5.8 BPG over the team’s past four contests. Terrence Jones (12.3 PPG) and Michael Kidd-Gilchirst (12.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG) round out the team’s double-digit scoring threats that should give the Bulldogs fits. Also, watch out for Darius Miller (9.9 PPG) and Marquis Teague (9.6 PPG) who leads the team with 4.8 APG. This FoxSheets trend also likes the Wildcats to win big on Tuesday.

Play Against - Home teams as an underdog or pick (MISSISSIPPI STATE) - poor pressure defensive team - forcing <=14 turnovers/game, on Tuesday nights. (102-56 over the last 5 seasons.) (64.6%, +40.4 units. Rating = 2*).

Despite the recent scoring slump, the Bulldogs are a talented offensive team, averaging 72.5 PPG this season. Arnett Moultrie (16.5 PPG, 10.8 RPG) has proven to be a force on the inside with his 6-foot-11 frame, showing throughout the season he can compete with anybody. Facing a premier post defender like Davis, though, he’ll need help scoring from his teammates, such as Dee Bost (15.8 PPG, 5.0 APG). The senior point guard knocks down 2.2 threes per game and will be needed to stretch out that Kentucky defense. Beyond that duo, Rodney Hood (11.1 PPG) and Renardo Sidney (10.4 PPG) will have to step up. Sidney has been out recently with a back injury and is questionable for the game – his health could be a major factor. This FoxSheets trend also sides with the Bulldogs.

MISSISSIPPI STATE is 31-11 ATS (73.8%, +18.9 Units) vs. dominant rebounding teams - outrebounding opponents by 7+ per game since 1997. The average score was MISSISSIPPI STATE 70.9, OPPONENT 67.0 - (Rating = 2*).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: