Tag: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks Face Off For An Eastern Conference Heavy-Weight Match-Up

With the All-Star break now behind us the race for playoff positioning has begun. Teams in the playoff picture are heading into the final stretch with a winning mentality as the last month and a half of the regular season begins. It starts tonight as two of the favorites to make it out of the East in the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics face-off.

The Bucks currently hold the best record in the league at 43-14, while the Celtics are tied at the fourth seed with Philadelphia at 37-21.

Nikola Mirotic make Bucks debut

Head coach Mike Budenholzer and his coaching stuff get to unveil their newest toy in Nikola Mirotic tonight. Mirotic will take the court for the first time as a member of the Bucks after being traded by the New Orleans Pelicans before the trade deadline.

The Bucks have played in four games between the trade deadline and before the All-Star break, but Mirotic has been dealing with a calf injury that has kept him sidelined. He’s appeared in 32 games this season and is averaging 16.7 points per game (ppg) and 8.3 rebounds per game (rpg). MVP candidate, Giannis Antentkounmpo will have more help as the Bucks look to secure the number one seed in the East heading into the postseason.

Mirotic is an added bonus for Milwaukee, he’ll be able to spread the floor while Antentokounmpo draws in defenders inside the paint, which will free up shooters like Mirotic, Brook Lopez and Malcom Brogdon.

Jayson Tatum Predicts Boston to go all the way

After winning the Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend, second year player Jayson Tatum made an eye popping statement as to what he believes the future has in store for Boston.

“We’re going to win the Finals,” Tatum told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “February 16, mark it Jayson Tatum said we’re going to win the Finals this year.”

Tatum and the Celtics have a lot of work to do to get to that point as Milwaukee, Toronto and Philadelphia have added more weapons to their roster before the trade deadline.

Before the season started the talk around the league was Boston’s depth once Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returned. Boston has about nine starting caliber players on their team, which was the main reason why many picked Boston to stream-roll through the Eastern Conference. But now it seems that the Bucks, the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers have caught up, if not surpassed the Celtics.

The Raptors added Marc Gasol from Memphis and the Sixers added Tobias Harris from the Clippers. But as anonymous scout said about the Celtics it will all come down to consistently and chemistry if Boston hopes to continue playing in June.

“This team can win the East or get beat in the first round. They have great talent but sometimes they have no chemistry,” said an anonymous scout.

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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.

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

giannis-antetokounmpo-5-things-to-know-rex-ftr1

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

MVP Cases: Early Season Edition

They say it’s too early to start talking about the end of season awards. I say it’s never too early to at least start looking at who is in the mix. Many players thus far in the season have made their case of why they should be taking home the MVP award. Let’s take a look at a few players that separate themselves from the rest, with their stats, improvement from last season, and their win-loss record.

 

Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)Image result for kristaps porzingis

Wow. remember when this guy- excuse me- this unicorn got booed on draft day? Has he proved his worth to the Knicks, and in a big way. Now with Carmelo gone, it is safe to say this is his team and he has taken the task as the main guy for the team. Through 10 games he has averaged 30 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks, while also shooting 51% from the field. His versatility definitely helps him and his defense has improved from last year. He can shoot from deep, post you up, get rebounds and run the floor. He is a great player and he is only going to get better as the season keeps going.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)Image result for giannis antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak has gotten better in each season so far in his career and this season will be no different. Right now he is having a monstrous season so far posting up some big numbers early this season. 31.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.8 assist, 1.5 steals, and 1.6 blocks. To top all of that off he is shooting 60% from the field, that is pretty impressive for someone that is getting the most touches on the team. With the addition of Eric Bledsoe to the team, his touches may take a slight hit but that only will mean his efficiency will start to rise, making his case even stronger.

 

Kyrie Irving (BOS)Image result for kyrie irving celtics

He left so that he could be the focal point of the team. People said he would not be able to do that with Gordon Hayward on the team. Unfortunately, he is out for the season with a gruesome ankle injury. Kyrie was forced to step up and he has in a big way. He has led the Celtics to an NBA best 11-2 record while averaging 20.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. So far he has proved that he is ready to lead a team and his decision to leave the Lebron led Cavs (currently – ) is not looking too bad, as of right now.

