Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: December 7, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Did you know that the Milwaukee Bucks have won 14 straight games? I just learned that they where on that long of a winning streak when they beat the Los Angeles Clippers 119-91 last night for that 14th straight win.

Now you would think a team on this kind of a run would be highlighted, but as I was checking the top NBA stories on the ESPN website the Bucks weren’t even listed as a top story. Of course I wasn’t surprised at all when there was a story about LeBron James listed as a top story.

You have to wonder if this is part of the reason that the NBA ratings are in the tank. I’m not a huge basketball fan; so all I do is look at the final scores and see who’s winning. If it would’ve been pointed out to me that the Bucks where on this type of winning streak I would’ve taken the time to watch a little bit of their game. Instead they’ve won 14 games in a row and I haven’t seen a minute of any of those games.

People might also be surprised to know tat the Bucks have the same record 20-3 as the Los Angeles Lakers even tough you’d think that the Lakers might be the only team that is in the NBA. While the Lakers are a good team there are fans of other teams and they’re not going to care what the Lakers are doing; so they’re not going to tune into those games.

Now I get that the Lakers are a good team; with quite a bit of help from tampering and the NBA they’ve found their way back into the limelight and apparently ESPN thought that this would be good enough to bring the ratings back up. If you remember everyone was under the impression that the television ratings where down because the Lakers weren’t a playoff team. Now the Lakers are clearly the best team in the Western Conference are the ratings are lower now than they where last season.

It does seem that the NBA itself might’ve realized that something is going on with their television ratings as there has been some talk about making changes. Would a mid-season tournament help the ratings? Would a shorter regular season get fans more interested in watching? How about expanding the playoffs; would that help regular season ratings? I don’t think that any of these changes would make that big of a difference in the ratings, but a mid-season tournament could be of some interest. Of course I would have to see how they lay things out and if all of the teams where involved.

The problem with the NBA might not be the way it’s formatted for television, but the actual on court product. The game has really become focused on the 3-point shot. How many times during a game do you see a player pounding his dribble at the top of the key trying to either get a 3-point shot for himself or to beat his defender off the dribble. Now if he does beat that defender and drives to the hoop that player is rarely looking to score in today’s game. In most cases that player is going to kick it out to one of his four teammates who have been standing out at the 3-point line while he’s been dribbling. How exciting is this to watch? NBA players are all fantastic athletes and fans don’t want to watch players stand at the 3-point line and catch and shoot the basketball unless it All-Star weekend and they’re competing to win the 3-point shooting contest.

Another part of he problem is that the league may just be too top heavy. Even though the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets are off to good starts to the season; do you believe either one of those teams will represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals? It’s been pretty clear since Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers and the Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard and traded for Paul George that one of the team from Los Angeles will be the Western Conference team that’s in the NBA Finals. Now normally we’d throw the Golden State Warriors into this conversation, but injuries have decimated their team and instead of playing for a championship this season they’ll be headed into the draft lottery.

Now the Eastern Conference is a little more wide open. Milwaukee has established itself right now as the top team, but there are challengers. It’s possible that the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and even the defending champion Toronto Raptors could all compete for the Eastern Conference title.

You would think that  competitive Eastern Conference would be good for television ratings and maybe it will come playoff time, but for some reason fans just don’t seem to have a lot of interest in the NBA regular season. Maybe as the season goes on and it’s gets closer to the playoffs fans will be interested in regular season games to see which team gets the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Of course this also brings me back to my point of how the league is televised. Will they take the focus off of LeBron James and actually give some television time to an Eastern Conference team. We’re talking about a 30 team league that just seems to just try and focus on a few teams and players. It’s clear that this approach isn’t working and they’ll have to try and do something else, but will they? It’s generally and older generation that runs television and you have to wonder if they will be able to understand that or how things need to be changed.

Now I have heard that there are people who dislike the game because of the officiating and I can understand being upset about some of the calls and on-calls. I mean just this week the referees missed a clear dunk by James Harden in a game that the Houston Rockets ended up losing by 2 points. They also miss James taking 3 1/2 steps with the basketball without dribbling while a referee was looking right at him. I’m not sure why that referee didn’t call traveling, but I bet it had something to do with the fact that it was James that had the basketball and not some unknown player. I don’t think that poor officiating is a cause for poor ratings, but it might turn a few people away that the NBA might want back.

What do you think of the NBA game right now?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do happen to miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen wherever you want.

Please look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: November 30, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It’s not a huge surprise that the Golden State Warriors are off to a terrible start this season, but after going to five consecutive NBA Finals and winning three title a 4-16 start to this season might be worse than people thought.

Now the Warriors issues started more or less last season when all the talk was what Kevin Durant would do as a free agent. Of course none of that mattered after Durant went down in the NBA finals with an injury that is going to keep him out the entire 2019-20 season. Klay Thompson also picked up an injury in the NBA finals and while it was first announced that he’d be returning after the All-Star break Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr has said earlier this season that Thompson wouldn’t be returning this season. Then you add in the fact that Stephen Curry has only played four games this season. Curry broke his hand and is currently rehabbing and should be returning soon. Plus free agent signing D’Angelo Russell is also out with a thumb injury. Then Draymond Green injured his right heel and just returned to action after missing eight days and three games.

Now the Warriors have been watching Green’s minutes all season, but now it looks like there going to be watching his minutes even more carefully. In his return game Green played 24 minutes as the Bulls beat the Chicago Bulls 104-90. Last night Green was limited to just 19 minutes as the Warriors where beat easily by the Miami Heat 122-105.

Don’t forget that while it was the heel injury that caused Green to miss three games he has been dealing with injuries to his finger, back and elbow though the first month of the season.

