My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
NBA superstar James Harden recently discussed his ascension from the first-ever draft choice of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009 to league MVP in 2018.

The interviewer asked Harden to reveal his key to success.

The 30-year-old hoopster simply said, "Work."

Harden's one-word response was as slick and efficient as his unguardable drives to the basket.

The 6-5, 220-pound native of Los Angeles offsets a lack of athleticism with a brilliant array of deceptive jabs, jukes and jives designed to outfox the most accomplished NBA defenders.

Harden's secret recipe: 1) Start with a yo-yo dribble, 2) Add crafty footwork aided by a liberal interpretation of NBA rules and 3) Step back to drain a devastating 25-foot jumper.

The finished product results in the most unstoppable offensive player in the league today.

However, basketball purists are quick to criticize Harden's style of Hero Ball, his penchant for risky play and sloppy passes, and his disinterest in the defensive end of the floor.

Harden owns the dubious record of 13 turnovers in a single NBA playoff game and detractors will never forget his 3-for-20 shooting performance (15 straight misses to start) in a playoff game last season in Utah.

In a make-or-miss league, Harden is the NBA's ultimate make-or-miss player.

Harsh critics also point to Harden's won-loss record in the NBA postseason.

In 116 career playoff games, Harden's teams are 61-55 for a winning rate of only 53%.

Those numbers pale in comparison to Michael Jordan's playoff record of 119-60 (66%) or Steph Curry's postseason mark of 77-35 (69%).

Can Harden be held accountable for Houston's suspect coaching staff or inferior teammates, participants who lack the will or skill to win in May and June?

Let the debate begin.

More importantly, the insight from James Harden continues, "The only way to achieve greatness is to constantly work on your craft."

Harden's thoughtful comment applies to both sports and sports betting.

Gamblers who don't invest the necessary time to find the relevant information that leads to winning decisions are too lazy to win.

Losing results are preordained when flipping coins while laying odds of 11/10.

Las Vegas-based sports bettor Kevin Stott claims the best betting decisions are made in a split-second.

Stott is spot-on.

Provided, of course, the experienced handicapper conducts the necessary research.

Without focused research, the gambler is merely guessing.

Newcomers to the sports betting world have a difficult time making quick decisions because they have few instincts to trust.

What's more, a newcomer's instincts or assumptions are usually wrong.

Same holds true for many former athletes or former coaches who attempt to play the role of Nostradamus and predict future outcomes.

Take Will Perdue, for example.

The former NBA journeyman now works as an analyst for NBC Sports Chicago on the pre- and post-game shows for Chicago Bulls' telecasts.

Perdue often brags about playing for NBA coaches Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich during a 13-year career in which he averaged 4.7 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per contest.

Perdue's review of the Bulls' 117-94 home loss to Harden and the Rockets last Saturday night was outstanding.

He doubted the tactics employed by Chicago head coach Jim Boylen ("Too many unnecessary 3's") and questioned the on-court chemistry between the team's two best players, Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen.

With the loss, the Bulls fell to 3-7 in the early season and Perdue's harsh commentary included reprimands and condemnations for nearly every player on the team.

Only one problem: This was the same Will Perdue who predicted in late October that the Bulls "would start the season 7-3 or maybe even 8-2 with a soft schedule in October and November."

Whoops!

Perdue's prediction of Chicago's early-season success was misguided considering Chicago's season-win total stood at only 33 victories.

The moral of the story is obvious.

There's a big difference between reviewing the action in the postgame show and accurately predicting the outcome in the pregame telecast.
 
#2
The majority of shots Westbrook got off Sat was getting the defensive boards and rushing it up for a drive or jump shot. In short, Westbrook patience will run thin standing around watching Harden one on five.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#3
You're probably right, HEIM.

It's tough to find perfect chemistry in the NBA.

So many egos to satisfy.

Credit Toronto for finding the right guys last season.

I like Westbrook because he's a steely competitor.

He even tries in All-Star games.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#5
And Westbrook was viewed as a defensive stopper under Ben Howland's guidance at UCLA.

Too many athletes are discarded in their late teens and early 20's.

No time or no room for late-bloomers.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#7
Thirty-seven assists on 52 field goals and only seven turnovers for Phoenix in a 138-112 win over Brooklyn last night.

The Suns are 6-3.

Deandre Ayton is sitting on the sidelines with a 25-game drug suspension.

Go ahead and downgrade Ayton's value.
 
#8
Thirty-seven assists on 52 field goals and only seven turnovers for Phoenix in a 138-112 win over Brooklyn last night.

The Suns are 6-3.

Deandre Ayton is sitting on the sidelines with a 25-game drug suspension.

Go ahead and downgrade Ayton's value.
Ayton is just the wrong guy for the NBA today. He would have been a stud a decade ago, but the modern offense is better suited for Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky because Ayton's skills in the pick and roll and motion offense just aren't there and he's not crafty enough to create a basket when needed. I think whoever drafts James Wiseman is going to deal with the same issues.

And you missed a key part of Harden's game which is just maddening to watch. Dude runs into people or flops constantly, yet almost always gets the refs to give him the call. He's averaging 14 points a game FROM THE LINE this year. That's insane, but NBA isn't going to stop his traveling nor his flopping, so the Rockets will be a factor in the playoffs where that kind of manufactured offense is more dependable than actually hitting 3s.
 
#9
They wont stop at all. Even in the Wizards Rockets 159-158 game Harden got to the line on questionable foul which essentially won the game for Houston. Crock of shit.

I hate Harden. Chris Paul was the one playing defense before he went out against GS that one year. Harden just ruins the game.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#11
Ayton is just the wrong guy for the NBA today. He would have been a stud a decade ago, but the modern offense is better suited for Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky because Ayton's skills in the pick and roll and motion offense just aren't there and he's not crafty enough to create a basket when needed. I think whoever drafts James Wiseman is going to deal with the same issues.

And you missed a key part of Harden's game which is just maddening to watch. Dude runs into people or flops constantly, yet almost always gets the refs to give him the call. He's averaging 14 points a game FROM THE LINE this year. That's insane, but NBA isn't going to stop his traveling nor his flopping, so the Rockets will be a factor in the playoffs where that kind of manufactured offense is more dependable than actually hitting 3s.


Good point about Harden getting the benefit of the doubt from NBA officials.

Happens with every superstar until the star's skills diminish.

James Worthy was awful without a favorable whistle.

The 50/50 calls are decided on reputation.

Too bad the refs can't call the game straight.

Take a look at Wiseman again, WildBill.

He's not as robotic as Deandre Ayton.

Some scouts are comparing Wiseman to Joel Embiid.

I saw him shoot a sweet fadeaway jumper the other day.

And the fact he's left-handed makes him even more intriguing.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#12
They wont stop at all. Even in the Wizards Rockets 159-158 game Harden got to the line on questionable foul which essentially won the game for Houston. Crock of shit.

I hate Harden. Chris Paul was the one playing defense before he went out against GS that one year. Harden just ruins the game.

I've come to appreciate Harden's offensive skills but I have a bias favoring two-way players like Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson.

The game is about BOTH point production and point prevention.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#15
Final score: Houston 122 New Orleans 116.

"The Beard" went for 39 tonight.

The Rockets closed 7.5-point favorites at Westgate with a total of 242.5.

'Dog and under.

Houston falls to 3-7 against the spread this season.
 
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