Tag: San Antonio Spurs

C’s Ring in the New Year Losing to San Antonio

The third and final game of Boston’s west coast road trip resulted in a 120-111, loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Boston dropped the ball in the third quarter allowing the Spurs to score 46 points in the quarter, matching their total points of the first half. The Spurs shot 19-of-25 from the field and connected on all five of their three-point attempts.

The collapse was due to the Celtics defense, with their offense also having their same old struggles of bad shot selection and ball movement. At the start of the second half you could see how the absence of Boston’s big, Aron Baynes, was exploited by San Antonio’s guards. Derrick White repeatedly broke down the defense by attacking the paint for open layups or finding teammates. LaMarcus Aldridge was the primary beneficiary of White’s aggressiveness, he made 5-of-6 shots in the quarter for 12 points.

Aron Baynes rim protection and his effort to challenge shots without fear is something Boston has missed in their games against Milwaukee, Houston and San Antonio.

Jaylen Brown Scores a Season High 30-points

Jaylen Brown had his best offensive performance of the season on Monday, he finished with 30-points and 4 rebounds off the bench. Brown seems to be getting his grove back after dealing with injuries and role changes. Monday’s game was the best version of Brown the Celtics have seen all season, his aggressive play on both ends of the floor was a welcoming sight for Boston fans.

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Marcus Morris on the other hand continues to play stellar basketball for Boston, he finished with 18-points, and made big shots after Kyrie Irving left the game with an eye injury. All season Morris has been Boston’s most consistent player, in what has been a career-year.

Gordon Hayward could forget about yesterday’s game and continue to move forward. Hayward missed all six of his shots and went 0-of-5 from behind the arc.

Kyrie Irving Goes Down with a Scratched Eye Injury

Kyrie Irving left the game in the fourth quarter after suffering what he called a scratched left cornea injury. Irving suffered the injury after he and Spurs guard Marco Belinelli attempted to secure a rebound of Irving’s missed 28-foot attempt. Belinelli swiped at the ball and hit Irving in the eye.

Celtics coach brad Stevens wasn’t sure whether the injury could force Irving to miss time. “Kyrie has a scratched eye,” Stevens said, “so he’ll have antibiotics for that. I don’t know what that means beyond tonight.”

Irving addressed the media after the game wearing a pair of sunglasses to cover the injury, “I’m wearing sunglasses, so not too good. I’ll be all right, though. He smacked the s— out of me. He just caught me pretty good,” Irving said.

If Irving would happen to miss some time it could be a big opportunity for Terry Rozier to find his game, after being moved back to the bench with Irving’s return. Last year in Irving absence Rozier had a career year, making big shots in the postseason while coming one game away from reaching the NBA Finals alongside Jayson Tatum and Brown. Rozier has struggled offensively coming off the bench, he’s played 22 minutes a game as opposed to the 33 minutes he played last year as a starter. Off the bench he’s averaging 8.6 points per game and 2.6 assists per game.

 

 

 

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The Next International Basketball Star: Meet Sekou Doumbouya

The NBA has already been accustomed to witnessing great French basketball talents such as Tony Parker, Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Boris Diaw, and Nicolas Batum. But when the 2019 Draft hits in June, the NBA may witness another great French talent in Sekou Doumbouya.

At 6’9 230 pounds, Sekou’s athleticism is the first thing that jumps out when watching him play. His ability to defend multiple positions, drive, post up and use crafty moves to get by his opponents make him a very promising young basketball talent. Sekou is an explosive athlete who at times can even help protect the rim, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds to start a fast break.

He is currently 17 years old and will turn 18 in late December. His youth will give him time to grow more in height and length. Sekou is really fast with a good frame for a forward. His frame will give him the ability to defend multiple positions in the NBA.

 

Sekou has almost a Lebron-like aggressive mentality when driving to the basket. He can slash up a defense and uses crafty moves to finish around the basket.

With all his athletic abilities, Sekou is a streaky jump shooter as when playing with Poitiers Basket 86 in the 2017-2018 season, he shot 29% from 3 point range through 28 games. He isn’t the best shooter, but his shooting mechanics look smooth and fundamental. Sekou must look to improve on his shooting consistency.

Sekou isn’t the best defender and tends to get lost on that end at times. Sekou has the length and shows the ability to be a top-tier defender but he will have to polish some of his defensive mistakes to reach that level.

Sekou is a lottery-level talent as his upside will be appealing to NBA Teams. It will be interesting to see what team drafts him, he is likely to a #4 pick – #9 pick in the draft.

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

Free NBA Picks for February 10th, 2018

Last night we saw the Celts fall behind after coming back from 20+ failing to cover their spread taking the L. We saw 2 of our picks succeed as the Jazz beat the Hornets by 12. The Rockets did as they were supposed too and beat the Nuggets by 26.

