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When Even LeBron James’s Best Might Not Be Enough

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Basketball historians will rightfully tell you that digging his team out of a 3-1 N.B.A. Finals ditch, winning a Game 7 on Golden State’s floor and lifting the so-called Cleveland Curse to deliver title glory to a long-suffering city adds up to peak LeBron James.

Two short years later, in the 2018 N.B.A. playoffs, James realistically has to be better now than he was then just to get back to the finals.

That’s how deep the hole suddenly is for James and his Cleveland Cavaliers entering Saturday night’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the relentless Boston Celtics. Dragging this raggedy collection out of a 2-0 deficit to clinch the eighth straight finals appearance of James’ career, with no Kyrie Irving at his side to share the burden, would have to rank as the second-shiniest entry on his resume.

Some league observers are bound to contest that view. Drew Gooden, who was a key member of Cleveland’s 2006-07 squad that James unexpectedly hauled to the finals in just his fourth pro season, did contest it loudly when he hopped on the phone with me this week, insisting that those Cavaliers were an even longer shot to get to the title round because of their collective lack of experience.

“You can’t compare this group to ours,” Gooden said. “This group has already won a championship. We were like a deer in headlights.”

Good points from Gooden, but I’m not budging. For all it supposedly lacked in terms of know-how, that Cleveland team ranked fifth in the league in defensive efficiency. It muscled past the second-ranked Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals when LeBron, at age 23, scored the Cavaliers’ final 25 points in an unforgettable series-turning classic in Game 5.

The current Cavaliers finished 29th out of 30 teams in defensive efficiency and were outscored by 40 points over the course of seven games in a first-round series against Indiana that the math says they should have never escaped. And they’ve been shredded twice in Boston by a club that lost Gordon Hayward just 5 minutes and 15 seconds into its season opener and hasn’t had Irving in uniform since March 11.
Among James’s biggest accomplishments was in his fourth year when he dragged a not-ready-for-prime-time Cavaliers team to the 2007 N.B.A. finals. They were swept by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs.CreditJeff Haynes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

James, as a result, finds himself in an 0-2 deficit in an Eastern Conference playoff series for the first time since (gulp) 2008 — even though he’s coming off a 42-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist performance.

The results of Tuesday night’s draft lottery, on top of the February trade spree that exiled Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, means Cleveland has replaced Irving with Jordan Clarkson, George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Ante Zizic and the No. 8 overall pick (via Brooklyn) in the N.B.A. draft next month. That fivesome combined to score five points in the Cavaliers’ 107-94 defeat in Game 2.

The Other Cavaliers, as they were mockingly dubbed in a recent Saturday Night Live sketch, figure to play better in the next two games at home. But when Boston is 8-0 at home in these playoffs and 37-0 as a franchise after seizing a 2-0 lead in any series, it’s becoming a serious strain to imagine James leading Cleveland on a comeback.

Which means it’s not too early to start picturing James in another uniform.

James has offered roughly zero hints about his future plans over the past nine months, but a move to a franchise better positioned for championship contention feels even more inevitable now than it did in 2010. That’s when the Cavaliers were pounded by the Celtics in the conference semifinals, leading to James’s controversial defection to Miami.

James’s return to free agency is just 44 days away and — unless his wife and children tell him they can’t bear to leave Northern Ohio — what incentive would the native of nearby Akron have to stay with the Cavaliers beyond sentimentality?

Does James have some culpability here? Do the short-term contracts he has insisted on signing since returning to the Cavaliers in the summer of 2014 add to the immense win-now pressure and seemingly ceaseless drama that have smothered everyone involved with this franchise for four consecutive seasons? Sure.

Yet it’s most certainly not James’s fault that the team’s owner, Dan Gilbert, had a decaying relationship with the highly rated general manager David Griffin, which prompted an unforeseen parting in June 2017 — when Griffin was in the midst of trying to execute trades for the likes of Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Nor did James advise the Cavaliers to cave into Irving’s trade wishes last August and send him to Cleveland’s foremost rival in the conference when Irving still had two seasons left on his contract.

James was convinced that Cleveland should at least bring Irving to training camp to try to work out a truce and then trade him later if those efforts failed. Everyone is obviously smarter in hindsight, but regret in Cleveland over the refusal to go that route is inevitable after the failures of Thomas and Crowder to fit in, as well as the false hope spawned by the February trade spree.

It must be noted that James was initially fooled, too. He was as giddy as anyone after the Cavaliers’ first game following the acquisitions of Clarkson, Hill, Hood and Nance Jr. He reacted to Cleveland’s 22-point blitz of the Celtics in Boston by excitedly telling his teammate J.R. Smith: “We have a squad now.”

According to Smith’s version, which he relayed through the ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin at the time, James threw in an expletive for emphasis, so convinced he was that the infusion of athleticism and newness was just what Cleveland needed.

What Griffin’s successor Koby Altman was really trading for, of course, was a fully engaged LeBron. And, apart from his Game 1 clunker against the Celtics, James has never been better in the postseason — individually.

The rest, though, was a mirage.

LeBron’s rampages were barely sufficient against the Pacers and appear to be in vain against the Celtics when Al Horford is playing the most forceful two-way ball of his career. And when the irrationally confident Marcus Morris has helped limit James to 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting in their 56 head-to-head minutes. And when Boston’s savant of a coach, Brad Stevens, is getting so much out of the relative neophytes Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum while James is plagued with such intermittent help.

