One Does Not Simply Tell Gregg Popovich What To Do

This has been a unique week….

How often do two top-five players, in different sports, get traded in the same week?!

Kawhi Leonard Gets Shipped North Of The Border

Ask, and you shall receive. The only thing is, you don’t always get exactly what you ask for. Despite being lauded as the NBA’s gold standard over the past two decades, the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard grew out of love. In June, Leonard publicly requested a trade. Leonard’s destination wish-list was short: The Los Angeles Lakers.

As hard as it is to imagine Gregg Popovich laughing, he probably doubled over when he heard Leonard’s request.

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Oh, you want to play in sunny California, for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, in Popovich’s conference?!?! That’s cute. Instead, Leonard was banished to the Toronto Raptors for the final year of his contract. In return, the Spurs received DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2022 1st-round top-20 protected pick.

The Spurs won this trade — by a lot.

Yes, Leonard is better than DeRozan, so (assuming Leonard is a good soldier this year) the Raptors have a chance in the Eastern Conference. However, knowing Leonard wasn’t going to resign with the Spurs, and CLEARLY isn’t going to resign with the Raptors, the haul the Spurs got for their disgruntled (rental) superstar is astonishing. DeRozan is an all-star who’s under contract for three more years. And don’t sleep on the 22-year old, seven-footer (Poeltl). He’s the type of player Popovich turns into a 10 point, 8 rebound machine, providing depth in the frontcourt.

I’m Moving To Los Angeles!!

machado

It’s good to be Manny Machado.

It’s not every day you start your day on the worst team in MLB (Baltimore Orioles), and end your day on a World Series contender (Los Angeles Dodgers). Also, the weather is slightly better in L.A. than Baltimore — last time I checked.

Like I said….it’s GOOD to be Manny Machado.

Just like Kawhi Leonard, Manny Machado is a top-five player in his respective sport. Just like Leonard, Machado is an expiring contract, and wasn’t expected to resign with his former team. And just like Leonard, Machado helped bring his former team quite the haul.

The Orioles received five prospects for Machado: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-handed pitchers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, and infielders Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera.

Diaz is the prize here, as he was ranked #73 in Baseball Prospectus’ rankings prior to this season.

This deal makes sense for both sides. The Orioles read the tea leaves and did what they had to do, while the Dodgers immediately launched themselves into World Series contention.

And Machado seems to have adjusted nicely to his new home. He’s hitting a smooth .385 through his first three games. Yeah, he’s pretty good.

With just eight days remaining until the MLB trade deadline, stay up to date with every move on DaveTalksSports.com.

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LeBron Longs For La La Legacy

LeBron James is going to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Re-read that. Let it sink in. Still sounds weird, doesn’t it??

While he could have dragged out his decision, creating another ‘Summer of LeBron’, he wasted little time. NBA’s free agency moratorium period began on July 1st at 12:00 a.m. Just 17 hours later, LeBron informed the world, via Klutch Sports, he would be donning purple and gold next season.

**The moratorium period runs from July 1st through July 6th. This means free agents may discuss, and announce contracts, however can’t officially sign on the dotted line until the end of this period.**

LeBron’s move to one of the most storied franchises in NBA history is not surprising. It’s never a bad idea to join forces with Magic Johnson, while carrying the torch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant have kept lit for over 40 years. His contract, however, is surprising. LeBron James has made the one-year contract cool. This method has allowed LeBron the freedom to skip town the second stuff hits the fan, maximize his earning potential, and keep the ball in his court. How many idioms can I squeeze into one sentence?? The answer, apparently, is three.

LeBron’s contract: 4 years, $154 million (4th year player option)

magic

LeBron is giving Magic the most valuable gift imaginable; time. Having the peace of mind that LeBron won’t be going anywhere for a minimum of three seasons is priceless. Now, Magic can shift, shape, and maneuver accordingly.

Which naturally begs the question: Who ELSE is coming to La La Land??

Everyone and their grandmother assumed Paul George to the Lakers was a done deal. However, he and Russell Westbrook’s party burst that bubble before midnight on Saturday….

paul george

Will the San Antonio Spurs acquiesce to Kawhi Leonard’s demands, and trade him to the Lakers?? I don’t know. They want a King’s ransom, and the Lakers should give it, but just because I say it doesn’t mean it’ll happen.

