If you’re a fan of the NBA or maybe just a basketball fan or how about just a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I have to ask you; is this LeBron James media circus good for your team? There have been the passive aggressive tweets that James has sent out that makes it seem like he doesn’t want to play for the Cavaliers after this season. Then there was more social media drama when James stopped following the Cavaliers on there Twitter and Instagram accounts. James used the excuse that he was getting into “playoff mode’ as his reasoning for doing this. Then James came out and said that he’d like to put a “Super team” together wit his friends Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul. And then the worst one of all to me is the Cavaliers went out on Thursday night and lost to the Brooklyn Nets 104-95. Yes you read that right the Brooklyn Nets. Now James actually had a very good game against the Nets. James shot 13 for 16 from the field on the night. He made 1 of the 2 3-pointers he took; while making 3 of his 4 free throws he took for a total of 30 points. James also had 6 rebounds; handed out 5 assists and had a steal in the game. If you take James shooting totals away from the rest of the Cavaliers that night they where 23 of 73 (31.5%) from the field. Now even with that loss to the Nets the Cavaliers are 52-21 and barring a complete collapse in their final 10 games they’ll be the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. 4 of the Cavaliers remaining games are at home; so that means there’s 6 games on the road, but none of the games are against what you’d describe as top tier competition. The Cavaliers face the New York Knicks tonight in New York, but the only teams they’ll face that are in the playoffs right now are the Houston Rockets on March 29th, the Atlanta Hawks twice on April 1st and April 11th and they play the Indiana Pacers on April 6th. So with the schedule the Cavaliers have they should be able to get their players rest if they decide to and still coast into the playoffs. While there might be a team that the Cavaliers run into in the Eastern Conference playoffs that might win a game or two in that series. Even with all of the LeBron James stuff going on. Is there really a team out there that could be a threat of actually winning a 7 game series against them? What would be interesting to me to find out is how the other Cavaliers feel about some of the stuff that James has been saying or doing, but none of them are going to say anything right now. Maybe will catch a break and when the season is over someone like J.R. Smith will come out and let the media know how he feels about what happened. Is there another player on the Cavaliers besides Smith that might actual come out and say something?
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is down to the Elite 8. Now if you’ve listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast I did a bracket, but I also admitted I don’t know a whole lot about college basketball. If you remember I had Michigan State winning the tournament and they got beat in the 1st round. There’s always talk going into the tournament about the best conference and from the looks of the final eight teams left you’d have to say it’s the ACC. Out of the 8 teams left the ACC has 4 of them. You have long time conference members North Carolina and Virginia along with conference new comers Syracuse and Notre Dame. Now with the way the bracket happens to be set up this year only one of these teams can end up in the championship game. On Sunday out of the East bracket North Carolina who was a #1 seed faces #6 seeded Notre Dame. Also this Sunday out of the Midwest bracket Virginia who was also a #1 seed faces #10 seeded Syracuse. Now the winners of these games will meet in a Final 4 game for the right to play for the national championship. The ACC or Atlantic Coast Conference will set a record for money earned in a tournament. According to Darren Rovell each game played in this year’s tournament is worth $265,791. Through Friday night, ACC teams have earned 23 units, counting their Elite Eight games. They’ll earn another two from the Final Four, putting the total at 25 units. That’s where the conference will finish, because no units are awarded for the title game. The previous record for the most units earned in a single NCAA tournament was 24 by the Big East in 2009. The 25 units are worth at least $39.9 million. The ACC guaranteed itself at least $32.8 million from the 21 units it brought home in last year’s tournament. I’d have to guess as this information gets out we’ll start talking about players being paid again. While the ACC has dominated one side of the bracket; there are 4 other teams left. The South bracket and the West bracket went just as they where seeded. In the South bracket it will be #1 seeded Kansas against #2 seeded Villanova. Over in the West bracket we’ll see #1 seeded Oregon against #2 seeded Oklahoma. These two brackets may actually be the bigger surprise with the way they played out. Didn’t we hear at the start of the tournament about the parity in college basketball and none of the experts expected any bracket to go as it was seeded. How’s your bracket?
The Chicago Cubs got their first scare of spring training when Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta had to leave his last start after just 1/3rd of an inning due to a blister. Arrieta left his Thursday start against the San Francisco Giants after giving up 5 runs and throwing 34 pitches. The Cubs have come out and said they’d be “cautious” with Arrieta, but Arrieta himself has come out and said he’d be ready for opening day on April 4th. The difficulty may be that Thursday was planned to be Arrieta’s long start of spring training. It was reported he’d throw 80 plus pitches in that game. Now with the blister issue will he be able to get himself stretched out for his opening day start. The Cubs seem to be just about everybody’s pick this season. If you don;t have them winning the World Series you probably at least have them there as the National League representative. If this blister is a recurring issue and Arrieta has to continue to leave starts early or possible miss some starts as the blister heals that Cubs pick might be in some trouble. Can the Cubs find Arrieta some extra work and get him ready for his opening day start or will that start and maybe another be his stretching out period for the season. It will be important to see if the blister issue happens again to Arrieta because he’s the best pitcher on the Cubs and not many teams go far when their best pitcher is having injury issues.
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