Green signed a four year $100 million dollar contract extension this summer that will take him through the age of 33. With all of the injuries that Golden State has suffered this season; so it’s more important now then ever for the Warriors to consider Green’s long term health.

It’s really looking like Golden State will end up in the draft lottery even if Curry, Thompson and Russell return fully healthy this season. I don’t think that there will be enough games left for them to make any type of playoff run. It would be very interesting if the Warriors somehow found a way to move up in the draft lottery and added a high draft pick to a healthy roster that included Curry, Thompson, Green and Russell.

While it’s difficult to take anything positive away from a 4-16 start Eric Paschall has been given the opportunity to show his skill set. Paschall is playing 31.3 minutes per game and is averaging 17 points per game which is leading the team in scoring for the currently healthy players.

The Los Angeles Lakers won their 10th consecutive game last night with a 125-103 win over the Washington Wizards.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers in scoring with 26 points while LeBron James added 23 points in the win. Davis also grabbed a team high 13 rebounds while James handed out a team high 11 assists.

Last nights win improved the Lakers season record to 17-2. This is the best start for the Lakers since 2008-09. The Lakers also started 17-2 in 1985-86. That 1985-86 team went on to post the best two loss start of any Lakers team in history as they went 19-2.

This is the first time since 2009-10 that a Lakers team has put together a double digit winning streak. That 2009-10 Lakers team won 11 straight games. This Lakers team will have a chance to get that 11th victory Sunday as they host the Dallas Mavericks.

That 2009-10 Lakers team went on to win the NBA title; something that Los Angeles hasn’t done since that season.

The Lakers are dealing with a couple of injuries. Kyle Kuzma suffered a ankle sprain in the second half of Friday nights game. Kuzma is listed as day to day, but x-rays take last night came up negative according to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.

Guard Avery Bradley will be reevaluated this weekend to determine his availability. Bradley is recovering from a hairline fracture in his right leg. So far Bradley has missed eight games with this injury.

The Lakers schedule will get a little tougher starting Sunday with their game against the Mavericks. After Sunday the Lakers play three games on the road starting with a back to back set against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. The short road trip wraps up with a game Friday against the Portland Trailblazers.

The Philadelphia eagles announced yesterday that they signed left tackle Lane Johnson to a four year contract extension worth $72 million dollars. Johnson’s new contract runs though 2025 and includes $54 million dollars in guaranteed money.

Johnson’s contract now makes him the highest paid tackle in the NFL. Johnson new contract surpasses the deal Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans who has a contract that guarantees him $50 million dollars.

Johnson was Philadelphia’s 1st round pick in 2013; the 4th overall selection in the draft. Johnson has played in 90 games and started all of them for Philadelphia. Johnson has made the Pro Bowl each of the past two season and was voted first team All-Pro in 2017.

Earlier this month the Eagles signed right guard Brandon Brooks to a four year $56 million dollar extension. The Eagles have also inked kicker Jake Elliott and long snapper Rick Lovato to new deals.

Philadelphia has now turned it’s attention get a new deal done with tight end Zac Ertz. The Eagles and Ertz where having preliminary contract talks, but those have seemed to have stalled according to reports.

What do you think of this signing spree the Eagles have been on? Do you like the players they’re locking into new deals? Or would you of like to have seen them spend their money elsewhere?

The Eagles are currently 5-6 heading into Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. A win on Sunday will put the Eagles in a tie for 1st place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles and Cowboys meet in Week 17, but besides that the Eagles have four very winnable games on their remaining schedule. The Eagles should beat Miami 2-9 Miami this Sunday. Then Philadelphia has two games remaining against the 2-9 New York Giants and a game against the 2-9 Washington Redskins.

It looks like Philadelphia will have to win the NFC East to get into the playoffs. If they go 4-1 over these final five games; will that be good enough to win their division?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just had over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you please.

Jump on Twitter and follow me @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 6, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Carolina Panthers placed quarterback Cam Newton on Injured Reserve ending his 2019 season after playing in just 2 games. Now the question is; has Newton played his last game for the Panthers?

Newton is suffering from a Lisfranc injury and at first he was expected back this season, but with the move to IR yesterday it’s apparent the injury is going to take longer to heal then first thought. This is the largest amount of games that Newton has missed in a season ad this is a quarterback that has taken a lot of hits in his career.

Newton was the #1 overall pick in the 2011 draft and has been Carolina’s starting quarterback ever since. In his nine seasons as the Panthers starting quarterback he has a record of 68-55-1. Newton has taken the Panthers to four playoff appearances and made the Super Bowl in 2015. Newton was also voted league MVP in 2015.

Now Newton missed the final two games of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury that required off season surgery. In the two games he played this season the Panthers went 0-2 and Newton completed 56.2% of his passes. He threw interception, but no touchdowns before going down with his current injury.

Now you have to wonder if the Panthers could actually let Newton go this off season. It would save them about $20 million dollars against the salary cap. What may make this move a little easier for Carolina to make is the fact that Kyle Allen has went 5-1 in his six starts since taking over as the starting quarterback.

Luckily for the Panthers they have the final eight games of the season while Newton is out to look at Allen and make that decision. Now Allen has had his struggles his last couple of games. In his only loss so far as a starting quarterback Allen completed just 19 of his 37 attempts for 158 yards while throwing 3 interceptions in a 51-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8. Now the Panthers bounced back with a 30-20 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 9, but Allen’s numbers weren’t that good. Aleen went 17 of 32 for 232 yards. He did throw 2 touchdowns to just 1 interception, but his completion percentage has been way down these last two weeks.

