It’s All-Star weekend in the NBA and it started last night. The All-Star festivities kick off with the celebrity game. Which I don’t think I’ve ever watched, but I’m guessing someone does because they keep having it. The other event on Friday night is the Rising Stars game. The roster for this game are compiled of first and second year players and they’re divided into a Team U.S. And a World Team. This game is pretty much the younger guys version of the actual All-Star game is there is no defense at all played. Case in point last night the World Team beat the U.S. Team 150-141. When this game first started I watched a little of it until I realized that it was a joke and they where only interested in seeing how many points they could score and it wasn’t any actual basketball game.

Moving on to the three Saturday events which are a little more entertaining. There’s the Skills Challenge which they ruined for me last year with the changes they made. I understand that they wanted the big men in the competition, but they way they adjusts things for them really ruined the competition.

Here are the players competing in the Skills Challenge.

Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics) , Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns). Jokic is replacing Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers who is out injured.

Then there’s the 3-point competition which is easily the best of all the events they have on Saturday.

Here are the players you’ll see competing in the 3-point shooting competition.

Defending champion Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) is back to try and repeat. He’ll be competing against Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) C.J. McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets), Wesley Matthews (Dallas Mavericks) and Nick Young (Los Angeles Lakers)

Then there is the Slam Dunk Contest which use to be the marquee event of the evening, but has really lost it’s luster when the bigger stars in the NBA no longer wanted to compete in it. Zach LeVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves had brought some interest back to the contest the last couple of years and his battle with Aaron Gordon last season was one of the best dunk contest there have ever been. While Gordon is back to compete and LeVine was going to try and defend his title he was injured and is out for the season.

He are the players in this years Slam Dunk Contest.

Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic), DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers), Glen Robinson III (Indiana Pacers) and Derrick Jones Jr. (Phoenix Suns).

How much of All-Star Saturday night do you watch?

Then there is the All-Star game itself. It’s the 66th NBA All-Star game and they’re in New Orleans this time. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. cst and it’s on TNT. Someone has to explain to me why you’d watch this game. Is it really that interesting to see these guys ply together. The only thing that I want to know if it happens or not is if will see Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder on the court with the four Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry who are on the Western Conference All-Star team, but that’s not enough to make me tune in. Are you going to watch?

In trade rumors that don’t involved Carmelo Anthony it appears as though the Detroit Pistons are in talks with the Orlando Magic to trade point guard Reggie Jackson. The deal as it’s being reported has Jackson going to the Magic for point guard D.J. Augustin and forward Jeff Green. Jackson name had came up in trade rumors early in the season that had him going to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Rickey Rubio. Those trade rumors prompted Pistons coach and team president Stan Van Gundy to publicly proclaim that  Jackson wouldn’t be dealt to Minnesota. There is also a report that if Jackson is available the New Orleans Pelicans would be interested in acquiring him. There where no names reported in a Pistons/Pelicans deal for Jackson.

Jackson is 26 and in the second year of a five-year; $80 million dollar deal with the Pistons. Jackson is averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 assists, but the Pistons are just 16-20 with him in the line up. Now Jackson missed the first 21 games of the season when he was suffering from persistent knee tendinitis. While Jackson was out the Pistons went 11-10.

It seems as though Detroit would like to move on from Jackson and use Ish Smith as there staring point guard. In and interview earlier in the week Van Gundy was quoted as saying “We found a groove with Ish. And when Reggie came back, it has been a big adjustment.” Van Gundy also acknowledged “Reggie came back, and we’ve struggled ever since.”

Detroit is currently in 8th place in the Eastern Conference at 27-30, but they where expecting to compete for a top playoff spot and have a home court advantage in a series or two. The Pistons are just one game behind the Chicago Bulls for the 7th spot in the conference, but they are also just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks who are in 9th place while the Miami Heat are in 10 place just two games behind the Pistons. With the trade deadline coming up on Thursday will have to see if Jackson is still with the Pistons after that.

The NHL has ruled that Antoine Vermette will be suspended 10 games for the slashing incident with a linesman Shandor Alphonso in the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. The NHL announced the decision on Thursday. That was just a day after Vermette had a disciplinary conference call with the league and the players’ union. The NHLPA has notified the league that it will appeal the suspension. Is 10 games enough or too much for Vermette?

