2017 NBA Draft Review

nba-draft-2017-scelte-squadre

13 words. These 13 words are now the favorite words of the 60 young men who were drafted into the NBA on Thursday night:

“With the 1st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select_______________.”

It is the culmination of a dream. It is the prize at the end of a long road. A long road often filled with blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice. Now these players must take their level of commitment and desire to a whole new level. Before they start all that hard work, let’s meet them.

The 1st overall pick was Markelle Fultz (Washington), by the 76ers. Fultz, a point guard, was unanimously recognized as the top prospect in the draft. I refuse to talk about the next guy. Sorry. You can see every draft pick by clicking here. At #3, the Boston Celtics brought us the first semi-surprise by selecting Jayson Tatum over Josh Jackson. Tatum (Duke) brings excellent outside shooting to a Celtics team badly in need of shooters. Jackson (Kansas) fell into the happily out-stretched arms of the Phoenix Suns at #4. And to round out the top 5, the Sacramento Kings selected who I think will be the best player in this draft, De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky).

As exciting as the NBA Draft was, it was completely overshadowed by a monster trade:

Minnesota Timberwolves Get 

Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick

Chicago Bulls Get

Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and the 7th pick.

In other words, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE CHICAGO BULLS?!?!

Zach Lavine was having a good season until he tore his ACL this past February. Kris Dunn is a young point guard who still has potential, but I don’t see him as more than a career back-up. The Bulls went on to select Lauri Markkanen, a 7-footer who can shoot out of the University of Arizona. This is a fantastic trade for the Timberwolves, and a really, REALLY bad trade for the Bulls.

Jimmy Butler is now reunited with his old coach, Tom Thibodeau. He now has the luxury of starting Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Jimmy Butler. WOW!! Watch out Western Conference. With the 16th pick they grabbed a big man from Creighton, Justin Patton. The Timberwolves will make some noise in the West, and don’t be surprised if they leap into the top-half of the Western Conference come playoff time.

Now, we can sit back, relax, and wait for free agents to relocate (possibly). This will help teams round out their rosters, and the right to lose to the Golden State Warriors picture will become clearer. The coming weeks and months are still fun, as the NBA is attempting to remain in the spotlight all year round.

I think I’ll call the NBA, NFL Jr. from now on.

What did you think of the NBA Draft?? Did your team select the player you were hoping for?? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends about me!!

 

 

Durant Wins 1st (of many) NBA Title

durant nba title

There are 9 words in the English language we should all get used to hearing..again..and again..and again: “The Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions once again!” With Kevin Durant as the new sheriff in town, this may become a common theme in the NBA. And as impressive as the Warriors were this season (I will give them their deserved praise), they are not helping the NBA’s cause. Many thought the NBA had become a 2-team league. Correction. It has become a 1-team league. Think about it. What is the question Cavaliers ownership and management are asking themselves right now?? Exactly! Who can we add to this roster in order to compete with the Warriors?? You laugh but it’s true. In the not so distant future, I picture the entire All-Star starting lineups donning Cavaliers and Warriors’ jerseys. We’ll get back to the mess that is the NBA, but for now, let us give the Warriors the standing ovation they deserve.

Kevin Durant did what he set out to do. He captured his 1st NBA title after jumping ship in Oklahoma City and joining forces with Stephen Curry and company. There’s only one way to put this, Durant straight up balled out. After missing 20 games due to injury this season, Durant returned and peaked at the perfect moment. He averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in the finals, making him the unanimous Finals MVP. He unquestionably deserved the Finals MVP, however, he completely overshadowed the spectacular series Stephen Curry had. Curry averaged 26.8 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.0 rebounds in the Finals. Those are video game numbers, normally MVP worthy, however, Curry was the 3rd best player in the series. Again highlighting the state of the NBA.