The Panthers currently trail the New Orleans Saints by two games in the NFC South; so it might be difficult for the Panthers to win their division, but they are just on game behind in the in column for a wild card spot. The schedule will begin to even out with all the teams having their bye weeks, but the Panthers have a tough schedule these final 8 weeks. This week they face the Green Bay Packers. They have two games left against the Atlanta Falcons one in Week 11 and then they’ll play them again in Week 14. They also have two games against the division leading New Orleans Saints. The first game is Week 12 and then they wrap up the season at home against the Saints in Week 17. Week 13 has the Panthers hosting the Washington Redskins, Week 15 has them hosting the Seattle Seahawks, but for Week 16 they’re on the road against the Indianapolis Colts.

Five of Carolina’s final eight games will be against teams that will also be playing for a spot in the playoffs. There division might come down to how they do in those two games against New Orleans, but Seattle will also be one of the teams it looks like the Panthers would have to beat out if they end up as a wild card team. The Packers appear to be the best team in the NFC North while the Colts are battling it out with the Houston Texans in the AFC South.

If Kyle Allen makes it through this schedule and gets the Panthers into the playoffs would that make it easier for Carolina to allow Newton to walk away?

If Newton happens to be released by Carolina after this season; how many teams would be interested in him?

No team in the NBA has played more than 8 games this season; so I find it kind of odd that players are already taking games off for “load management”. This seems kind of ridiculous to me that players need games off this early in the season unless they actually injured.

Now one of the marquee games on the schedule tonight has the Los Angeles Clippers hosting the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s already been announced that for the second time already this season Kawhi Leonard will be sitting out for “load management” purposes. This is the first game of a back to back for the Clippers; so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Leonard is going to take one of these games off, but why is he skipping a match up against the Bucks and MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and playing tomorrow night against the against the Portland Trailblazers.

What makes this a little more interesting is the fact that both of these games will be on national television. Tonight’s Bucks/Clippers game is the second game on ESPN tonight. While Thursday’s Trailblazers/Clippers game is the second game that TNT will show tomorrow night.

Now NBA ratings where way down last season and ESPN paid quite a bit of money to air these games. It’ to bad that there’s no way we could ever find out how they feel about this, but you’ve got to think that it’s going to become an issue. I’m not sure how may more years the NBA has on that big contract with ESPN, but with the drop in the ratings and the fact that you just never know if you’re going to see a top player when you turn a game on I doubt there will be a network that will be willing to pay what ESPN did on this last contract.

Do you feel that the “load management” of players has hurt the NBA? Has your NBA viewership changed because of it?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you’d like.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 23, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Last night we had the World Series start in Houston and the NBA tipped off it’s season with two games on opening night. Sadly for me I didn’t get to see any of these games as I managed to come down with the flu and I was in bed before any of them eve started. Here’s hoping I’m feeling better tonight; so I can watch  what’s on tonight.

This past Saturday we had our NBA fantasy draft. It was an auction style draft which isn’t my favorite, but it seems like most people prefer this format; so it’s what we go with. Oddly I always seem to end up nominating first in these drafts. I guess it’s just luck of the draw since the nomination order is done at random.

I’ve had my struggles with NBA fantasy, but I had a plan and I stuck with it in this draft and I think I did okay. I’ll be the first to admit that I overpaid for Giannis Antetokounmpo, but in the long run he’ll be worth that money.

Now as the draft was going along I had one player in mind that I wanted to save a little money for and try to grab at the end of the draft. Well I needed one more player and it was my turn to nominate. I had saved a solid amount of money; so I nominated the player I wanted; Klay Thompson and sure enough I did everything right and I was able to get him.

Now I understood that Thompson was injured and that he probably wouldn’t be back until late January or even some time in February, but as the last player on my roster he was worth the risk. That was until a couple of days ago.

As I’m sure just about everyone knows Thompson was hurt in last seasons NBA Finals. He tore the ACL ligament in his knee and had to have surgery. Now this is where it gets confusing for me and I hope there’s someone out there who can help me out. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr gave an interview to I believe one of the local San Francisco television stations. During this interview Kerr mentioned that he didn’t think  that Thompson would play at all this season. This information would’ve been great to have before our fantasy draft, but these things happen.

This is where I get lost on these things. Thompson is a professional athlete; so he’s in great shape. He is also a member of a NBA franchise that has a top notch training and therapy staff; at least I hope they do. So how does it take what would be 16 months to recover from ACL surgery?

Now I’m not a professional athlete, but to be fair at one time I was a professional wrestler; so take that for what it’s worth. I’ve had five knee surgeries in my life. They’ve repaired every ligament in my knee that they possibly could. Some of the surgeries where just to reattach a ligament or two and in other cases the entire knee had to be reconstructed. Now after these surgeries there is a recovery time, but I never miss more than 8 weeks or 2 months of work.

I’m not sure what the difference would be between playing NBA basketball and having a wrestling match, but you’d think there are some similarities on the pounding a knee takes. Now Thompson would be taller and faster than I am or I should say was since I’m no longer wrestling, but I’m willing to bet that I was just as strong if not stronger and I definitely weight quite a bit more than he does.

So here’s my question. How does a professional athlete with the best doctors, physical therapist and rehab a equipment take what would be 16 months if Thompson doesn’t play this season, but yet some smuck who’s working within the parameters of his insurance coverage is back at it in 2 months?

Of course this doesn’t just go for Thompson’s injury. It seems as any injury that an NBA player seems to keep them out longer than anyone would expect. I’m not sure if this is done as part of the new “load management” NBA, but it just seems odd.

Now this is going to be a fun story to follow and see how it develops.

