Friday, October 24, 2014

The Official (Way Too Long) SuiteSports 2014-2015 NBA Preview: Part III - West > East

This is the face Stan Van Gundy is going to make when Josh Smith shoots a three.
By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin)

Last year, the Western Conference dominated the East, to a tune of 284-166. Prorated to a 82-game schedule, that's the equivalent of the West being a 51-31 team and the East being a 31-51 team. That's kind of a lot.

The trend should continue this year. As such, after outlining nothing but lottery teams in the first two sections of this preview, we've exhausted the Eastern Conference lottery teams, but have yet to hit that point with the West. This section breaks down four playoff teams, all from the East, and two lottery teams, both from the West. But in a vacuum, the two best teams in this section are both lottery teams out West. But we'll get to them later.

Detroit Pistons
2014 Record: 29-53
Over/Under Wins: 36
Odds To Win Championship: 300-1

Of all the teams that didn’t sign LeBron James and trade for Kevin Love this summer, Detroit is the most likely to improve in a big way. And they’re doing it without the benefit of a first-round pick. The reason they’ll likely improve is that they’re going from having one of the worst coaches in the league (the Maurice Cheeks-John Loyer combination) to having one of the best in Stan Van Gundy. He’s never won a title, but he’s been to the Finals once and he’s never had a losing season. In Orlando, he turned Rafer Alston into a reliable, steady hand who started for a team that made the Finals, and took Dwight Howard and launched him into the most destructive defensive force since Kevin Garnett.

Central Mass HS Football Preview: Week 8

Star middle linebacker Sam Norton and the St. John's defense will look to bounce back this week against a physical Marlborough running game.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

As we enter the final week of the regular season, much is still to be decided. Many teams are fighting for playoff positioning, but several squads need a win to get into the postseason at all.

Here's everything to watch for in your last regular weekend of CMass football for 2014.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Official (Way Too Long) SuiteSports 2014-2015 NBA Preview: Part II - Six More Lottery Teams

Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are still in Miami, but making the playoffs will be a tall order without LeBron.
By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin)

Yesterday, we kicked off the official season preview by breaking down the six teams most likely to finish at the bottom of the standings and secure the maximum number of ping-pong balls for the 2015 lottery. We're moving up a bit in Part II, but unfortunately, we're still mired in the realm of teams that probably won't make the playoffs. These teams are better than the ones we covered yesterday, but more likely than not, will be securing a few ping-pong balls of their own.

Minnesota Timberwolves
2014 Record: 40-42
Over/Under Wins: 27.5
Odds To Win Championship: 400-1

The legacy of the 2014-2015 Timberwolves is already set in stone, which is both a blessing and a curse. Regardless of what happens this season, it will always be remembered (for better or worse) as the year they traded away Kevin Love. If Andrew Wiggins pans out and becomes the next Tracy McGrady (or better), then 2014 will be the year they dealt a disgruntled, ungrateful star for a young gun the saved the franchise. If Wiggins busts, then 2014 will be remembered as the year they traded away a top-10 player and got nothing to show for it.

NFL Week 8 Primer (With Picks): Desperation Creeping In

After a surprising loss in St. Louis dropped the Seahawks to 3-3, is it time to panic in Seattle?

 By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

It's amazing how NFL teams can, to quote our man Bob Lobel, "push the panic button" less than halfway through the year.

Several teams have to be doing just that, at least internally this week, as the defending champion Seahawks are looking far from super after losing to lifeless St. Louis, and the Bengals haven't won a game in three weeks. The NFC West is suddenly, get this, Arizona's to lose. Yeah, the same Arizona that started Drew Stanton earlier this year.

Let's just say Seattle and San Francisco are both feeling the heat, and everybody in the NFC South is looking for a shot in the arm. Luckily, they all, uh, play in the NFC South, which pretty much stinks from top to bottom.

Let's check back in on how underdogs are doing against the spread (Spoiler: not as well as before), and look at our games of the week and picks.

-Joe

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Official (Way Too Long) SuiteSports 2014-2015 NBA Preview: Part I - The Worst of The Worst

How Rajon Rondo handles a disappointing Celtics season will hint as to his future with the team.
By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin)

We’re down to less than a week before the season starts. Are you ready?

We’ve taken a pessimistic look at all 30 teams. We’ve taken an optimistic look at all 30 teams. Now it’s time to split the difference and be realistic. We’re going a bit longer with these - instead of breaking the league into three groups of ten, we’re going with five groups of six so that we can really tackle each team. And instead of going in the order of last year’s standings, we’re going to go in the order that I project them to finish this season. We’re starting off with the worst of the worst - the six teams most likely to win the NBA Draft lottery next May. Let’s start at the bottom.

Philadelphia 76ers
2014 Record: 19-63
Over/Under Wins: 15.5
Odds To Win Championship: 1000-1

In all my years watching basketball and looking at gambling lines (despite never, ever gambling - because that would be illegal), I’ve never seen a team enter a season with 1000-1 odds to win the title.