2 coaching jobs already lost this NBA season

Nov 25, 2008 5:01 PM

Bettin’ on B’ball by Andy Iskoe |

last week

The NBA season is not yet a month old and we have already seen two coaches fired following dismal starts to the 2008-09 season.

Late last week Oklahoma City fired coach P J Carlesimo following the Thunder’s 1-12 start. As we were going to press Washington fired coach Eddie Jordan after the injury depleted Wizards started 1-10.

In perhaps the best example of the "what have you done lately" environment, Jordan was fired despite leading Washington to the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. It hasn’t taken long for the Los Angeles Lakers (11-1) and Boston (13-2) to assert themselves as again the teams to beat in their respective conferences.

Cleveland (10-3) is showing itself to be a serious contender to the Celtics after fashioning an early season eight-game win streak. The streak was ended by Detroit last week but the Cavs rebounded with a solid win in their next game against Atlanta.

Road teams continue to enjoy a solid point spread edge over home teams through nearly 200 games. Road teams are 107-87-3 (55 percent) against the spread through Sunday with both favorites (30-25-2) and road underdogs (76-61-1) both showing early season profits.

 There have been early season fluctuations in totals results that saw unders dominate early and overs take control during the past two weeks. Overall for the season totals have produced a nearly even record of 99-98 for the under.

 Here’s look at three games to be played over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend:

Hawks at Raptors (Fri): Both teams made significant changes to their rosters during the offseason to improve upon last season when each made the playoffs. Early season results have been mixed. Atlanta started 6-0 but has gone 2-5 since. Toronto has fallen into last place in the Atlantic Division, going 3-7 following a 3-0 start.

Atlanta won its only meeting thus far this season, 110-92, at home as a small favorite. Toronto has played better on the road (4-3) than at home (2-4) but is in a favorable spot here to avenge that earlier loss to the Hawks. RAPTORS.

Spurs at Rockets (Sat): San Antonio has adjusted to being without Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker by winning four of its last five games following an uncharacteristic 2-5 start. The recent Spurs streak started with a huge rally to edge Houston 77-75 at home two weeks ago.

Houston leads the division at 9-5 and has also won four of its last five entering this week. When at full strength, San Antonio is arguably the better team. But at present, the Spurs are at a disadvantage versus the Rockets. Houston is well rested while the Spurs are off of a home game against Memphis on Friday night. ROCKETS.

Blazers at Pistons (Sun): Portland stands 8-6 entering the week and continues to make strides under Nate McMillan, who proved to be a solid coach earlier in Seattle. Detroit is adjusting to the trade of Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson a couple of weeks ago. Early results are mixed and the Pistons were shocked at home by lowly Minnesota this past Sunday, losing at home by 26 points.

Portland center Greg Oden is starting to contribute but will be tested by the veteran Pistons as the Blazers begin a demanding East Coast road trip. Both teams have been involved in more low-scoring games recently than at the start of the season and expect that to continue here. UNDER.