Tag Archives: NBA

2016 NBA Finals

The NBA Finals start tonight as the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. It’s not surprising that these two teams made the Finals again because throughout the season, they’ve been the best.

It’s a rematch between last season’s Conference Champions, and with two fully healthy teams, it’s sure to be quite a show. The Playoffs have been fairly uneventful in the Eastern Conference, however the Western Conference has been more of a battle.

Cleveland Cavaliers

2015-07-10-1436504282-9525293-GettyImages_464895810.jpg

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had three Finals appearances, but have never won a championship. 

This isn’t LeBron’s first rodeo. He’s had his fair share of Finals appearances and knows just how tough the Golden State Warriors are. Last season, the team was plagued with key injuries and LeBron single-handedly carried his team to the Finals, but it wasn’t enough to close out the series.

Now his team is fully healthy and well-rested, they are ready to fight for a ring. No team has given Cleveland any sort of challenge during the Playoffs as of yet and they’ve been coasting through the post-season.

Tickets for games 3 and 4 in Cleveland are starting at $378 and $519 respectively. It is important to note that these are very likely to change based on the outcomes of the first two games.

Golden State Warriors

CURRY-PROF.jpg

The Golden State Warriors could not have asked for a better season. Despite Curry suffering an ankle injury earlier in the Playoffs, the team still managed to overcome the Oklahoma City Thunder after being down three games and make it to the Finals for the second time in a row.

Steph Curry has had a phenomenal record-breaking season, and what better way to cap that off than with  back-to-back championships. He was the first player ever to receive a unanimous MVP award. His team also broke the record for the best regular season record with 73-9.

Some of Curry’s career achievements include:

  • 3x All Star
  • NBA scoring leader
  • 4x NBA three-point field goals leader
  • 3x NBA free-throw percentage leader
  • NBA steals leader
  • NBA regular season record for made three-pointers (402)
  • NBA record for most consecutive regular season games with a made three-pointer (152)
  • NBA record for most consecutive playoff games with a made three-pointer (51)
  • NBA record for most three-pointers made in a game (12 – tied with Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall)

The Warriors had their pre-sale for Game 1 yesterday afternoon and even their face value tickets were $500. This is a perfect example of what I talked about in my previous post on Oracle Arena pricing because tickets for Game 1 dropped from $610 to $448 in just 24 hours. 

Game 1 starts at 9:00pm EST on ABC, and it’s a game you won’t want to miss!

Here is the rest of the NBA Finals schedule with current estimated lowest prices according to SeatGeek (times are EST):
Game 1: June 2nd, 9:00pm – Oracle Arena ($448)

Game 2: June 5th, 5:00pm – Oracle Arena ($614)

Game 3: June 8th, 9:00pm – Quicken Loans Arena ($378)

Game 4: June 10th, 9:00pm – Quicken Loans Arena ($519)

*Game 5: June 13th, 6:00pm – Oracle Arena ($882)

*Game 6: June 16th, 9:00pm – Quicken Loans Arena ($741)

*Game 7: June 19th, 5:00pm – Oracle Arena ($1,285)

*if necessary

All games will be aired on ABC.

For more price updates, news, and tips, follow my blog and never miss a post! Also follow me on Twitter @CourtsideBroker.

Oracle Arena Ticket Pricing

This isn’t an arena review because I’ve never actually been to Oracle, but I do have some insight about how their ticket pricing works.

If your goal is to maximize profits from brokering, I would seriously avoid any event at Oracle Arena. I know you may be thinking, the Golden State Warriors are the best team in the NBA and are breaking records all around, why wouldn’t I want a piece of that?

I’ll tell you why. Oracle Arena and the Golden State Warriors are well aware that their on-court success is attracting more and more brokers and scalpers. There was recent news that the Warriors are strategically charging brokers twice as much for their tickets as everyone else. This is an issue because then those brokers will have to sell more tickets at higher prices to finance their original purchase.

When they have special “presales,” this is usually their way of getting rid of the crappy seats first at a very high price, knowing that people will buy them up without even thinking. For the first home game of the Western Conference Semifinals, the cheapest tickets were $230 during the presale. Then the day of the game, they lowered their prices to $170 for the same seats. I watched the regression of the resale ticket prices in the last three hours before the game, and they dropped 80% in that time.

This pricing strategy might eventually deter both brokers and fans because although the higher prices are justified for such a successful team, at what point to you price out everyone?

Another great example of this is the upcoming summer USA Men’s Basketball Showcase. This showcase features the best American basketball players (aka the best in the world) facing off in exhibition games against other countries. With the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics coming, this gives American fans a chance to see these players compete together. It is essentially an All-Star game. The showcase is happening in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, and Houston.

via usab.com

An event like this only happens once every four years or so, and it is great for those who don’t want to pay thousands to see these same players during All-Star Weekend. I purchased a set of tickets from two different venues, Staples Center (Los Angeles) and Oracle Arena (Oakland). Both of these games are happening in the same week in July, on a weekday, and against the same opponent (China). However, the prices for these events were very different. The cheapest tickets for this event at the Staples Center were $65 while at Oracle, the cheapest tickets were $95. 

How is this price justified? The same players are playing at both venues, so there is no difference in super-star value. The event is also not tied to the Warriors or the NBA because USA Basketball is its own national governing body. This all comes back to Oracle’s pricing model and attempt to deter brokers. In the future, I will avoid Oracle Arena event tickets, unless I actually plan on attending.

For more price reports, tips, and news about tickets, follow my blog and never miss an update!

2016 Playoff Push – West

With less than one week left of the NBA regular season, playoff spots are starting to be finalized. Compared to the Eastern Conference, the West is a much tighter race. Here’s what the playoff seeding in the Western Conference looks like so far:

  1. Golden State Warriors* (70-9)
  2. San Antonio Spurs* (65-14)
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder* (54-25)
  4. Los Angeles Clippers* (51-28)
  5. Portland Trail Blazers* (43-37)
  6. Memphis Grizzlies* (42-37)
  7. Dallas Mavericks (41-38)
  8. Utah Jazz (39-40)

  9. Houston Rockets (38-41)

*=clinched

The Houston Rockets can potentially make the playoffs if they win the rest of their games, so there is still some hope for them.

 Golden State Warriors

via hypebeast.com

The Warriors (70-9)  are three games away from beating the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls record of (72-10). They are on track to capping off their historic season with the new record and cannot lose any of their remaining three games if they hope to do so. Their last three games are against Memphis (twice) and one more vs San Antonio. However despite being so close to breaking it, head coach Steve Kerr is said to not be focused on that, and will instead be resting his best players before the playoffs.

Golden State has already secured the top seed along with home-court advantage for the first two games and will most likely be playing Utah in the first round, unless Houston can find a way to make the playoffs and take the 8th seed.

Los Angeles Clippers

via clipperblog.com

The Clippers are notorious for making the playoffs, but never advancing past the Western Conference Finals. Blake Griffin was out for 45 games after being suspended for punching a team equipment manager and then breaking his shooting hand. The suspension was for five games without pay, which began when Griffin was cleared to play and was considered active.

According to ESPN.com, Griffin will lose $859,442 from his season salary of $18,907,725. The Clippers will donate Griffin’s salary from the five games to charities that help disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles, and Griffin will also be donating his time to the organizations.

Here’s the video for his press conference where he addresses the 45-game hiatus.

Griffin’s absence was a significant hit for the Clippers because he is still very rusty since returning and this is a crucial time for the team as the playoffs get closer.

Los Angeles Lakers

Now I know that the Lakers are nowhere near playoff contention (16-63), but I thought it was worth talking about Kobe Bryant’s last game. Currently, the cheapest ticket for Kobe’s last game on April 13th vs Utah at the Staples Center is $806 according to SeatGeek. 

And if you thought that was absurd, check out the newest items in the Kobe Bryant 24 Collection on NBAStore.com.

Los Angeles Lakers Limited Edition Kobe Bryant 18 Karat Gold Fitted Cap
Los Angeles Lakers Limited Edition Kobe Bryant 18 Karat Gold Fitted Cap – $38,248.08

There are only two of these hats left of the eight total that were produced. Also this price is almost equivalent to my college tuition. The saddest part about this is that people are actually buying these things.

Check out my post about the Eastern Conference if you haven’t seen it. For more updates and news about ticket prices, follow my blog and never miss a post! I’ll also be posting about playoff tickets soon. Got questions? Email me courtsidebroker@gmail.com and I might make a post about it!

2016 Playoff Push – East

There is officially one week left of the NBA regular season. This is the current seeding for the Eastern Conference:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers* (56-22)
  2. Toronto Raptors* (52-25)
  3. Atlanta Hawks* (46-32)
  4. Boston Celtics* (45-32)
  5. Miami Heat* (45-32)
  6. Charlotte Hornets* (44-33)
  7. Indiana Pacers (41-36)
  8. Detroit Pistons (41-37)

  9. Chicago Bulls (39-39)

* = clinched

The most interesting part about this seeding is how much it has changed over the last few weeks. Every team except Cleveland and Toronto has been moving up and down the ranks and with only one week left of games, this is a critical time for everyone below 2nd place.

Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks

via crowdalbum.com

 

Coming off of a first round sweep last season against Cleveland, the Celtics have improved their record and currently hold the 4th seed. They have five regular season games left against the Pelicans, Bucks, Hornets, Hawks, and Heat. Their record is currently tied with Miami and if both Miami and Boston win tonight and tomorrow, they will both be tied with Atlanta for the 3rd seed.

Best Case Scenario for Boston:

The best case scenario for the Celtics is to try and take the 3rd seed spot from Atlanta and here’s why:

  • If Boston takes the 3rd seed from Atlanta:
    • They would play Charlotte in the first round instead of Miami
    • Boston is (2-0) vs Charlotte
    • The Hawks would then be playing Miami in the first round
  • Boston can potentially avoid playing Atlanta in the second round because:
    • Boston is (1-2) vs Atlanta
    • Miami can potentially eliminate Atlanta in the first round
    • Atlanta is (1-3) vs Miami
  • Boston would avoid Cleveland in the second round
    • Boston is (2-0) vs Miami
    • Boston is (1-2) vs Cleveland
    • Miami is (2-1) vs Cleveland
    • Celtics and Heat could go to the ECF

If the Celtics can avoid Atlanta and Cleveland at all costs, this would be the best case scenario. Miami is better against the Hawks and can potentially knock them out, and the Celtics have a better chance of beating Miami over Atlanta. Based on their remaining schedule, I think it’s very possible for the Celtics to do.

 

Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls

Tomorrow’s Heat vs Bulls game is a big deal for both teams. Chicago (9th) is two games behind Detroit (8th), so every game is a must-win for them if they hope to even make the playoffs. Miami is still trying to move up in the playoff ranks, so every game matters for them as well. Both of these teams have been plagued with injuries this season and have struggled because of that. Dwyane Wade just got back into the lineup after being out with neck and back injuries and Hassan Whiteside is a day-to-day after taking a hit to the thigh on Tuesday against the Pistons. As for Chicago, Taj Gibson is still out with a rib injury and E’Twaun Moore is day-to-day with a hamstring injury.

via foxsports.com

Cleveland Cavaliers

While we’re on the topic of injuries, Cleveland can definitely relate. Last season, the Cavaliers lost Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving due to injuries in the first round against Boston. LeBron James carried the team to the Finals, but we all know how well that ended. Kyrie Irving was just put back into the lineup again after suffering a sprained ankle, so the Cavaliers will be going into the playoffs with a full, healthy roster.

Check out my analysis of the Western Conference and follow my blog for more news, playoff ticket price reports, and tips on selling your NBA tickets!

 

 

(3/19) Top Upcoming NBA Games

This upcoming week features a few key matchups starting with tonight’s rematch between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs. This is without a doubt the most expensive game of the week and both of these teams are undefeated at home. They are also the top two teams with the best records in the NBA. Resale tickets for this game start at $270 if you plan on going to the AT&T Center. 

Here are some other upcoming price reports:

3/21 – Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat

Now this one is surprising. Normally LeBron’s return to Miami/matchup with Dwyane Wade is highly anticipated, yet the ticket prices start at just $100. This may seem like a lot, but when you consider that this is a game full of top superstars, it’s actually a decent value. Miami is currently fighting it’s way up the Eastern Conference Playoff seeding and for now, the Cavaliers are sitting pretty at the top seed. If you do want tickets to this game however, I would act fast because the price went up by 10% as I was writing this.

i.jpg
via sbnation.com


Lakers (aka Kobe Bryant tickets)

I don’t even like to call them Lakers tickets anymore, because they are honestly just Kobe Bryant tickets. They will consistently have some of the most expensive tickets in the NBA until the end of the season. The average LOWEST ticket price for the “Lakers'” next four games both home and away is $144. Granted three of the four games are at the Staples Center, the prices still aren’t very justifiable.

0122kobe.jpg

To put into perspective how ridiculous these prices are, here are the teams Kobe will play this week: Phoenix Suns (TWICE), Denver Nuggets, and Memphis Grizzlies. I guess that doesn’t matter though, since no one cares who wins these games anyway. At least Memphis is a playoff contender.

Golden State Warriors

Now I know I already talked about a Warriors game, but they still have other top games (as far as price) for the upcoming week. The average LOWEST price for Warriors tickets both home and away for this week is $188! This is only $44 more than the Lakers ticket average, but at least the Warriors are the best team in the league, so there’s some justification for that. This week the Warriors will play the Dallas Mavericks twice, Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs away, and the Clippers at home.

3/23 Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Clippers

Besides the Spurs, the Clippers are another key game for the Warriors. This matchup always makes for a great rivalry that usually involves a few technicals here and there. However, the Warriors have nothing to worry about since they’re already set until the playoffs.

espnapi_r28086_576x324_16-9_wmain.jpg

Cheapest/Best Value

By far, the cheapest game of the week is taking place in Indianapolis. Tickets for the Indiana Pacers vs Philadelphia Sixers game start at just $3! They are practically giving away tickets for this game, but realistically, no one wants to see a 7th seed team play the absolute worst team in the NBA. These prices are not much of a surprise, but they should still pay people for the transportation to the game and provide free food vouchers.

Follow my blog for weekly price updates as well as news affecting ticket prices. You can also follow me on Twitter @CourtsideBroker or like this blog on Facebook in the sidebar (or at the bottom of this post on mobile).

76ers Arena Experience

So I decided to start reviewing the arenas that I visit in order to give those who have never been to a game a better idea of the experience and what to expect.

I went to Philadelphia last night for a Sixers Networking Event. The event also included tickets to the game vs Houston. This was my first time at the Wells Fargo Center and considering the Sixers are the worst team in the NBA, I wanted to see how they kept the fans engaged. I’ve broken down my main observations.

Location

The arena is located in the heart of all Philadelphia sports. The Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles) and Citizens Bank Park (Phillies) all shared the same parking lot as the Wells Fargo Center (Sixers/Flyers). This is awesome if you’re a Philadelphia sports fan because you can see all of your teams in one place.

68455602.jpg

Food

Obviously most arena food is ridiculously overpriced and the Wells Fargo Center was no exception. However, what I did like was that they had a map with all of the food options and locations, making it easier for everyone to find what they want instead of wandering aimlessly. In addition, they have a gluten free stand for those who need it.

140401_map_new2

Arena Features

I thought this was a really cool feature from StubHub.

3691ab54-797d-4927-a607-bc310b7243f9

You can make your own commemorative tickets with a photo booth right in the arena! This makes for a nice personalized souvenir.
stubhub-ss3.png

In-Game Entertainment

The Sixers’ entertainment was nothing spectacular or unique from what other teams do. The dancers danced and shot t-shirts at every section except mine (as per usual), and they had a dunk team and mascot.

What did stand out though was Allen Iverson’s appearance. After the Sixers’ starting lineup was announced, they added the Georgetown guard’s name at the end as if he was about to step out on the court, and the crowd went wild.

Sixers vs. Celtics

Recommendations 

I would recommend buying your tickets online through resale because those will likely be cheaper than what you will get at the box office, however the box office is still a popular choice. Parking for the arena was $20, which isn’t as absurd as other arenas I’ve gone to.

Another thing I noted was that since the Sixers are very affordable as far as NBA games go, it attracts a lot more families and children. I think there were more children than adults sitting in my section. It’s nice that the low price provides an inexpensive way for families to enjoy professional sports. Of course, the price is always based on their opponent, so some games will be cheaper than others.

Final Thoughts

Despite their lack of success on the court, the fans in the arena were still loud and supportive of their team. These are some of the most dedicated fans in sports and even though the game was no where near sold out, the few that were in attendance made their presence known. As a sports fan, I have to appreciate that kind of commitment to a team that has not seen the playoffs in four years.

As far as the game itself… the Rockets beat the Sixers 118-104, however the Sixers dunked on Houston more times than I can remember, so there’s that.

 

 

NBA All Star Weekend Toronto 2016

Last weekend was full of action as NBA All Star weekend took over Toronto in a star-studded, history-making, record breaking event. The Toronto Raptors global ambassador also made his presence known in the city by using the hype around the weekend to promote his upcoming album Views from the Six.

drake-attends-the-2016-nba-allstar-game-at-air-canada-centre
Drake at the All Star game wearing a jacket honoring Kobe Bryant. Via fuse.tv

Even though he didn’t perform, the weekend was still The Drake Show. And who could blame him? This was the first time in history that the All Star game was held in Toronto, and the city did not disappoint! Drake was involved in all the festivities. He coached the Celebrity All Star game Friday night against Kevin Hart, he got plenty of shout outs and had his music featured before dunks on Saturday night, and he greeted each All Star as they were introduced on Sunday before the game. He even received the key to the city from Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Tickets for the All Star Game started at around $1,500 when they were first released and All Star Saturday Night started at $630. If you were lucky enough to attend either of these events, you witnessed history in the making.

The Three-Point Contest featured incredible talent and Klay Thompson took the trophy from his teammate and reigning champ/MVP Steph Curry with a near perfect performance.

The always highly anticipated dunk contest started with relatively underwhelming performances. The crowd wasn’t really into it until reigning champ Zach LaVine went to defend his title. There were really only two players competing in this contest and Aaron Gordon gave Zach LaVine a run for his money as the two battled it out in an unprecedented three sudden death championship rounds. The judges kept awarding perfect scores and the crowd was loving every second of it.

 

This weekend is unique to other All Star games because many want to be there or watch it on TV. The NFL Pro Bowl showcases whoever decides to show up and no one really cares what happens. Tom Brady rejected a free trip to Hawaii because he just didn’t want to go. The Pro Bowl comes and goes, and despite the popularity of the NFL, the event never seems to capture much interest.

At NBA All Star weekend however, all players were present and even those who weren’t invited to participate still came out to be part of the show and experience the excitement firsthand. Not to mention this was in Toronto where the weather was about -24 degrees F with windchill. According to NBA.com, the events drew around 7.6 million viewers from around the world as well as plenty of high profile celebrities.

The NBA does what other leagues fail to achieve when it comes to All Star games. It’s not just an exhibition game, it’s a whole weekend-long event. They make the host city the hottest place to be, not only for basketball reasons, but for charity events, celebrity appearances, and exclusive parties.

This year’s game was extra special because Kobe Bryant got a tribute from players who came before and after him in an emotional video highlighting his career. His 18th and final All Star appearance was a fun and memorable night with nothing but respect toward the veteran guard. I can easily say this was one of the best All Star weekends I have ever seen and the bar has been set even higher for future years.

920x920

The All Star game itself of course featured zero defense, ridiculously high scoring, and plenty of showboating. The final score was 196 West, 173 East and they broke the record for most points scored in a game. Russell Westbrook took the MVP trophy for a second consecutive year and Kobe received a roaring ovation as he exited the game.

Next year, All Star weekend is set to be in Charlotte, NC and we can probably expect an appearance from Cam Newton and his teammates sitting courtside.