Tag: Anthony Davis

Early Top 5 NBA MVP Candidates

The NBA season has been full of surprises, we have seen the rise of the Denver Nuggets and the fall of the Houston Rockets. Questions remain with all the surprises in the NBA, who will be the MVP this season?

The NBA MVP race has been interesting this season. We have seen remarkable plays and emergence of many players. Here are the 5 players who are the top candidates to win MVP this season:

5. Anthony Davis

Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Record: 14-15
Stats: 27.4 Points 12.2 Rebounds 4.8 Assists 2.8 Blocks

Anthony Davis has been an MVP caliber player for the past four seasons, but his team hasn’t produced the wins for Davis to be a serious candidate. Davis is doing it all for the Pelicans this season. He is producing on both sides of the court, offense, and defense.

The Pelicans are 4-6 in their last 10 games falling to the 10th seed in the Western Conference. For Davis to win MVP this season, his team has to start winning. Davis has MVP caliber stats but unfortunately is not winning games to back up his case for MVP.

Davis does have a decent supporting cast to pull out wins but the Pels haven’t found a way to win games consistently. The Pelicans as a team rank 2nd in both points per game and assists per game. The offense is there for the Pelicans but they must be consistent on this end and also on the defensive end.

4. Stephen Curry

Team: Golden State Warriors
Record: 19-9
Stats: 30.1 Points 5.8 Assists 5.2 Rebounds 1.1 Steals

Stephen Curry is always an MVP candidate every year since 2015. His tremendous shooting ability, playmaking, and overall offensive abilities have helped lead the Warriors to a winning culture.

Curry is currently having a 50/50/90 season. The last person to achieve this historic stat for a season is his coach Steve Kerr in the 1995-1996 season with the Chicago Bulls. Curry is shooting 51% from the field, 50% from the 3, and 93% from the free throw line. These historic shooting numbers from Curry will help elevate his case for MVP this season.

Curry’s MVP case might be tarnished due to early season injuries as well as being on a super team with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Curry is having a historic season and is easily the best player on the Warriors. He will have plenty of nods to be in the MVP conversation this year.

3. Kawhi Leonard

Team: Toronto Raptors
Record: 22-7
Stats: 26.1 Points 3 Assists 8.3 Rebounds 1.9 Steals

The Toronto Raptors are currently the best team in the NBA, holding the best record in the league. This is in large part due to the remarkable play by Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard is the best player on the raptors and affects the floor both on offense and defense. With the help of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka, the Raptors may find themselves in the NBA Finals in June.

After his dramatic departure from San Antonio during the offseason, Leonard is reminding everyone that he is a Top 5 player in the league.

With the Raptors rolling this season, Leonard is a top MVP candidate this year.

2. Lebron James

Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 17-10
Stats: 28.3 Points 7.1 Assists 7 Rebounds 1.3 Steals

A 33-year-old Lebron James is leading the Lakers to a 5th seed in the Brutal Western Conference. James is averaging close to a triple-double and producing wins for this Lakers roster whose next best player is Kyle Kuzma.

James is on a tear this season and has been the sole reason this Laker team is winning games. He has the best chance to take the MVP trophy home this season if he continues to produce more wins for his team. He has played in every single game this season and it seems like he is getting better with age.

The Lakers have won 7 games in their last 10 games. James continues to exceed expectations year in and year out as he is leading this team who has struggled the past 5 years to the playoffs. The Lakers are 1.5 games behind from being the number one seed in the conference. With how the Lakers are playing, they might be the first seed by Christmas.

James is leading the Lakers in Points, Rebounds and assists for the Lakers. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is the highest on the team at 27.4. Next highest is Kyle Kuzma at 16.1 PER.

1. Giannis Antentokoumpo

Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 18-8
Stats: 26.5 Points 13.3 Rebounds 6 Assists 1.3 Blocks

Giannis Antentokoumpo is doing everything for the Bucks, scoring, grabbing rebounds, playing defense, dishing out assists. 2019 is the year of the Greek Freak as he has lifted the Bucks to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis is the best player in the Eastern Conference. He is a nightmare for any team. Giannis hasn’t quite figured out his shooting ability in the NBA yet, only shooting 11% but is still finding a way to score buckets and be a force in the league.

The Bucks are a scary team to face as they currently rank 1st as a team in points per game and rebound per game. They also rank 4th in assists per game being one of the more unselfish teams in the league.

Giannis is leading the team in Points, Rebounds, assists and steals basically every statistical category other than blocks which Brook Lopez currently leads the team in.

Giannis is 4th in PER, ranking only behind Steph Curry, Boban Marjanovic and Anthony Davis.

