Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 26, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, hockey, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was caught off guard yesterday by the news that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be retiring at the end of this NASCAR season. Earnhardt Jr. missed the last 18 races of the 2016 season with concussion like symptoms, but was medically cleared to return to racing this season. Even though Earnhardt Jr. missed pretty much the entire second half of the 2016 season he still won Most Popular Driver as voted by the National Motorsports Press Association. It was the 14th year in a row that Earnhardt Jr. had won that award. Career wise Earnhardt Jr. won 26 races and 9 exhibition races; he is also one of only eight drivers to have won the Daytona 500 two or more times. Earnhardt Jr. won his first Daytona 500 in 2004 and then 10 years later in 2014 he won the race again. Earnhardt Jr. was actually leading this years Daytona 500 when he got caught up in a wreck. He ended up finishing 37th.

Even though he won’t be behind the wheel any more don’t expect Earnhardt Jr. to be too far away from the race track. He still co-owns JR Motorsports which is involved in the NASCAR Xfinity and truck series.

It’s been a slow start to the 2017 season for Earnhardt Jr. His best finish was a 5th place at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9th. That’s been his only Top 10 finish so far this season, but there are 28 races left this season. It would be nice to see Earnhardt Jr. get himself into The Chase and have a chance to win a championship in his final season.

Dustin Pedroia has missed the last two Boston Red Sox games after Manny Machado slide into and past 2nd base spiking Pedroia in the calf area. There was some swelling in the area that caused Pedrioa to sit out the final two games of that series against the Baltimore Orioles. There where reports that Machado reached out to Pedroia via text message and apologized for the incident and it appeared that the two players had worked things out between themselves.

On Saturday there was no attempt made by the Red Sox to retaliate on behalf of Pedroia and it looked like everything was put in the past. Then in the final game of the series on Sunday Machado came up to bat with Matt Barnes pitching for the Red Sox. The first pitch Barnes threw to Machado was a 90 plus mile an hour fastball behind his head that actually hit Machado’s bat. Barnes was ejected after that pitch and Machado went on to hit a RBI double off Joe Kelly who came in to replace Barnes. After this incident Machado and Pedroia exchanged words while Machado was in the on deck circle and it seemed as though Pedroia was saying that he didn’t ask the Red Sox or in this case Barnes to do that.

Now I would’ve had absolutely no problem at all if the Red Sox would’ve hit Machado as some type of retaliation for his slide into Pedroia, but my issue with this is you don’t go head hunting when you’re doing it. There was a similar incident in the Minnesota Twins/Detroit Tigers series over the weekend and when the Tigers pitcher retaliated he threw at the rear end of the Twins batter. Now that I can deal with, but you can’t go up around or after a guys head when you’re doing this.

Now I was hoping that Major League Baseball would come down on Barnes hard and set an example of what they would do to pitchers who go head hunting, but sadly they choked in a big way. All Barnes got was a 4-game suspension for throwing at someone’s head and he’s appealing that. This is just sad and a huge joke at the hands of Major League Baseball. Barnes should’ve easily gotten double digit games for what he did and to suspend him for just 4 games is laughable. What would’ve been Barnes suspension had he actually hit Machado in the head? Machado would’ve missed multiple games with the concussion he probably would’ve gotten from the pitch had it hit him. Is that what it would’ve of taken for Barnes to get and actual punishment. Major League Baseball truly dropped the (base)ball in this time and I hope it doesn’t take someone getting hit in the head by a pitcher who’s retaliating for one of his players for them to realize that this is a serious issue and it needs a serious suspension.

The 2nd round of the NHL playoffs gets started tonight. The Western Conference series will drop the puck tonight. The teams that knocked out the #1 and #2 seeds in the Western Conference will meet in the 2nd round as the St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their series. Then the Anaheim Ducks will host the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their 2nd round series. Both of these games can be seen on the NBS Sports Network.

On Thursday the 2nd round in the Eastern Conference gets started. The Ottawa Senators host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their series. This game will be shown on CNBC. Then a half an hour after the first game starts the series that everyone is talking about gets started as the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins in game 1 of that series.

Now I don’t want to take anything away from the Rangers or the senators as they both won their 1st round series and deserve to be here, but does it seem right that the Capitals and the Penguins are meeting in the 2nd round and not the Conference Finals? Most people thought that the Capitals and the Penguins where the best two teams coming into the playoffs and now they meet in the 2nd round; that just doesn’t seem right to me. I know the NHL re-did their playoff format, but I don’t understand how the teams with the top two points on the season should meet in the 2nd round of the playoffs. I don’t know maybe it’s just me. Feel free to let me know what you think of the NHL playoff seeding for the 2nd round in the comments.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Boston Celtics 104 Chicago Bulls 95

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston Celtics 104 Chicago Bulls 87

Posted: April 22, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After dropping the first two games of the series at home the Boston Celtics righted their ship as they came into Chicago for Game 3 and easily beat the Bulls 104-87. Even with the win the Celtics are down 2 games to 1 in the series, but it looks as though the Bulls will have to play this series without point guard Rajon Rondo who missed Game 3 and is out with a broken right thumb.

The Bulls came out and had a horrible opening quarter as they managed to score just 15 points. With the Bulls struggling the Celtics built a 10 point lead at 14-4 with 7:20 left in the quarter. Chicago did bounce back and cut that lead to four points at 14-10 with 5:41 left in the quarter. Boston then scored the next 13 points to push the lead back into double digits at 27-10 with 2:03 left in the quarter. Boston added one point to it’s lead in the final two minutes of the quarter and took a 33-15 lead into the 2nd quarter.

As bad as the Bulls where in the 1st quarter the Celtics where actually worse in the 2nd quarter. Boston managed to score just 11 points in the entire quarter. Luckily for the Celtics they had a big enough lead and while the Bulls did put up 26 points in the 2nd quarter it wasn’t enough to take the lead away from Boston. So even with an 11 point 2nd quarter the Celtics went into halftime with a three point lead at 44-41.

The Bulls cut the lead to one point at 44-43 on two made Jerian Grant free throws early in the 3rd quarter, but Boston ran off 9 of the games next 11 points to take a 53-45 lead with 9:11 left in the quarter. The Bulls never got closer than six points and Boston was able to build it’s double digit lead back at 60-50 with 6:15 left in the quarter. The Celtics lead never fell under 10 points and they where able to add three more pints to that lead taking a 76-63 lead into the final quarter.

While the 4th quarter was the tightest quarter played between the two teams Boston did find a way to build a 20 point lead 97-77 with 4:11 left in the game. While the Bulls where able to keep the Celtics lead under 20 points after that they never did get within 15 points of the lead and with the Celtics getting the last bucket of the game it was a 17 point 104-87 win for Boston.

While Rajon Rondo didn’t play for the Bulls he did end up getting into a little action. After Jae Crowder hit a jumper and jawed a little with the Bulls bench it appeared as though Rondo stuck out his leg in an attempt to trip Crowder as he went by. After the game Rondo said he was “stretching” his leg.

Al Horford was the Celtics top scorer with 18 points and he also led the team in rebounds with 8. Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder each had 16 points while Thomas also handed out a game high 9 assists. Avery Bradley added 15 points while Terry Rozier came off the Boston bench to score 11 points.

Dwayne Wade tied Horford for the games top scoring honors leading the Bulls with 18 points. Jimmy Butler had 14 points while Robin Lopez scored 12 and Nikola Mirotic added 11 points. Paul Zipser came off the Bulls bench to add 10 points while Cristiano Felicio grabbed a game high 11 rebounds off the Bulls bench. Wade, Mirotic and Michael Carter-Williams tied for the team lead in assists with 3 each.

The team get a day off as the series stays on Chicago for a Sunday start time of 5:30 p.m. cst and the Bulls ahead 2-1 in games.

How was your week

Posted: April 22, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Since they run at the same time against each the NBA playoffs and the NHL playoffs will always be compared to each other. While the NBA is more popular and the NHL is regulated to second tier status as a major sport their playoffs especially the 1st round is so much better it’s not even funny. Let’s take a look.

The top teams in the NBA the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are both undefeated in their series. Golden State has had two very easy wins. The Cavaliers are up 3-0 in their series, but it hasn’t been easy. Of course neither of these teams are in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs. In the NHL the top two teams where the Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens. Well the Blackhawks where easily swept out of the playoffs by the 8th seeded Nashville Predators and while the Canadiens are up in their series 3-2 they’ve had their hands full with the 8th seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. To be fair the Cavaliers are the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they’re everyone’s pick to get to the NBA finals from that conference. There’s even a #2 seed in trouble in the NHL playoffs. The St. Louis Blues currently have a 3-1 lead in their series against the #2 seeded Minnesota Wild. The only thing close to this in the NBA is the 8th seeded Chicago Bulls having a 2-1 lead in their series against the #1 seeded Boston Celtics.

If you’ve been watching both of these playoffs; what has been more interesting and or exciting to you?

While I made a quick mention of where some of the series are, but here’s here they all currently stand.

In the Eastern Conference the Celtics are down 2-1 to the Bulls. The Cavaliers are up 3-0 on the Indiana Pacers. The Milwaukee Bucks are up 2-1 on the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards are up 2-0 on the Atlanta Hawks. In the Western Conference the Warriors are up 2-0 on the Trailblazers. The San Antonio Spurs are up 2-1 on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Houston Rockets are up 2-1 on the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers are up 2-1 on the Utah Jazz.

Over in the NHL the Capitals are up 3-2 on the Maple Leafs in  their Eastern Conference series. The other Eastern Conference series look like this. The New York Rangers are up 3-2 on the Montreal Canadiens. The Pittsburgh Penguins swept the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 to advance to the 2nd round. While the Ottawa Senators are up 3-2 on the Boston Bruins. In the Western Conference you know the Nashville Predators have moved into the 2nd round knocking out the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1st round 4-0. The St. Louis Blues are up on the Minnesota Wild 3-1 in that series. The Anaheim Ducks advance to the 2nd round by sweeping the Calgary Flames 4-0 in their series and the Edmonton Oilers lead the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in that series.

For the first time in his career Madison Bumgarner will be making a trip to the disabled list. Now it’s never a shock to see a pitcher go on the disable list and now with the new 10-day version of the list teams seem to be using it more and more for everyone including pitchers. Oddly though Bumgarner’s injury didn’t happen while he was pitching for the San Francisco Giants. Yesterday the Giants announced that Bumgarner would be heading to the disabled with because he was injured in a dirt biking accident on Thursday the teams off day. It’s being reported that Bumgarner injured his ribs and sprained his left (throwing) shoulder. Bumgarner’s ribs are said to be bruised, but the injury to his shoulder is said to be a Grade 1 or Grade 2 sprain. San Francisco has set no time table for Bumgarner’s return. The only thing the Giants have said is that Bumgarner is out of the hospital and is resting at the teams hotel. The Giants plan to re-evaluate Bumgarner next week, but early reports are saying that the pitcher will be out 6 to 8 weeks. Bumgarner is not expected to speak about his injury until the Giants return home from their current road trip on Monday. Giants manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti both did comment on the situation. Bochy said “He’s a young guy like a lot of us and he thinks he’s invincible. He’s just having fun that day hit a slippery spot and went down. I’m sure looking at it now Madison wishes he wouldn’t have gotten on the bike . He was very remorseful in talking to him. Unfortunately an accident happened.” Righetti went a little different way with his comments saying. “Off days are the freaking worst. We don’t get many and when we do guys want to go do those things that they’re missing out on. Things like this do happen; unfortunately.”

Bumgarner has made four starts this season. He is 0-3 with an E.R.A. of 3.00 over 27 innings this season. He has struck out 28 batters while walking just 4. To fill Bumgarner’s roster spot the Giants called up right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton. Stratton has been pitching for the Sacramento River Cats in Triple-A. Stratton has pitched in 2 games both in relief covering 10 1/3rd innings. Stratton has stuck out 2 while walking 1 and has an E.R.A, of 7.84. Stratton did pitch out of the Giants bullpen in 2016 appearing in 7 games covering 10 innings. Stratton was 1-0 with a 3.60 E.R.A. out of the Giants bullpen last season.

San Francisco hasn’t announced who will fill in for Bumgarner in the starting rotation, but since they called up a reliever you have to think that left-hander Ty Blach may get the first look. Blach made the team out of soring training, but has been working out of the bullpen so far this season, but Blach did make 2 starts for San Francisco last season. Blach was a 2012 5th round draft pick of the Giants. Blach made 98 minor league starts before pitching out of the bullpen at the major league level.

Is Bumgarner’s injury the weirdest one you’ve heard of? Please post in the comments if you have one that’s stranger.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com as well as at TuneIn.com You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Chicago Bulls 111 Boston Celtics 97

Posted: April 19, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I heard one of the local sportswriters say that we could throw out the Chicago Bulls inconsistent regular season play heading into the playoffs. I’m disappointed that I can’t remember who said this because through two games he’s right on.

The Chicago Bulls went into Boston and took the first two games in their playoff series against the Celtics as last night they won Game 2 by 14 points 111-97.

The Celtics scored the first seven points of the game before the Bulls came back to take their first lead of the game at 11-10. Chicago then went on a 9 to 1 run to take a 20-11 lead. After Boston broke the Bulls run Chicago was able to build it’s biggest lead of the quarter at 27-15 with 3:04 left to play. Boston was able to cut into the Bulls lead in those final three minutes as they scored nine of the quarters final 13 points. After one quarter the Bulls had a 31-26 lead.