You can listen to the Sports Time radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or feel free to listen any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

There has been a lot of talking about the Chicago Bulls and if they will traded there All-Star Guard/Forward Jimmy Butler. There are a few teams who’s names have come up in a deal involving Butler, but the one that has come up the most is the Boston Celtics. Thursday night these two teams met at the United Center in Chicago and Butler was a huge part of the finish to the game. The Bulls found themselves down 103-102 with the clock running down and the basketball in Butler’s hands. As Butler went for the game winning shot with just .4 seconds left in the game the whistle blew and a foul was called on Marcus Smart of the Celtics as Butler was shooting. Even on replay it’s tough to see the foul and it’s been called “ticky-tack”, but the referees made the call and Butler calmly stepped to the free throw line made both free throws and after a last second shot by the Celtics failed the Bulls walked away with a 104-103 victory.

The Celtics started off the game on a 15 to 7 run to take there biggest lead of the 1st quarter. The Bulls where able to cut the lead down, but each times Boston was able to push it back to 8 points. Gerald Green hit a  3-pointer with 3:38 left to give the Celtics that 8 point lead for the final time in the quarter at 25-18. Chicago was able to score the final 4 points of the quarter to cut the lead to 25-22 at the end of the 1st quarter.

The Bulls started off the 2nd quarter by scoring the first 5 points to take the lead at 27-25. The teams traded the lead six times before the Celtics went on a 15 to 4 run to take a double digit lead at 45-35. The Bulls spent the rest of the quarter trying to cut into the lea and with just :33 seconds left they had the Celtics lead down to 3 at 55-52. Isaiah Thomas then hit a 3-pointer with :28 seconds left to give Boston a 6 point lead 58-52 heading into halftime.

Chicago started the 3rd quarter on a 15 to 7 run to take the lead at 67-65 on a Jerian Grant 3-pointer with 7:35 left in the quarter. The Bulls took there biggest lead of the quarter at 75-68 on a Robin Lopez tip in with 4:30 left in the quarter. Boston finished the quarter on a 10 to 6 run to cut the Bulls lead to 3 points 81-78 after three quarters.

The Bulls held the lead until Terry Rozier hit a 3-pointer with 6:15 left in the game to tie things up at 92 all. The game was tied three more times before the Bulls took the lead at 98-97 after Taj Gibson made two free throws with 2:54 left in the game. The Celtics went right back to the lead, but could never get any farther ahead than 3 points. After Doug McDermott hit two free throws with 1:20 left in the game the Bulls where down just 1 point at 103-102. On the defensive end Jimmy Butler blocked an Isaiah Thomas shot to give the Bulls the basketball back and a chance to win. Butler and the Jerian Grant missed 3-pointers to give the Bulls the lead. After each team used a timeout Isaiah Thomas missed a jump shot and Michael Carter-Williams got the rebound to set up the game ending scenario for Jimmy Butler. Butler missed the shot as time was expiring, but Marcus smart was called for the foul while Butler was in the act of shooting. Butler proceeded to hit both of his free throws to give the Bulls a 104-103 win.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls leading scorer with 29 points while Bobby Portis came off the Bulls bench to score 19 points. Robin Lopez had 15 points wile Taj Gibson scored 12 points and grabbed a game high 9 rebounds. Doug McDermott also came off the Bulls bench to hit double figures with 11 points while Jerian grant added 10 points. Rajon Rondo didn’t score in the game, ubt he did hand out a game high 8 assists.

Isaiah Thomas was the Celtics leading scorer with 29 points and a team high 7 assists. Off the Celtics bench Kelly Olynck scored 17 points and grabbed a team high 7 rebounds while Terry Rozier scored 11 points. Amir Johnson had 10 points for Boston.

With the win the Bulls will head into the All-Star break with a record of 28-29 which is good for 7th place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics fall to 37-20 with the loss, but are still in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and find themselves just 3 games out of the top spot. The Bulls return to action on February 24th when they host the 18-39 Phoenix Suns. The Celtics are also off until February 24th, but they’ll be on the road against the 33-24 Toronto Raptors.

On Tuesday the Toronto Raptors traded Terrence Ross and a 1st round pick to the Orlando Magic for Serge Ibaka. Of course with the deal just being made Ibaka wasn’t available as the Raptors faced the Chicago Bulls Tuesday night. For the 11th time in a row the Bulls picked up a win over the Raptors 105-94. The last time the Raptors won a game in this series was December 31st 2013.

Toronto took a quick 4-0 lead, but then the Bulls ran off the next 8 points to take the lead. The game was tied a couple of times before the Raptors where able to go back into the lead at 15-14. The teams traded the lead three more times before the Bulls where able to final 8 points of the quarter to take a 24-18 lead after one quarter.

The teams started the quarter out trading baskets as the Bulls slowly added to there lead. Chicago finally put there lead into double digits when Rajon Rondo hit a 3-pointer to make the score 41-29 with 6:09 left in the quarter. The Bulls continued to add to the lead with the largest lead hey built was 21 points at 56-35 with 1:44 left in the quarter. Toronto scored 4 of the final 6 points in the quarter to cut the Bulls lead to 58-39 going into the half.