Tom Brady is in the final year of his contract with the New England Patriots and will become a free agent after this season ends. Now interestingly there are reports that he’ll leave the Patriots and sign with another team. I have to say that this is very hard for me to believe, but Brady will have that option if he chooses.

This is Brady’s 20th season in the NFL all with the Patriots. His individual awards are numerous, but what stands out is the fact that he’s a 6-time Super Bowl champion.

Brady turned 42 in August and it’s just difficult to see him in another NFL uniform. Now we’ve seen quarterbacks switch teams after having just great success, but I believe that Peyton Manning is the only one that has won a Super Bowl with that second team.

There would be so many questions if Brady left New England and signed with another team. Would he have the same success with another team? How would he do in an offensive scheme without Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels?

There’s a bit of an aura that comes with the Patriots and if Brady was to leave it might usher in some change in New England. Is it possible that McDaniels could become the head coach of the team Brady would sign with? Would Belichick retire if Brady signed somewhere else? How would the Patriots do if Brady leaves?

Brady does have a very good relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and I think this will play the biggest factor in him staying in New England. While I seriously doubt Brady would have success in another uniform I don’t think the Patriots want to see him go as they’re still having success in their system with him as their quarterback. Who knows maybe this is just a ploy to get one last big contract.

Where do you see Brady playing next season?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

Look for me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 13, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After the Houston Rockets sent Chris Paul and some draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook there was one question that popped into my mind and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking or asking it. Did the Rockets get better?

First things first; here’s what the trade looks like. Oklahoma City gets Paul along with a protected 2024 1st round pick, a protected 2026 1st round pick. As well the Thunder have the right to swap draft spots with the Rockets in 2025 and 2021 there is some protection involved in those swaps. Also in 2021 Oklahoma City can swap for Either Houston’s pick or the Miami Heat’s pick which the Rockets currently own through trade.

While a lot of experts seem to think that Westbrook’s game is in decline the Rockets are still getting a player who’s averaged a triple-double in the last three seasons. It seems like a lot of people are pointing out that Westbrook’s scoring average dropped to 22.9 points per game which was his lowest in six seasons, but remember he had Paul George with him in Oklahoma City last season to help with scoring. What for some reason I haven’t heard anyone point out is Westbrook averaged a career high in rebounds per game at 11.1 and what may be even more important now that he’s heading to Houston is he averaged a career high in assists per game at 10.7. Westbrook was the NBA’s leader in assists per game last season and that could bode well now that he’s being paired up with James Harden again.

The one area that has been a problem for Westbrook is shooting the 3-pointer which has become the most important thing a player can do in today’s game. Westbrook shot just 29% from behind the 3-point line last season and has never shot better than 34.3% from behind the 3-point line in his career, but in Houston’s offense they might be able to work around that weakness.

Last season Harden shot 36.8% from behind the 3-point line while Eric Gordon shot 36% and P.J. Tucker shot 37.7% from behind the 3-point line. If Westbrook is o the floor with any combination of these players he wouldn’t be looked at as the guy who would be taking the “3” and this type of combination would give him drive and kick options when the ball is in his hands.

The bigger question may be; how much will Westbrook have the ball in his hands? Harden is very ball dominant when he is on the floor, but Westbrook is also use to having the basketball in his hands all of the time. They still play the game in the NBA with just one basketball on the floor at a time right now; so these two superstars are going to have to figure out how to share that basketball. That may actually be the biggest key to the success of this trade.

The one thing it appears the Rockets are getting in Westbrook is a healthier player than Paul was for them. Westbrook played in 73 games last season while Paul was suited up for 58 games for the Rockets last season. I understand that “load management” is the buzzword this NBA off season, but if you look at their careers Westbrook has been healthier than Paul throughout.

This is going to be an interesting season for the Rockets. I don’t think the trade for Westbrook makes them the best team in the Western Conference, but it’s going to make them one of the more exciting teams to watch.

Now you have to wonder what happens to the 34 year old Paul. It seems clear that the Thunder are in rebuild mode and they have the draft capital to possibly do that quickly, but do they want Paul as the leader of that rebuild?

Paul has three more seasons and quite a bit of money left on his deal. He is also coming off a season where he averaged the lowest points per game of his career at 15.6. Now some of that was because he was on a high powered offensive team that didn’t need him to score, but you do have to wonder if the team he ends up on needs him to score; can he do it?

Now before this deal happened there was a lot of talk that the Rockets where looking for a third team to add into it. It appears as the Miami Heat where that team and you have to wonder if there is still some interest in Paul by Miami. With all of the draft picks Oklahoma City has recently acquired they could sweeten the pot for Miami to take Paul and his large contract.

Of course wither it’s Miami or any other team that acquires Paul they’ll have to take the load management trend to heart. Paul played in just 58 games the last two seasons and hasn’t appeared in all 82 games of a season since the 2014-15 season. It wouldn’t be important for Paul to play in every game for whatever team he ends up on, but I’m sure they’d like to see him play in 70 plus games or so.

Where do you have Paul ending up? Does he stay with Oklahoma City? Will he end up in Miami? Or do you have him going to another team? Please let me know where you’ll think he’ll end up in the comments.

The Los Angeles Angels honored Tyler Skaggs last night and they did something perfect when you’re honoring a pitcher; they threw a no-hitter.

This was the Angels first home game since Skaggs passed away on July 1st. In the pre-game ceremony all the Angels wore Skaggs #45 and his widow Debbie threw out the first pitch.

