There’s History To Be Made At The PGA Championship

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It’s an exciting time to be alive!! It’s golf season!! This morning marks the opening round of the 2017 PGA Championship. While the 1st tee-time is set for 7:20 a.m., TNT’s coverage doesn’t start until 1:00 p.m. This makes NO sense seeing how the 2 most popular groups will be done playing by the time TV coverage starts. Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, and Jordan Spieth tee-off at 8:25 a.m., and Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Henrik Stenson tee-off at 8:35 a.m. Someone please explain this to me….

Anyway, the 99th PGA Championship will be held at Quail Hollow Country Club, in North Carolina. There is an exciting field of mostly young golfers ready to entertain you. Entertain me clowns!! Expect a competitive tournament over the next 4 days, but before I tell you who’s going to win, let’s meet the favorites:

  • Rory Mcilroy (+700)
  • Jordan Spieth (+900)
  • Dustin Johnson/Hideki Matsuyama (+1200)
  • Rickie Fowler (+1400)
  • Jon Rahm/Brooks Koepka (+2200)

Despite winning the Open Championship just a few weeks ago, Jordan Spieth is not the favorite here. This surprises me, but Mcilroy is no slouch. My prediction is coming soon..relax!!

I think Jordan Spieth and Rory Mcilroy have something special in store for us this weekend. The PGA Tour is going to love what these fine golfers are about to do for their sport. They will separate themselves from the field over the next 3 days, and come Sunday, will be staring each other down in the final pairing. While Mcilroy has won 2 PGA Championships in his career, I think this is Spieth’s year.

Prediction: Spieth will beat Mcilroy in a playoff on Sunday to capture his 1st PGA Championship.

This will give Spieth consecutive major victories, and more importantly, the career grand slam. He would become the youngest player to accomplish this feat (yes younger than Tiger Woods). Allow me to put the career grand slam into perspective. Over the vast history of golf, there are only 5 golfers to complete the career grand slam:

  • Gene Sarazen
  • Ben Hogan
  • Gary Player
  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Tiger Woods

That’s it!! Arnold Palmer couldn’t do it. Phil Mickelson hasn’t done it. But, Jordan Spieth will do it. Golfer’s like Spieth don’t come around every year, so enjoy his dominance while it lasts.

 

Who do you think will win the PGA Championship?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you think of Derek Jeter’s ceremony? Who will win Game 7 of the Celtics vs. Wizards game? Let me know in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

I Went To A Fight And A Basketball Game Broke Out

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

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

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

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

Who will blink first and lose at home? The Celtics or the Wizards? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Rockets Lay Texas-Size Beat Down On Spurs

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There’s domination….and then there’s whatever the Houston Rockets did to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals saw the Houston Rockets travel 197 miles across Texas to San Antonio to take on the Spurs. And apparently the Spurs weren’t listening when Rudy’s coach was talking. Not only did the Rockets push the Spurs around, they stole the Spurs’ lunch money and then made them apologize.

The Spurs set a handful of team records Monday night, just not the kind you’d want to attach your name. The Rockets carried a 30-point lead into halftime (69-39), marking the largest halftime deficit in Spurs postseason history. This was also the largest halftime deficit in any game under coach Gregg Popovich. The largest lead of the game ballooned to 39 points with 6:18 left in the 4th quarter (Final Score: 126-99). The Spurs also allowed the most 3-point attempts and makes in their storied postseason history. The Rockets made 22 of their 50 3-point attempts.

Side Note: That is ridiculous!! Who attempts 50 3’s in 1 game?! Especially against the defensive minded Spurs. Apparently Beard and Co. do.

Launching 3-pointers is actually nothing new for the Rockets, as they attempted 3,306 of them during the regular season. That’s just over 40 3-point attempts per game!! While James Harden hit 3 of them, he played the role of facilitator on Monday night, dropping 14 assists. Trevor Ariza, yes of all people Trevor Ariza, had a game-high 23 points, making 5 3-pointers.

And after an unforeseen whoopin’ like Game 1, not even the prognosticator of prognosticators could possibly predict the outcome of Game 2. I’ll give it a shot though. The Spurs bounce back in a big way, winning 110-99. Please don’t put your money where my mouth is though. Thank you. And if you caught that Groundhog Day reference, bravo!

Tune into TNT on Wednesday night @ 9:30 p.m. EST to see what happens. What do you think will happen? Will the Spurs bounce back in Game 2 or will they continue to fear the beard? 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!

Eastern Conference Finals Recap: Game 1

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Well, who saw that coming?  Who expected an offensive explosion from the often anemic Indiana Pacers offense?  I know I didn’t.  The Pacers starting five averaged just shy of 38 minutes each and all scored in double digits (yes, even Roy Hibbert scored in double digits).  This helped lead The Pacers to a 107-96 win Sunday afternoon over The Miami Heat.  History usually dictates that when Dwyane Wade plays well, the Heat win, however, it appears that just Lebron James and Dwyane Wade isn’t enough to beat a Pacers team when firing on all cylinders.  With that being said, let us talk about what The Pacers accomplished in Game 1.

 

The Pacers managed an astounding 42.1% shooting from 3-point range.  Their regular season average from downtown was only 38.2%.  They also only averaged 92.5 points per game during the regular season, so the 107 points they put up in Game 1 was also somewhat of an anomaly.  The entire Pacers roster played well, and they do have the size to counteract The Miami Heat’s smaller, more athletic lineup, however, I don’t foresee The Pacers sustaining this level of offensive efficiency.  I also don’t believe that Chris Bosh will score only 9 points per game and continue to go 0 for the century from downtown (he went 0-5 from 3-point range in Game 1).  The Heat also have a very solid track record when losing the 1st game of a playoff series.  In the 2013 playoffs, they lost the 1st game in 2 out of their 3 series (against The Chicago Bulls and The San Antonio Spurs).  The Heat went on to sweep the rest of The Bulls series and they went on to beat The Spurs as well to capture their 2nd straight NBA Championship.

