Below posts first appeared on the NBA Picks Board on 5/7 and 5/9 (third and fourth games of Boston Celtic-Cleveland Cavalier series).
In these posts, the handicapping and NBA point selections winnerss were created by the correct reading of an NBA injury situation as well as understanding the factors of value, emotion and team personalities in the handicapping of NBA games.
In the first post of 5/7/10, a key factor in this Cleveland Cavalier-Boston Celtic game was the elbow injury of Cavalier superstar, LeBron (AKA Zucchini Ears) James. This injury first became public knowledge in the last Bull-Cavalier first round playoff series. In that game, Zucchini Ears shot a late foul shot left-handed (he is right handed and missed this foul shot very badly).
In the early part of the Celtic-Cav series I did a lot of Internet reading (as well as watching some interviews with doctors on some sites, including NBA.com) about the elbow injury of Zucchini Ears. Three facts that became clear about this injury were that: 1) It would, to some extent, bother Zucchini Ears the rest of the playoffs. Only long rest would heal it. 2) It would not cause Zucchini Ears to miss any games. Being an elbow injury little pressure would be put on it and thus it probably would not get much worse during his playing (unlike a foot or knee injury where pressure always exists when one is standing/running). 3) The more rest that Zucchini Ears had between games, the more effective he would be and the less this injury would hurt his play.
On the last point, I had noted that the Cavs--with Zucchini Ears having a big fourth quarter--had won AND COVERED in the first game of the Celtic series with him having three days of rest. In the last game of the Bull series--one just one day of rest--the Cavs got a non-covering win and Zucchini Ears first acknowledged the injury. In the second game of the Celtic series--again on one day of rest--Zucchini Ears struggled with the injury and scored most of his points when the game was out of reach late in a Celtic 18 point win in Cleveland.
The third game of this series (noted in 5/7 post), the Cavs and Zucchini Ears had THREE days of rest, which meant that this elbow injury would have much less effect. In this game, 'the esteemed market-forces' poured in on the Celtics believing that Zucchini Ears was 'damaged goods.' Also of note was that the Cavs had already played their best game of the 2010 playoffs in their only ohter after-loss game (Game 4 of the Bull series). The heavy betting of these 'market-forces' turned the Cavs from slight favorites to one-point UNDERDOGS!! During the regular season, the Cleveland Cavaliers had done quite well as underdogs against good teams (wins as such over the LA Lakers, Orlando Magic, and Phoenix Suns among their successes). Thus the Cavs--who my power ratings made the favorite in this game--had value, emotion--coming off of a loss, which figured to make them play well--and a rather healthy Zucchini Ears playing for them.
This game was never in doubt for us (taking +1) or the Cavs as they won by 29 points with the lead never going below 20 points in the later going. Zucchini Ears got 21 points in the first quarter, 38 in the game and had a triple double as well in this romp.
Since the Cavs had won Game Three so easily, many of 'the esteemed market-forces' revised their thinking and poured in ON the Cavs (who they just had lost their shirts betting AGAINST) thinking that Zucchini Ears' injury was now 'a thing of the past.' However several factors strongly favored the Boston Celtics in Game Four.
1) This game would be played on ONE DAY'S rest (Sunday afternoon after a Friday night game) which seemed to indicate that the elbow injury of Zucchini Ears NOW WOULD HAVE SIGNIFICANCE IN THIS GAME!!!
2) The Game 3 29 point home loss was the worst home playoff loss--in terms of margin of defeat--in the 63 year history of the Boston Celtic franchise. They'd badly want to bounce back from that disgrace playing at home again less than two days later.
3) Game 3 was played as a 1-1 series. The incentive was rather even in that game. In Game 4, all the incentive was on the Boston Celtic side. A loss would put them down 3-1 and basically end their playoff hopes. Even with a loss, the Cleveland Cavaliers would still have the home court edge in a 2-2 series. The Cavs had 'accomplished their mission' in Boston in Game 3 in regaining the home court edge.
4) In their previous two after--loss playoff games in the 2010 playoffs, the Celtics won (and covered) in double digit wins--including their game 2 win IN Cleveland in this series.
In Game 4 the closing line FAVORED the road Cavs by 1 1/2 points. In Game 3--where the Cavs had far more incentive--the Cavs were underdogs.
Thus the emotional psychology of the game, the Zucchini Ears elbow injury situation, and the value all favored the Celtics.
While I liked the Celtics in the game, I liked them even more in the first quarter. The total humilation given them in the last game would have them start very strong while the Cavs figured--at least early--to be 'on their heels.'
Thus my clients were given the Celtics as a 1/2 point home underrdog in the first quarter of this game. Despite a most unexpected slow 0-7 start, the Celtics won the first quarter by ten points giving us a 10 1/2 point point-spread winner in the first quarter.
Zucchini Ears' play took a step back in this game. Of note, the Cavs lost outright in Games 5 and 6 to lose the series. The play of Zucchini Ears was badly knocked, especially in Game Five of this series. Not noticed by the media 'experts' (such as Charley--AKA Aging Lonely Egg Roll Head--Rosen of on-line Fox Sports....a nice guy who can write well of WHAT HAS HAPPENED...not so good predicting WHAT HAS YET TO HAPPEN and someone who declined bets I offered him on several historical mistakes he had in his book on the 1972 Lakers) were that these games were played on just ONE DAY OF REST in which Zucchini Ears was far more effected by his elbow injury.
If you use my NFL/NBA services you will be getting similar game situation, emotional, and injury insights on every selection I give you.
Number just recently popped up...Game 3
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