Posts Tagged ‘NBA All-Star weekend’

It’s All-Star weekend in the NBA and it started last night. The All-Star festivities kick off with the celebrity game. Which I don’t think I’ve ever watched, but I’m guessing someone does because they keep having it. The other event on Friday night is the Rising Stars game. The roster for this game are compiled of first and second year players and they’re divided into a Team U.S. And a World Team. This game is pretty much the younger guys version of the actual All-Star game is there is no defense at all played. Case in point last night the World Team beat the U.S. Team 150-141. When this game first started I watched a little of it until I realized that it was a joke and they where only interested in seeing how many points they could score and it wasn’t any actual basketball game.

Moving on to the three Saturday events which are a little more entertaining. There’s the Skills Challenge which they ruined for me last year with the changes they made. I understand that they wanted the big men in the competition, but they way they adjusts things for them really ruined the competition.

Here are the players competing in the Skills Challenge.

Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics) , Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns). Jokic is replacing Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers who is out injured.

Then there’s the 3-point competition which is easily the best of all the events they have on Saturday.

Here are the players you’ll see competing in the 3-point shooting competition.

Defending champion Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) is back to try and repeat. He’ll be competing against Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) C.J. McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets), Wesley Matthews (Dallas Mavericks) and Nick Young (Los Angeles Lakers)

Then there is the Slam Dunk Contest which use to be the marquee event of the evening, but has really lost it’s luster when the bigger stars in the NBA no longer wanted to compete in it. Zach LeVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves had brought some interest back to the contest the last couple of years and his battle with Aaron Gordon last season was one of the best dunk contest there have ever been. While Gordon is back to compete and LeVine was going to try and defend his title he was injured and is out for the season.

He are the players in this years Slam Dunk Contest.

Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic), DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers), Glen Robinson III (Indiana Pacers) and Derrick Jones Jr. (Phoenix Suns).

How much of All-Star Saturday night do you watch?

Then there is the All-Star game itself. It’s the 66th NBA All-Star game and they’re in New Orleans this time. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. cst and it’s on TNT. Someone has to explain to me why you’d watch this game. Is it really that interesting to see these guys ply together. The only thing that I want to know if it happens or not is if will see Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder on the court with the four Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry who are on the Western Conference All-Star team, but that’s not enough to make me tune in. Are you going to watch?

In trade rumors that don’t involved Carmelo Anthony it appears as though the Detroit Pistons are in talks with the Orlando Magic to trade point guard Reggie Jackson. The deal as it’s being reported has Jackson going to the Magic for point guard D.J. Augustin and forward Jeff Green. Jackson name had came up in trade rumors early in the season that had him going to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Rickey Rubio. Those trade rumors prompted Pistons coach and team president Stan Van Gundy to publicly proclaim that  Jackson wouldn’t be dealt to Minnesota. There is also a report that if Jackson is available the New Orleans Pelicans would be interested in acquiring him. There where no names reported in a Pistons/Pelicans deal for Jackson.

Jackson is 26 and in the second year of a five-year; $80 million dollar deal with the Pistons. Jackson is averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 assists, but the Pistons are just 16-20 with him in the line up. Now Jackson missed the first 21 games of the season when he was suffering from persistent knee tendinitis. While Jackson was out the Pistons went 11-10.

It seems as though Detroit would like to move on from Jackson and use Ish Smith as there staring point guard. In and interview earlier in the week Van Gundy was quoted as saying “We found a groove with Ish. And when Reggie came back, it has been a big adjustment.” Van Gundy also acknowledged “Reggie came back, and we’ve struggled ever since.”

Detroit is currently in 8th place in the Eastern Conference at 27-30, but they where expecting to compete for a top playoff spot and have a home court advantage in a series or two. The Pistons are just one game behind the Chicago Bulls for the 7th spot in the conference, but they are also just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks who are in 9th place while the Miami Heat are in 10 place just two games behind the Pistons. With the trade deadline coming up on Thursday will have to see if Jackson is still with the Pistons after that.