Let’s rewind to the 2014 offseason. The Warriors roster was constructed with only 1 thing in mind; winning multiple championships. 2 down, at least 1 to go. Assuming this roster remains intact (only Andre Iguodala is a free agent this coming offseason), this Warriors team will remain a dynasty in the NBA. Which begs the question, where does this Warriors team rank amongst the all-time great teams?? We only ask the tough questions here at DaveTalksSports!! Here is a list of the NBA’s all-time great teams:

  1. The “Showtime” Lakers
  2. The 80’s Celtics
  3. The “Bad Boy” Pistons
  4. The Bill Russell Celtics
  5. The Shaq and Kobe Lakers
  6. The Spurs’ Dynasty
  7. And last, but certainly not least, the Jordan-Era Bulls

When we say teams, we really mean an era or dynasty that won multiple championships. Many teams flashed greatness for 1 year, but how many franchises ran off streaks of multiple championships??

The Warriors have now been to 3 straight NBA Finals (winning 2 of 3). In the 2015-2016 season, the Warriors broke the record for most wins in the regular season (73), previously held by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls (72). The Warriors made a historic run through the postseason this year, dropping just 1 game. Their 16-1 record is the highest winning percentage (.941) of any championship team in NBA history, and they also became 1 of only 3 1-loss teams to win a championship.

The question, when comparing teams from different eras, isn’t who would win (as fun as it would be to watch Jordan and the Bulls play Durant and the Warriors), rather who has a more impressive resume. The Warriors still have room for improvement (which is scary), but right now I’d rank them 7th all-time, behind everyone on the above list besides The “Bad Boy” Pistons. Every other team on that list won at least 3 championships and had at least 4 Finals’ appearances. Unless the Cavaliers add another piece to their championship puzzle, the Warriors should repeat next year (yes I already decided next year’s champion) and climb the all-time ranks.

For now, we close the book on the 2016-2017 NBA season. And we open a new book to a clean page to start the debate. Where do the Warriors rank amongst the all-time great teams?? Post your ranking 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!

 

Melo Takes Paycut to Return to Knicks

carmelo-anthony

After weeks of deliberation, Carmelo Anthony has finally decided to return to the New York Knicks.  Anthony made the announcement Saturday (even though he had probably made up his mind by Friday) that he would be re-signing with the Knickerbockers.  The deal will be worth $122 million over the next 5 years.  Who said Melo wasn’t a team player??  This guy just made the ultimate sacrifice by taking a whopping $7 million less than the max deal over 5 years.  He just saved the franchise $1.4 million per year over the next 5 years.  What a guy!  Now the Knicks have the cap space to sign Kurt Thomas.  Can you say game changer?!?!  In all seriousness, the Knicks did what they had to do and so did Carmelo Anthony.  The Knicks, as much as they didn’t want to, had to throw the whole bag of cash at him, because if they missed out on Melo, where would they be?  And Melo actually wanted to leave for a better, more championship ready situation.  The only problem was that option didn’t exist in this years free agency.  The Chicago Bulls were only a better option if Derrick Rose is healthy, and at this point I’d say that is an enormous if.  I don’t believe the Lakers were ever a real option seeing as they don’t have a coach, and they actually have a worse roster than the Knicks.  And as good as the Houston Rockets would have become with the addition of Melo, who wants to live in Houston?? 

 

As for the Knicks, in the horrid eastern Conference, they shouldn’t fare too badly this upcoming season.  They are no championship contender, don’t get me wrong, but don’t be surprised if they creep up to the 4 or 5 seed.  Yes, Derek Fisher is a wild card in this equation, but I have the utmost confidence that Phil Jackson will steer him in the right direction.  Now, I need to say something to all of the Carmelo Anthony haters of the world.  Y’all are out of your damn minds!!  As much as critics and fans alike enjoy picking Anthony’s game apart, he is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA.  He may not be the best defender in the NBA, but does defense really exist in the NBA??  And the notion that a team can not win with Carmelo Anthony on its roster; is ludicrous.  Carmelo Anthony is what he is.  He is one of the best pure scorers the game has ever seen who also happens to grab 8 -10 rebounds a night.  Everyone is trying to turn him in to a player that he simply will never be.  You know what Melo’s biggest mistake is?  That he isn’t Lebron James.  Ever since high school, the two have been linked.  Their head-to-head matchups in high school were televised, they came out of the same NBA draft class, and most recently they shared the same free agency spot light.  Melo is not the passer Lebron is, he’s not the defender Lebron is, and he simply is not the all around player Lebron is.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t win a championship with Carmelo Anthony on your roster.   Phil Jackson will put a roster in place that highlights the strengths of everyone on it, and most importantly, Carmelo Anthony will be utilized correctly for the first time in his career.  Just watch for Anthony’s 4th quarter contributions under Phil Jackson opposed to the tired, wobbly legged Anthony we’ve grown accustom to seeing under the likes of Mike and Mike (no not that Mike and Mike); Woodson and D’Antoni.  Anthony has always been asked to do too much.  With a real point guard and a proper system in place, don’t be surprised to see Anthony thrive as a member of the new look Knicks.    

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can 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!         

Eastern Conference Finals Recap: Game 1

Image

 

Well, who saw that coming?  Who expected an offensive explosion from the often anemic Indiana Pacers offense?  I know I didn’t.  The Pacers starting five averaged just shy of 38 minutes each and all scored in double digits (yes, even Roy Hibbert scored in double digits).  This helped lead The Pacers to a 107-96 win Sunday afternoon over The Miami Heat.  History usually dictates that when Dwyane Wade plays well, the Heat win, however, it appears that just Lebron James and Dwyane Wade isn’t enough to beat a Pacers team when firing on all cylinders.  With that being said, let us talk about what The Pacers accomplished in Game 1.

 

The Pacers managed an astounding 42.1% shooting from 3-point range.  Their regular season average from downtown was only 38.2%.  They also only averaged 92.5 points per game during the regular season, so the 107 points they put up in Game 1 was also somewhat of an anomaly.  The entire Pacers roster played well, and they do have the size to counteract The Miami Heat’s smaller, more athletic lineup, however, I don’t foresee The Pacers sustaining this level of offensive efficiency.  I also don’t believe that Chris Bosh will score only 9 points per game and continue to go 0 for the century from downtown (he went 0-5 from 3-point range in Game 1).  The Heat also have a very solid track record when losing the 1st game of a playoff series.  In the 2013 playoffs, they lost the 1st game in 2 out of their 3 series (against The Chicago Bulls and The San Antonio Spurs).  The Heat went on to sweep the rest of The Bulls series and they went on to beat The Spurs as well to capture their 2nd straight NBA Championship.

 

Today, most people will be overreacting to The Miami Heat’s Game 1 loss, but I, as I’m sure you have already figured out, will not be.  As much as I would enjoy The Heat losing in The Eastern Conference Finals, not only for my own personal enjoyment but for the mass hysteria that would cause, I just don’t see it happening.  I believe Lebron James (aka the best player on the planet) will put his team on his shoulders, and on Wednesday morning, everyone will be seated (with arms and legs inside the vehicle) securely BACK on The Miami Heat bandwagon.  You can catch Game 2 of The Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night @ 8:30  P.M. on ESPN.  Can’t wait to watch more basketball until then?  Then tune into TNT tonight @ 9:00 P.M. to catch The Oklahoma City Thunder take on The San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of The Western Conference Finals.  That should be a highly competitive, fun series to watch as well.  Enjoy!

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can 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! 

     

NBA Playoffs to be Overshadowed No Longer

Image

 

