Blog

Durant Finally Gets His Ring

Last night basketball fans witnessed the conclusion of the 2016-2017 NBA season, with the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA finals. To be honest with you this really wasn’t any surprise at all. I mean at the beginning of the season you root for your team but in the back of all our heads we knew Golden State would win. We knew this because the Warriors were able to bring back there big 3, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, and then they were also able to bring in the second best player in the league in Kevin Durant. You would have been crazy not to think there was at least a good chance Golden State would win this year.

After Game 2 of this series, former Celtic, Paul Pierce said that Durant “may be the best player in the world today.”

Now obviously after Golden State beat Cleveland there are going to be a lot of talk about who is the best player in the world LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Durant did have a great finals and he did win the finals MVP, but I don’t see how people can all of a sudden say that he is better than LeBron James.

Yes, Kevin Durant did finally win a championship. However, it would have been shocking if they didn’t win with that team. By being on a super team Kevin Durant looked great, but that’s also because the other team has to worry about all of the other great players on the team.

If you take a look at the individual players instead of looking at what the team accomplished LeBron James is still a better player than Kevin Durant. In Game 5 of the Finals Durant had a great game, but what goes unnoticed is that LeBron James had a better game.

Kevin Durant: 39 Points, 7 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks, 4 Turnovers

LeBron James: 41 Points, 13 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Blocks, 3 Turnovers

In all areas of the game LeBron James out played Kevin Durant. Now obviously that wasn’t enough to get the win for LeBron, but that more has to do with a super super team vs a super team. At the end of the day congrats to Durant for finally winning a ring, but he has not surpassed LeBron James for best player in the world.

Battle for the AL East

The Red Sox and Yankees are heading into the rubber match of their 3-game series tonight in New York. The Red Sox were able to hold off the Yankees and take a 5-4 win in the first game of the series. However, the Yankees came storming out of the gates in the second game winning 8-0.

As of right now the top two teams in the AL East Standings are the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are 2 games back behind the Yankees and if they can win tonight they can improve to only one game back. For the Red Sox to only be 2 games back of the top spot in the East is pretty remarkable considering all the hate of the team lately. A lot fans believe that the Red Sox are under achieving and not playing up to their potential. However if the Red Sox do start playing better, with the top spot just in front of them as motivation, I think they could definitely catch the Yankees and grab the top spot.

Now with the Red Sox and the Yankees holding the top two spots in the AL East a lot of people were starting to ask “is this rivalry dead?”. For many fans the Red Sox – Yankees rivalry from back in the early 2000’s has disappeared. Now there is a very simple reason for that and that is because these two teams haven’t both been good at the same time in awhile. However, this year with both the teams looking like the two best in the AL East and with young stars like Aaron Judge and Andrew Benintendi on each team we will definitely see this rivalry to rekindle.

Obviously it might not seem like a big rivalry at the moment because its early June, but imagine if the  standings are close at the end of September or even if these two teams matchup in the postseason. This season has the real possibility of being able to rekindle this much wanted rivalry once more. As for tonight, David Price takes the mound for his third start of the season looking to bring his team to within just 1 game of the top spot.

Game 3: A Must Win For Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors have already played 2 games in their best of 7 series, with Golden State taking a 2-0 lead. The Warriors were able to dominate the Cavs in the second half of both games. The first half of Games 1 and 2 were relatively close, however the second halves have been no competition. Down 2-0 in the series. I believe that both Games 3 and 4 are must wins for Cleveland.

I can see 2 possible situations after these 2 games in Cleveland:

1. If Cleveland does not win both of these games at home against Golden State, then its sad to say but you will not see the Warriors blow another 3-1 lead. If the Warriors can get up 3-1 then I don’t give the Cavs any chance in Game 5. IF the Cavs lose one game at home this series will be over in 5 games.

2. Just because the Cavaliers have been dominated throughout the first two games of the series we can’t forget the best player in the world, LeBron James, plays for Cleveland. At home, in Cleveland, this a great possibility the LeBron and the Cavaliers come out strong and take back this series by winning both games. If LeBron has two incredible games at home the Cavs can make this a series again.

Now although the LeBron is going to probably be playing out of his mind, there are a couple other players that have to get involved in order to get this win.

Obviously Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, being a part of Cleveland’s big 3 need to match the effectiveness of both Steph Curry and Draymond Green.

Next Tristan Thompson. Thompson is the key rebounder for the Cavs and in order to win they have to win the rebounding battle. Thompson only had 8 rebounds in the first two games combined, that needs to change in order for the Cavs to pull this out.

Lastly JR Smith. He needs to be more effective as a starter for this Cavs offense. After scoring the first basket in the series for the Cavaliers he has gone silent. He will have to chip in here and there in order to win.