The NHL has ruled that Antoine Vermette will be suspended 10 games for the slashing incident with a linesman Shandor Alphonso in the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. The NHL announced the decision on Thursday. That was just a day after Vermette had a disciplinary conference call with the league and the players’ union. The NHLPA has notified the league that it will appeal the suspension. Is 10 games enough or too much for Vermette?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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It’s NBA All-Star weekend or I guess I should say All-Star week. I find it a little odd that the NBA of all the major sports has the longest All-Star break. If you remember last season LeBron James cried quite a bit about how the All-Star break wasn’t long enough and he couldn’t spend time with his family. Of course this is the same guy that when he had time off ended up in Miami. If I remember right his family lives in Cleveland. I think he used the excuse that he was in Miami to see a certain doctor, but I don;t think anyone believed that. Now in no way am I saying that that basketball isn’t a physical sport. With all the running and the jumping has to be tough on the knees and ankles. I’m just not sold on it being tougher than playing in the NHL which got just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. I have to wonder if it’s even as tough as playing Major League baseball with the long season and the fact that you play in the heat of the summer. Baseball also gets just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. The NBA season is long enough as it is; do they really need an extended All-Star break?

Like I said it is All-Star weekend for the NBA and it kicked off yesterday wit 2 games I could care little or nothing at all about. The first game is the celebrity game which has a few former players mixed in along with a couple of WNBA players as well. All this game really proves is that all the entertainers playing in it made the right career choice. I was actually a little interested to see the Rising Stars Challenge until I turned it on. I thought the format might be interesting with the best young American players against the best players from the rest of the world. Now the game is just for first or second year NBA players, but when I turned it on I quickly realized that even these players knew they where n an All-Star game. Just like the All-Star game that will be played on Sunday there was ZERO defense played in this game was the World team won 121-112. I thought maybe the young players would try and play an actual game of basketball and not just let guys dunk at will and throw up 45 foot 3-pointers; sadly I was very, very wrong. It took me about 2 minutes of actual game action to realize this game was a joke and went and found something else to watch. So Friday is a complete waste of time for the NBA All-Star weekend and everyone knows that the game on Sunday will be a joke; so the only hope is the Saturday night events will be worth watching.

All-Star Saturday night kicks off with the Shooting Stars event. I was unable to find out who’ll be competing in this event, but if I remember right it’s a former NBA player teamed up with a current NBA player and a current WNBA player and they have to make a series of shots from different areas of the court ending with a half court shot. The team that makes all their shots in the fastest time wins this event. Then they move on to the Skills Challenge which features the players skills in ball handling, passing and shooting. This is the first season that more than just guards will compete. Patrick Beverly (Rockets) is the defending champion, but he is injured and won;t be in this seasons competition. Here’s the list of the players competing. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Draymond Green (Warriors), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jordan Clarkson (Lakers), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers), Isaiah Thomas (Celtics) and Emmanuel Mudlay (Nuggets). Dan the Man is picking Cousins to win this event. Next is the 3-point shootout with Stephen Curry (warriors) back to defend his title. Curry is up against Devin Booker (Suns), J.J. Reddick (Clippers), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), James Harden (Rockets), Khris Middleton (Bucks), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers) and Klay Thompson (Warriors). Dan likes Thompson to unseat his teammate Curry in this event. With what the NBA game has turned into I’m a little surprised that the Slam Dunk contest still wraps up All-Star Saturday night, but it does. Zach LaVine (Timberwolves) is back to defend Slam Dunk his title against Aaron Gordon (Magic), Andre Drummond (Pistons) and Will Barton (Nuggets). Dan likes the big man Drummond to win this event. Tune into Sports Time Radio 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. live at http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com and we’ll review how Dan the Man did with his picks. Do you agree with Dan’s picks? or do you have someone else winning these competitions.

Major League Baseball made history on Friday and not in a good way. Jenrry Mejia of the New York Mets became the first player to receive a lifetime ban for failing 3 drugs tests. Not only was this Mejia’s 3rd positive test, but his 3rd positive test in a year. It was reported that Mejia tested positive for Boldenone, which athletes have used to increase muscle mass and once was popular for use in horse racing. He is just the 2nd player to ever test positive for Boldenone and he’s done it twice. Mejia is just 26 years old and may apply to commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement in one year. If reinstated, he would have to sit out a minimum of two years before being able to pitch again in the majors. If an application is made and denied, Mejia could ask baseball’s arbitrator to end the ban, claiming the penalty is without “just cause.” The arbitrator cannot reduce the ban to less than two years. MLB suspensions are honored by affiliated leagues in other countries, such as in Japan, South Korea and Mexico. However, suspended players are allowed to compete in winter leagues, such as in Mejia’s native Dominican Republic. Independent leagues are not compelled to honor MLB suspensions but may choose to do so.There are a few comparable cases, but nothing quite like Mejia’s. Josh Hamilton who was in the minor leagues at the time had some issues and was suspended several times for drug abuse from 2003-05, but was allowed to return each time. During a time when there was not a drug agreement, Steve Howe was suspended for life by Commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992 after the pitcher’s seventh drug- or alcohol-related incident. Arbitrator George Nicolau said doctors concluded Howe suffered from attention deficit hyperactive disorder and cut the suspension to time served, which was 119 days. I’m not sure what Mejia was thinking, but he has talent and I’m sure will get another chance if he’s reinstated. You just have to wonder how a player can be so, so stupid to fail 3 tests in a year.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

