Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: June 24, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We had back to back drafts to end the week as the NBA held their draft on Thursday night followed by the NHL draft on Friday night. In both cases it was a Chicago team that made some moves no one was expecting either during or right before the draft took place.

The NBA draft went pretty much as expected to start. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Markelle Fultz to get the evening started. The Los Angeles Lakers did end up taking Lonzo Ball and the circus that comes along with him at #2. Then will the Boston Celtics where on the clock there was some trade news. Now there had been rumors that the Celtics where considering moving the 3rd pick and I’m sure everyone just thought that had made that move. Well as it turned out the Celtics took Jayson Tatum with the 3rd pick and the trade was between the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves sent the #7 pick in the draft along with guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine to the Bulls in return for the 16th pick and Jimmy Butler. Now there has been a lot of talk about the Bulls trading Butler, but after Butler himself had told the Cleveland Cavaliers he wasn’t interested in playing for them it looked like he’d stay with Chicago.

Butler was the 30th pick in the 2011 draft and will be playing for his former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. Butler had the best season of his career in 2016-17. He averaged career highs in points (23.9), rebounds (6.2), assists (5.5) and steals (1.9) while also shooting 36.7% from behind the 3-point line. Butler is signed for two more seasons and has a player option for a third in 2019-20.  With the addition of Butler the Timberwolves look like they have a starting five that could compete for a playoff spot in a tough Western Conference.

With the 16th pick the Timberwolves got in the deal they selected Justin Patton a 7″0 foot Center from Creighton. Patton was a redshirt his first year at Creighton; so he only has 35 games of college basketball under his belt. He averaged 12.9 points per game and grabbed 6.2 rebounds per game in that one season. He did have 13 straight double-doubles at one point during the season and was named the Big East Freshman of the Year as well as making the All Big East 2nd team.

As part of the return for Butler the Bulls got LaVine who was the 13th pick in the 2014 draft and was having his best offensive season last year until it was cut short when he torn the ACL in his left knee in February. LaVine has mostly been known for his dunks. He’s a two time dunk contest winner and has even posted some of his dunks on YouTube. Last season in 47 games LaVine posted his best points per game average in his career at 18.9. LaVine also posted his highest minutes per game average at 37.2 per game and shot his best percentage from the floor at 45.9%. LaVine has played both point guard and shooting guard in his career.

The Bulls also received point guard Kris Dunn in the deal. Dunn was someone the Bulls where interested in selecting in the 2016 draft, but the Timberwolves used the #5 pick on him. Dunn played just a little over 17 minutes a game as a rookie, but Tom Thibodeau has never really given rookies lots of minutes, Dunn did appear in 78 games; averaging 3.8 points per game while handing out 2.4 assists per game.

With the 7th pick that Chicago got in the deal they selected Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen is 20 years old from Vantaa Finland, but played last season at the University of Arizona. Markkanen is 7″0 feet tall and shoots the 3 like the new NBA style dictates. He made 42.3% of his 3-point attempts last season. He averaged 15.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game in his one season at Arizona, but he was a first team all Pac-12 selection, as well as first team all Pac-12 Freshman team and first team all Pac-12 team.

Just looking at the trade it appears as though the Timberwolves got the better of it at the start. Butler is a multiple time All-Star and a very good two way NBA player. Of course if LaVine recovers from his injury and Dunn is the type of player who deserved to be draft at #5 things could even out down the line.

Before the NHL draft Friday night the Chicago Blackhawks made a couple of trades that probably surprised their fans a little.

The first deal saw the Blackhawks send defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for two defenseman Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin.

Now Hjalmarsson isn’t a high scoring defenseman; he had 5 goals and 13 assists in 73 games last season. What he does do is some of the things that teams need that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Hjalmarsson averaged 21.30 minutes of ice time last season and was 6th in the NHL in blocked shots with 181.

Heading to Chicago in the deal is Connor Murphy who scored 2 goals and had 15 assists in 77 games last season for Arizona. The Blackhawks also get Laurent Dauphin who scored 2 goals and had 1 assist in 24 games last season.

The Blackhawks weren’t done dealing though as they sent Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and a 2017 6th round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and a 2018 5th round pick.

Panarin had been with the Blackhawks two seasons after spending nine seasons in the KHL. Panarin won the Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) scoring 30 goals and 47 assists his first season in the NHL. Last season Panarin scored 31 goals and had 43 assists; that what made it a bit of a surprise that the Blackhawks dealt him.

Tyler Motte played in 33 games last season scoring 4 goals and picking up 3 assists. Motte was the 121st selection of the 2013 draft.

Saad spent the first three seasons of his NHL career with the Blackhawks before they traded him to Columbus. Saad scored 53 points each of his season with the Blue Jackets. Last season Saad had 24 goals and 29 assists. Saad also made his first All-Star team while with Columbus.

The Blackhawks seem to be looking for a back up goaltender since Scott Darling was traded at the start of the off season. Will Anton Forsebrg be that guy? Forsberg played just 1 game for the Blue Jackets last season as he spent the season playing for the Cleveland Monsters in the AHL. Forsberg played 51 games and posted a 27-17-6 record with a Goals Against Average of 2.28. Forsberg has just 10 games of NHL experience.

What do you think of these trades the Chicago teams made before or during their drafts? Please let me know in the comments section.

Don’t forget that you can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 21, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NBA draft is Thursday night and there’s been a lot of trade talk and even a couple of deals as we get close to draft night.

The dealing started officially on Monday when the trade between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers was finalized. Boston sent the #1 overall pick in the draft to Philadelphia for the #3 pick and a conditional 1st round pick in 2018 or 2019.

Then yesterday we had a couple of trades. The first one reported was the Los Angeles Lakers sending D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the #27 pick in Thursday’s draft. Then a little later in the day the Atlanta Hawks sent Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in the draft to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in the draft.

It will be interesting to see if we get anymore trades before the draft as there are a ton of rumors out there. There’s been a lot of talk about the Indiana Pacers trying to find a trading partner for Paul George. It would appear as though the best spot to deal George would be the Lakers since he’s said that he would like to sign there after his contract is up. George is signed through next season. Jimmy Butler’s name seems to have been in trade rumors since the trade deadline last season; so it’s no surprise at all that he’s still being talked about. Reports where that the Cleveland Cavaliers where very interested in acquiring Butler, but this morning he told the Cavaliers that he’d rather stay with the Chicago Bulls than play for Cleveland. I was a little bit surprised to find out that the Los Angeles Clippers have actually looked at the possibility of dealing All-Star center DeAndre Jordan. Now the Clippers are in an interesting spot since both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are free agents. Now imagine if Paul and Griffin where to sign elsewhere it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the Clippers to hang onto Jordan; so in a way I guess it makes sense for them to look at the trade value of Jordan. Don’t forget that the New York Knicks still have Carmelo Anthony on the roster, but the name of Kristaps Porzingis has come out in trade rumors as well. There was rumors of a swap between the Knicks and the Phoenix Suns where the Suns would get Porzingis for Devin Booker. There is also talk that the Celtics would like to make a deal for Porzingis, but it appears as though the Knicks would rather find another trade partner. Will any of these players actually get traded? Or was it just pre-draft talk by teams to draw some interest. I guess will find out soon.

Baseball is an ever changing game and you can never really tell what you’re going to get out of team almost from game to game. Now there where a lot of people on the New York Yankees bandwagon and where talking about them being front runners to win the World Series. Then they went on a 7-game west coast road trip. They dropped 2 of 3 games to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and where then swept on a 4 game series by the Oakland A’s. It was a 1-6 road trip for the Yankees and they lost the last 6 in a row. They returned home to face the Angels last night and their luck hadn’t changed yet as they where beaten 8-3 by Los Angeles. Of course there’s no reason to stop supporting the Yankees as they are still 8 games over .500 at 38-30 and even after dropping 7 games in a row they are jus 1/2 a game out of 1st place in the A.L. East. They’ll have a chance to end the losing streak tonight against the Angels. Jordan Montgomery makes the start for the Yankees tonight. Montgomery is 4-4 in 12 starts with an E.R.A. of 3.78. The Angels will send Ricky Nolasco to try to extend the Yankees losing streak. Nolasco is 2-8 in 14 starts with an E.R.A. of 5.01. Will see if the media can hold their horses a little bit the next time the Yankees go on a run, but I think we all know they won’t.

In sad news for the Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL in general this morning as it was announced that winger Marion Hossa is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season as he receives treatment for a skin disorder. Hossa released a statement earlier saying “Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder,” Hossa said Wednesday morning. “Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.” There was a report Tuesday that Hossa’s career could be over because of a severe allergic reaction caused by his hockey equipment.
Hossa scored 26 goals last season, his 19th in the league. He is due to be paid $1 million for each of the four years remaining on the 12-year, $63.3 million deal he signed in 2009. His deal carries a cap hit of $5.275 million, however. If Hossa were to retire, the Blackhawks would be hit with a cap recapture penalty. If Hossa goes on long-term injured reserve; even for the remainder of his contract the Blackhawks, who consistently have cap issues, would get some salary cap relief.

Hossa will almost certainly be elected to the Hall of Fame. He has 525 goals, is a five-time All-Star and helped lead the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. He’s known as one of the best two way forwards of his generation.

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

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 14, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Monday night the Golden State Warriors won their second NBA title in three seasons when they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120. Golden State won the series four games to one and that was their only loss in the playoffs. Even though LeBron James averaged a triple-double in the series Kevin Durant was named M.V.P. of the finals series.

Now let’s face it the NBA playoffs where bad this season. There where no upsets in any of the series and don’t try and tell me that Cleveland as a #2 seed upset the #1 seeded Boston Celtics. The only other lower seeded team to win a series was when the 5th seeded Utah Jazz beat the 4th seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the 1st round, but those teams had the same regular season record coming into the playoffs; so that’s not an upset either. Now you have to wonder if anything will change or if we’ll just see the Warriors and the Cavaliers in the finals for the fourth season in a row.

