Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

I’m trying to figure out how much blame LeBron James should get for this Los Angeles Lakers season. While I don’t think they where going to be a championship team just by signing him. I’m not sure how much he helped their cause this season.

It seems pretty clear that James doesn’t enjoy playing with young talent; so the Lakers brought in some veteran on one year deals to play with James. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was re-signed. While veterans Rajon Rondo, Lance Stevenson and JaVale McGee where signed to one year deals. The Lakers also added Tyson Chandler after he was waived by the Phoenix Suns. This may not of been the best group of players to sign, but James had won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers with players similar to this group.

The issue may not have been bringing in veteran players, but the Lakers had some young players that appear like they had good futures ahead of them, but these signings made it tougher for them to get minutes.

Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball should’ve been allowed to develop alongside of James this season, but have had to share time with the veterans that James prefers to play with. To be fair Ball has been injured and has played in just 47 games this season. Kuzma is dealing with a mild ankle sprain that will cost him about a week, but he has played in 60 games this season. Ingram is listed as day to day with a shoulder injury and did sit out Monday nights loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Ingram has appeared in 52 games this season.

I’m not sure how much of an affect this had on these three young players, but it was made perfectly clear by James that he was willing to have the team deal all three of them to acquire Anthony Davis. It seems like the trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans for Davis had some affect on the Lakers and James did nothing to stem the tide of that happening. You would’ve thought a leader like James should be would’ve stepped in and spoke with the young players, but he seemed more intent about complaining in his interviews about the younger players even though he didn’t use their names.

James is clearly one of the best players to ever play the game, but it might be time to start questioning what kind of a leader he actually is. It may seem like a daunting task, but the Lakers are just 5 1/2 games out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference.

The Lakers have 18 games left this season, but the start to get into the playoffs isn’t going to be easy. Tonight they play the Denver Nuggets, but at least it’s a home game. The Lakers next game after tonight is another home game, but this one is against the Boston Celtics Saturday night. After these two home games the Lakers head out on a five game road trip; so the path to the playoffs isn’t going to be an easy one for them.

So do you think that the Lakers will make the playoffs? With the way the Lakers season has gone. How much Blame should James get for it?

I believe the Boston Celtics where 7 point underdogs going into last nights game against the Golden State Warriors. It seemed like that line made sense. The Celtics where 38-26 coming into the game and holding down the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. They where also traveling across the country for this game and Boston had lost five of their last six games.

Golden State had some issues coming into this game at well, but being at home you can understand why they where the favorite. Golden State was 44-19 coming into last nights game and they had moved in the top spot in the Western Conference. After winning 16 of 17 games the Warriors have went 3-4 in their last 7 games. They where coming off of a win last Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

With everything set up for the game it looked like it might be a close contest that Golden State would end up winning. Well what actually happened? The Celtics ended up blowing out the Warriors by 33 points 128-95.

Gordon Hayward had what may of been his best game in a Celtics uniform. Heyward came off the bench to score a game high 30 points. Hayward went 12 of 16 from the floor going 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. Hayward also grabbed a team high 7 rebounds. Four other Celtics scored in double figures. Kyrie Irving had a double-double scoring 19 points and handing out 11 assists. Jaylen Brown had 18 points, Jayson Tatum had 17 points and Marcus Morris added 10 points.

Steph Curry led the Warriors with 23 points, but only two other Warriors reached double figures in points. Kevin Durant scored 18 points, but had a rough shooting night. Durant went 5 of 16 from the field and missed all 5 of the 3-point shots he took. DeMarcus Cousins was in the Warriors starting line up last night. Cousins scored 10 points and grabbed a game high 9 rebounds. Draymond Green led the Warriors in assists with 5.

Golden State played without Klay Thompson for the second consecutive game with a knee injury. Shaun Livingston was also held out of last nights game against the Celtics due to neck spasms.

The Warriors have a 1 1/2 game lead over the Denver Nuggets for the #1 seed in the Western Conference, but Golden State doesn’t seem to be as dominant as they have been the last few seasons.

Now the Warriors have been to the playoffs the last six seasons and have been all the way to the NBA Finals the last four seasons winning three of those. That’s a lot of extra games for a team to have to play even with the extra days off that have been added to the schedule. Are these extra games finally catching up to the Warriors? Or come playoff time will Golden State be able to find there groove and make it to another NBA Finals and win the title?

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.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

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How was your week

Posted: March 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

So I have a question for you. Would you take a contract for 4 years and $180 million dollars or would you go with a contract for $330 million dollars over 13 years?

MLB

This was the decision Bryce Harper had to make. As we know he took the long term 13 year $330 million dollar deal to join the Philadelphia Phillies. I don’t think Harper could’ve lost I either of these situations as both contracts have some merit to them besides the money. Let’s take a look.

I’ve heard people say that Harper took lifetime security over a shorter term deal. Honestly could you spend $180 million dollars? So I don’t think you can apply that here.

The 4 year $180 million dollar deal was offered by the Los Angeles Dodgers. So Harper would’ve been joining a series World Series contender on a short term deal. This deal would’ve also allowed Harper to go back out onto the free agent market as a 30 year old and he shouldn’t be past his prime by the end of this deal. Obviously, Harper wouldn’t have been offered 13 years on a deal as a 30 year old but it wouldn’t have been a surprise if a team offered him 6 or 7 years. The deal with the Dodgers would’ve given Harper the highest yearly salary of any player by quite a distance. Zack Greinke is currently the highest paid player this season with a salary of $34.5 million dollars. On average Harper would’ve made $45 million dollars a year.

