Tag: Golden State Warriors

King James Can’t Save The City Of Angels Alone

The Los Angeles Lakers easily were the biggest losers coming out of the NBA trade deadline after striking out of Anthony Davis. With this loss, the Lakers face the possibility of missing the playoffs.

The Lakers are at a crossroads at the halfway mark of the NBA season. They struck out on landing Anthony Davis and the chemistry of the team has been up and down. The team is so out of it that they may not even make the playoffs and not even the best basketball player in the world may be able to save them.

Lebron James, 34 years old, is easily the best player on this Laker team and has helped them to improve drastically this season, but other than Lebron what other options do the Lakers have?

Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are considered to be the two complementary pieces next to Lebron, but their play has not been up to standards this season.

The Lakers are 3-7 in their last 10 games, getting blown out by teams such as the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers.

The Western Conference has been tough and with hungry teams such as the Clippers, Kings, T-Wolves, and Mavericks creeping up to the 8th seed, this leaves the Lakers with minimal room to throw away games.

If the Lakers end up making the playoffs, it will most likely be as an 8th seed which means playing the Golden State Warriors in the first round. The Warriors are currently rolling and barring any injuries, it is more than likely they will steamroll through the Lakers and the entire Western Conference.

If the Lakers miss the playoffs, Lebron’s legacy may be called into question as this will be the first time since 2005 that he will miss the playoffs.

The young Lakers must step up and close out games without Lebron. Players such as Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Rajon Rondo has to step up as leaders. If these guys want to be Lakers next season, they have to take charge and win by any means possible.

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Celtics lose a Close one Against Warriors

A miscommunication at the free throw line with less than 10 seconds to go in regulation cost the Boston Celtics a chance to upset the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. At the end, Kyrie Irving’s 32 points and 10 assists was not enough to break Golden States nine game winning streak, as the Warriors came out on top 115-100 at TD Garden.

Al Horford was big for Boston on both sides of the floor, he had 22 points and 13 rebounds. Jayson Tatum caught fire in the second half as he opened up the third quarter with three straight three pointers, he finished with 20 points and five rebounds.

The Boogie Problem in the League

The difference DeMarcus Cousins makes on both sides of the floor for the Warriors is a scary sight for the rest of the league. Last night’s game against Boston was a prime example of how Cousins makes this Golden State team even more deadly. One multiple occasions on defense, Irving and Smart could be seen trying to fight through a Boogie screen to close out on either Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry, but to no avail.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers
DeMarcus Cousins is having a major impact for the Warriors starting five. (Photo credit: NESN.com)

The size and strength of Cousins caused problems for the defense when trying to close out the shooters, which left Curry and Thompson with so much daylight for an open three. Both Thompson and Curry torched the Celtics from behind the arc, Curry at one point hit five consecutive three’s after starting 0-of-4 and Thompson started the game with eight easy points and two from three. Curry finished with 24 points on 7-of-15 from the field, while Thompson scored 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors in scoring with 33 points and Cousins had 15 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

Hayward is a Defensive Liability for Boston

When Gordon Hayward entered the game you can see he wasn’t himself on offense, on multiple occasions in the first quarter he would attack the basket but wasn’t looking to score. His drives to the hole would often result in an intercepted pass or a turnover. The defense would collapse on Hayward as he dribbled into the paint leaving him stuck in the paint with four Warrior players around him.

On defense it was the same story all season, players would expose Hayward’s lack of quickness off the dribble and score easy jumpers. Hayward was a -8 while on the floor last night, he missed all five of his shot attempts, but managed to grab seven rebounds.

It wasn’t just Hayward who had an off game, Marcus Morris struggled to find his jump shot, although he made up for it on defense by playing stellar defense on Durant. Morris finished the night with nine points and nine rebounds, he shot 3-of-12 from the field.

The Celtics continue their home stretch tomorrow as the Brooklyn Nets come to Boston. The C’s will look for revenge after losing to the Nets two weeks ago 109-102.

Celtics vs. Warriors; NBA Finals Preview?

One of the most anticipated match-ups of the season takes place tonight when the Golden State Warriors visit the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. This will be the first meeting between these two teams as both clubs are currently riding winning streaks. Golden State has won nine games in a row and the Celtics have won five of their own.

Warriors sit at the top of the Western Conference and Boston still finds themselves in the fifth seed in the East.

Baynes and Cousins Set to Go Tonight

As if the hype for this game wasn’t big enough both Aron Baynes and DeMarcus Cousins are set to play tonight, both coming off major injuries as Baynes continues to be limited to just 18 minutes of playing time since returning from a broken hand injury. Cousins on the other side is still working his way back from an torn Achilles tendon he suffered last season with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Head Coach Steve Kerr has limited Cousins to just 20 minutes of playing time, but that hasn’t stopped the big man from making an impact alongside Golden States other four All-Stars in Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. In their last game against the Washington Wizards, Cousins put up 17 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Cousins has gelled in nicely alongside the Warriors starting five, he’s made an impact in the paint with his post-game and is still hitting the three at an efficient rate.

Battle of Point Guards: Curry vs. Irving

Whenever Curry and Kyrie Irving go head-to-head NBA fans know they’re going to be in for a treat. The countless battles they’ve shared in three straight Finals was something nobody could forget. During the 2017 Finals Irving averaged 29.4 points per game (PPG) and 4.4 assists per game, while Curry averaged 26.8 PPG and 9.4 APG.

Who can forget the last meeting these two point guards had last season. It was last January when Curry and Irving lit up Oracle, Curry led the Warriors to a 109-105 victory by dropping 49 points and five assists, Irving had 37 points and four assists.

What to watch out for; The Boston Depth

Boston’s depth will determine the outcome of this game. Brad Stevens will look at his young trio of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier to make a huge impact on both sides of the floor. Rozier will have a tough assignment as he will occasional have to switch up onto Curry whenever Irving’s on the bench or needs to lay back on the defensive side. Brown and Tatum will have to score in double digits if Boston wants a chance to beat Golden State

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The Boston depth of Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown will play a key role in tonight’s match-up. (Photo credit: Zimbio)

And then there is Al Horford, which since coming back from injury has been playing well. Against the Miami Heat, Horford put up 16 points and controlled the glass with 12 rebounds.

Both Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris will need to bring their grittiness and toughness on the defensive side when checking Durant and Thompson.

Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. Their next match-up will take place after the All-Star break at Oracle Arena on March 5.

The Houston Rockets Championship window is closing

With the Golden State Warriors era of basketball running amuck on the league, the difficulty to win a championship for any team is tough especially for the Houston Rockets.

Winning against a team with 5 all-stars, in a 7-game series, is not only a daunting task but an impossible one for many teams. With Demarcus Cousins set to return on Friday against the Clippers, The Warriors now have 6 all-stars playing on their team.

Organizations around the league were forced to adapt to playing against Golden State’s brand of basketball. The three-point shot has evolved, becoming the most valuable way of scoring in today’s era of basketball. Post ups and Mid-range shooting are a thing of the past.

The Houston Rockets were one of the organizations who had to adopt a new style of basketball centered around 3 point shooting. Houston’s offense is the closest to the Warriors and even the Rockets couldn’t beat them in the Western Conference finals.

Last year, the Houston Rockets were only one game away from reaching the NBA Finals. But when Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury, all hope was lost for the Rockets.

Chris Paul has been plagued with injuries playing in only 26 games this season. With the recent news that Clint Capela is out for 4-6 weeks with a thumb injury, James Harden is forced to carry the load for this team.

Chris Paul and Clint Capela are key pieces to the Rockets’ success. This team will go far as these two players go. If they can’t stay healthy or consistent, the Rockets will not be in contention for winning the championship this year.

The best shot the Rockets had to win a title was last season. It seems that the Rockets hasn’t mentally recovered from the western conference finals and free agency.

Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger and there are signs showing that father time is catching up to him. The Rockets are a struggling team this season. They had stretches where they were extremely bad, then they played good, and then bad again.

This team simply can’t stay consistent. If you can’t stay consistent in a Western Conference of the Warriors, Thunder, Nuggets, and Trail Blazers, you are bound to end up at the bottom of the pack.

 

With last night’s loss to the Nets, James Harden scored 58 points and the team attempted an unbelievable 70 three-pointers only making 23 of them. This raises concerns of if this team is even on the same page as they were up against the Nets late in the fourth quarter until giving up three straight 3 pointers from Spencer Dinwiddie to force overtime.

We have seen this same situation a couple weeks back against the Dallas Mavericks as rookie Luka Doncic capped off a comeback scoring 11 points in the final minutes of the game to defeat the Rockets.

Are the Boston Celtics Finally Ready to Steamroll through the East?

Last night’s showdown between two red-hot Eastern Conference teams seemed to be no problem for the Boston Celtics as they rolling through the Indiana Pacers 135-108.

The four game home stand was something the Celtics needed after winning one out of four games on their West coast road trip two weeks ago. Boston have now won four straight and are 15-5 at TD Garden. They play a back-to-back today as they take their talents to South Beach and play the Miami Heat.

Boston’s Depth on Full Display

At the start of the season the talk around the league was the amount of talent the Celtics have, they have eight legit starting caliber players and last night’s victory showed that. The Pacers were out gunned yesterday, even with their talented duo of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Boston had seven players that reached double figures, which now makes it four consecutive games where at least five players have scored in double figures.

The team was led by Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown, who each scored 22 points to go along with eight and seven rebounds. Jayson Tatum showed out offensively as he scored 20 points while shooting 60 percent from the field on 9-of-15 shots. Another positive takeaway was the performance of Gordon Hayward, who has been more consistent on the offensive end over the last couple of games. He finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 from the field.

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics
Starters, Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart celebrate with teammates as they cruise by the Indiana Pacers. (Photo credit: NBA.com)

It was one of those games that allowed Kyrie Irving to take a break offensively, he played only 24 minutes and scored only 12 points. Al Horford also had a laid-back night, playing only 18 minutes and chipped in with six points and eight assists.

The True Test for Boston Begins in the Coming Weeks

Since airing out their frustrations after the loss to Milwaukee back in December, the Celtics are now 7-2 over their last nine games with their only losses coming to the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. The home stretch provided an extra boost of confidence for the Celtics, but in the upcoming weeks they will play legit championship contenders like the Toronto Raptors, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Celtics and Raptors will square-off on Wednesday at TD Garden. Their even at 1-1 over their last two meetings with Boston taking the second game in overtime when Irving exploded for 43 points.

A potential NBA Finals match-up with the Warriors will take place on Saturday the 26th, as both teams continue to get back to playing championship level basketball. Although the Celtics could be one of the first teams to face a returning DeMarcus Cousins with Golden State, as he’s scheduled to return from an Achilles tear in mid-to-late January.

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.

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?