Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

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

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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.  

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 5, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After a 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals dropped their record to 4-7-1 on the season the Green Bay Packers decided it was time to make a head coaching change.

Mike McCarthy was in his 13th season with the Packers and had a very good record of 125-77-2, but last season was the first since 2008 that the Packers finished under.500 and missed the playoffs. Now this season the Packers can still finish over .500 by winning out, but making the playoffs looks like a different story.

I have to say that I was a little surprised by the reaction of the national media as most of the experts I saw thought that Green Bay did McCarthy a disservice by firing him with 4 games left I the season. Most thought that Green Bay should’ve just let McCarthy finish the season as head coach and then let him go, but I don’t understand that logic. If you’ve made the decision that you’re going to be letting the head coach go why wait until the end of the season? I think it’s better that the Packers and McCarthy went their separate ways now instead of waiting. By making the move now it allows McCarthy to start thinking about another coaching job if that’s what he wants to do and it also gives the Packers a head start in looking for their new coach.

Humorously this is the same national media that thought it was a great move when the Cleveland Browns fired Hue Jackson after Week 8 this season. Is it because Jackson doesn’t have the same resume as McCarthy that makes one a good move and one a bad move?

Joe Philbin was named interim head coach of the Packers. Philbin was serving as the teams offensive coordinator, but McCarthy was calling the plays for the offense.

This is Philbin’s second stint on the Packers coaching staff. He joined Green Bay in 2003 and was with them until 2011 in his final four seasons there he was the offensive coordinator. In 2012 Philbin was hired as the Miami Dolphins head coach. He spent three seasons plus four games as the Dolphins head coach amassing a record of 24-28 while there.

Philbin will be the 15th head coach in Packers history, but it hasn’t been said if he’ an actual candidate for the permanent job or if he’ll just finish out the 2018 season. Maybe if the Packers run the table Philbin would be considered as a serious head coaching candidate.

There was a second firing over the weekend, but this one was in the NBA. The Chicago Bulls decided it was time to move on from head coach Fred Hoiberg after the team started out 5-19 this season.

Hoiberg was in his fourth season with the Bulls and the teams record was worse ever season he was there. After starting out with a winning record at 42-40 in his first season, but not making the playoffs. The Bulls came back and went 41-41 the next year and managed to sneak into the playoffs. They where knocked out in the 1st round. The Bulls fell to 27-55 last season before getting off to such a bad start this season that they decided to make a coaching change.

This was Hoiberg’s first NBA head coaching job. Before getting the Bulls job Hoiberg was head coach at Iowa State University for 5 seasons. Hoiberg had a 115-56 record at Iowa State and made the NCAA Tournament five of the six seasons he coached their. Iowa State mad it to the Sweet 16 one time with Hoiberg as their head coach.

When the Bulls named Hoiberg as their head coach back in June of 2015 they also announced that he had signed a 5-year $25 million dollar deal; so it looks like the Bulls will be paying him not to coach for a period of time.

Jim Boylen will take over as the Bulls head coach in place of Hoiberg. This is the first time that Boylen will be a head coach, but he has many years as an assistant coach.

Boylen has an interesting coaching history. He started as an assistant with Michigan State University from 1987-1992. Then he went to the Houston Rockets from 1992-2003. He spent a year with the Golden Sate Warriors 2003-2004 and then a year with the Milwaukee Bucks 2004-2005 before returning to Michigan State from 2005-2007. Boylen then went to the Utah Jazz from 2007-2011. Then he was with the Indiana Pacers from 2011-2013. Then it was off to the San Antonio Spurs from 2013-2015 before landing in with the Bulls at the start of the 2015 season.

So I guess you can say that Boylen doesn’t have any head coaching experience, but as you can see he has a lot of coaching experience and has been on the coaching staff of three NBA champions.

Of course these won’t be the last two coaching fired in either the NBA or the NFL. These where just two teams that decided to make a change and thought it was better to make it now than wait until the end of or in the case of the NBA the middle of the season to make a move.

You just never know which teams are going to make coaching changes. Remember two of the NFL coaches that where “on the hot seat” Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys and John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens now have the respective teams in the hunt for a playoff spot. I don’t know if that might mean they’re safe as their teams could just as easily fall out of playoff contention, but sometimes you can’t push a coach out the door to quickly.

In the NBA there was some talk very early that Luke Walton’s job with the Los Angeles Lakers might be in trouble because he wasn’t LeBron James’ choice as coach, but that rumor has seemed to have went away. There was also some talk that the Washington Wizards would remove Scott Brooks as their head coach as the team has struggled badly this season, but as of right now Brooks is still their head coach.

Of course these things can change quickly; so who knows who might be the next head coach to go or wat league that coach will be from.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: November 17, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, basketball, NASCAR, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Tomorrow is the final race of the NASCAR season. The Ford EcoBoost 400 will be run at Homestead-Miami Speedway with NASCAR crowning a new champion at the end of the race.

16 drivers started off with a chance to win the title, but now it’s down to four. Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are the four drivers left with a chance to win the Monster Energy Series championship.

Truex Jr. is the defending series champion, so he’ll be looking to become the first repeat champion since Jimmie Johnson did it in 2009-2010. Those were the final two championships of 5 in a row that Johnson won. Adding to the intrigue of another championship for Truex Jr., is the fact that his team, Furniture Row Racing, will be shutting down after tomorrow’s race. Truex Jr. has one win this season. He won the 5th race of the season at California. Can Truex Jr. get his second win of the season which would lead to his second championship tomorrow? Back to back titles could be a fitting way for Truex Jr. to send Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser off. 

Kyle Busch was the 2015 Cup champion when the series was headed up by Sprint. Busch was also the regular season champion for this season. Busch won 8 races this season including last week’s race at ISM Raceway in Phoenix Arizona. Busch drives the #18 car for Joe Gibbs Racing. Will Busch be the driver picking up his second NASCAR championship at the end of tomorrow’s race?

Kevin Harvick also has one Cup championships as he claimed the title back in 2014. Harvick also won 8 races this season including the 3rd, 4th and 5th race of the season. Harvick won two weeks ago at the Texas Motor Speedway for the second consecutive season. Harvick will be trying to pick up his second championship driving the #4 car for Stewart/Hass Racing.

Joey Logano is the only one of the final four drivers looking for his first championship. Logano drives the #22 car for Team Penske. Logano has two wins this season with one of them coming three weeks ago at the Martinsville Speedway. Logano made three appearances in NASCAR’s top series as an 18 year old in 2008 before joining Joe Gibbs Racing full time in 2009. There was a lot of hype for Logano as he picked up the nickname “Sliced Bread” and if he can pick up the first championship of his career it show that even though it’s taken a while people knew what they where talking about.

Who’s your pick for tomorrow’s race? Do you have Logano getting his first championship? Can Truex Jr. send his team out with a championship? Or will it be Harvick or Busch picking up the second championship of their careers?

Heading into tomorrow’s race Denny Hamlin will be the driver who starts on the pole as he claimed that spot with a speed of 173.863 mph. As for the four championship drivers Busch will start right next to Hamlin as he qualified 2nd. Truex Jr. will be the driver starting right behind Hamlin as he’ll start 3rd tomorrow. Logano will be position right behind Truex Jr. as he’ll start 5th while Harvick is a little farther in 12th.

 

Jimmy Butler made his second appearance and his first at home for the Philadelphia 76ers and had better results than game one.

Butler scored a team high 28 points on 12 of 15 shooting as the 76ers picked up a 113-107 victory over the Utah Jazz. Butler added 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals to his stat line in 37 minutes.

Butler’s first game with the 76ers didn’t go as well as they lost 111-106 to the Orlando magic. Butler scored 14 points in 32 minutes of play. He shot 6 of 12 from the field with 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

As Butler finds his role with the 76ers you have to think the addition of a veteran two-way type of player that Butler is, will help this team. Is it enough to get the 76ers though the Eastern Conference and into the NBA Finals? Only time will tell.

Now in Friday night’s Philadelphia win, there was an interesting statistic on the Utah side of the box score.

Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz took 35 shots in the game and while it’s not unusual for an NBA player to take a lot of shots what makes Mitchell’s stat line interesting was the fact that he didn’t have an assist in the game.

Mitchell scored 31 points in the game going 13 of 35 from the field, but just 1 of 11 from behind the 3-point line. While he might not of had an assist in the game Mitchell did have 4 steals and grabbed 2 rebounds.

This was the first time a player had 35 shot attempts with no assists since Carmelo Anthony did it for the New York Knicks on January 24th 2014. Anthony had 62 points n that game. Antoine Walker of the Boston Celtics also had a 35 shot no assist night back on January 7th 1998. Now nobody has taken so many shots with no assist and scored fewer points then Mitchell since Elvin Hayes. Back on February 8th 1969 Hayes scored 28 points going 13 of 40 from the field with no assists. Hayes also grabbed 24 rebounds in that game.

Mitchell’s coach and teammates had no issues at all with him taking 35 shots, but Mitchell himself didn’t seem to thrilled saying “I took 35 shots. That can’t happen. Zero assists, that’s not who I am, that’s not how I play. I know I’m still being aggressive, but I have to be smart.”

The loss dropped the Jazz to a game under .500 at 7-8. It was also Utah’s second loss in a row, but they’ll have a chance to get back to .500 and end that short losing streak tonight as they take on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden Arena tonight.

Just 15 games in it’s tough to tell how the Jazz season will go, but they were a playoff team last season. They won their first round match up against the Oklahoma City Thunder before being knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by the Houston Rockets.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Halloween

Posted: October 31, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NFL’s trade deadline was yesterday and in most cases there aren’t very many trades made let alone players who’s names we know actually getting moved. Yesterday ended up being a little different. While there wasn’t what you’d call a big name player traded all of the guys that where dealt had a name fans would know. Let’s see what we think of who went were.

With it being announced that Will Fuller would miss the rest of the season due to injury the Houston Texans where one of the teams in the market for a wide receiver and they managed to find one in Demaryius Thomas. The Texans sent two draft picks a 4th and a 7th round pick in the 2019 draft to the Denver Broncos to get Thomas and a 2019 7th round pick.

Thomas is in the last year of his contract that pays him $14 million dollars this season. Thomas had started all 8 games for the Broncos this season. He has caught 36 passes for 402 yards and 3 touchdowns. Thomas is a 4 time Pro Bowl selection and while he may not quite be the #1 receiver he use to be the Texans don’t need him to be that guy.

The Philadelphia Eagles where another one of the teams that where reported to be in the market for a wide receiver. With Thomas off the board the Eagles found their receiver in a deal with the Detroit Lions. Philadelphia sent a 3rd round pick in the 2019 draft to the Lions for Golden Tate.

Tate is 31 years old and is in the final year of his contract that pays him a little over $3.7 million dollars this season. Tate has played in 7 games for the Lions this season starting 4 of them. He has caught 44 passes for 517 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tate made his only Pro Bowl in 2014, but has caught at least 90 passes or more in each of the last four seasons.

After what went down in Sunday’s game I guess it wasn’t too big of a surprise when the Green Bay Packers sent Ty Montgomery to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2019 7th round draft pick. Montgomery is just 25 years old and is in the last year of a contract that pays him $379,324 this season.

In Montgomery the Ravens get a versatile player. He started his career as a wide receiver, but when injuries decimated the Packers running backs in 2016 Montgomery stepped in and filled the role for them.

In 7 games this season Montgomery has carried he football 26 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. He has also caught 15 passes for 170 yards. Montgomery has also returned 10 kickoffs with an average of 21 yards per return.

There where also a couple of defensive players who found their way to new teams at the trade deadline.

The Los Angeles Rams added to their defense line as they sent two draft picks a 2019 3rd round pick and a 2020 5th round pick to the Jacksonville Jaquars for Dante Fowler Jr.

In 2015 Fowler Jr. was the 3rd overall pick in that draft, but has been kind of a disappointment in Jacksonville. In 7 games this season Fowler Jr. has 2 sacks and for his career he has 14 sacks in 39 games.

Fowler Jr. is still playing under his rookie contract which has him making a little over $1.9 million dollars this season. There is a 5th year on his rookie contract that would see his salary jump to $14.2 million dollars for next season, but I’m not sure if the Rams would be interested in picking that option up.

In what may have been the biggest surprise at the trade deadline the Green Bay Packers sent HaHa Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins for a 2019 4th round draft pick. Clinton-Dix was the 21st pick in the 2014 draft and has started 65 of the 71 games he’s played in for the Packers.

There was some talk that this was a monetary move by the Packers as Clinton-Dix is in the final year of his contract and Green Bay wanted to get something for him before he went into free agency.  Washington will pick up the rest of Clinton-Dix’s contract which pays him a little over $3.15 million this season.

What do you think of these trades? Who do you feel made the best move at the trade deadline? Is there one player that you thought would get traded that didn’t?

The Cleveland Cavaliers made the first coaching change of the NBA season when they started off 0-6. With Larry Drew as “the voice” as he described it the Cavaliers went out and got their first win of the season last night as they beat the Atlanta Hawks 136-114.

The Cavaliers had seven players score in double digits led by Rodney Hood with 26 points. Tristan Thompson put up a double-double with 11 points and a game high 13 rebounds. #1 draft pick Colin Sexton came off the bench to play 28 minutes and scored 17 points. Sexton’s playing time was stated as one of the big reasons the Cavaliers made a coaching change.

Humorously at 1-6 the Cavaliers aren’t out of any type of playoff race in the Eastern Conference, but if there going to get back into things they’re going to have to do it without Kevin Love.

Love is out with a toe injury and as of now there is no timetable for his return. Love’s injury first came up in pre-season and right now he is just resting hoping to recover in two to three weeks.

You do have to ask yourself if Cleveland is really in all that big of a hurry for Love to return. With the 0-6 start now 1-6 it appeared as though the Cavaliers where in for a down season. If that was the case a healthy Love who is signed to a long term deal could bring back good quality in a trade. Of course to get full value for Love in a trade he’d have to be 100% healthy.

Do you think that Love will be with the Cavaliers for the entire season? Or do you see him being traded?

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 follow me on Twitter @Burketime Happy Halloween