From La La Land To Motown

The Los Angeles Clippers are throwing in the towel.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before….

Monday night, despite being just 1/2 of a game out of the playoffs, the Clippers drew a line in the sand by trading Blake Griffin to Motown:

Detroit Pistons Get: Blake Griffin, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed

Los Angeles Clippers Get: Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a top-4 protected 2018 1st round pick, and a 2019 2nd round pick

It begs the age-old question: Should a franchise always compete to make the playoffs, even if it means spending eternity in mediocrity??

**We know which side of the fence Kristaps Porzingis falls on, as he expects the New York Knicks to be buyers at the trade deadline. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! When you’re done laughing, please, read on….

If the Clippers held on to Blake Griffin, they might have made the playoffs this season. Only to have the pleasure of being trounced by the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round. Griffin would have undoubtedly gotten hurt along the way. And the Clippers would have been back to the drawing board — again. Instead, the Clippers made a SMART decision, and received a solid ROI (return on investment). Bradley is an expiring contract, Harris is a solid, relatively cheap player who becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019, and draft picks never hurt.

While Griffin is one of the most talented players in the NBA, he’s a hospital visit waiting to happen. Over the past 3 seasons, he’s averaged just 54.3 games per year. And this season, has already missed 16 of 49 games. You can’t dunk on people from the infirmary. Plus, he signed a 5-year, $171 million contract this past July. Over time, that contract will resemble a burden rather than a blessing.

Gather around conspiracy theorists….

Some believe this is the 1st of multiple moves to open up salary cap space for Lebron James. Yes, the Lebron James sweepstakes could be in full effect again next year. But to tear your roster apart for a ‘pipe dream’ is foolish. Expect the Clippers to continue their roster purge prior to the trade deadline (February 8th @ 3:00 P.M EST).

As for the other 29 teams, absolutely nothing has transpired. The New Orleans Pelicans, however, are actively seeking a deal to bolster their frontcourt after losing DeMarcus Cousins to a ruptured Achilles Friday night. Side note: Paul George will replace Cousins on the All-Star Team.

IF Blake Griffin should ever stay healthy, he should land on many All-Star Teams.

Welcome to the Weak-Eastern Conference Blake….

 

Who won the Blake Griffin trade?? Post your thoughts in the comment section below.

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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!

 

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!