‘Cause You’re My Best Friend!

LeBron-james-Dwyane-Wade-Cavs-jersey

Brother.

Definition: A man or boy in relation to other sons and daughters of his parents.

Sometimes, definitions need not apply. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade don’t have the same mother or father, but they’re certainly brothers. Don’t take my word for it. Read Lebron’s words, “It’s kind of like when you start school and you walk into the classroom and you’re not quite sure who your classmates are, but one of your best friends is in there, you’re like, oh yeah, this is going to be fun. It’s going to be a good class.”

Not that Lebron is walking into a classroom of strangers, but he’s clearly giddy to see Dwyane Wade sitting next to an empty seat.

Wednesday evening, Dwyane Wade became the newest member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This move became possible when the Chicago Bulls agreed to buyout Wade. Wade walked away with $15.8 of his $23.8 million salary for this upcoming season. Hey, anyone want nearly $16 million to go away?? Yes, I’ll literally pay you to not work for me anymore.

By the way, the worse the Bulls get, the better the draft pick the Knicks received from the Thunder looks (via the Bulls). 

Following the buyout, Wade cleared waivers at 5:00 P.M., making him eligible to sign with any team. Wade agreed to a 1-year, $2.3 million contract with the Cavaliers, otherwise known as the veteran’s minimum (same as new teammate Derrick Rose).

I know what you’re thinking, that sounds like a really good deal for the Cavaliers. Duh! Dwyane Wade, at 35, is still a good player. If he hit the open market in free agency, he would earn upwards of $10 million per year. Dwyane Wade is coming to Cleveland for 2 things (not crab cakes and football), a chance at 1 more ring and to hang out with his best bud.

The question is, will the Cavaliers win the championship this season?? Everyone knows the road to the championship goes through Golden State. That’s the main reason we’ve seen an INSANE offseason. Every team is scratching and clawing to compete with the Warriors. The new look Cavaliers should waltz through the Eastern Conference — again. However, barring an injury, it’s hard to picture a world where the Warriors aren’t NBA champions in 2018.

The primary reason the Cavaliers lost to the Warriors in the finals last year, wasn’t the superstars faltering, rather their lack of depth and size. While adding Wade, Jae Crowder, and Jeff Green solves the depth problem, they still lack the size to compete inside and on the boards with the Warriors. Check out the Cavaliers roster here. There are worse situations than Crowder, Green, Rose, Jr Smith, and Kyle Korver coming off your bench, but I still don’t see a 7-footer on the roster. If Tristan Thompson is your only big, ‘Houston, we have a problem’.

 

What do you think of this trade?? Will the Cavaliers win the Championship this year?? 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. – 8:10 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!!

 

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!

 

The Sports World’s Amazing Weekend

crosby

When it’s 95 degrees outside, you can either go to the beach or do what I did. Yup. I sat in an air conditioned living room and watched sports all weekend. As my Boston people would say, “That was wicked smart.” It was a good weekend to reacquaint yourself with the special a** groove in your couch, because the sports world was busy. Let’s start with the most important (but probably least watched) sporting event of the weekend:

STANLEY CUP FINALS

Following a bad loss in Game 5, the Nashville Predators were happy to head home. Prior to Game 6, the Predators stood an impressive 9-1 in their home arena in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Predators, the Pittsburgh Penguins handed them their 2nd home loss. The Penguins broke a scoreless tie 58 minutes and 35 seconds into the game, scoring what would be the game winning goal. They would add an empty-net goal 1 minute and 21 seconds later, securing a 2-0 victory. And just like that, the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in 20 years to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Sidney Crosby (duh) won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the Playoffs) for the 2nd straight year. I don’t normally talk about shoulda, woulda, couldas..but ah..what the hell. The Predators actually scored in this game. Just 1 minute and 7 seconds into the 2nd period, Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a quick whistle. The goal shoulda counted, but we can’t go back in time. Also, Sissons and fellow Predator, Filip Forsberg, both hit the post in the 3rd period. That sucks! I feel for the Predators, as their run through the playoffs was fun to watch. Better luck next year!

