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Monta Ellis hits absurd buzzer-beater to lift Mavs over Bucks
2014-12-04

A player previously known as a volume shooter with few contributions in other areas has benefited greatly from being surrounded by other quality scorers and now looks like a dangerous, acceptably efficient guard for the best offense in the NBA. Ellis is a lot more valuable now that no one considers him a first option.

For the most part, though, Monta is the same player who frustrated many observers, particularly when it comes to taking and making bizarre shots made possible only by elite body control. One of his best and most successful examples of such a play came in the final seconds of Wednesday night's game between the Mavs and host Milwaukee Bucks.

With 8.9 seconds on the clock and the score tied at 105-105, Ellis took the inbounds pass and prepared to take the defending O.J. Mayo one-on-one. Mayo did very well and forced Ellis into two help defenders, which presumably would have caused the ballhandler to force a shot or pass to another player who would have very little time to beat the clock. Instead, Ellis spun to his left, took two steps in the same direction, and faded away for a 10.0-degree-of-difficulty shot over Mayo: The stunning finish was upheld after video review and the Mavs left town with a 107-105 win. It initially looked like Ellis might have traveled, but his movement was legal it was just a very odd interpretation of the rules. A running fadeaway out of a spin move just isn't a shot many players will consider, let alone choose to take. It's an incredible play regardless of its impact on the game.

It also marked the second night in a row in which Monta had helped Dallas to a win with some late-game ingenuity. Ellis forced a very foolish foul from Kirk Hinrich in the final seconds of regulation on Tuesday night vs. the Bulls and then hit three free throws to send the game to overtime, where the Mavericks eventually won.

On the other hand, Ellis wasn't especially efficient in either game outside of those two huge moments. With 21 points on 11-of-26 shooting vs. the Bucks, Monta has now scored 61 points on 61 field goal attempts in his last two games. I imagine Dallas will take it.




BOSTON CELTICS (41-41) at NEW YORK KNICKS (55-28)
2013-04-23

Boston will be looking to Apuestas Deportivas Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US NFL Betting even up the series at one game apiece when they play in New York on Tuesday.

The first game between these two teams on Saturday ended up in a sloppy 85-78 game in favor of the Knicks. They really clamped down on defense in the fourth quarter and held the Celtics to just eight points in those final 12 minutes. The Knicks are now a sizzling-hot 17-2 SU (15-4 ATS) in their past 19 games, including 11 straight home wins (9-2 ATS) to improve their record at Madison Square Garden to 32-10 SU (25-17 ATS) this season. Boston is just 5-12 SU (7-10 ATS) in its past 17 games overall, and 14-28 SU (16-24-2 ATS) on the road this season.

The Celtics were up by as much as seven points in the third quarter of Game 1, but could not get anything going in the fourth quarter. PF Jeff Green was dominant in the first half of the game, but nowhere to be found in the second. He finished the game with 26 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, but he had just six of those points in the second half. He will need to be aggressive for the entire game if Boston is going to upset New York. SF Paul Pierce also struggled in the second half, but played very well overall for the Celtics with 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes. But both Green and Pierce turned the ball over six times apiece, contributing heavily to the team's 20 miscues. Boston will need more scoring out of PF Kevin Garnett, who played well defensively (nine rebounds), but finished with just eight points on 4-of-12 shooting. PG Avery Bradley was on top of his game though, going 7-of-14 from the field with 15 points, four assists and three steals. The Celtics are going to need a lot more production from their bench as it combined for just four points, missing all seven FG attempts on Saturday. SG Jason Terry was 0-for-5 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-point range in 20 horrible minutes.

The Knicks didnt play their best in Game 1, but they certainly will take the final result, which was a win over a tough division rival. SF Carmelo Anthony was hot in the first quarter, struggled in the second and third, and then heated up again in the fourth quarter for New York. He was hitting timely buckets when the Knicks need him and finished the game with 36 points (13-of-29 FG), six rebounds and four steals. He was focused defensively and played with tremendous effort. SG J.R. Smith went ice-cold from three-point range, going 1-for-7 on his way to a 7-of-19 shooting performance, but it is unlikely that Smith is that off again. New York was able to get only 20 minutes of playing time out of C Tyson Chandler, who took zero shots in the game after coming back from a bulging disc in his neck. Chandler said after the game that he was rusty, so look for him to improve in Game 2. The two difference makers on Saturday were veterans PG Jason Kidd and PF Kenyon Martin. Kidd finished the game with eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. He also hit back-to-back threes in the third quarter to stop a very threatening Boston run. Martin was also magnificent off the bench, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds (five offensive) and two blocks, including a huge swat on Jason Terry that had Madison Square Garden roaring.



March Madness Bracket
2015-02-15

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NBA: Orlando’s opening number suggests readiness
2010-05-18

The Boston Celtics exposed the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Whether Orlando was not emotionally ready to play from the long layoff or listless after cruising past two dramatically weaker opponents, the facts are that for three quarters the Magic looked liked they belonged in the Eastern Finals as much as the New Jersey Nets. They’ll try to turn things around and even up the series in Game 2 tonight. Orlando is a hefty 7 point favorite at Sportsbook.com.


The crisp passing normally associated with Stan Van Gundy’s team amounted to a grand total of 10 assists in the series opener. The Magic players dumped the ball down to Dwight Howard and basically stood like statues in creating no movement on the perimeter, which forced Howard to rely on his limited offense game with nowhere to pass the ball.


While the Celtics deserve credit for keeping the Magic under 40 percent shooting for the first 36 minutes, their task was made much simpler with Rashard Lewis, Matt Barnes and Jameer Nelson for the most part taking off-balance shots and being sloppy ball-handlers.


“I don't think we were prepared for the level they were ready to play," said Vince Carter, one of the few players in white with pulse throughout the contest. "They were ready to go from the jump, and we weren't on their level from the beginning." Orlando is 41-22 ATS revenging a same season loss.


The Magic too readily let Boston set up its half court defense. When Nelson had the ball a good portion the game, he did too much yo-yo dribbling and the offense was stagnant.


The Magic are 23-11 ATS after a game where they failed to cover the spread this year.


"That was a wake-up call we really needed, in my opinion," said Carter. "They're relentless, they're aggressive, they do a great job of contesting, especially in the paint, and it took us a while to figure it out, but when we did we played a lot better."


Boston’s Ray Allen shot only 34 percent against the Magic in last year’s playoffs and they tried to employ the same defensive strategy on him again, pressuring him on the perimeter to take contested shots. Allen foiled those tactics, by beating Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus and later Redick off the dribble for layups or short jumps shots in totaling his game high 25 points.


The Celts are up to 38-23 ATS as road underdogs the past three years and Paul Pierce is starting to show he might still have something left in his legs with superior all-around game line that looked this way: 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists.


“It was a defensive game, and we like those. That was fine with us," said Boston coach Doc Rivers.


Orlando is 7 point favorites to even the series, with ‘total’ of 189 at Sportsbook.com. The Magic are 31-12 ATS after playing a game as a home favorite and 17-6 UNDER after one or more losses. Boston has won and covered four in a row and is 29-16 ATS in road games after successfully covering the spread in two or more consecutive contests. The Celtics are 11-2 UNDER after allowing 35 points or less in the first half of their last outing.