Will the Lakers sign Demarcus Cousins?? They should. They have a meeting setup with Cousins, so the world will see how far Magic’s smile can carry him.

Final Thought

magic vs bird

The NBA is the big winner here. The league is better, and happier, when the Lakers are good. It’s also beneficial when the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and other big markets are competitive too. Two-out-of-three ain’t bad. There was no better era in basketball than the 1980s: Showtime Lakers vs. Bird’s Celtics. There’s no guarantee this will be that, but if the Lakers bring in another top-10 player this year, and Klay Thompson next year, ya never know.

 

Thoughts. Questions. And concerns. You know where those go….

My Father’s Day Was Better Than Yours!!

Best. Father’s Day. Ever!!

I have everything a man could ever want: Amazing wife, beautiful children (including my son on the way and my son with four legs; Jordan), awesome parents, great friends, health, and happiness.

But the sports world….thought I could use more:

Kawhi Wants Out

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Kawhi Leonard leaking that he wants out of San Antonio Friday was my early Father’s Day gift. Kawhi, allegedly disgruntled, requested a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. While Kawhi can request whatever he’d like, he’s under contract for two more seasons, so the Spurs are in no rush to ship their best player out of town. At the same time, a disgruntled employee makes the Christmas Party awkward.

It’s eerily similar to Kyrie Irving asking out of Cleveland. Many were confused why Kyrie would throw annual trips to the NBA Finals alongside the world’s best player in the toilet for his own spotlight. And now, we should remain confused why Kawhi doesn’t want to play under the tutelage of the world’s best coach. Rather than try to understand an NBA star’s mindset, we’ll simply understand the NBA is ruled by its stars.

So, Kawhi will get traded.

Sooner, rather than later.  

Mexico Takes Down Germany

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There was no better gift than what Sunday morning brought DaveTalksSports; a Mexico victory over Germany!!!!

While the entire world, besides Mexico (and my house), thought Mexico had no chance in Sunday’s World Cup match against Germany, Mexico overcame. They outplayed the defending World Cup Champions, capturing a 1-0 victory. The lone goal came from Hirving Lozano in the 35th minute:

If you weren’t sure if Mexicans get excited for their futbol team, just ask the earthquake sensors in Mexico City. Just seven seconds after Lozano’s goal, not one, but two earthquake sensors registered tremors. Experts are calling it an “artificial earthquake”.

THAT IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!!

And Then, There Was Golf

brooks koepka

The U.S. Open was a great tournament. Tommy Fleetwood gave the field all they could handle with his 63 on Sunday. Brooks Koepka became the 1st golfer since Curtis Strange in 1989 to win back-to-back U.S. Opens. But the story here is Phil Mickelson….

Watch first, then we’ll talk:

Uhhh, Phil, what the hell are you doing?!

The answer would be CHEATING!! Last time I checked, you can’t hit the ball while it’s still rolling. I know that. You know that. But most importantly, Phil knows that. Phil made the conscious decision to break this rule, figuring he’d be better off with a two-stroke penalty than playing the ball from wherever it stopped rolling.

Some would call that smart, clever, or practical. Some would be a**holes.

Phil Mickelson should be ashamed of himself.

The USGA should be ashamed of themselves. This inane rule needs to be changed, as Phil should have been disqualified from this tournament immediately.

 

How was your Father’s Day?? Was it possibly as good as mine?? Use that comment section people.

You can find me on the Radio as well. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’m on live, every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. Each show is also broadcast on Facebook Live via: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you LOVE my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! NOW GO TELL ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!

I’ll Play — When I’m Good And Ready!!

Gregg Popovich: “Alright Kawhi, it’s time to get back out there.”

Kawhi Leonard: “No thanks.”

Gregg Popovich: “What?!?!”

Kawhi Leonard: “Yeah, I don’t think I wanna play for you anymore.”

Gregg Popovich: “Was it something I said??”

Kawhi Leonard: “Yeah, that, or your general point of view toward everyone….”

(That’s probably how that conversation went).

HealthySmoothIberiannase

Kawhi Leonard, one of the NBA’s best players, has been riddled with injuries all season. He’s appeared in just 9 games for the San Antonio Spurs. And as of Wednesday, a report surfaced that despite being medically cleared to play, Leonard has chosen to remain on the sidelines. If the Spurs were eliminated from playoff contention I’d almost understand, however, at 35-24 (3rd in the Western Conference), they’d have a shot in the playoffs with a healthy Leonard.