NBA FINALS

No sweep. No history. Well, history was still made, just not by the Golden State Warriors. The Cleveland Cavaliers finally won a game (137-116), and they did it in historic fashion. When so many changes are made to the record books, a list is necessary:

  1. The Cavaliers scored 49 points in the 1st quarter
  2. The Cavaliers scored 86 points in the 1st half
  3. The Cavaliers made 24 3-pointers
  4. Lebron James recorded his 9th triple-double in the Finals (breaking Magic Johnson’s record)
  5. Dahntay Jones became the 1st player to get a technical foul from the bench in the NBA Finals (I don’t actually know if this is true – but I think it’s really funny)
  6. Lebron James passed Michael Jordan for 3rd all-time in points scored in the NBA Finals (trailing only Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

Heading into Game 4, the Golden State Warriors were looking to become the 1st team in NBA history to sweep through the playoffs at 16-0. If they win Game 5 they will still be in rarified air. They will join the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers as the only 1-loss teams to win a championship.

All you Lebron fanatics can pump the brakes. Don’t expect the Cavaliers to hit 24 3-pointers and score 137 points again. You can also expect Lebron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love not to combine for 94 points again. The Cavaliers are David Wells. They are capable of throwing a Perfect Game, but they aren’t bringing home a Cy Young Award anytime soon. Expect the Warriors to roll in Game 5. 124-111. Warriors win another title. Book it.

U.S.A. VS. MEXICO

Soccer?! Yes. We are going to talk about soccer. Have you ever seen anyone happier to end in a draw before?? That is the question to ask following a draw between U.S.A. and Mexico on Sunday night. You’d think U.S.A. had just won the World Cup. The two nations squared off in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match. The match was played in front of 87,000 screaming fans in Estadio Azteca, the famed stadium in the heart of Mexico City. Michael Bradley of U.S.A. scored a shocking goal (from about 40 yards out) just 6 minutes into the match. But, thanks to incredibly poor defense by U.S.A, Mexico tied the match in the 23rd minute when Carlos Vela ran untouched for what seemed like 8 miles before putting home a left-footed strike from just outside the box. The match would end in a 1-1 draw. Maybe there is reason to celebrate, as the U.S.A earned just their 3rd win or draw in 22 tries playing in Mexico City. Pop the champagne……?

AARON JUDGE FOR MVP

Before you laugh, check out the numbers. If the MLB season ended today, Aaron Judge would be the Rookie of the Year and MVP. That hasn’t been done since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. Aaron Judge is hitting .344 with 21 home runs and 47 r.bi.’s. Yup, that would give Judge the lead in the Triple Crown. Plus, Judge’s Yankees are in 1st place in the American League East with a record of 37-23. PLUS, Aaron Judge hits baseballs really, really FAR. Yes, that baseball really travelled 496 feet. That would be the longest home run since ESPN began tracking distance in 2009. The Yankees are now riding a 5-game winning streak. In their last 5 games, the Yankees have scored a total of 57 runs. That is insane!! This offensive outburst is still being done without future 1st baseman Greg Bird. As good as the offense has been, it is the pitching that has the Yankees in 1st place on June 12th. C.C. Sabathia’s resurgence has been the untold storyline of the Yankees’ season. Let’s hope it continues.

RAFAEL NADAL

And last but not least….words you’ve heard many times before. 10 times now to be exact. Yes. Rafael Nadal won his 10th French Open title. What words could I possibly find to explain the greatness that is Rafael Nadal?? I don’t know, but I’ll try. He is the best clay-court tennis player ever. We have never seen a player this dominant at anything..ever. Not Wayne Gretzky on ice. Not Bill Russell on the hardwood. And no, not Tom Brady on the gridiron. Rafael Nadal dominates clay like nothing we’ve ever seen. Think about this. Nadal just won the French Open without dropping a set in the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT!! The finals was about as anti-climatic as they come. He defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. At age 31, Nadal is finally healthy again, and that means only one thing..the sky is the limit.