Early in the 3rd quarter the Bulls pushed the lead to 23 points at 66-43 when Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer with 7:48 left in the quarter. The Raptors did outscore the Bulls in the quarter 25-20 and managed to cut the lead to 14 points at 78-64 by the end of the 3rd quarter.

Chicago has had trouble hanging onto big leads this season and when Toronto started the quarter on a 9 to 5 run you had to wonder if they where headed down that road again. Toronto got the Bulls lead into single digits when Corey Joseph hit a 3-pointer with 6:00 minutes left to play to make the score 88-80. After DeMar DeRozen hit a pair of free throws the Raptors where just down 5 points at 96-91 with 2:08 to play. This time the Bulls finished the game on a 9 to 3 run to get by the Raptors 105-94.

Doug McDermott came off the bench to lead the Bulls in scoring with 20 points. Jimmy Butler returned to the line up and struggled from the field making just 2 of the 10 shots he attempted. Butler did go 15 of 19 from the free throw line and posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 assists. Taj Gibson had 14 points while Rajon Rondo (12 points) and Cristiano Felicio (10 points) came off the Bulls bench to score in double digits. Felicio also tied with Robin Lopez for the team lead in rebounds with 6 apiece.

Kyle Lowry was the Raptors and the game high scorer with 22 points. DeMar DeRozen added 18 points while Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and grabbed a game high 9 rebounds. Off the Raptors bench Norman Powell scored 13 points and Corey Joseph scored 10 points. Lowry and Powell tied for the team lead in assists with 4 each.

The win improves the Bulls record to 27-29. Toronto falls to 32-24 with the loss. Chicago gets a day off before they host the 36-19 Boston Celtics. The Raptors don’t get a day off as they return home to host the 24-31 Charlotte Hornets.

 

With pitchers and catchers just reporting the St. Louis Cardinals got some bad news already. The Cardinals top pitching prospect and the #6 rated minor league prospect overall Alex Reyes needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2017 season. An MRI revealed a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.Reyes had the MRI on Tuesday after letting the Cardinals of elbow discomfort. The scan was examined by team physician Dr. George Paletta; who confirmed that Reyes requires Tommy John surgery. The images have been sent to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, but the Cardinals do not expect the diagnosis to change. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Reyes will likely have the surgery on Thursday. It will be performed by Paletta. Reyes first notified the Cardinals of arm discomfort late last week, and the club recommended the imaging scan after running Reyes through a physical exam at their spring training complex. Reyes has been pitching with a compromised ligament in his right elbow since at least 2013; when he was diagnosed with an elbow strain. Reyes will no longer pitch for the Dominican Republic team in next month’s World Baseball Classic. Reyes pitched in 12 games last season for St. Louis making 5 starts. He pitched a total of 46 innings going 4-1 with an E.R.A. of 1.57 and getting 1 save. Reyes was expected to contribute at the major league level this season, but his role hadn’t been decided yet. While it was never announced you have to believe there was a plan in place to limit his innings this season be it as a starter or out of the bullpen. Not that you ever want to lose a player for the season this early, but the Cardinals do have Lance Lynn returning from Tommy John surgery which cost him the entire 2016 season. St. Louis also has 23 year old prospect Luke Weaver who made 8 starts for them last season to help in the rotation if needed. Weaver was 1-4 in those 8 starts with an E.R.A, of 5.70 over 36 1/3rd innings. Weaver did make one relief appearance last season.

Kyle Schwarber has said that he wants to continue to catch and the Chicago Cubs cane out yesterday and said that they will allow him to do some catching this spring. Schwarber  tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in the third regular season game in 2016 was examined by the Cubs medical staff yesterday and if they clear him he’ll catch one or two days a week this spring. Schwarber miss all but those first three games of the regular season, but he did return to serve as the Cubs designated hitter in the World Series. Schwarber will have to wear a brace on his left knee this season and possibly the rest of his playing career. The Cubs are working on creative ways for Schwarber to work with the catchers and not put any unnecessary stress on his knee. Coming into the 2017 season Wilson Contreras looks to be the Cubs starting catcher with Miguel Montero being his back up. If Schwarber can catch he could be a very valuable 3rd catcher for the Cubs.