Harper decided to sign with the Phillies for 13 years and $330 million dollars which is the largest deal in total money ever signed by any player. Most people think that the Phillies are on their way to being a contender. However, they’re in a much tougher division than the Dodgers, so it’s going to be a much more difficult road to the playoffs. Philadelphia and Harper did work his salary out so there’s room for the team to still add some players down the road. It also looks like Harper will be with the Phillies for all 13 years. He has a full no-trade clause and there are no opt outs in his deal. It will be interesting to see what kind of a player Harper is when he gets to the end of his deal.

I was always under the belief that Harper’s agent Scott Boras wanted to set the record for the largest contract ever signed by a Major League player. But I am a little surprised that Harper wasn’t willing to bet on himself and take the shorter term deal the Dodgers offered.

What would you have done?

Harper reports to the Phillies spring training camp in Clearwater Florida today and it’s been reported that he’ll wear #3 for Philadelphia. They haven’t said if Harper will work out with his new teammates today since you have to figure he’ll be tied up with multiple media obligations today. Since he is a little behind this spring, you have to figure he’ll be on the field if not today then tomorrow.

NBA

I don’t watch too many NBA games as I just don’t find the style they play very interesting anymore. I will, however, flip over to get a score of a game and watch a minute here or there to see what’s going on. Last night I did this with the Chicago Bulls/Atlanta Hawks game.

I flipped over with a little under two minutes left in regulation and since it was a close game, I figured I could watch the final two minutes even though I knew it would take close to 30 minutes to finish. Luckily the game went much quicker than I thought it would as there weren’t to many stoppages of play.

The game ended up tied after regulation and I thought, what the heck I’ll watch overtime and see who wins this game. What a mistake that was for me as the game ended up going four overtimes before the Bulls managed to win the game 168-161.

I’m not going to say that this was a must watch game, but there where some interesting stats that came out of it. The 329 combined points was the 3rd most in NBA history. In March of 1982 the Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs combined for 337 points which is the 2nd highest scoring game in NBA history. The highest scoring game ever played in the NBA was in December of 1983 when the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets combined to score 370 points in triple overtime.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 49 points. He also added 16 assists and 8 rebounds in 56 minutes. Young is now just one of four rookies to have 45 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds in a game. Young is also the first rookie to score 120 points in a three game span since Allen Iverson did it in April of 1997.

The Bulls where led by Zach Lavine who scored 47 points, but they had three players put up double-doubles. Otto Porter Jr. had 31 points and 10 rebounds. Lauri Markkanen also scored 31 points and grabbed 17 rebounds while Robin Lopez scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Besides Young two other Hawks players had double-doubles. Alex Len put up 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Dewayne Dedmon scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Nine of the ten players who started the game scored in double figures. Three players ended up fouling out while two other picked up five fouls in the game. Even with all of the minutes logged in this game there where three payers that didn’t get into this game per coach’s decision. The teams combined to take 242 shots with 108 of those shot attempts being 3-pointers. Neither team shot very well from the free throw line as they went 52 of 73 (71.2%). Normally the home team shoots more free throws than the road team in an NBA game but in this game the Bulls actually shot 48 free throw to just 25 for the Hawks.

This was the first game of a home and home series, so these two teams will take Saturday off before they face off again Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Do you think we’ll get another overtime game?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 20, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

MLB

Finally one of our baseball free agent nightmares is over as Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres yesterday. Not all of the details of the contract where released but it’s reported to be a $300 million dollar deal over 10 years. It’s also been reported that there is an opt out clause after 5 years and the contract has a limited no trade clause.

The Padres ended up being a bit of a surprise team in the Machado negotiations as they didn’t show any interest in him until last month. I think the fact the Machado didn’t receive the offers a lot of teams thought he would that allowed the Padres to join in the negotiations. It appears the only other team to make Machado a serious contract where the Chicago White Sox.

It was reported that the White Sox last offer to Machado was 8 years at $250 million dollars with 2 option years. In the end that wasn’t enough and Machado signed with the Padres.

Machado has to pass a physical before the contract is official but as long as that goes well there should be a press conference tomorrow or Friday to introduce him as the newest member of the Padres.

So it’s one down and one to go, but who knows how long it will be before Bryce Harper signs. While Machado’s deal didn’t surpass in total money; he will earn more per season. Giancarlo Stanton’s deal was 13 years for $325 million dollars. Since Scott Boras doesn’t represent Stanton I think he’s going to try and get Harper a deal bigger than Stanton’s. Which means we could still be waiting a while before we actually see Harper sign with a team.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that one of these guys signed and I wish they would’ve both signed on the same day. I am just completely over listening to every single baseball show be it on television or on the radio only talk about these two players even though pitchers and catchers have reported and we’re not too far away from all players reporting to spring training.

I’ve said this once and I’m going to say it again. There needs to be a signing deadline in the off season. I get tired of agents like Boras keeping his players out as long as he can thinking that they’ll get a better deal than if they would’ve signed earlier.

At least Boras and his corporation managed to get one of his clients signed as Mike Moustakas will be returning to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Moustakas signed a one year $10 million dollar deal with a $11 million dollar option for the 2020 season. There is a $3 million dollar buyout if the Brewers decide not to pick up the option year.

The Brewers acquired Moustakas in July of last season from the Kansas City Royals and he played in 54 games for them in 2018. He hit .256 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI’s with the Brewers last season.

