Basketball Betting Advice – From Hubie Brown
Almost all color commentators on basketball are former coaches or players. Yet many of them are inane and seem more intent on hyping or blasting a player, team or coach than giving the viewer some real insight as to what is going on and why.
Hubie Brown is different. An exacting taskmaster known for his full-court presses, he coached the Kentucky Colonels to an ABA championship and piloted the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks to playoff seasons.
Then he came back to bring respectability to the Grizzlies franchise before retiring due to health problems. For my money, Brown is easily one of the two or three best television analysts in all of basketball. And one that Vietbet basketball customers owe it to themselves to pay attention to.
Unlike Dick Vitale, Brown is not a hypester. he doesn’t seem intent on creating the Next Big Thing in the hoops world. And unlike any number of other ESPN guys, he doesn’t have the attitude that he has to say something profound, then winds up with nothing important to say at all.
Brown is dry, blunt, and colorless, depending on your taste. He’s also extremely informative; having been a teacher when he was a coach, he extends that to the broadcast table.
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If you listen closely, he reveals a lot of things you might want to think about in your handicapping.
For one thing, there’s this huge myth that if a team gives up 103 points a game, it is not as good defensively as a team that gives up 97 points a game. Or that offensively, scoring 105 makes a team more effective than one scoring 98. Brown points out that those figures don’t mean anything, in and of themselves. To a lesser extent, shooting percentages can be deceiving to a point as well.
Brown always emphasizes that it’s the POINT DIFFERENTIAL that matters. That sounds simple, but it probably tells you how good a team really is more than anything, especially as it relates to professional basketball, where teams play a lot of games and play them against schedules that are very similar in strength. The point differential tells you that even though a team gives up 102 points per game, that doesn’t mean it is not playing great defense, because everything is relative to the pace at which they are playing. When you’re playing at a faster pace, there is going to be an increased number of possessions. If they’re scoring eight points more than the opposition, they are indeed doing a heck of a job.
Listening to Brown some years ago, I was awakened to the fact that there is a whole different set of matchups than simply those that exist between starters on respective teams. One of those matchups involves one team’s second unit against the other’s. Coaches often give first-teamers a rest when the other team’s starters are on the bench. So there is a period of about 10-15 minutes in every game where you are going to see reserves constitute a majority of the players on the court. It helps to measure the effectiveness of bench players as a unit.
Not enough people look at free throw shooting as a major indicator as to whether a team has the capability of winning or losing a game. First, you have to get to the line. the more times a team gets to the free-throw line the greater a chance they SHOULD have to win a game. That’s because NBA players should be able to make a minimum of 70% of their free throws, while the shot attempts that produce the fouls that result in the free throws are usually less than 47%. Free throw shots are uncontested. So Brown points out that you have to get to the line, then you have to convert, and that is where a ton of games are lost or won.
Some of this sounds remedial to the sophisticated player, but there is a whole treasure trove of information you can get out of a guy like Hubie Brown. You can hear all the “super, scintillating, sensational” salutations out of commentators like Vitale. But do yourself a favor. Listen to Hubie, who does some NBA telecasts on ESPN TV and also works with ESPN Radio – and you’ll be better off in the long run.
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By Charles Jay
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