With all these fantastic sporting events on TV this weekend, what did you watch?? Tell me what was on your TV 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!

 

Crosby, Penguins Dominate Game 5

penguins

If you like blowouts, 2017 has you covered. The Stanley Cup Finals did their best NBA Finals impression Thursday night. Game 5 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators was for lack of a better word, not competitive. The Penguins took an early lead, scoring just 1 minute and 31 seconds into the game. They would not look back. They added 2 more goals in the 1st period, forcing Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators coach, to pull his goalie. The Predators’ hero from Game 4, Pekka Rinne, would watch the rest of the action from the bench. Nashville’s backup goalie, Juuse Saros, didn’t fare much better, giving up 3 more goals in the 2nd period. The Predators would lose by the final score of 6-0. The Penguins now own a 3-2 lead in the series.

Thursday was an eventful evening for Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby. Crosby, regarded by many as the best player in the world, showcased his skills with 3 assists (he was the 1st star of the game). However, Crosby’s evening did not end there. With 1:32 left in the 1st period, Crosby thought it would be a good idea to slam P.K. Subban’s head into the ice..multiple times. Oh yeah, you heard that right. Now, before you watch the video, I’ll say it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but he definitely deserved a more severe penalty than he received. Check out the head slamming here. I’m pretty sure you can’t do that. Both Subban and Crosby received 2-minute, minor penalties. Naturally, the Penguins scored while playing 4 on 4.

After watching the replay of Crosby’s head slam, I’m having a hard time understanding why Subban was assessed a penalty at all. And at the same time, I’m puzzled as to how Crosby wasn’t assessed a 5-minute, major penalty. Is it just me? Am I crazy?? It must be nice to be a superstar, because they seem to get away with murder (sometimes literally). Crosby’s shenanigans did not stop there. Allow me to break into an entire scene from Super Troopers:

But our shenanigans are cheeky and fun!

Yeah, and his shenanigans are cruel and tragic.

Which… makes them not really shenanigans at all.

Evil shenanigans!

I swear to God I’ll pistol whip the next guy who says “Shenanigans.”

Hey Farva what’s the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy sh*t on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

You mean Shenanigans?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Love that movie. Anyway, with just over 12 minutes to play in the 2nd period, Crosby kept his shenanigans going from the bench. He launched his water bottle onto the ice in the middle of play. You can see the throw heard ’round the world here (the throw happens at 44 seconds in the video). Although Crosby claimed it was a complete accident, you can see the wind up and intentional throw very clearly. He was not assessed a penalty (no shocker there), and the Penguins subsequently went up 5-0. The water bottle did not interfere with the on ice action, but last time I checked you can’t do that either. It must be nice to be the king.

Crosby’s Penguins are now 1 win away from winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. They will travel to Nashville to try and close out the series on the road. You can tune into the action on NBC on Sunday night @ 8:00 P.M. EST. I guess the NHL is sticking with giving teams 147 days off in between games.

Will the Penguins win the Stanley Cup on Sunday?? Or will the Predators continue their strong play at home and force a Game 7?? Give 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!

 

 

 

15 Down, 1 To Go

kd

I like this picture. Yes Kevin, you’re only 1 win away from your 1st ring. Soon Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and Elgin Baylor will go back to being the best players without an NBA championship.

There are countless ways to break down the Cleveland Cavaliers loss in Game 3 (118-113). But we’re going to keep it short and sweet. The Golden State Warriors are simply too good. They are simply too much to handle for the Cavaliers. That’s it. That’s all I have to say. Bye……….

 

 

 

 

Naaaaa, I’m just messin’ with you..we still need to place blame somewhere. Today, I’m going to blame this loss on 4 people (or things). Lebron James, Lebron James, Lebr………I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Did you just see the Lebron defenders jump out of their chairs?!?!