League sources stated Leonard is upset with the Spurs’ timetable for rehabilitation. This tension has led to many believing Leonard and the Spurs will part ways after next season. Leonard has a player option following the 2019 season.

If Leonard leaves, it’ll prove WINNING doesn’t cure all.

I’ve drawn many parallels between the Spurs and New England Patriots. While the NBA and NFL are completely different animals, both dynasties have many similarities. Both win at a record-setting pace. Both systematically place the betterment of the team over any individual. And both have All-Time great coaches who also happen to be emotionless jerks.

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Following his playing career in New England, Wes Welker openly admitted not enjoying his time in New England. He specifically stated Bill Belichick as the reason for signing with the Denver Broncos in 2013. “It was just kind of hard to put up with him (Belichick). You had to endure him (Belichick),” Welker said.

Even the great Tom Brady’s trials and tribulations with Belichick surfaced during this past season. Seemingly the only thing holding the Patriots together is Elmer’s Glue. Or winning. Winning is definitely the thing holding them together.

So with just 23 games left to play in the NBA’s regular season, Popovich is trying to ‘save face’:

“We only have ‘X’ number of games left in the season, and he’s still not ready to go,” Popovich told reporters in San Antonio on Wednesday. “If by some chance he is, it’s gonna be pretty late into the season; and it’s going to be a pretty tough decision — how late to bring somebody back. So that’s why I’m just trying to be honest and logical. I’ll be surprised if he gets back this year.”

That may sound nice. That may be what a head coach should say when speaking about his injured superstar. But he conveniently left out the ‘Kawhi Leonard is healthy but decided not to play for you’ part.

Words are a funny thing…. 

 

Do you agree with Kawhi Leonard’s decision to sit out despite being healthy?? Tell me in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

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

NBA Installs Pillows On Every Team’s Bench

lebron-james-rest

It’s Saturday night. Dinner’s ready. Beer’s in hand. And I settle in to that a** groove in the couch directly in front of the TV. I flip to ABC to watch the highly anticipated match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, ya know, the game ESPN selflessly promoted for weeks, only to find that the game’s 8 best players were “scratched”. Angry, but still happy to have my feet up on the couch next to my wife, we found a movie, and the NBA lost my viewership for the evening.

This is known as the Resting Epidemic. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has acknowledged it is the NBA’s biggest problem, and he feels they have a solution. Their solution is highlighted in the NBA’s schedule for the upcoming season. Here are the most notable changes to the schedule:

  • The season will start 8 days earlier (a move from Oct. 25 to Oct. 17)
  • A record low back-to-back games (an average of 14.4 per team)
  • Elimination of 4 in 5’s (4 games in 5 nights)
  • Protection of Marquee Matchups on National TV

Allow me to elaborate on that last one. Marquee Matchups, such as Warriors vs. Spurs, are broadcast on ABC (National TV). These games carry higher ratings, which brings more advertisers, ergo everyone involved makes more money. So when millions tune-in to check out Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol and NONE of them are playing, yeah, I’d say there’s a problem.

Well this year, the NBA will cater to the babie..ahem..I mean NBA players who feel they don’t get enough days off throughout the season. Ya know, the NBA players who get paid millions to play a game for a living. Yeah — those guys. This is the part when I talk directly into the camera….

Listen, I understand playing in the NBA is taxing on your body. You play thousands of minutes, travel thousands of miles, and probably have odder sleeping habits than me. BUT, you have professional trainers at your beckon call. You have personal chefs. You fly on private planes. And you stay in the nicest hotels imaginable. What the hell do you have to complain about?!?! Playing 4 basketball games in 5 days?!?! Boofreakinhoo!! Try working a 12-hour shift, just to race to your 2nd job where you work another 6-hour shift, to make just enough money to put food on the table for your kids (who you barely see). Then come back to me and tell me you still want to complain about playing in the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Spare me….

The fact that resting is the NBA’s biggest problem, is a sad reflection of our society. And the NBA’s response is even sadder. Rather than coming down hard by fining teams and players, they are coddling their superstars, proudly preparing them for nothing that closely resembles real life. So, when you tune-in to ABC this year for any of the Warriors’ 6 National TV games, they will be well rested. In fact, no team playing on ABC this year will be playing in the 2nd of a back-to-back.