 

Today, most people will be overreacting to The Miami Heat’s Game 1 loss, but I, as I’m sure you have already figured out, will not be.  As much as I would enjoy The Heat losing in The Eastern Conference Finals, not only for my own personal enjoyment but for the mass hysteria that would cause, I just don’t see it happening.  I believe Lebron James (aka the best player on the planet) will put his team on his shoulders, and on Wednesday morning, everyone will be seated (with arms and legs inside the vehicle) securely BACK on The Miami Heat bandwagon.  You can catch Game 2 of The Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night @ 8:30  P.M. on ESPN.  Can’t wait to watch more basketball until then?  Then tune into TNT tonight @ 9:00 P.M. to catch The Oklahoma City Thunder take on The San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of The Western Conference Finals.  That should be a highly competitive, fun series to watch as well.  Enjoy!

 

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! 

     

In Case you Missed It

In case you missed my recap of game 6 and my prognostication for game 7, check it out here:

https://davetalkssports.com/2013/06/02/the-heat-get-beat-down/

Game 7, tonight, TNT, 8:30 p.m. Be there or, umm, don’t be there. I know I’ll be glued to the TV trying to stay awake. This game should be epic, and I hope the Pacers can live up to the hype of this event. Everyone is talking about the downfall of the Big “3”, and how their roster will be dismantled if they lose tonight. To that I say hooray! I hope the Heat lose, and I hope this ultimately causes them to disband. Enjoy the game everyone!

The Heat Get Beat Down

Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not ahhhh you know the rest. That is one sentence I bet Lebron James wishes he could take back. As you all know, the big “3” assembled themselves to embark on a quest. That quest was to win multiple championships. However, the way they look right now they might have to settle for just the 1. Dwyane Wade is dealing with injuries and Chris Bosh is playing like a soft 6’2″ shooting guard inside a 6’10” body. Lebron James has been left to pick up his entire team and carry them on his back (a la Cleveland 2007). I doubt this is what Lebron was anticipating when he signed with the Miami Heat. Maybe, just maybe this is karma’s way of saying, “Hey Lebron you shouldn’t have done that bad thing that you did”. Obviously that’s just a joke, but even if the Heat get past the Pacers in game 7 do you really expect them to beat the San Antonio Spurs? The way they are playing right now I highly doubt it. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though and let’s take a look at where we are and how we got there.

The Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers are deadlocked at 3 games a piece and will play a decisive game 7 on Monday night. The Heat, yes the Heat, are lucky to be in this position. The Pacers have been the better team in this series, and they were just 2.2 seconds away from winning this series. Now, there are vital questions that must be answered. How will the heat respond to this beat down? Will Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh show up to play Monday night? Will the Pacers carry the momentum from this big win into game 7? I’m going to answer all of these questions for you (just hold your horses), but first I will tell you how we got here.

Game 6 was a prime example of how the Pacers can beat the Heat. They out rebounded the Heat 53-33, and they out scored them in the paint 44-22. That my friends is a recipe for success against the vertically challenged Miami Heat. As a whole the Pacers played an efficient offensive game shooting 50% from the field. A fair question to be asked following the game is, who owns the 3rd quarter now? The Pacers came out of halftime on a mission. They out scored the Heat 29-15 in the quarter and completely turned the game around. The 3rd quarter onslaught was led by Pacers up and coming superstar Paul George. Dwyane Wade clearly can’t guard George as he went off for 28 points, and Roy Hibbert was his usual dominant self down low adding 24 points and 11 rebounds. Hibbert also had the play of the game by drawing an offensive foul on Lebron James as he drove the lane late in the 4th quarter. This was like the meeting of the unstoppable force and the immovable object. Point goes to the immovable object on this one. Also, what kind of cry baby is Lebron James? After being called for the foul he ran the full length of the floor in disbelief. Needless to say he was hit with a technical foul (hahahaha). Anyway, let’s get back to the task at hand. The real positive the Pacers should take away from this game was their defense. They held the Heat to 77 points! They also held Wade and Bosh to a combined 15 points on 4 of 19 shooting from the field (that’s a whopping 21%). Good stuff guys! You know you’re in trouble when Lebron misses having Anderseon Varejao and Boobie Gibson on his team. I have one question for whoever believes they have a reasonable answer: if Dwyane Wade is so hurt, why does he continue taking so many shots? I mean the Heat’s box scores have looked a lot like a Carmelo Anthony led squad lately. Whatever adjustments the Heat decide to make, they will not win if Lebron is left to beat the pacers singlehandedly. And this brings us to the most important question of all. What is going to happen in game 7?

The Pacers are going to win game 7 in South Beach. They are going to continue to impose their will on the interior. They will be too tall, too strong, and too physical. And most importantly they are going to come together as a team and will their way through the finish line. Lebron will post his usual phenomenal stat line, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will continue their struggles. This offseason will be a tumultuous one for Lebron and the Heat. Many questions will arise about the disappointment of this big “3” and their failed union. And questions of what the future will hold will follow. I am personally looking forward to their demise. That is what you get when you are cocky, and arrogant, and think you’re better than everyone else. Now all I have to do is hope my game 7 prediction is not wrong. Tune into TNT @ 8:30 p.m. for what should be a riveting game 7 in Miami. Enjoy!

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!