What I really need to stop happening is for people to try and compare this Golden State team to other great NBA teams of the past. There’s no doubt that this Warriors team is very good, but they haven’t won back to back championships like most if not all great teams have. There’s also the issue of the NBA being a completely different league now than it ever has. Today’s game is a drive and kick the basketball out to the 3-point line type of game. There are times players will pass up a sure lay up to give the ball up to someone standing at the 3-point line. It’s just how the game is played now. Remember when teams use to pound the ball into their All-Star center and let him dominant in the paint. Well the center position has changed so much with this new style NBA that the position doesn’t even exist on the All-Star ballot. With the game being played a different way there’s just no way to compare this Golden State team to the Magic Johnson led show time Los Angeles Lakers or the Celtics team that where led by Bill Russell or those Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls teams.

If you where to bring those teams into this era of the NBA the Warriors would probably win those games, but if the Warriors where sent back to play those three teams in their era the Warriors lose. You have to remember those Celtics teams that won all those championships with Russell didn’t have a 3-point line; so their offense was completely different than any team plays in this NBA. Even for the Lakers and the Bulls the 3-point line is still kind of a novelty, but they had players who could shot it. It’s just tiresome listening to the people on television try to compare the Warriors to the great teams of the past and I don’t think they realize how stupid they come off sounding. On Tuesday I actually saw some goof argue with former Lakers player James Worthy about this. Every point the television host made Worthy had a counter for and was able to point out something in his Lakers favor. I get that it’s a talking point and they’re desperate for things to talk about, but there’s just no way possible to actually get an answer to this; so please let it go.

Now that the NBA season is wrapped up all of the teams can start to focus on the draft which is just 8 days away. The Boston Celtics have the 1st pick and all signs seem to them taking Markelle Fultz the point guard from the University of Washington, but after that it could get interesting. The Lakers have the #2 pick and there are some mock drafts out there that have them passing on Lonzo Ball the UCLA point guard. Now Ball’s father LaVar made it very clear that he only wants his son to play for the Lakers and they where the only team Lonzo was willing to workout for. Now if the Lakers do pass on Ball most of the mock drafts have him going to the Phoenix Suns at #4, but how will his father react to that. The other teams with Top 10 picks are the Philadelphia 76ers at #3, the Sacramento Kings at #5, the Orlando Magic at #6, the Minnesota Timberwolves at #7, the New York Knicks pick 8th with the Dallas Mavericks 9th and the Kings pick again at $10. You can plug which ever college player in with which ever team you’d like, but we won’t know until June 22nd and then if there’s a trade made we have to wait and see who sent who to who. Of course the drama could start right away if the Lakers pass on Ball.

Francisco Rodriquez (K-Rod) struggled so badly this season for the Detroit Tigers took him out of the closers role. Now there are only three men on baseball history that have more saves than Rodriguez, but in 24 games this season he is 2-5 with a 6.23 E.R.A. with 7 saves. Rodriguez is less than happy with the role he now has in the Tigers bullpen and let his feelings be known. Rodriguez mentioned that he didn’t understand what Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was doing with him after Justin Wilson was elevated to the closers role last month. Rodriguez went on to say “Am I being judged on 10 outings? What about the 400 plus saves? What about the 1000 appearances? ” Rodriguez went on to say “I made my loving tough pressure situations, I have not made my living being a mop up guy”. The Tigers took Rodriguez out of the closers spot on May 9th after he had blown saves and picked up losses in his two previous appearances. Rodriguez’s E.R.A. at the time of the move was 8.49 and he had blown 4 of his 11 save chances. Rodriguez also mentioned that neither Ausmus or Tigers pitching coach Rich Dubee spoke to him about his demotion, but that’s been disputed by Ausmus.

If you’re the Tigers; what do you do with Rodriguez?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: May 20, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, horse racing, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While the NBA Conference finals are turning into a complete joke over in the NHL the two Conference finals series they have going on are turning into very good series. Both series are tied at 2-2 with a Game 5 between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators tonight and Game 5 of the Pittsburgh Penguins/Ottawa Senators series tomorrow there’s still time for you to jump in and watch some good hockey.

Now both the Penguins and the Senators where down a game coming into their Game 4 match ups and they both picked up big wins to avoid being in an elimination scenario for now. On Thursday night Ottawa picked up a big 3-2 win in overtime to even their series at 2-2. Corey Perry scored the game winner for the Ducks 10:25 into overtime to give Anaheim the win. The Penguins also picked up a 3-2 win in Game 4 of there series, but they got their win in regulation. After a terrible start in Game 3 Marc-Andre Fleury was replaced in the Pittsburgh goal by Matt Murray. Murray stopped 24 of the 26 shots he saw in the game. Pittsburgh actually jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 4 and had to hold on as Ottawa scored late in both the 2nd and 3rd period to make it a one goal game. A penalty on Ottawa for too many men on the ice 19:23 into the 3rd period killed any man advantage the Senators would have the Penguins took a 3-2 win and the series was tied.

Tonight the Western Conference finals has moved back to Anaheim for the Game 5 match up between the Ducks and the Predators. Then on Sunday the Eastern Conference finals are back in Pittsburgh for their Game 5 match up as the Penguins will host the Senators. Each team has won on the others ice; so I’m not sure if there’s a home ice advantage for either team hosting Game 5. Of course the winner of these Game 5 match ups sets up a chance at eliminating their opponent in Game 6 and moving on to the Stanley Cup finals.

The NBA announced the finalist for there 2017 season awards. There are six awards with three finalist for each award. Here are the nominees.

Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Sixth Man of the Year: Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors. Lou Williams of the Houston Rockets. Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets.

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. Dario Saric of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat.

Most Valuable Player: Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs.

You’ll find out the winners of these awards on June 26th when the NBA has it’s first ever awards show hosted by Drake.

I’m going with Antetokounmpo as most improved, Gordon as sixth man, Leonard as defensive player, Embiid to win best rookie, D’Antoni as best coach and Westbrook as M.V.P. Feel free to leave your picks in the comment section and we’ll see how we do at the end of next month.

Of course as soon as the final three for M.V.P. where announced the media went nuts that LeBron James wasn’t one of the final three. If you where to out James into the final three; who would you take out? Westbrook and Harden where locks as M.V.P. finalist; so it would have to be Leonard. Now you have to remember that this is a regular season award; so the playoffs have nothing to do with who wins this. Let’s take a look at the stats and then you can decide.

Both James and Leonard played in 74 games during the 2016-17 regular season. James averaged 26.4 points per game while Leonard was at 25.5. James grabbed 8.6 rebounds per game while Leonard was at 5.8. James handed out 8.7 assists per game while Leonard handed out 3.5 per game. James averaged 1.2 steals per game while Leonard had 1.8 per game. James blocked 0.59 shots per game while Leonard blocked 0.7. James shot 54.8% from the field, 36.3% from behind the 3-point line and 67% from the free throw line. Leonard shot 48.5% from the field, 38.1% from behind the 3-point line and 88% from the free throw line. So looking at the stats it appears that James was a little better offensive player, but Leonard may be the better shooter. Leonard looks to be the better defender and is considered one of the top defensive players in the NBA. Now the James led Cavaliers where 51-31 during the regular season while Leonard’s San Antonio team went 61-21 for the regular season. So the decision might come down to how the team did during the regular season. Leonard’s team was 10 wins better than James team was and they play in the much tougher Western Conference. While it’s a difficult call to make and I could’ve seen the NBA just going with four players I think if you look at the stats and how the teams performed led by these two players they made the right choice. You have to understand that Leonard doesn’t carry the name value that James does and this is where the controversy will come from.

The second leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing, the Preakness Stakes, will be run on Saturday at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is the Preakness favorite at 4 to 5. Classic Empire is at 3 to 1 odds while Lookin at Lee is 10 to 1. There are only 10 horses scheduled to run in the Preakness and I’m sure the odds will change quite a bit before the horse run out of the starting gate. Here are the rest of the horses. Cloud Computing 12 to 1, Gunnevera 15 to 1, Conquest Mo Money 15 to 1, Hence 20 to 1, Multiplier 30 to 1, Term of Art 30 to 1 and Senior Investment 30 to 1.

Now I didn’t do so well with my Kentucky Derby pick, but I’ll give it another shot for the Preakness. I’m going to go with Hence to win the Preakness Stakes.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 17, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It’s not real surprise that the Golden State Warriors took a 2-0 lead last night over the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals. I think just about everyone who knows anything about basketball understands that San Antonio should’ve won Game 1, but Zaza Pachulia took care of that by taking out Kawhi Leonard on a dirty play. Don’t buy what you hear from the Golden State side; it was a clear cut attempt to take Leonard out. There’s a reason why the NBA cracked down on the move Pachulia used to take Leonard out with a few seasons ago. Now if you’re wondering why there was no action taken by the NBA after this incident. If you’ve seen any commercial for the NBA I’m sure you’ve notice that the majority of them feature the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers; so it’s very, very clear who the NBA and the stations that carry the games want in the finals. No matter what kind of fight the Spurs or the Boston Celtics in the Conference finals we’re going to see the Warriors and the Cavaliers for the third year in a row.

Last night Golden State cruised to a 136-100 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. Golden State had a 17 point lead after the 1st quarter and that was pretty much the story. San Antonio never really got back into the game and where outscored by the Warriors in every quarter. Stephen Curry made six of the nine 3-pointers he shoot and was 8 for 13 from the field overall as he scored a 29 points in only 31 minutes of game action. four of the five Golden State starters scored in double digits and Golden State even had three players off the bench score in double figures. As for Pachulia; well with Leonard sitting out the game there was no real need for him. Pachulia did start, but played just seven minutes; scoring four points.

Jonathan Simmons got the start in place of Leonard and led the Spurs in scoring with 22 points. Only one other San Antonio player scored in double figures. Davis Bertans came off the San Antonio bench to score 13 points. With the game out of hand earlier the Spurs managed their players minutes as no San Antonio played logged more than 27 minutes in Game 2.

The teams will get a extra day of rest as the series moves to San Antonio for Games 3 & 4. Game 3 is Saturday night and is being shown on ESPN.

Now if you’re looking for a basketball game to watch tonight believe it or not Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals is on. Yes it’s true the Eastern Conference finals are finally starting. It took so long to get to this point that I’m guessing most people don’t remember that Boston is the #1 seed; so the series opens up in Boston tonight. The Cavaliers haven’t played a game since May 7th when they swept the Toronto Raptors out of the playoffs winning four straight.

So who do you think has the advantage in Game 1? The Celtics coming off of a seven game series or the Cavaliers; who have been resting and practicing for 10 days.

