Posts Tagged ‘LeBron James’

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 25, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in sports
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I’ve been a sports fan for a long time and I’ve seen great players come and go. What I’m trying to remember is if I’ve ever heard a great player complain as much as LeBron James does. It started with there not being enough time off for the All-Star break. The NBA gave in and made the All-Star break a week long. I think that with this extra time James took a trip to Miami instead of spending that extra time with his family which is what he said when he cried about the break being extended. James also complained about back to back games and playing three games in four days. Now under the new CBA these issues have been address. So expect an even longer NBA season starting next year when the new CBA kicks in. Then earlier this season James  started kicking and screaming that the Cleveland Cavaliers needed a shooter. So Cavaliers general manager David Griffin managed to swing a deal with the Atlanta Hawks for one of the best shooters in the NBA Kyle Korver. When things didn’t turn around right away after they acquired Korver the excuse James gave was that they hadn’t had any practice time together. The Cavaliers have now lost five of there last seven games and you knew that James would have an excuse or at least something to cry about and he didn’t disappoint. James has squarely placed the blame on Griffin and has now said that the Cavaliers need a play maker. James called the current Cavaliers roster “ill-equipped” and then later tried to back pedal on Twitter saying “I not mad or upset at management cause Griff and staff have done a great job, I just feel we still need to improve in order to repeat…if that’s what we wanna want to do”. James posted this in two separate tweets and the spelling is all his; so don’t blame that one on me. James is looking for the Cavaliers to add a back up point guard to lighten the load on himself and Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers do have other point guards on there roster. Cleveland has Kay Felder there 2nd round pick from 2016 as well as DeAndre Liggins who is in his 4th NBA season. Now you have to ask yourself if it’s the general managers fault that James had the Cavaliers over pay his friends and now there in a tight salary cap spot even with the increase the NBA just had. It’s clear that James doesn’t want to see Felder or Liggins on the court; so they’re as good as done with the Cavaliers. Now the Cavaliers are still on top of the Eastern Conference at 30-13, but there lead is down to just three games over the Toronto Raptors. The more you listen to James talk you actually have to wonder if this is just a guy trying to cover his rear end in case the Cavaliers don’t make it to the NBA finals.

So where are the Cavaliers going to get a back up point guard. I’m sure James would love to see Cleveland go out and get his buddy Chris Paul. Paul is currently out after having thumb surgery, but I don’t think that Cleveland could get Paul’s salary under the cap unless Irving is headed the other way in the deal and that doesn’t solve the Cavaliers problem. James’ other buddy Dwayne Wade isn’t a true point guard, but I’m sure the Chicago Bulls would part with Wade’s teammate and true point guard Rajon Rondo. Rickey Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves name has come up in trade rumors; so maybe he could be an option for Cleveland. There could also be a players like Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat or Tim Frazier of the New Orleans Pelicans available. The question is which one if any of these players James would accept as a teammate. Then of course the Cavaliers would have to make sure they could make a deal with the salary cap. Of course with what the Cavaliers are paying in luxury tax penalties now; would a little more even matter?

The Washington Wizards arrived dressed in black funeral wear for what they openly labeled a grudge match against the Boston Celtics Tuesday night. Bradley Beal scored 13 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to help  the Wizards extended their home winning streak to 14 games with a 123-108 victory over Boston. John Wall had 27 points while Markieff Morris register a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. This was a bit of revenge for the Wizards from the Last time these two teams met which ended with a Boston 117-108 victory. That game featured five technical fouls and ended with Wall and Jae Crowder getting into a verbal confrontation that almost started a brawl. That prompted the Wizards to show up to Verizon Center on Tuesday wearing all black, funeral themed clothing. Wall’s apparel consisted of a designer T-shirt beneath a varsity style jacket as he arrived. Beal who came up with the idea showed up wearing an oversized black winter trenchcoat complete with hood and matching scarf. He would later have his best offensive night since that game in Boston. There was no blow up between the teams this game, but there was some action on the Boston bench as Marcus Smart got into an argument with Boston’s assistant coaches in the 4th quarter. Celtics coach Brad Stevens explained that the argument came from Smart wanting to go back into the game, but was on an minute limit for the half.

The rivalry in more interesting between these two teams since they’re both have good seasons. Boston is currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings at 26-18 while the Wizards are currently 5th in the Eastern Conference standings at 25-20. Maybe there will end up being a playoff series between these two teams.

Believe it or not we’re getting close to the start of baseball spring training. Pitchers and catchers report starting February 13th with all players being in camp by February 20th. So ready or not it’s almost time for baseball.

 

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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.

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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.

NBA free agency kicked of yesterday (July 1st) and to say the least it was Lin-sanity. I meant insanity even though Jeremy Lin was one of the players to verbal agree to a contract. None of these deals can become official until July 7th and you wonder if there will be another DeAndre Jordan moment like last season. In case you forgot what happened with Jordan he agreed verbally to a contract with the Dallas Mavericks, but after a visit from former team the Los Angeles Clippers he changed his mind and ended up resigning with them.

 With the salary cap going up to close to $93 million per team it seems like everyone who got a contract yesterday was overpaid, but it just seems that’s how it’s going to go in the NBA. I believe the minimum salary total a team can have is $83 million; so there are teams scrambling just to make that number. Out of all of the signings yesterday the two biggest names to come off the board may have both ended up with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies resigned their point guard Mike Conley to a 5-year $153 million dollar deal. They also agreed with free agent Chandler Parsons formerly of the Mavericks to a 4-year $94 million dollar deal. 

Looking at those contract numbers what are players like LeBron James or Kevin Durant going to get when they sign with a team. There have also been reports that Dwayne Wade wants a contract worth $20 plus million a season and looking at the contracts that where handed out that shouldn’t be a problem; even if that contract isn’t with the Miami Heat.

 The new television contract the NBA signed with ESPN/TNT has really put more money into the game. The salary cap is due to go up over $100 million next season; so we may go through something just like this again.

 Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck just signed a new contract this week. Luck got a 6-year deal worth $140 million dollars. There where two deals signed yesterday worth more in total than Luck’s and there where  9 players signed to contract who will make more per season than Luck does. Now Luck is in the top tier of quarterbacks in the NFL; I’m not sure if some of the guys who where signed to these huge deals yesterday are in the top tier of their positions in the NBA. I’ll be very interested to see what kind of deal the Cleveland Cavaliers end up giving James and just what kind of money it’s going to take for Durant to sign with a team. I guess if you’re a parent with a young son who hasn’t found a sport he likes basketball might be the way too go.

Speaking of Durant; he has met with 3 of the 6 teams he had planned to meet with. His current or possible former team the Oklahoma City Thunder had the first meeting with him. After that meeting, there where reports that said there was a 90% chance that Durant would resign with Oklahoma City. Then Durant met with the Golden State Warriors. Golden State had there owner Joe Lacob, General Manager Bob Myers, head coach Steve Kerr as well as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala at the meeting with Durant. Golden State’s meeting with Durant ran longer than it was scheduled to and that caused NBA insiders to report that the Warriors where now the front runner to sign Durant. 

Yesterday it was the Los Angeles Clippers turn to meet with Durant  and they made a four hour presentation to him. The Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, Coach Doc Rivers and front-office executives Lawrence Frank and Dave Wohl attended the meeting along with star players Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Point guard Chris Paul could not make it because of a scheduling conflict with his vacation in Spain but had spoken with Durant about his hopes of becoming teammates. Durant is still scheduled to sit down with the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and the Thunder a second time before reaching his decision next week.

There hasn’t been much talk or any meetings involving where LeBron may play next season. It appears as everyone is convinced that he’ll resign with Cleveland. Remember Cleveland can offer James more money than any other team can and that appears to be what James is interested in right now. The only real question coming up regarding James was a tweet he sent out congratulating Matthew Dellavedova on his new contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. Was James unaware that Dellavedova was a restricted free agent and that the Cavaliers have a right to match Milwaukee’s offer or was he implying that Cleveland won’t match the offer to Dellavedova. Of course given the fact the James is pretty much the ipso facto general manger of the Cavaliers you’d think Dellavedova will be a former James teammate.

