Kyrie Irving Put On A Show

kyrie

Ever hit the snooze bar a few too many times?? Yeah, me too. And you finally wake up. You’re running frantically around the house, trying to get to work on time. You show up right on time, but you can still feel that nervous energy flowing. Once settled in though, you tend to exceed expectations. Ya know, really make up for the way your day started.

That was Lebron James on Tuesday night. Yes, we’re talking about Lebron James again….

Get used to it. Everything is about Lebron James. He is the face of the NBA. Praised for the victories and blamed for the losses. Anyway….

Lebron’s poor play from Game 3 spilled over to Game 4. He looked disinterested. He lacked the aggressive nature we saw in games 1 and 2. The Cavaliers found themselves down 10 points at halftime, and trailed by as many as 16. It’s a good thing Kyrie Irving brought his ‘A Game’ last night. While Lebron became a spectator with early foul trouble (we’ll get into that a little later), Kyrie put his entire team on his back. Kyrie finished with 42 points (21 in the 3rd quarter)!! He was extremely efficient, shooting 68% from the field (15-22). For those who haven’t noticed, Kyrie Irving is the real deal. Outside of Russell Westbrook, he and Stephen Curry are the most electrifying point guards in the game. He has the best ball handling skills in the league (sorry Steph), can shoot from half-court, and is an absolute wizard when he drives the lane.

Kyrie Irving is the SOLE reason the Cavaliers aren’t hitting the panic button today.

Back to last night we go. Lebron James committed 4 fouls in the 1st half. How often do you hear that?! I have one question for Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!?! How could you leave Lebron on the floor with 3 fouls and 7 minutes left in the 1st half?? Okay, maybe that was 2 questions….

Lue is lucky Lebron is a smart player. Lebron didn’t pick up another foul for the remainder of the game. But imagine if Lebron fouled out in the 3rd quarter, and Kyrie’s twisted ankle in the 3rd quarter caused him to leave the game?? The Cavaliers would have been ‘up you know what creak without a paddle’. Instead, Lebron and Kyrie dominated the 3rd quarter. They emerged from the locker room, down 10 at halftime, with a vengeance. They combined for 30 of the Cavaliers 40 points in the 3rd quarter. Yeah, I’d say their ON/OFF switch works just fine.

The Cavaliers now lead this series 3 games to 1 and are 1 game away from the NBA Finals. This would be Lebron James’ 7th consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. Let that sink in for a moment….

The Cavaliers will win Game 5 back in Beantown and will punch their ticket to the NBA Finals, which tip-off June 1st. Check out Game 5 on TNT on Thursday @ 8:30 P.M. EST. Keep this in perspective: while the Cavaliers are schlepping their tired bodies back to Boston, the Golden State Warriors have their feet up on the couch in the comfort of their own home.

Will the Cavaliers playing an extra game prove costly in the NBA Finals?? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

 

NFL Owners Approve Rule Change

Originally written on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017roger

I believe him. Don’t you?? YOU DON’T?! Yeah, me neither. Roger Goodell is a pawn for NFL owners. He opens his mouth and their words come out. Sooooo, NFL owners are now hiding behind heaping piles of bulls*** statements like the one pictured above. On Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017, NFL owners unanimously voted to change overtime in the regular season from 15-minutes to 10-minutes. This change will take place in the preseason as well. The claim is this was done out of concern for player’s safety. Yeahhhh..okayyyy..and my birthdate was May 22nd, 2017 (that would be yesterday for those paying attention).

First of all, NFL owners only care for their player’s safety as long as they are healthy enough to produce at a high level on the field. The rest, no matter what they say (or Goodell says), DOES NOT MATTER!! Shortening overtime games from 15 to 10-minutes reduces injury risk about as much as Jaywalking stops people from crossing the street in Midtown Manhattan whenever the hell they want.

Second, how many games will this actually affect? The answer is not a lot. Ties became less likely in 1974 when the NFL introduced an overtime period. Since then, only 22 games have ended in a tie. And in 2012, overtime rules were modified yet again. That change added a twist, ever so slightly breaking away from the sudden-death format. For a refresher of the 2012 rule change, click here. And today, NFL’s overtime period evolves even further.

Oh, you want the real reason for this inane modification?? Fair enough.

