Kurt Helin

Denver Nuggets v Houston Rockets

Report: NBA in negotiations with “global sports betting companies” to partner in Europe

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When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver came out in support of legalized gambling legislation, there was one motivation behind it — money.

Silver looked at things like the Barclays Premiere League where three teams have their kit/jersey deal with an online gambling company, and numerous other teams have other sponsorship deals with said firms. For a global brand like the NBA, that’s a lot of potential cash on the table.

And the NBA is already looking to get a piece of it, reports Jered Zwerling of Bleacher Report.

Indeed, B/R has learned, through sources involved with the situation, that the NBA has been in recent negotiations with several global sports betting companies, which include but are not limited to Bwin.party and William Hill. One of them could soon become the league’s official partner in Europe’s regulated markets, which allows for betting on American pro sports.

“The NBA has seen the success that English Premier League soccer clubs have had with sports betting operators, and they’re following that same model,” a source with knowledge of the discussions said. “They’ve seen the naming rights and the size of those deals, and they understand that it’s an opportunity to open up another revenue stream overseas, in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Right now, this would likely be just an overseas thing for the NBA as there is no legalized online gaming in the United States.

However, Silver sees what is coming — Americans are still gambling online, that money is just going overseas, and if states regulate it there will be a hodgepodge of rules. Better to have one federal set of rules for everyone to follow. Makes sense. Of course, good luck getting anything that makes sense out of Washington right now.

Whatever happens, Silver wants to be sure the owners are positioned to make more cash off it. This is a business first, lest anyone forget.

Masked Mike Conley returns, gets it done on both ends of court (VIDEO)

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Mike Conley returned and everything started to go right for the Grizzlies — their offense ran more smoothly, their defense picked up in intensity, and Memphis evened the series with Golden State picking up a win on the road.

You would think playing in a mask for the first time — or having surgery to put two steel plates in your face to fix three fractures — would throw off a guy’s shot. Not Conley. He didn’t get to the rim, but he knocked down jump shots, tough floaters, and contested threes. Check out this shot chart.

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At the other end, he did a good job checking Curry.

With Kevin Love out, LeBron James says “I might have to change my mindset a little bit”

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Go ahead and file this under the “well, duh” category.

With Kevin Love and J.R. Smith sidelined, the Cavaliers ran a pretty conventional, isolation heavy offense in Game 1 — and lost. It’s almost like Tom Thibodeau designed a defense to stifle isolation plays… oh wait he did. Well, it still works.

Kyrie Irving was attacking at times but also settled for some jumpers. LeBron James seemed more tentative, getting in close more by backing down Jimmy Butler than attacking face up from the wing. LeBron also had six turnovers. LeBron seemed to want to facilitate, and the Cavs were getting the ball to shooters like Matthew Delvadova and Mike Miller, who just were not knocking them down.

LeBron thinks he may need to be more aggressive in Game 2. Here is what he told friend of the blog Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group (what most of us just call the Plain Dealer).

“I might have to change my mindset a little bit obviously with Kev [Love] being out,” he said. “It’s something that we all haven’t been accustomed to this year with him being out an extensive period, or one of the Big 3 being out for a long period of time since I had my injury. So, it might be a different mindset for myself and Kyrie [Irving].”

So your third and fourth best players are out, and you think you may need to be more aggressive? Interesting.

It’s not all on LeBron. The Cavs need some guys not named LeBron and Irving to knock down some shots. They need to be better defensively (maybe put Iman Shumpert on Derrick Rose). There are a lot of things they can do better.

But also, the Cavaliers need a more aggressive LeBron.

PBT Extra: Will Doc Rivers sit Chris Paul in Game 2?

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After a surprising Game 1 win, it feels like the Clippers are playing with house money. Los Angeles earned at least a split on the road to start its second round series against Houston; the Clippers showed the toughness from the Spurs series that the Rockets were unprepared for (the Clippers are not the Mavericks).

So should Doc Rivers sit Chris Paul in Game 2? Should he give CP3’s strained hamstring more time to heal, as those are tricky injuries that can be easy to aggravate?

That’s what Jenna Corrado and I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. Personally, if he’s not 100 percent I would rest him again — make the Rockets prove they can stop the offense going through Blake Griffin first.

More than 24 hours before the game, CP3’s status remains a coin flip.

Tony Allen on MVP Stephen Curry: “It ain’t nothing I ain’t never seen before”

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Stephen Curry had a game-high 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting in the Warriors blowout Game 1 win, plus dishing out seven assists. He was 4-of-8 from three but struggled a little inside the arc, shooting just 3-of-6 inside eight feet. Not a vintage performance but he drew the attention of Grizzlies defenders leaving room for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others to do their thing.

The Grizzlies seemed to have their best success with a no point guard lineup and putting defensive ace Tony Allen on Curry. Any success the Grizzlies had was relative, but it was something to try in Game 2 depending on the status of Mike Conley.

Allen is not overly impressed with Curry, he told Nate Stuhlbarg of CSNBayArea.com.

“He can shoot the ball pretty good and he got a nice handle,” Allen said when asked what makes Curry special. “But it ain’t nothing I ain’t never seen before.”

We’ll just ignore the double negative… actually, that’s a triple negative. Impressive.

To be fair, Allen also said Curry’s MVP was “well deserved,” but he may not have wanted to poke the game’s best shooter.

I disagree with Allen on these grounds: Who have we seen like Curry before? How do you answer the question “Curry is like player X?” Who is the comp? We’ve seen great shooters before, great ball handlers before, great floor generals before, but rarely in the same package. Curry’s skill set is perfect to run a modern NBA offense because he can work on or off the ball equally well, plus is a gifted passer. There are no good comps for him.

When you run into a player that is hard to compare to anyone else before, you know you have a special talent.