The Bucks are a difficult and scary team to face this season and that is due to the rise of Giannis Antentokoumpo. Giannis has the best chance to win MVP this year as he doing everything and winning with the Bucks.

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Red Hot Boston Celtics Win sixth Straight

With injuries to five players including All-Stars Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford the Boston Celtics managed to overcome Anthony Davis’s 41-point performance and beat the New Orleans Pelicans 113-100. This win marks Boston’s sixth consecutive victory and their doing it while averaging over 120 points per game throughout the streak.

Tatum and Morris Fill the Stat Sheet for Boston

With an injured Kyrie Irving sitting on the sideline Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris made sure to fill in the void left with the absence of Uncle Drew. Irving leads the team in scoring averaging 22 points per game. Tatum scored 21 points in 33 minutes, while Morris led the team with 31 points. Off the bench Jaylen Brown and Semi Ojeleye combined for 30 points to spark the second unit.

Rookie Robert Williams had an impressive game in his 26 minutes of action scoring seven points, grabbed 11 rebounds and three blocks, one of the blocks was against Davis when he swatted away his hook shot in the paint. Head coach Brad Stevens praised the rookie’s performance last night, “When you’re shooting jumpers and Robert’s in the vicinity, you feel him. When you’re shooting around the rim and he’s in the vicinity, you feel him,” Stevens said.

41-points from a Future Boston Player?

It’s been the topic of discussion since the start of the summer and that’s whether or not the Pelicans will finally make Anthony Davis available in trade talk. The Boston Celtics happens to be the riches team in terms of trade assets and the only team that can make New Orleans an interesting offer for the All-NBA player.

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Even before the start of the season New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry continued to support his claim that Davis is untouchable when it comes to trade talks, “We wouldn’t trade him for anyone. Even Beyonce. I think that makes him untouchable,” Gentry said.

Although all the Celtics can do is hope Davis continues to play for New Orleans until July 2019 and that is because of the “Rose Rule” contract extension both Davis and Irving signed, Irving while under contract with the Cavaliers.

The Rose Rule Restrictions

The “Rose Rule” allows certain players coming off their rookie-scale contracts to earn 30 percent of the salary cap as opposed to 25 percent. To be eligible, a play must have achieved one of three accolades during the first four season of his career, MVP award, Defensive Player of the Year award or two All-NBA selections. When both Irving and Davis inked their extensions in 2015 and 2014, respectively, two All-Star starter nods was in place of DPOY.

NBA teams cannot trade for more than one player who has signed an extension under the “Rose Rule.” The Celtics acquired Irving via trade in August 2017, so they cannot deal for Davis, or any other player in fact that signed that extension. The only way Boston can trade for Davis is if Irving is traded or signs a new contract over the summer, which he can only do on July 1, 2019 the earliest.

NBA: Where will Kevin Durant land in the 2019 NBA Free Agency?

On July 5th 2016, Kevin Durant shocked the NBA world when he opted to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Immediately after it was reported, sports journalists, NBA executives, and fans alike, all began to ridicule Durant. “How can he go to the team that he was up against 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals?” How many times have we all heard that?

Well, eventually, Durant’s decision would pay off and the ridicule would turn into praise as Durant ended up leading the Warriors to back-to-back championships, earning both Finals MVPs in the process. With this being Durant’s final year of his contract, the question of where Durant is going begins to loom over us all. With that in mind, what are the top destinations for Kevin Durant?

Well, there are certainly plenty of teams who would love to have Kevin Durant in their lineup and if we take an objective look at the field, a lot of teams can be in play. But, the biggest factor in determining where Durant will land has to be Durant’s reasoning. Does Kevin Durant want to win more championships, or does he value having his own team more? Questions like these will lessen the playing field for Kevin Durant. Regardless, here’s a list with the top teams that Kevin Durant could be playing for in October of 2019.

#11 Portland Trailblazers 

If Kevin Durant is tired of the Warriors and wants to join a team that’s looking exactly for a player of his caliber, the Portland Trailblazers are the perfect fit. Every season, the Trailblazers continue to dominate, but they falter in the playoffs. For the last five years, the Blazers have made the playoffs, but have failed to make any noise, at best reaching the 2nd round. Kevin Durant will be welcomed with open arms by the by CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard and certainly by the fans. It’s a very interesting team to think about, but it seems very unlikely and that’s why it’s #11.

#10 New Orleans Pelicans 

Just like the Blazers, the Pelicans are a talented team with two all-stars in Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. If KD wants to join a team that’s in need of his exact skill set, this is another perfect fit. It’s very unlikely that it will happen because it’s the Pelicans. No one goes to the Pelicans and ultimately, that’s why it’s #10. But, can you imagine KD with Anthony Davis?