With an 8 to 2 run to start the 2nd quarter the Celtics where able to regain the lead at 34-33 early in the quarter. There was a quick trade off of the lead between the teams before the Bulls went back to the lead and where able to build their lead back to double digits. Chicago had a 50-39 lead with 3:36 left in the quarter. The Celtics where again able to cut into the Bulls lead heading towards the end of a quarter, but this time Boston could only get the lead down to eight points as the Bulls went into halftime with a 54-46 lead.

Boston again got off to a quick start in the 3rd quarter as they scored nine of the quarters 13 points and cut the Bulls lead to three points at 58-55 with 9:30 left in the quarter. After a couple of free throws by Isaiah Thomas the Celtics had the Chicago lead down to two points at 62-60 with 7:26 left in the quarter. Then it was the Bulls turn to make a run. Chicago went on a 19 to 5 run to build a 14 point lead at 79-65 with 3:49 left to play. This time Boston was only able to knock two points off of the Bulls lead as Chicago took an 11 point lead 86-75 into the final quarter.

The closest the Celtics could get in the 4th quarter was seven points at 89-82 with 9:00 minutes left in the game. When Dwayne Wade hit a 3-pointer with 6:52 left in the game the Bulls had pushed their lead into double digits at 98-86. The Celtics where never able to cut the Bulls lead to under 10 points the remainder of the game and at one point the Bulls pushed their lead to 17 points at 109-92 with just 1:35 left to play. Boston added five points to the Bulls two points, but it was too late as the Bulls took Game 2 by a final score of 111-97.

The Bulls had six players score in double figures as all five of their starters and one bench player reached that point plateau. Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade each scored a game high 22 points for Chicago. Robin Lopez scored 18 points while Nikola Mirotic added 13 points. Rajon Rondo scored 11 points while handing out a game high 14 assists and grabbing a team high 9 rebounds. Paul Zipser came off the bench to score 16 points for the Bulls.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics in scoring with 20 points. Jae Crowder added 16 points while Avery Bradley scored 12 points. Marcus Smart came off the bench to score 13 points. Kelly Olynyk also reached double digits off the Celtics bench scoring 11 points/ Olynyk also handed out a team high 7 assists. Al Horford grabbed a game high 11 rebounds in the game.

The win gives the Bulls a 2-0 lead in the series. The teams will get two days off as the series shifts to Chicago for Friday nights Game 3.

 

I’m sure most if not all people know this, but when a team wins a World Series it’s not just the players who get rings. In the case of the Chicago Cubs it was reported that they bought 1908 World Series rings and pins. Now in a lot of cases employees have turned around and sold these rings on the secondary market. There are reports that the rings the Cubs just received could go for $80,000 or more if they where to be sold. Now the Chicago Cubs and the Ricketts family are trying to avoid that by making everyone who got a ring except the players sign an agreement saying that if the owner of the ring tries to sell or transfer your ring you must notify the Cubs in writing of the proposed transaction and a complete accounting of the terms. This is according to a memo obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. The memo goes on to say “If the Cubs elect not to purchase the ring, then you may transfer it according to the terms you provided to the Cubs; however, each subsequent owner shall also be bound by these terms in the event of a subsequent proposed sale or other transfer.” Rings may also be given as gifts, but the same terms apply. How much would you get if the Cubs decide to buy your ring back? $1! Now players are expected to pay taxes on their ring while the Cubs will pick up the tax bill for the lower level employees.

Now the Cubs may be the first World series winner to do this, but this is not the first major award that has this type of stipulation. The Heisman trophy comes along with a set of rules after you win it and so does an Oscar.

Do you think it’s fair for the Cubs to make their employees do this? In some cases the ring could be worth more than that employee makes in an entire year. Please let me know what you think.

It appears as though former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has committed suicide in prison this morning. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of double murder. The report says that Hernandez died in his prison cell after hanging himself with his bedsheet.

While it’s sad to see a 27 year old man with a young daughter take his own life. You have to remember that he was convicted of killing a man and that’s why he was in prison.

The New England Patriots drafted Hernandez in the 4th round of the 2010 draft. Hernandez played in 38 games over three seasons with New England. He caught 175 passes for 1956 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Starling Marte was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. Marte tested positive for nandrolone, which violated MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately. Marte is eligible to return in mid July. Marte addressed his teammates in a closed door meeting Tuesday afternoon, but he did not meet with the news media.

With Marte out until after the All-Star break; who will play centerfield? Pirates manager Clint Hurdle came out yesterday and said that Andrew McCutchen will move back to that position. At the beginning of this season McCutchen was moved to rightfield so Marte could play centerfield.