The Angels then went out and put up 7 runs in the 1st inning on their way to a 13-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Taylor Cole made the start as the “opener” and pitched 2 innings. Cole struck out 2 and threw 22 pitches before giving way to Felix Pena. Pena took the no-hitter the rest of the way pitching the final 7 innings striking out 6. The only Mariners player to reach base was catcher Omar Navaez who Pena walked with one out in the Top of the 5th inning. that was the only blemish on the Angels tribute to Skaggs.

After the final out of the no-hitter the Angels players came out of the dugout to celebrate and the players that where still wearing Skaggs #45 covered the pitching mound with their jerseys as a tribute to Skaggs.

Skaggs actually would’ve turned 28 today July 13th.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIN.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 6, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Is it possible that we’re only going to get one division race to watch the remainder of the season in Major League Baseball? Well let’s take a look.

Let’s start out west where the Los Angeles Dodgers currently have the largest lead out of any of the division leader. The Dodgers are 14 1/2 games up on the Colorado Rockies in the NL West. Over in the American League West the Houston Astros have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Oakland A’s. Moving back east the Atlanta Braves are at the top of the NL East and they have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies. In the AL East it’s the New York Yankees who find themselves in 1st place. The Yankees have built a 8 1/2 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Looking at the AL Central you’ll see that it’s the Minnesota Twins at the top of the division and they hold a 6 1/2 game lead over the Cleveland Indians.

It’s in the NL Central where thigs get interesting. With a win last night the Milwaukee Brewers took over 1st place in the division by  1/2 game over the Chicago Cubs. Now it’s not just a two team race in the NL Central. The St. Louis Cardinals are in 3rd place, but find themselves just 1 1/2 games out of 1st place. You can even go as far as saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds are still in the division race even though both teams have under .500 records. Both the Pirates and the Reds are 4 games out of 1st place in the NL Central.

This is easily the best division race in baseball and you have to wonder what one of these teams have to do to separate themselves in the pennant race. If there is a team that can separate themselves from the division.

The Cardinals played well early and looked like the best team in the division. Then it was the Brewers turn in 1st place and I actually saw a host on the MLB Network call the division over once the Brewers took over the division lead. I don’t think we need to go into how dumb of a statement that was or why this moron still has a job, but Brewers lead didn’t last as the Cubs found their way into 1st place for a short period of time.

Who knows how this division is going to end up playing out, but it seems like it’s going to be the only division that’s undecided down the stretch this season. Well I guess there’s always the wild card races.

In the American League wild card race it’s the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians who hold the two wild card spots right now.

Cleveland is just 1/2 game ahead of the Oakland A’s while the Boston Red Sox and Texas Ranger are 2 games back. Let’s even throw in the Los Angeles Angels who are 4 1/2 games out of a wild card spot and the Chicago White Sox find themselves 6 games out of a wild card spot.

There are even more teams hanging around in the National League wild card race. Currently it’s the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies who are holding onto the two wild card spots, but it’s a tight race.

There are actually nine teams that are less than 8 games out of the final wild card spot. Now obviously it’s going to be tough for the team towards the bottom of the wild card race to jump all these teams, but since it’s so close I’ll throw them in.

The Washington Nationals are 1/2 games out. The St. Louis Cardinals are 1 game out. The Colorado Rockies are 1 1/2 games out. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 2 1/2 games out. The San Diego Padres are 3 games out while the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati reds are 3 1/2 games out. While it seems like it’s been a down year for the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets they’re both technically still in the wild card race. The Giants are 6 1/2 games out of a wild card spot while the Mets are 7 games out of that final wild card spot.

The NL Central and the wild card look like the races to watch for the remainder of the season and will have to see which teams try to improve themselves to get into the playoffs.

While nothing is official yet it appears as Kawhi Leonard will be signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. As well as bringing Leonard in as a free agent the Clippers have acquired Paul George in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Leonard had meetings with the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and the team he just won the NBA title with the Toronto Raptors and he made it clear that he wanted to sign with a team that could contend for a championship.

It had also been reported that Leonard and George had express interest in playing together. This help facilitate George being traded to the Clippers. Apparently George’s agent recently approached the Thunder about a trade and it’s believe that George is the perfect piece to pair with Leonard.

I was quite surprised to see what the Clippers gave up to get George. Oklahoma City will receive point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and a number of draft picks. The Thunder will also receive five 1st round picks. They’ll get unprotected picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026 from the Clippers along with two picks the Clippers acquired in trades from the Miami Heat. Those are an unprotected pick in 2021 and a protected pick in 2023. Oklahoma City also has the option to swap picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.

That may seem like a lot of draft capital to give up and the first thought that comes to mind is did the Clippers mortgage their future. Don’t forget that the Clippers acquired multiple draft picks in the deal that sent Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

So a California team has added some more star power. Do you think the addition of Leonard and George males the Clippers a contender for the NBA title? Also are you disappointed that this is where Leonard ended up?

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With NBA free agency moving fast and furious I thought it was interesting that there where people out their who thought that the other leagues could learn something from the way it went. Now sadly this plays into a lack of knowledge of the other sports as free agency on the NFL and the NHL move along at just about a fast of a pace as NBA free agency does. I guess no one was paying attention to those other two sports. Now baseball on the other hand they definitely could learn something.

Free agency is much easier to forecast when that certain league has a salary cap. Things are made even easier in the NBA as teams know what the maximum amount of years and money they can offer a player. While the NFL and the NHL don’t have the same contract limits and dollar amount they are still working against a salary cap.

Over in baseball it’s an entirely different story. There is no salary cap; so in reality teams can spend as much money as they’d like, but there is a luxury tax which a team has to pay if their total salaries go over a certain number. I’ve seen quite a few people try to say that the luxury tax is baseballs salary cap, but it’s not even close to that. In MLB it’s completely up to the team if they want to go over the luxury tax while in a salary cap league you have to make roster moves to stay under that salary cap number.