Here it is: as petty as this sounds..it’s all about the Benjamin’s baby. Because as they say, money makes the world go ’round. Just because it’s cliché, doesn’t mean it’s not true. Don’t they have enough money you ask?? HA! Yeah, because people with nine zero’s in their bank account don’t want more money. I bet Jim Irsay is still a ‘take a penny’ kind of guy. Even though in reality this rule change won’t actually change anything, NFL owners believe it will enhance their product. And yes, in turn enhance their bottom line. I go on tangents a lot. You must get used to them.

Here are the reasons NFL owners believe they are enhancing their product:

  1. The 1st reason is already working. We are talking about this rule change. As they say, any publicity is good publicity.
  2. They think overtimes will be more exciting because teams will play to win rather than tie.
  3. They think there is less of a chance fans turn the TV off if the game is guaranteed to be shortened.
  4. They actually think this makes their Thursday night product more watchable. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. But seriously, owners actually think getting players off the field faster on a Sunday will make them play better on a Thursday.

IF YOU ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT PLAYER’S SAFETY, THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL WOULDN’T EXIST!!

No matter how inconsequential, this rule change is stupid. It will inevitably cause more ties. It won’t improve player’s safety. It won’t enhance the overall NFL product. NFL owners collectively stomped their feet like a spoiled 4-year old, and they got their way.

How do you feel about this change? Do you like it? Do you hate it? Do you not care? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

Playoffs, Playoffs, And More Playoffs!!

predators

Monday was a busy night for the record books. What’s Playoff Season without making a little history, right?? And what’s better than Playoff Season?!

“What do you like better, Christmas or Wedding Season?”

“Mr. Grey?”

“Yes. The answer would be, um, Wedding season?”

Yes. I like Playoff Season better than Christmas. Don’t judge me. From the hardwood to the ice, last night was a channel flippin’ kind of night. I’m surprised the ‘last’ button on my television remote didn’t fall off. Where shall we start first? NHL or NBA? Competitive or ahem..non-competitive? Nail-biting finishes or ummmm..beat the traffic? I guess I shouldn’t beat up the NBA too badly if I want you to read about it….

But first, lace up those skates because we’re heading to the rink.

NHL Playoffs

How many times have you seen the Nashville Predators play hockey this year? Or ever? Well, you should start because they are a lot of fun to watch. And talk about an exciting venue. Bridgestone Arena was absolutely rockin’ last night. The Predators ousted the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals (by the score of 6-3). The Predators are heading to their 1st Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. They await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals (Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators). The Penguins lead 3 games to 2 and Game 6 will be played tonight on NBC Sports @ 8:00 P.M. Sydney Crosby is good at hockey. Anyway….

The Predators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead just 8:47 into the 1st period. After going up 3-1 early in the 3rd period, enter the “most dangerous lead in hockey”. This of course is the myth that having a 2-goal lead is a bad thing. Well, Monday night, it almost was. The Predators surrendered 2 goals in the span of 3 minutes and 52 seconds. Just like that, the game was tied at 3. The Predators, as they have throughout the playoffs, showed their resiliency. With 6 minutes to play, Colton Sissons completed his hat trick, putting the Predators up 4-3. They would add 2 empty-net goals, after the Ducks pulled their goalie inexplicably early (2:30 left to play!). Apparently, that is new school hockey. Where’s Steve Yzerman when you need him??

Did I mention the Nashville Predators are the #8 seed in the Western Conference?? Oh yeah. It is only the 3rd time a #8 seed has reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Immediately following the game, Michael Bosnack of Floral Park, an NHL enthusiast, said, “Nashville may be famous for their country music, but the Predators are slowly becoming the hidden gem down in the Music City. The pulse of the city runs through Bridgestone Arena these days.”  

Predators coach, Peter Laviolette, became just the 4th coach to bring 3 different teams to the Stanley Cup Finals. That is an exceptional honor, but Laviolette made light of it by saying, “That probably means I’ve been fired a lot.” Laviolette should be proud of his team. They have only lost once at home in the playoffs. For now, they celebrate!!

NBA Playoffs

The Golden State Warriors Won aga…….

Man, I sound like a broken record. I can picture the millennials now: What’s a record? Can I swipe it to the left?? Can I post about it right now???

NO. You can’t. Just show up for work on time.

Anyway, the Golden State Warriors won again by double digits (129-115), sweeping the San Antonio Spurs. This not only completed the sweep of the Western Conference Finals but of the entire playoffs!! This hasn’t happened since the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers swept their way to the NBA Finals. The Lakers accomplished this in 11 games because the 1st round was previously a best-of-five series. The Warriors became the 1st team to win 12 consecutive games to start the playoffs and to also sweep three 7-game series in one playoffs. And now, they will wait for Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to quit messin’ around and dispose of the Boston Celtics already.

While the Warriors were busy steamrolling the Spurs, fans seemed more preoccupied with paying homage to Manu Ginobili. The soon to be 40 year-old most likely put on his Spurs’ jersey for the last time. Ginobili was the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. That’s the 2nd to last pick in the draft for those of you keeping score at home. Ginobili played internationally for a few years before entering the league in 2002. And the rest, as they say, is history. 15 NBA seasons and 4 NBA Championships later, Ginobili will more than likely be ‘hangin’ it up’. He will go down as one of the best international players to ever play in the NBA. His high energy and pesky style of play made him a staple as the 6th man on the Spurs’ dynasty of the past decade and a half. Thanks for the good times Manu.

What were you watching last night? The NBA Playoffs, the NHL Playoffs, or something weird I’ve never heard of before? Let me know in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: LEBRON JAMES IS HUMAN!!

avery bradley

I did not see that coming. Neither did the Cleveland Cavaliers. Neither did anyone else in the world (besides the delusional Celtics fan). But, it’s like they say, there is a reason they play the game. If everything went the way it was supposed to, what would be the point of playing each game? With that being said, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals was one of the most shocking developments we’ve ever seen. It is the reason we LOVE sports.

Let me set the scene:

The Boston Celtics didn’t just lose Games 1 and 2, they got demoralized. They got run out of the building, chased down the street, and forced up a tree to hide their shame. They lost both games on their home court (so much for home court advantage), including a 44-point shellacking in Game 2. As if that wasn’t enough, they lost their best player, Isaiah Thomas, to a torn hip labrum in Game 2. With everyone, myself included, looking past the Celtics to the seemingly inevitable NBA Finals rematch, they peaked their head around the corner and said, hey woah woah woah..we’re still here!!

Game 3 started just as games 1 and 2 did. It’s actually a miracle I didn’t turn the television off. The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead, behind Kevin Love’s FIVE 1st quarter 3-pointers (1 shy of tying the NBA record for 3-pointers in a quarter). If you can guess who holds that record I’ll be very impressed….How’d you know?! It is none other than Antoine Walker. The Cavaliers were up by 11 after the 1st quarter, 16 at the half, and led by as many as 21. But the Celtics never gave up. They scratched and clawed their way back into the game, only trailing by 5 heading to the 4th quarter.

So do you want the good or the bad first?? Alright, I’ll start with the bad. It’s more like ugly, but I’ve been trying to be nice lately. Lebron James was AWFUL last night (Awful baby, with a capital A!!). His performance was reminiscent of James Harden’s stinker in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals. If you need a refresher of that stellar bag of poop, click here. Come to think of it, it’s eerily similar to the Rockets’ loss to the Spurs, as the Spurs won without their best player too. Anyway, Lebron James finished with just 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting. He had just as many turnovers as he did assists (6), and he dropped as many points as I did in the 4th quarter….

He looked like he was allergic to the basketball in the 4th quarter.

And now, the good. The entire Celtics team contributed to their comeback win last night. 11 Celtics saw game action, with 6 landing in double figures. They were led by Marcus Smart’s playoff career-high 27 points. The entire Celtics roster showed their fortitude. Down 2 games to none, down 21-points with 6:39 left in the 3rd quarter, they could have curled up in the fetal position, but they didn’t. Instead, they drank some of ‘Michael’s Secret Stuff’, and they turned things around. Classic movie! The Celtics took the lead with 4:20 left in the game, and then it became a seesaw affair. With 10 seconds to play, the Celtics, with possession, had a chance to shock the world. The game was tied at 108, and Marcus Smart brought up the ball. He fed it to Avery Bradley curling off a screen just beyond the 3-point line, and Bradley let it fly. The ball hit every single inch of the rim, as the final seconds ticked, before dropping through the basket. And the Celtics did it!! They stormed back against all odds. 111-108 shined on the scoreboard as the Celtics celebrated on King James’ court.

Unfortunately, this fantastic effort was all for naught. The Cavaliers will win this series (most likely in 5 games now). Lebron James will return to superhuman form. And the sports world will get their super team matchup in the NBA Finals. God, I hope it’s better than Batman vs. Superman!! Expect Lebron to bounce back in a big way in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Check it out by tuning into TNT on Tuesday night @ 8:30 P.M. EST.

Will the Celtics win another game in this series? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

I Think We’ll Call This One….ConcussionGate

gisele

 

Apparently being a 5-time Super Bowl Champion, a multi-millionaire, and the best quarterback of all-time doesn’t qualify you to wear the pants in the family. Tom Brady is married to retired Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Oh yeah, she kept her maiden name. Despite having a net worth of approximately 180 million dollars, Brady is also NOT the bread winner in their household. Gisele’s net worth is an estimated 360 million dollars. Think they have enough money? Anyway, the point is, Tom couldn’t keep Gisele from ‘spilling the beans’ on national television.

On Wednesday, Gisele was interviewed on “CBS This Morning”. To see the cringe worthy portion of the interview, click here. Gisele blurted out that her husband had a concussion last year. She went on to say that he’s had multiple concussions in his career. Riiiigghhttt….Only problem there is Tom Brady has never been diagnosed with a concussion before, nor have the words head injury and Tom Brady ever collided on an injury report. If you follow the NFL or the New England Patriots, you know they are a big fan of filling up the injury report. Julian Edelman..you stubbed your toe? You’re on the injury report. Rob Gronkowski..you spiked a gallon of milk on ESPN again and some milk splattered on your thumb? You’re on the injury report. The Patriots have also been known to bend the rules from time-to-time, so this is a very intriguing revelation.

So, did Gisele just blow the doors off a concussion cover-up?! Yup, you guessed it, I’m going to tell you what I think. Here are the 3 possibilities for what this means:

1.) The most likely scenario is Gisele accidentally dropped the concussion bomb on live television. This will likely lead to a lengthy investigation by the NFL and could bring us flashbacks of ‘DeflateGate’ by introducing ‘ConcussionGate’. Yayy!!

2.) This next one is for all you conspiracy theorists out there. Is it possible that Tom and Gisele did this on purpose? Because the only thing better than attention….is more attention.

3.) And finally, there is the possibility that she just doesn’t know what she’s talking about. This is the least likely possibility (as well as the most insulting), but how could she possibly let the c-word fly?? That’s the holy grail of curse words in the NFL. Tom Brady probably saw that interview and was like, you gotta be kidding me….you don’t let me pee standing up, and now you do this?!?! ‘C’mon Man!

The initial question asked of Gisele was in response to Tom Brady’s ESPN interview earlier in the week. Brady said that Gisele wants him to retire, but he went on to say that he still feels great at 40 years old. And if he feels this good at 45 years old, why wouldn’t he still be playing football? Well Tom, nobody beats father time. And apparently neither Tom or father time will decide when it’s time to retire: “She makes decisions for our family that I’ve got to deal with. Hopefully she never says, ‘Look, this has to be it,'” Brady said “My wife and my kids, it’s a big investment of their time and energy too.”

Listen, I am a huge supporter of women’s rights, equal pay, and the empowerment of women. But, I also don’t believe relationships should be run or controlled by one person. That goes for men and women. Relationships and marriages only work if there is open communication and compromise. But I guess Tom Brady is living proof of ‘happy wife, happy life’.

Do you think Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are covering up concussions?? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

 

Will Lebron James Ever Lose A Basketball Game Ever Again??

LeBron-James

 

I don’t like turning games off at halftime. While I do love sleep, I prefer overtime thrillers. So, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a dud. Lebron James, a well rested Lebron James, dismissed the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night with a standard playoff performance. Ya know, just another day at the office: 38 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. He’s decceeennttt….

Lebron, as pictured above, might as well have been going through a layup line last night. I must say, I am extremely disappointed in Celtics coach Brad Stevens. Coach Stevens thought it was a good idea to put a combination of Al Horford and Kelly Olynyk on Lebron defensively. How’d that work out for ya?! Coach Stevens should know Lebron wants to attack the basket. And attack the basket he did. Lebron was 7-8 from the field in the first quarter. Seemingly all on uncontested layups right down the middle of the lane. I understand that Lebron is practically as big as a center, but he can’t be guarded by one.

The harsh reality is no one can guard Lebron James, especially from the Celtics roster, but you have to slow him down..at least a little bit. Coach Stevens, even though you didn’t ask, I offer my advice:

You have to put either Jae Crowder or Avery Bradley on Lebron James, and then double Lebron anytime he gets past the free throw line. This will force Lebron to either force a bad shot or pass the ball out to the perimeter. And as good as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are, I’ll take my chances. Crowder is the better option due to his size (6’6″, 235 lbs.), strength, and speed combination. However, Bradley is the Celtics’ best on-ball defender. And while he gives up 6 inches and 70 pounds to Lebron, if he gives Lebron extra space on the perimeter and forces Lebron to shoot (he went 1-6 from 3-point range last night), they may stand a better chance.

