Tag: Stephen Curry

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.

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: The Draymond Green-Kevin Durant Incident: What Happens Now?

Everybody turn off your televisions because it’s guaranteed, the Golden State Warriors are going to win the NBA championship for the 3rd year in a row. Wait, what? What just happened? Draymond Green did what?

In case you didn’t know, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had a major altercation in the waning minutes of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, November 12th, 2018. With about 5 seconds to go in the 4th quarter and the score tied at 106, Draymond Green received a rebound after a Clippers missed field goal. Right away, Green began running the court while Kevin Durant clapped his hands to ask for the ball. Green continued to run up the court towards the Clippers 3-point line where he fumbled the ball and ended up going to the floor with the ball in his hand to end the quarter.

Clearly, this was a wasted possession and Durant did not have any of it. Once Durant reached the Warriors sidelines, he slammed his hand on a chair and started screaming at Green. There are no sources as to exactly what Durant said, but from video it seems like he said, “Give me the f****n ball.” 

Green to exception to this and felt like he was being disrespected. From here, Green took the argument to a whole other level. Green balked back at Durant saying,

“Who the f**k you talking to?” Green started cursing at Durant, calling him “b***h” several times. Green then went on to say he’s been making plays throughout his career, reminding Durant that the Warriors were winning before he arrived. He told Durant something along the lines of, “We were winning before you. We don’t need you. Leave.” Green then accused Durant of making the whole season about him because of his impending free agency.

Throughout the incident, the full Warriors team can be seen trying to calm the situation down as both Iguodala and Livingston tried to revert the energy towards the game by clapping over the argument. Meanwhile, Thompson moves seats and sits in between Durant and Green. Ultimately, the incident clearly impacted the game as the Warriors went on to lose 121 to 116.

Because of this incident, the Warriors organization took action and decided to suspend Green without pay for one game. This might not seem like a noteworthy suspension, but when have you heard of a team suspending their own player in recent times? Furthermore, when has a player been suspended for an argument? Clearly, that means this was not a normal argument and it wasn’t as can be seen by the video.

Durant was arguing about a basketball play, about getting the ball in the last few seconds of the game as a two-time NBA Finals MVP. Remember, Steph Curry was out this game due to injury so Durant was the 1st option and Thompson was the 2nd. Furthermore, in that game, Green was 3 of 9 shooting and 0 of 2 from the 3-point line for just 6 points. It wasn’t like he was feeling it and having an amazing night. No, in fact, he was sub-par, worse than his usual as he only had 2 assists in the game! That means Green wasn’t shooting well and wasn’t making plays with his passing, a bad game for Green overall.

On the other hand, Durant was 10 of 24 and 2 of 4 from the 3-point line, with 33 points. In addition, he had 10 assists! Durant wasn’t shooting a high percentage, but he was either scoring or making plays. Either way, with 5 seconds left in the game, the ball should be in Durant’s hands when Curry isn’t around. Durant is going down as an all-time scorer. With 5 seconds left, no one would choose to have the ball in Green’s hands over Kevin Durant.

Furthermore, it’s extremely hypocritical for Green to feel disrespected when every sentence he utters to his teammates during a game is filled with expletive words. Green is known for talking in this manner and for many people, it’s a very disrespectful manner. Once the table is turned on him and he’s being talked to negatively, he can’t handle it? That’s just hypocritical.

Let’s also not forget that Green was a part of the “Hamptons Four” who recruited Durant to join the Warriors. It was also Green who told the media after the 2016 debacle against the Cleveland Cavaliers that the Warriors need Durant to win more championships.

Thanks to Green, this incident is now something much more serious than just an argument. In the final season of Duran’ts contract, a season in which the team is trying to win him over to resign, this incident will for sure push him away. Durant has clearly been affected by this incident as any normal human being would be. If your boss cursed at you and told you to leave after he begged you to sign, you’d be hurt too. Just look at 1:38 of the incident when Durant shakes his head in disbelief and disappointment. You can tell that Durant is just shocked at Green’s words, telling him to leave the Warriors and that they don’t need him. It’s words of total betrayal and now the NBA championship is no longer locked in for the Warriors.

As Klay Thompson stated in the locker room after the game,

“We all want to win. That’s all this is about. We all want to win. I think we’re the only team that can beat us. Nobody else can beat us.” That’s true. No other team in the league can beat the Golden State Warriors when they’re all healthy and firing on all cylinders. Even when the Warriors aren’t healthy and aren’t firing on all cylinders, they’re still extremely difficult to beat. Let’s not forget that Demarcus Cousins has yet to be unleashed.

None the less, this incident might just mark the beginning of the end of the Warriors dynasty. Durant will probably leave and in doing so, this incident will be brought back to the light. How will other Warriors players feel? Will they feel like this incident pushed Durant away and thus blame Green? At that point, can Green stay on the team or will he have to be traded? The questions and possibilities are endless and nothing is for sure. We’ll get a much clearer picture once Green returns to the lineup and plays with Durant.

What we do know now is that Durant and Green’s relationship will never be the same again. As we’d all do in Durant’s position, we’d play nice with Green, but never trust him as a friend again, rather just as a colleague.

Everybody, turn on your televisions because Draymond Green has decided to ruin the Warriors dynasty and make the NBA competitive again.

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