Seriously though, Game 3’s loss is on Tyronn Lue, Kevin Love, whoever constructed the Cavaliers roster (oh wait that’s Lebron James), and father-time. Let’s start with Tyronn Lue. Lue made numerous mistakes in this game, but none loomed larger than not fouling Golden State immediately with 25 seconds left in the game. Newsflash..when you’re down 1 with 25 seconds left, in a virtual must-win situation, you foul immediately to extend the game. Instead, the Cavaliers waited 13 seconds to foul. This left the Cavaliers with no choice but to jack up a three. But thanks to Andre Iguodala’s extremely risky swipe at the ball, Lebron James never got that chance. Also, you’d think at some point during the game, as the Cavaliers struggled mightily from 3-point range, “Coach” Lue might have suggested taking the ball to the basket. That’s your cue Kevin Love.

Kevin Love was awful last night. He finished with just 9 points on 1-9 shooting (1-7 from 3-point range). The Cavaliers shot just 27.3% from 3-point range. They attempted 44 3-pointers..44!! Who do they think they are the Houston Rockets?? You would think at some point they’d stop trying to jam the square peg into the round hole. Or not. “But if Love hits just 2 more 3’s they win.” Yeah, and if my grandmother had balls she’d be my grandfather. Listen, the Cavaliers put forth a great effort last night, but take the rest of the stats away and consider this: How can the Cavaliers beat the Warriors with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving shooting a combined 1-14 from 3-point range??

 

how does Tristan Thompson’s 5-year, $82 million contract look now?? Thompson has just 8 points and 11 rebounds in the Finals (all 8 of those points came in Game 2). I’m sorry, but that is unacceptable. And if you are relying on a 36-year old Richard Jefferson to guard Kevin Durant, you know you’re in trouble.

And last but not least, father-time. I know, I know, I know, I know. Everyone is going to kill me for this, but it’s the truth. Lebron’s numbers are off the charts. He is a top-5 player of all-time, and he has played in 7 consecutive Finals. HE’S TIRED. In 13 NBA seasons, he has played 41, 272 minutes (25th most of all-time). He is on pace to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most minutes played. I’m not blaming Lebron James. He is definitely doing all he can. He is leaving every ounce of energy on the court and it shows, as he is yet again averaging a triple-double in the Finals (32 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists). But believe it or not he’s human. This is why, down the stretch of games, he defers to his teammates too much. The Cavaliers were outscored 11-0 in the final 3:08 of the game. They went 0-8 during that stretch. How many of those shots do you think Lebron took?? ONE!! He only took ONE shot in the final 3:44 of the game. Also unacceptable. Lebron, you are the best player in the world, and this is your team. So don’t kick the ball out to Kyle Korver when you can drive to the basket. Don’t give Kyrie Irving the ball and then stand in the corner like a scared 2nd grade kid in gym class and watch Kyrie jack up a step back 3-pointer. Get the ball and ram it home like you did in the 1st quarter!!

And now..we’re here. Present time. The Warriors are up 3-0 in the NBA Finals. They are 15-0 in the playoffs (which is already a record). And they are looking to become the 1st team to sweep through the playoffs at 16-0. The trio of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson was fantastic last night. They combined for 87 points and 15 3-pointers. None more important than Kevin Durant’s 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, putting his team up 114-113. The Warriors will try to close out the series sweep on Friday night at 9:00 P.M. EST. Tune into ABC to see if they can continue to make history.

Do you think the Warriors will sweep the Finals?? Give me your hot take 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!

 

Pekka Rinne Does His Best Impersonation Of A Wall

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I call it..the series you should be watching. While the NBA Finals has been filled with blowouts, the Stanley Cup Finals is quietly turning into a thrilling series. This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators is now tied at 2-2. Each home team has held serve, and Game 5 will be played on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Well, one thing the NBA and NHL have in common is they schedule 419 days off in between playoff games. But we have to travel from Nashville all the way to Pittsburgh!! Wow, you have to fly 560 miles in 3 days?? How ever will you do it?! Now, it’s not the players’ fault, but it infuriates me that fans must wait 3 days between games in the playoffs. Anyway….

