Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Cavaliers’

Eight months ago the Montreal Canadiens and the Nashville Predators swapped All-Star defensemen. The Canadiens received Shea Weber and in return they sent P.K. Subban to Nashville. On Thursday Subban made his first return to the city of Montreal. Subban spent the first 6 seasons wearing a Canadiens sweater and the team played a tribute video for him that brought him to tears. Subban made two All-Star teams (2013 and 2015) and won the Norris trophy with Montreal in 2013 and the video was a nice touch. The Canadiens did go on to win the game 2-1 in Subban’s return visit. Also something with this trade that doesn’t seem to happen to often is that it’s benefitted both teams.

It’s the home stretch in the NHL regular season as most teams have 20 games or less left to play. With teams looking to find there way into the playoffs it’s a tough time of the season for a team to suffer an injury. The Buffalo Sabres who are trying to make a playoff push and find themselves 4 points out of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference just suffered a big loss due to injury. Kyle Okposo who is the Sabres leader in points this season suffered an injury to his ribs and is expected to miss both of the Sabres games this weekend and possibly more. Being that it’s an NHL injury there isn’t a lot of information out there about Okposo’s injury. Okposo had 2 assists in Buffalo’s 6-3 win Thursday night over the Arizona Coyotes before being injured. Okposo was the team’s top free agent addition last summer and leads Buffalo with 43 points. Okposo has scored 19 goals and has 24 assists in 63 games this season for the Sabres.

The Sabres first game without Okposo is Saturday night when they’ll host the 29-26-8 Tampa Bay Lighting before they head to Pittsburgh for a Sunday match up against the 39-16-8 Penguins. It would be a long shot for the Sabres to make the playoffs as they’d have to jump five teams for that final wild card spot, but Tampa Bay is one of those teams ahead of them in the standings; so a win tonight would at least keep there playoff hopes alive. There’s no actual timetable for Okposo’s return, but the Sabres are hopefully he’ll return for Tuesday nights home game against the 30-26-7 Philadelphia Flyers.

The Chicago Blackhawks also had an injury loss as they placed defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson on injured reserve with an “Upper Body Injury”. Hjalmarsson was on the ice for just 3 minutes in the Blackhawks 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on February 23rd. Hjalmarsson has missed the Blackhawks last three games and is expected to miss Chicago’s game tonight against the 32-23-9 Nashville Predators in Nashville. There is a chance that Hjalmarsson will return for the Blackhawks next set of back to back games. Chicago host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday March 9th before they head to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Friday March 10th.

While Hjalmarsson isn’t a scoring defenseman having 14 points on the season. Scoring 5 goals on 9 assists, but he averages over 21 minutes of ice time per game for the Blackhawks. That’s the 3rd highest average on the team. Hjalmarsson has played in 60 games for the Blackhawks and is 2nd in the NHL in shot blocks. Hjalmarsson has blocked 156 shots this season and is second to Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators who has 168 shot blocks this season.

Another loss for the Blackhawks was back up goalie Scott Darling who was hurt in practice before last nights game and is expected to miss three weeks. Darling had to fill in for Blackhawks #1 goalie Corey Crawford who was out with an illness last week and won both of his starts, Darling has actual won his last 4 starts in a row and is 16-5-2 as a starter this season. While Darling is out injured the Blackhawks have called up goaltender Jeff Glass from Rockford of the AHL to serve as Crawford’s back up.

Week two of the NASCAR season takes the teams to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 on Sunday. Kevin Harvick took the pole for Sunday’s race with a qualifying speed of 190.398 m.p.h. Ryan Newman will start 2nd while Kyle Busch starts 3rd, Rickey Stenhouse 4th and Brad Keslowski will start 5th to round out the Top 5. Last week’s winner Kurt Busch will start 13th in Atlanta.

There where some qualifying issues as five teams didn’t clear inspection. Michael McDowell, Cole Whitt, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Derrike Cope and Cody Ware were the five drivers who failed to post an official lap when the 20 minute clock expired; ending the first of three qualifying rounds. Their position in the starting field was determined based on 2016 championship owner points. There where also a couple of teams that just made it out with enough time to get onto the track for qualifying. Team Penske’s (#22) Joey Logano and Stewart-Haas racings (#14) Clint Bowyer just made it. Logano will start 6th while Bowyer will start 25th on Sunday.

In last nights 135-130 win by the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Atlanta Hawks the Cavaliers set a record for the most made 3-pointers in a game with 25. The Cavaliers hit on 25 of the 46 (54.3%) 3-point shots they took against Atlanta. LeBron James led the way with six made 3’s. Kyrie Irving had five made 3’s as part of his game high 43 point night. Channing Frye, Kyle Korver, Richard Jefferson and Derrick Williams all had three 3’s. While Iman Shumpert hit two 3’s.

The Cavaliers broke the record that was just set by the Houston Rockets on December 16th 2016 against the New Orleans Pelicans. It was Korver who hit the 25th and final 3-pointer for the Cavaliers against his former team. Korver spent five seasons with Atlanta before being traded earlier this season to Cleveland.

How long do you think this record will stand? I’m not even sure if it will make it to the end of the regular season which is April 12th. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rockets regain the record and of course the Golden State Warriors would be a front runner to break this record. Of course with this style of play in the NBA just about any team in the association could break this record on any given night. What team do you think will break this record? and when?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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With Kevin Love still out with a knee injury and LeBron James taking the night off due to an illness the Chicago Bulls where able to pull away from the Cleveland Cavaliers late and pick up there 4th win in a row 117-99 in the NBA primetime Saturday night game.

The biggest lead either team could get out to was six points when the Cavaliers took a 20-14 lead with 2:31 left in the quarter. There where four ties in the quarter and the Bulls only lead twice. Most importantly they led at the end of the quarter 23-22 after Nikola Mirotic hit a 3-pointer with :01 second left in the quarter to give the Bulls the lead.

The 2nd quarter played out very similar to the 1st quarter. The biggest lead that any team could build was again six points. This time it was the Bulls who took the six point lead at 28-22 with 10:55 left in the quarter. There where five ties and as well as five lead changes, but this time it was the Cavaliers who ended up with the lead at the end of the quarter at 56-55.

Cleveland went out to an early six point lead at 65-59 with 9:15 left in the quarter. The Bulls then went on a 17 to 2 run to take the lead at 76-67 and began to build there lead. Cleveland cut the lead to five points, but the Bulls scored the next six points to go up by 11 points. After Rajon Rondo hit a jumper with the quarter expiring the Bulls had there biggest lead of the quarter at 89-76.

With two of there big three out the Cavaliers had no answer for the Bulls on this night as Cleveland could never get closer than 11 points. The Bulls outscored the Cavaliers 28 to 23 in the final quarter as they built to there winning margin of 18 points. Chicago actually scored the final eight points of the game to make the final score 117-99.

Dwayne Wade led the Bulls in scoring with 20 and missed a triple-double by 1 rebound. While Wade just missed a triple-double his teammate Jimmy Butler got one. Butler had 18 points to go with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Robin Lopez was the other Bulls starter to score in double figure getting 10 points. Off the bench the Bulls saw Rajon Rondo (15 points), Nikola Mirotic (14 points), Denzel Valentine (11 points) and Cristiano Felicio (10 points) all reach double figures. Butler and Mirotic each had 10 rebounds to tie for the game high while it was Butler and Wade with 10 assist apiece to tie for the game high in that category.

Kyrie Irving was the Cavaliers and the games high scorer with 34 points. Irving also handed out a team high 7 assists and tied for the team lead in rebounds with 9. James Jones and Kyle Korver came off the Cavaliers bench to score 14 points apiece while Channing Frye added 11 points. Tristan Thompson tied with Irving for the team lead in rebounds with 9.

The win puts the Bulls a game over .500 at 30-29. The Cavaliers are still leading the Eastern Conference, but the loss dropped there record to 40-17. The Bulls return home to put there four game winning streak on the line Tuesday night when they host the 26-32 Denver Nuggets. This game was the first of a back to back for the Cavaliers. They should have LeBron James back tonight as they host the 25-31 Milwaukee Bucks.

So it’s Super Bowl week. On the Sunday morning podcast we’ll reveal our picks for the game. Don’t forget with the Super Bowl we not pick who we think will win the game, but what the final score will be and who we think will win the M.V.P. In most cases it’s easy to just take the quarterback from the team you think is going to win the game. Last year I went a different direction and manage to get lucky when I picked Von Miler as M.V.P. As you look at these two teams it can be tough to pick and M.V.P. if you feel that Atlanta is going to win. Now if you’re going with New England to win the game than your M.V.P. pick is probably Tom Brady. It’s difficult to think of who else on the Patriots could win the award besides Brady. Now as for the Falcons there are some players to choice between. The award could easily go to Matt Ryan. Of course if one of the Falcons running backs DeVonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman has a big game could they win the award. Then of course there’s Julio Jones who could easily put up bug numbers and walk away with the M.V.P. award. Now even though New England’s defense has given up the least points in the NFL I find it hard to believe that will see an M.V.P. winner from either defense. Feel free to play along with us. Leave your picks in the comments or e-mail them to SportsTimeRadio@Hotmail.com. Remember it’s the winner of the game with the final score and who you think will win the M.V.P. award.

The Falcons do have a couple of injuries to keep an eye on as teams start practicing a little more intensely for the game. Julio Jones has been dealing with a toe sprain since the Falcons game against the Kansas City Chiefs back on December 4th. While Falcons center Alex Mack is dealing with a left fibula injury that he suffered in Atlanta’s win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. Jones did return to practice on Friday, but he was limited while Mack didn’t practice at all last week. Jones has played through injuries all season and missed two regular-season games because of the sprained toe. Mack has not missed a start, but he didn’t finish the NFC title game; Ben Garland played the final series in place of Mack against Green Bay. The Falcons where off yesterday, but they’ll return to practice today, tomorrow and Friday at Rice University. These three practices are all closed practices. You’d have to think that both Jones and Mack will play on Sunday, but you should keep an eye on them just in case.

I have to tell you that I’m done with all of the LeBron James crybaby garbage and I don’t even want to get into the stuff with him and Charles Barkley. I’m sure Dan the Man and I will discuss it on the live version of Sports Time Radio today at 5:30 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com.