6-3-1 over the past 3 days. 3 picks here tonight

Wizards -6.0 vs the Chicago Bulls

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The once red hot Wizards travel into Chicago on a 6-4 run the past 10. The Bulls are 2-8 the last ten, posting a 12-14 home record. The Wizards lost a close one to the East’s best team in OT. They could be tired tonight, but the Wizards have been playing better without the focus of John Wall. I think they could be gassed, but they are too talented to not cover against a young-injury riddled Chicago Bulls team. I see the Wizards winning by 6 or 7. Take the points if you can. I don’t think it will be a blowout, it should be a close one.

The Wizards won by 4 the last time they both played, under different circumstances of course.

Warriors -11.0 vs the San Antonio Spurs

Golden State Warriors Memphis Grizzlies game at Oracle Arena in Oakland

The Warriors are at home as they face the injury riddled San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors are 20-7 at home this year. The Spurs are 13-15 on the road. The last time these two met, the Warriors won by 22.

The Spurs will be missing Tony Parker and DeJounte Murray, going against the Warriors amazing starting lineup. Without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs will be exposed to all sorts of  misery as I can see Dub Nation going 15+ over the Spurs. Roll with the best team in the NBA.

Lakers +2.0 vs the Dallas Mavericks

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The Lakers ride into Dallas on a 4 game winning streak. The Lakers are 8-2 the last 10 games. The Mavs are 2-8 the last 10. Despite the trades, I believe the Lakers should have enough fire power to beat a Dallas team which can be streaky at times. If the Mavs hit their shots early, they hit the shots throughout the game.

The Lakers should win this won by 5 or 6. If the Mavs play terrible it could be worse. The Lakers could also lose by 2 or 3. Which also covers the spread. Take the points here as well, it should be a close game.

 

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.

NBA Week In Review: 11/8/17

Another week has passed, and it is time yet again to analyze how this week has gone in the NBA. Once again, the NBA didn’t fail to disappoint, as there were many surprises throughout the association. As before, we are going to take a look at six specific teams; one overachiever in each conference, one underachiever in each conference, and one team in each conference that is exactly where they should be.

 

Overachievers

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE: BOSTON CELTICS (9-2).

There is no stopping the Boston Celtics.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder

After losing their first two games of the season, the Celtics are on a nine game winning streak. After stepping up as the offensive leader during the first week of the season, guard Jaylen Brown has taken a backseat on scoring, yet still averaging 15.4 points per game up to this point. The new scoring leader for Boston is guard Kyrie Irving, as many fans would expect. Averaging 22.3 points per game and 5.7 assists per game, Irving is slowly transitioning to the team leader he was in Cleveland before the return of LeBron James.

Though Boston has had a wonderful display of offense lately, do not let it discount the superb defense that Boston is playing as of late. On top of the usual hustle plays seen by guard Marcus Smart, forward Jayson Tatum’s rookie campaign has been headlined by his use of length on defense, averaging 0.9 blocks per game. Along with that, Kyrie Irving has stepped up his defensive performance this season, averaging 2.2 steals per game.

Boston is on the up-and-up, and it should be no surprise if the Boston Celtics extend this winning streak into the double digits. Once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers should be very, very afraid.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (7-3)

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After being considered the champions of the offseason by some, the Minnesota Timberwolves have proven that their players are able to work together as a squad. Karl Anthony Towns leads the way for Minnesota with 21.8 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game, with Andrew Wiggins averaging 19.9 points per game. Jeff Teague has been a great distributor on offense, averaging 8.4 assists per game.

The pride of Minnesota’s success comes in defense. This should come as no surprise given that they are in possession of one of the most defensive-minded coaches in the NBA in Tom Thibodeau. Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler and Karl Anthony Towns all make great contributions on defense, most notably Towns, who averages two blocks a game.

The biggest improvement Minnesota has made from last season was an increase in depth, all with the sole addition of Jamal Crawford. His ability to spark the offense coming off the bench has proven fruitful for the Timberwolves, and the team is on track to have their best season since their 2003-04 season, where Minnesota made a trip to the Western Conference Finals. To see the implications this season could have for the Timberwolves, check out this feature on the team:

Minnesota Timberwolves Feature #0: The History.

Underachievers

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE: MILWAUKEE BUCKS (4-6)

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After a good start, the Milwaukee Bucks have cooled down severely. The Bucks were riding a hot streak early on, carried by the explosion of forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Don’t get it twisted, Antetokounmpo has still been hot, most recently scoring 40 points against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Bucks have been struggling to muster up any other success on either side of the floor.

Their only other tool that has been effective on offense is guard Khris Middleton, who has averaged 19.1 points per game. With Milwaukee’s early success, it’s easy to forget how young this team is, and as of late the team’s youth and inexperience in late game situations has shown.