Bringing Moustakas back will make it interesting to see how the Brewers line up defensively. Now last season when Moustakas came to Milwaukee it was Travis Shaw who was displaced as the everyday 3rd baseman and 39 games at 2nd base; 36 of them he started at 2nd base. After the signing was announced there was some talk that it would be Moustakas that will be moved to 2nd base.

Having Moustakas for a full season will really help the Brewers offense, but he’s never played 2nd base in the major leagues. Even if the Brewers decide to put Shaw back at 2nd base he’s only played those 39 games in the majors at the position; all last season.

It won’t come as a surprise to me at all if whichever one of them ends up being the full time 2nd baseman that they’ll commit more errors than any other 2nd baseman in baseball. The only thing that may save them is you have to wonder what kind of range they’ll have and how many balls they’ll actual get to.

NBA

Of course over the All-Star break Anthony Davis was badged by reporters about being traded. Interestingly when Davis answered, he made a point that I think every team but the Los Angeles Lakers should be aware of if they’re interested in trading for him.

During his interview he mentioned that all 29 NBA teams where on his list of teams he’d be willing to be traded to. Of course the New Orleans Pelicans would be the one team not on that list. Davis who has one year left on his contract after this one went on to point out that no matter where he’s traded he’ll be testing free agency.

What this more or less means is that if he doesn’t get his wish and is traded to the Lakers he’ll play out his contract with whichever team he’s dealt to and then sign with the Lakers as a free agent. Even if the team Davis is traded to wins the NBA title with him he’ll still be signing with the Lakers as a free agent.

Now I know there are a lot of teams interested in acquiring Davis and the Pelicans have been asking for a lot in return for him, but after listening to his interview can you really mortgage your future for what will be just one year of Davis.

Do you think that Davis lowered his trade value with what he said in his interview? Or do you think that a team is still going to pay the Pelicans asking price? When healthy Davis is one of the top players in the NBA, but what is one year of him worth?

Now remember that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast six days a week live on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now 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.

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

How was your week

Posted: February 16, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Is Klutch Sports Group ruining the NBA? In case you don’t know Klutch Sports Group is run by agent Rich Paul who just happens to be a long time friend of LeBron James and is headquartered in Cleveland Ohio.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that have been associated with Klutch Sports and it’s clients.

Anthony Davis

This off season Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans switched his representation to Klutch Sports. Then soon after a dinner meeting with James, Davis came out and said that he’d like to be traded with his preferred destination being the Los Angeles Lakers. It was quite clear that there was tampering involved here. However to no one’s surprise, the only thing the NBA found when they investigated was that Davis broke a rule by announcing to the media that he was seeking a trade. Davis was find $50,000 but don’t feel to bad for him as he’s scheduled to make $25 million dollars this season.

The NBA trade deadline came and went without Davis being dealt to the Lakers. I believe that the Lakers claimed the Pelicans didn’t negotiate in good faith. There were some other reports that the Pelicans were never going to trade Davis to the Lakers at this point in time as their could be some other teams that would like to have a chance to trade for him and could make better offers this coming off season. There was also a report that the Pelicans where just trolling the Lakers as a way of getting even with them.

Davis was injured at the trade deadline and the Pelicans actually considered just shutting him down for the season. This is were the NBA stepped in and informed them that the team would be fined if they made that move. Instead the Pelicans tried to manage Davis’ minutes and with the exception of one game against the Memphis Grizzlies where ha played 34 minutes Davis hadn’t played more than 25 minutes.

Then on Thursday as the Pelicans where facing the Oklahoma City Thunder Davis got injured. After an MRI Davis was diagnosed with a muscle contusion in his shoulder. It’s unclear if or how long this injury would keep Davis out. It has been reported that he plans on being at the All-Star game this weekend, but it wasn’t made clear if he would play in the game.

Now after Davis was injured things got a little interesting. Now it’s pretty common place for an injured player to stay in the locker room until the game is over or return to the bench to support his team unless there’s a trip to the hospital needed. In this case Davis just left the arena. To even add to the intrigue he was led out of the building by Rich Paul.

Ben Simmons

Simmons is the 76ers point guard and was interested in learning more about playing the position. This led to someone in the Philadelphia front office reaching out to the Lakers and Magic Johnson who was one of the best point guards to ever play the game and like Simmons, did it as a taller point guard.

Of course the problem here is that Johnson is the President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers, while Simmons is under contract with the 76ers for a couple of more seasons. Once this story came out, Philadelphia’s General Manager Elton Brand said that Simmons wouldn’t be meeting Johnson for any workouts.

Simmons will become a restricted free agent after the 2020-21 season. As a restricted free agent the 76ers would have the right of first refusal and can match any offer a team could make to Simmons. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the Lakers make an offer to Simmons when he becomes a restricted free agent.

College Basketball

With James having a day off from his NBA schedule he and his agent, or partner depending on how you look at it, Paul decided to take in a college basketball game. They traveled to Pittsburgh to see the Panthers  play the Duke Blue Devils. Of course Duke has multiple players on their team that could possibly be #1 draft picks in the next NBA draft and rumors started that this was a recruiting trip for Klutch Sports.

This report seemed to upset James. Is it at all possible that he and Paul attended the game to put a bug in the ear of Duke players Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. Of course it would be against NCAA rules for Williamson or Barrett to sign with any agency now. As soon as the Blue Devils season is over they’ll be looking for representation.

