Posts Tagged ‘Kyrie Irving’

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.

Believe it or not the NBA Finals are actually over and the draft is this Thursday. Like we like to do we’re looking back to see who the 1st round picks where and if they helped the team that selected them.

#1 Kyrie Irving (Duke) Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving spent just one season in college and he was hurt for most of that. While he’s shown he can be a top player in the NBA the injury bug has continued to follow him as he has missed 101 games due to injuries since being drafted.

#2 Derrick Williams (Arizona) Minnesota Timberwolves. Williams spent two plus seasons with the Timberwolves before being dealt to the Sacramento Kings in 2013-14. Williams spent the remained of the 2013-14 season with the Kings plus one more. He played in 80 games last season for the New York Knicks. For being the 2nd overall pick you could say Williams is a bust.

#3 Enes Kanter (Switzerland) Utah Jazz. Kanter spent three and a half season with Utah and was averaging double figure points for them when he was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2014-15 season. Kanter has continued to average double figure points for the Thunder. Kanter’s rebounding average has went up since going to Oklahoma City; plus he played in every regular season game last season.

#4 Tristan Thompson (Texas) Cleveland Cavaliers. With their second pick on the Top 5 the Cavaliers took a big body rebounder. Thompson has averaged 8.5 rebounds for his career and has averaged 9 plus rebounds a game during three of his five seasons with Cleveland. Thompson has never been a big time scorer; he averages 9.7 points per game, but he plays. Thompson has played in every regular season game the last four seasons.

#5 Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania) Toronto Raptors. It took a year for Valanciunas to join the Raptors as he was under contract to his European team, but in four seasons his scoring average has continued to climb; reaching a high of 12.8 points a game this season. His rebounding average also reached a career high of 9.1 per game last season. He’ll be looking to play a full season next year as injuries limited him to 60 games last season.

#6 Jan Vesely (Czech Republic) Washington Wizards. As the 6th pick in the draft you can clearly say Vesely was a bust. He spent a little over three season with Washington before being dealt to the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 3.6 points per game in his career along with grabbing an average of 3.5 rebounds per game. Vesely spent just three season in the NBA and played in 162 career games.

#7 Bismack Biyombo (Republic of Congo) Sacramento Kings. While being officially drafted by the Kings Biyombo never played for them as he was dealt on draft day to the Charlotte Bobcats. Biyombo spent four seasons with the Bobcats; who went back to the Hornets name his last season there. In 2015-16 he signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Raptors. Biyombo isn’t a huge scorer averaging 4.6 points per game in his career, but he is a solid rebounder 6.5 career average and can block shots averaging 1.6 per game in his career.

#8 Brandon Knight (Kentucky) Detroit Pistons. Knight has has a solid NBA career so far, but it’s been with three different teams. After two season in Detroit he was dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks. Then after a season plus with Milwaukee he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. Knight averages 15.9 points per game in his career and has averaged 4.6 assists per game. He put up his career high scoring average last season at 19.6 per game.

#9 Kemba Walker (Connecticut) Charlotte Bobcats. The knock on Walker was that he was a shoot first point guard, but he has averaged 5.3 assists per game in his career. Don’t look at that the wrong way though Walker is a shoot first type of player. He averages 17.3 points per game and just put up his career high at 20.9 points per game last season. Walker has spent his entire career with Charlotte and has twice tied for the NBA lead in games played.

#10 Jimmer Fredette (Brigham Young) Milwaukee Bucks. Fredette was another one of those draft day deals. He never played for Milwaukee as he was dealt to the Sacramento Kings on draft day. Fredette was a high volume shooter and scorer in college, but his skills never translated to the NBA. Teams continue to take looks at him though as he’s been with four teams in five NBA seasons. He ended last season playing in two games for the New York Knicks after spending time in the D-League.

#11 Klay Thompson (Washington State) Golden State Warriors. Thompson is a key part to Golden State’s success. his scoring average has improved every season and reached 22.1 per game this past season. Golden State centers it’s offense around 3-point shooting and Thompson had his best career year behind the 3-point line. Thompson made 47% of the 3- point shots he took and for his career he’s shooting 45% from behind the 3- point line. Thompson has made the last two All-Star games and won the NBA title in 2014-15.

#12 Alec Burks (Colorado) Utah Jazz. While spending most of his time coming off the Utah bench Burks has averaged double digit points per game in the last three seasons. He was limited to just 31 games last season because of injury. Burks has gotten his career scoring average above the 10 points per game mark. Injuries have limited him though as he played in just 259 games over his five season with the Jazz.

#13 Markief Morris (Kansas) Phoenix Suns. Morris spent four plus seasons with the Suns before being dealt to the Washington Wizards last season. He’s a solid all around player. He averages 11.5 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game in his career. After being traded to Washington his field goal percentage jump to a career high 52.4%.

#14 Marcus Morris (Kansas) Houston Rockets. Yes that’s right the Morris twins went back to back in this draft. After a season and a half Morris was dealt to the Phoenix Suns where his brother was playing. After an off court incident he was traded to the Detroit Pistons. He averaged career highs with the Pistons in points at 14.1 per game; assists at 2.5 per game and in rebounds at 5.1 per game.

#15 Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State) Indiana Pacers. Here’s another one of those players who was drafted by a team, but never played there. Leonard has spent his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs and has become on of the top players in the NBA. Leonard won the NBA championship with the Spurs in 2014 and was named Finals MVP. He has also won Defensive Player of the Year the last two seasons. His 21.2 points per game average was the highest of his career.

#16  Nikola Vucevic (USC) Philadelphia 76ers. People may not remember that Vucevic was drafted by the 76ers and spent one season with Philadelphia before being traded to the Orlando Magic. Since being traded to Orlando Vucevic has averaged double figures in scoring. In 2014-15 he posted a career high averaging 19.3 points per game and last season he averaged 18.2 points per game. He also averages 9.8 rebounds in his career.

#17 Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech) New York Knicks. After a little over three seasons with New York Shumpert was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he just won the NBA title. Shumpert looked t be stepping into a starting role with the Knicks, but since being traded to the Cavaliers he has been coming off the bench. Shumpert has been looked at as a defensive player. He averages 7.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in his career.

#18 Chris Singleton (Florida State) Washington Wizards. Singleton played in 148 games over three seasons for Washington. He averaged 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds for his career. Since being let go by Washington Singleton has spent time in the D-League, the Chinese Basketball Association and has played professionally in Russia. In the NBA draft at this point it’s tough to call anyone a bust; so what would you describe Singleton as?

#19 Tobias Harris (Tennessee) Milwaukee Bucks. Harris spent a season and a half with Milwaukee before being traded to the Orlando magic where his scoring really improved. He never averaged more than 5.0 points per game with Milwaukee, but once he got to Orlando his average went right into double digits. Then after three plus seasons with Orlando Harris was traded again this time to the Detroit Pistons. Harris has a career scoring average of 13.2 points per game.

#20 Donatas Motiej┼źnas (Lithuania) Minnesota Timberwolves. Drafted by Minnesota, but traded to Houston on draft night Motiejunas took a year to join the Rockets. He has battled some injury issues as he’s played in 214 games over his four seasons with Houston. He proved when he’s healthy and playing he can score as he averaged a career high 12.0 points per game when he played in a career high 71 games in the 2014-15 season. He appeared in 37 games last season and was healthy enough to play in 5 playoff games for the Rockets.

#21 Nolan Smith (Duke) Portland Trail Blazers. Smith spent just two season in the NBA with the Trail Blazers. He played in 84 games starting 4 of them. His career scoring average is 3.3 points per game. Smith spent time playing in Croatia, Turkey and the D-League before joining the Duke coaching staff as a special assistant in February of this year.

#22 Kenneth Faried (Morehead State) Denver Nuggets. Faried has become a staple along the Nuggets front line since being drafted. He has been a double digit scorer and a tough rebounder since being drafted. Faried averages 12.3 points oer game and 8.7 rebounds per game in his career. Faried was a member of the United States national team that won the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup; Faried was also named to the All-Tournament team. In January 2016, Faried was announced as one of the 30 finalists for United States national team that will compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

#23 Nikola Mirotic (Spain) Houston Rockets. Another player drafted by one team, but sent to another right away as Mirotic is with the Chicago Bulls. Mirotic has played just two NBA seasons for the Bulls. He missed some time last season due to injury, but has averaged double digit points in his first two seasons. It was thought that Mirotic would be a 3-point shooting threat, but he’s shooting 35.5% from behind the 3-point line in his career. His percentage did improve last season; so maybe he’ll end up fitting that role.

#24 Reggie Jackson (Boston College) Oklahoma City Thunder. Jackson was with Oklahoma City for three and a half season, but with Russell Westbrook as the starting point guard it was tough for Jackson to get minutes. Jackson let the Thunder know he was unhappy and ended up being dealt to the Detroit Pistons where he’s found playing time and shown he can score. In his first partial season with Detroit Jackson averaged 17.6 points per game. Last season in 79 games Jackson averaged 18.8 points per game. Did he just need to play?

#25 MarShom Brooks (Providence) Boston Celtics. Brooks right to the New Jersey Nets in a draft day trade. Brooks played in 164 games over three seasons with four teams. He averaged 7.7 points per game in his NBA career. Brooks played with the  Emporio Armani Milano in the Italian League in 2014 and he signed to play in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Jiangsu Dragons in August of 2015. 

#26 Jordan Hamilton (Texas) Dallas Mavericks. Another deal here as Hamilton went to the Denver Nuggets on draft day. Hamilton spent three plus seasons with Denver before being dealt to Houston Rockets. After finishing the 2013-14 season with Houston Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. After spending  a few seasons in the D-League Hamilton is now playing for the Bucaneros de La Guaira in the Liga Profesional de Baloncesto in Venezuela.

#27 JaJuan Johnson (Purdue) New Jersey Nets. Another trade here as Johnson went from the Nets to the Boston Celtics in draft day. Johnson played just one season with the Celtics. In 36 games he averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Johnson spent some time in the D-League before heading overseas to play. He’s spent the last three seasons playing overseas and is currently with Pallacanestro Cant├╣ in the Italian League.

#28 Norris Cole (Cleveland State) Chicago Bulls. Cole was dealt to the Miami Heat on draft day and spent four plus seasons with the Heat. Miami traded Cole to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cole posted his highest per game scoring average of 9.9 with New Orleans. Cole is the Pelicans back up point guard. Cole was part of two NBA championship teams while with the Heat.

#29 Cory Joseph (Texas) San Antonio Spurs. Joseph spent four seasons with the Spurs coming off the bench before signing a free agent deal with the Toronto Raptors. Joseph played in a career high 80 games for the Raptors; starting four of them. He also posted his career high in points per game 8.5, assists per game 3,1 and rebounds per game 2.6 with Toronto last season. His deal with Toronto was for four year and $30 million.

#30 Jimmy Butler (Marquette) Chicago Bulls. With the last pick of the 1st round the Bulls found a quality player in Butler. He has battled some injuries as he’s played in all 82 games just once in his career. He had his best season last season posting career highs in scoring average with 20.9 points per game and assists with 4.8 assists per game. Butler received a five year $95 million dollar contract from the Bulls in July of 2015.

There you go! How did your favorite team do in this draft. Did they find a guy they could build around and win a title with? Or is the guy they picked playing in another country right now.


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When you start talking about teams that have disappointed in the 2015 baseball season the Seattle mariners would easily make that list. When you’re team is suppose to win and doesn’t it normally cost someone their job and in Seattle it was general manager Jack Zduriencik, Zdurienck was relived of his duties yesterday (Friday); assistant general manager Jeff Kingston will fill Zdurienck role for the remainder of the season. Zdurienck took over as the Mariners general manager in 2009. Seattle finished 3rd that season with a record of 85-77. From 2010-2013 the Mariners finished 4th and never had a winning record. Things started to look up in the 2014 season as Seattle finished above .500 at 87-75. Remember the Mariners made a big splash in free agency in the 2014 off season by signing Robinson Cano for 10 years and $240 million. This off season the Mariners made another big free agent signing by inking Nelson Cruz for 4 years at $57 million that wasn’t enough to make the Mariners contenders in the American League West. The Mariners are in 4th place in the A.L. West at 60-69; 11 games behind the 1st place Houston Astros and are actually closer to the final wild card spot than in their division. Seattle trails the Minnesota Twins by 7 games for that 2nd American League wild card spot. While Cano struggled throughout the first half of the season he has performed better after the All-Star break and has his average up to .275. Cruz on the other hand has been good from the start for the Mariners. When Seattle made the signing a lot of the experts feared that Cruz’s home run totals would fall by a large margin since he’d be playing 81 of his games at SafeCo Field. Cruz has 39 home runs in 126 games so far this season; so his home runs haven’t suffered this season from playing in Seattle. Cruz is also hitting .317 with 82 RBI’s so far and if the Mariners had found their way into contention this season Cruz would be a contender to win the A.L. M.V.P. The way Cano and Cruz played didn’t have too much to do with Zdurienck being fired. Catcher Mike Zunino who showed some power at times was never able to hit well enough at the major league level and was sent to Triple-A this week. Zunino is just 24 years old, but has hit .214 in 2013 when he was called up and played 52 games. In 2014 which was Zunino’s first full season he hit .199 with 22 home runs. This season in 112 games Zunino’s batting average was .174 with 11 home runs. Maybe the time in Triple-A will get Zunino righted he’ll contribute to the Mariners future. Dustin Ackley was the 2nd player taken in the 2009 draft behind Steven Strasburg. Ackley was brought up in 2011 and played 90 games hitting .273. He never hit better than .253 again and was moved to the outfield from 2nd base. Zdurienck dealt Ackley  to the New York Yankees for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez at this seasons trade deadline. Ackley and Zunino weren’t the only issues with the Mariners this season. Austin Jackson (.268) is the only regular hitting better than .260. On the mound even “The King” Felix Hernandez has had his issues. Hernandez has had 3 games were he hasn’t lasted more than 4 2/3rd of an inning. On June 12th against the Astros Hernandez lasted just 1/3rd of an inning; giving up 8 runs. Just a couple of starts ago on August 15th the Boston Red Sox got 10 runs on 12 hits over just 2 1/3rd innings against Hernandez. Hernandez is 15-8 this season, but his ERA is 3.66 which would be his highest for a season since 2007. Hernandez is just 29 years old, but has thrown close to 2300 career innings; so we’ll have to see if he can bounce back next season. While Hisashi Iwakuma did pitch a no-hitter this season; he’s only made 13 starts this season because of injuries. The rest of the Mariners rotation is 26 or younger and no one has an ERA of lower than 4.20. The bullpen had it’s issues as well for Seattle. Before being designated for assignment and dealt to the Chicago Cubs Fernando Rodney was 5-5 with 16 saves, but had an ERA of 5.68 and lost his closer job to rookie Carson Smith. While Rodney is 38 years old he was coming off a career high 48 saves; he also had 48 saves in 2012 for the Tampa Bay Rays. Rodney had had his issues with closing before, but this is the first time his ERA had ballooned like that. Now of course these are just a few of the players that seem to have under performed for the Mariners this season. I’m sure you’ve heard someone in baseball say “that you can’t fire the players” so if it’s not the manager who loses his job the next choice would be the general manager; so Zdurienck was the person let go.

There are some reports out there that are saying we may not see Kyrie Irving in a regular season game for the Cleveland Cavaliers  until January of 2016. Irving has had quite a few injuries early in his NBA career, but if you remember this injury happened during the playoffs. They say this type of injury takes 3 to 4 moths to recover from and there was some talk he’d be their for opening night. It’s a confusing situation with Irving, but if he was to take the floor opening night there’s a chance he could suffer a setback or re-injure the leg and miss even more time. Rather than taking any risk, the Cavaliers may bring him along very slowly, allowing the leg to be strengthened by the time January rolls around. Irving was looking like he would break into that top tier of NBA point guards with the season he had in 2014-15. Irving averaged 21.4 points per game along with 5.1 assists per game and even kicked in 1.5 steals per game. Don’t forget that Irving out up these numbers sharing the ball with LeBron James and Kevin Love. If Irving is out until January it won;t have a huge impact on the Cavaliers playoff chances. With the Eastern conference being as weak as it is the Cavaliers with LeBron are pretty much a lock to get in and the most important thing for them would be to have a healthy Irving when the playoffs started. I know we’ve mentioned fantasy football on the podcast quite a bit, but fantasy basketball isn’t that far behind and Irving’s injury will have more impact there than in the actual NBA. Most leagues don’t have a roster spot for an injured player and it would be very tough to hold a player even one as good as Irving until January; so he may end up being the best waiver wire pick up in your league.

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