Despite their inexperience, the Bucks should develop as the season progresses, especially after the acquisition of guard Eric Bledsoe to ease the load on Antetokounmpo. Their current 11 spot in the Eastern Conference standings shouldn’t hold for long.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (4-6)

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Thus far, it has been a very underwhelming start for a team that was hyped up as the killer of the defending champion Warriors. After dropping three straight, most notably in a loss to the now 2-8 Sacramento Kings, one thing has become increasingly obvious: the wear and tear on forward Carmelo Anthony has begun to show. Shooting 4-17 from the field against Sacramento, Anthony has slowly deteriorated from the superstar he was in New York and Denver.

There are still growing pains in trying to find a balance in the roster for Oklahoma City. Guard Russell Westbrook, forward Paul George and Carmelo Anthony all average 20.1 points per game, but the bench has been underperforming, virtually erasing the production by the new ‘Big 3’.

It isn’t time to give up on this project yet. The Thunder have plenty of time to figure themselves out. Once they do, there is close to nothing any team not named the Golden State Warriors can do to stop them.

 

Right Where They Should Be

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (6-4)

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The 76ers have been the laughing stock of the league the past three seasons. However, while other teams were laughing, the 76ers have been slowly building a solid, young core. The process is finally paying off, as seen with the performance of center Joel Embiid, who has averaged 20.5 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. Embiid has been dominant at his position, and is slowly cementing himself as a top five center in the league.

After an injury kept forward Ben Simmons out for what would have been his rookie year, he has burst onto scene this season, and hasn’t missed a beat. Simmons is averaging 17.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, and eight assists this season, and if he keeps up this level of play, he’ll be a shoo-in for rookie of the year.

Though Philadelphia most likely will not keep their third place position in the Eastern Conference standings, a playoff appearance from them seems imminent this season.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE: SAN ANTONIO SPURS (7-4)

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After landing in the underachiever section last week, the Spurs have stepped up their game, and are once again looking like the fixture in the Western Conference playoff picture that they are. Forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been a huge help, leading the offense with 22.6 points per game. In the absence of star forward Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay has stepped up to fill the void, averaging 13.5 points per game and 1.2 steals per game.

The biggest factor in San Antonio’s resurgence is defense. They are looking like themselves again, and it is across the board. The Spurs have four players averaging at least a block per game, and four players also averaging a steal per game.

The Spurs are notorious for being one of the most consistent franchises in the NBA, and it is no different this season. Expect San Antonio to hold their spot in the standings for the rest of the season.

 

After yet another great week of NBA basketball, it should be expected to start seeing some true trends in the next couple of weeks, and a couple of true contenders should begin to emerge.

Thursday Night Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors

This Thursday’s national TV game showcases the defending NBA champs in the Golden State Warriors take on a struggling San Antonio Spurs team. This is their first matchup of the season, the last time they went head-to-head was in the Western Conference Finals, where the Warriors had soundly swept the Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs

 

Minnesota Timberwolves v San Antonio SpursThe Spurs are in dire need of a win, and tonight is a perfect time for the pendulum to swing the other way for them. The Spurs return home Thursday after four straight road matchups against Eastern Conference teams. The Spurs are also coming off three straight losses, and have been underachieving as of late, as described in the NBA Week in Review here:

NBA Week in Review: 11/1/17

Despite their shortcomings lately, the Spurs have some bright spots that should keep them in contention in the West. Injuries to star forward Kawhi Leonard and point guard Tony Parker has been a burden to the team, but forward LaMarcus Aldridge and guard Dejounte Murray have stepped up to cover their production. LaMarcus Aldridge leads the team with 23.6 points per game, while Murray’s 3.7 assists per game lead the team while he takes over the role of distributor on offense. The Spurs’ defense has not been up to par lately, but a good performance against the Warriors can put this team back on the map.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

 

Thursday is business as usual for the Golden State Warriors. The defending champs are 5-3, which isn’t as hot of a start as the team wanted. However, the Warriors have won four of their last five games, and are currently showing no signs of a championship hangover.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers

The big three scorers on the team in guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and forward Kevin Durant are dealing, each scoring more than 20 points a game, headlined by Stephen Curry’s 28 points per game. A quiet, yet not so quiet, hustler on the team is forward Draymond Green, the defending NBA defensive player of the year. Green leads the team in assists and rebounds, and is the mouthpiece that brings a lot of stigma, albeit mostly negative, to the team. Together, this unit lead by Steve Kerr looks ready to catch fire again, and are more than prepared to put on a show.

 

PREDICTION

There’s no doubt that two great teams are going head to head on Thursday. But with injuries to key players on the San Antonio side and the cold streak the Spurs are riding, it’s hard to bet against the Golden State Warriors’ mega-powered offense. Though most conference matchups tend to be nail-biters, the absence of Kawhi Leonard will prove costly in a Warriors’ blowout victory.

Warriors

You can watch this game Thursday at 8pm EST on TNT.