I don’t expect MLB to adopt a salary cap any time soon as it seems that the luxury tax has worked for them. If you’ve noticed these last few seasons most of the higher salaried teams have been doing their best to stay under the luxury tax line.

So while I don’t believe that baseball has to make any moves with their luxury tax I do think they could learn a thing or two about making their off season more interesting. With a new CBA coming up will see if there are any changes made to head that way.

We’re a little past the half way point with games played in baseball and looking at the standings and the way that things have played out I’d have to say that even though they’re 5 games over the .500 mark the Boston Red Sox have been one of the more disappointing teams this season.

Coming off of a World Series winning 2018 season the Red Sox went into the off season trying to stay under or close to the luxury tax we just talked about; so that took them out of the free agent market.

The only off season signings the Red Sox made was of their own players. They brought back World Series MVP Steven Pearce on a one year deal. Then they re-signed Nathan Eovaldi to a four year $68 million dollar deal.

Since the Red Sox where working on the cheap they allowed closer Craig Kimbrell to go into free agency. It was decided that they’d use a closer by committee format and that hasn’t served them very well. Boston has had 34 save opportunities this season and they’ve converted on just 17 of them. Six different relivers have saved at least one game this season with Ryan Brasier leading the way with 7 saves. I can understand the Red Sox not wanting to meet Kimbrell price as he was asking for 5 years and around $15 to $18 million dollars a season, but it appears as though they need a better solution than what they’ve been doing.

As for a better solution will see, but the Red Sox are making a change at closer. Boston has announced that when Eovaldi is reinstated from the 60 day IL he’ll be the teams closer. Now this could be as interesting as it is intriguing since health hasn’t been Eovaldi’s strong suit in his career.

Eovaldi went on the IL after he needed to have what was described as “loose bodies” removed from his right elbow. He is expected back after the All=Star break; when he’ll move into his new role.

In his career that has covered almost eight full seasons Eovaldi has pitched in 160 regular season games, but 152 of them have been as a starter. He has 0 career saves. As a starter Eovaldi has only made 30 plus starts once in his career 2014 and he hit his highest inning total in that same season 199 2/3rds. He has piled up quite a few injuries in his career even missing the entire 2017 season as he recovered from surgery.

Can he really be a guy who can be called on out of the bullpen to pitch two or even three days in a row?

It clear that the Red Sox are banking on the same kind of success as a closer that Eovaldi had coming out of the bullpen last post season, but is that really a reliable way to gauge him as a closer?

It’s clear that the Red Sox have to do something at the end of games as they find themselves 10 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East race. Boston is also 1 1/2 games behind the Oakland A’s for the second American League wild card spot, but aren’t their other options.

The Red Sox have always had a highly rated farm system and you’d have to think they’d be able to turn one of those prospects into an upgrade at closer and their should be some on the trade market.

I’m sure for the right prospect or package of prospects Boston could pick up Brad Hand, Shane Greene, Will Smith or a handful of other closers. It seems a though the Colorado Rockies have soured on Wade Davis and you can understand why with an ERA of 5.76, but he’s done the job before and has quite a bit of post season experience. You also have to think with the struggles Davis has had Boston might not have to give up too much to get him.

It will be interesting to see how Eovaldi fairs as a closer and if the Red Sox will make a deal just to have a guy in the bullpen; just in case. Whatever the Red Sox are going to do they can’t wait much longer or else their chances of repeating will be gone.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

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How was your week

Posted: June 29, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Tickets, Uncategorized

The frenzy to sign NBA free agents is right around the corner and I have to say I was a little surprised that Kevin Durant decided to go into the free agent market with his injury instead of staying another year with the Golden State Warriors and rehabbing.

I’m not sure what or how things are worded in NBA contracts, but Durant had what I’d call an option year on his deal with Golden State that would’ve paid him over $30 million dollars, but even though he’s going to miss the entire 2019-20 season he declined that option and chose free agency.

Now even though Durant will miss all of next season it hasn’t stopped teams from lining up to throw money at him. It appears as Durant has four teams lined up to speak to once free agency gets under way. The Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the Warriors will be the teams that will get the pleasure of paying Durant a boatload of money.

Now Golden State can give him more years and money than an other team, but it seemed as though Durant was ready to move on from the Warriors, but will see. It seems like the Knicks have been mentioned along with Durant since people realized he’d be a free agent two seasons ago. The Nets are kind of newcomers to the Durant sweepstakes, but they have the cap space to add Durant and one other top free agent; so why not jump in. I haven’t really heard the Clippers being associated with Durant. It was thought that Kawhi Leonard would be the top free agent target for the Clippers, but I guess you always need a back up plan and even though he’d miss a year signing Durant would be as good as any.

The big question for whatever team signs Durant is what kind of a player are they going to be getting. Durant was a different type of player when he entered the NBA. There weren’t very many players his size that possessed his skill set and even though the game has evolved he’s still a one of a kind type player.

Durant will be 32 years old when he returns from his injury. He’s played 849 regular season games and 139 playoff games in his 9-year career. During the regular season for his career Durant averages 36.9 minutes per game, but in the playoffs those minutes jump to 40.3 per game. With the new term in the NBA being “load management” you have to wonder what a Durant’s minutes will look like when he returns.

It’s going to be a big risk to whatever team signs Durant as I’m sure you’ve heard the experts on television saying that when he returns he won’t be the player he use to be. To me every case is different and we won’t really know what kind of player Durant is until he returns.

How would you feel if your favorite NBA was the one that signed Durant?

In some other NBA free agent dealings it caught me off guard that Kawhi Leonard was going to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers. What seemed even odder to me was the fact that Leonard wants former Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson at that meeting along with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. Since Johnson is no longer employed by the team per NBA rules he isn’t allowed to be at this type of meeting, but since it the Lakers I’m sure the NBA will make an exception and allow it to happen.

Just look at some of the other things the Lakers have managed to get away with lately. LeBron James tampers with Anthony Davis, but somehow it was Davis who the NBA ended up fining. Then there was the trade of Davis to the Lakers which some was amended this week even though it was agreed to months ago. I’m guessing that the NBA realized that the Lakers needed to be able to sign one more big time free agent to be competitive this coming season; so they allowed them to change the Davis trade even though the New Orleans Pelicans didn’t receive anything else. The Lakers turned the deal with New Orleans into a three team deal by sending Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones and a 2022 2nd round pick to the Washington Wizards. Now what did the Lakers get in return? Well they got absolutely nothing. 

That seems like an odd deal in and of itself, but what the Lakers did get in return was cap space. Now even after this deal they didn’t have quite enough money to land that top tier free agent; so Davis being the generous person that he is waived his $4 million dollar trade kicker; so now the Lakers have $32 million dollars in salary cap space.

It’s quite a scam the NBA has going on with the Lakers just to make them good again, but with ratings being down they need to get them back into the playoffs and the only way to do that is to allow them to more or less do whatever they need to do to get the players they need around James. It’s just one more reason you can add to the why I no longer enjoy the NBA list.

Jumping back to Durant; did he do the Warriors a favor by opting into free agency? As we know he’ll miss all of next season and the Warriors are also dealing with Klay Thompson missing most of next season with a knee injury.

It appears as though Golden State will offer Thompson a “Max” deal to bring him back even with his injury. With Durant deciding to enter free agency this gives the Warriors some money on the books to not only re-sign Thompson, but find some help elsewhere this off season.

It might seem a little odd, but Durant becoming a free agent with the injury he has and the time he’s going to miss might have been a positive for the Warriors. I guess will have to see what Golden State does to fill out their roster.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 26, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While most of the reports out of Houston have been about the Chris Paul/James Harden relationship, yesterday things went in a different direction. There are a few reports out there that the Houston Rockets would be very interested in adding Jimmy Butler this off season. Now the Rockets aren’t the only team interested in acquiring Butler’s services, but they’d have to go about it an interesting way.

Butler is a free agent and what the Rockets would like to see happen is for the Philadelphia 76ers to re-sign Butler and then trade him to them. Now the 76ers have express interest in keeping Butler, so the Rockets would have to convince them to deal him.

In return for Butler the 76ers would receive two of these three players; Clint Capela, Eric Gordon or P.J. Tucker. All three are signed for at least four years, so that might be a lot of salary cap money for the 76ers to add. For this deal to get done, a third team might have to be added into it.

If the Rockets can’t find a way to add Butler, they have a list of seven other free agents they’d be interested in. Danny Green, Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, Kevin Looney, DeAndre Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu are the players on that list.

If one of these players were to be signed by the Rockets, it would be for the mid-level exception. The Rockets exception would fall somewhere between $5.71 and $9.25 million dollars. This dollar amount may limit them from adding Green, Lin or Lopez unless that player would be willing to take a little less money to sign with the Rockets.

With the Western Conference looking to be wide open next season, if the Rockets add Butler, would a Big 3 of Harden, Paul and Butler be enough to win the West? If Houston ends up falling short in acquiring Butler could they still win the Western Conference with the addition of one of the seven other free agents they’re interested in?

As for the 76ers they have already expressed interest in re-signing Butler, but they also have two other free agents that they have said they’d also like to re-sign. Tobias Harris and J.J. Reddick will both draw interest from other team as will Butler. So it might be pretty tough for Philadelphia to bring all three back, but apparently they’re going to try.

It looks like it’s going to take a 5-year max or close to max deal to sign Butler. The Los Angeles Clippers are interested in bringing Harris back to California. The 76ers acquired Harris from the Clippers last season along with Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott. In return the Clippers received Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and four draft picks. There have yet to be any teams linked to Reddick, but free agency hasn’t even started and in today’s NBA there are going to be teams lining up tp bring in a player who shoots 41.3% from the 3-point line.

If the 76ers do re-sign all three of these players it will put them over the salary cap and put them out of contention for a number of free agents.

Would you like to see the 76ers bring all three of these players back? If not all three which combination of these three players would you like to see brought back? Or maybe you’d like to see them re-sign jut one of these players. Which one of the three would you like to see re-signed?

The Cincinnati Bengals used the #11 pick in this past draft to select Jonah Williams an offensive tackle out of the University of Alabama. The Bengals where hoping that Williams would move into their starting left tackle spot, but now they’re going to have to wait a year to make that move.

It was announced yesterday that Williams had shoulder surgery and is likely to miss the entire season. It seems likely that Williams will be placed on Injured Reserve soon, but Cincinnati hasn’t made any move yet.

With Williams set to take over at left tackle Cordy Glenn was all set to move inside to the left guard position. Now with Williams out Glenn will go back to the left tackle position and Cincinnati will have to find someone else for left guard. Christian Westerman took the bulk of the starters snaps while Williams was out injured during mini-camp should get the first look at left guard. The Bengals also have veteran guard John Jerry in camp; so he’ll probably get some reps at left guard as well.

The Bengals did announce some positive offensive line news. Last years #1 pick 28th overall center Billy Price has had a solid spring after missing most of his rookie season. Price played in and started 10 games for the Bengals last season before being injured.