Monday night’s Game 4 was all about Pekka Rinne. Who?! Pekka Rinne would be the Nashville Predator’s goaltender. He can barely be classified as human after his performance last night. Hey, someone get Caliban out here to sniff this guy. I need to find out if he’s a mutant or not. All my X-Men fans know what I’m talking about. I digress.

Rinne saved 23 of 24 shots in Game 4, none more spectacular than the set of saves he made with just over 11 minutes left to play in the 2nd period. With the Predators clinging to a 2-1 lead, Rinne literally saved the day. Enough of me and my words, click here to see the incredible sequence. Wasn’t that unbelievable?? What do you mean you didn’t click on the link to watch Rinne’s saves?! Seriously, you have to see this, click HERE. You’re welcome.

Rinne, who was undoubtedly the 1st star of the game, now holds a .949 save % at home in this year’s playoffs. That is the 2nd best % among goalies since 2007, 2nd only to Jonathan Quick of the LA Kings (.950 – 2013). Rinne and the Predators have been virtually unbeatable at home in the playoffs, as they now hold a record of 9-1 at Bridgestone Arena. The question is, will the “8-seeded” Predators be able to steal a game in the home of the Penguins, PPG Paints Arena. Tune into NBC on Thursday at 8:00 P.M. EST to find out.

Who do you think will win the Stanley Cup 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!

 

 

That Wasn’t Very Close Either….

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Nice try Cleveland! Following a Game 1 blowout loss, which felt like 147 days ago, many expected a more competitive Game 2. Ehhh, not so much (132-113 – not Cleveland). The Cleveland Cavaliers made many visible adjustments at the start of Game 2, many I agreed with, however it wasn’t quite enough to slow down the juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors. Lebron James and the Cavaliers stormed out of the gate with a different intensity on Sunday night. Lebron attacked the basket in a way that said this is still my league, so get out of my way. Is it me or did you just picture Ludacris rapping..”If you do the speed limit, get the f*** out of my way!” Anyway….

The Cavaliers showed their willingness to defend, as I guess they were tired of watching Kevin Durant slam home uncontested dunks. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, these adjustments weren’t nearly enough to pull off a victory let alone make the game competitive. The Cavs are lacking one major adjustment, and I hope they’re listening (or reading). They CAN NOT beat the Warriors at their own game. Trying to run up and down the floor and outscore the Warriors is a recipe for disaster. I hear it can also bring about darkness, despair, and plague, but who doesn’t enjoy those things??

Lebron James and company need to slow down the pace of the game. Let me digress again. Thanks! Did you see Lebron James when he went to the bench in the 3rd quarter. That is as tired as I’ve ever seen him..ever! No, this is not a knock on Lebron. It is simply an observation that not only can he not beat this Warriors team by himself, he can’t beat them with Kevin Love (who’s on fire) and Kyrie Irving. Now, back to business.

They need to pound the ball into the floor and turn this into a half-court snore fest. Otherwise, this will turn into a 5-game series. I know I know, a playoff series doesn’t start until a home team loses a game. Well I guess this series is going to start very soon. Allow me to contradict myself..here ——–> I actually think the Cavs pull off a victory on their home court in Game 3, but that is strictly predicated on my faith in Lebron James. I don’t envision him being embarrassed on his sports’ biggest stage. Outside of that I have no reason to believe the Cavs can compete with the Warriors in any facet of the game.