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is scheduled to miss 6 weeks. Love began suffering from a sore left knee Saturday against the Denver Nuggets and sat out from the Cavaliers game Tuesday. An MRI on Sunday didn’t reveal any structural damage, but Love sought out a second opinion. If Love is out the 6 weeks he should be able to return at the start of April and that would give him 7 games to get ready for the playoffs. That actual should give Love enough time to test the knee out and get back into game shape. Love is currently 3rd on the Cavaliers in scoring averaging 20 points a game. He is the teams leading rebounder grabbing 11.1 per game. Love is also one of the Cavaliers best 3-point shooters making 38.4% from behind the 3-point line. Cleveland is 38-16 and have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Will they still be in 1st place when Love returns? More importantly does it matter at all where the Cavaliers are seeded come playoff time? You have to think that even if the Cavaliers fall into 2nd or even 3rd place they would still be the clear favorites to win the conference and go to the NBA Finals.

The Anaheim Ducks beat the Minnesota Wild 1-0 last night, but they may lose Antoine Vermette to a suspension after he slashed linesman Shandor Alphonso. After losing a face off with 7:33 left in the 3rd period Vermette slashed the leg of the linesman. This earned Vermette a 10 minute penalty for game misconduct and an ejection for abuse of an official. NHL Rule 40.3 explains that a player will receive a 10 game suspension for deliberately applying physical force to an official in any manner. Vermette’s slash fits into this category. Just last season Dennis Wideman of the Calgary Flames received a 20 game suspension for cross-checking a ref on his way back to the bench. Wideman’s suspension was later reduced to 10 games through an appeal. Vermette is in his 13th NHL season, but this is his 1st one with Anaheim. In 58 games this season Vermette has 22 points on 8 goals and 14 assists, but is a -10 for +/- this season. There is no timetable for an NHL ruling on Vermette’s slash, but you have to think there will be a suspension involved with this incident.

For the Super Bowl the Atlanta Zoo had a bet with the Rhode Island Roger Williams Park Zoo that the loser would name a baby animal after the winning team’s star quarterback. The Atlanta Zoo paid off there bet by naming a Madagascar hissing cockroach Tom Brady. The animal to be named had been agreed upon between the two zoo’s since it was expected the loser of the bet would be bitter. The zoo introduced a whole family of cockroaches in a video Monday, including a tiny Tom Brady.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

The Chicago Bulls wrapped up there six game road trip in Minnesota to face there former head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves. Going into the game the Bulls where the definition of short handed as they would be missing four players. Jimmy Butler was out with a bruised heel. Dwayne Wade missed the game with a right wrist injury. Nikola Mirotic sat out with lower back trouble and Paul Zipser missed the game with a right ankle injury. Any way you look at it the Timberwolves had no issues handling the Bulls as they coasted to a 28 point victory 117-89.

The Bulls had two leads in the game; 2-0 and 4-2. The Timberwolves doubled the Bulls offensive output in the 1st quarter 34-17 and setting the tone for the game very early. Minnesota took there first double digit lead of the game with 7:30 left in the 1st quarter and the game was never in doubt after that.

The Timberwolves scored the first five points of the 2nd quarter to find themselves up 21 points at 39-17. The Bulls didn’t get the deficit under 20 points until there was 0:49 seconds left in the quarter. Jerian Grant’s 3-pointer was the last basket of the quarter for Chicago and the game went into halftime with the Timberwolves up 57-40.

Minnesota scored the first four points of the 3rd quarter to push the lead right back to 21 points at 61-40. The closest the Bulls could get in the quarter was 15 points as the Timberwolves outscored them by two 27-25 in the 3rd quarter to extend there lead to 19 points at 84-65.

With the outcome pretty  much in hand the Bulls still started off the 4th quarter scoring four of the first six points, but there was no hope of a big comeback as the Timberwolves outscored them again in the final quarter 33-24. The biggest lead Minnesota had in the 4th quarter was 28 points as they cruised to a 117-89 victory.

Andrew Wiggins was Minnesota’s and the games high scorer with 27 points. Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 pints while Rickey Rubio scored 17 points and had a game high 11 assists. Gorgui Dieng had 10 points and grabbed a game high 13 rebounds. Off the Minnesota bench Nemanja Bjelica (16 points) and Shabazz Muhammad (12 points) reached double figures in points.

The Bulls where led by Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis (off the bench) who each had 16 points. Michael Carter-Williams scored 12 points grabbed a team high 7 rebounds and tied for the tem lead in assists with 6. Robin Lopez and Rajon Rondo (off the bench) each scored 10 points. Rondo also handed out 6 assists to tie for the team lead.

Minnesota had lost five of there last six games coming into this contest, but the win improved there record to 21-34 on the season. The loss drops the Bulls to three games under .500 at 26-29. The Timberwolves will get a day off before a Valentine’s Day match up against the Eastern Conference leading 37-16 Cleveland Cavaliers at home. The Bulls went 2-4 on there road trip. Chicago will also get a day off before they host the 32-22 Toronto Raptors Tuesday night.