#9 Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks are a team on the rise with a talented group of players including the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Right now, the Bucks are sitting as the #2 seed in the Easter Conference with a record of 14-6. After LeBron’s departure from the East, it’s anyone’s Conference and KD joining the Bucks will be more than enough to make it to the Finals. What will it take to land KD and how many pieces must be moved? That’s not known.

#8 Philadelphia 76ers 

It’s unclear how this can be done and that’s why it’s low on the list, but if it can be done, watch out. Can you imagine Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Kevin Durant on one team? This will be the new and improved Golden State Warriors. To make matters worse for other teams, who is going to compete with them in the East? The 76ers are 3 rd in the East right now with a 14-8 record. Adding KD to the mix will obviously lead to Finals appearances over and over and over again.

#7 Toronto Raptors 

The Toronto Raptors are currently 1 st in the East with a 17-4 record. If KD comes over to Toronto and Kahwi Leonard resigns, who will stop this team? Let’s not forget about all the other talented players they have including Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and others. If it’s possible, this will be the new King of the East.

#6 Oklahoma City Thunder 

If Durant wants to bring back a championship to his home team after learning how to win elsewhere, this is the time. Westbrook is still in his prime and Paul George is no scrub. The team is tied for 4th in the West with a 12-7 record. Adding in KD will make the West much more interesting and who doesn’t love a homecoming story?

#5 New York Knicks 

The New York Knicks haven’t been relevant ever since Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. Fortunately for them, they have a talented young group of players and an All-Star caliber player in Kristaps Porzingis. Furthermore, rumors have been circulating that Kyrie Irving is looking at the New York Knicks. If the Knicks are able to land KD and Kyrie while keeping Porzingis, this will be a major contender in the East. If KD wants to be “the man” in a big city, this is the perfect team.

#4 Boston Celtics 

The Boston Celtics are in a weird place right now, with a mixture of veteran players and a nice young core. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to find the right mixture of the two. If some pieces move around and KD is able to sign, this could not just be a winning team, but this could be KD’s team. With Kyrie, Horford, Hayward, Tatum, Morris, Smart, Brown, and Rozier, the Celtics can definitely make some moves to not only land Durant but give him a talented group of players to work with. Not to mention, do we not want to see the Lebron led Lakers rival the Durant led Celtics? How would that Finals go?

3 Los Angeles Clippers 

The Los Angeles Clippers have been surprising everyone this year as they sit atop the Western Conference with a 13-6 record. If KD really wants to win championship and have his own team, this would be the perfect fit. The Clippers are already talented enough to win games in the regular season, but they need KD for the playoffs. KD will definitely be “the man” on this team and wouldn’t he just love to ruin LeBron’s Lakers by being the better team in LA?

#2 Golden State Warriors 

That’s right, the Golden State Warriors are 2nd on this list. The Warriors are still an amazing group of players when they work together, but with Green’s attitude and drama, the beginning of the end seems near. Thompson is up for free agency and Green will be in the final year of his contract. Furthermore, they’re all aging, and Green’s negativity seems to be starting to outweigh his productivity. The “fun” play is quickly getting boring and we witnessed that first hand between Durant and Green. Simply, what happened between Durant and Green can never be forgotten or forgiven and that’s why this team not #1.

#1 Los Angeles Lakers 

Come on down to LA if you want to win. Wherever LeBron goes, the chance of success increases significantly. The Lakers are young, talented, have the money, and have LeBron James. Without KD, this team will be making significant playoff runs, possibly upending the Warriors. With KD, the Warriors will be forgotten about as this Lakers team will demolish everyone. I mean, who can mess with a team that has both KD and LeBron?

The Potential of Boston was showcased against the Pelicans

It might have been for one night, against a potential playoff team in the west, but the potential of what this Boston Celtics club can do was on full display against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night. The Celtics pulled off a wire to wire victory on the road against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, 124-107, which was perhaps Boston’s best game on the offensive end all season. Five players finished in double digits, with Kyrie Irving leading the way with 26-points and 10 assists.

Frustration boiling up among Players

After another disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks over the weekend Marcus Smart and Irving voiced their frustration with the team’s lack of effort coming into games. “It feels like déjà vu all over again,” Smart said. “We keep saying and doing the same thing after every game. It’s getting real annoying.”GettyImages-1062985448

A quarter through the regular season Boston sits in sixth place in the eastern conference, they’ve won six out of eight games in the month of November, three of the six wins came against non-playoff teams in the Suns, Hawks and Bulls.

“Last year, when teams came in, when they played the Celtics, they knew they were in for a fight. This year, teams can’t wait to play us. That’s a problem,” said Smart.