The Celtics did NOT stand a chance in Game 1. The final score of 117-104 doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story. At halftime, the Cavaliers took their foot off the pedal, and placed their vehicle in cruise control. Which begs the question: with a 21-point lead with 5 minutes left in the game, why were the Cavalier’s starters still on the floor?! I understand they had just spent the past 10 days resting, but what if Lebron, Kyrie, or Kevin had gotten hurt?? And speaking of rest. I bet all you people debating rest vs. momentum and how much rest is too much rest, are the same people who hit the panic button on the Cavaliers back in January, and again in March, and then again in April. Hey..pssssttt..guess what? Lebron James has been there and done this before. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be just fine.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors haven’t lost a basketball game since 1974. It sure seems that way doesn’t it?? After last night’s drubbing, their historic, 3-peat rematch is one step closer. I can’t wait!!

Will the Cavaliers and Warriors both sweep their way to the NBA Finals? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

Somewhere..Bill Russell Is Doing His Happy Dance

CPE_8517.JPG

And the winner of the 250 Million Dollar Lottery is……….The Boston Celtics?! Yes, you heard that right. The team set to take on former lottery prize Lebron James in the Eastern Conference Finals was awarded the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. And there’s no cash by the way, only the rights to Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington. Hey Danny Ainge, how’s the view from up there?? Ainge, the President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics, orchestrated a masterful trade with the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013. The Nets received Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (both were WAY past their prime) for a pile of players and future draft picks. Enter last night’s lottery win by the Celtics. Paul Pierce didn’t wait long to say you’re welcome.

As with any lottery, there must be winners and losers. First, let’s take a look at the lottery results:

1. Celtics (via Nets)

2. Lakers

3. Sixers (via Kings)

4. Suns

5. Kings (via Sixers)

6. Magic

7. Timberwolves

8. Knicks

9. Mavericks

10. Kings (via Pelicans)

11. Hornets

12. Pistons

13. Nuggets

14. Heat

Thanks to this ridiculous system, the winners and losers are self-explanatory. Land above your projected draft spot..you’re a winner, fall below your projected draft spot..you’re a loser. Of course, none of this guarantees you a superstar player. The Knicks can attest to that (I wonder what Frederic Weis is doing right now?).

Sooooooo, why does the NBA select the draft order this way rather than award the best pick to the team with the worst record? The answer is simple; MONEY. Amidst a so far underwhelming NBA playoffs, the NBA machine has people talking about the draft, and the draft lottery, and the draft combine, and that kid with the expensive shoes (no I will not say his name here). Ratings, the all-mighty money grab, ratings, and more ratings. That’s what it’s all about. And once the buzz around the draft lottery ends, the Cavaliers/Warriors saga will commence. And once the NBA Finals is over, the actual draft will happen. And once the draft is over, free agents will be on the move. Hmmmmm..sound familiar? Seems like the NBA is doing their best NFL impersonation. Good for you Adam Silver, good for you.

The biggest winners of the night included the Boston Celtics (obviously) and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers received the #2 overall pick. If the Lakers had fallen outside of the top 3, they would have lost their pick to the (Orlando) Magic, so it’s a good thing Magic (Johnson) is on their side. And now for my favorite part of the program..THE LOSERS!! The biggest loser Tuesday night was the Phoenix Suns, as they dropped 2 spots (from #2 to #4). So much for Tank Mode.  

And last but certainly not le…Oh okay, maybe they are least. Enter my New York Knicks. They can’t win right. They can’t draft right. They can’t tank right. And they certainly can’t get lucky right. The Knicks fell 1 spot from #7 to #8. I know it’s only 1 spot, but it’s just another bump in a long line of bumps in Knicks history. Let’s see how Phil Jackson screws this up. Hey Phil, Danny Ainge is running a General Managers Camp. I heard it’s a great way to improve your people skills. Want me to sign you up?? As for players we can land come draft day, the Knicks should have their choice between French guard Frank Ntilikina and NC State guard Dennis Smith Jr. As long as we don’t draft another big man, I won’t lose my mind.

Did you watch Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery? Who do you want the Knicks to draft? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!