Will Robbie Gould be with the San Francisco 49ers when the 2019 season starts?

Gould spent his last two seasons with the 49ers and reached free agency after last season. The 49ers put the franchise tag on Gould which means he would earn $5 million dollars next season, but Gould hasn’t signed the franchise tag ad has asked for a trade.

It appeared as though Gould was interested in returning to the Chicago Bears. Gould spent his first 11 seasons before the Bears released him. The Bears kicking situation is a mess and at one point I think Chicago had eight kickers under contract; so adding someone like Gould would quickly clear up that situation.

In his career Gould has made 358 of the 408 field goals he’s attempted in his career and he’s hit on 454 of the 465 extra points he’s attempted. That’s 87.7% on field goals and 97.6 on extra points. Gould made 33 of the 34 field goals he attempted last season; he led the league at 97.1% field goal accuracy.

It’s understandable with how accurate Gould is that the 49ers don’t want to lose him, but Gould has mentioned that he’d like to spend more time at home with his family and they’re in Chicago.

So what do you think; where does Robbie Gould end up playing next season?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 19, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Major League Baseball trading deadline is about six weeks away and remember that deadline is final this season. There are no more waiver deals after the July 31st trading deadline. This is going to put quite a few teams in the position of having to decide if they’re buyers and they want to add a player or two, to try to make a run or if they’re sellers and they’ll move a few of their guys for some prospects. The question is who, what and will they deal?

In the American League you have to think that teams like the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays and even the Boston Red Sox think they’re playoff contenders. You’d have to guess that with maybe the exception of the Rays they’d all be looking to add for a playoff run.

The Yankees have already added as they acquired Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners for minor league pitcher Juan Then four days ago.

There are some interesting teams just on the outside of the wild card race that could try to make a trade to get into one of those playoffs spots, but will they?

The Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox all find themselves within 3 games of the final American League wild card spot.

Over in the National League you have the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers. Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona diamondbacks all in the playoff hunt.

Now the Braves and the Cubs have already added what they hope will be help to their pitching staffs. Atlanta signed Dallas Keuchel for the remainder of the season to a $13 million dollar contract. Chicago went longer on their deal to bring Craig Kimbrel into their bullpen as he revived a three year $43 million dollar deal with an option for a fourth year.

Keuchel is scheduled to make his first start for the Braves on Friday against the Washington Nationals. Kimbrel worked a perfect inning in Triple-A and threw just 8 pitches in the process. So it shouldn’t be too long before he’s closing games for the Cubs. Maybe even by this weekend.

You also have to wonder with so many teams still in contention for a playoff spot, are there enough teams who will be willing to deal or have anything to deal that could make a difference.

Also with so few teams being in a sellers mode the asking price for players might be much higher than it usually is. What could a team ask for if three, four or maybe even five teams are interested in one of their players?

In the American League I’d be surprised to see either the White Sox or Indians going out trying to make deadline deals to contend. I’m not sure if the White Sox will still be this close to a wild card spot by July 31st and they seem to be a year away. Cleveland has been interested in cutting payroll since the off season. So even if they look like they’re in the race for a wild card spot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them trading away players instead of adding them.

The National League, however, is a convoluted mess. The only team that is double digit games out of the second wild card spot is the Miami Marlins and while some of the teams that find themselves 5 1/2 to 7 games out might be looking to sell for the shear fact that they’ll have a lot of teams to jump to contend.

Even with eliminating those teams there are still ten teams in the race for either their division or one of the two wild card spots.

While the Dodgers have moved out to a 10 game lead in the NL West the Brewers only lead the NL Central by 1/2 game and the Braves are up in the NL East by just 2 1/2 games. Those races are far from over.

I’d love for you to jump in and help me out here. Which team or teams do you see making moves to contend? Also, is there a certain player out their that you think a certain team should be targeting? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

The NBA draft is tomorrow night and barring a New York Knicks oddity; which could happen we should know who the Top 3 picks are. After those three picks though it’s anybody’s guess who’s going where.

We should see the New Orleans Pelicans take Zion Williamson at #1. Ja Morant should go to the Memphis Grizzlies with the 2nd pick and then all indications point to the Knicks taking R.J. Barrett with the 3rd pick. After these three, we’ll see.

The Pelicans are back on the board at #4 and the hot name right now seems to be Darius Garland, but there has been quite a few reports that New Orleans might deal this pick. The Atlanta Hawks actually offered the #8 and #10 picks to both the Knicks and the Pelicans to move up, but both deals where turned down. New Orleans is apparently looking for an All-Star quality young player instead of more picks if they decide to move that 4th pick. There has also been some talk that the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns are interested in moving up to that 4th pick. Maybe New Orleans can get a deal done with one of those teams.

Now I actual enjoy the NBA off season more than the regular season, but I have one big problem with the draft that the league needs to fix and it’s an easy fix to make.

Now we’ve known for a week plus that the New Orleans Pelicans will have the 4th pick in the draft that belonged to the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans received the pick as part of the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. Now for some reason when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver steps to the podium to announce the 4th pick he’ll say that the Lakers selected who ever the player that’s picked. The problem here is obvious; the Lakers no longer have that 4th pick. This will happen again with the 10th pick as it originally belong to the Dallas Mavericks, but they traded this pick to the Atlanta Hawks at last years draft. There will be quite a few more times that this will happen and I’m not quite sure why the NBA can’t handle this like every other league handles this, but for some reason they don’t.

Sadly it’s probably too late to fix this for tomorrow night, but please NBA get on this and make it easier for us watching.

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