Jimmy Butler returned to the Chicago Bulls line up after missing the previous three games. Butler played 30 minutes, but is still listed as day to day with that bruised heel.

Even with the return of Butler to the starting line up the Bulls suffered there third loss in there last four games and there second loss in a row as the Phoenix Suns beat them 115-97 Friday night. This was the Bulls fifth game on there current six game road trip and was easily the most disappointing loss on the trip. Phoenix has the second worst record in the NBA and you would’ve thought that the Bulls would’ve been able to get by them, but not only did they lose they where beaten by 18 points.

The game was tied four different times in the 1st quarter. An 11 to 4 run gave the Bulls the biggest lead of the quarter 23-16 with 3:04 left to play. It was then the Suns turn to make a run as they finished the quarter on a 12 to 3 run taking a two point lead 28-26 after the 1st quarter.

The Bulls scored the first six points of the 2nd quarter to take the lead back early at 32-28. Phoenix worked there way back to tie the game at 37 all and then the teams where tied again at 39 all before the Suns scored six points in a row to take the lead 45-39 with 3:11 left to play. Phoenix finished the quarter on a run of 11 to 4 run to take a 56-43 lead going into halftime.

Chicago started the 3rd quarter off by scoring nine of the first 11 points in the quarter to cut the Suns lead to six points at 58-52, but that was the closest the Bulls could get in the quarter. Chicago did outscored Phoenix in the quarter 33-30. Even winning the quarter the Bulls still found themselves down double digits 86-76 heading into the final quarter.

Phoenix’s first two baskets of the 4th quarter where 3-pointers by Jared Dudley. The second one gave the Suns a 12 point lead at 92-80 with 9:11 left to play. Chicago never got closer than nine points again in the game as the Suns slowly puled away for an easy 18 point victory 115-97.

Devin Booker of the Suns was the games leading scorer with 27 points. Eric Bledsoe added 23 points and a game high 8 assists while T.J. Warren scored 16 points. Alan Williams came off the Phoenix bench to score 14 points and grab a game high 11 rebounds.

Jimmy Butler played 30 minutes in his return and led the Bulls in scoring with 20 points and also handed out a team high 6 assists. Dwayne Wade added 18 points while Robin Lopez scored 12 points and a team high 7 rebounds. Taj Gibson had 10 points while Doug McDermott came off the Bulls bench to score 11 points.

The win improved Phoenix’s record to 17-37. This was the first of back to back games for the Suns as they had to head out on the road to face the 39-17 Houston Rockets Saturday night. The loss sent the Bulls back to two games under .500 at 26-28. Chicago get a day off before they finish up there road trip in Minnesota. They’ll face the 20-34 Timberwolves on Sunday afternoon.

How was your week

Posted: February 11, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in sports
Tags: , , ,

Spring training opens next week with most camps opening February 14th. Pitchers and catchers are the first group of players scheduled to report, but not all catchers have a team to report to. Matt Wieters is still out on the free agent market. Wieters will turn 31 in May and is big for a catcher at 6’5 and 230 pounds. Wieters did have Tommy John surgery back in 2014 and you have to wonder if that is scaring some teams off. What looks like his former team the Baltimore Orioles handled him very carefully after the surgery. Wieters caught in just 55 games during the 2015 season, but came back last season to catch in 117 games; so health doesn’t look like an issue. Last season Wieters accepted the qualifying offer from the Orioles which paid him $15.8 million dollars, but this season Baltimore didn’t put a qualifying offer on Wieters; so there’s no draft pick attached with signing him. That makes it even more confusing as to why Wieters hasn’t been signed. Now Wieters is represented by Scott Boras and there are teams that don’t like to deal with him and his clients, but if you’re still looking for a catcher this late in the off season you have to look at Wieters. Last season Wieters hit .243, but for his career his batting average is .256. He hit 17 home runs with 66 RBI’s. His fielding percentage as a catcher last season was .994 and he threw out 35% of runners who tried to steal against him. Those numbers are right in line with his career numbers .993 fielding percentage and 33% of baserunners thrown out. Wieters won the Gold Glove award in back to back season 2011 and 2012 and is a four time All-Star. The negative on  Wieters appears to be the overrated pitch framing stat. According to StatCorner; Wieters ranked 68th in framing among catchers who received at least 1,000 pitches last season, saving -7.3 runs compared to the average catcher. Buster Posey was first at +26.8.

