By the Numbers: Historic rivals Knicks-Celtics tip-off NBA 75 in record-setting double-overtime thriller | NBA.com Australia


Two of the oldest NBA franchises put on a show at one of the greatest basketball arenas in the world with some extra basketball. That’s what dreams are made of. 

The season-opener for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, at Madison Square Garden, needed two extra periods of basketball to decide a winner. In the end, the Knicks came out on top as they outlasted the Celtics 138-134. 

The back-and-forth contest, with 11 lead changes and 10 ties, had the Garden buzzing and even had basketball greats like LeBron James and Sue Bird reacting on Twitter. 

While entertaining the crowd, the players and the game set and broke plenty of records. 

Epic game

It’s not often you see an overtime game on opening night, let alone double-overtime. In fact, this is the NBA’s first double-overtime opening-night game since 2006 when the Knicks and Grizzlies battled in triple-overtime

Towards the end of regulation, the Celtics came back from 11 down with 3:38 left to force overtime on the back of a Marcus Smart 3-pointer at the buzzer. 

In overtime, both teams were red-hot early on – scoring 21 of the 24 points from beyond the arc – but neither scored for the final 2:58 which forced double-overtime. 

The combined 272 points by both teams is the second-most in the first game of a season in NBA history. 

Jaylen Brown’s masterpiece

It was a rough season-opener for Jayson Tatum, who shot 7-of-30 from the field including 2-of-15 from beyond the arc. With the Celtics missing Al Horford due to health and safety protocols, someone had to step-up.

Jaylen Brown put his hand up and he went off in a performance for the record books. He erupted for 46 points, which is not only a career-high but also the most points scored by a Celtics player on opening night. 

He started the game with a bang, scoring 20 of his points tally in the first quarter on an incredible 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Late in the game, his clutch three from the logo was key to the C’s comeback. 

And what’s extraordinary about Brown’s performance, he did this just over 12 days after contracting COVID-19

“My breathing felt irregular, but fine for the most part,” Brown said postgame. “Toward the end, I could feel my heart beating through my chest … The adrenaline kind of took over.”

He played a total of 46 minutes and also recorded nine rebounds, six assists and three steals while knocking down eight 3-pointers. 

Evan Fournier and Julius Randle

The Knicks fell behind early, including their largest deficit of 12 in the first half. They didn’t fall behind by much due to Julius Randle’s heavy lifting.

The reigning Most Improved Player of the Year scored 22 of his team-high 35 in the first half. At the final buzzer, he nearly recorded a triple-double by also putting up nine assists and eight rebounds. 

“He gives you everything he has,” Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said postgame. “He had that monster year last year, got a new contract…And he’s hungrier now than he was last year, which I thought was impossible.”

Despite Randle’s performance, the Knicks probably wouldn’t have won this without Evan Fournier – their big offseason free agency signing. The Frenchman scored 32 points, the most by a player for the Knicks on debut, with 12 of those coming in the overtime periods. 

The duo led the Knicks’ balanced scoring of six double-digit scorers while the Celtics had seven.

What’s next? 

Both teams would need some time to recover from this one but neither have a lot on their hands. Both have just one day off before their next games. 

The Knicks travel to Orlando to face the Magic while the Celtics travel home to host the Raptors. 

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.



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By the Numbers: Historic rivals Knicks-Celtics tip-off NBA 75 in record-setting double-overtime thriller | NBA.com India


Two of the oldest NBA franchises put on a show at one of the greatest basketball arenas in the world with some extra basketball. That’s what dreams are made of.

The season-opener for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, at Madison Square Garden, needed two extra periods of basketball to decide a winner. In the end, the Knicks came out on top as they outlasted the Celtics 138-134.

The back-and-forth contest, with 11 lead changes and 10 ties, had the Garden buzzing and even had basketball greats like LeBron James and Sue Bird reacting on Twitter.

While entertaining the crowd, the players and the game set and broke plenty of records.

Epic game

It’s not often you see an overtime game on opening night, let alone double-overtime. In fact, this is the NBA’s first double-overtime opening-night game since 2006 when the Knicks and Grizzlies battled in triple-overtime.

Towards the end of regulation, the Celtics came back from 11 down with 3:38 left to force overtime on the back of a Marcus Smart 3-pointer at the buzzer.

In overtime, both teams were red-hot early on – scoring 21 of the 24 points from beyond the arc – but neither scored for the final 2:58 which forced double-overtime.

The combined 272 points by both teams is the second-most in the first game of a season in NBA history.

Jaylen Brown’s masterpiece

It was a rough season-opener for Jayson Tatum, who shot 7-of-30 from the field including 2-of-15 from beyond the arc. With the Celtics missing Al Horford due to health and safety protocols, someone had to step-up.

Jaylen Brown put his hand up and he went off in a performance for the record books. He erupted for 46 points, which is not only a career-high but also the most points scored by a Celtics player on opening night.

He started the game with a bang, scoring 20 of his points tally in the first quarter on an incredible 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Late in the game, his clutch three from the logo was key to the C’s comeback.

And what’s extraordinary about Brown’s performance, he did this just over 12 days after contracting COVID-19.

“My breathing felt irregular, but fine for the most part,” Brown said postgame. “Toward the end, I could feel my heart beating through my chest … The adrenaline kind of took over.”

He played a total of 46 minutes and also recorded nine rebounds, six assists and three steals while knocking down eight 3-pointers.

Evan Fournier and Julius Randle

The Knicks fell behind early, including their largest deficit of 12 in the first half. They didn’t fall behind by much due to Julius Randle’s heavy lifting.

The reigning Most Improved Player of the Year scored 22 of his team-high 35 in the first half. At the final buzzer, he nearly recorded a triple-double by also putting up nine assists and eight rebounds.

“He gives you everything he has,” Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said postgame. “He had that monster year last year, got a new contract…And he’s hungrier now than he was last year, which I thought was impossible.”

Despite Randle’s performance, the Knicks probably wouldn’t have won this without Evan Fournier – their big offseason free agency signing. The Frenchman scored 32 points, the most by a player for the Knicks on debut, with 12 of those coming in the overtime periods.

The duo led the Knicks’ balanced scoring of six double-digit scorers while the Celtics had seven.

What’s next?

Both teams would need some time to recover from this one but neither have a lot on their hands. Both have just one day off before their next games.

The Knicks travel to Orlando to face the Magic while the Celtics travel home to host the Raptors.

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.



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By the Numbers: Historic rivals Knicks-Celtics tip-off NBA 75 in record-setting double-overtime thriller | NBA.com Canada


Two of the oldest NBA franchises put on a show at one of the greatest basketball arenas in the world with some extra basketball. That’s what dreams are made of.

The season-opener for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, at Madison Square Garden, needed two extra periods of basketball to decide a winner. In the end, the Knicks came out on top as they outlasted the Celtics 138-134.

The back-and-forth contest, with 11 lead changes and 10 ties, had the Garden buzzing and even had basketball greats like LeBron James and Sue Bird reacting on Twitter.

While entertaining the crowd, the players and the game set and broke plenty of records.

Epic game

It’s not often you see an overtime game on opening night, let alone double-overtime. In fact, this is the NBA’s first double-overtime opening-night game since 2006 when the Knicks and Grizzlies battled in triple-overtime.

Towards the end of regulation, the Celtics came back from 11 down with 3:38 left to force overtime on the back of a Marcus Smart 3-pointer at the buzzer.

In overtime, both teams were red-hot early on – scoring 21 of the 24 points from beyond the arc – but neither scored for the final 2:58 which forced double-overtime.

The combined 272 points by both teams is the second-most in the first game of a season in NBA history.

It was a rough season-opener for Jayson Tatum, who shot 7-of-30 from the field including 2-of-15 from beyond the arc. With the Celtics missing Al Horford due to health and safety protocols, someone had to step-up.

Jaylen Brown put his hand up and he went off in a performance for the record books. He erupted for 46 points, which is not only a career-high but also the most points scored by a Celtics player on opening night.

He started the game with a bang, scoring 20 of his points tally in the first quarter on an incredible 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Late in the game, his clutch three from the logo was key to the C’s comeback.

And what’s extraordinary about Brown’s performance, he did this just over 12 days after contracting COVID-19.

“My breathing felt irregular, but fine for the most part,” Brown said postgame. “Toward the end, I could feel my heart beating through my chest … The adrenaline kind of took over.”

He played a total of 46 minutes and also recorded nine rebounds, six assists and three steals while knocking down eight 3-pointers.

Evan Fournier and Julius Randle

The Knicks fell behind early, including their largest deficit of 12 in the first half. They didn’t fall behind by much due to Julius Randle’s heavy lifting.

The reigning Most Improved Player of the Year scored 22 of his team-high 35 in the first half. At the final buzzer, he nearly recorded a triple-double by also putting up nine assists and eight rebounds.

“He gives you everything he has,” Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said postgame. “He had that monster year last year, got a new contract…And he’s hungrier now than he was last year, which I thought was impossible.”

Despite Randle’s performance, the Knicks probably wouldn’t have won this without Evan Fournier – their big offseason free agency signing. The Frenchman scored 32 points, the most by a player for the Knicks on debut, with 12 of those coming in the overtime periods.

The duo led the Knicks’ balanced scoring of six double-digit scorers while the Celtics had seven.

What’s next?

Both teams would need some time to recover from this one but neither have a lot on their hands. Both have just one day off before their next games.

The Knicks travel to Orlando to face the Magic while the Celtics travel home to host the Raptors.

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.



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2021-22 NBA opening night: Live updates, analysis, scores as Bucks-Nets, Lakers-Warriors tip off season


NETS

James Harden, Joe Harris, Bruce Brown, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin — Alex Schiffer

BUCKS

There should not be much drama in regards to the Bucks’ starting lineup. The Bucks headed into this season with four returning starters from last season’s roster. Those four are locked into this year’s starting lineup. The fifth starter from that squad, Donte DiVincenzo, is out as he recovers from left ankle surgery, and his replacement during the postseason, P.J. Tucker, now plays for the Miami Heat.

Bucks general manager Jon Horst traded for Grayson Allen during the offseason, and then Monday, the organization signed Allen to a two-year rookie-scale contract extension. Per league sources, the contract contains $17 million guaranteed over the next two years and could end up being worth as much as $19.6 million with likely and unlikely bonuses. Before he even played his first game, the organization made a long-term commitment to Allen. He has served as the Bucks’ fifth starter in the preseason, so expect him to do the same tonight. That means the Bucks’ expected starting lineup against the Nets will be: Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton. — Eric Nehm

WARRIORS

The Warriors will start Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney in Los Angeles. Poole’s spot was the only of the five up in the air when training camp opened, but he quickly and loudly claimed it with an explosive preseason: 30, 17, 28, 18 and 16 points in the five games, making 16 3s (many from 28 feet out), while getting to the rim with an explosive first step and an array of sharpened dribble moves. He’s become a popular pick for Most Improved Player, and the Warriors will need a huge couple of months from him as he keeps Klay Thompson’s starting spot warm. — Anthony Slater

LAKERS

The Lakers have three starting spots locked up: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. Not only do we not know the final two starters, but we also technically don’t know at which positions Davis and James, respectively, will be starting. The buzz this offseason was that Davis was finally going to start at center after two seasons in which the Lakers’ on-court metrics were much better with him in the middle. But preseason injuries to Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker have depleted the Lakers’ wing depth, increasing the likelihood that the Lakers will start bigger, keeping James and Davis at their natural positions of the three and the four.

Since training camp began in late September, all indications have been that DeAndre Jordan was the favorite for the starting center spot and Kent Bazemore was the favorite at shooting guard. Yahoo Sports reported this afternoon that Lakers will indeed start Jordan, Davis, James, Bazemore and Westbrook against the Warriors. — Jovan Buha





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Nets-Bucks, Warriors-Lakers to tip off new NBA season


MIAMI, Oct. 19 (UPI) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will host the Brooklyn Nets to tip off the 2021-22 NBA season Tuesday in Milwaukee. LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers will host the Golden State Warriors in Tuesday’s nightcap.

The reigning champion Bucks face the Nets at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The Lakers battle the Warriors at 10 p.m. Both games will air on TNT. Bucks players will receive their championship rings Tuesday at a pregame ceremony.

“We don’t want to stay stagnant and be the same,” Bucks guard Jrue Holiday told reporters Sunday. “There are teams out there getting better, adding new people and figuring things out. … Knowing we have more firepower is something we can grow on.”

The NBA’s other 26 teams start their seasons Wednesday and Thursday. Each team will play a full 82-game schedule for the first time since 2018-19. Schedules for the past two seasons were reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This season also marks the return of cross-border travel for games in Canada. The Toronto Raptors, who played home games in Tampa, Fla., last season, will host teams at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, starting Wednesday.

The 2022 NBA All-Star Game is Feb. 20 in Cleveland. The regular season ends April 10 and a play-in tournament runs from April 12-15. The playoffs start April 16 and the NBA Finals start June 2.

“I think we built our chemistry as the [preseason] games went on,” Lakers star LeBron James told reporters Friday.

“We are starting to learn each other. We tried to learn each other every quarter. That’s the thing we built.”

COVID-19 impact

National Basketball Players Association Michele Roberts told reporters earlier this month that about 95% of the NBA’s 450 players are vaccinated.

Nets All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is among the league’s nearly two dozen unvaccinated players. Nets general manager Sean Marks announced last week that Irving can’t play or practice with the team due to his vaccination status.

He can return to the team if he complies with New York City’s vaccine mandate, which states that anyone entering an indoor gym must have received at least one COVID-19 shot. The mandate includes Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden.

Irving stands to lose more than $16 million salary.

“When you lose somebody like Kyrie Irving, it’s hard to figure out where you are going to get that production from,” Nets forward Kevin Durant told reporters Thursday.

“Over time, we will start to figure out which guys are going to step up and fill that void of those minutes, shots and opportunities. I think we will do it as a collective.”

Warriors players also must be vaccinated to participate in games this season at Chase Center due to a similar mandate in San Francisco. Visiting players in New York and San Francisco are not required to comply with the mandates to participate in games at the arenas.

All NBA teams will allow full capacity at their arenas this season. Most teams will require fans to wear masks except when they are eating or drinking. About half of the NBA’s 30 teams require fans to be vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test result to attend games.

The NBA announced a league-wide rule last month that requires fans, who sit within 15 feet of the court, to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

Top matchups, odds

The Bucks and Lakers are favored in their season openers. The Nets, Lakers, Bucks and Warriors also are among the favorites to win the NBA Finals. The Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets also are Top 10 title favorites.

Two games will air Wednesday on ESPN on the second day of NBA season openers. The Knicks will host the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Madison Square Garden. The Suns will host the Nuggets at 10 p.m. at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.

TNT will broadcast another two games Thursday. The Atlanta Hawks will host the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. EDT at State Farm Arena. The Warriors will host the Clippers at 10 p.m. at Chase Center.

The NBA’s weekend schedule features 10 games Friday, eight Saturday and six Sunday.

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is the favorite for the NBA MVP Award. 76ers center Joel Embiid, Nets forward Kevin Durant, Bucks center Giannis Antetokounmpo and Warriors guard Stephen Curry are among the Top 5 contenders for the honor.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Lakers forward LeBron James, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Hawks guard Trae Young and Suns guard Devin Booker are among the other players with MVP odds.

NBA Openers (in EDT)

Tuesday

Nets at Bucks at 7:30 p.m. on TNT

Warriors at Lakers at 10 p.m. on TNT

Wednesday

Pacers at Hornets at 7 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Bulls at Pistons at 7 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Celtics at Knicks at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN

Wizards at Raptors at 7:30 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Cavaliers at Grizzlies at 8 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Rockets at Timberwolves at 8 p.m. on NBA League Pass

76ers at Pelicans at 8 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Magic at Spurs at 8:30 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Thunder at Jazz at 9 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Nuggets at Suns at 10 p.m. on ESPN

Kings at Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Thursday

Mavericks at Hawks at 7:30 p.m. on TNT

Bucks at Heat at 8 p.m. on NBA League Pass

Clippers at Warriors at 10 p.m. on TNT



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ESPN Tips Off its 20th NBA Season with Full Court Press for “Premiere Week”


  • Lisa Salters Rejoins Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson as Sideline Reporter for NBA Finals, Marquee Games throughout Season Including Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks October 20
  • NBA Today Hosted by Malika Andrews Launches, New NBA Countdown Team Debuts, Hoop Streams with Cassidy Hubbarth Returns
  • Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown Begins 50th NBA Season
  • Senior NBA Analyst Jay Williams to Appear Across ESPN Platforms

ESPN’s 20th season of NBA coverage begins the week of October 18 with a full-court press for a jam-packed “premiere week” as the league’s 75th Anniversary Season gets underway. ESPN will provide wall-to-wall, cross-platform coverage all week long surrounding its live game telecasts on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and Friday, Oct. 22. For ESPN’s 2021-22 NBA game schedule, visit ESPN Press Room. ESPN’s season-opening game schedule and commentator assignments are below:

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Platform(s)
Wed, Oct 20 7:30 p.m. Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters ESPN, ESPN App
10 p.m. Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Mark Jones, Richard Jefferson ESPN, ESPN App
Fri, Oct 22 7:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Cassidy Hubbarth ESPN, ESPN App
10 p.m. Phoenix Suns vs.

Los Angeles Lakers

Ryan Ruocco, Doris Burke ESPN, ESPN App

*ESPN’s season-opening game coverage is presented by State Farm as part of AT&T 5G Opening Week.

ESPN game commentators
Mike Breen, the voice of the NBA Finals and Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner, and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson return to call ESPN’s first NBA game of the season on Wednesday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET as the Boston Celtics visit the New York Knicks. The trio have set records both collectively and individually as the most prolific voices of the NBA Finals and will be together for the top games during the regular season and NBA Playoffs. ESPN recently re-signed Jeff Van Gundy with a new, multi-year agreement and has all three commentators signed long-term. Lisa Salters will rejoin the trio as ESPN’s lead sideline reporter for its coverage of the NBA Finals, Conference Finals, NBA Playoffs, NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by Oculus from Facebook series and NBA Christmas Day presented by State Farm games.

Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown will begin his 50th season in the NBA between coaching and broadcasting. The legendary Brown returns for his 17th consecutive season as an ESPN NBA game analyst. Another Hall-of-Famer, Doris Burke, who is a Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner, returns to ESPN for game coverage throughout the season. Van Gundy, Jackson, Brown and Burke lead ESPN’s deep roster of game analysts, which will also include Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter this season. In addition to Breen, Mark Jones, Dave Pasch and Ryan Ruocco, who return as ESPN’s core play-by-play broadcasters, Brian Custer and Beth Mowins will call the action for select games. ESPN sideline reporters include Salters, Cassidy Hubbarth, Malika Andrews, Jorge Sedano, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Katie George. ESPN NBA game commentators will appear on site, health and safety permitting.

Jay Williams adds multi-platform NBA role
Jay Williams will add to his multi-platform ESPN role, beginning with “premiere week.” The former Duke standout will serve as senior NBA analyst and appear regularly across ESPN studio programming, including Get Up, First Take and SportsCenter. Williams will continue his role on ESPN Radio’s national morning show with Keyshawn Johnson and Max Kellerman.

New NBA Countdown team debuts
ESPN recently announced its new NBA Countdown team, featuring high-profile analysts Stephen A. Smith, Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose, and host Mike Greenberg. The quartet will also be joined frequently by Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The team will make its debut live from Madison Square Garden ahead of the Celtics vs. Knicks game on Wednesday, October 20, at 7 p.m. during ESPN’s first night of regular season coverage. There will also be on-site updates within the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter leading into NBA Countdown. The show will generally emanate from ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York, N.Y. with select shows coming from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center.

The team of Kendrick Perkins, Richard Jefferson, Chiney Ogwumike and Michael Eaves will handle responsibilities for the Wednesday editions of NBA Countdown in February once ESPN’s NBA on ABC package is underway. NBA Countdown on ESPN is presented by Mountain Dew. For more information on ESPN’s new NBA Countdown approach, visit ESPN Press Room.

NBA Today Launches
As recently announced, ESPN’s new, weekday afternoon studio show NBA Today will debut during “premiere week.” NBA Today is hosted by Malika Andrews and will emanate from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center at L.A. Live. The show makes its debut on Monday, October 18, on ESPN2 and will make its ESPN debut on Tuesday, October 19, in conjunction with the first day of the NBA regular season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is scheduled to join the NBA Today team on Tuesday, October 19 for an interview to tip off the league’s 75th Anniversary Season. Zach LaVine is slated for Wednesday and Damian Lillard is scheduled for Thursday. Also on Wednesday, October 20, NBA Today will reveal 25 members of the NBA 75 list of all-time greatest players.

NBA Today airs live from 3-4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and will travel to the site of marquee live events during the season and postseason. Analysts Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike and Vince Carter and reporters Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Ramona Shelburne will round out the cast of NBA Today. For more on NBA Today, visit ESPN Press Room.

Hoop Streams is back
Hoop Streams, ESPN’s digital NBA pre-game show, will return for its third season. Hoop Streams precedes marquee NBA games on ESPN and ABC throughout the regular season and postseason. Hoop Streams, hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth, will make its season debut during “premiere week” leading into ESPN’s first night of NBA game coverage on Wednesday, October 18, starting at approximately 6:30 p.m. The show is available on the ESPN App, and ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube platforms. Hoop Streams previews the game action and provides expert commentary from analysts and reporters on the most compelling stories in the league.

Reporters
ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski leads a versatile team of reporters providing breaking news coverage across ESPN platforms. Wojnarowski will regularly appear on NBA Today, NBA Countdown, SportsCenter and other platforms contributing news and context. ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne and The Undefeated’s Marc Spears will also regularly contribute to ESPN’s studio programming during “premiere week.”

ESPN.com
On Monday, Oct. 18, Senior NBA Writer Zach Lowe will spotlight the five most intriguing players to watch this season. Then, ESPN.com will outline the season outlook for all 30 teams in its opening night Power Ranking, projecting the highs and lows for contenders and lottery-bound teams alike.

Later in the week, Senior NBA Writer Brian Windhorst examines four title aspirants seemingly stuck in suspended animation – the Sixers, Nets, Clippers and Nuggets – and how they are navigating ambition with reality. In addition, as LeBron James embarks on season 19, ESPN.com charts all of the milestones within reach for the multi-time champion and MVP.

Marketing
The NBA on ESPN Brand Marketing team’s goal for the 2021-22 NBA season is to implement a custom music strategy to story tell key moments, further embed culture into ESPN’s NBA platform and get fans excited for weekly matchups. The team partnered with music label EMPIRE, to remix ‘Say Go’ by rapper D ‘Smoke for the opening week topical and is also scheduled to release a custom song and social hype video with rapper Money Man.

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8 Profitable NBA Tips for 2021


The NBA regular season is a grind, not just for players and coaches but for bettors and oddsmakers alike. There are 30 teams and an 82-game season in addition to a two-month-long postseason. Like any other major market, predicting the outcome of an NBA game is difficult.

Yet, it’s even more difficult to consistently beat the point spread set by oddsmakers enough to overcome the vig (or juice) needed to make a profit — typically 52.38% on -110 bets.

However, there are ways to gain an edge betting the NBA. With a new season on the horizon, there’s no better time than now to discuss my approach to betting NBA on a nightly basis and learn more about how to bet on basketball effectively.

How to Bet on Basketball

1. Bet Early

One of the best ways to gain an edge when betting NBA games is to start betting as soon as the markets open each morning. If you’re on the East Coast, that means you have to be available to bet around 8-9 a.m. ET.

In a market as big as the NBA, nothing slips between the cracks. Injury news, inefficiencies within the market and lines that are off are corrected quickly as the sharpest bettors and betting syndicates in the world look to snatch up the value on NBA sides and totals before the value is sucked out of the line.

Oddsmakers and bettors get more information on games as we get closer to tip-off, so betting early allows you to capitalize on the mistakes on the initial lines that oddsmakers release before they are corrected.

Since bookmakers adjust their lines based on the action they receive, injury news an other factors, the lines become more accurate and harder to beat as the day gets on.

One of the biggest predictive indicators of a winning long-term bettor is to consistently beat the closing line. Betting early allows you to generate Closing Line Value and get better odds then what the line closes at tipoff.

We’ve compiled some numbers on NBA point spreads against closing lines over the past 10 years using information from our Bet Labs database. You can see in the chart below that there’s a ton of value in getting ahead of the market as your win percentage increases with every half point that bettors beat the closing line.

Although limits do increase throughout the day, the ability to get CLV decreases the closer you get to tip-off, so if you’re looking to get the best of the number consistently, you should be betting early.

Now, there are times when it is advantageous to bet later in the day.

Imagine a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings at Staples. Since the Lakers have LeBron James and are a popular team, it’s likely we’d see the public push the Lakers’ line up to the point where you can find more value on backing the underdog Kings closer to tip off.

Sports betting is the ultimate multi-player game. You aren’t just competing with just the bookmaker, you’re competing with thousands of other sports bettors who are shaping the market with their opinion.

Understanding what the vast majority of the public, as well as seasoned professionals, think about a game will allow you to properly read the market and know when to time your bets to get the best value.


» Return to the table of contents «


2. Study and React to Injury Reports

The impact of injuries can’t be understated when it comes to NBA betting. Unlike football where there’s 11 players on each side of the ball or baseball where there’s nine players, a basketball team only plays five players at a time, meaning one player can have more impact on the game than in any other team sport.

While you can gain an edge from betting early, sometimes you can find yourself in the dark on injury news which comes out throughout the day. My suggestion would be to approach the NBA in shifts. Bet in the early morning, but make sure you’re available in the afternoon to stay tuned into injury news and look to bet on games where an injury could have a significant impact to game.

In the era of load management, it’s common for star players to sit out of back-to-back games, so you need to anticipate which players might sit out based on recent play, news reports and the betting markets. There are slower moving sportsbooks that aren’t as quick to react to injury news when moving their spreads and totals and that is one of the best spots for bettors to gain an edge.

Understanding how coaches approach playing also plays a significant role here. Certain coaches prefer to go all out during the regular season, while others are more likely to sit stats. For example, New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is known to push his team to play hard every night while San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, or L.A. Clippers head coach Tyron Lue more likely to load manage their stars.

Coaches can sometimes tip their hand a bit leading up to games when talking to beat writers, so pay attention to what they say (and don’t say) in their press conferences and media availability.


» Return to the table of contents «


3. Look for Scheduling Advantages

Although the NBA has taken steps to reduce the amount of back-to-backs, NBA teams will average 13.5 back-to-backs, with no-rest games (the second of the back-to-backs) this season. While this accounts for less than 17% of their 82 games, these are spots bettors can capitalize on.

Unfortunately, this season there are no stretches where a team plays four games in five nights, so that’s not something we can isolate. However, the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trailblazers and San Antonio Spurs have have stretches where they play eight games in 12 nights.

Keep this in mind during the season and look to fade these teams during these stretches where they’re likely to have tired legs.

The two-game series is a newer scheduling quirk introduced during the pandemic to reduce the travel during last season’s condensed schedule. There will be 23 two-game series in the same arena and there’s certainly an advantage to seeing two teams play back-to-back.

Last season the team that lost the first game of the two-game series was 27-14-12 (65.9%) against the spread.


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4. Totals: How Many Possessions Will a Game Have? 

Pace is one of the biggest factors when handicapping totals in the NBA. The number of possessions in a game can determine how high-scoring a matchup will be just as much as a team’s offensive efficiency.

Last season, the Washington Wizards ranked 18th in Offensive Rating, but were third in points per game (116.6) because they played at the fastest Pace in the league (106.4). Calculating Pace will provide you with a solid expectation of the number of possessions for the rest of the game.

Here’s Basketball-Reference’s definition of Pace as well as their formula:

Pace – Pace Factor (available since the 1973-74 season in the NBA); the formula is 48 * ((Tm Poss + Opp Poss) / (2 * (Tm MP / 5))). Pace factor is an estimate of the number of possessions per 48 minutes by a team. (Note: 40 minutes is used in the calculation for the WNBA.)

There are plenty of questions to ask yourself when looking to play totals:

Is this a matchup between a fast pace team playing a slow pace team? Which team is likely to impose its will on the other stylistically? Are one or both of these teams at the end of a road trip with tired legs? What is the team’s strategy coming into the game?

If we go back to Game 5 and 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Clippers, both games went over the closing total, as the Suns made a commitment to play faster and get into their offense quicker.

Game 5 had  97.5 possessions, and it flew over the total of 213.5. The Game 6 total was adjusted to 214.5 and the total went over in that game as well; the Suns found efficient offense against a tired Clippers team that had played every other day for nearly a month.

There are other questions as well. How efficient are these offenses playing, recently and is it likely to slow down? What does the shot quality look like? Are these teams finding open 3-pointers but failing to make them? Are these teams collectively playing above expectations offensively? What kind of positive or negative regression can we expect from these offenses?

If you have a model, you can compare your line to the market line, but you can also look at the recent play of both teams and figure out if you have an edge or not.


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5. Live Betting

Live wagering has become one of the most popular forms of betting, as it allows sports fans to place a bet after the game has already begun.

Since in-game odds change frequently based on what’s happening, bettors can use the ever-changing odds to their advantage, capitalize on the volatility of a game, set up arbitrage or middling opportunities, and even hedge previous bets to make a profit.

The models and algorithms that sports books use to create live lines are only as good as the information being put into them, and there’s a ton of new information received after the game starts that we didn’t have before.

Here are some basic rules for live betting:


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6. Don’t Tease Basketball

This should go without saying, but there are still some recreational bettors who may not be familiar.

NFL teasers have value because a football game typically contains around 12 possessions. Teasing a game six points accounts for nearly one touchdown and gives you enough room for each teaser leg to cover the 72.3% threshold needed to break even.

NBA games on the other hand have an average of 100 possessions so teasing a spread four points is just two possessions, which could be covered in less than a minute. There’s simply too many possessions in a basketball game for it to be worth it to tease it.

To break down the math, take a look at standard two-team four-point teasers at (-110 odds) in basketball. Adding four points to a team’s spread gives a team a 66% chance of covering, far below the 72.3% of the time needed to break even. Fair odds on such teasers are closer to +130, but you’re still paying -110, which would give you negative expectation long term.


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7. Line Shopping

This is important for any sport. Always have access to multiple sportsbooks to shop for the best line. If BetMGM has the Milwaukee Bucks listed at -3.5 for a games and Caesars has them at -3, Caesars is where you should be betting. As I noted earlier, a half point of can drastically change your win rate.

The same is true for the vig. Some books have a spread or total at -120 while others have it at -110. To break even on -110 bets, you need to win 52.38% of your wagers. To break even at -120, you need to win 54.5% of the time. That’s almost a 2.12% edge.

You can always find the best, most updated line for any game by checking out the Action Network’s NBA odds page. And if you’re completely new to betting, you can find sign-up offers specifically for your state here.


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8. Track Your NBA Bets 

One of the best things you can do to become a profitable NBA bettor is to track your bets — everything from a point spread to moneyline to a prop bet — in The Action Network App. Our app tells you what your ROI is for every wager type and you can begin to recognize your patters to determine your strengths/weaknesses.

After tracking your bets in our app, you’ll know where to put your energy going forward when placing wagers.


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2021 WNBA schedule released as season set to tip off on May 14 | NBA News


The WNBA will tip off its 25th season on May 14 with teams returning to their home arenas following a season in the bubble in Bradenton, Florida, the league announced on Tuesday.

All 12 teams will be in action on the opening weekend, with two games featuring matchups between former MVPs.

Each team will play 32 games during the regular season, which is scheduled to end on September 19.

The league will go on hiatus from July 15 through August 11 to allow players to take part in the Tokyo Olympics.

“As we tip-off this historic season with teams returning to play in their home markets, we celebrate the impact the WNBA has made on generations of young and diverse athletes and on sports and society since 1997,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.

“Together with our fans and partners, we look ahead to how the outstanding athletes of the WNBA will continue to provide the best women’s basketball in the world while also driving change, striving for justice and equality, and impacting future generations.”

Leading off the season in the first game on May 14 will be the New York Liberty and the No 1 overall draft pick in 2020, Sabrina Ionescu, as they host the Indiana Fever at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Other games that night feature the Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream, Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx, and the Dallas Wings at the Los Angeles Sparks.

Action on May 15 includes a meeting between the Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics, featuring former MVPs Candace Parker and Elena Delle Donne. It will be the debut with Chicago for Parker, formerly of the Sparks.

After that game, former MVP Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm will host reigning MVP A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces. The Storm will receive their WNBA championship rings before the game.

The opening weekend will conclude on Sunday when the Mercury visit the Sun and the Liberty travel to face the Fever.



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2021 WNBA schedule released as season set to tip off on May 14 | NBA News


The WNBA will tip off its 25th season on May 14 with teams returning to their home arenas following a season in the bubble in Bradenton, Florida, the league announced on Tuesday.

All 12 teams will be in action on the opening weekend, with two games featuring matchups between former MVPs.

Each team will play 32 games during the regular season, which is scheduled to end on September 19.

The league will go on hiatus from July 15 through August 11 to allow players to take part in the Tokyo Olympics.

“As we tip-off this historic season with teams returning to play in their home markets, we celebrate the impact the WNBA has made on generations of young and diverse athletes and on sports and society since 1997,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.

“Together with our fans and partners, we look ahead to how the outstanding athletes of the WNBA will continue to provide the best women’s basketball in the world while also driving change, striving for justice and equality, and impacting future generations.”

Leading off the season in the first game on May 14 will be the New York Liberty and the No 1 overall draft pick in 2020, Sabrina Ionescu, as they host the Indiana Fever at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Other games that night feature the Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream, Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx, and the Dallas Wings at the Los Angeles Sparks.

Action on May 15 includes a meeting between the Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics, featuring former MVPs Candace Parker and Elena Delle Donne. It will be the debut with Chicago for Parker, formerly of the Sparks.

After that game, former MVP Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm will host reigning MVP A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces. The Storm will receive their WNBA championship rings before the game.

The opening weekend will conclude on Sunday when the Mercury visit the Sun and the Liberty travel to face the Fever.





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NBA DFS picks tonight: Best teams to stack on DraftKings for main slate on Friday, April 9


We have a nine-game schedule in the NBA on Friday, which means there are endless opportunities for your prospective lineup in DFS. The first game tips off at 7 p.m. ET with the Indiana Pacers playing the Orlando Magic. There’s also a doubleheader on NBA TV, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET between the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks. And then at 10 p.m. ET, the Washington Wizards will head out west to play the Golden State Warriors.

Sometimes with a plus-matchup on the NBA game slate, we get an opportunity to slot multiple players from the same team into our DFS lineups. You can read more about the concept of stacking here, but the main goal is to take advantage of this plus-matchup and use the salary cap to your advantage.

Here, we’ll break down three of the best team stacks for the NBA slate on April 9th.

Wizards vs. Warriors, 10:00 p.m. ET

Stephen Curry ($9900)
Andrew Wiggins ($7100)
Kelly Oubre ($6300)
Jordan Poole ($5100)
James Wiseman ($4800)

Friday night’s game between the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors could have a ton of points scored, hence why the O/U is currently at 239.5 total points on DraftKings Sportsbook. There will be a lot of temptation to put Russell Westbrook in your lineup as he’s been a triple-double machine. However, he’s the highest-priced guard in DFS at $11,000 that might be too rich to pay.

Therefore, a stack featuring Curry may be a good way to go. He has scored at least 30 points in the Warriors’ last four games and averaging 53.3 fantasy points per game. Then you could get cheap value with Poole, who takes a good amount of shots off the bench, and Wiseman, who is coming off a double-double vs. the Bucks.

Sixers vs. Pelicans, 8:00 p.m. ET

Ben Simmons ($8400)
Tobias Harris ($8000)
Danny Green ($4600)
Seth Curry ($4400)
Shake Milton ($4200)

This is another game that could see a ton of points scored on Friday night. The Sixers will travel down to the Big Easy to face the Pelicans. Joel Embiid would be an easy pick to play in an NBA DFS stack, but to save a couple of dollars, we will go to Ben Simmons. His scoring production has been up and down. However, he can stuff the box score with ease, which makes him a perfect DFS play.

Outside of him and Harris, Green and Curry, in particular, could find some success from behind the arc. The Pelicans are allowing opponents to shoot a league-worst 49.1% from three-point range in their last three contests. We saw in their latest road trip, when Green is cooking from distance, it could be a long night for the other team.

Timberwolves vs. Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET

Karl-Anthony Towns ($10900)
Anthony Edwards ($7700)
D’Angelo Russell ($6300)
Jaden McDaniels ($4800)
Naz Reid ($3900)

In one of the first few games to tip-off on Friday night, we have the Minnesota Timberwolves taking on the Boston Celtics. The Timberwolves are looking to bounce back from a 141-137 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Despite the T-Wolves being one of the worst teams in the league (record-wise), they have a trio of good players that can put up points.

Towns is a no-brainer to play in your stack as he is averaging 58.8 fantasy points in the T’Wolves’ last five games. Then you have first-overall pick in Edwards, who has scored 30-plus fantasy points in Minnesota’s last seven games. With Malik Beasley on the shelf, there should be more minutes for him and others at the guard/forward spot.



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