 

Kevin Durant (GSW)Image result for kevin durant last night

In his 10th year in the league, Kevin Durant has never been better on defense than he is right now. His long reach is allowing him to get a career-high 2.5 blocks per game, which is the second highest in the league, right behind Rudy Gobert. He is also still scoring at a high rate, with 28.2 points per game, along with 5 assist and 8.2 rebounds per game. He is already a candidate with his impact scoring the ball, now that he is making an impact on defense and its showing on the stat sheet it only improves his case for MVP.

 

James Harden (HOU)Image result for james harden last night

When the Rockets signed CP3, the workload of James Harden was expected to go down. That changed as soon as Chris Paul is injured and until he comes back James Harden is going back to his form from last season. Right now he is averaging 29.9 points, 10 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals. If he keeps putting up big numbers like he did against Utah (56 points and 13 assists) then his name will continue to show up in MVP debates.

 

Honorable Mentions (per game stats)

Stephen Curry (GSW) – 25.4 pts 6.5 ast 4.8 reb 1.8 stl

Lebron James (CLE) – 29.3 pts 8.9 ast 7 reb 1.2 stl 1.4 blk

DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) – 28.3 pts 5.8 ast 13.8 reb 1.7stl 1.8 blk

Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) – 21.3 pts 1.1 ast 11 reb 1.8 blk

Damian Lillard (POR) – 25.7 pts 6.5 ast 5.4 reb 1.2 stl

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

Eric Bledsoe 2.jpg

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.

Thursday Night Preview: Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks

This Thursday, The 2-2 Celtics will play the surging 3-1 Milwaukee Bucks in an Eastern Conference matchup with possible playoff implications in store for the game. This will be the second meeting of the season between these two contending teams.

The Boston Celtics

When looking at their team record and the scoreboards, the Boston Celtics look like they don’t have too much to worry about. However, the devastating injury to Boston’s recently signed forward Gordon Hayward has been a major blow to Boston’s roster. However, in his absence, second-year guard Jaylen Brown has been at the forefront of the offense for Boston, which comes as a surprise given the efforts to obtain an offensive stud in point guard Kyrie Irving during the offseason. With 18.8 points per game on the season so far, Jaylen Brown has been showing glimpses of the star that a lot of draft experts believed for him to be.

Along with Brown’s ability on offense, a combination of guard Terry Rozier’s on-ball defense coming off the bench and the length that rookie forward Jayson Tatum offers on both sides of the floor have kept this team playing at a high level. With all of this young talent present on the team, it’s easy to forget that the Boston Celtics have an elite point guard in Kyrie Irving, along with star Center Al Horford to round out a Boston team primed to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference crown.

The Celtics are coming off of a blowout 110-89 victory over the struggling New York Knicks. The aforementioned Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kyrie Irving all scored over 20 points in the convincing win.

The Milwaukee Bucks


The Milwaukee Bucks finished last season as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, and with the way they have played so far this season, they look poised to finish significantly higher in the standings. The Bucks young core that was on display last season is back at it again, with potential stars like a guard and reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon and forward Khris Middleton.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to have the early favorite to win league MVP this year on your team in forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who currently leads the league in scoring with 38.3 points per game so far on the season. His length, along with his ability to defend all 5 positions on the court, has done wonders for Milwaukee, and the team is going to try to ride that wave for as long as they can.

The Milwaukee Bucks, like the Celtics, are coming off of a victory, after the Bucks defeated the Charlotte Hornets 103-94 on Monday. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 32 points and 14 rebounds. Khris Middleton was also a scoring presence for the team, dropping 20 points during the game.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST MEETING?

In what was Milwaukee’s first game of the regular season and Boston’s second, The Bucks took on the Celtics at the TD Garden in Boston, where the Bucks defeated the Celtics 108-100. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee, scoring 37 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Jaylen Brown led the way for Boston offensively, scoring 18 points.

You can find the recap of this game here:

Bucks Vs. Celtics: Oct. 18

PREDICTION

Boston has recovered well from losing Gordon Hayward to injury. Jaylen Brown has stepped up in a big way. Jayson Tatum is looking more and more like the top three pick he is as the season progresses. Kyrie Irving looks poised to dominate now that he is no longer in the shadow of LeBron James. However, Milwaukee is red hot, and as of right now, it looks like nobody is able to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo. Riding this wave, it’s a safe bet to say Milwaukee will win in Milwaukee in a close game.

WHEN IS THE GAME?

You can watch this intense matchup Thursday night at 8:00 EST on TNT.