While we are just about 40 games or so into baseball’s regular season and it’s tough to make a call on just about every team it’s still fun when rivals meet in a series. This week we’ve had the Los Angeles Dodgers visiting the San Francisco Giants. The Giants record isn’t where anyone thought it would be right now at 17-24, but they’ve managed to take the first two games in this series. San Francisco won Game 1 by four runs 8-4 and last night they won a 2- pitchers duel. It’s an afternoon game for these two teams today and the pitching match is Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers and Johnny Cueto for the Giants. Kershaw is 6-2 with a 2.43 E.R.A. while Cueto is 4-2 with an E.R.A. of 4.15. The Dodgers have lost 3 games in a row and are currently in 3rd place in the N.L. West 3 games behind the division leading Colorado Rockies. San Francisco comes into this afternoons game on a five game winning streak. The Giants are in 4th place in the N.L. West and are 8 1/2 games behind the 1st place Rockies.

Will we get a pitchers duel out of these two aces? Or will one or maybe both of them struggle in this outing? I’d expect a low scoring game, but you never do know.

While the Giants are on a good winning streak; it’s the Texas Rangers who currently have the longest winning streak in baseball with seven wins in a row. Now the Rangers got off to such a bad start that this seven game winning streak has just gotten them back to .500. The Rangers are currently 8 games behind the Houston Astros in the A.L. West, but they have plenty of time to get themselves back into the division race, but can they? With Cole Hamels on the disabled list the Rangers are really leaning on Yu Darvish at the top of the rotation. After Darvish though they’re just kind of piecing it together. It’s the oft injured Andrew Cashner and A.J. Griffin after Darvish and then there’s Martin Perez and Nick Martinez mixed into the rotation. Once Hamels returns to the rotation the Rangers will have to solid guys at the top and that puts the rest of the rotation in better match ups, but it looks like Hamels is going to be out about 6 more weeks. It appears that Matt Bush has taken over the closer role. Bush is four out of five in save chances and has an E.R.A. of 1.23 in 14 games. Bush was taken with the #1 overall pick in the 2004 draft by the San Diego Padres. Bush has had numerous personal and legal problems though his career, but hasn’t had an issue since 2012. Bush took over the closer role from Sam Dyson. Dyson blew all three of the save opportunities he had before going on the disabled list. Since returning Dyson has been used in a set up role.

Do you see the Rangers challenging the Astros for the division title? Or maybe a wild card spot?

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast on TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: May 13, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, MMA, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to understand this one or if anyone will ever be able to explain it to me, but I guess it’s just how sports goes some time. Maybe you’ll be able to enlighten me in the comments.

After warming up in pre-game the San Antonio Spurs decided to hold Kawhi Leonard out of their Game 6 match up against the Houston Rockets, Remember Leonard twisted an ankle in the Spurs Game 5 win and was considered a game time decision coming into Game 6. Now the Spurs did have a game in hand as they where up three games to two coming into Game 6 and they would play a Game 7 on their home court. Now with everything looking to be lined up for the Rockets to go out and get a win and force a Game 7; what happens. San Antonio goes out and not only wins the game, but blows Houston out by 39 points 114-75. Now remember the Spurs did this without what many experts believe is the best two-way player in the NBA in Leonard, but they’re also missing starting point guard Tony Parker.

Now as I’m wondering how this happened I started looking into the box score for answers. Of course what jumps right out is the terrible night James Harden had. Harden was 2 for 11 shooting on the night; added into that was the 2 for 9 from behind the 3-point line. Not only did Harden have an off night shooting the basketball he also had 6 turnovers in the game and ended up fouling out. Harden is the Rockets best player and an M.V.P. candidate so we’re going to look at him first in a loss like this, but he wasn’t the only reason Houston lost. The Rockets went 22 for 77 (28.6%) from the field in the game and actually shot a better percentage (32.5%) from behind the 3-point line going 13 for 40. Houston even had an off night from the free throw line going 18 for 25 or hitting 72% of their free throws.

Now the Rockets are the model of the new style of NBA play where a team will actually pass up and open 2-point shot to get a good look at a 3-pointer. I’m sure if you watched any of this series you heard someone use the term trading two’s for three’s; which is what the Rockets are willing to do with their offense. Now when they’re making their 3-point shots Houston is one of the toughest team in the NBA to beat. Just look at Game 1 a 126-99 win and Game 4 a 125-104 win. Of course when you’re not hitting your 3’s you get beat by 39 points and knocked out of the playoffs.

The Rockets are obviously building their team in the style of the Golden State Warriors who the Spurs will face in the Western Conference finals starting Sunday. What do you think the Rockets have to do to take the next step and be an NBA title contender?

Now we are going to get a Game 7 in this round of the playoffs, but it’s the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics who are going to give us that Game 7.

Now it took six games, but there was finally a close game in this series. John Wall hit a Game 6 winning 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left to give Washington a 92-91 win and send this series to a Game 7. Wall jumped up on the scorers table, popped his jersey and yelled at his home fans as the game ended. Believe it or not this is the first game in this series that has been decided by less than 10 points.

In another bit of odd NBA scheduling these two teams will meet in Game 7 on Monday night. That means the Western Conference finals will already be underway before we know which one of these teams will move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. The home team has won every game in this series; so you’d think the Celtics would have an advantage going into Game 7, but you never know.

The Western Conference finals in the NHL got started last night. It took overtime, but the Nashville Predators got a 3-2 win on the road over the Anaheim Ducks.

Jakob Silfverberg got the first goal of the series and gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead unassisted 5:15 into the 1st period. Nashville was able to tie the game at 1-1 at 12:34 of the period. Filip Forsberg scored the Predators goal with assists from Matthew Irvin and Ryan Johansen. Just 2:42 into the 2nd period the Predators took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Austin Watson. Watson was assisted by Johansen and Mattias Ekholm. That turned out to be the only goal of the 2nd period. Now there was only one goal scored in the 3rd period, but this time it was Anaheim who scored the goal to tie the game at 2-2. Hampus Lindholm scored with an assist from Nate Thompson with 7:21 gone in the 3rd period. John Gibson (Anaheim) and Pekka Rinne (Predators) didn’t let anything else into the net and we where headed to overtime. The game went 9:24 into overtime before P.K. Subban and Ekholm assisted on James Neal game winning goal to give Nashville a 3-2 Game 1 win and a one game to none lead in the series.

The series will stay in Anaheim for Game 2 on Sunday night while Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals starts tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Ottawa Senators.

If your a UFC fan it looks as though there will finally be a rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Officials announced on Friday that a light heavyweight title fight between Cormier and Jones to UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, California.

Jones (22-1) defeated Cormier (19-1) in a light heavyweight title defense in January 2015. He never defended the belt again, however, as the UFC stripped him of the title later that year for legal reasons. Jones plead guilty to a hit-and-run in 2015. A rematch was originally scheduled in April 2016, but Cormier was forced to pull out with an injury. The matchup was rebooked to headline UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, but Jones was pulled from the event three days before due to a failed drug test. Cormier, who won the vacant title in 2015 and has defended it twice, admitted he is anxious Jones won’t make it to the fight again. He specifically brought up Jones’ history of cocaine use. Jones tested positive for cocaine prior to defeating Cormier in 2015.

UFC president Dana White, who did not attend the news conference, later said the 205-pound title fight will headline the pay-per-view event, which will take place at Honda Center. According to White, the UFC intends to book Jimi Manuwa on the card in case something happens with Jones. Manuwa’s opponent is to be determined.

Are you excited to see this rematch?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget I’m on Twitter @Burketime

So we’re a month into the 2017 baseball season. Are you concerned with the way your favorite team started off? Neither World Series team from 2016; the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are both just over .500 at 14-12 while the Houston Astros are off to the best start at 18-9. Now I’m a big advocate of panicking after the first month of the season, but there are people out there who do. Of course everyone wants their favorite team to get off to a good start, but not every team in baseball can get off to that good start. It’s kind of the same thing with players stats. Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals is off to a good start this season, but I don’t think he’ll hit .419 all season long. On the other side Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets is hitting just .122 after the first month of the season. Maybe it will end up being a down year for Granderson, but do you really think he’ll hit .122 all season long? Or will we see him end up right around his career batting average of .253. I know it’s fun to talk about it, but when it comes to rooting for a team or a player you have to be able to handle the highs with the lows. I get that’s easier said than done and it does take some time to be able to do that, but it’s a long, long season and things always seem to even out.

What I am finding interesting to watch is can the players who had down years in 2016, but have had good starts to the 2017 season keep it up. Jason Heyward go a big free agent deal with the Chicago Cubs before the 2016 season and then went out and hit .230 with 7 home runs and 49 RBI’s. Heyward has started off 2017 hitting .261 through 25 games with 3 homers and 16 RBI’s. How about Zack Greinke. He also got a big free agent deal from the Arizona Diamondbacks and while he did have a winning record at 13-7 his E.R.A. was 4.37. That’s the highest it’s been since his second year in baseball. Greinke had one complete game shutout in 2016, but was limited to 26 starts due to injury. Greinke has made 6 starts in 2017; he’s 2-2 with an E.R.A. of 3.19 and he already has one complete game. Jordan Zimmerman is another pitcher who signed a big time free agent deal before the 2016 season. Zimmerman switched leagues signing with the Detroit Tigers, but was limited to 19 games (18 starts) in 2016 due to injury. Zimmerman was 9-7 with a 4.87 E.R.A. Now in five 2017 starts Zimmerman’s E.R.A. is still quite high at 6.18, but he’s 3-1 on the season. I mentioned Ryan Zimmerman in the paragraph above, but you might not remember that Zimmerman hit .218 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI’s in 115 games in 2016. In 25 games this season Zimmerman is hitting .419 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI’s.

What do you think will we see these players continue to play well this season or will they have a relapse or revert to what happened to them in 2016? Better yet; did you take a chance on one of these players in your fantasy league this season? If you happened to they might be paying some big dividends early in the 2017 season.

I’m sure by now you’ve know about the death of Boston Celtics superstar Isaiah Thomas’ sister Chyna back on April 15th. Well last night the Celtics played Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Washington Wizards on what would’ve been Chyna’s 23rd birthday. Now the Celtics did go on to win the game 129-119 in overtime to go up 2 games to none in the series. Now Thomas who was dealing not only with the recent loss of his sister also had oral surgery on Monday to fix the tooth he lost in Sunday’s Game 1 win. With all of this going on in Thomas personal life he still went out and scored 53 points in the Boston victory. Thomas played 45 minutes in the Game 2 win. He shot 18 of 33 from the field including 5 of 12 from behind the 3-point line. Thomas made 12 of the 13 free throws he shot as well. Thomas also had 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals with just 2 turnovers in Game 2. When Thomas was on the floor the Celtics where a +10 in the game. Unlike their first round series the Celtics won both of their home games to start round 2. The series will now move to Washington for game 3 & 4 with Game 3 being played on Thursday night.

With the draft over teams have to start looking at free agents to fill the needs they still have. The Denver Broncos hope they filled one of their holes yesterday when they signed running back Jamal Charles for one year. The deal could be worth up to $3.75 million dollars. Charles has spent his entire nine year NFL career with the Broncos AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs. Charles has played in just 8 games total the last two seasons due to injury, but for his career he has gained 7260 yards with 43 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Charles has played in 103 career games and has five 100 yard seasons to his credit. His best season was 2012 when he gained 1509 yards. Charles is also a receiving threat out of the backfield. In his career he has 285 receptions and 20 receiving touchdowns. In 2013 Charles caught a career high 70 passes.

Charles will join a Broncos backfield where Devin Booker was the leading rusher with 612 yards in 2016. The Broncos would also like to see C.J. Anderson return from injury. Denver also used a 6th round draft pick on De’Angelo Henderson a running back out of Coastal Carolina.

We spent quite a bit of time on the Tuesday edition of Sports Time Radio talking about Sidney Crosby and the hit that gave him a concussion; so I don’t want to go into that again. You can find that podcast on TuneIn.com if you’d like to get Dan the Man and mines take on the situation. It seems as though the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals is the marquee NHL playoff match up, but sooner or later people may need to start paying attention to the Nashville Predators. The Predators swept the #1 seeded Chicago Blackhawks out of the 1st round of the playoffs and last night they beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 to take a 3 games to 1 lead in that series. The Predators/Blues series is the only one that has played four games and all of the other series are at 2 games to 1 with to Game 4 being played tonight. The Capitals are at the Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks are at the Edmonton Oilers. Pittsburgh and Edmonton have the lead in those series. The other Game 4 is Thursday night as the New York Rangers hosting the Ottawa Senators with the Senators ahead in that series.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com or listen to the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com

I’m on Twitter @Burketime

Boston Celtics 105 Chicago Bulls 83

Posted: April 29, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After a harrowing start to their opening round series the Boston Celtics won four straight games to advance to the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs. The Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls in game 6 Friday night 105-83 to advance.

The Celtics scored nine of the game first 11 points and never trailed in the game. The Bulls worked the deficit down to four points at 10-6, but then the Celtics wet out and took their first double digit lead of the game at 21-11 with 5:37 left in the quarter. The double digit lead didn’t last long and the Bulls actually cut it to five with 1:20 left in the quarter. The Celtics where able to add a couple of pints to their lead and take a 30-23 lead into the 2nd quarter.

The Celtics went right back to their double digit lead early in the 2nd quarter with a 12 to 2 run. The Bulls did manage to knock the lead under 10 points at 42-33 with 5:50 left in the quarter, but the Celtics pushed the lead right back into double digits and built a 13 point lead going into halftime with a 54-41 lead.

The 3rd quarter is where the Celtics really put the game away. Boston outscored Chicago by 16 points in the quarter 34-18. The Bulls never got closer than the 13 points down they where starting the quarter and at one point found themselves down by 30 points. When Kelly Olynyk hit a 11-foot jumper with :03 seconds left in the quarter it gave the Celtics a 29 point lead at 88-59 heading into the final quarter.

With the outcome of the game pretty much decided heading into the 4th quarter both teams emptied their benches. The 4th quarter actually turned out to be the Bulls highest scoring quarter of the game as they out up 24 points in it. Boston ended up having the lowest scoring output by either team in their 4th quarter with 17 points, but knocking seven points off of the lead didn’t really mean a whole lot as the Celtics ended up with a 22 point victory 105-83.

Avery Bradley led the Celtics in scoring and tied for game high scoring honors with 23 points. Gerald Green added 16 points while Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and Jae Crowder each scored 12 points as all of the Celtics starters scored in double figures. Horford also handed out a game high 7 assists and along with Kelly Olynyk led the team in rebounding as they each grabbed 6 rebounds.

Only two Bulls players reached double figures in scoring. jimmy Butler tied for the games top scoring honors with 23 points and Robin Lopez added 10 points. Bobby Portis grabbed a game high 11 rebounds while Dwayne Wade handed out a team high 3 assists.

The Celtics advance into the 2nd round and they’ll start that round on Sunday as they host the Washington Wizards. The Wizards also advanced into the 2nd round with a six game series win over the Atlanta Hawks.

As for the Bulls; well their 2017 season has come to an end and so have my recaps of their games. See you next season.

Boston Celtics 108 Chicago Bulls 97

Posted: April 28, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Wednesday night the Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls 108-97 in Game 5 of their 1st round Eastern Conference playoff series. With the win the Celtics take a three games to two lead in the series. Oddly this was the first time a home team got a win in this series.

The Bulls got off to a good start scoring 14 of the games first 20 points taking a 14-6 lead with 5:03 left in the quarter. The Celtics came right back with a 12 to 4 run to tie the game at 18 all. The teams swapped the lead before Avery Bradley scored the last basket of the quarter with 1:01 left to play to give the Celtics a 23-20 lead after one quarter.

Bobby Portis quickly evened the score at 23 all with a 3-pointer to start the 2nd quarter. The Celtics did go right back to the lead, but could never get farther ahead than four points on a couple of occasions, but the Bulls came back to tie the game at 31 all and again at 35 all before taking 37-35 lead. Then it was Boston’s turn to bounce back and tie the game two times at 37 all and 40 all. The teams traded the lead four times in the final 4:00 minutes of the quarter with the Celtics taking a 52-50 lead headed into halftime.

The Bulls again scored the first basket of the quarter to tie the game, but Boston took the lead right back and held it until Isaiah Canaan hit a 3-pointer to give Chicago a 64-63 lead with 6:45 left in the quarter. There where two ties and four lead changes in those final 6:45, bit this time it was the Bulls who came out of the quarter with the lead. Chicago ended up taking a 81-79 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

There where three ties at the start of the 4th quarter before the Celtics finally took the lead at 86-85. Boston quickly built a six point lead at 91-85, but the Bulls came right back and cut it to two at 91-89 with 6:26 left in the game. The Celtics then scored the next 13 points of the game to take a 104-89 lead with 4:20 left to play, but for all intensive purposes it was over. The Bulls did finish the game on an 8 to 4 run, but it wasn’t enough as the Celtics took Game 5 108-97.

Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas each scored 24 points to lead the Celtics in scoring. Al Horford added 21 points and a game high 9 assists while Kelly Olynyk came off the Boston bench to add 14 points. Jae Crowder grabbed 8 rebounds to lead the Celtics ion that category.

Dwayne Wade was the games high scorer with 26 points. Wade also had a game high 11 rebounds and handed out a team high 8 assists. Robin Lopez and Jimmy Butler added 14 points while Isaiah Canaan was the other Bulls player to score in double digits with 13 points.

The series heads back to Chicago for Game 6 on Friday night. Will the Bulls get their first home win or will the Celtics close out the series Friday?

 

Boston Celtics 104 Chicago Bulls 95

Posted: April 25, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Sunday afternoon the Boston Celtics evened up their 1st round playoffs series with the Chicago Bulls at 2 games apiece as they easily cruised to a 104-95 win. So far neither team has been able to win a game on their home court.

The Celtics started the game on a 14-4 run after Isaiah Thomas hit a 3-pointer to give the Celtics their first double digit lead with 7:18 left in the quarter. The Bulls never got closer than eight points at 16-8 with 4:43 left in the quarter. Boston then built their biggest lead of the quarter with just 1:10 left to play at 30-17. Jimmy Butler split a couple of free throws to make it Boston 30-Chicago 18 after one quarter.

The Bulls had a much better offensive 2nd quarter as they actually outscored the Celtics 28-27, but the quarter didn’t start out that way. Boston scored 11 of the quarters first 12 points and had a 41-21 lead with 9:15 left to play. While the Bulls got close they could never get the lead under double digits. They cut it to 10 points with 1:14 left in the quarter. The teams played even in that final minute as the Celtics added one point to the lead and went into halftime with a 57-46 lead.

At the start of the 3rd quarter it was the Bulls who made a run. Chicago scored seven of the quarters first nine points to cut the lead to six points at 59-53. The Bulls continued to push and actually managed to tie the game at 63 all with 5:11 left in the quarter. Then the Bulls ended up taking their first lead of the game with the next basket, but the Celtics went right back to the lead and pushed it to double digits a couple of times, but by the end of the quarter the Bulls where down nine points at 79-70.

The teams played a dead even 4th quarter as each team scored 25 points in the quarter; which didn’t help the Bulls out. The closest Chicago could get in the 4th quarter was five points at 79-74 and then again at 81-76. The Celtics where again able to push the lead back to double digits at 86-76 with 9:00  minutes left in the game. The Bulls never got closer than eight points again and late in the game Boston had a 13 point lead before the Bulls cut into it to make it 104-95 game at the end.

Four of the five Celtics starters scored in double figures led by Isaiah Thomas who tied for the games high scorer with 33 points. Thomas also handed out a team high 7 assists. Gerald Green added 18 points while Jae Crowder had 11 points. Al Horford scored 15 points and grabbed a game high 12 rebounds. Kelly Olynyk chipped in 10 points off the Celtics bench.

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls in scoring as he was the other player with 33 points. Butler also handed out a game high 9 assists. Nikola Mirotic added 13 points while Dwayne Wade went for 11 points. Isaiah Canaan scored 13 points off the Bulls bench while Bobby Portis grabbed a team high 8 rebounds coming in off the bench.

The teams will again get an extra day off as they head back to Boston for Game 4 with the series tied 2-2. With the Celtics pretty much dominated Game’s 3 and 4 in Chicago after the Bulls took the first two games in Boston. Maybe the best thong for the Bulls is the fact that the game will be televised on TNT instead of ESPN.