NBA rosters remain unsettled and impactful transactions will pop up in the coming days and weeks. That said, plenty of notable deals have occurred plus the draft. That's enough for the oddsmakers of Bovada to let the masses know how they now view the 2015-16 campaign.
The changes in Washington - Paul Pierce out, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jared Dudley and Gary Neal in - didn't lead to any changes in odds for the Wizards. Bovada viewed the Wizards at 40-1 on June 17 and again in the new odds released Monday.
Currently, that puts Washington tied for fourth in the East (and 12th overall) with Indiana, Miami and Toronto. The Wizards finished fifth in the East last season and swept Toronto in the opening round of the playoffs before falling to Atlanta in the conference semifinals.
The Heat and Pacers dipped from 33-1 in June, but also note neither team made the playoffs last season due primarily to injuries. Rounding out the projected playoff spots, Milwaukee (50-1) slots eighth ahead of Boston (66-1).
That foursome tied for 12th overall. Defending Eastern Conference regular season champion Atlanta (33-1) ranks third in the East and 10th overall.
As for the top of the league, the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers (11-4) sit atop the pack. After adding top free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio (9-2) moved into a tie for second with reigning NBA champion Golden State. Oklahoma City (15-2) and Chicago (16-1) round out the top five.
As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.
Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.
"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."
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"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."
Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.
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Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.
"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.
Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.
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On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.
Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.
You can listen to the episode right here:
You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!