Tag: Eric Bledsoe

Ja Morant And The Phoenix Suns Are A Match Made In Heaven

The Phoenix Suns have been abysmal halfway through the NBA season. They rank dead last in the Western Conference with an 11-48 record.

The young Suns are still learning how to win as a team. With the core of Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker, the Suns should be a competitive team in the next couple of years. Unfortunately, they are still missing some pieces to turn them into a championship contending team.

With their projected top 5 pick in the upcoming draft, the Suns should do anything by any means necessary to acquire Ja Morant, the Murray State point guard that is dominating college basketball.

At 6’3, 175 pounds, Ja Morant is going to be the next promising young point guard in the NBA.

Morant is a physically gifted, and all around polished player. His playmaking ability, athleticism along with his ability to create his own offense will complement Devin Booker in the backcourt and make scoring at the basket easier for Deandre Ayton.

The Suns have been looking for a point guard to help lead the team to championship contention ever since the departure of Steve Nash. The Suns need a dynamic point guard, someone who is going to score the basketball and be a playmaker.

At one point, the Suns had 3 point guards on the team that was all-star caliber players in Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas but the Suns eventually traded these players away. This created a hole at the point guard spot that they have been trying to fill ever since.

Ja Morant is everything they need in a young point guard to complete their core. Ja has soared up the draft boards this year and is leading a lower tier school in Murray State to a 20-4 record. Morant is heavily compared to the likes of De’Aaron Fox and Russell Westbrook.

With a playmaker being their biggest need, it just so happens that the best playmaker in this draft, Ja Morant, may fall into their laps. A Morant-Booker-Ayton duo would be an interesting big 3 to watch for years.

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Free NBA Picks for February 13th, 2018

9-6-1 over the past 6 days. 2 tonight.

Rockets -2.5 vs the Minnesota Timberwolves

Brooklyn Nets v Houston Rockets

The Rockets are 9-1 the last 10, the T-Wolves are 4-6. The Rockets have been on fire providing constant production between Chris Paul and James Harden. Gerald Green has been the spark plug that has kept the Rockets offense clicking when CP3 and Harden leave the court. The Rockets have heavy bench talent which provides the one up against many teams that don’t have a great bench.

The T-wolves are a great team, but the Rockets have been absolutely filthy. The T-Wolves have their best opportunity to take them down considering they are home.

The T-Wolves are 23-6 at home, going against the Rockets who are 20-7 on the road this season. The first meeting between these 2, the Rockets won by 18 at home. It should be way closer tonight, unless the Rockets get on a roll that not even Minnesota can stop. Take the spread, the value behind it is great considering the Rockets are 13-2 the last 15 games.

Bucks -7.5 vs the Atlanta Hawks

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The Bucks are 8-2 the last 10. The Bucks have been red hot since dropping head coach Jason Kidd. The Hawks are coming off a come from behind W over the Magic where the Hawks seemed to piece it together in the last few minutes.

The Hawks are 4-6 the last 10.

The Bucks are expected to get back Jabari Parker.

Tonight the Bucks should destroy the Hawks. I can see this going the Bucks way the entire game. The Hawks won’t trail by more than 8 maybe until halftime. Then I can see the Greek “Freak” take over, dismantling the injury riddled Hawks team.

Go for the points, take the Bucks,. I say they win by 9 or 10.

good-luck

Friday Night Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs Milwaukee Bucks

This Veteran’s Day, the Milwaukee Bucks will be taking on the San Antonio Spurs. This inter-conference matchup is the first of two meetings between two teams who are seemingly playoff bound.

 

San Antonio Spurs

Rudy Gay

The Spurs have been streaky to begin the season. After starting off 4-0, San Antonio dropped four straight games, only to rebound and win three straight going into Friday. The Spurs are looking to continue their current success in the absence of forward Kawhi Leonard and guard Tony Parker, led by forward LaMarcus Aldridge, center Pau Gasol and forward Rudy Gay.

LaMarcus Aldridge is the anchor on offense, averaging 22.6 points per game. Aldridge is also making his size known, averaging 8.3 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game. Pau Gasol offers the same presence that Aldridge does in size, averaging 8.2 rebounds per game and 1.5 blocks per game himself. The most important factor to the Spurs success so far, however, is forward and sixth man Rudy Gay. Gay is averaging 13.5 points per game coming off the bench, and is making it obvious that he has recovered from his previous achilles injury. As always, the Spurs play great team basketball, and focus their game on solid defense under head coach Gregg Popovich.

The Spurs’ biggest concern against the Bucks is going to be on defense. Giannis Antetokounmpo is an early favorite for MVP, and for good reason. His size and scoring ability is going to be difficult for San Antonio to stop, especially without the services of two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard. Another struggle the Spurs will have to work around is Milwaukee’s acquisition of guard Eric Bledsoe. This will be Bledsoe’s first game with the Bucks, and the extent of his involvement on offense for Milwaukee will remain unknown until tonight. The Spurs will have to focus on contributions from their bench, mainly Rudy Gay, in order to win against the Bucks Friday.

 

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks started off the season hot. Milwaukee began the season with a 3-1 start, headlined by dominant performances by forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Though Antetokounmpo continues to lead the Milwaukee offense, the Bucks have had issues finding a true second option on offense. For the time being, that second option has been Khris Middleton, averaging 19.1 points per game. However, this average is deceiving, given that Middleton will often score less than 15 points, balanced out by occasional big performances, like the 43 point performance Middleton had against the Charlotte Hornets.

The Bucks have a lot to look forward to this game, with the debut of guard Eric Bledsoe. A look into how Milwaukee acquired him can be found here:

Eric Bledsoe Traded to Milwaukee

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Bledsoe is an explosive point guard who has ability driving to the basket and distributing the basketball. Though his passing ability will be appreciated, the strong possibility of Bledsoe becoming a viable second scoring option is huge for Milwaukee. The Bucks will also take great pride in Bledsoe’s defense, something much of the Milwaukee team lacks.

Milwaukee’s biggest concern against the Spurs will be how their second unit matches up. The Bucks have depth issues, lacking a true sixth man on the bench. To go along with that, the Eric Bledsoe trade saw the loss of forward Greg Monroe, arguably the Bucks’ biggest contributor on the bench. This depth issue will become especially difficult with the presence of Rudy Gay, a constant scoring threat off the bench for San Antonio. Another struggle for the Bucks will be adjusting the offense to accommodate Eric Bledsoe. This adjustment could either go really well, where fans will see the Milwaukee offense truly click. On the other hand, the adjustment could come with a lot of growing pains, and the offense will struggle in trying to find a good distribution in scoring.

 

Prediction

This game should be very interesting. The debut of Eric Bledsoe and Milwaukee’s adjustment on offense should be a sight to see. However, the Spurs have it together right now, and the lack of depth on the Bucks bench will be their downfall as the Spurs should take this game, barring another MVP performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo, which is more than possible.

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics

When is the Game?

 

The game will be live at 9pm EST on ESPN.

Eric Bledsoe Traded to Milwaukee

After being sent home for two weeks over a tweet expressing his disinterest with playing with the team, reports say Eric Bledsoe has been traded from the Phoenix Suns.

Bledsoe

The Phoenix Suns have reportedly sent guard Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for forward Greg Monroe and a first round pick. This trade comes after Eric Bledsoe posted a tweet that reportedly was about Eric Bledsoe’s dissatisfaction with the Phoenix Suns’ firing of head coach Earl Watson.

It was reported on Monday that Eric Bledsoe had received a $10,000 fine for the tweet stating “I don’t wanna be here”. Bledsoe originally contested that the tweet was the subject of his time that he was spending at a salon.

Eric Bledsoe was traded to the Phoenix Suns in the summer of 2013 from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade that also involved the Milwaukee Bucks, who most notably sent guard J.J Redick to the Clippers. In his 4 plus seasons with the team, Bledsoe averaged 18.8 points per game with the Suns.

Greg Monroe.jpg

Greg Monroe signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2015. In his 2 plus seasons with the team, Monroe averaged 13.3 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game.

This deal works out well for both teams. For the Phoenix Suns, getting rid of a discontent Eric Bledsoe removes a huge distraction to a team that is on track to be the worst in the league this season. The addition of Greg Monroe contributes to the frontcourt led by center Tyson Chandler and rookie forward Josh Jackson. Greg Monroe may not add much success for the Phoenix Suns team, but depending on how the Milwaukee Bucks do this season, the first round pick Phoenix will receive can become a key piece in the rebuilding process for this youthful team.

For the Milwaukee Bucks, this trade provides the team with an important piece to making a deep playoff run. Bledsoe’s defense helps the Bucks matchup against elite guards, something the Eastern Conference has in abundance. Bledsoe’s adequate scoring ability also adds to the effectiveness of forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who as of right now has been virtually carrying Milwaukee’s offense so far this season.

The Milwaukee Bucks are 4-5 this season, and are currently on a three game losing streak. Tuesday, the Bucks will be taking on a struggling Cleveland Cavaliers team, with both squads having high hopes to end their respective losing streaks.

The Suns are 4-7 this season, and are currently on a three game losing streak of their own. Phoenix will be taking on the Miami Heat, a team coming off a loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors, on Wednesday night.

