Archive for the ‘MMA’ Category

How was your week

Posted: August 3, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, MMA, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The one and only trade deadline in Major League Baseball has come and gone. There wasn’t as much movement as the experts predicted there would be and a lot of the bigger name teams didn’t even make any deals.

You might think this is the end of players being able to change teams as there are no more waivers to put players through, but there still is a way a lot of people didn’t think of. I noticed that very soon after the trade deadline teams started to designate players for assignment. Now when a player is “designated” their team has 10 days to either trade or release them. Well since being traded is no longer an option these players will become free agents and can sign with the team of their choosing. A designated player can also accept a minor league assignment, but with the veteran player that I’ve seen get the designation tag they won’t be headed to the minors.

The first veteran player that I saw get the designation tag was Jonathan Lucroy of the Los Angeles Angels. Lucroy signed a one year $3.35 million dollar deal with the Angels this past off season. He played in 74 games this season and was hitting .242. That is a low batting average for Lucroy, but as a catcher he brings other things to the game as he’s a solid defender behind the plate and is very good at handling a pitching staff.

The Angels seem to think that they’re a better team with Max Stassi as their catcher. Stassi was acquired from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline for two minor leaguers. Stassi appeared in 31 games for the Astros this season and was hitting .167. In his major league career Stassi is a .217 hitter.

I’m not sure how those numbers added up for the Angels, but they save themselves some money. Lucroy’s name had came up in some trade rumors before the deadline, but no deal was able to be worked out. Now Lucroy is free to sign with the team of his choice.

Asdrubal Cabrera now formerly of the Texas Rangers was another veteran player who found himself DFA’d after the trade deadline.

The Rangers signed Cabrera this past off season for one year at $3.5 million dollar and he was expected to take over at 3rd base for the retired Adrian Beltre. Cabrera played in 93 games this season and was hitting .235 with 12 home runs.

While Cabrera has exclusively played 3rd base this season in his career he’s spent time at 2nd and short; so I would expect that wherever he signs he’ll be used as a utility player.

While it was a bit of a surprise to see Lucroy and Cabrera get DFA’d I was even more surprised when the Pittsburgh Pirates decided that to designate Jung Ho Kang for assignment.

Kang has really struggled this season. He was hitting .169 in the 65 games he played in, but he had hit 10 home runs.

After what was considered a surprising rookie season in 2014 where he finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year balloting Kang followed with a solid 2015. Then after the 2015 season Kang who is a from South Korea got into some legal trouble and was permit to travel to the United States for the 2016 season. He did manage to resolve his legal issues; so he could play last season, but he appeared in just 3 games for the Pirates.

Out of the three players that found themselves DFA’d Kang looks to be the only one that might accept a minor league assignment if offered, but I’m not sure the Pirates will make that offer.

It will be interesting to see if there’s another major league team out their that would be willing to take a look at Kang or if he’ll head back to South Korea and possible find a team in the Korean Baseball Organization to play for. Kang spent 9 seasons in the KBO before joining the Pirates in 2015.

Will designating players become the new waiver deal in baseball or are these just three teams moving on from veteran player with one year left on their contracts? I guess time will tell as will have to see if there are anymore veteran players that meet this fate.

At UFC 240 Cris “Cyborg’ Justino defeated Felicia Spencer by unanimous decision, The win improved her MMA record to 21-2-1, but it also appears that it was her last fight for UFC.

On Friday UFC President Dana White appeared on the company’s YouTube channel and stated that the UFC is “out of the Cyborg business”. White went on to say “I’m going to release her from her contract and I will not match any offers. She is free and clear to go to Bellator or any of these other promotions and fight these easy fights she wants. Done; done deal. I will literally, today, have my lawyer draft a letter to that she is free and clear.

Justino originally signed with UFC in 2013. She was signed to fight in the all female promotion Invicta FC. Justino made five appearance in Invicta before moving over to UFC in 2016.

The boat started rocking earlier this week when Justino was on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show and demanded an apology from White for what she described as ‘bullying” earlier in her career. She also mentioned that this damaged her brand. Now even before this Justino had said that she was going to test free agency and would be taking offers from other promotions. Now with White’s announcement she is free to do that.

It’s unclear where Justino will end up. There had been some talk of her possible following Ronda Rousey into professional wrestling, but that has died down as of late. There was also a mention that she might be interested in a professional boxing match. I’m not sure if there’s enough interest or an opponent that could draw attention to a Cyborg boxing match, but I guess it’s possible.