What I will get into with the Cleveland Cavaliers is that they’re still looking for a play maker. The Cavaliers are actually going to hold a tryout with some names that you’ll recognize attending. Veteran point guards Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich and Jordan Farmar as well as guard/forward Lance Stevenson will all work out for the Cavaliers today. There will be other free agents at this try out, but these where the names that have been reported to be there. There are also reports out there that the Cavaliers will sign one or possibly two of the players from this try out. Report are that if the Cavaliers do decide to sign any players from this try out they’ll do it just prior to the All-Star break. The Cavaliers have one open spot on there roster, but they could easily open up another roster spot by waiving center Chris Andersen. Andersen is out for the season with a knee injury.

Chalmers is recovered from an Achilles injury he suffered last March and is a former teammate of LeBron’s. James played with Chalmers for four season in Miami. As teammates they made it to the finals four times and won two NBA titles. Chalmers has career averages of 9.0 points and 3.8 assists per game.

Hinrich is a 13 year NBA veteran, He played last season for the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks. Hinrich has a career scoring average of 10.9 points per game and 4.8 assists per game. Hinrich is a career 38% shooter from behind the three point line.

Farmar played two games this season with the Sacramento Kings. For his career Farmar averages 7.7 points, 2.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game. Farmar has spent parts of 10 seasons in the NBA with five different teams.

Stevenson is healthy after rehabilitating a groin injury that required surgery in November. The New Orleans Pelicans released Stevenson do to roster constraints. Stevenson is the youngest of this group at 26 years old and has played for five NBA teams in seven seasons.

The Cavaliers went 7-8 in January, but are still on top of the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 32-15. The Cavaliers host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight before they head out on a four game road trip that will see them play the New York Knicks, Washington Wizards, Indiana pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The NHL returned from there All-Star break with 14 games last night. In one of those games the Winnipeg Jets beat the St, Louis Blues 5-3. This morning the Blues fired there head coach Ken Hitchcock and replaced him with associate coach Mike Yeo. This move was actually suppose to take place after this season as Hitchcock had planned to retire, but with St. Louis having a record of  24-21-5 and 53 points general manager Doug Armstrong decided to make the move early. St. Louis is tied for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the Calgary Flames. Just behind the Blues and the Flames sit the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks all with 52 points. Yeo has been with the Blues since last summer; so the transition should be an easy one, but even with a coaching change will the Blues find there way into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Over last weekend the NFL held it’s divisional round of the playoffs. The Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers all advanced to the Conference championship games this Sunday. Green Bay is at Atlanta for the first game on Sunday with a scheduled kickoff time of 2:05 p.m. Pittsburgh is at New England in the later game which has a scheduled 5:40 p.m. Of course the winners of these games will move on to face each other in the Super Bowl.

So how did we do with our picks in the divisional round. Well Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy went 3-1 while Dan the Man and I ended up 2-2. For the playoffs Schaumburg Stu is 7-1, Mr. Fantasy and I are 6-2 while Dan the Man is 5-3. Let’s see how we do with the Conference championship games.

It seems as though if you wanted to get to this point in the NFL playoffs you needed a top quarterback. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady are the four quarterbacks who have led there teams this far and they could be the best four quarterbacks on the NFL right now. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Rodgers, Ryan or Brady takes home the M.V.P. trophy and Roethlisberger wasn’t that far off. Rodgers led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 40. Matt Ryan was 2nd with 38 while Roethlisberger was 6th with 29 and Brady was 7th with 28. Don’t forget that Brady missed the first four games of this season while Roethlisberger missed two games with an injury this season. In total QBR Ryan is #1 at 83.3 with Brady right behind him at 83.1. Rodgers was 4th at 76.9 while Roethlisberger finished 10th at 66.2. There are some people out there who are trying to push this group as the best four quarterbacks to ever play in the Conference championship. While these four are all very good quarterbacks I’m not going that far as making them the best. You have to figure that Brady and Rodgers are future Hall of Fame inductees and Roethlisberger isn’t too far off from making it. Ryan is the quarterback with something to prove. Ryan is the only one of these four quarterbacks that hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Without going back and breaking down every group of quarterbacks that made the Conference championship I’ll say that this is a good group, but not the best.

QBR stands for Total Quarterback rating. This stat was actually invented by ESPN to measure quarterback performance and it’s suppose to be a more meaningful alternative to passer rating.

On Monday night the Golden State Warriors blew out the Cleveland Cavaliers 126-91. For some reason the experts started making excuses for the Cavaliers loss. It’s an NBA regular season game; why do we need an excuse for why one team lost. Apparently since this was the last game of the Cavaliers road trip they where tired or whatever other excuse they want to use for them getting beat. This was the 6th game of that road trip for Cleveland that they ended up going 3-3 on, but they did have two full days off before the game with Golden State. I think that every NBA fan knows that barring some major upset in the playoffs we’re going to see these two teams meet for the 3rd time in the NBA Finals.

Now there was a little bit of an incident in this game. LeBron James was headed up court with the basketball and it looked as he was trying to lead the break. Draymond Green came from James’ right and fouled him hard. There was no doubt that this was a foul, but Green was accessed a Flagrant 1 foul and I don’t think it was that bad of a foul. James had one of the all time flops in NBA history. If you’re a fan of professional wrestling picture James going down like one of your favorite or not so favorite wrestler getting clotheslined. James laid face down at center court for a few minutes like he had been knocked out. I know the NBA has a policy in effect for players that flop, but I have a feeling that James won’t be one of the guys who gets fined for his flop.

On Monday night Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul sprained his left thumb in the 2nd quarter of the Clippers game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. X-rays on the thumb were negative, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed the torn ligament. On Wednesday Paul will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks. Paul was defending Russell Westbrook and sprained the thumb fighting over a screen set by Joffrey Lauvergne. The Clippers called a timeout shortly after, and Paul immediately walked off the court, kicking the bench as he exited. Paul could be seen on the TNT broadcast shaking his head at Clippers team trainer Jasen Powell as they walked through the players tunnel to the locker room.This is not the first time Paul has undergone a procedure on his thumb. He underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb during the 2012 offseason. Paul played part of the 2011-12 season and the 2012 Summer Olympics with the thumb wrapped in tape. The Clippers have been beset by injuries this season. Star forward Blake Griffin missed his 13th game Monday night as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery. Sharpshooter J. J. Reddick missed two games because of a sore left hamstring. And Paul missed seven games in a two-week span because of a strained left hamstring. Since the start of last season, the Clippers are just 3-9 in games without both Paul and Griffin. The Clippers are 29-14 and currently in 4th place in the Western Conference. The Clipper will play there first full game without Paul on Thursday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Today is the day that the baseball Hall of Fane announces if they will have any new members inducted this summer. In early voting returns it looked good for Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez, but there where still votes to be counted. It looks as though they’ll be making the announcement around 5:00 p.m. That’s Central time.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

The Cleveland Cavaliers went into Wednesday night game against the Chicago Bulls missing two of their “big” three for this game. Kevin Love sat out with an illness from a sea bass dinner he had and Kyrie Irving missed the game with a hamstring injury. LeBron James was also sick coming into the game, but he played. With the Cavaliers missing bodies the Bulls where able to get a big road win 106-94.

Even without Love and Irving the game started off like the Cavaliers would be just fine as they scored 15 of the games first 17 points. The Bulls managed just 16 points in the 1st quarter. The Cavaliers ended up with a 7 point lead at 23-16 after one quarter.

Maybe the Bulls needed a quarter to warm up from the cold January weather as they scored the first 9 points of the quarter to take there first lead of the game 25-23. The teams traded the lead a couple of times until the Bulls where able to build a five point lead at 39-34 with 4:26 left in the quarter. The Bulls where able to add a point to there lead going into halftime ahead 52-46.

The Bulls used a 12-7 run to take there first double digit lead of the game at 64-53. It took the Cavaliers the rest of the quarter to get the Bulls lead under double digits. The Cavaliers scored the last six points of the quarter and when  Jordan McRae hit a lay up with 0.27 seconds left in the quarter Cleveland was down 9 points 83-74 after three quarters.

Cleveland did get a little closer as they scored the first four points of the 4th quarter to cut the Bulls lead to five points. The Bulls pushed the lead to eight points, but the Cavaliers came right back and got the lead down to two points 86-84 after Kay Felder hit a jump shot with 9:18 left in the quarter. After Jimmy Butler split a pair of free throws LeBron James hit a lay up and the Bulls lead was down to one at 89-88. The rest of the game pretty much belonged to the Bulls as they finished on a 17 to 6 run and pulled away for a 106-94 victory.

The Bulls where led by Jimmy Butler with 20 points. Butler also handed out a game high 8 assists. Taj Gibson scored 18 points and a team high 7 rebounds, Michael Carter-Williams added 13 points and Dwayne Wade scored 10 points. Wade did his damage from behind the 3-point line where he was 3 of 4 in the game. Doug McDermott had 17 points off the Bulls bench and was also 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point line. Nikola Mirotic also scored double digits off the Bulls bench with 16 points.

LeBron James was the Cavaliers and the games high scorer with 31 points. Jordan McRae moved into the starting line for the Cavaliers and scored 21 points. Channing Frye also got a start for Cleveland and scored 15 points. Tristan Thompson was the games leading rebounder with 11.

The win gets the Bulls back to .500 at 18-18. Chicago will get a couple of days off before they return home to host the 23-11 Toronto Raptors Saturday night. The loss was just the Cavaliers 3rd at home this season and their 8th loss on the season. The Cavaliers get a day off before they go on the road to face the 8-25 Brooklyn Nets Friday night.

Week 15 in the NFL just wrapped up and Dan the Man came out on top of our picks with a 13-3 record. The difference was Dan the Man was the only one who had the Carolina Panthers beating the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy where both 12-4 for the week while I was 11-5. Overall Schaumburg Stu looks to be on his way to winning this years contest as he is 148-76through 15 weeks. Dan the Man took 2nd place back by a game over Mr. Fantasy. Dan the Man is 141-83 and Mr. Fantasy is 140-84. That of course means I am in the cellar and it looks like I’ll be staying there. I’m 130-92 overall. There are two weeks left for our picks.

With the NHL coming up on there Christmas break it’s a bit of a surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks have the most points with 48. With the hard salary cap the NHL has the Blackhawks have had to allow top players leave through free agency and others have had to be traded away to keep the team under the salary cap. The Blackhawks are carrying six players 25 or under on their roster. The Blackhawks have six rookies that are contributing to the teams success. Ryan Hartman has 6 goals and 6 assists in 30 games. Vinnie Hinostroza has 3 goals and 5 assists in 26 games. Tyler Motte has 4 goals and 3 assists in 28 games. Gustav Forsling has 1 goal and 3 assists in 29 games and Michal Kempny has 2 assists in 23 games. The Blackhawks had to pick up a lot of these points while there captain Jonathan Toews and #1 goaltender Corey Crawford have been out injured.

While the Blackhawks are at the top right now there are some teams right behind them. The Pittsburgh Penquins and the New York Rangers have 47 points on the season. The Columbus Blue Jackets who are on a 10 game winning streak right now and the Montreal Canadiens have 46 points on the season. The Philadelphia Flyers and the Minnesota Wild each have 42 points and the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues all have 4 points this season. Either way it should be an interesting race for the President’s Cup.

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is the NHL points leader with 40. McDavid also leads all other players in assists with 28 while Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penquins leads the league in goal scoring with 22. Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild is the plus-minus leader at +22. In goal Devin Dubnyk leads all goalies in three of the four major categories. Dubnyk leads in Goals Against Average with a 1.55, Save Percentage at .948 and shutouts with 5. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the wins leader with 19.

As for the rookies. Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets leads in points with 29 and goals with 18. Mitchell Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs leads in assists with 15. Xavier Ouellet of the Detroit Red Wings is the plus-minus leader at +9. In the goal it’s all Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penquins as far as rookies go. Murray leads in Goals Against Average at 1.85, Save Percentage at .938, Shutouts with 2 and Wins with 13.

The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 in overtime Tuesday night. LeBron James scored 34 points and in the process passed Moses Malone for 8th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James now has 27,442 career points. Shaquille O’Neal is 7th on the list at 28,596. James has a good chance to get past O’Neal before the season ends.

While James moving up the scoring list on the Cavaliers win was a positive the chance that they may loss J.R. Smith with a broken thumb is the negative. Smith exited the game in the 1syt half when it appeared he injured his thumb trying to strip Giannis Antetokounmpo of the basketball as he drove to the basket. The X-rays taken at the arena were inconclusive, according to the Cavaliers. Smith will travel back to Cleveland with the team and be re-evaluated Wednesday. Smith, who signed a four-year, $57 million extension with Cleveland in the offseason after the Cavaliers championship win entered Tuesday’s game averaging 8.8 points on 33.7 percent shooting (35.8 percent from 3). Smith  previously missed six games because of knee and ankle injuries this season. The Cavaliers take on the Bucks again Wednesday night this time in Cleveland as the teams are playing a back to back; home and home series. The Cavaliers are on top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-6 while Milwaukee is currently .500 at 13-13.

We’re coming up on Christmas day where the NBA will run out five games for fans to watch. The first game is at 11:00 a.m. and features the Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks and is on ESPN. The second game with a scheduled 1:30 p.m. start time has the Golden State Warriors at the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA finals rematch is on ABC. Game three has a 4:00 p.m. scheduled start time has the Chicago Bulls at the San Antonio Spurs on ABC. The fourth game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and has the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN. The fifth and final game of the night is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. and has the Los Angeles Clippers at the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN. I know the Clippers and the Lakers play in the same building, but for scheduling purposes the Lakers are the home team. All the game times I listed are for the Central time zone.

The top series in NASCAR is getting a new name. Sprint will no longer be the top sponsor for NASCAR. Starting with the 2017 season will have the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Monster Energy will be the 5th different name for the top series. It was known as the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Division from 1971 to 1985, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from 1986 to 2003, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series from 2004 to 2007 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2008 to 2016. Even with the new sponsor and the modernized NASCAR logo that moves the colors solely to the left of the wording instead of having colors behind it, includes the sanctioning body’s name after the series sponsor for the first time. NASCAR kept one thing the same; the word Cup is still in the title.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

LeBron James paid off his baseball bet to friend Dwayne Wade as he wore a full Chicago Cubs uniform into The United Center for Friday’s game. After the bet was paid Wade and his Chicago Bulls teammates sent James and his Cleveland Cavaliers to there 3rd straight loss 111-105 Friday night.

In the 1st quarter the Cavaliers built 5-point leads on five different occasions, but the Bulls worked there way back into the game every time. The Cavaliers took there first lead of the game at 8-6 and led the rest of the quarter. The bulls cut the lead to 1-point a couple of times, but Iman Shumpert’s lay up with 10 seconds left gave the Cavaliers a 33-30 lead at the end of the quarter.

Cleveland started the 2nd quarter on a 7-2 run to build an 8-point lead at 40-32. The bulls cut into the lead. but the Cavaliers built it back to 8 at 49-41. The Bulls did finally manage to take the lead at 59-58 on a Taj Gibson dunk with 1:23 left in the quarter, but Kevin Love was fouled with 5 seconds left shooting a 3-pointer. Love made two of his three free throws and the Cavaliers held the lead going into halftime 60-59.

The Bulls took the lead early in the 3rd quarter at 63-62. They built the lead to 8-points at 74-66 with 6:58 left in the quarter. After the Cavaliers cut the lead to 5 the Bulls went on a 10-5 run to take a 10 point lead at 88-78. LeBron James got the last basket of the quarter to make the score Chicago 88, Cleveland 80.

The 4th quarter was pretty even, but at one point the Cavaliers cut the Bulls lead to 3-points at 92-89. That was as close as Cleveland could get as the Bulls where able to build the lead back to 8-points at 97-89 after a Rajon Rondo 3-pointer. Chicago managed to keep the lead between 5 and 8 points and after Jimmy Butler made two free throws with 6 seconds left in the game the Bulls had a 111-105 win.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls leading scorer with 26 points. Dwayne Wade had 24 points while Taj Gibson scored 23 points and tied for the game high in rebounds with 11. Rajon Rondo posted a triple-double as he scored 15 points handed out 12 assists and tied Gibson for the game lead with 11 rebounds. Robin Lopez also hit double figures with 10 points as all the Bulls starters scored in double figures.

LeBron James was the Cavaliers and the games high scorer with 27 points. James also handed out a game high 13 assists. Kyrie Irving had 20 points while Kevin Love had 15 points and a team high 9 rebounds. Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye (off the bench) both hit double figures with 11 points on the night.

With the win the Bulls improve to 11-7 on the season. The loss was the Cavaliers 3rd in a row and fell to 13-5 on the season. Chicago has to turn right around and play Saturday night on the road against the 3-15 Dallas Mavericks. This was the 2nd game of a back to back for the Cavaliers; so they’ll get a couple days off before they go on the road to face the 13-6 Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

The Atlanta Braves added their third free agent of the off season as it’s being reported that they have a deal in place with utility man Sean Rodriguez on a 2-year $11 million dollar deal. Rodriguez will be entering his 10th season and he’s a career .234 hitter. Rodriguez posted career highs in games (140), home runs (18) and RBI’s (56) last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rodriguez is a true utility man as throughout his career he’s played every position except for catcher. Career Stats It appears as though Rodriguez will spend time at 2nd base, 3rd base and rightfield for the Braves, but as through his career can and may fill in at the other positions.

If you’re a Braves fan I’m interested to know what you think if this signing. This signing like the other two the Braves had made are just short term. It’s two years for Rodriguez, one year for R.A. Dickey with an option for a second year and then a year long deal for Bartolo Colon.It looks as though these guys are just place holders as there younger players try to get major league ready. I guess what I really want to know is do you feel these three signings will help the Braves improve from last seasons 68-93 record.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners made a trade this week and I have to tell you from the Mariners side of the deal I don’t understand it. The Diamondbacks acquired starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte while the Mariners received shortstop Jean Segura and two minor league prospects outfielder Mitch Haniger and left handed pitcher Zac Curtis.

Now Segura did lead the National League in hits with 203 and is an upgrade at shortstop over Marte, but adding Walker to the deal hurts a rotation that had it’s issue last season. Now I get it Walker had his issues last season and was even sent to Triple-A for a short stint, but he’s just 23 years old. Walker made 25 starts for the Mariners last season tied for second most on the team. Seattle had 13 different pitchers make starts for them during the 2016 season and losing a pitcher who had a rotation spot locked up can be tough to replace. Marte is also a young player (22 years old), but looked to be the Mariners shortstop for a long time. Segura fills that role, but how do the Mariners replace Walker. The free agent starting pitching market is down this season; so you have to think they have someone from there own system in mind or will they make another trade to get a starter.

Of course the Mariners got the word every team loves to hear in a deal back PROSPECTS!. Haniger split last season between Double and Triple-A and hit .321 with 25 home runs and 94 RBI’s combined. Haniger did play 34 games for Arizona last season and hit ..229. It was just 34 games, but you have to wonder if Haniger’s skills will translate to the major league level. Zac Curtis spent time at high Class-A and Double-A before the Diamondbacks called him up. Curtis pitched in 21 games for Arizona last season. Curtis was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA and one blown save opportunity over 13 and 1/3rd innings. Curtis has pitched strictly in relief and maybe the Mariners are looking at him as a future closer. Curtis has 53 career saves in 59 chances in the minors.

Will Arizona make Marte the everyday shortstop or is he going to be added to there three man rotation at 2nd base/shortstop. Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed are the other two guys that rotate in these positions. Owings and Ahmed both missed time with injures last season and Owings spent some time in centerfield as well. Walker may have to win a spot in the Diamondbacks rotation. As it looks like there are six pitchers for five spots, but then again the Diamondbacks could go with a 6-man starting rotation.

I guess like all trades we’ll have to wait and see how this works out for both teams, but just looking at it I think Arizona got the better end of this trade on paper. Of course we all know they don’t play the games on paper.

The Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 117-104 last night. Now it looks like just your typical Western Conference NBA game, but the Rockets set an NBA record in this game by taking 50 3-point shots in the game. The Rockets made 21 of the 50 3-points shots they took in the game. Eric Gordon took the most 3-pointers going 4 for 12. Trevor Ariza and James Harden each took 11. Ariza made 6 and Harden made 3. Ryan Anderson took 7 making 3 while Patrick Beverly took 4 making 2. Sam Dekker took 3 making 1 and Corey Brewer took 2 3-pointers and made both of his.

While we’re talking about the 3-point shot the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to make 20 3-point shots in back to back regular season games. The Cavaliers made 21 3-pointers in there Wednesday night win over the Portland Trail Blazers and then last night Cleveland made 20 3-pointers in there win against the Dallas Mavericks. The Cavaliers accomplished this feat in last season playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. Now I’m sure you’re thinking that the Golden State Warriors have done this a number of times, but they’ve never done it in back to back games.

This leads me to part of the reason I don’t enjoy the NBA game. How many times in a game do you see a guy pass up a short jumper to kick it out to the 3-point line for that shot instead. The NBA seems to be a league where you either get a player driving to dunk the basketball or he throws it out to the 3-point line for that long jumper. While the dunks can be fun and exciting to watch, but players standing at the 3-point line waiting for the basketball to be passed to them isn’t great basketball to watch. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who enjoy this style of basketball, but I’m not one of them. From time to time I’ll see a play where a team has great ball movement and it ends with them finding the open man for a 3-point bucket. I’m fine with that, but there are just way too many times where it’s one guy handling the basketball and then just tossing it out to the 3-point line for the shot. You’ll have to let me know if I’m off base here. How do you feel about the state of the NBA game right now?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Week 11 in the NFL ended with the Oakland Raiders getting past the Houston Texans 27-20 on Monday night.  That game also wrapped up our picks for the week; so here’s how we did. Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy tied for the top spot with a record of 11-3. Schaumburg Stu was a game behind at 10-4 and my belief in the Green Bay Packers out me in the cellar at 9-5. On the season Schaumburg Stu is holding onto 1st place with an overall record of 102-59. Dan the Man is 2nd overall at 96-65. Mr. Fantasy is 3rd at 92-69 and I am bringing up the rear with an overall record of 87-74. Let’s see if my luck turns around in Week 12.

While we’re on Week 12 being that tomorrow there are three games on the schedule. The day kicks off with the Minnesota Vikings at the Detroit Lions. Both these teams are 6-4 and tied  for 1st place in the NFC North. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. c.s.t. The middle game is the Washington Redskins at the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are 9-1 and in 1st place in the NFC East while the Redskins are 6-3-1. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. c.s.t. The third and final Thanksgiving day games is the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers are 5-5 and are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for 1st place in the AFC North. The Colts are also 5-5 and are one game behind the AFC South leading Houston Texans. Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. c.s.t. The games are spread out over three networks. CBS has the first game, FOX has the second game and NBC will carry the night game.

There where quite a few injuries in Week 11. The first one that will come up is in Thursday nights Steelers/Colts game. Andrew Luck is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and as of now hasn’t been cleared to play yet. Luck didn’t practice yesterday and there’s no word on if he’ll practice today. Luck is in serious jeopardy of missing the game against Pittsburgh. It looks as though Jay Cutler’s season could be over. It’s being reported that Cutler has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Reports are Cutler will get a second opinion and hope for a different result. The Cincinnati Bengals placed Giovani Bernard on season ending injured reserve. Bernard torn his ACL during the Bengals final drive of Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals also lost wide receiver A.J. Green on the second play of Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. It was originally reported that Green had a torn hamstring, but I don’t believe that’s been confirmed as MRI results haven’t been released. It’s looking like Green will miss this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid torn his bicep Sunday and has been placed on injured reserve. Reid has already had surgery and has said the procedure went well. Obviously Reid is done for the season. Another injury that might impact one of tomorrow’s game. Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs missed practice Tuesday with a knee injury. Diggs is the Vikings leader in receptions with 67, targets with 87 and yards with 747. The Vikings broke there four game losing streak last week and Diggs led the team with 6 receptions. It’s looking like Diggs will play tomorrow, but if you have him in fantasy watch the injury report.

I’m always a little confuse when the people who report on the NBA try to say who the best team is when we’re all of 15 or so games into the season. If you just go by record the Los Angeles Clippers are the best team at 13-2. How many people out there are confident enough to say that the Clippers will win the NBA title when the season is over. The teams I think most people expect to meet in the NBA finals are right behind the Clippers. The Golden State Warriors are 12-2 and the Cleveland Cavaliers are 10-2. The only other team in the NBA with double digit wins right now are the San Antonio Spurs who are 11-3. It won’t be long until we see how the Clippers match up with the Cavaliers and the Warriors. On December 1st the Clippers are in Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers and then on December 7th the Clippers will play host to Golden State. When it’s this early in the season these games don’t mean a ton, but it will be good to see how the Clippers due against the expected top teams in the NBA.

You’ll notice the only Easter Conference team listed above are the Cavaliers. Is there another team in the Eastern Conference that you see challenging the Cavaliers for a spot in the NBA finals. The Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls have 9 wins and the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics each have 8 wins. Now those five teams all seem pretty equal, but will or are at of them capable of knocking off Cleveland in a seven game playoff series. The Cavaliers first loss of the season was at home to the Hawks, but would Atlanta be able to repeat this in a playoff series. Even though we’re this early in the season it looks as the road is paved for the Cavaliers to make the NBA finals barring a huge upset.

The 2016 NASCAR season wrapped up with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Chase for the Sprint Cup was also down to four drivers as Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards where the guys looking to win the title. Edwards led the most laps (47) out of the four, but during a late restart Edwards tried to block Logano from making a pass and the two touched. Edwards got the worst of the collision as he went into the wall and was knocked out of the race. Edwards finished 34th. After the wreck Logano managed to find his back to the front of the pack and was right there in the end with Busch and Johnson. In the end Johnson took the lead with three laps to go and survived a late restart to claim his 7th Sprint Cup title. Logano finished 4th and Busch came home 6th. Johnson 7th title win ties him with “The King” Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. for the most titles won by a driver in his career. Johnson last title came in 2013, but he won five seasons in a row from 2006 to 2010. Is there an 8th title in Johnson’s future? He’ll start his defense of his latest title in February at the Daytona 500.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

The NBA season tipped off last night with three games on the schedule. The season started in Cleveland where the Cavaliers got their championship rings and hung their championship banner. After that the Cavaliers took the floor to face the New York Knicks. There are times that teams will start off flat after a championship ceremony, but not the Cavaliers. They got out to a 10-point lead after the 1st quarter 28 -18. The Knicks worked there way back into the game scoring 27 2nd quarter points while the Cavaliers where only able to put up 20 points. So going into halftime the Cavaliers held a 48-45 lead. The 2nd half belonged to the Cavaliers. Cleveland put up 34 3rd quarter points and 35 4th quarter points. The Knicks just couldn’t stay with them as they managed just 19 3rd quarter points and 24 4th quarter points as they watched the Cavaliers pull away to a 117-88 victory.

LeBron James started the season off with a triple-double as he scored 19 points handed out 14 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds. Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers in scoring with 29 points. Kevin Love added 23 points and grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. Richard Jefferson was the only other Cleveland player to score in double figures as he scored 13 points off the bench.

The Knicks where led by Carmelo Anthony with 19 points. Derrick rose scored 18 points in his Knicks debut. Kristaps Porzingis was the only other Knicks player in double figures with 16 points. Pozingis also had a team high 7 rebounds while Brandon Jennings led the Knicks in assists with 5.

The second game of the night and the one that was on TNT had the Portland Trail Blazers beating the Utah Jazz 113-104. Both teams out up 26 points apiece in the 1st quarter, but Portland took the lead going into halftime 54-46 by scoring 28 2nd quarter points while the Jazz scored just 20 2nd quarter points. The Jazz came out and pout up 37 3rd quarter points to the Trail Blazers 23; so going into the 4th quarter the Jazz had a 83-77 lead. In the 4th quarter it was Portland’s turn to go off as they put up 36 points in the quarter to Utah’s 21 points to take the 113-104 victory.

Damien Lilliard had a game high 39 points and led the Trail Blazers in rebounds with 9 and assists with 6. C.J. McCollum had 25 points while Alan Crabbe (18 points) and Noah Vonleh (11 points) came off the bench to score in double digits.

Four of the five Utah starters scored I  double figures led by Joe Johnson’s 29 points. Rodney Hood had 26 points while George Hill had 19 points and a team high 6 assists while Rudy Gobert had a double-double with 12 points and a game high 14 rebounds.

The night wrapped up with a Western Conference marquee match up, but ended with a surprising final score. The San Antonio Spurs went into Oracle Arena and easily beat the new look Golden State Warriors 129-100. The Spurs outscored the Warriors in every quarter of the game. It was 31-20 in the 1st, 33-26 in the 2nd, 33-31 in the 3rd and then 32-23 in the 4th quarter. Now to be fair the Spurs are a very good team, but no one expected them to win this game by 29 points.

The Spurs Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 35 points. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 and grabbed 14 rebounds. Three players off the Spurs benched scored in double figures. Patty Mills had 11 points and a team high 5 assists. Jonathon Simmons had 20 points while Manu Ginobili added 10 points.

Golden State was led by Kevin Durant who had a double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry was one point behind Durant with 26 in the game, Draymond Green also tallied a double-double with 18 points and a team high 12 rebounds. Green also had a team high 6 assists and added 5 steals. Klay Thompson was the only other Golden State player in double figures with 11 points. The Warriors live by the 3-point shot and last night they died by it. Golden State went 7 for 33 (21.2%) on 3-point shots last night.

There are 10 games on the NBA schedule tonight. The Miami Heat are at the Orlando Magic. The Dallas Mavericks are at the Indiana Pacers. The Brooklyn Nets are at the Boston Celtics. The Detroit Pistons are at the Toronto Raptors. The Charlotte Hornets are at the Milwaukee Bucks. The Minnesota Timberwolves are at the Memphis Grizzlies. The Oklahoma City Thunder are at the Philadelphia 76ers on ESPN. The Sacramento Kings are at the Phoenix Suns. The night on the hardwood wraps up with the Houston Rockets at the Los Angeles Lakers also on ESPN.

It took until Week 7 for me to finally get a “W” in our pick contest, but I got one. I was 9-6 for Week 7 and that was good enough for a win. Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy finished just a game behind me at 8-7 while Schaumburg Stu came in under .500 at 7-8. Overall for the season Schaumburg Stu is still in the lead with a record of 63-44. Dan the Man held onto the 2nd spot at 60-47. I have the 3rd spot at 57-50 with Mr. Fantasy a game behind me at 56-51. I guess will see if I can get two wins in a row with my Week 8 picks.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup narrowed their field from 12 to 8 after this weekends race at Talladega Speedway. Brad Keslowski, Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon where knocked out of the “The Chase”. The 8 remaining drivers in “the Chase’ are headed to Martinsville Speedway for Sunday’s Goody’s 500. The elite 8 drivers are Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth. This is the first chance for these 8 drivers to qualify for the Sprint Cup final with a win. After Sunday’s race these drivers will have two more chances to qualify for the final with a win. On November 6th they’re at Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA 500 and then they’re at Phoenix International Raceway for the Cam-Am 500 on November 13th. A driver can either get into the final with a win or be in the Top 4 in points to move on to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20th for the Ford Ecoboost 400. It looks like a solid field of 8 drivers and it appears as though anyone of them could win the Sprint Cup. Who’s your favorite to win?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime