Tag: Portland Trailblazers

Celtics Face Reality Check after Loss to Blazers

After LeBron James departed from the east the Boston Celtics were looked at by the basketball world as a straight shot to represent the east in the Finals this season, but as they continue to struggle many have questioned the team’s potential. The Celtics finished their west coast road trip with just one win in four games, ending in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday 100-94

Blazers, Damian Lillard drives past Aron Baynes

For the third straight game the Celtics once again found themselves down 20-points throughout the game. They pulled off a comeback against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, but were unable to do the same against the Utah Jazz and the Blazers over the weekend. Kyrie Irving took a deep look at the team after the loss,

“We needed this. We’re not as good as we think we are,” said Irving.

“That’s really what it comes down to. The excitement is done. It’s just real basketball now. It’s not the potential of the team or where we’ll be at the end of the season. It’s right now and taking care of what’s in front of us.”

Kyrie calls for Veteran Presence

During his postgame interview Irving pointed at a veteran presence the locker room needs

“Right now I think it would be nice if we had someone that was a 15-year vet, a 14-year vet that could kind of help us race along the regular season and understand it’s a long marathon rather than just a full-on sprint,” Irving said.

The Houston Rockets may have one guy that could hit the free agent market really soon, Carmelo Anthony. After many players in the Rockets indicated that Anthony could’ve played his last game for the team, the 15-year vet could help mentor and motivate the Celtics young core.

The Race for Eastern Supremacy Continues to Grow

As Boston continues to struggle, the battle to represent the east in the Finals just got tougher after the addition of Jimmy Butler by the Philadelphia 76ers. It looked like the Celtics only had the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks to deal with after proving time and time again that the 76ers lacked depth to contend with Boston, but with Butler now in a 76ers uniform it will be interesting to see what kind of a difference he makes in their Christmas Day match-up.

The Celtics face a tough test on Friday as Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors visit TD Garden, the Raptors were victorious during their last encounter 113-101. As Toronto continues to play great team basketball, we’ll see how Boston bounces from their west road trip against the Chicago Bulls tomorrow night.

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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