Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 21, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re coming off NBA All-Star weekend and while the game itself is clearly the worst out of any of the major sports All-Star games there was some interesting talk about the league itself.

How would you like to see an NBA where there are four divisions and no conferences? In this format the best 16 teams record wise would make the playoffs with the four division winners getting the Top 4 seeds.

This type of format has been talked about quite a bit especially when the Western Conference was clearly the better of the two conferences. At one point there where teams over .500 or close to it in the Western Conference missing out on the playoffs, but in the Eastern Conference teams under .500 where getting into the playoffs.

It is a little odd that the talk of this really seemed to heat up during this All-Star break when right now there aren’t too much difference in the standings. Right now the Miami Heat hold down the 8th and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with a record of 30-28. If you where to take the Heat and move them into the Western Conference they’d be tied for 9th and one game out of the final playoff spot. There are still about 25 games left in the regular season for this to shale out; so will see how much the standings change, but right now there’s not a huge difference.

It’s an interesting idea for the NBA and it’s something I’d like to see them do. It could also give them a chance to finally move the Memphis Grizzlies out of the Western Conference. Would you like to see the NBA go away from the Eastern and Western Conferences and go to this four division set up? Or do you have another idea for them to get the best teams into the playoffs?

While I do think this is a good idea for the NBA to do it doesn’t change the fact that there are only three or four teams that look like they can win the NBA title without a major upset taking place.

In the Eastern Conference the Toronto Raptors currently have the best record, but I’m not sure how many people believe that they’re a threat to win the NBA title. The Raptors have won their division three of the last four seasons, but have only been to the conference finals one time. Toronto needs to prove it can win in the playoffs before they will be taken seriously as a title contender.

The Boston Celtics have the 2nd best record in the Eastern Conference right now, but after looking like the team to beat early in the season there have been some questions about them. The Celtics where a little flat coming into the All-Star break dropping three straight games and people are starting to think they might be running out of gas. These final 23 games will be a test to see where and how this team looks heading into the playoffs.

Of course you can’t forget about the new look Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland had won four games in a row heading into the All-Star break and looked like a true contender after their big trade. You have to wonder if the trade just energized the team for a few games or if it’s the turning point to their season. Again this is something will find out as the team plays out the regular season. Of course the Cavaliers are and always will be considered title contenders as long as LeBron James is wearing their uniform.

Believe it or not it was the Houston Rockets who had the best record in the Western Conference heading into the All-Star break not the Golden State Warriors. Now to be fair the Rockets only have a 1/2 game lead over the Warriors, but it’s something different and it looks like the Western Conference is a two team race.

The Rockets took two of three from the Warriors in the teams season series; so that may help them get over any kind of a mental hurdle they could have facing a team that’s won two of the last three NBA titles. Houston appears to be the only team in the NBA that can score with the Warriors. Golden State currently scores 1.7 points a game more than the Rockets do. Are the Rockets the team to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals this season?

Of course you can never write off Golden State as they’ve been to three straight NBA Finals winning two of them. The Warriors not only lead the NBA in pints per game, but they’re also the best 3-point shooting team in the league. Golden State is shooting 39.2% from behind the 3-point line. Something you don’t hear a lot about, but the Warriors are also the best free throw shooting team in the NBA at 81.1% and that could come into play in the playoffs. Do you have the Warriors going to a 4th straight NBA Finals?

Are these the five teams you have at the top of your list to win the NBA title? Or do you see a team like the San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves or maybe even the Washington Wizards being a surprise team in the playoffs this season?

We had a three team trade in Major League Baseball yesterday and here’s how it shakes out. The New York Yankees receive Brandon Drury. The Arizona Diamondbacks receive Steven Souza and Taylor Widener while the Tampa Bay Rays receive Anthony Banda and Nick Solak. It’s also been reported that the Diamondbacks will receive two players to be named later as part of this deal.

Looking at this deal it appears as though the Rays are going into rebuilding mode. In just the past week the Rays have traded Souza and pitcher Jake Odorizzi and designated outfielder Corey Dickerson. Add those players to the earlier traded Evan Longoria and the fact that they’ve allowed both Logan Morrison and Lucas Duda to become free agents and while both are still available the Rays have shown no interest in bringing either player back. If you’re a Rays fan you have to wonder how longer it will be before you see Chris Archer traded.

The Yankees had expressed some interest in Drury early in the off season, but couldn’t get a deal done with the Diamondbacks. The plan is for Drury to take over at 3rd base for the Yankees as their infield will feature a couple of new players. Starlin Castro and Chase Headley where dealt in the off season and while it looks as thought top prospects Gleyber Torres will be given a chance to win the job as the everyday 2nd baseman with Drury at 3rd. There was talk that Miguel Andújar would be given a shot at the 3rd base job it makes sense for the Yankees to bring in a younger veteran like Drury. Andújar has just 5 games of major league experience and Torres has never played in the majors. While Drury has played just 41 games at 3rd base in his major league career he does have two full years of major league experience. There was some talk that the Yankees would sign Mike Moustakas to play 3rd base for them, but with this move it looks as though the Yankees might be set. The Yankees had made it a point this off season to try and stay under or around the luxury tax line and signing someone like Moustakas would push them past their goal.

The Diamondbacks where trying their best to find a way to bring back J.D. Martinez, but he decided to sign with the Boston Red Sox; so they’re turning to Souza to help fill the power void Martinez left. It was a bit of a surprise for the Diamondbacks to add Souza. They had just signed Jarrod Dyson to a two year deal and they have a pretty solid outfield in place with A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas. Now Pollock will be a free agent after this season and Tomas hasn’t quite lived up too his contract, but it’s going to be tough for Arizona manager Torey Lovullo to find enough at bats for these guys. Who knows maybe Arizona has another deal planned that would move one of the outfielders they had on their roster.

What do you think about this deal? Who do you think got the better end of it?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

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