IF those 4 starters can help out LeBron they should have a chance. Now that is on the offensive end obviously the Cavs are going to have to figure out how to slow down both Durant and Curry.

Game 3 tips off tonight in Cleveland at 9:00, hopefully Cleveland can make this a series again.

Patriots Season Predictions

Last season the New England Patriots finished the season 14-2 and went on to win the Super Bowl in dramatic fashion. After their improbable to Super Bowl win the Patriots wasted no time going into the offseason.

The Patriots were able to resign key players: Alan Branch, Duron Harmon, Dont’a Hightower, and were able to keep Malcolm Butler. The Pats didn’t stop there, they made also made trades to acquire Dwayne Allen from the Colts, Kony Ealy from the Panthers, and Brandin Cooks from the Saints. And after all those moves the Patriots also decided to dip into free agency. The Patriots went on to sign Stephon Gilmore, Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee, and Andrew Hawkins.

Looking like one of the big favorites again, I have decided to give my way too early season predictions. Now obviously being a Patriots fan I can see them going 16-0, however realistically the worst I can see them doing is 13-3. Here are my predictions:

Week 1: vs Kansas City Chiefs: Win I could see the Chiefs coming out hard against the Pats but on opening day the season after winning the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t expect the Patriots to lose this one (1-0)

Week 2: at New Orleans Saints: Win (2-0)

Week 3: vs Houston Texans: Win (3-0)

Week 4: vs Carolina Panthers: Win (4-0)

Week 5: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Win (5-0)

Week 6: at New York Jets: Win (6-0)

Week 7: vs Atlanta Falcons: Possible Loss After Blowing a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl, I can see the Falcons coming in and possibly stealing this game at Gillette (6-1)

Week 8: vs Sand Diego Chargers: Win (7-1)

Week 10: at Denver Broncos: Possible Loss Win the Patriots recent history of struggling when going on the road to play Denver I could possibly see the Pats possibly dropping a game in Denver (7-2)

Week 11: at Oakland Raiders (In Mexico City): Possible Loss Last season the Raiders made a big jump in the standings, holding on to the #2 seed until QB Derek Carr got Injured. With the signing of RB Marshawn Lynch and the mix of playing in an unfamiliar territory the Raiders might be able to steal one from the Patriots in Week 11 (7-3)

Week 12: vs Miami Dolphins: Win (8-3)

Week 13: at Buffalo Bills: Win (9-3)

Week 14: at Miami Dolphins: Win (10-3)

Week 15: at Pittsburgh Steelers: Win, the Steelers are usually pretty good, but late in the season I don’t see them beating Tom Brady (11-3)

Week 16: vs Buffalo Bills: Win (12-3)

Week 17: vs New York Jets: Win (13-3)

Those are my predictions for the regular season. I will be updating when the season draws closer but for now here they are and its not to think that the Patriots might wind up in the Super Bowl in back to back seasons.

The Return of David Price

Yesterday the Boston Red Sox began their road trip against the Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox ended up losing the game 5-4, and that puts their record now at 27-23. The Red Sox, holding the second spot in the AL East, are 3 games back of the New York Yankees and will face them at the conclusion of this road trip.

The Red Sox have lost the last two games, to the Mariners and White Sox, and many would believe that the fans would be very disappointed. However, there was a lot for Red Sox fans to be excited about in their loss against the White Sox.

Before Spring Training began the Red Sox were believe to have one of the best pitching rotations in baseball. Red Sox had acquired Chris Sale and also already had a strong rotation with Rick Porcello, David Price, Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Drew Pomeranz. However, the Red Sox have been plagued with injury. Steven Wright has already been ruled out for the season and David Price’s season was in jeopardy early. However, Price progressed very well and was able to make his debut yesterday against Chicago.

In his first game of the 2017 season Price threw a No-Decision, with a stat line of 5 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Other than one bad pitch to Melky Cabrera it seemed like a very good start for David Price. For Red Sox fans this is very promising. David Price looked very good considering it was only his first start of the season, only allowing 2 hits. Now obviously it hurts that one of those hits was a 3-run homerun, but still he only gave up 2 hits through 5 innings.

This return by Price is very good for Red Sox, especially those die-hard fans like me who hate seeing the Yankees at the top of the division. Hopefully with Price back and Porcello and Sale healthy the Red Sox will be able to win the majority of games on this road trip and make a move on the Yankees.

Other news from the game yesterday, unfortunately the Red Sox were only able to come together for 4 hits during yesterday’s game. However, one of those hits was by Mookie Betts who hit his 8th homerun of the year. The Red Sox look to bounce back tonight with former Chicago White Sox on the mound Chris Sale. First pitch is at 8:10 pm ET.