I thought that the Pirates would bring up top outfield prospect Austin Meadows, but it was outfielder Jose Osuna who got the call up from Triple-A Indianapolis. Osuna is the Pirates 28th ranked prospect. Meadows is off to a very slow start at Triple-A. Meadows is hitting .146 with 1 home run and 5 RBI’s in 11 games at Triple-A. In 10 games for Indianapolis Osuna is hitting .250 with 1 RBI. In last nights game Adam Frazier started in rightfield.

While he is out Marte will not be paid, but even more interestingly if the Pirates make the playoffs Marte will not be eligible for them.

Are the Washington Nationals considering a change at closer? After Dusty Baker had to take current closer Blake Treinen out of the game in the 9th inning Monday night he used the term “this ain’t working” when speaking with reporters after the game. The Nationals bullpen has been struggling. Coming into last nights game they had the 4th worst bullpen E.R.A. in baseball at 6.25. Treinen lasted 1/3rd of an inning last night giving up two hits, two walks and a run before giving way to Shawn Kelley. Kelley got the final two pouts to pick up a save in Washington’s 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. While nothing is definite the Nationals could turn to Kelley or Koda Glover as the closer if Baker decides that he wants to make a change.

In other Nationals pitching news Joe Ross will be called up from Triple-A Syracuse to start Wednesday’s game against Atlanta. The Nationals wanted Ross to start the season at Triple-A to limit his innings, but that blew up in their face when Jeremy Guthrie’s start went off the rails. Guthrie lasted just 2/3rds of an inning in that start. He gave up 10 earned runs on 6 hits and walked 4 for an E.R.A. of 135.00. Guthrie was designated for assignment after his start. Ross has made two starts in Triple-A covering 9 2/3rds innings. Ross is 0-1 with a 3.72 E.R.A. while striking out 9 and walking 3. Ross has to be an upgrade over Guthrie almost by default.

Here’s some better news for the Nationals. It appears as though starting shortstop Trea Turner will be returning from the disabled list soon; possible as early as today. Turner went on the disabled list April 8th with a hamstring injury, but he ran sprints, took grounders and batting practice before Sunday’s game and looks ready to return. Turner’s return could be big for the Nationals as one of the players trying to replace him Stephen Drew is also having hamstring issues leaving just Wilmer Difo as the only healthy option for the Nationals at shortstop. The Nationals face the Braves at 6:35 p.m. c.s.t. so you’ll have to check their line up and see if Turner is starting.

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Chicago Bulls 106 Boston Celtics 102

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

The Chicago Bulls pulled off the upset in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series against the Boston Celtics. There where some Chicago like traits that came out of the Bulls at the end of the game, but the Celtics where never able to tie or take the lead and the Bulls hit their free throws down the stretch to take Game 1 by four points 106-102.

There where a couple of ties early in the 1st quarter the last one being at 6 all with 9:27 left in the quarter. The Celtics then scored the next sox points to take a 12-6 lead. The Celtics had the lead for the rest of the 1st quarter, but that six point lead was the biggest one they had. Bobby Portis hit a jumper for the Bulls to cut Boston’s lead to two points at 25-23, but the Celtics scored the final basket of the quarter (a 3-pointer) to take a 28-23 lead after one quarter.

The Bulls came out and scored the first ten points of the 2nd quarter to take a 33-28 lead. The Celtics came back and tied the game at 33 all. There where three more ties between the team before Dwayne Wade hit a 3-pointer to give the Bulls some space at 44-41. Chicago pushed their lead to five points, but the Celtics came back and when Al Horford hit a 3-pointer as the 2nd quarter expired it cut the Bulls lead to two points 48-46 headed into halftime.

The Celtics got off to the quick 3rd quarter start scoring five of the quarters first seven points and taking a 51-50 lead with 10:40 left in the quarter. There where three ties and three lead changes between the teams before Boston was able to establish a five point lead 69-64 with 2:54 left in the quarter. The Bulls scored the next five points to tie the game at 69 all. The teams traded baskets with Jimmy Butler hitting a 3-pointer for the Bulls with :04 seconds left in the quarter to make it a 74 all game after three quarters of play.

The Bulls took a quick three point lead, but Boston came right back to tie the game at 78 all. The Bulls went right back to the lead and built a five point lead on two occasions only to have the Celtics come right back and tie the game at 87 all with 5:33 left to play. The teams traded the lead before the Bulls where able to push the lead to nine points. The Bulls had a 103-94 lead with just :47 seconds left to play and it looked like they’d easily pick up a Game 1 win, but not so fast. Boston went on an 8 to 1 run and had cut the Bulls lead to just two points with :07 seconds left in the game. Jimmy Butler was able to knock down two free throws with :03 seconds left to give the Bulls a 106-102 Game 1 win.

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls in scoring with 30 points. Robin Lopez added 14 points and grabbed a game high 11 rebounds. Dwayne Wade scored 12 points and Rajon Rondo added 11 points. Both Wade and Rondo handed out 6 assists to lead the team. Bobby Portis came off the Bulls bench to score 19 points.

Only three Celtics scored in double figures led by Isaiah Thomas who had a game high 33 points. Al Horford had 19 points and handed out a game high 8 assists while Avery Bradley added 14 points. Jae Crowder did grab a team high 9 rebounds.

The win gives the Bulls a 1-0 lead in the series. Monday is an off day with Game 2 being scheduled for Tuesday night in Boston. It’s a 7:00 p.m. c.s.t start time and it will be televised on TNT.

 

How was your week

Posted: April 15, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Are you ready for about to month of NBA playoffs action? The 1st round of the playoffs tips off this afternoon with four games in total. We start with the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the Indiana Pacers. Then will get the Milwaukee Bucks at the Toronto Raptors. Game three has the Memphis Grizzlies at the San Antonio Spurs and we wrap up with the Utah Jazz at the Los Angeles Clippers. The first game is on ABC while the other three are all on ESPN.

The other four series get started on Sunday starting with the Atlanta Hawks at the Washington Wizards. The second game features the Portland Trailblazers at the Golden State Warriors. That’s followed by the Chicago Bulls at the Boston Celtics and the night wraps up with Oklahoma City Thunder at the Houston Rockets. The 1st, 3rd and 4th game will be on TNT while ABC is carrying the 2nd game.

Now Golden State comes into the playoffs with the best regular season record, again and they’ve looked like the best team down the stretch. Is there a Western Conference team that could knock them off or are the going to be making another trip to the NBA Finals. Now San Antonio had the second best regular season record in the NBA and they’re always a threat to get to the finals, but as of late they’ve had their struggles in the early rounds of the playoffs. The Spurs do have the best coach in the NBA in Greg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard is one of the best players in the league, but is there enough behind Leonard to get to the finals? The Rockets are an interesting case. They’ve embraced the new style of NBA play and they’ll shoot a 3-pointer from just about anywhere on the court. Now if they’re making these shots they’re a threat to any team in the league, but if they’re off then it’s a different story. Can Houston stay hot enough in a seven game series to get themselves into the finals. They do have an M.V.P. candidate in James Harden and Harden did average just under 30 points per game. The Clippers and the Jazz ended the regular season with the same record 51-31 and will meet in the 1st round. The Clippers still have those names you know; Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, but they haven’t been able to put it together yet; so why would this season be different? Los Angeles does come into the playoffs on a seven game winning streak and are 8-2 over their last 10 games. Utah is a young team making their first trip to the playoffs in a few seasons; so I’m not sure that they’d be a threat of they got out of the 1st round. Gordon Hayward can score and Rudy Gobert does average a double-double, but it appears they’re a ways away from being a title contender. If Russell Westbrook can get some help Oklahoma City could be an interesting 6th seed. The Thunder have a tough 1st round match up against Houston, but if they get past the Rockets it could get Westbrook rolling. Now I fully expect Memphis to win a game or even two in their 1st round series against San Antonio, but even if they did get out of that series I don’t think they’re a threat to the Warriors. The Trailblazers grabbed the final Western Conference playoff spot which got them a 1st round date with Golden State. Damien Lillard kind of jokingly said that Portland would win this series in six games, but I don’t think anyone really believes that will happen.

Now even though the Cavaliers are coming into the playoffs as the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference they’re still the favorite to advance to the NBA Finals. Now Cleveland has shown some vulnerability this season, but is there a team that could knock them off in a seven game series? LeBron James has said that the Cavaliers have a secret weapon to get back to the finals, but a lot of the experts are wondering if Cleveland will be able to flip the switch now that it’s playoff time. The Celtics are actually the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but everyone seems to have their doubts in them because their best player is a point guard. I’m sure if you’ve listen to any playoff preview you’ve heard them mention that Isaiah Thomas is 5’9. What they’ve been leaving out is that Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game and has been the best player in the NBA hen the 4th quarter rolls around. Thomas may not be the question when it comes to the Celtics, but is Boston’s supporting cast good enough to get this team to the finals. Toronto ended up with the same record (51-31) in the regular season as the Cavaliers and they seem to be the team that the experts think could get past Cleveland this season. Kyle Lowry should be healthy for the playoffs and Toronto has two quality big men in Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka and DeMar DeRozen can score, but the Raptors have had their issues in the playoffs before and they may have to get past those demons first. While the experts like Toronto to knock the Cavaliers out of the playoffs if I had to chose one Eastern Conference team to do that it would be the Wizards. John Wall and Bradley Beal both average 23.1 points per game and may be the best backcourt in the NBA. Wall also hands out an average of  10.7 assists per game. The Wizards have some tough big men who aren’t afraid to mix it up and Otto Porter Jr. is one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA. The Wizards can play a little out of control, but if they keep their composure they can be a real threat in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks where said to be selling off their pieces early in the season when they dealt Kyle Korver to Cleveland. I guess the sale didn’t go as planned as Atlanta ended up with the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. Dwight Howard can still rebound and block shots, but you have to wonder if the Hawks can score enough to be a playoff threat. The Bucks are young and athletic and Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the breakout star of the season, but the playoffs seem to be a learning experience and Milwaukee hasn’t made enough trips into the playoffs to gain that experience. Now the Bucks will scare any team it matches up with and it may even pull off an upset, but they’d be in a better position of Jabri Parker was playing. The Pacers ended up with the 7th seed and drew the Cavaliers in the 1st round. Paul George is all the way back and is looking to make a statement as he heads into free agency. If George plays out of his mind don’t be shocked to see Indiana win a game or two in the 1st round, but I don’t think they’ll be the team upsetting the Cavaliers. The Bulls where handed the 8th seed when the Brooklyn Nets sat six players in the final game of the regular season, but will Chicago do anything with that gift. The Bulls can match up with the Celtics and Jimmy Butler may be the best player in the series. Chicago has played well against teams with winning records, but will that carry over into the playoffs and is it enough to predict a 1st round upset?

There you go. Will we see a third finals that features Cleveland and Golden State or is there a team out there that you like to crash the party? Let me know your team to watch and who you have winning it all in the comments.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Chicago Bulls 112 Brooklyn Nets 73

Posted: April 13, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It was the last game of the regular season and all the Chicago Bulls had to do was win and they’d get the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Their chances where greatly helped earlier in the day when the Brooklyn Nets announced they’d be sitting the top four scorers on the team and six players in total. With all those players taking the night off the Bulls easily beat the Nets 112-73.

The game was tied four times early in the 1st quarter the last time at 11 all with 5:18 left in the quarter. Brooklyn would manage to score just two more points in the quarter. Chicago finished the 1st quarter on a 16 to 2 run to take a 14 point lead 27-13 after one quarter.

The Nets never got closer than 12 points in the 2nd quarter and that was when they scored the first basket of the quarter. The Bulls slowly built their lead and when Rajon Rondo scored with 5:28 left in the quarter it gave the Bulls their first lead of 20 points or more at 43-22. Brooklyn did manage to get the Bulls lead back under 20 points by scoring the last basket in the quarter to make it a 50-32 game at halftime.

The 3rd quarter was the only quarter in the game where the Nets managed to score 20 or more points, but they where still outscored by the Bulls. Chicago outscored Brooklyn 24-24 in the 3rd quarter. The Nets again scored the last basket of the quarter to keep the Bulls lead under 20 points. After three quarter the Bulls led 75-56.

Teams have come back from being down 19 points in the 4th quarter before, but the short handed Nets didn’t have that type of a run in them. Brooklyn out up 17 points in the final quarter as the Bulls notched 37 points in the 4th quarter to easily cruise to the victory. The big 4th quarter for the Bulls almost gave them their second consecutive 40 plus point win in a row, but at the end of the game they had beaten the Nets by 39 points 112-73

Jimmy Butler was the games high scorer with 25 while Rajon Rondo added 10 points and a game high 5 assists. Paul Zipser came off the Bulls bench to score 21 points while Bobby Portis added 12 points and a game high 10 rebounds off the Chicago bench.

Brooklyn was led by Archie Goodwin who came off the bench to score 20 points. The only other Nets player to score in double figures was Caris LeVert with 10 points. Justin Hamilton led the Nets in rebounding with 9. Hamilton also tied with LeVert to lead the team in assists with 4 each.

The win actually got back to .500 with the win as they finished 41-41 on the season. The win also gives the Bulls the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bulls will open the 1st round of the playoffs on Sunday against the #1 seeded Boston Celtics. It’s a scheduled 5:30 c.s.t. start on Sunday and the game will be televised on TNT. With the loss the Nets finish with the worst record in the NBA this season at 20-62.

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 12, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It’s the last day of the NBA regular season and there are three games that still have playoffs implications. The Chicago Bulls host the Brooklyn Nets while the Miami Heat will host the Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers host the Atlanta Hawks. The Nets are the worst team in the NBA record wise at 20-61 while the Wizards and the Hawks are locked into a playoff spots; so there isn’t much of anything for these teams to play for tonight. Now it hasn’t been announced if Washington plans to sit any of it’s players out of tonight’s game, but Brooklyn has already said that they’ll sit six players against the Bulls tonight. Trevor Booker, Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez will all skip the game for rest. Quincy Acy will miss the game with an ankle injury. Joe Harris will miss the game the a shoulder injury and Sean Kilpatrick will be out do to a hamstring injury. Someone is goin to have to explain to me how a team that isn’t going to be in the playoffs needs to rest three players the last game of the season.

The Bulls and the Pacers have simple paths to get into the playoffs. All they have to do is win and they’re in. Now if either the Bulls or the Pacers where to lose and Miami wins the Heat would go into the playoffs and either Chicago or Indiana would stay home. So out of the 14 games o the NBA schedule tonight these are the three games that matter the most.

Now players taking a game off for rest in the NBA is becoming a bigger and bigger issue as the season goes on. Now with no possible chance of improving their playoff spot the Milwaukee Bucks left four players at home for their game on Boston against the Celtics tonight. Tony Shell, Khris Middleton, Matthew Dellavedova and Giannis Antetokounmpo all stayed behind as the Bucks traveled to Boston. The Cleveland Cavaliers had announced earlier in the week that LeBron James would miss the final two regular season games to rest up for the playoffs. Even M.V.P. candidate Russell Westbrook sat out the Oklahoma City Thunder’s final regular season game Tuesday night. Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and Andre Roberson also skipped the final game for rest. So there are quite a few players who are taking the final game or more off to get ready for the playoffs.

Now I understand that the ultimate goal of any NBA team is to win the title, but as a ticket buying fan these rest days are tough to swallow. NBA tickets are expensive and if you take your family to a game between tickets, parking if you drive there and then if you buy souvenirs for you or your children you’re going to spend quite a bit of money. Now imagine this is the only game you’ll be able to afford to attend this season and you get there and find out that your favorite player or the one player your kids really wanted to see play is sitting out because he needs to rest. This isn’t going to sit well with the man or woman who’s at their job 40 plus hours a week just so they can afford a ticket to this chosen game. Sadly there isn’t an NBA player out there who is going to care that a family bought tickets so the kids could see him play and he took the night off for rest.

Now NBA commissioner Adam Silver has address this situation, but there’s really nothing he can do about it. If you noticed what the Cavaliers did for their game on Monday against the Heat was list James out with an injury. It would be very easy for an NBA team to just announce that a certain player is going to  miss a game with a very minor injury. It would work the same way as giving the player a might off for rest without having to announce it that way. The only way the NBA or it’s players union will find a way to fix this issue is when it starts to affect the leagues attendance.

Now if you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast or I’m sure that I’ve written about it here before, but I’m a fantasy sports player. I participate in both daily and season long fantasy leagues. I play on FanDuel and on the two hour Sunday podcast Mr. Fantasy and I actually go over the FanDuel rankings and put a line up together and discuss who’s a good play, a bad play and who might be that sleeper kind of player for that day. Now I’m not a big bettor on the site. I don’t think I’ve ever played in more than a $2 or possibly $3 dollar tournament. It’s more a fun activity for me than a way of me trying to make a living. Now this season Mr. Fantasy has taken a more Sabermetic approach to how he’s building his line up and he’s off to a good start. I always try different methods of putting a line up together; especially early in the season. I’ve had some success with my line ups so far this season. I know no one likes to give away their secrets, but I’m always interested in listening to how other people put their daily fantasy line ups together. If you feel like sharing just go ahead and leave it in the comments or feel free to e-mail me at SportsTimeRadio@Hotmail.com

Speaking of daily fantasy; I hope when you put your line up together for yesterday you included New York Mets outfield Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes went 4 for 6 with 5 RBI’s and 3 runs scored. 3 of his 4 hits where home runs and his other hit was a double. On the night Cespedes was worth 69.1 points on FanDuel. That may be the highest total a position payer has ever put up since I started playing on the site. I’m sure if you had Cespedes in your daily fantasy line up last night you at least got your money back.

You can listen to the Sports Time radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can listen to the podcast any time you want @TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime