GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Picks 11/19

Very solid day yesterday, would have been amazing had Chicago not managed to turn a double digit lead into a double digit deficit yesterday. As they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

NO(+6.5) at Orlando ($20/$19.99)
Washington(+4) at NJ ($33/$30)
Detroit(ML) at Dallas ($20/$24.70)
Memphis/Utah Under 174 ($22/$20)
Charlotte(+3.5 1st Quarter) at Minnesota($22/$20)

Yesterday: 4-2 +$45.50
YTD: 31-42 -$257.92

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Chalk up a W

I was at work until late and missed the beginning of the game. Then I came home and my cable was still on the fritz. I could watch the game, but it was a bit choppy and blocky and was hard to tell exactly what was going on from time to time. It's kinda like watching video on the internet, except without all the boobs.

I started to get worried when the Wizards started to make their push and you knew that it was about time for KG to rest. Well, Casey took the novel approach of leaving him in for the rest of the game. He did something similar to this in a game earlier this season that I praised, but the situation there was a bit different. That time, the Wolves were gelling and had a rather substantial lead. Here, the Wolves were reeling and I probably would have preferred to see Casey take him out at least for a little bit. Casey might have shown a slight bit of panic here as a rookie coach who was afraid to take out his superstar for fear of losing a relatively unimportant early season game.

I don't see anything wrong with doing this from time to time, but this certainly isn't going to be a long term solution to our "KG is resting near the end of the game" problems.

Today's bets

Charlotte(+14) at Indiana $44/$40
Chicago(+3.5) at Seattle $33/$30
Miami(-3.5) vs. 76ers

Yesterday: 1-2 -$24
YTD: 27-40-2 -$303.42

Edit: Adding

Detroit(-3.5) at Houston $21.40/$20

1st Quarters

Utah(+3.5) at Phoenix $16.50/$15
Char(+4.5) at Indiana $15.90/$15

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Kevin Garnett: Just Give Me the Damn Gumball!

So we played pretty well but still managed to lose. I had mixed feelings about it. I was hoping for a win (obviously), but was glad to see the Wolves not come out flat.

I don't have anything in particular to say, so when in doubt, just steal good material.

SBG made a nice post earlier today with some interesting observations about the Wolves thus far. Rather than just giving a response there, I'll provide something a bit lengthier here.

The main point of the post was that some people on the Wolves (McCants) were shooting too much. Meanwhile, certain other Timberwolves (Garnett) weren't shooting enough. At the same time, Garnett is shooting a monsterous 57.5% from the floor this season, while McCants is shooting an uninspired 40.4% from the field.

The first observation to be made about this material is one that seems obvious once it's pointed out to you.

The more frequently you shoot, the lower your efficiency will be.

That's right. When your restrict yourself to better shots, you will shoot better. If you shoot too much, you will be forced to take worse shots and won't be as efficient. T-Wolves fans should be pissed at how well Garnett is shooting. We don't want him to shoot that well!

It's not that we're opposed to his amazing shooting; it's just a matter that he's not taking enough shots. If KG starts taking 20 shots per game as opposed to the 15 he's taken so far this season, his shooting percentage will go down. However, that's perfectly fine since the average number of points scored on those extra shots will be higher than anything else we can get on our team.

The reason McCants is shooting so much right now is because he's a rookie who's eager to prove to everyone just how amazing he is. He's gonna be a star in this league. He's gonna be rookie of the year. He's gonna show everyone what he can do. Well, at least in his own mind.

At some point, he will realize (or have it pointed out to him) that he's probably not as good as he thinks. I think he'll turn out to be a very solid NBA player, but he's probably not going to be a superstar, and he certainly won't be this year. A big part of his adjustment to the NBA is going to be to adjust to this fact. He's been hot shit all of his life and has never had to slow down. He drives and scores and that's all he's needed to do. Now, he's going to need to learn to adjust to his role on the team, which will mean giving up the ball a lot of the time.

The other issue which SBG discusses was that of KG's lack of rebounding this season and the fact that he seems less involved this season. While I'm as perplexed as the next guy about this, I can offer a theory.

Many Wolves fans may be surprised to learn that despite KG's lack of rebounding the Wolves are actually the top ranked defensive team in the NBA. With a new coach come new systems--both offensive and defensive. Now, to be honest, I'm not any sort of expert on defense (just ask Petey about how good my D is!) and it's not a part of the game I pay terribly close attention to. But one thought might be that Casey is implementing a defensive system that pulls KG outside more often and keeps him away from the basket.

Starting tomorrow night, I'm going to start keeping a closer eye on KG's defensive positioning. Of course, it could also just be that the ball has been bouncing away from him. Not even the best rebounders can get the ball if it's on the other side of the court.

As for KG's seeming lack of activity on the court, this could very well just be an illusion caused by him not getting as many rebounds as he normally does and not taking as many shots. He's still putting up over 21 points and 5 assists per game! I'm guessing that we have nothing to worry about.

Today's bets

I'm a little bit late putting this up because I've been at work all day and haven't had a chance to post. I'm going against my boys today, which is hard for me to do. On the plus side, I'll either win my bet or we'll get a Wolves win (or both), so I've got that going for me. C'mon Wolves by 4!

Wizards(+5) at Wolves ($22/$20)
Spurs(-8) vs. Rockets($22/$20)
Atlanta/Dallas Under 195.5 ($22/$20)

No bets today

I can't find anything I like today, so I'm taking the day off.

The good news for everybody is that after I finished my test today, I won't have anything due for a full week. The last time I didn't have anything due for a week was probably the last day of summer. So, I should be back with a real post later tonight.

Yesterday: 3-5 -$57.70
YTD: 26-38-2 -$279.42

Monday, November 14, 2005

It could always be worse

Last night the Wolves put up what was easily their worst performance of the young season. Everything that made me think such good things about them for the first few games was completely gone. When I turned on the game and found out K-Mart wouldn't even be playing, I thought we would be in for a good game and a win. I had pretty much stopped watching the game about half way through the 3rd quarter. I kept it on, but didn't really have any more interest in it.

With a light NBA schedule tonight I was able to watch pretty much every game that was on tonight.

Well, after watching the Jazz play tonight I realized just how bad things could get. In all my years of watching NBA basketball, I don't think I've ever seen a team play quite that badly. It was pretty astounding to be honest. Without AK (not to mention Boozer) the team is full of young players and Ostertags who basically have no idea what they're doing out there.

The Wolves aren't the Jazz, so we've got that going for us.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again. Wolves fans are lucky. Despite the huge disappointment of last year and the lowered expectations for this season, there's a good reason to watch the Wolves every night. That reason, of course, is Kevin Garnett. Because of him, the Wolves always have a chance to win. He's been one of the most consistent, durable, and passionate players in the league for years.

So on nights like last night, just be glad that the Wolves on court leader isn't Mehmet Okur.

No bets yet today.

Yesterday: 1-3 -$76.60
YTD: 23-32-2 -$221.72

I now officially suck. Next time I post a bet, make sure to bet the opposite. You're pretty much guaranteed profit.


So this went from a zero play day to a big play day overnight. I've got a bunch of my normal bets and I made a few 1st quarter bets as well. The 1st quarter bets have some interesting things going for them. There are generally fewer variables to consider. You'll mostly have starters and top reserves playing, so depth isn't as much of a factor. Also, you don't need to take into consideration covariance.

For those who don't know, covariance is a mathematical term referring to the interrelation of two variables. In an NBA game, it is insufficient to merely consider the average number of points scored by each team in order to determine a spread. If the spread is small, it is probably fine, but for larger spreads it is something that needs to be considered. For instance, if team A is expected to score 100 points and team B is expected to score 80 points, the spread should be strictly less than 20 points since once the game nears the end, there's no reason for team A to run up the score if they're already up by 15.

On the other hand, it can be a bit trickier to predict these things since you can't rely as much on total points scored. Ideally, you should consider only 1st quarter performances. However, just looking at 1st quarter numbers can give you a very small sample size.

Note: I didn't actually do very thorough analysis on the first quarter numbers. Rather, I bet them because they were numbers that looked good compared to the other numbers I had.

Utah/Sacramento Under 188 ($33/$30)
Washington(+6.5) at Cleveland ($20/$20)
Washington(ML) at Cleveland ($20/$52)
Minnesota(-2.5) vs. Houston ($30.30/$30)
Denver(+7.5) at Dallas ($32/$30.45)

First Quarters
Denver(+2.5) at Dallas ($16.50/$15)
Atlanta(+5.5) at SA ($15/$15.90)
Utah(+3) at Sacramento($15.75/$15)

Picks 11/14

I had been hoping to wait until I had time to write about last night's disappointing loss to the Nuggets, but it's not going to happen. Maybe later tonight if I have time. After my hell week is over, I should have a bit more time.

Today's Picks:

Chicago(+5.5) at GS ($22/$20)
Memphis(-3.5) vs. Lakers ($20.20/$20)
Utah(-3.5) vs. NY ($41.60/$40)
NY/Utah Over 173 ($33/$30)

Yesterday 0-2 -$33
YTD 22-30-2 -$145.12