Category Archives: NBA

What you might have missed?

The past weekend has been crazy. Rumors are swirling in the NBA, Super Bowl Media week started, two tennis legends are back on the mountain top, and the NHL and NFL all star game ensued.

NBA

BASKET-GBR-USA-NBA-MILWAUKEE-NY : News Photo

Rumors continue to swirl about Carmelo Anthony, but just how true are they? Well…unfortunately, for Anthony, it looked like his stock is way down and the Knicks are looking to get rid of him for next to nothing for the caliber of player he is. The Clippers, Celtics, and Cavaliers have been linked as potential suitors for Melo. The Celtics have come out and said they weren’t interested, but they might be interested in being the third team  in a deal to help the Knicks and Clippers complete a trade. The stumbling Cavs are likely out as well as the combination of Lebron, Kyrie, and Melo would probably sour in Cleveland very quickly.

Chicago Bulls - Miami Heat : News Photo

The rumor mill is also firing up with Jimmy Butler’s name in the center of it. Rajon Rondo’s comments about the Bulls on his Instagram page didn’t go unnoticed. Tempers are flaring and what was thought to be a contender in the East, has fallen a long way off. NBA analysts have talked about the Bulls calling the Celtics in regards to a trade between the two teams involving Butler.

NHL

2017 Honda NHL All-Star Tournament Final - Pacific vs. Metropolitan : News Photo

The NHL All star skills competition and game took place this weekend in Los Angeles. The Atlantic came out on top in the skills competition with 9 points, but the highlight of the night was when Ryan Kesler’s son took part in the final shootout competition. Kesler’s son took the puck down the ice and dangled Montreal goalie Carey Price and slid the puck 5-hole, then followed it with an even better celebration.

The All Star game took place Sunday afternoon in the new 3v3 format. The Metropolitan division took the crown with a 10-6 victory against the Atlantic, with Wayne Simmonds getting the MVP award.

Tennis

Embed from Getty Images

 

Roger Federer and Serena Williams made history this weekend in Australia taking home the men’s and women’s title in the Austalian open, the first major championship of the year.

Roger won his 5th Aussie open title and 18th major championship overall, the most in the open era. Federer took on his longtime rival Rafael Nadal and took him down in an epic 5 set match.

Embed from Getty Images

Serena Williams cruised through the competition winning her 7th Aussie Open title and her 23rd major championship overall, a record in the open era. Williams took on her sister Venus for the first time in a final since 2009. Serena coasted to a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

NFL

Pro Bowl : News Photo

The NFL held their first skills competition since the mid 2000’s and it was an extreme waste of time. If you didn’t watch it, you did not miss out. The Pro Bowl however was a much more entertaining game with the AFC edging out a victory 20-13. It was a rare defensive battle where there was multiple turnovers and somewhat entertaining football, something we have not seen a lot from in past Pro Bowls.

NFL: JAN 30 Super Bowl Opening Night - Patriots : News Photo

On top of the Pro Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots made their way to Houston. Media week is under way and the rest of our NFL coverage including predictions will be posted later this week so be on the look out!

Advertisements

Wizards Wear All Black vs. Celtics, Avoid Embarrassment By Actually Winning

If you were to rate the NBA’s most heated rivalries, Celtics/Wizards would not be very high on the list. As a matter of fact, many people might not have even realized that the two teams have any sort of beef with each other, but the Wizards set us straight on that last night.

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 8.19.45 AM.png

The Wizards showed up to the Verizon Center in all black for last night’s game against the Celtics, presumably to show them that they weren’t f***ing around this time.

It was the third time the two teams would face off this season. In the first game, John Wall got into a spat with Marcus Smart, and Jae Crowder did the only logical thing to respond- touch John Wall’s nose (yeah, we don’t know either).

Due to the heated nature of the first two games, the Wizards must’ve felt like they needed to channel their inner Oakland Raiders and wear all black to set the tone:

Second only to predicting a championship and not winning one, nothing is an all-in risk like wearing all black for intimidation and getting beat down at home, so the Wizards immediately raised their stakes in this mid-season match up.

As for the Celtics in this situation? They entered last night’s action with a 26-17 record, tied for second in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors. Toronto has been free-falling lately, however, dropping four games in a row to the 76ers, Hornets, Suns and Spurs.

Before the game, a reporter showed Isaiah Thomas the videos above, to which Thomas simply replied “that’s cute”.

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 8.21.53 AM.png

Thomas would go on to lead the Celtics with 25 points and 13 assists, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome a combined 58 points from Bradley Beal and John Wall; the Wizards would go on to win 123-108.

Despite the loss, the Celtics find themselves in a very favorable position in the Eastern Conference. If the Raptors continue to slide, the Celtics have a wide-open lane to second place in the east. On top of this, five out of the Celtics’ next six games will be home at the TD Garden. This includes a pivotal game against the Raptors next Wednesday that could push them to the top of the division with a win.

 

NBA All Stars: Who should the starters be?

The NBA All star voting concluded on Monday leaving some people with questions as to how legitimate the voting system has become in the NBA. Golden State Warriors Center Zaza Pachulia has racked up enough votes to possibly become the Western Conference stater at the 5 position. Over 21 million votes have been cast in this years voting, which is a 142% increase from last years game. The starters are determined by voting that is combined from the fans (50%), players (25%), and the media (25%). The starters for the All Star game will be chosen tonight on TNT on a special edition of NBA tip off. We pick who SHOULD start the game.

Eastern conference:

Guards:

NBA: DEC 23 Knicks at Cavaliers : News Photo

Kyrie Irving

Irving is averaging 23.6 points per game along with 5.6 assists. During the season, Irving has put Lebron in the backseat for some clutch moments including the dagger on Christmas day against Golden State. One of the best young players in the game, Irving is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 6.03.14 PM.png

 

Isaiah Thomas

Thomas is averaging 28.7 points per game combined with 6 assists. This season, Isaiah has put the team on his back which has garnered him the nickname “King of the Fourth”. Thomas has taken over games time and time again averaging the most points in the 4th quarter in the NBA.

Frontcourt:

Washington Wizards vs Cleveland Cavaliers : News Photo

Lebron James

James is obviously a shoe in to be an all star because he is the BEST player in the league, no questions asked. James is averaging 25.6 points, 8.1 assist, and 7.8 rebounds per game. James can do anything on a basketball court, he has great court vision and superior athletic ability making him the most dangerous player in the game.

Milwaukee Bucks v New York Knicks : News Photo

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak jumped onto the scene last year with some impressive highlights, but this season he has really turned into a fantastic player. Giannis is averaging 23.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 8.7 rebounds per game. He has shown is freakish athleticism time and time again this year with highlight reel dunks. The 22 year old has a very bright future.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 6.01.16 PM.png

Joel Embiid

Embiid is the first draft pick to somewhat look like he is going to pan out like they planned. Embiid is leading the Sixers, averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. “The Process” is dominating the game down low.

Western Conference:

Guards:

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 6.06.07 PM.png

James Harden

Harden is my favorite for MVP right now. He’s taken an average Rockets team and made them one of the best teams in the league. Harden is averaging 28.9 points, 11.6 assists, and 8.3 rebounds per game. The former backup to Russell Westbrook has moved past him for best point guard in the Western Conference. Harden controls the game and limits his turnovers making everyone around him better.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 6.07.07 PM.png

Russell Westbrook

There are really no words to explain what Russell Westbrook is doing to the league this year. Although his turnover numbers could be much better, you can’t ignore his stats, 30.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.6 rebounds per game. Averaging a triple double has been damn near impossible in the NBA. But if he continues down this road, it could go down as one of the best statistical season ever.

Frontcourt:

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 6.08.29 PM.png

Kevin Durant

Durant has received a lot of hate for he offseason move to the Warriors. It has not gone as well as some people imagined, but Durant’s play has been consistent as he had a 40 point outburst last night against his former team in the Oracle. On a team with a ton of scorers, Durant is still averaging 26.7 points per game on top of 4.7 assists and 8.6 rebounds.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 6.09.14 PM.png

Kawhi Leonard

Arguably one of the most underrated players in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard has become THE guy in San Antonio. He is the complete package, an excellent defender, paired with ability to score at will. Leonard has become a top tier player in the West. His stats aren’t indicative of how important he is to the team, with 24.8 points, 3.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 6.10.27 PM.png

Anthony Davis

Davis is a premier player in the NBA. He is the best center in the NBA and is carrying an awful team down in New Orleans. Davis is averaging 28.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. If you could start your franchise with one player, this guy has to be close to the top of the list because he is a fantastic talent in the NBA.

Tune in to NBA Tip off on TNT tonight to see which players receive the honor of starting in this year’s All Star game.

 

We Should Be Worried About Derrick Rose

The life of a star professional athlete is everyone’s dream. All the money you could ever need, a city that loves you, and a legacy that will long outlast you. This storybook career only happens for a select few players, but there’s another group that we don’t often talk about.

For every legend, there’s a guy who never quite made it. Someone who tasted the success, had it all, and couldn’t seal the deal. In the NFL, we see this on all sorts of levels. Johnny Manziel never even really got to taste professional success. Vince Young had several good seasons just to end his career on a practice squad. Jay Cutler has basically been turned into Chicago’s punching bag. Granted, these guys still got rich, but the psychological toll of seeing your name in lights right in front of you just to have it stripped away in an in inglorious swipe isn’t something that should be overlooked.

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 5.55.55 PM.png

On Monday, Derrick Rose went MIA for the New York Knicks as they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 110-96. It was a bizzare evening as media outlets and team officials did their best to track down the former league MVP, who had returned to his hometown of Chicago to attend to “a family issue regarding his mother.”

The absence came after a particularly tense period in the relationship between Rose and Knicks’ coach Jeff Hornacek. Rose, who failed to notify any teammates or team officials of his absence prior to leaving, had been benched in the fourth quater of back-to-back games. His actions were unacceptable, but the complex range of emotions beneath them are deeply concerning.

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 5.57.27 PM.png

Back in 2011, Derrick Rose had it all. He had just been named NBA MVP, he was averaging 25 PPG, and he was doing it all in his beloved hometown of Chicago. It seemed like he was destined to become one of the NBA’s next superstars. Rose started off the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season with high hopes to build off his MVP year and take the Bulls deeper into the playoffs. Beginning in January, however, Rose was forced to miss games with injury after injury, ranging from a sprained toe to back spasms. At the time, Rose told reporters, “For someone to not miss more than seven, 10 games in a year (my first three seasons), to miss 20 something, 30 something games, it hurts, man.”

Despite Rose being sidelined most of the regular season, the Bulls were able to secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference, setting up a quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Rose was able to get healthy before the series began, so he was ready to lead the Bulls on a playoff run. Fate wouldn’t have it that way. Midway through the game, Rose suffered an injury while landing after a jump. After an MRI, it was revealed that Rose tore his ACL. The news hit everyone around the league hard, and the fairytale career that Rose had worked so hard to obtain was falling apart around him.

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 5.58.49 PM.png

Rose would go on to miss the entire 2012-13 season, and played in 10 games the following year before tearing the meniscus in his right knee, an injury that sidelined him the rest of the season. In his final two seasons in Chicago, rose missed a combined 47 games and it was becoming apparent that Jimmy Butler was taking over as leader of the team. Before the 2016-17 season, Rose was sent off to the New York Knicks along with Joakim Noah.

Rose’s trade to the Knicks was seen by many as an opportunity for a fresh start. Rose would no longer be asked to shoulder the burdens of being an NBA superstar, but rather be a good player on, well, a bad team. From the outside, it hasn’t seemed to us like things have been going that bad for D-Rose. Sure, the Knicks suck, but he’s averaging decent numbers and he seems to get along with teammates, so what’s there to worry about? Well, the struggles between Hornacek and Rose had certainly drawn more attention to Rose’s unhappiness, but Monday’s disappearance has now made it headline news. This was no mistake. Rose wanted it that way. Why else wouldn’t he tell anybody? Did he think nobody would notice a professional athlete dipping out on game night?

More than anything, this is a cry for attention, and maybe a cry for help. He told the media he was taking care of his mother. ProBasketballTalk is reporting that he “talked about walking away from basketball.” The same source also reported that Rose will seek a max contract this summer. Derrick Rose is not in a stable place right now. Rumors are swirling all around him, often contradicting one another. After all this chaos, it’s hard to see a scenario in which he stays put happily in a Knicks uniform, but furthermore, it’s unclear if Rose has been happy since his MVP season.

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 6.00.33 PM.png

When you look back on what’s happened to Rose since that year, you realize that he’s been through the ringer. After his second severe injury, he was basically turned into a meme. He had a promising young career with his hometown team, and his own body took it away from him. He started off 2016 by saying he’d like to finish his career with the Bulls, and ended it on an unfamiliar team with a coach he’s less than enthusiastic about. Monday’s absence wasn’t just strange and quite frankly unexplained, it was a sign that the former MVP’s mind is focusing far beyond his teammates and is questioning his current place in life altogether. He didn’t skip out on the game because he was mad at Hornacek. Rather, the feud forced him to look in the mirror to question if he was truly happy where he was, and the only place he felt he could find that answer was home in Chicago where it all started.

It’s unclear where Rose goes from here, but it’s had to see this situation dissolving anytime soon. In the meantime, we should all be paying attention.

 

 

Wild Card Wisdom

Wild card weekend is finally here ladies and germs, and it could not come soon enough. Before we get this thing started, go Clemson. I bleed orange and purple and I should probably see a doctor because I have been losing sleep all week about a game that is not until Monday, but I digress, as usual. But back to the NFL since that is why you are reading this, you want to know my expert opinion on all 4 games this weekend. I am a perfect 256-0 on my predictions this year, so let me tell you who is going to win this weekend, when it really counts.

Embed from Getty Images

Wild Card Saturday Houston Texans Toilet Bowl (Oakland @ Houston):

If you don’t have chills down your spine thinking about this game then you aren’t even a football fan and I hate you for that. If there’s one game to watch this weekend it is absolutely this matchup between the AFC South Champion Houston Texans and the number 5 seed Oakland Raiders. So we all know that if the Raiders have Derek Carr under center they are the heavy favorite and even a contender for the Super Bowl, but he is no longer. Carr goes down with a broken leg and now Connor Cook is tasked with leading the Raiders into the hostile, JJ Watt-less NRG Stadium. The Texans are starting a $72 million back up, Brock Osweiler. Brock gets paid, Brock plays like crap, Tom Savage gets hurt, Brock gets put back in, what a year. The AFC South is a joke. Kenan I am pretty sure you owe me something like $200 because you said Tennessee was going to be a wild card team. Think about that, you actually thought two AFC South teams were going to make the playoffs, TWO!!! Anyways, the Raiders are going to win because their defense is going to actually eat Mr. Osweiler. Raiders 24-6.

Embed from Getty Images

Legion of Doom (Detroit @ Seattle):

Matt Stafford is going to lead the Detroit Lions into Seattle on Saturday night and put up numbers that have never been put up against the Seahawks. Stafford is lucky to finally have a running game that he can rely on slightly with Zach Zenner running absolutely wild the last few weeks. Call this one a hunch, I think its Detroit’s year to steal a playoff win. They have a sound defense to contain Russell Wilson, so I think they will get a huge victory to set up a big rematch against the Cowboys in Big D next weekend. Lions 31-21.

Embed from Getty Images

Dolphinished (Miami @ Pittsburgh):

This one just kind of scares me. No way Miami wins this game. Matt Moore gets to play in the playoffs after Ryan Tannehill finally silenced the critics and lead the Dolphins to the playoffs. I am a Tannehill guy, I think he has potential to be very elite someday, but then he goes and gets purposefully hurt so he can always say he never got his shot in the playoffs, he knows they won’t win this game. Now to the Steelers, they are the Patriots biggest threat this postseason, on the AFC side of the bracket. Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown are a terrifying trio. I hate Bell with all my guts, but he can ball like crazy. The Steel Curtain is no more, as their defense is nothing to reckon with so hopefully Brady will be able to pick them apart in the AFC Championship game. Steelers 42-17.

Embed from Getty Images

Cheeseheads vs Addiheads (New York Giants @ Green Bay):

Everyone is making a big deal about Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz running off to Miami to party on a yacht and while drugs are present, but I say let them. I hate the Giants, and not because they beat the Pats in two Super Bowls. I actually don’t really mind Eli at all, it is 100% Odell’s fault for my hate of the G-Men. I say let them go party in Miami the week before a playoff game, all the more advantage for the opponent. That opponent is Green Bay, and they are hot right now. They had to finish undefeated to make the playoffs and they did just that. Aaron Rodgers is balling out of control right now, and he gets to play in front of an animated Lambeau crowd, Packers by a million.

Good luck to all the teams this weekend, may everyone have fun and no one get seriously hurt.

Joel Embiid Needs Your All-Star Vote… So He Can Date Rihanna

Joel Embiid has been raining in buckets so fast this season that you might need an umbrella around him. He makes fans want to stomp on the replay with his highlight reel moves. He really has been putting in some work, work, work, work, work.

Yes, Joel Embiid has shined bright like a diamond so far this season, and his play has garnered him some all-star attention. Fans account for half of the vote in this year’s contest, and Embiid is making an impressive push toward a roster spot. A selection would make Embiid the 46th rookie to achieve All-Star status, but that’s not what is on the 7-footer’s mind.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 3.04.00 PM.png

Back in June 2014, Embiid reached out to well-known recording artist Rihanna on Twitter to confess his love and ask her on a date. It isn’t extremely clear how Rihanna responded, but we do know that she didn’t respond with a date. Poor Joel spent the next few years riding the Sixers bench while recovering from a lengthy foot injury, missing two full seasons while the 76ers sat at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Now, however, Embiid is bouncing back. He is currently the best player on the 76ers (some would say he runs this town), and he’s been getting some serious consideration to represent to the Eastern Conference in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 3.05.33 PM.png

Embiid’s solid start to his rookie campaign has gained him a lot of media attention, with a lot of it focusing on his chances for Rookie of the Year. This honor, however would not be enough for his quest.

“Rookie of the year would be great, but I don’t think it’s going to help me get to my crush. Hopefully, the All-Star Game I’ll get to do that.”

In order to help make a push for All-Star status, Embiid has been pulling out all the stops. Last night, he turned his attention to one of our nation’s more gullible audiences- Trump supporters.

Embiid, who might be the most social-media savvy athlete in Philly sports history, threw up a tweet that seemingly shows Donald Trump’s endorsement for his All-Star bid:

wjw

This isn’t the first time a run-of-the-mill NBA player has tried going after Rihanna. Back in 2015, Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes (then with the Memphis Grizzlies) made Rihanna his #WCW on Instagram and told reporters their relationship was “just past the crush stage.” Embiid seems to be playing the underdog role off a lot better than Barnes, who just kind of creepily lied about dating her.

It would definitely be the biggest upset of the year if Embiid gets enough votes to earn a spot in the All-Star game and go on a date with Rihanna. If anyone thought 2016 was a strange year, 2017 could be off to a hot start very soon if Embiid can turn his fantasy into reality.

 

 

George Karl, Eat a Snickers. You Get A Little Angry When You’re Hungry.

George Karl doesn’t seem to be feeling the holiday spirit this year.

We often hear people talk about how professional athletes need to think before they press “send”. George Karl needed to think before he wrote an entire book.

In his new memoir, Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs and Poor Shot Selection, Karl calls out just about everyone and everything he’s encountered throughout his lengthy career. Among other things, Karl criticizes former players, officiating, and the prospect of the league favoring certain teams over others.

Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 3.53.55 PM.png

George Karl has never been the type to sugarcoat how he feels. His struggles to connect with players in the locker room have been documented for years, and they came to a head last season when he was driven out of Sacramento by DeMarcus Cousins. That’s not to say this made Karl a bad coach, but he seems to be misguided on where exactly the “diva” trait was coming from throughout his coaching career. George Karl is the epitome of a “diva” coach. He’s Gregg Popovich without the people skills. He won a lot of games, but he also burned a lot of bridges and if we’re being honest, there’s a reason why he never won an NBA title in his 40 years of coaching.

Furious George is an accurate nickname for Karl, but it isn’t one he should be proud of. Anger is a good trait in an NBA coach in certain dosages. Hate is not. Karl’s fury seems to stem more from the latter. More so, Karl fails to acknowledge his own potential shortcomings and instead concludes that those around him were insufficient because of theirs. For example, he chalks up Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony’s behavior as a byproduct of “all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man.” Karl couldn’t be more out of touch with that statement.

Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 3.55.05 PM.png

First of all, as an NBA head coach, shouldn’t you be at least attempting to fill that role to a degree? A common thread between all great coaches is that they can yell your ear off on the court but somehow manage to treat you like family off it. That doesn’t always mean love, and in Karl’s case, tough love could have worked just fine. Instead, he uses his players’ tough upbringings as a scapegoat for his own failure to connect with them on a personal level. It’s eerily similar to the problems Chip Kelly had relating to his players in Philadelphia. The coach thinks they are the mastermind, and they adopt a “my way or the highway” philosophy. That might work in college, but not in the pros. It especially doesn’t work when you’re too ignorant to properly connect with your players.

Perhaps even more concerning than Karl’s assessment of his former players is his comments about officiating and NBA conspiracies. For starters, Karl says that he believes PEDs are running rampant through the league.

“I’m talking about performance-enhancing drugs–like steroids, human growth hormone, and so on. It’s obvious some of our players are doping. How are some guys getting older–yet thinner and fitter?” Karl said. “How are they recovering from injuries so fast? Why the hell are they going to Germany in the off-season? I doubt it’s for the sauerkraut.”

This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were coming from an anonymous source, but this is one of the winningest coaches in NBA history claiming that players are going to Europe in the offseason to take performance enhancing drugs. Karl needs to understand that you can’t just wave around accusations like this when you’re in the position he is. Not only does he fail to mention any names, he doesn’t provide us with any sort of credible sources that this is happening.

Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 3.57.51 PM.png

In addition to his PED theory, Karl also says that he is suspicious of the league rigging the outcome of games. In an interview for New York Magazine, Karl says “the NBA is a multi-billion-dollar business and has a financial interest in certain teams and players doing well. Do I know the league tries anything funny? No. But things are suspicious.” This kind of reckless accusation swinging is dangerous these days. Now, it becomes a story. People talk about it.

Much of Karl’s book is just him throwing rocks at the rumor mill, churning up old conspiracy theories and giving them new life. That’s what happens when someone who has been in the league for 40 years says these kinds of things. Even a simple accusation has huge implications, and Karl is pouring gas on the fire. Karl might be a good man, but his book is built off of wild accusations, baseless criticism and bridge burning. At the end of his interview with New York Magazine, Karl is asked who he believes is the most overrated player in the league. In response, he said “I’m not going there. I would still like to coach again.” Well George, I’m afraid that is something you should’ve thought about before ripping apart the entire league. Hindsight is 20/20, huh?