LeBron. Buzzer-Beater. Boom!!

But I don’t wanna play defense!! Now, reread that in a whiny, 10-year old voice.

That was the inner monologue of every player involved in the Minnesota Timberwolves Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game Wednesday night. 278. 278 total points were scored between these 2 teams. Granted, this game went to overtime, but the end of regulation found a tie at 129. I know the stigma of the NBA is, ‘nobody plays defense’, but isn’t it embarrassing to give up 140 points in a game?!

And that’s what the Timberwolves did en route to a 140-138 overtime loss to the Cavaliers. LeBron James played the part of the hero, nailing a game-winning, buzzer-beater from 17-feet. The team defense by the Timberwolves and individual defense by Jimmy Butler on the final play was atrocious, as they allowed a skip pass to LeBron, from 3/4 court, with 1 second left. 1 pivot, 1 step-back, and 1 perfect jump shot ended the game and added to the nearly incomparable resume of ‘King James’.

Check out the game-winner here.

As you’ll see, LeBron came up with a huge block on Jimmy Butler the play prior to  the game-winner. LeBron was everywhere, doing everything, for a Cavaliers team that can use every win they can get. A career night for some, is just a Wednesday evening for LeBron:

37 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block (48 minutes)

This marked LeBron’s 9th triple-double of the season. The question is: At 33 years old, how much longer can LeBron maintain this level of play?? He’s played in every game this season, averaging just over 37 minutes per game. And, if you check his stats, he’s having 1 of the best statistical seasons of his career.

The Cavaliers are struggling to hold on to the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference, as just 3 games separate them from the 7-seed. Injuries are mounting, as Kevin Love is set to miss 5-7 more weeks with a fractured left hand. And turmoil is surfacing with Isaiah Thomas publicly criticizing head coach, Tyronn Lue. Can LeBron keep the Cavaliers united and make a run at the NBA Finals?? This would be his 8th consecutive NBA Finals appearance, and the 4th consecutive with the Cavaliers.

As they say, only time will tell….

 

Will the Cleveland Cavaliers play in the NBA Finals this season?? Post your prediction 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!!

 

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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!!

 

Gordon Hayward Takes The Road Less Travelled

brad stevens

When everyone is running one way, are you willing to run the other way?? I bet you are if running the other way is smart as hell. That’s what former Utah Jazz star, Gordon Hayward did on Tuesday upon signing with the Boston Celtics. While every NBA star imaginable has been taking their talents to the Western Conference, Hayward packed his bags and headed East. This will help his legacy in a BIG way. Now, rather than having to get past the Thunder, Rockets, Timberwolves, Spurs, and Warriors to get to the NBA Finals (sounds fun), there’s only Big Bad Lebron James standing in Hayward’s way. Hayward may still come up short of reaching his first NBA Finals, but he certainly increased his chances. It’s all in the numbers.

The numbers that help Hayward sleep at night are the six 0’s at the end of his contract. $127,000,000 over 4 years (max contract). That’s what the Celtics have offered Gordon Hayward. This contract will cause a domino effect in Boston. The Celtics will need to pull the qualifying offer on that ugly guy they call Kelly Olynyk, waive Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson, not re-sign free agents Gerald Green, Jonas Jerebko, and James Young, and trade either Jae Crowder or Marcus Smart. Those are the moves staring Danny Ainge in the face in order to clear the necessary salary cap space for Hayward’s contract. It sounds worse than it is, and it’s worth it.

Hayward is a very solid small forward. At 6’8″, he scores, rebounds, and plays defense. He is an outstanding addition to the Celtics’ roster. Check out his stats here. This signing does a few things. First, it reunites coach and player. Hayward played under Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens at Butler University. Stevens was the coach at Butler from 2007-2013, until he made the leap to the NBA. Second, it brings the number of teams that can actually compete in the NBA to 7:

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are still the team to beat. Kevin Durant just took a $9 million pay-cut to keep their team intact, so I like their chances.