Now to be fair a lot of NBA players attended college basketball games, but I’m not sure how many of them go to them with their agent and are partnered in a sports management company.

Those are the three most interesting Klutch Sports stories that I think could affect the way the NBA is shaped.

Well we’ve already seen Davis try to force his way to the Lakers and join James. Is it at all possible that Simmons could try to pull the same type of power play and end up with the Lakers? Then if Williamson, Barrett or both sign with Klutch Sports there’s a chance that they could come out and say they’d only play for the Lakers. I don’t think both of them could do this, but it could be possible for one of them to try and force that move if they sign with Klutch Sports.

Imagine a Lakers starting line up of James, Davis, Williamson or Barrett along with any other Klutch Sports clients you want to add to this line up.

Maybe I’m on the wrong side of this and I’d like to know if you think something like this would be good for the NBA? It’s always been said that the league is better when the Lakers and the Celtics are good. Well the Celtics seem to be good, but so far the Lakers even with James haven’t really been good. If something like this happens through Klutch Sports we might see the Lakers be not good, but great.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.Com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

Out of all of the sports that I watch baseball is my favorite. Now I don’t have a problem with the games like a lot of people do, but I’ve now developed an issue with the off season and I believe I have a way to fix it.

It’s time that Major League Baseball and the players union get together and come up with a an off season deadline that players have to be signed by. With pitchers and catchers reporting next week we should be focusing on the 2019 season, but instead will still be stuck with talk of the two big free agents that don’t look like they’ll be signed by then. Would it really be that difficult for either the top two guys on the free agent market or any other unsigned player to make a decision by next week?

Now this seems like it would be pretty easy to implement. Give teams a week after the World Series has ended until the day pitchers and catchers report to spring training to sign players. If there’s an agent who thinks it would be a good idea to not have his guy sign then allow that player to sign after the deadline, but the first year of his contract must be spent playing in Triple-A. I understand that is a pretty hardline stance and I also know that Major League Baseball and the owners don’t have a big enough set of you know what to do that, but I’m tired of agents drawing this out.

I’m quite surprised that the agents and the players they represent didn’t learn anything from last season, but I guess “stupid is as stupid does”.

I think a deadline like this might be more important for pitchers than it is for hitters. Last season pitchers like Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn had down seasons. I guess you could even throw Jake Arrieta into this mix even though he pitched better as the season went on. What do these three pitchers have in common? They all signed after spring training had started.

Dallas Keuchel is the only bigger name starting pitcher left on the free agent market. Could he have a sow start to his 2019 season if he’s not signed by next week? Craig Kimbrell is also unsigned, but he’s a closer and I can understand why he’s still available. Kimbrell’s demands are pretty high and unless he’s willing to make some concessions he may not be signed until well after spring training has started.

Now on the hitters side we still have the big two out there in Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but there’s also Mike Moustakas, Josh Harrison, Adam jones and Carlos Gonzalez who could also help some teams.

If a team signs one or more of these players after spring training has started; will they get enough at bats for the start of the regular season? Now both Harper and Machado are expected to get very large contract offers; would the team they signed with fan base turn on them if they got off to a slower than expected stat? Remember Harper had a down first half of the season in 2018 and he had a full spring training. Imagine how the Philadelphia Phillies fans would react if they landed one of the two big time free agents and the guy didn’t produce right out of the gate.

Now I know that the owners and the players association has spoken about making some changes, but I didn’t see this on the list that I read. I hope that it was just left off of that list, but their is a chance that they don’t think this is an issue. Well I’m here to tell you that it is.

I’m not sure where you stand on this, but I am actually to the point where I won’t even bother to turn on the MLB Network. I don’t have to turn over there to know what I’m going to get. Right now there’s not much going on with the stagnant free agent market; so all they’re going to be talking about is where they think Harper and Machado will end up.

I hope there’s someone out their with a lot more power than I have that realizes this is a problem not only for teams, but for fans. Someone make a change; please.

Now I think ever sports fan knows that when it’s all said and done Anthony Davis will be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. That’s why I thought it was hilarious yesterday when there was a report that came out saying the Lakers are no longer negotiating with the New Orleans Pelicans on a trade for Davis. Is there anyone who actually believed this report? If you did I have a nice piece of swamp land to sell you in Florida.

I’ll buy that the Lakers are a little upset with what the Pelicans want in return for Davis, but there’s no way they’re put of these negotiations.

I think the Lakes where under the impression that since Davis has expressed his desire to leave the Pelicans that they would panic and more or less give him away. It appears as though the Pelicans realize what kind of player they’re going to be dealing and they’re looking for a lot of compensation in the deal and you can’t blame them for that.

Reports are the Pelicans would like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball along with four 1st round draft picks and four 2nd round draft picks. That sounds like a lot to give up, but let’s take a closer look.

Right off the bat the 2nd round draft picks are a throw away part of the deal. How often does an NBA team hit on a 2nd round draft pick? You can even say the same thing about the 1st round draft picks. If the Lakers are a playoff team these picks would be farther enough down in the 1st round that New Orleans probably couldn’t find an impact player.

As for the actually players. Ball is clearly a 1st round bust. While he is at distributing the basketball he can’t shoot it. Ball is shooting 40.6% from the floor and 32.9% from behind the 3-point line, but the problem comes when he get s to the free throw line. Ball is shooting just 41.7% from the foul line that’s embarrassing no matter what his father says.

Kuzma played pretty well when LeBron James was out with his groin injury and even had a 41 point game, but since James has returned Kuzma’s numbers are down. It’s clear the Lakers don’t have any idea what to do with him, but if he’s dealt and given the minutes maybe he could turn into a solid NBA player.

Ingram like Kuzma showed something when James was out injured, but Ingram has been able to continue to play well with the return of James. Ingram has scored double digit points in 22of the last 23 games he’s played in. He did struggle last night putting up just 12 points as the Lakers where blown out by the Indiana Pacers; so will have to watch the next few games and see if he gets back on track.

What do you think? Are the Pelicans asking too much for Davis?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you ant at TuneIn.com.

 

How was your week

Posted: February 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, NFL picks, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Thursday it was announced that LeBron James would miss his 18th straight game with a groin injury, but after this announcement came out something changed and James ended up playing.

The Lakers went 6-11 with James on the shelf, but got off to a good start in his return as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 123-120 in overtime.

James played 40 minutes in his return and just missed a triple-double. James scored 24 points to go with 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Not surprisingly James led the Lakers in all three of those offensive categories.

James was 9 for 22 from the field and did struggle from behind the 3-point line where he was just 1 for 6. You have to think there was a little rust in James game since this was the first time he has been in a game since Christmas day.

The Lakers really needed James to return and to return at 100%. While James was out the Lakers fell into the 9th spot overall in the Western Conference; so they’d be out of the playoffs. Now even with the win on Thursday the Lakers are still in 9th place, but they’re just 1 game out of the 8th spot and just 2 1/2 games from being in the 6th spot. As long as James is and can stay healthy you have to figure the Lakers will be a playoff team, but I don’t think they would be without him.

James returns just in time for the Lakers marquee match up against the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. The game will be telecast in prime time on ABC with a scheduled tip off of 7:30 p.m. cst.

Golden State will be hosting the Lakers, but the Warriors did just have their 11 game winning streak snapped at home by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night 113-104. Is it possible that the Warriors saw that James had returned and where looking ahead to their Saturday night match up? Of course Philadelphia isn’t the type of team anyone should be looking past and if that’s what the Warriors did it cost them their wining streak.

Both teams had Friday night off: so there should be no scheduling issues as they face off tonight. Can the return of James give the Lakers the momentum to beat the Warriors? Or does the Lakers winning streak with James quickly end at 1 game?

Even though we didn’t end up talking about it much this week on Sports Time Radio and to be honest I didn’t hear as much buzz about this game as I normally do the Super Bowl is going to be played on Sunday.

Just like we do for ever NFL game we have made picks and I even reached out to a couple of knowledgeable sports fans and got their picks as well. With the exception of Mr. Fantasy who’ll make his pick on the live edition of Sports Time Radio Sunday morning from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. cst. Anyway; here’s what we came up with.

Now for the Super Bowl we not only pick the winner of the game, but the score and who we think will win MVP.

Dan the Man likes New England 42-34 with Tom Brady winning the MVP.

Schaumburg Stu likes New England 27-14 with Rob Gronkowski winning MVP.

I am also going with New England 39-30 and I also have Gronkowski as my MVP.

Here are the picks from the two friends I reached out to.

Ken is on the New England bandwagon and has them winning 40-30 with Brady as MVP.

Right now Hank is the only one going with the Rams. He has it 34-30 with Todd Gurley winning the MVP.

That’s what we’re going with for tomorrow. Feel free to leave your pick in the comment section and let me know who you think will win with the final score and your MVP pick.

In non-Super Bowl football news I’m pretty sure we had a future Hall of Fame player retire on Friday as Julius Peppers called it a career at 39 years old after 17 NFL seasons.

Peppers spent 10 seasons with the Carolina Panthers four seasons with the Chicago Bears and three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Carolina made Peppers the 2nd pick in the 2002 draft and h played there the first 8 years of his career. The Bears lured Peppers away from the Panthers with a 6-year $91.5 million dollar deal when he was a free agent. After four season in Chicago the Bears cut Peppers and the Packers quickly signed him to a 3-year $30 million dollar deal. After his contract with the Packers expired he returned to Carolina for the final two years of his career.

Now I called Peppers a future Hall of Famer and it starts with the fact that he has 159 1/2 sacks in his career which is good for 4th all-time in NFL history. Peppers finished just 1/2 a sack behind Kevin Greene for 3rd. Peppers also has 11 career interceptions; four of which he returned for touchdowns. He also recovered 21 fumbles in his career and scored on two of those recoveries. Peppers played in 266 games and started 244 of them. He finishes with 724 combined tackles, 557 solo tackles, 167 assists on tackles and 175 tackles for loss. Peppers also recorded 186 quarterback hits which is a stat they just started keeping in 2006. You can add the 2002 AP Rookie of the Year award, 9 Pro Bowl selections and 3 All-Pro selections to Peppers resume.

Do you think Julius Peppers will be in the NFL Hall of Fame?

Who do you think will be the most sought after NFL free agent this coming off season? Do you think pass rushers Ezekiel Ansah or Demarcus Lawrence will be hot commodities? Or could a running back looking for a full-time work load like Latavius Murray or Mark Ingram be a guy teams target? Maybe you think that Golden Tate is the best wide receiver on the free agent market and he’ll be the player to cash in.

Of course their will be players added to this list as teams make adjustments to their rosters, but right no these payers look like they could be some of the top players on the upcoming free agent market.

Follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 30, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It looks like Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans will eventually part ways. There have been talks more or less since the start of the season that the Pelicans might be interested in trading Davis and apparently the feeling is now mutual. On Monday Rich Paul who is Davis’ agent went public with Davis’ trade request. After the trade request was made public the NBA fined Davis $50,000 for going public with it.

It is quite interesting on how we got to this point though. Davis changed representation this season and he’s now with an agency that is linked to LeBron James. Then when New Orleans made a trip to Los Angeles to face the Lakers James and Davis went out to dinner together. Can you say tampering.

New Orleans has actually asked the NBA to investigate the situation and see if there was any tampering, but I think we all know what they’re going to find. What’s better for the NBA; having Davis play in a big market like Los Angeles with James where they can contend for a title or stay in small market New Orleans and not make the playoffs. I think it’s obvious that nothing will be done about this.

Of course with a payer like Davis there are quite a few teams interested in acquiring his services and while there’s no real rush for the Pelicans to trade him I think we all know in the end barring the NBA stepping I that he’ll be with the Lakers when this is all said and done.

If you’ve ever listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I’m not a big fan of the NBA and this is part of the reason why. It seems as though star players no longer want to beat each other. It appears as though they’d all rather join up and play together.

It makes me question how teams that are bad right now going to get good. Now of course they can improve through the draft, but there are only so many star players in a draft. How many draft picks do you have to hit on for a team to improve?

There’s no chance that a top free agent is going to sign with a non-playoff team. Now don’t even try to sell me that James went to the Lakers when they where bad. Everyone should know by ow that he signed with the Lakers because he wanted to be closer to Hollywood. I believe he owns a production company and also has a television show on I think it’s Showtime, but I might be incorrect about that.

Now it’s not against the rules for James to talk to Davis unless he was doing it through the Lakers. I’m not sure if the NBA would go into that deep of an investigation to see if James reached out to someone in the Lakers front office about meeting with Davis. I have a feeling that even of the NBA did find out there was tampering in this situation they’d just fine the Lakers. If there was actually tampering I think the NBA shouldn’t let Davis be traded to or sign with the Lakers, but we all know that isn’t going to happen.

What do you think the NBA should or will do about the James/Davis situation?

What will the Columbus Blue Jackets do with Artemi Panarin as the February 25th trade deadline approaches. It seems clear that Panarin won’t be getting a contract extension.

On Monday Panarin’s agent Dave Milstein released a statement saying: “We have informed the team that we are willing to discuss Artemi’s future after the season. Our priority now is to focus on the rest of the season; trying to win a Stanley Cup for the Columbus Blue Jackets and their fans. No additional comments will be made.”

Panarin is making $6 million dollars this season and is in the final year of his contract. Panarin scored 82 points for the Blue Jackets last season and through 46 games this season he has 53 points. With those kind of scoring numbers and at 27 years old Panarin is on for a big raise.

Interestingly the Blue Jackets acquired Panarin from the Chicago Blackhawks in June of 2017 because the cash strapped Blackhawks knew that a Calder Trophy winner like Panarin would end up with a contract that they just couldn’t afford.

The Blue Jackets appear to be in a difficult position as Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will both be free agents at the end of this season. It’s possibly that one or both of these players could get dealt before the trading deadline, but Columbus is in 3rd place in the Metropolitan division just 4 points out of 1st place.

What do you see the Blue Jackets doing with these two players? Will they trade one or both of them? Do you think they’ll re-sign one? If so which payer do you think they re-sign? Or do you possibly see them bringing both players back which would be tough to do with the NHL’s hard salary cap.

Are the Tampa Bay Lighting the best team in the NHL right now? The Lighting are in 1st place in the Atlantic division and their 76 points are 5 points better than the Calgary Flames and 10 points better than the Winnipeg Jets for the President’s Trophy. Of course having the most points in the regular season doesn’t guarantee playoff success, but maybe the Lighting can buck that trend.

Brayden Point leads Tampa Bay in goals with 30 while Nikita Kucherov leads the Lighting in assists with 56 and points with 78. Steven Stamkos is second on the team with 26 goals while Point is second on the team in assists with 35 and points with 65. Tampa Bay has seven players who have scored 11 or more goals and they have 13 players with 10 or more assists.

In goal Andrei Vasilevskiy is 20-6-2 with a 2.50 GAA in his starts while Louis Dominque is 16-4 with a 2.99 GAA in his starts. Edward Pasquale made one start in goal for Tampa Bay and did get a win even though his GAA was 4.62.

Vasilevskiy is the Lighting’s #1 goalie, but it’s nice to have a back up like Dominque who can pick up wins I place of the starter.

How do you like Tampa Bay’s chances come playoff time?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to whenever you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: January 26, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I seem to be at the point where I’m done and over winter. I can’t seem to shake this feeling no matter what I do. Now normally I turn to sports and that will help me shake this feeling, but for some reason that’s not working for me this year.

As you know we’re at the point where football season is more or less over and baseball season hasn’t started yet. That of course leaves me with basketball and hockey to watch and I’m not sure why, but that just hasn’t been enough for me.

I’m also started to wonder if it’s the struggle of the local NBA and NHL teams that is contributing to my issues.

In the NBA the Chicago Bulls are 11-38 and have lost 12 of their last 13 games. Last night the Bulls dropped a 106-101 contest to the Los Angeles Clippers. Maybe the Bulls will have a chance to pick up another win this Sunday as they’re playing the team with the worst record in the NBA the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland is currently an NBA worst 9-41.

Now over in the NHL the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t in a much better situation than the Bulls are in.