The all-important question still remains: Will caving and pandering to every need of NBA’s superstars solve the NBA’s Resting Epidemic?? Or will NBA teams continue to rest players at inopportune times?? Only time will tell. My guess is it won’t help one bit….

 

What do you think?? Do you agree with the NBA modifying it’s schedule to get NBA players more rest?? Will it solve the Resting Epidemic?? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

I’m Taking My Ball, And I’m Going….Nowhere??

kyrie irving

To trade him or not to trade him?? That is the question. Following the NBA’s primary Free Agency season, they have remained in the spotlight. Adam Silver is probably sitting in a dark room somewhere, doing his best Dr. Evil impersonation while counting stacks of money. The buzz around the league was dying down, until news broke out of Cleveland last week: Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland. This has caused the levees to open, and the rumors to come pouring in.

Media outlets and reporters everywhere are speculating why Kyrie Irving wants to be traded away from the Eastern Conference juggernaut, and that’s all it is, speculation. No one knows exactly what’s going on in Kyrie Irving’s mind. No one knows what the dichotomy is like in the Cavaliers’ locker room. And no one knows if the Cavaliers will actually trade Irving. See, even if Irving did request a trade, the Cavaliers don’t HAVE to trade him. He is under team control, and if Dan Gilbert wants to make 1 more trip to the NBA Finals this upcoming season he’ll hold on to Kyrie Irving.

Now, let’s say the Cavaliers decide to appease Irving and send him packing, they’d reportedly be seeking a king’s ransom. As they should be. While Irving doesn’t play a lick of defense, he IS an unbelievable offensive talent. He has the best handle in the NBA, can shoot from anywhere, and is the best finisher at the rim (under 6’8″) in the NBA. Oh yeah..and he’s ONLY 25 years old. He also has 3 years remaining on his contract (the 3rd year is a player option), so his new team wouldn’t be taking on a rental.

According to reports, Irving has a short list of places he’d like to play:

  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Miami Heat
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New York Knicks

Oh no, you don’t need new glasses, you read that right. Kyrie Irving becomes the 1st player since 1864 to WANT to play for the New York Knicks.

Irving’s reason for wanting to flee Cleveland is he wants to be ‘The Man’. In other words, he wants to trade in his Robin suit for a Batmobile. I am Batman! Reports are also swirling around that he and Lebron James can no longer co-exist. I’m sorry, but this is preposterous. Lebron James may be overbearing, but Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy going to 3 consecutive NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy leading the team in field goal attempts. And Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy with his contract and enormous Nike deal. Now if you told me he’s trying to preemptively jump ship because Lebron is 1 year away from leaving as well, then we can share a beer. Plus, Dan Gilbert is one of the worst owners in the NBA, so he’s not helping.

Irving is at the Cavaliers’ mercy. They can trade him to Brooklyn. They can trade him to Atlanta. Or they don’t have to trade him at all. But, allow me to dissect each of his preferred destinations, ya know, just in case Dan Gilbert wakes up on the right side of the bed this morning.

Spurs

If Irving were on the Spurs, he certainly wouldn’t be ‘The Man’. That’s Kawhi Leonard’s role. Plus, San Antonio isn’t exactly the most conducive environment for being ‘The Man’.

Miami Heat

In South Beach, Irving would be the alpha male, and he’d be joining a decent roster. This isn’t the worst situation in the world.

Minnesota Timberwolves

This is interesting. The Timberwolves, in the past few months, have become the talk of the town. It would be fun to watch Irving play, and co-exist, with Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. The rest of the NBA should hope Irving doesn’t land in Minnesota.

New York Knicks

And last, but certainly least, MY New York Knicks. First of all, it is AMAZING that someone publicly said they WANT to play for the Knicks. Even when Irving doesn’t come to New York, this will be a win for the most poorly run organization in the NBA. Irving would definitely be the top dog here, and watching him not pass to Kristaps Porzingis would be a lot of fun.

 

Will Kyrie Irving be traded?? If so, where will he go?? Send me your predictions to the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

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!

 

There’s No Better Way To Spend Mother’s Day Than Watching Sports….Right?

jeter

First things first. Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there. I hope you all enjoyed your day. My mother has always been an inspiration to me, and I want to thank her for everything she has ever done for me. I also want to wish my wife a beautiful Mother’s Day as well.