*Key Players – Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green

Spurs

The Spurs roster doesn’t look as formidable as it once did, but my days of doubting Gregg Popovich are over.

*Key Players – Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge

Minnesota Timberwolves

This is a very young but very interesting team. Don’t be surprised if in 2 years the Timberwolves are representing the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

*Key Players – Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Jeff Teague

Oklahoma City Thunder

A walking triple-double and one of the best two-way players in the NBA sounds like a good combination to me.

*Key Players – Russell Westbrook and Paul George

Houston Rockets

How many point guards does it take to screw in a lightbulb?? Apparently 2.

*Key Players – James Harden and Chris Paul

Cleveland Cavaliers

Will this be the year Lebron’s NBA Finals streak comes to an end?? I wouldn’t bet on it, but the Celtics just made the road a little more bumpy.

*Key Players – Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love

Boston Celtics

And last, but for the NBA’s sake, hopefully not least, the Celtics. Does the addition of Gordon Hayward make them the best team in the Eastern Conference??

*Key Players – Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford

I still believe the Warriors will complete the 3-peat next season, but the NBA’s super teams are multiplying, setting up a more watchable NBA season. So, we’ve got that going for us….

Do you think the addition of Gordon Hayward makes the Celtics a legitimate contender?? Tell me what you think 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!!

 

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!!

 

 

What is This Pillow Fight and Where Did the NBA Go??

If you haven’t seen it already, the Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves got into a little scuffle Monday night.  J.J. Barea and Ray Allen started getting physical early on in the 4th quarter.  Ray Allen had the ball and gave Barea a little incidental elbow out on the perimeter.  Then, as Allen drove toward the basket, J.J. Barea gave Allen a little bump that knocked him to the floor.  Allen hopped up immediately enraged over the foul.  Both teams quickly met face to face where the incident took place, but all players involved were separated without it escalating any further.  As a result of the play, J.J. Barea was given a Flagrant-2 foul and was ejected from the game.  You need to see the play with your own two eyes to understand just how ridiculous the flagrant foul and subsequent ejection was.  If you want to check out a video of the play then click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUtYCXPW9fM  First of all, J.J. Barea is about 5’8″ and 160 pounds soaking wet (I don’t want to hear anything about the 6’0″ and 175 pounds that he’s listed at).  On a little side-note, I saw Barea play live in a college game once back in ’04-’05.  He played at Northeastern, and they were visiting my school; Umass.  When the game was over I walked past him as he was on his way to the locker room, and trust me he is not 6’0″ tall (I was towering over him and I’m only 5’11”).  Same goes with Allen Iverson, I stood next to him at a Knicks game once and was eye to eye with him.  I digress.  The fact of the matter is that J.J. Barea couldn’t toss Ray Allen and get a deserving Flagrant-2 foul if his life depended on it.  Ray Allen should have gotten up, dusted himself off, and walked to the free throw line like a man.  That would have been the end of it, and at most he could have whispered something to Barea next time they found themselves next to each other on the free throw line (something like, “try that again, and I’ll step on you little guy”).  Instead he got all flustered and created something out of nothing.  And that is the problem I have with today’s NBA.  Today’s NBA is soft.  Back in the day guys got knocked down way harder than that little bump Barea gave Allen.  Just ask Michael Jordan how hard the Pistons used to hit him in the ’80’s and ’90’s.  NBA players used to be as scared to drive to the basket as a wide receiver is coming across the middle of the field.  Unfortunately, that type of NBA has come and gone.  I understand that in this era everyone is more involved in player safety, and I’m okay with that.  I don’t want players getting injured unnecessarily, but we need to stop babying these players.  Flagrant fouls should be reserved for clearly intentional fouls that endanger the safety of a player.  You can’t watch that Flagrant Foul from Monday night and tell me that Ray Allen’s body was ever in danger.  That’s all I’m saying!  If you have something to say about the issue of flagrant fouls in the NBA, please leave me a comment or question.  Thank you.

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!

If you want to see what a real flagrant foul looks like then check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dabt_Kb2UmQ