Here are your official NBA championship odds

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So, the Miami Heat are the favorites to win the NBA title and the Charlotte Bobcats are the longest shot. Some things never change.

Below are the NBA championship odds for all 30 teams, courtesy online gaming site Bovada. Remember that odds are not there to tell you who the book thinks will win, rather it’s about predicting what the public thinks, placing odds that will draw in betters and maximize return to the bookmakers. They are in this for profit.

Now, if I were a gambler (and no, I do not bet NBA) I would be looking for the best return on my investment, which means the Heat at just a hair over 2-1 may be the clear favorites but they are not a great bet. Of the three elite NBA title contenders, I would bet on the Thunder because I could make 4.5 for every one of my dollars if they win. Also, I might bet Boston because even though they need a lot of things to go right to have a shot at a ring, they have a puncher’s chance and would pay well at 18-1.

But for the record, we are not endorsing or suggesting you bet.

Miami Heat 11/5
Los Angeles Lakers 5/2
Oklahoma City Thunder 9/2
Chicago Bulls 14/1
Boston Celtics 18/1
San Antonio Spurs 18/1
Los Angeles Clippers 25/1
Brooklyn Nets 30/1
Dallas Mavericks 33/1
Indiana Pacers 35/1
Memphis Grizzlies 35/1
New York Knicks 35/1
Philadelphia 76ers 50/1
Denver Nuggets 66/1
Houston Rockets 75/1
Atlanta Hawks 75/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 75/1
Portland Trailblazers 100/1
Utah Jazz 100/1
Golden State Warriors 125/1
Milwaukee Bucks 125/1
New Orleans Hornets 150/1
Orlando Magic 150/1
Phoenix Suns 150/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 200/1
Detroit Pistons 200/1
Sacramento Kings 200/1
Toronto Raptors 200/1
Washington Wizards 200/1
Charlotte Bobcats 500/1

Friday afternoon fun: Watch James Harden’s 10 best plays from last season

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James Harden had a historic season in Houston.

Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.

Mavericks sign Jeff Withey to one-year contract

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Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.

That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.

Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.

Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.

Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

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The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.