The Celtics Still Have Some Fight In Them

Last Night the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers squared off for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland. After winning both Games 1 and 2 in dominant fashion, 44-point win in Game 2, many Cleveland fans were already moving on from the Celtics and looking towards the NBA Finals.

LeBron James put on amazing performances in the first two games of this series, and without the Isaiah Thomas for the reminder of the playoffs the Celtics looked in trouble going into Game 3. Already down two games in the series the Celtics many fans had lost hope and already counted their team out. However, the Celtics had other plans. The C’s came out and played a more physical brand of basketball starting Marcus Smart in the absence of Isaiah Thomas.

At the half the Cavaliers led by 16 points and it looked like it was going to be more of the same in the second half. But the Celtics came out strong in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Cavaliers by 11 points and closing the gap to 5 points going into the 4th quarter. Marcus Smart continued to have the hot hand in the 4th keeping the Celtics close. Smart finished the game with 27 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.

With about 4 minutes left in the game the Celtics finally closed the gap and took the lead 99-98. Nobody in Cleveland was expecting the Celtics to come back down 21 points to now leading the game. The clock continued to tick and with 30 seconds left on the clock Jonas Jerebko made a jump shot to take the lead 108-106. All the Celtics needed was one stop and that would have secured the game. However, Kyrie Irving wasn’t going to go down that easy. With 10 seconds left Irving drove the basket and converted on an acrobatic finish, tying the game 108-108. With only 10 seconds left the Celtics were playing for the last shot and hopefully not going to overtime. The inbound pass went to Marcus Smart who was covered by LeBron James. As the clock ticked, Smart took a few dribbles and then passed it to a wide open Avery Bradley coming off a screen at the 3-point line. Bradley caught the ball and took the shot. The ball hit off the rim and got the lucky bounce and dropped win.

The Celtics stole Game 3 111-108. There is life in this team yet and if they can steal Game 4 on the road I think we might just have a series. We will see you on Tuesday in Cleveland for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. To me this is a must win, if the Celtics go down 3-1 they will have no chance. But if they can even up the series 2-2 then I believe anything can happen.

Is the Time Now For the Celtics?

With all the draft picks that the Celtics have stored, including this year’s #1 overall pick, and their young prospects the Celtics have in a good place moving forward. The Celtics have the options of staying put and building towards the future or using their assets to acquire big name players. The question that all Boston fans are contemplating is “Is the time now for the Celtics?”

To agree with former Celtic Paul Pierce, the time is now for the Celtics. After earning the top seed in East after the regular season and looking way ahead of where they should be in their rebuilding process, now is the time to build on their momentum.

I know, as a Celtic fan myself, the fans of the team don’t care about the top seed in the East or making it to the Eastern Conference Finals if they are only going to lose to LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Boston fans want championships and the team is in a position to possibly deliver those championships. But the team has to have that mindset that the time to strike is now.

The most likely scenario that fans would be looking to see if the Celtics are going all in to win a championship is going to be first through free agency and then through trade.

The first step of this process: Gordon Hayward. The Celtics have the cap space to go into free agency and sign a big name player. This player would be Gordon Hayward. Hayward led the Jazz to the second round of the playoffs and he also made the west all star team. He is a top 20 player in the league and the Celtics need to jump on him.

Once the Celtics acquire Hayward they would need to trade for Paul George or Jimmy Butler. The team has been rumored to be after these guys all year but now with the #1 overall pick in their pockets the Celtics just might have what it takes to get the deal done.

The deal would look something like this: In return for George or Butler the Celtics would most likely be give away the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, as well as a combination of Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley/Marcus Smart.

At the end of the day if I had to choose between George and Butler I would choose Butler. I would choose Butler because although George is a little better, Paul George only has one year left on his contract and Jimmy Butler is signed through the 2019-2020 season. Imagine a starting 5 including Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward, Jimmy Butler, and Al Horford. Now that would be a contending lineup for the NBA Championship.

 

Cleveland Takes Game 1

The Cavaliers came into Boston for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and man handled the Celtics. Cleveland won 117-104. Cleveland jumped out to an early lead, 30-19 at the end of the 1st, and didn’t look back. The Cavs were able to hover around a constant 20-point lead throughout the game.

To simply break down the game, LeBron showed up and the Celtics didn’t. The Celtics were 6 – 17 shooting in the 1st quarter and only 1 – 8 from three in the 1st. Celtics came out slow and sloppy to start the game and missing as many shots as they did, the Celtics really did not give themselves a chance to come back against the talented roster of Cleveland. Another factor that hurt the Celtics was, of course, LeBron James. Every shot he took looked easy, the Celtics could not give any resistance in stopping LeBron from getting to the basket. Whenever he wanted to LeBron could get to the basket with ease. If the Celtics hope to have any chance in this series they are going to need to hold LeBron to jump shots instead of easy drives to the basket.

