Well, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, it was Derrick Rose as the hero for the Chicago Bulls, sinking a three-pointer at the buzzer. Then in Game 4, Lebron James returned the favor when he made a 21-footer with time running out to break a tie and give the Cleveland Cavaliers an 86-84 victory to even up the series. Now we have Game 5, which takes place at 7 PM ET at the Quicken Loans Arena, and the NBA playoff betting action continues even after the opening whistle blows, as BetAnySports customers have the opportunity to wager on all kinds of things, with the dynamic constantly changing, through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.
Everyone can pretty much agree that when it comes to the NBA, the big stars are the ones who actually dictate the terms, while the coaches are sometimes secondary. Right now it appears as if being considered “secondary” would sound like a promotion for David Blatt, the first-year head coach for the Cavaliers. Those last-second heroics on the part of Lebron were certainly not the result of a carefully designed play drawn up by one of the more successful coaches in overseas pro basketball in recent years. In point of fact, James heard the call in the huddle that was hastily arranged while the officials decided who knocked a ball out of bounds with a couple of seconds remaining, and, in his own words “scratched” it, in favor of something HE wanted to do.
NBA fans might not realize that James was not a party to the hiring of Blatt as head coach by Cleveland’s management. In fact, he was in place already before the team signed Lebron to a free-agent contract that brought them back to his home area. And the rumors got started early on that James was going to engineer Blatt’s departure in favor of someone else, perhaps Mark Jackson, who was fired as Golden State coach after last season’s elimination in the playoffs and who signed with Lebron’s management agency.
Well, it would seem as if it is “championship or bust” for Blatt, as Lebron does not seem to have a lot of respect for the guy who was supposed to be in charge. They can keep it going, nonetheless, with a victory on Tuesday. In the NBA playoffs heading odds posted at BetAnySports on this game, the Cavaliers are laying points at home:
Cleveland Cavaliers -5.5
Chicago Bulls +5.5
Over 191 points -110
Under 191 points -110
Some of the published reports were that Lebron was not happy with the early performance of this team, and tried to get Blatt jettisoned right away, but was told rather firmly by management that the team was committed to him. But that hasn’t prevented the four-time MVP from speaking rather back-handedly about the coach from time to time throughout the season, in particular with regard to the way game plans have been put together. James has referred to Blatt as a “rookie” head coach, almost in disparaging fashion, and had no problem whatsoever telling him in that final huddle “just give me the ball.”
BetAnySports patrons know that Blatt almost cooked his own goose with 8.4 seconds left to play, when he tried his best to call a timeout when his team didn’t have one. Thankfully, assistant coach Tyrone Lue was there to grab him and pulled him back. Otherwise, the Cavaliers would have been assessed a technical foul, which would have given Chicago a free throw, the ball, and most likely the victory. And if the Cavaliers had gone down 3-1 because of that, it would have probably given Lebron all the ammunition he needed to put Blatt on a plane back to Israel, which is where he established a sterling reputation as a head coach.
Whatever happens, it appears these guys will have to live with each other a little longer, and that Blatt, whose status with this franchise pales in comparison to the game’s best player, will have to live with some of the snide remarks he gets – because that’s just the way it is.
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CHARLES JAY, a contributor to BangTheBook.com, is one of the most experienced sports betting writers in America, as he has written more than 10,000 pieces specifically for the industry over the last seven years. At one time employed as an editorial consultant with USA Network, he is also a former syndicated radio talk show host (American Radio Networks) and has also done color commentary on boxing events in the past for Prime Network (now known as Fox SportsNet). He is a veteran of more than a decade and a half working within the professional sports industry, and has been handicapping sporting events for over 25 years. In addition to this, he has compiled specialty odds for a number of online sportsbook operations and media outlets.