July 1st also meant that NHL teams could begin signing unrestricted free agents and even with Steven Stamkos off the board there where sign quite a few players signing with teams. Stamkos received an 8-year deal worth $8.5 million annually from the Tampa Bay Lighting before he ever reached free agency. Besides Stamkos the Lighting also signed defenseman Victor Hedman to an 8-year $63 million dollar deal. Some of the other bigger free agent goal scores signed yesterday as well. Milan Lucic signed a 7-year $42 million dollar deal with the Edmonton Oilers. Kyle Okposo got the same contract as Lucic did, but from the Buffalo Sabres. Loui Eriksson got a 6-year $36 million dollar deal from the Vancouver Canucks while Frans Nielsen got 6 years and $31.5 million to join the Detroit Red Wings. For us locally in Chicago the Blackhawks did sign defenseman Brian Campbeel for 1-year at $2.25 million dollars, but they saw Andrew Ladd leave for the New York Islanders on a 7-year $38.5 million dollar deal.

There are still plenty of NHL and NBA free agents out there. Did you like the moves your team made? Or where they one of the teams that didn’t make any moves yet?

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The Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to lock down a spot in the NBA Finals with a 113-87 victory over the Toronto Raptors. This was the first time in  the series that a home tam had lost a game. The Cavaliers won Game 1, 2 and 4 in Cleveland while Toronto had surprisingly held serve winning Games 3 and 4 in Toronto. The Cavaliers built a 6-point lead 31-25 after the 1st quarter and just continued to add to it. They extended the lead to 55-41 going into halftime and that was pretty much the end of it for Toronto. The Raptors where able to cut into the Cavaliers lead in the 3rd quarter, but the 2 points they knocked off the lead wasn’t enough to get them back in the game. The Raptors outscored the Cavaliers 33-31 in the 3rd quarter, but that cut the Cleveland lead to 12 points at 86-74. The Cavaliers where able to pull away in the 4th quarter as they outscored the Raptors 27-13 to get the game to it’s final score of 113-87.

LeBron James led the way with 33 points for the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and had a team high 9 assists while Kevin Love scored 20 points and grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. J.R. Smith also scored in double figures adding 15 points as four of the five Cavaliers starters scored in double figures. The Cavaliers where an impressive 17 of 31 (54.8%) from behind the 3-point line in the game.

It seems for the raptors when Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan play well they win those game. Well both Lowry and DeRozan shot 50% from the floor. Lowry had 35 points while DeRozan added 20 points. Lowry shoot 11 of 22 from the field and was 6 of 12 from behind the 3-point line and 7 for 7 from the free throw line. DeRozan was 9 of 18 from the floor and made both free throws he shot; he did miss his only 3-point attempt of the game. Lowry and DeRozan also tied for the team lead in assists with 3 apiece while Bismack Biyombo grabbed a team high 9 rebounds.

This is the second straight season that Cleveland will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but this is the 6th consecutive trip to the NBA Finals for LeBron James. He went four seasons in a row with the Miami Heat and then of course these last two seasons with the Cavaliers. The other seven players to accomplish this feat where all members of the 1950’s and 1960’s Boston Celtics dynasties. Those seven other players are Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Satch Sanders, Tommy Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey, and Bob Cousy.

The last year James did not play in an NBA Finals was 2010 – which marked Kobe Bryant’s last title with the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron played in another Finals in 2007 with Cleveland, and sports a record of 2-4 so far – both titles coming with the Heat.

In the 6th round of the NFL draft the Baltimore Ravens took Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds. The Ravens will look to use Reynolds as a return man and wide receiver. Of course the issue when you draft any player from a service academy is they have a commitment to that branch of the service. Of Friday at his graduation speech at the Naval Academy  Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said Reynolds can defer his military service to play in the NFL. This was considered the final step in allowing Reynolds to play for the Ravens.  It was two weeks ago when Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus submitted a request where he “strongly recommended” that Reynolds be cleared to join the NFL after a standout college career. Mabus recently said he couldn’t think of “a better ambassador for the United States Navy or for the United States military than Keenan Reynolds.” Reynolds finished his college career as the FBS’ all-time leader in total touchdowns (88), rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559) and points scored (530).

While the Ravens got some good news with Reynolds they also had an issue this week as the NFL forced Baltimore to cancel one week of organized team activities and fined both the team and coach John Harbaugh on Thursday for violating off season rules. The Ravens acknowledged the punishment by releasing a statement on Thursday. It’s being reported that the Ravens were fined $343,057 and Harbaugh was fined $137,223. Apparently the rule that was broken was when the Ravens put rookies and first-year players in pads for a five-minute period at a recent rookie mini-camp. This is the second time in six years that the NFL has punished the Ravens for violating off-season rules. In 2010, Baltimore had to cancel the final week of OTA’s, after six players complained to the players’ union about late meetings and two others reported being held too long on the field after practice. I honestly didn’t know that either of these things would be a violation. I thought that it was just part of your job as an NFL player, but what do I know. This punishment was similar to what the Seattle Seahawks  received in 2014. The team was fined $200,000 and Carroll was hit with a $100,000 fine. The Seahawks also lost two days of mandatory mini-camp for violating non-contact rules in the off-season.