That being said the Celtics did have one stretch at the end of the 3rd quarter and a little bit in the 4th as well where they played some good basketball and were hitting there shots. If the Celtics can channel these runs and expand them for the course of the game they might just have a chance. But another key factor to the Celtics having a chance is defense. That seems obvious, but if the Celtics can’t slow down at least 2 of Cleveland’s big 3 (LeBron, Kyrie, and Love) then this series is as good as over.

Now to go over my predictions for both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. To me these are really easy predictions. At the end of the day I have trouble thinking that the Celtics will even steal a game and if I’m questioning that then there is no chance for the Celtics. I think that Cleveland can take the series in 4 games. With Kawhi Leonard injuring his ankle I really don’t see way for the Spurs. Golden State will take it in either 4 or 5 games. So that means that for the third straight season we are going to see the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

 

Game 5: A Must Win

The Boston Celtics are set to defend their home court tonight in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Celtics jumped out to a 2 game lead in the series after winning both Game 1 and 2. However, the Wizards fired back at home taking Game 3 and 4 to even the series at 2 games a piece.

Obviously if the Celtics don’t win tonight the series isn’t over, however if they don’t win the series is as good as over. The Celtics need to win this game if they want to meet Cleveland in the next round. If the Celtics lose this game, there is no way that the Wizards are going to lose Game 6 at home.

Tonight everybody’s eyes will be on one man: Isaiah Thomas. Can gather his team and lead them to a Game 5 win. I have always believed that Isaiah Thomas has been overrated. I know the stats show that he was amazing in the regular season, but this is the playoffs. I believe that this is the game that will make or break fans on Isaiah Thomas’ star status. If he can rally the troops and put on an elite performance tonight, then I believe he will get the credit he is due. However, a lose tonight will result in a lot of people doubting Isaiah Thomas’ ability in the playoffs.

Now to move on to a key for the game. A major key that the Celtics need to focus on is not allowing Washington to go on one of their runs. Each game the Wizards have been able to go on runs scoring double digit points in a short period of time. For Boston to go down and constantly missed shots and not score for good periods of time is unacceptable and will result in a loss. That is my key for the game and if the Celtics can’t work on that then we will definitely be looking at a MUST WIN in Washington for Game 6.

No matter who wins this series I do believe that Boston and Washington are playing for the right to lose to Cleveland. LeBron and the Cavs have had no problems these playoffs. Sweeping both the Pacers and the Raptors. Both the Wizards and Celtics and right about on the same level as Toronto and if the Raptors got swept I don’t see anyway that Cleveland doesn’t make it back to the finals.

But lets not think too far ahead. Game 5 between the Celtics and Wizards tips off tonight at 8:00 pm ET.

Game 1: Celtics vs Wizards

After going down 2 games to none in the opening round of the NBA playoffs to the Bulls, the Celtics went on to win 4 straight and take the series. The Celtics faced off against the Wizards in Game 1 of the second round yesterday. This series is going to be an intense series considering the opposing backcourt of both John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The Wizard came out firing in Game 1, the Wizards were able to jump out to a 16-point lead (16-0). This had a lot of Celtics fans worried that they were going to drop another home playoff game. However, point guard Isaiah Thomas put the team on his back and carried his team to a 123 – 111 victory. Thomas had 33 points and 9 assists. Another man who was huge for Boston was Al Horford. Horford has been playing great these playoffs and he did not slow down yesterday. Horford was 1 assist shy of a triple double (21 PTS, 10 REB, 9 AST).

The Celtics will play Game 2 at home on Tuesday against the Wizards. My prediction is that if the Celtics win Game 2 they will win the series in 5 games. However, if they do lose Game 2 I still think they will win the series just in 6 games instead of 5.

Now that the Second is starting I thought that I would also give my predictions for the other three series.

#2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs #3 Toronto Raptors

Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers, I have always been very on high on the backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. However, with struggles that the Raptors had against the Bucks, I really can’t see Toronto beating Cleveland. I don’t think it will happen but don’t be surprised if LeBron and the Cavs sweep the Raptors.

#1 Golden State Warriors vs #5 Utah Jazz

Winner: Golden State Warriors, Utah played a good series against the Clippers and I was rooting for them to beat Los Angeles, however I don’t see the Jazz beating the Warriors. I think that the Warriors will sweep the Jazz, and if not then they will take it in 5 games.

#2 San Antonio Spurs vs #3 Houston Rockets

Winner: Houston Rockets, In the regular season the Spurs hold the season series 3-1. However, 3 out of those 4 games were only decide by 2 points and the 4th game was only decided by 6 points I’m going to give the edge to James Harden. This is the only upset that I can actually see happening this round. I can easily see this being a long series going 6 or 7 games. This will be the series to watch.