Derek Sanderson Jeter intentionally chose Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14th) for his number retirement ceremony. He said he wanted to honor his mother and to thank his entire family for driving him to success. Jeter’s ceremony went exactly like everything went in his career; PERFECT. The same unfortunately can’t be said for the game that followed (the Yankees lost 10-7 to the Astros). Jeter had his number 2 retired, received his plaque that will rest amongst other Yankees’ greats in Monument Park, and then was handed the microphone.

Jeter, as always, kept it classy San Diego. Jeter thanked everyone there is to thank: mother’s everywhere (especially his own and his wife who is a soon-to-be mother), coaches, teammates, and last but not least Yankees fans. I felt the most memorable part of his speech was this: “You know, you play here in New York for 20 years,” Jeter said. “I learned that time flies, memories fade, but family is forever and I’ll be eternally grateful to be a part of the Yankees family, so I can’t thank you guys enough. Thank you very much.” Who could say it better? None other than ‘The Captain’.

On the basketball side of things, Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals had families all over the world late for reservations. What started as a 25-point deficit for the Golden State Warriors (on their home court), ended as a painful, gut wrenching loss for the San Antonio Spurs. Not only did they blow said 25-point lead, but they lost their best player (Kawhi Leonard), again, to an ankle injury. The Warriors didn’t wait long to pounce on the opportunity. They immediately went on an 18-0 run and outscored the Spurs by 23 following Leonard’s early exit. The Warriors won 113-111 to grab a 1-0 lead in the series. Leonard’s status remains up in the air but it doesn’t look promising. Game 2 will be played on Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. on ESPN.

You can tune in to TNT tonight at 8:00 P.M. to watch Game 7 of the Boston Celtics vs. the Washington Wizards. The winner gets the esteemed honor of being pummeled by Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a thrilling game 6, won by John Wall’s heroic 3-pointer, what kind of drama will tonight’s game bring? I say we get another tight one, Celtics 104-Wizards 100. Book it!

What did you think of Derek Jeter’s ceremony? Who will win Game 7 of the Celtics vs. Wizards game? 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!

 

 

The English Language Doesn’t Have A Word For What The Spurs Did To The Rockets Thursday Night

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WOW!! Let me say that again. WOW!!!! Was that awesome or what?? I’ve never enjoyed watching an absolute blowout so much in my life. In case you turned the game off at halftime, it only got worse (for the Rockets). The San Antonio Spurs crushed, destroyed, demolished, routed, embarrassed, beat down, annihilated, obliterated, and most importantly eliminated the Houston Rockets on Thursday night (114-75). Yes, you read that score right. 114-75.

Game 6 started with the Spurs winning the tip-off. Lamarcus Aldridge received the ball in the low post, made a quick spin move toward the left baseline, and scored an easy basket. Just 23 seconds into the game, the tenor was set for the rest of the evening. Aldridge channeled his days as a Portland Trailblazer (where he averaged nearly 20 points and 9 rebounds per game), finishing with 34 points and 12 rebounds. He was unstoppable, and the rest of the spurs, sans Kawhi Leonard, followed suit. Before we get to the Spurs’ impressive performance, let us attempt to understand what happened to James Harden and the Rockets….

I’ve never seen such a pathetic performance from an MVP candidate, on his home floor, in an elimination game in my life. James Harden looked about as interested in last night’s game as this kid from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

ferris

Harden attempted just 2 shots in the 1st half. 2 shots!! Momentum is often thought of in a positive light, but I guess the awful momentum of Harden’s disastrous play at the end of Game 5 spilled over to Game 6. Harden finished with a season low 10 points on 2-11 shooting, and added a stellar 6 turnovers. His performance was inexplicable, but if Harden wasn’t making such a ridiculous salary, I’d be calling for a point-shaving investigation. It was that bad! But anyway, back to the Spurs….

Six Spurs scored in double figures. Jonathan Simmons, who started in place of Leonard, contributed 18 points on 8-12 shooting and played the best defense I’ve seen since the ’85 Bears (“Da Bears“). Rookie point guard, Dejounte Murray, played a fantastic game posting a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block). Someone tell me how this kid fell to 29th in the draft?! This kid is going to be a very good point guard for a very long time. Pau Gasol, Danny Green, and Patty Mills had solid games, all scoring in double figures as well.

The Spurs have been typecast with playing a “boring” brand of basketball. I am sick of hearing that. If putting the ball in the basket efficiently, playing relentless defense, and winning is “boring”, then sign me up for some boring. And I’ll take a side of fundamentals with my boring please. In the age of hey everybody look at me, it is refreshing to see a franchise run like the Spurs. Sure, they have a superstar in Kawhi Leonard, but do you see him showboating? Complaining? Flailing his arms about looking for an imaginary foul? Flopping around like a fish out of water? The answer, to all, is an emphatic NO!

The Spurs, once again, proved why they are the cream of the crop in the NBA. They are heading to their 10th Western Conference Finals under Gregg Popovich (the coach since ’96-’97). I know, I know, this sounds a lot like the New England Patriots. Well, it’s because they are run very similarly. They don’t hand out contracts based on what you’ve done, rather for what you are going to do. They turn late round draft picks into stars. They don’t tolerate individual egos. And they are run with only one thing in mind; WINNING.

The question is, will they win against the contrasting style of the Golden State Warriors? Assuming Kawhi Leonard’s health, and as much as I don’t want to eat my words for doubting the Spurs, I still can’t envision the Spurs beating the Warriors 4 times in 7 tries. Can you?

Let me know 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!

Spurs Win Overtime Thriller!!

manu

Whoever said ‘Father Time’ is unbeaten clearly hasn’t met Manu Ginobili. Or Tom Brady I’m assuming. Or Roy Jones Jr. for that matter. Did you know Jones Jr. is still fighting professionally at the age of 48?! That’s awesome!! Man, how did I get off topic already?! Anyway….Ginobili, the former 6th Man of the Year, turned back the clock Tuesday night, leading his San Antonio Spurs to victory (110 – 107 F/OT). They became his Spurs when Kawhi Leonard tweaked his ankle in the 3rd quarter after stepping on James Harden’s foot. Leonard would return to the game, but the injury forced him to watch the final 5:34 from the sidelines. With the series tied at 2-2, the atmosphere was tense inside AT&T Center. The fans, who seemingly stood the entire game, were rewarded with the best game of the 2017 playoffs. Exciting games have been few and far between in these playoffs, but Game 5 did not disappoint.

James Harden’s stat-line looks fantastic. He posted a triple-double with 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. However, numbers only tell part of the story. Harden was BRUTAL when it mattered most. Don’t believe me?? That’s okay, just check out James Harden’s final 5:54 of the game:

  • He went scoreless on 0-2 shooting
  • He had 4 turnovers (9 total for the game)
  • He committed a silly foul on Danny Green on a made basket with :30 left in overtime
  • And last but certainly not least, his 3-point attempt at the buzzer was blocked from behind by Manu Ginobili

Game 5 was not about Harden’s ugly beard, however, it was about the Spurs resilient performance. While their best player was resigned to the bench, the Spurs embodied the motto ‘Next Man Up’. Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Patty Mills, and Jonathan Simmons put forth memorable performances. Mills played a team high 43 minutes, contributed 20 points, and hit a game high five 3-pointers (none bigger than the one that brought them within 2 with 2:12 left in regulation). Simmons brought the energy. After every big play, Simmons could be seen screaming and pumping his fists passionately. Simmons was also the culprit in 3 out of Harden’s 4 turnovers down the stretch. Danny Green singlehandedly outscored the Houston Rockets in overtime (7-6). He actually scored all 7 of those points in the final :56 of overtime (impressive right?). And then there’s soon-to-be 40, Manu Ginobili. Ginobili posted 12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and most importantly 1 MONSTER BLOCK (as pictured above)!!

Manu Ginobili has been an essential part of the Spurs last 4 championships. And with Tony Parker already out for the remainder of the playoffs, and Kawhi Leonard now hobbled, Ginobili will need to channel the 2006-2007 version himself if he wants to wear ring number 5. Assuming the Spurs do outlast the Rockets, I can’t see them stealing more than 2 games from the Golden State Warriors. I’ll be rooting for Ginobili and the Spurs (even though I’m a loyal Knicks fan), but I think Curry and company will be too much to handle for old man river.

How far do you think the Spurs will go in the playoffs?? 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!