Now there are some teams out there that Wieters would be an upgrade at the catching position and a couple of them are considered contenders for the upcoming season. The Washington Nationals added Derek Norris in a trade this off season, but he’s had a couple of down years. Will moving to a better team help Norris? Jose Lobaton appears to be the back up, but Washington does have a young catching prospect in 23 year old Pedro Severino. If the Nationals signed Wieters to a one or maybe two year deal he could hold down the position until Severino is ready. How about another National League East contender the New York Mets. It appears as the Mets like Travis d’Arnaud, but he’s been injury prone and hasn’t produced at the plate. Maybe a one year deal allowing d’Arnaud to be the back up might help him overall. The Colorado Rockies have been very active on the free agent market this off season spending close to $100 million dollars, but behind the plate it looks like they’re going with the young duo of Tom Murphy who’s 25 and Tony Wolters who’s 24. A veteran like Wieters could be a big upgrade for Colorado. The Arizona Diamondbacks sign renowned pitch framer Jeff Mathis who’s a career .197 hitter. They also added Chris Iannatta on a one year deal. Arizona has also added Josh Thole and Hank Conger to minor league deals. This is another situation where Wieters would be a huge upgrade. The Tampa Bay rays signed Wilson Ramos as a free agent, but he’s recovering from a knee injury and might not be ready for the start of the season. That leaves the Rays with Curt Casali and Luke Maile as the catching duo to start the season. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim acquired Martin Maldonado a highly regarded pitch framer in a trade and they have a prospect in Carlos Perez, but again Wieters would be a huge upgrade. The Chicago White Sox appear to be in full rebuild mode. They’re going into the season with a young starting rotation and relying on Geovany Soto behind the plate. If the White Sox could add Wieters on a one year deal he could work with the young rotation while also being used as trade bait to help the rebuild along. It’s highly unlikely that Wieters would return to the Orioles. Baltimore brought back Mark Trumbo on a free agent deal and it looks as though they’re settled on Wellington Castillo as there catcher. The Orioles also have some big time players looking to enter free agency at the end of the 2017 season. Manny Machado, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton are three of the Orioles who enter free agency at the end of the season. If the Orioles intend to bring back any or all of those three players then Wieters might be the expendable piece. There’s a few options still out there for Wieters. Where do you have him landing?

The Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies last night 122-107 and in the game Draymond Green had a triple-double. That may not be a huge news grabbing type of story as the Warriors win a lot of games and there is always a plyer on the Warriors who could get a triple-double. Now when you dig deeper into Green’s triple-double you’ll see that he had 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals while only scoring 4 points. It’s the first time in NBA history a player has recorded a triple-double while not scoring at least 10 points. It also was only the second in NBA history with at least 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in a game. The first one was back in 1986 by Alvin Robertson, but he scored 20 points when he did it. Green was the first player in NBA history to record 10 steals and five blocks in a game since the 1973-74 season; when those became official statistics. Green’s 10 steals set a Golden State record and it was the first time a player had 10 steals in a game since Brandon Roy did it in 2009. Green has always been considered a unique player and this kind of a stat line really shows that about him.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com you can also find the podcast on TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

The Chicago Bulls had won two of there first three games on there road trip. Last night they ran into what could be there biggest challenge of the season. A road game against the team with the best record in the NBA the Golden State Warriors. The Bulls came into the game very short handed as they played without there top two players Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade. Jimmy Butler missed his third straight game with a bruised heel and Dwayne Wade also sat this game out with an upper respiratory illness. As it turned out the short handed Bulls didn’t stand much of a chance as they dropped a 123-92 game to the Warriors.

With the game tied early at 11 apiece Golden State went on a 15 to 2 run to take a lead that they wouldn’t give up. The Bulls managed just 17 points in the 1st quarter as Golden State put up 30 1st quarter points to take a 13 point lead after one quarter 30-17.

The Bulls hung together with the Warriors in the 2nd quarter. Golden State did outscore the Bulls in the quarter, but just by one point 25-24. The closest the Bulls could get in the quarter was eight points when Isaiah Canaan hit a jumper with 8:15 left in the quarter to make the score 32-24. The Warriors pushed the lead right back to double digits. Draymond Green hit a lay up with :08 seconds left to send the Warriors to the locker room with a 14 point lead 55-41.

Chicago played another tough quarter in the 3rd as this time the Warriors only outscored them by two points in the quarter 31-29. Golden State took there first 20 point lead of the game when Klay Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 10:34 left in the quarter to give Golden State a 63-43 lead. While the Bulls weren’t able to get the lead down to single digits they did cut the Warriors lead down to 11 points at 75-64 with 4:09 left in the quarter. The Warriors scored the last points of the quarter to take a 16 point lead at 86-70 after three quarters.

After playing tough on the 2nd and 3rd quarter the Bulls couldn’t stay with the Warriors in the final quarter. Golden State outscored the Bulls 37-22 in the 4th quarter to pull away for an easy victory. Golden State took a 21 point lead when Kevin Durant hit a jumper with 5:03 left in the game to make the score 106-85. Damian Jones then put the Warriors up 31 points when he hit a jumper with 2:15 left in the game to make the score 119-88. The teams managed just seven points combines in the final couple of minutes of the game, but the outcome was pretty much decided by then. Golden State ended up with a 123-92 victory.

Klay Thompson was Golden State’s and the games high scorer with 28 points. Kevin Durant scored 22 points and tied for the game high in rebounds with 10. Draymond Green had 19 points while Stephen Curry and JaVale McGee each scored 13 points. Kevon Looney came off the Warriors bench to score 10 points. Durant was also the Warriors leader in assists handing out 7 in the game.

Without there top two scorers the Bulls where led by Robin Lopez who put up a double-double with 17 points and tying for the game high in rebounds with 10. Taj Gibson just missed his own double-double scoring 15 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Jerian Grant scored 12 points while Rajon Rondo came off the Bulls bench to score 12 points and hand out a game high 8 assists. Nikola Mirotic also reached double digits off the Bulls bench with 10 points.

The loss drops the Bulls back under .500 at 26-27. They’ll continue there road trip Friday night as they face the 16-37 Phoenix Suns. It has yet to be announced if Jimmy Butler or Dwayne Wade will play in this game. With the win the Warriors improved there NBA best record to 44-8. The Warriors also play next on Friday night, but they head out on the road to face the 33-22 Memphis Grizzlies.

So the Super Bowl actually did turn out to be super. I am wondering how many people turned the game off when the Atlanta Falcons took a 28-3 lead early in the 3rd quarter. Of course as we all know now the New England Patriots scored the final 31 points of the game including the game winning touchdown in overtime to comeback and win the game.

In there comeback Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and running back James White set some new Super Bowl records. Brady set records for most passing attempts with 62. Most pass completions with 42 and most passing yards with 466. White caught more passes than anyone else in a single Super Bowl game with 14. His 110 receiving yards was also the most ever for a running back in a Super Bowl. The Patriots as a team set some new records as well. They had the most first downs with 37, most passing first downs with 26 and most offensive plays in a game with 93.  Plus there was the record-setting 19 point fourth quarter comeback and 25 point second half rally. The teams also combined to set three new records. Most 1st downs in a Super Bowl by both teams with 54, most passing 1st downs in a Super Bowl by both teams with 39 and most combined passing yards by both teams with 682. The Patriots now have the most Super Bowl appearances by a team with 9 while Bill Belichick is now the head coach with the most Super Bowl appearances at 7 and wins with 5. Tom Brady now also has the most career passing touchdowns in Super Bowl history with 15.

There where also five records tied in this Super Bowl. Most Super Bowl wins; Tom Brady with 5. Most sacks in a Super Bowl; Grady Jarrett with 3. They started keeping this record in 1982. Most 2-point conversions in a game with 2 and most 2-point conversions by teams combined with 2 and most 1st downs by penalties with 4 by the Patriots.

Now as a whole the NFL playoffs weren’t that great to watch. Did this type of a Super Bowl make up for it? These where the two top offenses in the playoffs and that did show through in this game and that made it fun to watch. There was some talk that this was the greatest Super Bowl of all time. While it was a good game to watch I’m not sure if it’s the greatest Super Bowl ever, but I’d love to know what you thought of the game. Feel free to leave me your comments about the Super Bowl.

With all the complaining LeBron James has done about his team this season you have to wonder if he’s concerned about a NBA Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors or if he thinks there’s a team in the Eastern Conference that the Cleveland Cavaliers have to worry about. The Cavaliers have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Boston Celtics for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors 4 1/2 games out of 1st place and the Washington Wizards 5 1/2 games behind the Cavaliers.

Now we’ve seen the Raptors take a run at the Cavaliers the last few seasons; so I’m not sure anyone would consider them a challenger in the East.

The Celtics are currently on a 7-game winning streak and they try to make it 8 in a row as they face the Sacramento Kings tonight. The Celtics are led by Isaiah Thomas who is averaging 29.9 points per game and has proven that he is one of if not the top player when the 4th quarter rolls around. Thomas is also the team leader in assists per game with 6.4. Can a team with a point guard as there leading scorer take down the Cavaliers in a 7-game series? Now the Celtics do have some big men who can score and shoot the 3-pointer. Al Horford averages 15.1 points per game and makes 34.1% from behind the 3-point line. Jae Crowder averages 14.2 points per game and shoots a team high 42.2 % from behind the 3-point line. Now the Celtics are a young up and coming team, but are they ready to take that step and take the Cavaliers out in a seven game series. If we get this match up in the playoffs we might get the chance to see where the Celtics stand.

Now how about the Wizards. Remember this is the team that started the season off 5-10 and there was talk of what a disappointing season this was going to be. Washington is now nine games over .500 at 30-21. The Wizards just had there 7-game winning streak snapped on Monday by the Cavaliers. Cleveland won that game 140-135 in overtime, but the Wizards had to get an idea that they could play with the Cavaliers. Is an close overtime loss enough to build confidence in a team that can be up and won at times. I’m sure you’ve heard the reports that John Wall and Bradley Beal don’t always get along. That would be alright as long as they both continue to play well. Wall leads the team in scoring at 23 points per game while Beal is right behind him averaging 22.2 points per game. Wall is also handing out 10.4 assists per game. Both are shooting well from the field. Beal shoots 46.9% from the field and 39.1% from behind the 3-point line. Wall is shooting 45.8% from the field and 31.4% from behind the 3-point line. Otto Porter is shooting a very good 46.7% from behind the 3-point line and Marcin Gortat is grabbing 8.3 rebounds per game. The Wizards are run by there backcourt tandem and the team will go how they go, but they do have some pieces that could help them in a series against the Cavaliers. Could Washington be the team that gives the Cavaliers trouble in a playoff series?

We had a couple more free agents come off the market yesterday. Chris Carter signed with the New York Yankees for one year at $3 million dollars while Mike Napoli agreed to return to the Texas Rangers on a one year $8.5 million dollar deal with a club option. Carter’s deal does have incentives where he can earn an extra $500,000. With pitchers and catchers reporting next week you have to wonder how many more deals will get before then.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can listen any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

The Chicago Bulls played without Jimmy Butler again last night because of his bruised heel. Even without Butler the Bulls built a 27 point lead only to see the Sacramento Kings come all the way back to tie the game. The Bulls behind Dwayne Wade scoring five straight points late in the game managed to sneak out a 112-107 victory. The Bulls are now 2-1 on there six game road trip and could easily have won all three of the games. There only loss so far on the trip was in overtime to the Houston Rockets.

Sacramento managed to score just 11 points ion the 1st quarter as the Bulls built a 16 point lead with the Kings struggling. Maybe the only positive for the Kings was that they scored the last basket of the quarter when Willie Cauley-Stein hit a jumper with :11 seconds left in the quarter to get the score to 27-11.

Sacramento played much better ion the 2nd quarter and actually outscored the Bulls 34-33 in the quarter. The Kings did manage to cut the Bulls lead to 10 points on a few occasions, but could never get the lead down to single digits. This time it was the Bulls who scored the last points of the quarter. Jerian Grant was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. Grant hit all three of his free throws to give the Bulls a 60-45 lead going into halftime.

In the end the 3rd quarter ending up being a pretty evenly played quarter with the Bulls outscoring the Kings 25-24, but at one point in time the Bulls took a 27 point lead at 82-55 after Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer with 4:13 left in the quarter. Sacramento finished the quarter on a 14 to 3 run to cut the Bulls lead to 16 points at 85-69 after three quarters.

With a double digit lead it looked as though the Bulls might be able to coast to an easy road victory. Now if you’ve watched any Bulls games this season you should’ve known this wasn’t going to happen. Sacramento slowly closed in on the Bulls. Matt Barnes made two free throws to get the Kings within three at 95-92 with 5:01 left to play. The Bulls pushed the lead back to six points three different times after that, but with :30 seconds left in the game DeMarcus Cousins made a lay up to tie the game at 107 all and the Kings had made it all the way back. Dwayne Wade then took over and scored the final five points of the game to give the Bulls a 112-107 win. Wade’s last point was on a technical free throw he got after Cousins was ejected with just :01 second left in the game.

All five Chicago starters scored in double figure led by Dwayne Wade with game high 31 points. Michael Carter-Williams scored 21 points while Robin Lopez added 17 points. Taj Gibson and Jerian Grant each had 13 points. Rajon Rondo led the Bulls in assists with 6 while Lopez, Carter-Williams and Wade all tied for the team lead in rebounds with 6 each.

Ty Lawson came off the Kings bench to lead them in scoring with 22 points and hand out a game high 7 assists. Willie Cauley-Stein (off the bench) added 19 points while DeMarcus Cousins scored 18 points and grabbed a game high 14 rebounds. Darren Collison scored 14 points and Kosta Koufos added 10 points.

The win gets the Bulls back to .500 at 26-26. The Bulls get a day off before they face the 43-8 Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night. The loss drops Sacramento to 20-32. The Kings will also get a day off before they host the 33-18 Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.