                     So far, the 2014 NBA Playoffs have been nothing short of spectacular.  There have been 8 overtime games (including 4 in a row in the Memphis Grizzlies/Oklahoma City Thunder Series), and we still haven’t gotten out of the 1st round.  More importantly, The Los Angeles Clippers and their fans showed up for Game 5 last night in L.A. and showed their support for the team.  The Clippers held off the Golden State Warriors, winning the game 113-103 and now have a 3 games to 2 lead in this best of 7 series.  As I mentioned earlier, The Grizzlies and Thunder did what they do, and played a 4th consecutive overtime game.  The Grizzlies eked out a 100-99 victory over The Thunder to take a 3 games to 2 lead in that series as well.  Another series concluded last night with The Washington Wizards defeating The Chicago Bulls and advancing to their first 2nd round appearance since 2005.  Behind the youth of John Wall and Bradley Beal and the leadership of Nene, the Wizards will look to continue their run through the playoffs against the winner of the Atlanta Hawks/Indiana Pacers series.  Side note: Roy Hibbert, why are you terrible at basketball?  Anyway, outside of the Wizards series and the Miami Heat/Charlotte Bobcats series (that has been over for some time now), every other series has been ultra competitive and every game has been fun to watch.  The biggest surprise of the 1st round has to be The Dallas Mavericks hanging in there with the battled tested San Antonio Spurs.  And even though there have been 8 overtime games, I personally believe the best game so far has come from that series as well.  Vince Carter’s buzzer-beater in Game 3 on Saturday was just the icing on the cake of an exhilarating final minutes of a great basketball game.  In the final Minute and forty-six seconds The Mavericks and Spurs went a combined 7 for 8 from the field.  Monta Ellis put forth an outstanding effort (scoring 29 points on 12-22 shooting), singlehandedly keeping his team in the game.  And despite Manu Ginobli and Boris Diaw’s best efforts, Vince Carter put the nail in the coffin of Game 3 with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner.  This series is now tied 2-2, and Game 5 will be played tonight in San Antonio.

                    Another important news story that has been completely overshadowed thanks to Donald Sterling, is the passing of Dr. Jack Ramsay.  It’s a shame that a story as pathetic as Donald Sterling’s can overshadow the remembrance of one of the greatest NBA coaches of all-time.  But, let’s see if we can pay the proper respects to a man who was so vital to the progress of the NBA.  Dr. Jack Ramsay coached in the NBA for 20 years, and is currently 13th on the all-time wins list.  He won an NBA Championship in 1967 as the General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers and also won a Championship in 1977 as the Coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.  After retiring from coaching in 1988, Ramsay got into Broadcasting where he did play-by-play for The Philadelphia 76ers and The Miami Heat for 9 years.  Ramsay was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 capping off a truly memorable career. 

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can 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!

 

Thank you for reading and leave a comment in the section below.

 

 

 

Everybody Ready For the Miami Heat To Start Trying??

Ready or not here come the NBA Playoffs. They will start today Saturday, April 20th at 3:00 p.m. when the Boston Celtics travel to New York to take on the Knicks. This is a very interesting series that carries many subplots on and off the court. As you all know, the city of Boston has gone through a heart wrenching week. While all are relieved that the persons responsible for the tragic bombings in Boston are dead or in custody, the city is still emotional right now. They also have a great sense of pride right now (as they should). The Boston Celtics would love to show their support to their great city and give it’s people something positive to cheer for. Beating the New York Knicks in the scheme of life means next to nothing, but it would even further unite the great people of their city. I personally feel for Boston. I think it is a great city filled with great people, and no one should have to experience what they have experienced over the past week. Again, sports are what they are, they are just games, but at times can mean so much more. New Yorkers know a little something about that. I feel that the Celtics team will give it their all and will take the Knicks to the limit in this playoff series. Now let’s talk about basketball for a minute. From a skill standpoint the Knicks are the better team with better players. However, if the Celtics are healthy and the Knicks are not, Melo and his boys might be in some trouble. The Celtics are a veteran squad who have playoff tested warriors. They know exactly what it takes to win. With all that being said, I still believe that Melo and the Knicks will be too much to handle for the Celtics. I believe this will be a hard fought series that will go the full 7 games. The home teams will stay undefeated throughout this series, and the Knicks will pull out a win at home in game 7. As for the rest of the playoffs, let me run down the schedule of games with each matchup and who I think will prevail:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

MIAMI HEAT (1) VS. MILWAUKEE BUCKS (8)
Game 1 @Miami: Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 @Miami: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 3 @Milwaukee: April 25, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 4 @Milwaukee: April 28, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
*Game 5 @Miami: April 30
*Game 6 @Milwaukee: May 2
*Game 7 @Miami: May 4

NEW YORK KNICKS (2) VS. BOSTON CELTICS (7)
Game 1 @New York: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2 @New York: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Boston: April 26, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Boston: April 28, 1 p.m. ET, ABC
*Game 5 @New York: May 1
*Game 6 @Boston: May 3
*Game 7 @New York: May 5

INDIANA PACERS (3) VS. ATLANTA HAWKS (6)
Game 1 @Indiana: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 @Indiana: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 3 @Atlanta: April 27, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Atlanta: April 29
*Game 5 @Indiana: May 1
*Game 6 @Atlanta: May 3
*Game 7 @Indiana: May 5

BROOKLYN NETS (4) VS. CHICAGO BULLS (5)
Game 1 @Brooklyn: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 @Brooklyn: Monday, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Chicago: April 25, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 4 @Chicago: April 27, 2 p.m., TNT
*Game 5 @Brooklyn: April 29
*Game 6 @Chicago: May 2
*Game 7 @Brooklyn: May 4

WESTERN CONFERENCE

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (1) VS. HOUSTON ROCKETS (8)
Game 1 @Oklahoma City: Sunday, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 @Oklahoma City: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Houston: April 27, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Houston: April 29
*Game 5 @Oklahoma City: May 1
*Game 6 @Houston: May 3
*Game 7 @Oklahoma City: May 5

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (2) VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS (7)
Game 1 @San Antonio: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2 @San Antonio: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Los Angeles: April 26, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Los Angeles: April 28, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
*Game 5 @San Antonio: April 30,
*Game 6 @Los Angeles: May 2
*Game 7 @San Antonio: May 4

DENVER NUGGETS (3) VS. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (6)
Game 1 @Denver: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 @Denver: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Golden State: April 26, 10:30 p.m. ESPN2
Game 4 @Golden State: April 28, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
*Game 5 @Denver: April 30
*Game 6 @Golden State: May 2
*Game 7 @Denver: May 4

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (4) VS. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (5)
Game 1 @Los Angeles: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 @Los Angeles: Monday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Memphis: April 25, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 4 @Memphis: April 27, 4:30 p.m. ET, TNT
*Game 5 @Los Angeles: April 30
*Game 6 @Memphis: May 3
*Game 7 @Los Angeles: May 5

“*” = if necessary

I will start with the Eastern Conference, as I think this it is the easier conference to predict. The Heat will sweep the Bucks. If they don’t it means something went horribly wrong. As I stated earlier I believe the Knicks will beat the Celtics in 7 games. The Pacers will take out the Atlanta Hawks in 5 low scoring affairs. Now, the Nets vs the Bulls will certainly be a fun series to watch. You have the tough physical defense of Chicago going up against the tough physical offense of Brooklyn. While I like Chicago’s style of play, I think they are too banged up and Brooklyn’s roster will prove to be too much. I like the Nets in 7 grueling games.

Let’s move on to the Western Conference and see what’s going to happen. James harden had a great season. He will also have the privilege of facing his former team in the 1st round of the playoffs. Sorry James, you are going to get swept. If you go off for 45 at home in game 3 or 4 you may have the pleasure of losing in 5 games. Otherwise you’ll get a souvenir broom to bring home with you. Everyone is telling me how good of a matchup this is for the Lakers. To that I say HAHAHA. The Spurs will handle Dwight Howard and the Lakers without much of an issue. Yes, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol will play well, and two 7 footers are a lot to handle, but the Spurs are too good for the lakers. Period. I have the Spurs moving on in 5 games. The series that will be the most fun to watch is the Nuggets vs the Warriors. These are too fast paced high powered offenses that should try to outs ore each other. If you haven’t seen Stephen Curry play basketball yet, I have one word for you. Enjoy. However, Curry and David Lee can’t beat the Nuggets by themselves. Plus the Nuggets don’t exactly lose at home. I like the Nuggets in 6 games. Lastly, you have the best team in Los Angeles (the Clippers) taking on the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are big and physical and they play defense, but they can’t beat the Clippers in a 7 game series. Sorry Memphis, but you will be going home in 6 games. Better luck next year.

Check back next year when the 1st round is finally over and I’ll give you my predictions for the 2nd round. Cut down the number of teams in the playoffs and you’ll solve a lot of problems. You may take money out of someone’s pocket, but it would be the right thing to do for the sake of the game. Enjoy the games everybody, and for objectivity’s sake: Let’s Go Knicks!!!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can 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!