Wednesday Was Upset City In The Basketball World

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No More Win Streak For You

Heading into Wednesday night’s showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets had won 14 games in a row. That’s a lot of games. On the other hand, the Lakers had lost 3 straight games (and 8 of their last 10). Escaping from Houston with a victory would take a miracle for this young Lakers squad. Good thing it’s holiday season….

Wednesday was Kyle Kuzma’s night. Yes, I’m aware James Harden scored 51 points. Wouldn’t you rather score 1 point and win than score 51 points and lose?? Kuzma dropped a career-high 38 points on 12 of 17 from the field. The method to his madness was the trifecta. He made it rain last night, draining 7 of 10 three point attempts. That’s a lot of threes.

Harden’s individual performance was nothing short of spectacular. However, when Chris Paul left the game early in the 4th quarter, the Rockets’ chances left with him. The Lakers would go on a 10-0 run, seemingly putting the game out of reach. The Lakers held on, 122-116, handing the Rockets their 5th loss on the season.

So Much For A Tune-Up Game

When high profile college teams make their schedule for an upcoming season, they always sprinkle in nice, cushy matchups. Whether it’s Alabama vs. Mercer in football, or Duke vs. Evansville in basketball, these are supposed to be tune-ups. Well, every so often, said tune-up turns nice and cushy into a living nightmare. Welcome to North Carolina’s nightmare.

Wednesday night, the North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Wofford Terriers 79-75 — in North Carolina!! The Terriers, led by Fletcher Magee’s 27 points, would never relinquish their halftime lead. Magee, who entered the game 2nd in the nation in scoring, put his team on his back. Assuredly, this will be the highlight of Wofford’s season, as #5 North Carolina is the only ranked team on their schedule this season.

*By the way, my previous example of #4 Duke vs. Evansville, happened last night too. Duke won 104-40. Just sayin’….

Take That Former Team!!

Isn’t it funny how players always show out against their former team?? Why is that?? Are you angry you decided to leave in free agency for more money?? Kelly Olynyk is the latest example of misplaced “revenge”. This past offseason, Olynyk left the Boston Celtics to sign a 4-year, $50 million contract with the Miami Heat. Last night, he played against his former team. Olynyk decided that was a good opportunity to drop a career-high 32 points. For a guy who averages 9.5 points per game in his career, let’s call this an anomaly. The Heat took down the Celtics, 90-89.

 

Which basketball upset did you watch on Wednesday night?? Tell me about it 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!!

 

 

 

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

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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!

 

 

Kelly O Who?!

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Do or Die. Sink or Swim. Win or Go Home. I’m runnin’ out of expressions for Game 7 here……..

Tensions were running high Monday night in TD Garden as the Boston Celtics played host to the Washington Wizards for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The nerves were visible right from tip-off, as the first 5 field goal attempts came up empty. Players from both sides quickly settled in, and the points began to pile up. Despite looking like the better team throughout the 1st half, the Celtics trailed 55-53 at halftime. The Celtics were carving up the Wizards defense one backdoor cut at a time, but the Wizards had 4 players in double figures by halftime.

And that was the Wizards’ biggest problem. They ended the game with only those 4 players in double figures. Now, Bradley Beal did all he could, absolutely lighting it up in the 2nd half, finishing with a game-high 38 points. It’s hard to beat the Celtics 1-on-5 though.

Enter John Wall: John Wall did his best James Harden impersonation (minus the ridiculous beard) Monday night. When the game mattered most, Wall was nowhere to be found. Wall went scoreless in the final 19 minutes of the game, missing all 11 of his shots. He also added a turnover and a goaltending violation in there for good measure. Nice work John!

And then there’s Kelly Olynyk. Who?! Yes, Kelly Olynyk, the unlikely hero of Game 7. While Isaiah Thomas played an outstanding Game 7 (29 points and 12 assists), it was Olynyk who put the nail in the coffin. Oh, you want the score?? It’s coming don’t worry. How else can I get you to read this far down on the page?? Olynyk hit one timely shot after another, providing 26 points off the bench. And now, the Celtics have the great pleasure of hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. I guess we’ll finally get to prove the rest vs. play for the #1 seed theory……..

That, or the Cavaliers will win in 6 games. Either way. Either way is fine.

Oh by the way, the Celtics won last night 115-105. Thanks for reading all the way down here!

AND NOW, I’M GOING TO GO OFF ON A DON LAGRECA STYLE RANT:

I always wanted to black-out from rage. Anyway, here goes nothing:

I personally hope Lebron loses in Boston in Game 7 so everyone can blame the Cavaliers resting during the regular season. I CAN’T STAND NBA players resting throughout the regular season!! I understand the season is long, and grueling, and players deal with injuries, but NEWSFLASH: That’s why the league builds rest days into your schedule. Do NBA players ever think about anything other than themselves?? Do they think about the parents who saved up enough money to take their kid to see Lebron James for the first time?? Only to find out Lebron needs to “rest”. “Oh no, Lebron’s not hurt son. He just had a tough week. You know his butler was off this week, so he personally had to carry his millions to the bank. He must be tired from all that heavy lifting.” GIVE ME A BREAK!! NBA players are multi-millionaires because of fans like that. We, the fans, ARE the demand that put millions of dollars in NBA players’ bank accounts. So when your healthy, play. When your team is on the schedule, play. And when you step onto that hardwood every night, remember, there’s a kid in the stands watching you play for the very first time.

Man, I’ve never rooted for Boston before. This is awkward.

Do the Celtics have a chance in the Eastern Conference Finals? How do you feel about the resting epidemic in the NBA? Let me know in the comment section below.

Also, tune into ESPN tonight @ 8:00 P.M. to watch the NBA Draft Lottery show. Let’s see if the Knicks’ luck can get any worse. Immediately following the lottery, you can see Game 2 of the San Antonio Spurs vs. the Golden State Warriors. Should be an ugly one with no Kawhi Leonard. Expect an angry Gregg Popovich..again.

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 Went To A Fight And A Basketball Game Broke Out

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FIGHT!! FIGHT!! FIGHT!! FIGHT!! Reminiscent of two kids in a parking lot after school, fellow students circling, screaming for action, there was always immense build-up for a fight. There were, however, rarely any Mike Tyson haymakers landed. Usually Jimmy and Tommy would shove each other to the ground and maybe wrestle around for a minute until a teacher came to break it up. Yeah, that was last night. That’s what the Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards ‘fight’ was. There may be ‘bad blood’, as ESPN’s lead story would have you believe, but there were no tough guys ready to throw down. There were no Shaq size punches thrown. Only guys like Kelly Olynyk floppin’ around like a fish, and Kelly Oubre Jr. sayin’, “hold me back ref, hold me back!”

In the 2nd quarter, Kelly Oubre Jr. took exception to a screen Kelly Olynyk set on him. This made Oubre Jr. mad. After Oubre Jr. picked himself up from a masterful flop, he charged at Olynyk like a bull. Oh it looked nice, especially for T.V., but it was about as anti-climactic as Batman and Superman realizing their mothers share the name Martha. Wait, your name is Kelly?! No way man, my name is Kelly too!! We should be friends. Okay, sounds great! Oubre Jr. was immediately ejected from the game, and could face a suspension for Game 4.

The flippin’ and floppin’ didn’t stop there. In the 4th quarter, Brandon Jennings flopped about 17 times before getting in Terry Rozier’s face. Once again, no punches were thrown, however both players were ejected after double technical fouls were assessed. Game 3 saw 3 ejections and 8 technical fouls (including 1 on Wizards’ coach Scott Brooks). This is the most technical fouls in a playoff game since 2013. This behavior is a result of this season’s previous altercations between the Celtics and Wizards. To see a quick recap click here. I think Isaiah Thomas summarized it best: “We don’t like them, and they don’t like us.” Well said toothless wonder.

Oh, by the way, there was a basketball game played last night. The Wizards rolled past the Celtics 116-89. The Celtics now lead the series 2-1. Isaiah Thomas was held to just 13 points on 3 of 8 shooting from the field. Let me just say that the Celtics have ZERO chance in this series if Thomas only attempts 8 shots per game. I expect him to play better in Game 4, which can be seen on TNT on Sunday @ 6:30 P.M. EST. Each team has held serve, with the home team winning every game in the series so far. This series is only heating up so stay tuned. As a wise man once said, “A playoff series doesn’t start until a home team loses a game.”

Who will blink first and lose at home? The Celtics or the Wizards? 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!