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.

gregg-popovich-laughing-gif

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

kawhi-leonard-1-696x391

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

MEXICO-1-640x330

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!!

Apparently, They’re Just Giving NFL Contracts Away

I’m confused!!

Evidently, so are the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Saturday, the Jaguars extended the contract of Blake Bortles through the 2020 season. The deal is for 3-years, $54 million, including $26.5 million of guaranteed money. I literally fell off my couch when this story broke.

This decision by Tom Coughlin, Vice President of Football Operations, makes no sense, for a multitude of reasons:

1.) Bortles’ contract didn’t need extending. The Jaguars already picked up his option (in May) for 2019 for $19.053 million.

2.) Bortles had wrist surgery this off season, creating doubt that he’ll be healthy for the start of the 2019 season.

3.) Bortles SUCKS at quarterback!!

This decision, guarantees the Jaguars will not win a Super Bowl. After reaching the AFC Championship last season, the Jaguars should have realized what the rest of the world did; they’re just 1 player away from being a Super Bowl contender. With a top-3 defense, a great running game, and a good offensive line, the only missing piece to the puzzle is a competent gunslinger. Blake Bortles is not the answer.

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dominic smith

It’s never too early for the hits to start coming for the New York Mets. No, not hits on a baseball field; “hits” as in injuries. Dominic Smith, the pudgy wonder, will undergo an MRI for a strained right quad today. After showing up late to his first Spring Training game, Smith isn’t exactly having the ‘best week ever’.

In other Mets’ injury news, Tim Tebow sprained his ankle running over a sprinkler head. I’m embarrassed to even be writing his name, but this kind of comedy is too good to pass up….

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lebron baby 2

LeBron James lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, 110-94. Despite posting 33 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists in 40 minutes, LeBron and “new look” company got outclassed on their own court. Rather than discuss ways his team can improve, LeBron felt it necessary to complain about the referees:

“There’s no reason I should be going to the line four times in a game when I drive 100 times to the paint and I’m getting hit and slapped and grabbed and whatever and whatnot. We protect the shooter. That’s what it’s turned into. ‘Chicks dig the long ball,’ and that’s what it’s about.”

Listen, Little LeBron, while chicks definitely dig the long ball, quit your crying and complaining. It’s not a good look for the “face” of the NBA….

 

Like, Love, or Hate Blake Bortles’ contract extension?? I’ll give you a hint, there’s only one right answer….

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!!

 

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.

popovich

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!!

Surprise, Surprise — Knicks Lose Again On The Road

Lauri Markkanen

Last time I checked, 87 is not a lot of points. Not in the NBA at least. Despite the New York Knicks’ struggles away from Madison Square Garden, Wednesday brought a solid matchup. The Chicago Bulls, in the 2nd of a back-to-back, expended a boat load of energy in their 115-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks — and it showed. The Bulls, from the jump, looked sluggish. They scored just 17 points in the 1st quarter, falling behind 11 in a hurry. After finding themselves down by as many as 15 in the 1st half, the Bulls flipped a switch. Maybe they were sleepwalking through the 1st half. But when they woke up, they realized they were playing the Knicks.

Good defense?? Bad offense?? What did we watch last night?? It was a healthy combination. Listen, the Knicks aren’t offensive juggernauts. They average just 103.5 points per game (11th out of 15 in the Eastern Conference). But the Bulls clamped down on everyone not named Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis was the only player to score over 20 points (23), and 1 of 3 Knicks to finish in double figures. Courtney Lee had 17, and Jarrett Jack had 11. Frank Ntilikina, as much as I like his defense, simply isn’t ready for the NBA. 3 for 10 from the field, including 0 for 3 from 3-point range, isn’t ideal. Neither is fouling out of the game….

The Knicks are funny. Historically known for surging late in games, Wednesday was, uhh, not that. Check out the Knicks’ scoring decline by quarter: 28, 24, 21, 14. Also, not ideal. Also comical, the fact that the Knicks had a chance to tie the game with 7.8 seconds left. Down 90-87, the ball inexplicably wound up in Enes Kanter’s hands. Kanter jacked up an ill-advised 3-pointer, that missed horribly, and that was all she wrote. 92-87. The Knicks now stand at a putrid 2-11 on the road. Don’t worry, they won’t be 2-11 for long. They’re on their way to San Antonio as we speak to catch their 12th road loss.

Catch another Knicks’ beat down tonight @ 8:30 P.M. EST on MSG.

**Let’s hope Frank Ntilikina stays grounded after he meets his fellow countrymen, Tony Parker. The Knicks don’t need Ntilikina dribbling the ball off his leg as he gazes into Parker’s eyes.

The Bulls will look to continue their winning ways (winners of 9 of their last 11) when they host the Indiana Pacers on Friday @ 8:00 P.M. EST.

 

How many road games will the Knicks win this season?? Don’t hold back now, tell me what you really 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: 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!!

 

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!!

 

Playoffs, Playoffs, And More Playoffs!!

predators

Monday was a busy night for the record books. What’s Playoff Season without making a little history, right?? And what’s better than Playoff Season?!

“What do you like better, Christmas or Wedding Season?”

“Mr. Grey?”

“Yes. The answer would be, um, Wedding season?”

Yes. I like Playoff Season better than Christmas. Don’t judge me. From the hardwood to the ice, last night was a channel flippin’ kind of night. I’m surprised the ‘last’ button on my television remote didn’t fall off. Where shall we start first? NHL or NBA? Competitive or ahem..non-competitive? Nail-biting finishes or ummmm..beat the traffic? I guess I shouldn’t beat up the NBA too badly if I want you to read about it….

But first, lace up those skates because we’re heading to the rink.

NHL Playoffs

How many times have you seen the Nashville Predators play hockey this year? Or ever? Well, you should start because they are a lot of fun to watch. And talk about an exciting venue. Bridgestone Arena was absolutely rockin’ last night. The Predators ousted the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals (by the score of 6-3). The Predators are heading to their 1st Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. They await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals (Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators). The Penguins lead 3 games to 2 and Game 6 will be played tonight on NBC Sports @ 8:00 P.M. Sydney Crosby is good at hockey. Anyway….

The Predators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead just 8:47 into the 1st period. After going up 3-1 early in the 3rd period, enter the “most dangerous lead in hockey”. This of course is the myth that having a 2-goal lead is a bad thing. Well, Monday night, it almost was. The Predators surrendered 2 goals in the span of 3 minutes and 52 seconds. Just like that, the game was tied at 3. The Predators, as they have throughout the playoffs, showed their resiliency. With 6 minutes to play, Colton Sissons completed his hat trick, putting the Predators up 4-3. They would add 2 empty-net goals, after the Ducks pulled their goalie inexplicably early (2:30 left to play!). Apparently, that is new school hockey. Where’s Steve Yzerman when you need him??

Did I mention the Nashville Predators are the #8 seed in the Western Conference?? Oh yeah. It is only the 3rd time a #8 seed has reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Immediately following the game, Michael Bosnack of Floral Park, an NHL enthusiast, said, “Nashville may be famous for their country music, but the Predators are slowly becoming the hidden gem down in the Music City. The pulse of the city runs through Bridgestone Arena these days.”  

Predators coach, Peter Laviolette, became just the 4th coach to bring 3 different teams to the Stanley Cup Finals. That is an exceptional honor, but Laviolette made light of it by saying, “That probably means I’ve been fired a lot.” Laviolette should be proud of his team. They have only lost once at home in the playoffs. For now, they celebrate!!

NBA Playoffs

The Golden State Warriors Won aga…….

Man, I sound like a broken record. I can picture the millennials now: What’s a record? Can I swipe it to the left?? Can I post about it right now???

NO. You can’t. Just show up for work on time.

Anyway, the Golden State Warriors won again by double digits (129-115), sweeping the San Antonio Spurs. This not only completed the sweep of the Western Conference Finals but of the entire playoffs!! This hasn’t happened since the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers swept their way to the NBA Finals. The Lakers accomplished this in 11 games because the 1st round was previously a best-of-five series. The Warriors became the 1st team to win 12 consecutive games to start the playoffs and to also sweep three 7-game series in one playoffs. And now, they will wait for Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to quit messin’ around and dispose of the Boston Celtics already.

While the Warriors were busy steamrolling the Spurs, fans seemed more preoccupied with paying homage to Manu Ginobili. The soon to be 40 year-old most likely put on his Spurs’ jersey for the last time. Ginobili was the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. That’s the 2nd to last pick in the draft for those of you keeping score at home. Ginobili played internationally for a few years before entering the league in 2002. And the rest, as they say, is history. 15 NBA seasons and 4 NBA Championships later, Ginobili will more than likely be ‘hangin’ it up’. He will go down as one of the best international players to ever play in the NBA. His high energy and pesky style of play made him a staple as the 6th man on the Spurs’ dynasty of the past decade and a half. Thanks for the good times Manu.

What were you watching last night? The NBA Playoffs, the NHL Playoffs, or something weird I’ve never heard of before? 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!