Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM
OUR NBA DRAFT DAY
LAST-MINUTE NEWS, NOTES & RUMORS …
THE BASEBALL REPORT:
LINCECUM NO-HITTER A REAL AFTERNOON DELIGHT …
THE NFL UPDATE:
WILL LAST YEAR’S “WORST BETS” BURY THEIR BACKERS AGAIN IN 2014?
By Jim Hurley
Okay, so have you heard enough trade rumors while heading into tonight’s NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn?
Heck, you probably just read our NBA Mock Draft and we featured a batch of first-round trades but in the past 24-to-48 hours you’ve been hearing about a proposed deal between Sacramento and Detroit getting nixed as it appears F Josh Smith won’t be heading out West and, sorry, but we simply are not buying (and never bought) this notion that the Atlanta Hawks were ready to sweep in and make a major move that would have imported both free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony into town.
If you do want to have your ears perked up for potential deals then don’t discount the long-rumored Kevin Love-to-somewhere trade going down here and one off-the-radar location that the Minnesota Timberwolves star could be headed is New Orleans.
Note that the Pelicans are moving around lots of parts these days and could wind up with Love should they come up with a nifty players/draft picks package.
You’ve heard plenty about Golden State and Denver and Boston in terms of possible/likely destinations for the double-double guy but we believe it’s smallish odds that Love will go to any of those three above-mentioned places.
In other Draft Night News & Notes …
You might look for the Miami Heat to be busy on this night even if it has nothing at all to do with the aforementioned James. The roster of this four-time NBA Finals participant must be tweaked plenty and two things to watch with the Heat here are as follows:
They own the 26th overall pick in this draft, but boss-man Pat Riley could be looking to move up into the lottery part of this draft and may be willing to trade a future pick (or two) in order to have a shot at Creighton star scorer Doug McDermott or Michigan two-guard Nik Stauskas, or maybe even UConn point guard Shabazz Napier—no doubt their respective shooting skills would get James to raise his eyebrows, right?
Also, Miami might be in the market to trade its first-round pick in order to land a thirty-something player that still has plenty of tread on the tire. No, we don’t believe the likes of Dallas’ Vince Carter is the answer for a team that’s been known for recycling older players that can give ‘em a playoff lift off the bench.
The Heat could be thinking here about a Brandon Jennings (Detroit) type that could give ‘em 35-or-minutes a night and take off the stress from whoever’s remaining from the so-called “big three”.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at www.vegassportsmasters.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners.
Plus, the Football Season isn’t that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August—can’t wait!
LINCECUM NO-NO STEALS THE WEDNESDAY HEADLINES
Now here’s the bad news for San Francisco Giants RHP Tim Lincecum … his next start isn’t versus the San Diego Padres!
The two-time Cy Young winner and two-time World Series champion now has two no-hitters in as many years against those Pods and yesterday’s shiny 4-0 no-hitter at home featured just one walk and six Ks and nobody was cooler under the pressure than the guy they still sometimes call “The Freak”.
Okay, so Lincecum’s 4.42 ERA isn’t gonna win him any awards but we saw the best of him in this latest no-hitter as his dazzling stuff got better in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings as he clearly overmatched an admittedly woeful San Diego lineup.
When the dust settled on this Giants’ win (and the third no-hitter of the year after Los Angeles Dodgers mound-mates Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw threw no-no’s in May and June, respectively), San Francisco had another seminal moment from one of its pitchers and had to love the post-game quote that addressed Lincecum’s hitting as he singled twice and walked: “I got that thing (his batting average) above .100 and I feel much better about that.”
Hey, maybe no-hitters this season are confined to just National League West hurlers—who knows—but the truth is Lincecum gave sports fans ‘round the land lots of entertainment (we were watching!) on this final Wednesday in June and never did a 6-5 record for a pitcher feel so darn good.
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There were a handful of NFL teams that last year really toasted their backers—we’ll take a few moments now to check out a few of ‘em here and forecast what they have do spreadwise in this upcoming 2014 campaign:
CHICAGO—The Bears bungled their way through a 4-10-2 ATS (against the spread) season in Year One of the Marc Trestman Era but don’t necessarily be fooled by that shabby .286 winning percentage.
The fact of the matter is the 2013 Bears didn’t cover six of those games by a mere 11 or 11 ½ points (see 27-21 non-cover win against the 8 ½-point underdog New York Giants and the 33-28 season-ending loss at 3-point favorite Green Bay, for a couple of examples here) and a play here or there would have had the Chitowners with a closer-to-.500 spread mark.
Let’s just say that Trestman’s second year should turn out better spread results, but let’s not ignore the fact the Bears did allow 30-plus points to seven different foes a year ago.
HOUSTON—The 2013 Texans never did get their footing spreadwise even with a 2-0 SU (straight-up) start.
In all, Houston registered an ugly 4-12 spread mark and never covered back-to-back games and how about the fact this AFC South crew finished 0-and-6 versus the vig whenever placed in the betting favorite’s role?
Okay, so we won’t be expecting this Texans team to be favored much at all under first-year head coach Bill O’Brien, but there are plenty of good defensive bodies on this squad and anytime the Texans are taking more than a field goal they figure to be live plays. So keep that under your 10-gallon hat!
TAMPA BAY—Call it a slow start and a really slow finish spreadwise last year for this NFC South crew that produced a shoddy 6-10 ATS mark.
In fact, the Bucs covered just one of their first seven games last year in the final season of failed NFL head coach Greg Schiano’s career and that 0-3 ATS finish was nothin’ to write home about either.
Tampa Bay registered an awful 1-9 ATS mark whenever scoring 20 points or less and so that 5-1 ATS mark whenever scoring more than 20 points pretty much signals where this club must improve.
Got that, Lovie Smith?
NOTE: Catch our NBA Draft Re-cap in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez.