How was your Valentine’s Day?

Posted: February 14, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports
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2/14/15

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast or caught some of the blogs here you know I’m not a fan of All-Star games. I do however enjoy some of the events that the NBA has during its All-Star weekend. Last night (Friday) they had two games that I didn’t have a lot of interest in. The Celebrity game kicks off the weekend followed by the Rising Stars Challenge. This year they had the World vs. USA with the World winning 122-112. Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves playing for the World team was the MVP of the game scoring 22 for the World team. There are four events held today (Saturday) starting with the Shooting Challenge. Then it’s the Skills Challenge followed by the 3-point Shooting Contest and ending with the Slam Dunk Contest. The Shooting Challenge features four teams of three players. The teams are; Team Bosh with Captain Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Dominique Wilkins is the team Legend and Swim Cash of the New York Liberty is their WNBA player. Team Curry; with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry as the team captain, his father Dell Curry is their Legend and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm is their WNBA player. Team Westbrook captained by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder with Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway as their Legend and Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever as their WNBA player. Team Milsap is captained by Paul Milsap of the Atlanta Hawks. Milsap is replacing the injured Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Milsap’s teammates are Legend Scottie Pippen and W.N.B.A. player  Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky. I’ll take Team Curry to win this event. The Skills Challenge features eight NBA players who compete in a bracket-style tournament for the first time. The format calls for two players to compete simultaneously on an identical course with the fastest finisher reaching the next round.  The players will be tested in an obstacle-course competition that tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills. Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz is back to defend last year title and he is joined by Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors. Isiah Thomas of the Phoenix Suns, Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks and his teammate Dennis Schroder who is replacing Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls. Elfrid Payton of the Orlando Magic is taking the place of Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers and Patrick Beverly of the Houston Rockets is taking the place of Washington Wizards guard John Wall. I’ll take Teague to win this competition. A lot of experts think that this will be the best 3-point shooting challenge ever. The eight guys in the 3-point shooting Contest are defending champion  Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks, Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trailblazers, J.J. Reddick of the Los Angeles Clippers and teammates Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. It seems like most experts think that one of the Golden State players either Thompson or Curry will win this contest, but I’m taking Wesley Matthews to win. The Dunk Contest has lost most of its luster from when it was a must see event, but this season they are returning to their classic format. That means it will be a two-round event in which the four participants can perform any dunk they choose without time limits. The players will have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges will score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30. The four players in the Dunk Contest are Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets, Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic, Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. I’m taking LaVine to win the Dunk Contest. To me these events at least feature players skills while the All-Star game itself is just players watching other players score. Will you watch?

The first interview on the podcast last night had Scott Andes from LasordasLair.com to talk Los Angeles Dodgers baseball we followed that interview with Billy Brost from FriarsonBase,com for some San Diego Padres talk. On the field the Dodgers and Padres are rivals and both play in the NL West. While the Dodgers have had the better of this rivalry for years now the Padres have made a ton of moves this off-season to try to close that gap. There are questions on both sides as teams get ready for spring training to start. The Dodgers will be brand new up the middle with Yasmani Grandal catching, Howie Kendrick at 2nd base, Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and rookie Joc Pederson in centerfield. The Padres will have a new starting outfield with Matt Kemp in rightfield, Will Myers in centerfield and Justin Upton in leftfield as well as Derek Norris catching. Both teams still have some questions though. While Kenley Jansen is a solid major league closer posting 44 saves in 49 chances. The question is who gets the ball to him? Is the biggest question I think the Dodgers have to address. In San Diego the Padres have to decide if Yonder Alonso is the right player at 1st base? The Padres also have a glut of outfielders with  Cameron MaybinCarlos Quentin and Will Venable on the 40 man roster. Are the Padres done dealing? With the addition of James Shields the extra outfielders and Philadelphia Phillies General manager Ruben Amaro Jr’s interest in Andrew Cashner could Cole Hamles be on the radar. One of the best things was listening to Scott and Billy’s take on each others team.

The NHL trade deadline is March 2nd; so which players may be switching teams. Will the Ottawa Senators trade Chris Neil? Will the New York Rangers try to deal J.T. Miller and clear some salary cap space? Will the  New Jersey Devils trade Jaromir Jagr? Since the Carolina Hurricanes haven’t been able to reach extensions with forwards Jiri Tlusty and Jay McClement, will they be dealt before the trade deadline? There’s a couple of names that might move before March 2nd for you. Which Stanley Cup contenders need to add what to win it all? We should get some of these answers soon.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime and remember you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast at BlogTalkRadio.com

So how was your week?

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