For example, last night, the Cavs had 3 players in double figures, the Warriors had 6. The Warriors led in every statistical category besides steals/turnovers. The Warriors are also the superior defensive team. Everyone clean out the wax from your ears and listen: KLAY THOMPSON IS AN ELITE DEFENDER. Yes, he can shoot 3’s from anywhere in the gym, but he is showing the world he is an elite defender. Thompson has locked down Kyrie Irving, one of the games best ball-handlers, through the first 2 games of this series.

It’s not THAT the Cavaliers have lost both games, it’s HOW they’ve lost.

Let us close out this fantastic article with ‘The Play of the Game’. If you had already shut off the game or fell asleep, it took place 3 minutes into the 2nd half. The 3rd quarter has been the biggest difference in this series by the way. Steve Kerr, who’s back after an 11-game absence, must give motivating halftime speeches. Anyway, Stephen Curry put on a spectacular dribbling show. My words can’t do it justice, so please click here and enjoy. He is unreal. And he doesn’t just shoot. He is an all-around player, and last night displayed those skills with a triple-double (32 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds). Oh yeah, and they also have Kevin Durant..hahaha.

Tune into ABC on Wednesday at 9:00 P.M. EST to see if the Warriors will lose a game this season.

How many games will it take the Warriors to close out the series?? 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!

 

Kyrie Irving Put On A Show

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Ever hit the snooze bar a few too many times?? Yeah, me too. And you finally wake up. You’re running frantically around the house, trying to get to work on time. You show up right on time, but you can still feel that nervous energy flowing. Once settled in though, you tend to exceed expectations. Ya know, really make up for the way your day started.

That was Lebron James on Tuesday night. Yes, we’re talking about Lebron James again….

Get used to it. Everything is about Lebron James. He is the face of the NBA. Praised for the victories and blamed for the losses. Anyway….

Lebron’s poor play from Game 3 spilled over to Game 4. He looked disinterested. He lacked the aggressive nature we saw in games 1 and 2. The Cavaliers found themselves down 10 points at halftime, and trailed by as many as 16. It’s a good thing Kyrie Irving brought his ‘A Game’ last night. While Lebron became a spectator with early foul trouble (we’ll get into that a little later), Kyrie put his entire team on his back. Kyrie finished with 42 points (21 in the 3rd quarter)!! He was extremely efficient, shooting 68% from the field (15-22). For those who haven’t noticed, Kyrie Irving is the real deal. Outside of Russell Westbrook, he and Stephen Curry are the most electrifying point guards in the game. He has the best ball handling skills in the league (sorry Steph), can shoot from half-court, and is an absolute wizard when he drives the lane.

Kyrie Irving is the SOLE reason the Cavaliers aren’t hitting the panic button today.

Back to last night we go. Lebron James committed 4 fouls in the 1st half. How often do you hear that?! I have one question for Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!?! How could you leave Lebron on the floor with 3 fouls and 7 minutes left in the 1st half?? Okay, maybe that was 2 questions….

Lue is lucky Lebron is a smart player. Lebron didn’t pick up another foul for the remainder of the game. But imagine if Lebron fouled out in the 3rd quarter, and Kyrie’s twisted ankle in the 3rd quarter caused him to leave the game?? The Cavaliers would have been ‘up you know what creak without a paddle’. Instead, Lebron and Kyrie dominated the 3rd quarter. They emerged from the locker room, down 10 at halftime, with a vengeance. They combined for 30 of the Cavaliers 40 points in the 3rd quarter. Yeah, I’d say their ON/OFF switch works just fine.

The Cavaliers now lead this series 3 games to 1 and are 1 game away from the NBA Finals. This would be Lebron James’ 7th consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. Let that sink in for a moment….

The Cavaliers will win Game 5 back in Beantown and will punch their ticket to the NBA Finals, which tip-off June 1st. Check out Game 5 on TNT on Thursday @ 8:30 P.M. EST. Keep this in perspective: while the Cavaliers are schlepping their tired bodies back to Boston, the Golden State Warriors have their feet up on the couch in the comfort of their own home.

Will the Cavaliers playing an extra game prove costly in 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!