My personal rule when it comes to playoff prognostication is simple: You don’t pick against LeBron James when he’s facing a fellow East resident. Even when he’s halfway to elimination.

But I can’t muster the gumption to claim that James is about to lead the broken Cavaliers to four wins in next five games. Not even after three full off days to regroup and refuel.

Maybe he’s faced more dire predicaments, but never before with a cast that’s doing so little supporting.

 Source Article : www.nytimes.com

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Youth Gambling – The Addiction danger

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Problem gambling is referred to as a gambling addiction and referred to as a gambling disorder. Right from children to adults it affects people of all ages. If a person is introduced to the gambling in early ears as he grows will become a problem gambler. So this has to be considered as a serious issue, especially in teenagers this has to be halted early or else it will affect them the rest of their lives. Brains are not completely matured in early twenty’s. Children and teenagers’ brains are not fully prepared to make healthy decisions. And they will not think of the consequence in taking any decision.

It’s not the mistake of the children and it starts very innocently. Family members sit around the table and play an online casino one fine weekend with a grand dinner. The children will observe every moment of their parents, their emotions, excitements, Children when they are exposed to play games in mobile father or mothers, initially it starts with fun of picking up the coins, gradually the children will get frustrated if they couldn’t have enough coins to play further. This over a period could be a shift from fun play to money play.

This is just a start point where the children are exposed to gambling at very early age. They start observing the actions, excitement of their friends and families and they will try to replicate those. They start viewing the advertisements and start on a very small video gaming activities. Also during schools children get very much influenced by their friends. The friends form groups and influence their peers to participate in the betting .They start seeing the advertisements in TV’s ,posters, bill boards and even online and get attracted to the colourful messaging’s. These days the children are very much better in mobile using than parents.

They are getting exposed to the new online games in phones either playing for fun, fake money or real money. These online games build competition among their friends and unknown people and they continue playing the game till they cross levels or win. The moment the online games are easily accessible for children they start playing irrespective of the location weather it can be at home or even at school. Once the children get into high school they start playing without the notice of their teachers and parents. College students are independent and this is the time where they are surrounded by more new opportunities exposed to new activities and also take part in risky activities. College students either take part in gambling activities either for fun, name or money. As they never have access to money from their parents, they start doing the problem activities to earn money out of their own. It is always a good idea to play situs slot online game after knowing the basics and the tricks to win.

Finally, there has to be more efforts to be put up by the concerned of the children to get rid of the underage gambling addiction. One to one counselling by experienced trainers to be given to the problem gamblers that their life could be repaired at a very early stage. Technology should be used for the benefit of elf and others lives. It should be used in the right way. Parents also have to take the responsibility to monitor their kid in each stage of their life, at the same time giving freedom to them in their wishes and dreams.

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Sports Tips For Professional gamblers

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Sports Tips is an online sports business dedicated solely to the promotion of basketball (NBBA) for both NBA teams and other professional sports teams throughout the year offering free betting tips and picks to their subscribers all throughout the year for all matches regardless of whether they are being played or not. They also predict all the major NBA matches, reporting on all the major events including player injuries, transfer news, etc. Their tips are exclusive and you can take advantage of them to earn some money. You can start by becoming a newsletter subscriber. You will receive newsletters on a weekly basis with valuable information that you can use.

Most sports tips are fairly expensive and if you want to take advantage of them then you must have some extra bucks to throw at the sports tips. This is the common misconception that betting on sports tips makes you a millionaire overnight. However, this is not true because sports tips are like any other tips. If you follow them to the book then you will be able to make money, but in most cases to make money betting on sports tips requires a good knowledge of the game, a bit of skill and luck on your side.

In fact, sports bettors need to know a bit about sports, about individual players, teams, their playing styles, strengths and weaknesses, and other relevant factors in order to make good bets. In most cases, sports bettors rely on a single sports betting tipster to formulate their betting strategy. They base their entire choice of bets on their assessment of a bettors’ betting strategy. Betting strategy depends on many factors such as type of sports, number of bet, size of bet, betting amount, betting frequency, betting bankroll, bettors’ reputation in the sports betting world, etc.

Now that you have sports betting strategy, you need to follow it consistently in order to maximize your winnings. Most bettors will simply follow the advice of their tipsters even if they do not have a good understanding of the sports betting world. The mistake that bettors commit is that they let their emotions affect their choice of bets. For example, if a tipster says that a certain team has a very strong chance to win a game, bettors will pick the team that looks better. They will place a larger bet to complement the tipster’s strategy.

Bets with a small bankroll are often more risky because bettors have less cash at stake. Bettors with a small bankroll tend to be more emotional. Their main motivation is to increase their bankroll, even if it means losing the chance to win big. They do not really care if they lose or not. They will just do anything to increase their bankroll.

Your betting strategy sports tips should allow you to identify good teams to bet on and bad teams to avoid. It should also be flexible enough to accommodate changes in your betting options. You should look for sports betting options available online where you can place lower bets 먹튀폴리스. By doing so, you reduce the risk of dealing with bookmakers who sometimes fail to meet their commitments. You should also make sure that the tips make use of several types of betting systems.

 

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