It seems like there’s been talk of Julio Urias being brought up to the major for quite a while now. Well last night it finally happened as Urias made his major league debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Urias started against the New York Mets and it was quite the debut performance a lot of people expected. The Dodgers had announced that they would keep Urias to 85 pitches in this start and he did get close to that total, but it was in just 2 2/3rd innings. Urias gave up 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned) while walking 4 and striking out 3. Urias pitch count reached 81 in his short outing. Urias wasn’t involved in the decision; a 6-5 win for the Mets.

Dick Calmus was the last teenager to start a game for the Dodgers back in 1963 and he didn’t get out of the 1st inning. I’m sure there are a lot of people out thinking that it was Fernando Valenzuela. While Valenzuela did pitch for the Dodgers as a teenager it was out of the bullpen; he actually didn’t start a game for Los Angeles until he was 20 years old. Felix Hernandez was the last teenager to make a start in the majors. Hernandez started for the Seattle Maruners on August 4th 2005 against the Detroit Tigers. Hernandez pitched 5 innings gave up 1 run, 3 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. With the way starting pitchers are handled now they may be a big gap between Julio Urias and the next teenage starter.

 

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If you’re a fan of the NBA or maybe just a basketball fan or how about just a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I have to ask you; is this LeBron James media circus good for your team? There have been the passive aggressive tweets that James has sent out that makes it seem like he doesn’t want to play for the Cavaliers after this season. Then there was more social media drama when James stopped following the Cavaliers on there Twitter and Instagram accounts. James used the excuse that he was getting into “playoff mode’ as his reasoning for doing this. Then James came out and said that he’d like to put a “Super team” together wit his friends Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul. And then the worst one of all to me is the Cavaliers went out on Thursday night and lost to the Brooklyn Nets 104-95. Yes you read that right the Brooklyn Nets. Now James actually had a very good game against the Nets. James shot 13 for 16 from the field on the night. He made 1 of the 2 3-pointers he took; while making 3 of his 4 free throws he took for a total of 30 points. James also had 6 rebounds; handed out 5 assists and had a steal in the game. If you take James shooting totals away from the rest of the Cavaliers that night they where 23 of 73 (31.5%) from the field. Now even with that loss to the Nets the Cavaliers are 52-21 and barring a complete collapse in their final 10 games they’ll be the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. 4 of the Cavaliers remaining games are at home; so that means there’s 6 games on the road, but none of the games are against what you’d describe as top tier competition. The Cavaliers face the New York Knicks tonight in New York, but the only teams they’ll face that are in the playoffs right now are the Houston Rockets on March 29th, the Atlanta Hawks twice on April 1st and April 11th and they play the Indiana Pacers on April 6th. So with the schedule the Cavaliers have they should be able to get their players rest if they decide to and still coast into the playoffs. While there might be a team that the Cavaliers run into in the Eastern Conference playoffs that might win a game or two in that series. Even with all of the LeBron James stuff going on. Is there really a team out there that could be a threat of actually winning a 7 game series against them? What would be interesting to me to find out is how the other Cavaliers feel about some of the stuff that James has been saying or doing, but none of them are going to say anything right now. Maybe will catch a break and when the season is over someone like J.R. Smith will come out and let the media know how he feels about what happened. Is there another player on the Cavaliers besides Smith that might actual come out and say something?

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is down to the Elite 8. Now if you’ve listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast I did a bracket, but I also admitted I don’t know a whole lot about college basketball. If you remember I had Michigan State winning the tournament and they got beat in the 1st round. There’s always talk going into the tournament about the best conference and from the looks of the final eight teams left you’d have to say it’s the ACC. Out of the 8 teams left the ACC has 4 of them. You have long time conference members North Carolina and Virginia along with conference new comers Syracuse and Notre Dame. Now with the way the bracket happens to be set up this year only one of these teams can end up in the championship game. On Sunday out of the East bracket North Carolina who was a #1 seed faces #6 seeded Notre Dame. Also this Sunday out of the Midwest bracket Virginia who was also a #1 seed faces #10 seeded Syracuse. Now the winners of these games will meet in a Final 4 game for the right to play for the national championship. The ACC or Atlantic Coast Conference will set a record for money earned in a tournament. According to Darren Rovell each game played in this year’s tournament is worth $265,791. Through Friday night, ACC teams have earned 23 units, counting their Elite Eight games. They’ll earn another two from the Final Four, putting the total at 25 units. That’s where the conference will finish, because no units are awarded for the title game. The previous record for the most units earned in a single NCAA tournament was 24 by the Big East in 2009. The 25 units are worth at least $39.9 million. The ACC guaranteed itself at least $32.8 million from the 21 units it brought home in last year’s tournament. I’d have to guess as this information gets out we’ll start talking about players being paid again. While the ACC has dominated one side of the bracket; there are 4 other teams left. The South bracket and the West bracket went just as they where seeded. In the South bracket it will be #1 seeded Kansas against #2 seeded Villanova. Over in the West bracket we’ll see #1 seeded Oregon against #2 seeded Oklahoma. These two brackets may actually be the bigger surprise with the way they played out. Didn’t we hear at the start of the tournament about the parity in college basketball and none of the experts expected any bracket to go as it was seeded. How’s your bracket?

The Chicago Cubs got their first scare of spring training when Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta had to leave his last start after just 1/3rd of an inning due to a blister. Arrieta left his Thursday start against the San Francisco Giants after giving up 5 runs and throwing 34 pitches. The Cubs have come out and said they’d be “cautious” with Arrieta, but Arrieta himself has come out and said he’d be ready for opening day on April 4th. The difficulty may be that Thursday was planned to be Arrieta’s long start of spring training. It was reported he’d throw 80 plus pitches in that game. Now with the blister issue will he be able to get himself stretched out for his opening day start. The Cubs seem to be just about everybody’s pick this season. If you don;t have them winning the World Series you probably at least have them there as the National League representative. If this blister is a recurring issue and Arrieta has to continue to leave starts early or possible miss some starts as the blister heals that Cubs pick might be in some trouble. Can the Cubs find Arrieta some extra work and get him ready for his opening day start or will that start and maybe another be his stretching out period for the season. It will be important to see if the blister issue happens again to Arrieta because he’s the best pitcher on the Cubs and not many teams go far when their best pitcher is having injury issues.

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You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means the Indianapolis 500 will be run. NASCAR has pretty much taken over any type of racing news, but the Indianapolis 500 is the one still mainstream open wheel race that gets covered. When I was younger I would watch the race, but not so much anymore. While I’ll still try to catch the end to see who wins the race there’s not a connection you might feel for your favorite NASCAR driver with this series for me. While I still recognize some of the names like polesitter Scott Dixon after looking at the starting grid there where only 4 other drivers starting in the Top 10 who’s names I recognized. I’m sure if I followed this racing series a little closer I would know the other drivers in the Top 10, but I don’t even know if their other races are shown on television. While I would never want to see the Indianapolis 500 not be televised this weekend or moved to another network I would like to be able to find the other races in this series easier. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in 1st place in the NL West by 1 1/2 games over the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers and Giants just finished a mid-week 3 game series that saw the Giants sweep all 3 game from the Dodgers in that series. Not only did the Giants get a sweep in that series the Dodgers were shutout in all 3 games. San Francisco seems to be getting healthy while Los Angeles is going through some injuries. Even though the Dodgers did win their game last night they still only put up 2 runs. I don;t think anyone thought that offense would be an issues for the Dodgers and when Yasiel Puig returns from his hamstring injury the offense should return to were it was at the start of the season. What I’m wondering is if there’s going to be a move made for a starting pitcher. Los Angeles still has the best 1,2 top of the rotation in baseball with Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke in those roles, but there are some questions after that. Brett Anderson has been solid at 2-2 with an ERA of 3.61 in his 8 starts. The 8 starts Anderson has made this season match his total from all of last season and he hasn’t made more than 30 starts in his career. Anderson made 30 starts as a rookie in 2009; so will he hold up over a season in the Dodgers rotation. Brandon McCarthy has been lost for the season and it was announced yesterday that Hyun-jin Ryu will have season ending shoulder surgery. Ryu didn’t make any starts for the Dodgers this season. Carlos Frias has made 6 appearances with 4 of those being starts and is 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA. Mike Bolsinger has made 3 starts for the Dodgers as well and is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.04. Will the Dodgers stick with Frias and Bolsinger at the back of the rotation or will they go out on the trade market and try to find pitching. I’d be surprised to see Cole Hamels in a Dodgers uniform unless the Philadelphia Phillies come way down on what they want in return for Hamels. Now there is another Phillies pitcher that has gotten some attention early in the trade market. Could the veteran Aaron Harang be someone the Dodgers might be interested in. Harang is 4-3 in 9 starts for the Phillies with an ERA of 1.82. I’d be surprised to see Harang still with the Phillies at the end of the season, but which contender or contenders might be interested .

I was a little surprised to see the Cleveland Cavaliers more or less coast to a 12 point win 94-82 in Game 2 of the Eastern conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks. The Cavaliers took a 5 point lead after the 1st quarter 26-21. Cleveland kept the lead at 5 going into halftime 54-49, but pulled away in the 3rd quarter out scoring Atlanta 30-17 and taking a 84-66 lead. The Hawks did out score the Cavaliers in the 4th quarter 16 to 10, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough to get Atlanta back into the game or close to a win. LeBron James led Cleveland and all scorers with 30 points. James also had 11 assists and 9 rebounds missing a triple double by just that 1 rebound. Iman Shumpert (16) Matthew Dellavedova (11) and Timofey Mozgov (10) were the other Cavaliers scoring in double figures while Tristan Thompson grab a game high 16 rebounds for Cleveland. Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 13 points, but Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Al Horford all scored 12 points for the Hawks. Cleveland has a 2 games to 0 lead in the series and they are headed back to Cleveland for Game 3 on Sunday night. Can Atlanta win a game in Cleveland and keep the series alive and return home or are the Cavaliers looking at a sweep. 

If you’re a Houston Rockets fan are you going to end up looking back at this Western conference finals series against the Golden State Warriors and wonder what if. The Rockets lost Game 1 by 4 points 110-106 and had their chances to take that game. Thursday night though might be the heartbreaker for Rockets fans. The Rockets were down 1 point with under 10 seconds to play and they had the basketball. James Harden was doubled teamed and unable to get a game winning shot off as the Rockets lost 99-98 in Game 2. Golden State has a 2-0 lead in this series, but it could just as easily be the other way around and if you’re Houston you have to think those missed chances will cost you this series. The series heads back to Houston for Game 3 tonight and the Rockets are kind of in the same boat the hawks find themselves in. Can they win a game at home to keep the series alive or will they be swept out of the conference finals.

On the podcast we always notice how the NFL finds ways to keep themselves in the news all year long, but lately all I’ve heard is the negative “Deflate Gate” news. I doubt this is the kind of news the NFL wants to generate in the off season and I have to tell you; I’m over this already. While I do think that a 4 game suspension was too much for Tom Brady I have no real interest in this situation. I side with Dan the Man on this when he has said over and over on the Sports Time Radio podcast that this is really the NFL’s fault. With all of the money the NFL makes they couldn’t have someone in charge of the game footballs. That’s enough of that garbage. When does mini-camp start?

We’ve spent some time here looking at the NBA top teams and how the playoff match ups might go. Let’s turn our attention to the other end of the standings and teams that will be in the draft lottery. I started thinking about this after I heard some experts on television debating if the Boston Celtics should “tank” the rest of the season to get back into the draft lottery. The Celtics currently hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference. So your team gets into the draft lottery and by chance they win the #1 overall selection; great right. Not so fast; do you know the last #1 overall pick to win a NBA championship was LeBron (more…)

1/14/15

The Cleveland Cavaliers are one  game under .500 at 19-20 and they’ve been without LeBron James for a few weeks. Even with James returning and scoring 33 points it wasn’t enough to stop the Cavaliers losing streak; which is now at six games. Cleveland lost to the Phoenix Suns 107-100. Cleveland is also 1-9 in their last ten games. There’s still a little over half of the season for the Cavaliers to get the ship righted and make a playoff run. Now if you’re a Cavaliers fan are you worried about this being LeBron’s only season in his Cleveland return. I actually though LeBron’s opt out was after next season, but it’s being reported that it’s after this current season. I always thought it was just a money play James. The new NBA television contract will kick in and it’s expected that the salary cap will jump and then James could cash in big. Then there was the Christmas game against the Miami Heat and the conversation that took place between James and Dwayne Wade after that game. James big everything he could so people couldn’t see what he was saying, but it was picked up by a microphone on the floor. This is what James was quoted as saying to Wade. “Like I said, if we aren’t better this year, we’re gonna re-unite again and do some bigger and better things, alright” James excuse was that it was about doing something off court and says it had nothing to do with leaving Cleveland. I guess we’ll find out in about half of a season what will happen with LeBron. Can Cleveland and the Cavaliers fans take another round of free agency for James?

The Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics are swapping veteran point guards in a trade that sends Jameer Nelson to Denver and Nate Robinson to Boston. After spending 10 seasons with one club, the Orlando Magic, Nelson will be on his third team of 2014-15, after joining the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent and playing 23 games for Dallas, then being dealt to the Celtics as part of the return package for Rajon Rondo, and now the Nuggets. In all, Nelson is averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 assists in 24.3 minutes that includes starting for the Mavericks and primarily coming off the bench in Boston. Robinson, who would be in his second stint with the Celtics after previously playing there for parts of two seasons, is contributing 5.8 points and 2.3 assists in 14.1 minutes in Denver. The Celtics are expected to negotiate a buyout, with Robinson, saving money while allowing Robinson to become a free agent who would draw interest from playoff teams. The Clippers, who have been linked to another Boston guard, Austin Rivers, would apparently likewise look at Robinson in hopes of upgrading the bench that has been a major problem area the first half of the season.

We don’t spend a lot of time talking about college sports on the Sports Time Radio podcast, but there was a National Championship game Monday night. College sports has kind of lost it’s luster to me and I’m not sure I’ll ever be that interested in it again. It always drives me crazy when I hear an interview with a guy and even though he’s spent a few years in college it seems like the player has no grasp of the English language. It’s to the point now that I feel like these guys aren’t going to any classes and are getting money on the side to play college sports. Now I’m sure this doesn’t happen everywhere, but I think everyone understands that it happens at certain schools. With all my misgivings aside Ohio State won the first college football playoff beating Oregon 42-20. Ohio State was the fourth team to make the college football play system and if this was the old BCS system college football used to use these two teams wouldn’t have played for the championship. Did the system work perfectly; no, but it was better than the BCS system. TCU and Baylor probably had claims to that fourth spot that Ohio State got, but by winning the championship that has to put some of that talk to rest now. They’re reporting all time high ratings for the title game Monday night. If I had to guess I’d say this will end up as an eight team playoff down the road, but for the first timeout of the box this was a good start.

The Arizona Diamondbacks added their second Cuban born player this off-season by signing 21-year-old right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez. The deal technically isn’t done pending a physical and while terms of the contract haven’t been released yet it does contain a record-setting $8.27 million dollar bonus according to reports. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Sa Diego Padres, New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds were among the teams to express interest in signing the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Lopez. One source said the hurler turned down a $9 million offer from another club because he believed Arizona was the best fit. Lopez was said to be impressed with general manager Dave Stewart and chief baseball officer Tony La Russa, and he believes the quickest path to the Major Leagues runs through Arizona. Lopez is expected to be invited to big league Spring Training camp. The scouting report on Lopez says he throws a cut fastball, a changeup, a curveball and a slider, but he is best known for a fastball that travels in the 93-95 mph range. He played three seasons in Cuba for Isla de la Juventud in Serie Nacional, the island’s top league. Lopez sported a 3.12 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks in 49 innings in his final season before defecting. Earlier this off-season the Diamondbacks signed Cuban born outfielder/3rd baseman Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million deal.

It’s down to four in the National Football League playoffs. The first game Sunday is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m. and it’s the Green Bay Packers vs. the Seattle Seahawks. The second game is schedule to start at 5:40 p.m. and has the Indianapolis Colts vs. the New England Patriots. We’ll make our picks later in the week; so you’ll have to tune in to Sports Time Radio to see who we’re going with. Last week I went 4-0 on the weekend while Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and Dan the Man where all 3-1. Through the first two weeks of the playoffs Mr. Fantasy and I are 6-2 while Schaumburg Stu and Dan the Man are 5-3. Oh; by the way both times I listed are Central Standard Time.

You can find <a href=”http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sportstime-radio”>Sports Time Radio</a><a> on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter </a><a href=”http://www.twitter.com/burketime”>@Burketime</a><a&gt;.</a>