It’s disappointing that we’re not going to get to see a rematch between Justino and Amanda Nunes. Nunes handed Justino her 2nd career loss with a quick 51 second knockout at UFC 232 and it was always expected that they’d fight again. Of course when it comes to UFC I guess you can never really say never; so maybe we’ll get that rematch at some time.

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How was your week

Posted: May 11, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, MMA, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

According to most of the people who cover and report on the NBA the championship was decided last night. Now it was just a Western Conference semi-finals Game 6, but they feel that these where the best two teams and the winner of this series would go on to win the NBA title. So who won this series and the title last night?

Well it was the Golden State Warriors who beat the Houston Rockets 118-113 last night. Now not only did Golden State win Game 6 on Houston’s home court the Toyota Center but they did it without Kevin Durant.

Durant is consider to be the best or one of the best players in the NBA, bt he was scheduled to miss the rest of the series against the Rockets when he strained a calf in Game 5. As it turned out the Warriors didn’t need him.

Now if you’ve read any of the blog I’ve written here when I talk about the NBA that I don’t enjoy the style of play; so there was no way I was going to sit through an entire game.

I turned the game on just as Klay Thompson hit a 3-pointer to give Golden State a 110-104 lead with 36.1 seconds left in the game.

To be honest I think it took about 20 minutes to play the final 36.1 seconds of this game and I was quite bored, but I managed to stick with it. The Rockets where just throwing up 3-pointers and then fouling; so they where trying to trade 3 points for 2 points and with 3.6 seconds left they had cut the Warriors lead to 3 points at 116-113.

Once Steph Curry got his hands on the basketball and the Rockets had to foul him with just 2.3 seconds left you knew this game was over. Curry didn’t disappoint as he nailed those two free throws to put the game away and end Houston’s season again.

This is the second season in a row that the Warriors have knocked the Rockets out of the playoffs. This was also the 4th time in 5 seasons that the Warriors have eliminated the Rockets from the playoffs.

At this point the Rockets probably have to decided if the combination of James Harden and Chris Paul will ever be able to gte past the Warriors in a playoff series. Especially since last night looked like Houston’s best chance with Durant sidelined.

Curry ended up being the Warriors leading score with 33 points even though he went scoreless in the fist half of the game. Curry went 9 of 20 from the field including 4 of 11 from behid the 3-point line, but he made all 14 of the free throws he shot to get him to that 33 number.

Klay Thompson added 27 points while Andre Iguadala was the other Golden State starter to score in double digits with 17 points. Kevin Looney and Shaun Livingston helped pick up the score void in Durant’s absence. Looney went for 14 points while Livingston added 11 points. Draymond Green grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 7 assists to lead the Warriors in those categories.

In a losing effort James Harden led the Rockets with a game high 35 points. Harden added 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, but it just wasn’t enough to get the Rockets a Game 6 win.

Chris Paul and Clint Capela each had double-doubles as Paul went for 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Capela had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Paul also handed out a team high 6 assists. P.J. Tucker was the other Rockets starter to reach double figures in scoring with 15 points.

The Rockets bench didn’t have much affect on the outcome of this game. Houston got 17 points in 50 total minutes from the four players who came in off the bench.

Golden State will get some time off to rest and hopefully Durant will be healthy for the Western Conference finals which start on Tuesday. Who will Golden State be playing in those Western Conference finals? Well they’re going to have to wait until Sunday to find that out.

We actually have not one, but two Game 7’s on Sunday. The Portland Trail Blazers are at the Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon to start the NBA action. Then the Toronto Raptors will host the Philadelphia 76ers in a Game 7 with the winner going to the Eastern Conference finals to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee advanced to the Eastern Conference finals this past Wednesday when they eliminated the Boston Celtics in five Games. Milwaukee won Game 5 116-91 on Wednesday.

So who do you have n these two game 7’s? Are you going with Toronto or Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference? What about the Western Conference; do you like the Trail Blazers or the Nuggets to advance?

Anderson Silva is fighting tonight on UFC’s 237 card. Silva will fight Jared Cannonier tonight.

Silva is 44 years old and has three fights left on the current contract he has with the UFC. Obviously he’ll have two fights left after tonight. Apparently it doesn’t matter how many fights Silva has left on any contract because according to his manager Jorge Guimaraes; Silva and the UFC are in talks about a contract extension.

Silva is 34-9-1 with one no-contest in his UFC career. He’s coming into tonight’s fight off of a loss. Silva dropped an unanimous decision to Israel Adesanya on UFC 234 February 10th in Melbourne Australia.

This is the quickest turnaround for Silva in his UFC career. Before the fight with Adesanya he had almost a two year lay off.

Silva held the UFC middleweight title from 2006 to 2013 which covered 10 fights; a UFC record at the time. Silva still holds the UFC record for most consecutive victories with 16. Silva is considered one of the greatest UFC fighters of all-time and a sure Hall of Fame selection when he final does decide to retire.

Silva is looking to turn around the struggles he’s had. He has only one fight since 2012; a span of 7 fights. The win came against Derek Brunson on February 11th 2017.

Silva has also had two suspensions in that time frame after testing positive for a prohibited substance. Now the USADA; which is the UFC’s anti-doping partner did over turn Silva’s suspensions saying they where caused by a contaminated dietary supplement.

Do you have Silva getting a win tonight?

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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?

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In 2013 Carlos Gomez was with the Milwaukee Brewers. He hit .284 with 24 home runs, 73 RBI’s, 10 triples and 40 stolen bases. He made his first All-Star team won his first Gold Glove and finished 9th in MVP voting. Gomez hit .284 again in 2014 he had 23 home runs and again had 73 RBI’s to go along with 34 stolen bases. He made the All-Star team again and finished 16th in MVP voting. In 2013 the Brewers finished 4th in the NL Central. In 2014 they looked to be a playoff team and led the division for quite a while before faltering and ending up in 3rd place with a record of 82-80. As the 2015 rolled around the Brewers appeared to be a struggling team and there was talk of tearing the team down and rebuilding. Gomez was seen as a great trade piece and the Brewers used him as that. Gomez was sent to the Houston Astros along with pitcher Mike Fiers and cash in exchange for at the time four minor league players; Josh Hader, Brett Phillips, Adrian Houser and Domingo Santana. The Astros where in the pennant race and Gomez looked to be the missing piece in their outfield. Gomez played 41 games for the Astros in the 2014 season. He hit .242 with 4 home runs and 13 RBI’s, but did add 10 steals. Gomez hit a solo home run in the Astros wild card victory over the New York Yankees. Gomez did homer in the ALDS against the Kansas City Royals, but that was one of just three hits Gomez had in the 5 games he played in. Houston lost that series to the eventually World Series champion Royals. Houston looked like they’re rebuild was going well and coming into the 2016 series they where ready to contend and they had a two-time All-Star centerfielder in Gomez for the entire season. Gomez battled some injuries and you have to wonder if his personality just didn’t fit with the Astros. In 85 games with the Astros Gomez was hitting .210 with 5 home runs and 29 RBI’s before being released on August 18th. Since no other team claimed Gomez and the Astros couldn’t find a deal for him after they designated him for assignment he now becomes a free agent and Houston will be on the hook for the rest of his $9 million dollar salary. Is there a playoff contender out there that might take a shot at bringing Gomez in and if they did could he help them?

Let’s see if we can find a new team for Gomez. How about the Miami Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton is out for the season with a Grade 3 hamstring strain. While Gomez could never replace the production Stanton provides he still is a solid defender and can still steal a base. The Marlins are going with Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Ichiro Suzuki as their everyday outfield. I love Ichiro, but he is 42 years old and you have to wonder if he can be a productive everyday player. Gomez and Ichiro could make a nice platoon type of situation and then the Marlins would also have a bench piece to turn to late in games.

How about the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers look to be fading in the AL Central race and they need t do something to get their team going. Cameron Maybin is on the DL and they’ve lost infielders Nick Castellanos and Jose Iglesias. Gomez would be an upgrade over the platoon their now using of Tyler Collins and Alex Presley. The Tigers are scrambling to stay in the AL Central race and the $100,000 it would cost them to bring Gomez in could be money well spent if he performs like he did back in Milwaukee.

How about the Texas Rangers. Shim-Soo Choo is lost for the season and the Rangers will have to turn to Delino DeShields, Ryan Rua and Drew Stubbs to fill the void. The Rangers have a solid lead in the AL West, but the addition of a player like Gomez could help come playoff time. Going to a team like the Rangers could give Gomez the time he needs to get back on track without the pressure of a pennant race.

How about the New York Mets. The Mets have one of the worst offenses in baseball. Remember last season they went out and picked up Yoenis Cespedes and that helped them make a playoff run that ended in a World Series lost, but they did get there. Don’t forget the Mets lost Juan Lagares for the season and with Cespedes returning from the DL soon the addition of Gomez could spark the team again.

How about the St. Louis Cardinals. Now this normally isn’t a move the Cardinals would make, but they did just lose outfielder Matt Holiday for at least the remainder of the regular season. Randall Grichuk has been back and forth to Triple-A a few times this season, but has been hot as of late. Gomez is more of a natural centerfielder than Grichuk. Then if Holiday does return for the playoffs Gomez could work into the outfield rotation or be a bat off the bench.

There are 5 possible landing spots for Carlos Gomez, but there could actual be more. Don’t be surprised if teams like the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays or even the San Francisco Giants kick the tires on Gomez. Whoever Gomez ends up with it will be interesting to see which player they get. Will they get the guy who use to get MVP votes or are they getting the .210 hitter the Astros released.

UFC 202 is tonight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event on the card is the re-match of Nate Diaz vs. Connor McGregor. Diaz took the first fight between these two on short notice and pulled off the upset by getting McGregor to tap out to a choke hold. McGregor was on top of the world at the time of that loss and will be looking for revenge. Oddly Diaz was so disgruntled with the sport and his contract in 2014; he actually requested a release from the UFC. Now I’m not a huge UFC fan; so I have no idea who’s going to win this fight. What I do wonder is if McGregor picks up the win do we get a third fight between these two? Now if Diaz gets the win tonight you have t start wondering what this will do to McGregor’s standing in the UFC. I’ve seen both guys picked to win this fight and since I’m clueless on this I would just hope for a good fight.

There are four featured undercard bouts on UFC 202. Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira in a light-weight bout. There are two welterweight fights on the undercard. Donald Cerrone vs. Rick Story and Neil Magny vs. Lorenz Larkin. The fourth fight features bantamweights Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki.

Are you buying the pay per view?

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There have been a few projections and predictions released for the upcoming Major League Baseball season even though spring training has just started. From what I’ve seen a lot of people are back on the Cleveland Indians again. The Indians where a trendy pick last season and I believe it was Sports Illustrated that picked them to win the World Series. The Indians finished 81-80 last season good for 3rd in the American League Central, but  13 1/2 games behind the world champion Kansas City Royals. I’m trying to figure out what moves the Indians have made this off season to propel them into the playoffs. I’m not really into breaking teams down here, but let’s take a look at the Indians.

one through four in the starting rotation for the Indians is as good as just about any other team out there. Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer should give the Indians a chance to win just about every time they make a start. It should come down to Cody Anderson, Josh Tomlin or possible T.J. House for the 5th starter spot in the rotation. Cody Allen is a solid closer and Bryan Shaw is a good set up man, but getting the baseball to these two is where some of the bullpen issues may come up. Zach McAllister may have found a home in the bullpen, but he’ll need help in the middle relief role from Jeff Manship and veteran signings Tom Gorzelanny, Tommy Hunter and Joba Chamberlain. While pitching seems to look good for the Indians what about there everyday line up. The best player on the Indians and one of the more under rated ones in baseball is outfielder Michael Brantley and he’s injured. I’ve heard reports that Brantley might be ready for opening day and then there are reports that he’ll be out until May. Collin Cowgill looks to be the guy in line to fill in for Brantley, but Rajai Davis was signed as a free agent this off season and he may see some time in left field as well if Brantley is out. Abraham Almonte is scheduled to be the starting centerfielder. Almonte has played in 166 games over the last 3 seasons in the majors. Almonte is a career .244 career hitter, but did put up his best numbers with Cleveland at the end of last season. Almonte hit .264 with 5 home runs and had 5 triples in 51 games for Cleveland last season. Lonnie Chisenhall is going to be given a chance to be the everyday rightfielder. Giovanny Urshela is scheduled to be the everyday guy at 3rd base, but Juan Uribe was signed this week as insurance. Urshella got an 81 game look last season, but hit just .225. I don’t think Uribe can play everyday; so the Indians will have to get something out of Urshella to make something out of this position. Up the middle the Indians appear to be set. Francisco Lindor hit better at the major league level than he every did at any minor league stop. Can he do that again? Jason Kipnis bounced back after a down 2014 hitting .303, but his power number where still down as he hit just 9 home runs. The 1st base/Designated Hitter role looks like it will be split in some way shape or form between Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli. Santana looked to be on an upward career path, but the last 2 seasons he’s hit just .231, but his power numbers are still good. Santana has had 100 plus RBI’s the last 2 seasons and should be a 20-25 home run guy. Napoli struggled greatly wit the Boston Red Sox last season, but after being dealt to the Texas Rangers he hit much better. Napoli is a career .253 hitter, but he should give Cleveland another player who can hit 20-25 home runs. Catcher Yan Gomes is trying to comeback from a knee injury that limited him to just 95 games last season. Gomes was able to put up 12 home runs in his limited playing time, but his batting average fell to .231. Cleveland needs Gomes to get his average closer to his 2014 number of .278 when he was the full time catcher. Now this isn’t really an offense that should scare anybody and if Brantley misses the first month of the season they could start off in a hole. The pitching should be able to keep them in games, but will they win more games 2-1 or lose more games 3-2? If you’re an Indians fan out there reading this help me out and give me your take on the team.

Denny Hamlin won his first Daytona 500 and it was by the closet margin ever. Hamlin beat out Martin Truex Jr. by one-hundredth of a second. Sadly Hamlin wasn’t one of Chris Olmstead’s picks on the Sunday morning edition of Sports Time Radio. If was a rough week for Chris’ picks. Two of his picks Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott were involved in accidents and finished 35th and 36th respectively. His 3rd pick Jimmie Johnson got shuffled back on the last lap and finished in 16th place. Now it’s on to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Chris will join us again Sunday morning to preview the race and make his picks.

The UFC had to do some juggling when Rafael dos Anjos had to withdraw from the main event against Connor McGregor after breaking his foot in training and the pay per view just a couple of weeks away. McGregor who is the champion at 145 was moving up to 155 to fight dos Anjos. Now McGregor is going to move up two weight classes to fight Nate Diaz at 170 pounds. While the fight will be non-title; it will be the main event for UFC 196. Diaz is 18-10 in his career but is coming off a win in his last fight. Diaz won a decision against Michael Johnson on December 19th. Had the dos Anjos bout held up, McGregor would have attempted to become the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold titles in multiple weight classes. He had expressed interest in eventually fighting for the promotion’s welterweight title as well. Diaz is a former lightweight title challenger. Diaz lost to then champion Benson Henderson by unanimous decision in December 2012. The other featured bout on UFC 196 is women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm facing off against Miesha Tate. It will be Holm’s first title defense since her stunning second round knockout of Ronda Rousey on November 15th.

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Did you have it being the Portland Trail Blazers? Well it was the Trail Blazers who handed the Golden State Warriors their 5th loss of the season 137-105 behind 51 points from Damien Lillard. The Trail Blazers jumped out to a 42-31 lead after the 1st quarter and never looked back. The 137 points were the most by a Golden State opponent this season, and the 32-point margin of defeat was the Warriors most lopsided loss this season. While Lillard’s and the Trail Blazers offensive numbers will be what everyone see’s it was there defense that stepped up and helped them get this win. Golden State had 20 turnovers in the game with 13 of them coming in the 3rd quarter alone. Lillard made 9 of the 12 3-point shots he took and was 18 for 28 from the field overall to get to that 51 point total. C.J. McCollum added 21 points for the Trail Blazers. McCollum went 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point line and was 9 of 18 from the field in the game. Mason Plumlee and Gerald Henderson (off the bench) each added 12 points while Maurice Harkless had 11 points and tied for the team lead in rebounds at 8 with Ed Davis. It was McCollum and Lillard who ended up tied for the team lead in assists with 7 apiece. The Trail Blazers actually made a better percentage of their shots from behind the 3-point line than they did from the field. Portland made 17 of the 30 (56.7%) 3-pointers they shot while they where 52 of 97 (53.6%) from the field overall. Stephen Curry led Golden State in scoring with 31 points, but more importantly may be the fact that he played just over 26 minutes in the game. Klay Thompson added 23 points while Draymond Green had 14 points and was the team leader in rebounds with 12 and assists with 8, but also had 9 turnovers in the game. Mareese Spreights was the only other Golden State player to score in double figures with 10 points.

Lillard became the first player to have 50 points, 7 assists and 6 steals since the steal became a statistic in 1973-74. Curry had his 101st road game in which he made a 3-pointer. He’s the only player ever to reach the triple digit of that streak. He also has made a 3-pointer in 124 consecutive games;  putting him just 3 games behind the NBA record. On a side note Trail Blazers guard Brian Roberts who was traded twice at the deadline this week made his debut. Roberts scored 7 points in just under 5 minutes of action.

The Trail Blazers get a day off before hosting the Utah Jazz on Sunday while the Warriors have to turn right around and face the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night in Los Angeles. Could Golden State actually drop a 2nd game in a row t the Clippers tonight?

While there wasn’t that star player type traded at the deadline there where a few teams that made moves that could help them down the stretch and into the playoffs. I liked the addition of Randy Foye to the Oklahoma City Thunder bench. While Foye is averaging a career low 6 points this season he is playing just under 20 minutes a game. I a better offense he should get that scoring average closer to his career number of 11 points a game. The other move that might not only help the team this season it might add to the off season drama was when the Clippers added Jeff Green. The interesting part t this is that Green plays pretty much the same position as Blake Griffin. In Memphis Green was expected t be more of an offensive force where with the Clippers he’ll be able to easily slid into the line up with Chris Paul running the show. Green averages 14.1 points per game in his career, but you’d think in an uptempo Clippers offense that number will go up. The team I thought was the big winner at the trade deadline was the Detroit Pistons. Now they did lose their first game out of the gate after the trade deadline last night 98-86 to the Washington Wizards. The Pistons added Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic along with Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline and while Harris was Detroit’s leading scorer last night with 21 points neither Thornton or Motiejunas played. With the trade and the travel Montiejunas and Thornton should make their debuts for the Pistons Sunday when the play host to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pistons are currently 27-28 and in 9th place in the Eastern Conference, but are just a 1 1/2 behind the Chicago Bulls for the 8th and final playoff spot. If it doesn’t take the Pistons to long to gel with the new additions they should be able to get themselves into the Eastern Conference playoff picture and might even be a threat to the top teams. If you have to say there where any losers at the trade deadline it would be any of the contending teams that didn’t make moves to get better. With the exception of the Thunder and the Clippers no other contending team made a move that might help them in the smallest way to catch the teams at the top right now like Golden State or the San Antonio Spurs. With about 30 games in the regular season we’ll see how this plays out for these teams, but right now do you see any other team besides Golden State holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy in the end?

The Bellator MMA promotion went back in time to get there main event for the Bellator 149 card. The main event was Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock and the tag line for the fight was that it would end their feud. With the ending of this fight I don’t really think anything was solved and you have to wonder if they’ll try this fight one more time. Gracie was awarded a first round TKO victory, but it appeared as though it was a knee to the groin that sent Shamrock to the canvas. As the two fighters where in a clinch the 49 year old Gracie threw a knee at the 52 year old Shamrock that appeared to catch him in or around the groin area. Shamrock went to the mat and Gracie knelt over him throwing punches until referee Jacab Mantalvo stopped the fight at 2.22 of the 1st round. A stat hat some people might find strange; this was the first knockout of Gracie’s career. The semi-main event was a match up of You Tube sensations as Kimbo Slice (Kevin Ferguson) faced off against Dada 500 (Dhafir Harris). The end came on the 3rd round as an exhausted Harris  collapsed to the canvas following a punch from Slice; that didn’t appear to connect. Harris who is 38 years old and hasn’t fought professionally since 2011; landed his fair share of punches in the bout, but he was visibly winded early in the first round. The 42 year old Slice didn’t look much better. The two leaned on one another, exhausted, throughout the fight and the referee was forced to separate them numerous times due to inactivity. Harris was never knocked down from any of the shots, but the amount of shots he took eventually took an effect and he collapsed awkwardly in a heap. Harris was taken out of the cage by stretcher, but Bellator officials said he was able to sit and receive oxygen shortly after going backstage. The end of this fight received quite a bit of booing from the crowd.

I haven’t been invested in watching MMA in quite a while; so I really don’t know what to think about this card. Do you want to see a Shamrock/Gracie rematch?

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