Mike James: The Best Player You Don’t Know

On October 22 2017, Phoenix Suns star Point Guard, Eric Bledsoe, tweeted “I Dont wanna be here.” Instantly, this tweet sent twitter on fire. Many people began to analyze his tweet, coming up with all different solutions to what it actually meant. The tweet however, seemed pretty self explanatory. Eric Bledsoe doesn’t want to play basketball for the Phoenix Suns anymore. As harsh as it sounds, can you really blame the guy? Throughout his 5 years on the team he did not make the playoffs once and instead wound up sitting through one of the biggest messes ever. Basically, the Phoenix Suns wasted the prime of one of the more talented point guards of this generation and they owe it to him to allow him to go compete for a ring while he still can. At 27 years old, many people believe Bledsoe may still have better days ahead of him. These days however, will not come as long as he’s with the Phoenix Suns, which is why he needs to be traded A.S.A.P.fullsizeoutput_96

 

Many people saw this as just a classic Sun’s problem and assumed that in Bledsoe’s absence, the winless Sun’s would continue to struggle. This however didn’t happen, because on October 23rd, with Bledsoe suspended by the team, the Phoenix Suns secured their first win of the season with a 117-115 win against the Sacramento Kings. This win was overall a great team effort, however one player did stand out. This player surprisingly, was not one of the Sun’s big name young players, but instead was 27 year old rookie Mike James. Currently signed on the NBA’s newest type of a contract, a two-way contract, James started and led the Suns in place of Bledsoe. In 27 minutes of action, James scored 18 points while shooting a whopping 80% from the floor. James also dished out 7 assists and hit a game clinching layup over De’Aaron Fox as time wound down in the fourth quarter. Before this game, James was basically unknown, but after the game he had become a cult hero. Which basically raises the question, Who is Mike James?

 

Born in 1990, Mike James grew up in Portland, Oregon. He played basketball for Grant High School, where he averaged 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals per game. These stats helped him get ranked as the 3rd best player in Portland and the 184th best player overall. This however, was not enough for James to get scouted by division 1 colleges, as he was seen as undersized and his reputation of being a trash talker didn’t help. In fact, his opportunity to attend Eastern Arizona College only came after the head coach coincidentally watched him play at an open gym.OSAA Class 6A boys basketball playoff game: Redmond at Grant

 

Supposedly, James already had a friend going to Eastern Arizona and he was playing basketball against that friend when the Eastern Arizona coach saw him. Immediately after he finished, the coach walked up to James and offered him a full scholarship, which James accepted. In his two years with the junior college, James completely dominated the competition. In his freshman season, James averaged 20 points per game and according to rivals.com, he was the 40th best junior college player that year. The next year James was the 4th leading scorer in the NJCAA, averaging 26 points per game. These stats however, were not enough to be recruited by any big name schools and when his two years were up at Eastern Arizona, he decided to carry his basketball career over to Lamar University, a small D-1 school located in Texas.

Lamar University participates in the Southland conference, which is located in the South Central United States. In his first year with Lamar, James only started 2 games, but James still led the team in scoring averaging 12.5 points and roughly 18 minutes per game. HIs best game came against Louisiana College, in which James set the single game scoring record for Lamar University with 52 points. The next year, James averaged 17 points per game and led his team to the NCAA tournament. Although it was a short run, the fact that James made it to the tournament is a great accomplishment that should not be taken lightly. As his college career closed James looked for a career in the NBA, but could not find one, thus starting his long and tedious European journey.mike-james-lamar-ftr-080917jpg_1v82tzhogwbhn1xc51b4al940o-1

 

From 2012 all the way up to this summer, James played for 6 different teams in Europe. He found much success there, winning a championship and a most spectacular player award. This year, he even had the opportunity to make millions, but he turned it all down just for a chance to fulfill his dream.

 

On July 3rd of this past summer, the Phoenix Suns decided to give James the chance of a lifetime and add him to their summer league roster. This was James’ second stint with the Sun’s summer league team and he made the most of his opportunity. James dominated, averaging 20.5 points, 5 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. These stats allowed James to be the first player to sign a two-way contract in Sun’s history. This means that James has 45 days to play for the Sun’s until his contract is up. Throughout the 45 games, James will earn roughly $204,000, which is severely less than what James would have made in Europe, but if James plays well in the NBA, he will receive a contract that is more lucrative than anything he can ever make in Europe.

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So far this season, James has received minutes in every game. With Brandon Knight out for the season and Tyler Ulis starting the season hurt, the Suns had no other option, but to give James some playing time. James made the most of his minutes, making his season debut on October 18th and putting up 12 points. He then put up 13 and 10 points in his next two games, which helped him draw the start mentioned above against the Kings in his fourth game of the season. In this game, James became the first player in NBA history, to start a game while also being signed to a two-way contract. 

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Now, with Bledsoe on his way out, James looks to show the world he belongs in the NBA. Already an established scorer, one should bet on James to make a name for himself and find vast success in the league. He’s taken the long hard road from JUCO athlete to Europe, but he’s held a strong work ethic and mentality. Getting to the NBA was the hard part, now it’s time for Mike James to shine.