The Blackhawks are currently 18-24-9 for a total of 45 points. There are currently only three teams in the NHL with a lower point total than the Blackhawks. The Los Angeles Kings have 44 points while the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators it at 43 points. While the NHL is currently on their All-Star break at least the Blackhawks won 2 games in a row heading into the break.

Oh well; I guess I just have to look forward the Super Bowl and then pitchers and catchers reporting to shale these winter blues.

On Wednesday we where talking about some of the interesting free agents left on the market and we stopped when we got to the outfielders.

Now of course Bryce Harper hasn’t been signed, but another top outfielder did ink a deal. A.J. Pollock signed a four year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pollock’s deal is reported to be for $60 million dollars.

Even with Pollock off the board and not including Harper there are still some quality outfielders out there for teams to take a look at.

There are a couple of former Colorado Rockies teammates who could still fit in as corner outfielders for a team. Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra are still on the free agent market.

Gonzalez has had his share of injuries though his career, but the last four seasons he has played in at least 132 games. If Gonzalez found his way to an American League team the opportunity for him to be used as a DH at times could lower a teams concern of injury his risk.

Parra is a top outfielder defender and has won two Gold Gloves. Even while playing half of a season in Coors Field Parra has never been a big home run hitter. In his three seasons with the Rockies Parra reached double digit home runs just once. In today’s game where home runs are everything this could be held against Parra by teams looking to fill an outfield spot.

Going over the free agent outfielders list I think there’s only one player left that could be an everyday centerfielder for a team and that’s Adam Jones.

Jones has been with the Baltimore Orioles for the last 11 seasons. He’s picked up 4 Gold Gloves as a centerfielder and last season spent time at all three outfield positions. Jones power numbers did drop last season as he hit 15 home runs, but it’s possible that as one of the few threats in the Orioles line up that he was pitched around quite a bit.

Besides Gonzalez, Parra and Jones I’m not sure if there are any other outfielders that would be looked at as a significant contributor on a contender, but maybe some team will take a chance on them.

Melky Cabrera hit .280 with the Cleveland Indians and could be a solid 5th outfielder and bench player for a team. Cameron Maybin has always been looked at as a player with potential, but he’s 32 now and may never get that chance to play everyday. However he can play all three outfield spots and can still run. Could he be a solid bench player? Denard Span has been a solid player though his 11 year career, but he’s turning 35 soon and you have to wonder if a team will take a chance on him. Span could fill in at all three outfield spots and while speed isn’t as prevalent in his game he can still steal a base for you. Hunter Pence battled injuries last season and his numbers suffered for it. Pence has stated that he’d like to play in 2019, but as a soon to be 36 year old is their a team out there that might be willing to take a chance on him. I am curious to see if Jose Bautista will be on someone’s roster in 2019. Bautista sent time with the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies last season. Bautista also played five different positions last season. Overall he hit .203 with 13 home runs.

Do you see any of these outfielders finding jobs for the 2019 season?

I guess while we’re talking about baseball free agents I’d be interested to know when you think Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will sign. I was kind of under the impression that neither guy would sign a new deal until possibly late February and that’s not all that far away. Do you think we’ll see one or both of them sing sooner than that? Or are we still about a month away from either guy finding a new team?

I haven’t heard much new on the Harper front, but there are some reports that the San Diego Padres have shown interest in Machado. I guess will have to watch and see if that goes anywhere.

Don’t forget that the Sports Time Radio podcast can be heard live on BlogTalkRadio.com. If you miss the podcast live you can just head over to TuneIn.com and listen to it whenever you’d like.

Feel free to look me up n Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 16, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Lebron James has now missed 11 games with a groin injury. It looks like he’ll be returning to the Los Angeles Lakers line up very soon, but is it too late?

The Lakers are 4-7 without James and they’ve lost some games to some teams that they where expected to beat even with James out injured.

The Lakers beat a bad Chicago Bulls team 107-100 last night, but their schedule is going to get much more difficult. The Lakers have road games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets before heading home for three games against the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns. While the Suns are at the Bottom of the Western Conference the Thunder, Rockets and Warriors are three of the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves have a winning record since trading Jimmy Butler, but I’m not sold on them just yet.

If James has to sit out these five games; how many will the Lakers win? You’d have to think that they’d beat the 11-34 Suns without James, but would they win any of the other four games?

To wrap up January, the Lakers host the Philadelphia 76ers before being the road team against the Los Angeles Clippers. I’m not sure that counts as a road game, but it’s the Lakers turn to be the visitors in that series.

The Lakers are currently 24-21 and are tied with the Utah Jazz for the 8th and what would be the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If they struggled through this next stretch of games or if James has to sit out there’s a chance that the Lakers could actually miss the playoffs this season.

The Western Conference is tough. While the Lakers and the Jazz are tied for that 8th spot the Sacramento Kings are just 1/2 game behind them. After the Kings the Timberwolves and the New Orleans Pelicans are 2 1/2games out of the 8th spot. The Dallas Mavericks roll in just 3 games out of the 8th spot and the Memphis Grizzlies are hanging around 4 games out of that final playoff spot. A losing streak of any length could easily drop one of these teams out of the playoff race.

How do you feel about the Lakers? Do you think they’ll end up hanging onto a playoff spot? Do you see them being on the outside looking in on the playoff this season?

 

Now I can’t be the only one who thought that the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs was hard to watch. Three of the four games where blowouts and it was difficult to stay interested in them. I was kind of surprised that those three games where so easily won.

The Indianapolis Colts where one of the hotter teams coming into the playoffs, but the Kansas City Chiefs made them look like they didn’t even belong in the playoffs. I know there are people out there who thought the Dallas Cowboys played a close game with the Los Angeles Rams and while the score might suggest that the outcome of the game was never in doubt. I understand that their where a lot of people hoping it might be the year for Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers, but that ended quickly as the New England Patriots easily eliminated them from the playoffs.

To be fair I did have the Chiefs and the Patriots winning their games, but I thought that the Cowboys would be able to upset the Rams. When the Rams last faced a top defense in Week 14 they where manhandled by the Chicago Bears. Now the Cowboys have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but you wouldn’t have known that by the way they played. Both Todd Gurley (115) and C.J. Anderson (123) where the first set of teammates to rush for over 110 yards in a playoffs game which helped lead the Rams to a victory. It was a complete surprise to me that the Rams where able to just run the football pretty much at will against the Cowboys defense. You can tell me it was just an 8 point game, but honestly did you think the Cowboys had a chance to win that game?

Now it’s time to move on to the Conference finals and we have a set of rematch games.

In Week 9 the New Orleans Saints beat the Rams 45-35. This game just like the Conference final game will be in the Superdome. Now the Saints did lose two home games this season. Week 1 they got beat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-40 and then they dropped their Week 17 home game 33-14 against the Carolina Panthers, Now remember in that Wee17 game, the Saints sat most of their starters. Can the Rams go into New Orleans and get a win? Or will we get a repeat of Week 9?

Back in Week 6 of the NFL regular season the Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40, but that game was played in Gillette Stadium while the Conference final the game will be played in Arrowhead Stadium as the Chiefs are the home team. It appears as though it’s going to be quite cold for this game and you have to wonder if this will affect either team. Do you think that the Patriots will be able to go on the road and repeat their Week 6 victory? Or do think the Chiefs get some revenge with a win at home?

As for our Divisional round picks. Schaumburg Stu went a perfect 4-0. Dan the Man and I both went 3-1 and believe it or not Mr. Fantasy picked every game wrong as he had another 0-4 week. Through the two playoff rounds Dan the Man is in the lead at 7-1. Schaumburg Stu and I are both sitting at 5-3. Now as hard as it might be to believe Mr. Fantasy is actually 0-8 through two weeks of playoff picks.

After making eight straight incorrect picks Mr. Fantasy went on vacation; so we won’t be broadcasting this Sunday. As for our Conference finals picks; I will post the ones I have in the Saturday blog. If you’d like to pick along with us feel free to leave your picks in the comment section.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to anytime you want at TuneIn.com.

Look me up on Twitter @Burketime

On December 28, 2018, an old friend of the show, Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue wrote “Going to all-digital tickets is a bad idea for the Cubs and here’s why”.  This article details why he is in agreement with Kelsey McKinney from Dead Spin (F^*K Digital Tickets).  Neither is in love with major sports eliminating paper tickets and going digital.  Al, a season ticket holder was informed that they, the season ticket holders will no longer receive hard tickets and if they want them, it could cost up to $150.00.  Both view these tickets as a souvenir that is free, essentially because today the only thing I have personally found below $5 are the team reusable bags in the gift shop, which I by at every game I attended because I generally try to go to a bobblehead game for my “free souvenir.”   

Me personally, I have no issue with it all.  I am all for it.  Sure, I have file cabinet with an overstuffed folder full of old tickets, scorecards and programs but since the evolution of smart phones and apps, having the box score on my phone and being able to upload my pictures from the games I have attended into the Ballpark app, I am as content as can be.  While I have yet to let go of those old tickets, but I have done what all are doing today and Pinned some ideas for a project to display all my tickets in a framed sort of way.  Time will tell when or if I ever get around to it.   

Years ago, I started traveling to see the Cubs play at different ballparks across the country but to be honest the last Hard Copy tickets I have received was back in 2006 for a Cubs/Cards game.  But since then it has been all Print-at-Home tickets.  Sitting 1st row in front of the tarp and being able to interact with Andrew McCutchen in his rookie season before the Cubs beat them was a cool experience or when I stuck my hat out to catch his fly ball during batting practice at Wrigley only to have hit smack my wrist and bounce down to Francisco Liriano are memories that I will always have. 

One complaint that both have are about the scanners that the teams use to check your digital tickets and what if they go down.  What I think they have forgotten is that whether it is a digital ticket, print-at-home or a hard copy, they all get scanned at the gates now.  So, no matter what ticket you have, lets hope those scanners do not go down or lose power.   

Al gives us reasons why the Cubs want to go to an all-digital ticket system which pretty much aligns with why the NFL went to an all-digital ticket.  Basically, it allows the Cubs to track every ticket and who the season ticket holders are selling them to and how many and if they are violating any agreements between the team and season ticket holder.  The Cubs of course package it must nicer 

While Al and Kelsey, which I do encourage you to read their articles, may not be excited about digital tickets, I seriously doubt either will stop attending games because of this.  If they do, it sounds just like my Uncle Bob – he stopped attending Cubs games when they started the presale of bleacher tickets but of course, since they won the World Series, he’s back on the wagon.   

When I used to blow my entire tax returns on Cubs tickets while I was living with my parents, it was never about the hard copy tickets, it was about the game and experience.  I embrace the digital ticket and encourage you to download the Ballpark App.  However, I do not understand why the other major sports leagues have not created this type of app.