Can the Celtics Mount a Winning Streak

It’s now or never for the Celtics, their next game isn’t until Friday as they return home to host the Cleveland Cavaliers, who they themselves have won a few games against the 76ers and Rockets. With Toronto playing excellent basketball and holding onto the number one spot in the east, Boston’s going to have to make a run to end the 2018 calendar year.

With just six games behind the Raptors the Celtics have a chance to climb up the standings as they enter an easy schedule in December, with games against the Knicks, Bulls, Wizards, Hawks, Pistons and Suns in the next two weeks.

Free NBA Picks for February 12th, 2018

Saturday, we saw the Wizards control the Bulls easily covering the spread, same with the Warriors as it looked close at the start but blew it out towards the end. The Lake Show kept it close, but lost in the last few minutes not covering the elusive +1.5.

8-4-1 over the past 5 days.

3 more tonight after a Sunday off.

Pistons -2.5 vs the New Orleans Pelicans

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The Pistons have been slumping the past 2 games taking the L against the Hawks and Clippers. The Pelicans seemed to figure it out last game as they took the W over the Nets in double OT. Both teams are 5-5 the past 10. The last time the Pelicans played the Pistons, the Pelicans won by 3. That was with D-Boogie of course, and without Blake Griffin for the Pistons. If Blake Griffin doesn’t struggle mightily shooting tonight, the Pistons should be able to cover and beat the Pelicans by 4 or 5. It should be a close game throughout the whole way, considering the Pelicans are trying to win without D-Boogie. The Pistons need to play like a dominant home team tonight to take down the Pelicans.

Jazz -4.5 vs the San Antonio Spurs

Utah Jazz v Minnesota Timberwolves

This game will be pretty close. The Jazz are riding a 9 game winning streak going 9-1 the past 10. The Spurs are 5-5 the past 10. Yesterday it seemed like the Jazz were going to lose, but after halftime the Jazz easily came back and coasted to an impressive W over the Trail Blazers. I can see the Jazz carrying that over here tonight. It should be a close game though considering the Spurs are an excellent team that fits around the scheme of Popovich. I see the Jazz staying hot at home, winning by 6 or 7.

P.S. Donovan Mitchell is an animal.

Clippers -4.5 vs the Brooklyn Nets

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The Nets are on a 5 game losing streak, going 1-9 the past 10 games. The Nets look to play well at home against a Clippers team who has a lot of uncertainty around them. The Clips are 5-5 the last 10, winning the last 3 of 4. DeAndre Jordan should have a huge game tonight, matching up against Jarret Allen and Jahlil Okafor. Lou Will should have a huge game as well. The Nets will matchup against the Clips at some point during the game, but the Clips should finish the Nets easily covering the spread minus any surprises or runs.

good-luck

NBA Free Picks; February 7, 2018

As the NBA season inches closer to the All-Star break, I’d like to take the time to start recording my picks to see what I could analyze differently, or provide any insight into any match up more accurately.

Three Picks

Rockets -5.0 vs the Miami Heat

The Rockets come into Miami on a 9-1 tear the past 10 games. The Heat are 3-7 the past 10. I don’t see the Heat stopping CP3 or James Harden in this one. Gerald Green is also a wildcard as he provides key help for the Rockets. I’m thinking the Rockets run the floor tonight winning by at least 8 or 9. If not a blowout.

The Rockets are just too good as of late to not cover against the struggling Miami Heat.

Pelicans -3.0 vs the Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are missing Oladipo and Collison, but the Pacers are managing to find themselves despite the injuries going 6-4 the last 10. The Pacers have the talent to compete with the Pelicans, but is that talent enough?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans-Media Day

The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic who provides help to Anthony Davis as they struggle without Cousins. I think the Pelicans win here at home by 5-6. They have been competing with teams despite losing 4 out of the last 5. Last time they played, Davis had 34 points and 14 rebounds. That of course was with D-Boogie. But the Pelicans just came off  deflating loss. Bouncing back tonight at home will be very important to the Pelicans as they hope to find a rhythm without Cousins.

I see the Pelicans winning here covering the spread, maybe losing most of the game but they should pull it out here.

Spurs -9.5 vs Phoenix Suns

The Spurs come into Phoenix losing the last 2 games. The Suns have lost the last 3. The Phoenix Suns are 2-8 the last 10 games. The Suns are coming off a 19 point loss to the Lakers as the Spurs kick off their road trip after losing at home against Utah by 9.

Devin Booker is questionable with a hip injury. There is a good chance he may be out for this one. The Spurs were going to win regardless, but if Booker is out; the Spurs by 9.5 is too easy. Booker is the life and soul of that offense. The Spurs may take a little while until eventually they blow them out. I say the Spurs by 18 without Booker. If Booker does play, it could be close. Take the points