2/14/15

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast or caught some of the blogs here you know I’m not a fan of All-Star games. I do however enjoy some of the events that the NBA has during its All-Star weekend. Last night (Friday) they had two games that I didn’t have a lot of interest in. The Celebrity game kicks off the weekend followed by the Rising Stars Challenge. This year they had the World vs. USA with the World winning 122-112. Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves playing for the World team was the MVP of the game scoring 22 for the World team. There are four events held today (Saturday) starting with the Shooting Challenge. Then it’s the Skills Challenge followed by the 3-point Shooting Contest and ending with the Slam Dunk Contest. The Shooting Challenge features four teams of three players. The teams are; Team Bosh with Captain Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Dominique Wilkins is the team Legend and Swim Cash of the New York Liberty is their WNBA player. Team Curry; with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry as the team captain, his father Dell Curry is their Legend and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm is their WNBA player. Team Westbrook captained by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder with Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway as their Legend and Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever as their WNBA player. Team Milsap is captained by Paul Milsap of the Atlanta Hawks. Milsap is replacing the injured Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Milsap’s teammates are Legend Scottie Pippen and W.N.B.A. player  Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky. I’ll take Team Curry to win this event. The Skills Challenge features eight NBA players who compete in a bracket-style tournament for the first time. The format calls for two players to compete simultaneously on an identical course with the fastest finisher reaching the next round.  The players will be tested in an obstacle-course competition that tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills. Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz is back to defend last year title and he is joined by Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors. Isiah Thomas of the Phoenix Suns, Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks and his teammate Dennis Schroder who is replacing Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls. Elfrid Payton of the Orlando Magic is taking the place of Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers and Patrick Beverly of the Houston Rockets is taking the place of Washington Wizards guard John Wall. I’ll take Teague to win this competition. A lot of experts think that this will be the best 3-point shooting challenge ever. The eight guys in the 3-point shooting Contest are defending champion  Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks, Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trailblazers, J.J. Reddick of the Los Angeles Clippers and teammates Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. It seems like most experts think that one of the Golden State players either Thompson or Curry will win this contest, but I’m taking Wesley Matthews to win. The Dunk Contest has lost most of its luster from when it was a must see event, but this season they are returning to their classic format. That means it will be a two-round event in which the four participants can perform any dunk they choose without time limits. The players will have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges will score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30. The four players in the Dunk Contest are Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets, Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic, Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. I’m taking LaVine to win the Dunk Contest. To me these events at least feature players skills while the All-Star game itself is just players watching other players score. Will you watch?

The first interview on the podcast last night had Scott Andes from LasordasLair.com to talk Los Angeles Dodgers baseball we followed that interview with Billy Brost from FriarsonBase,com for some San Diego Padres talk. On the field the Dodgers and Padres are rivals and both play in the NL West. While the Dodgers have had the better of this rivalry for years now the Padres have made a ton of moves this off-season to try to close that gap. There are questions on both sides as teams get ready for spring training to start. The Dodgers will be brand new up the middle with Yasmani Grandal catching, Howie Kendrick at 2nd base, Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and rookie Joc Pederson in centerfield. The Padres will have a new starting outfield with Matt Kemp in rightfield, Will Myers in centerfield and Justin Upton in leftfield as well as Derek Norris catching. Both teams still have some questions though. While Kenley Jansen is a solid major league closer posting 44 saves in 49 chances. The question is who gets the ball to him? Is the biggest question I think the Dodgers have to address. In San Diego the Padres have to decide if Yonder Alonso is the right player at 1st base? The Padres also have a glut of outfielders with  Cameron MaybinCarlos Quentin and Will Venable on the 40 man roster. Are the Padres done dealing? With the addition of James Shields the extra outfielders and Philadelphia Phillies General manager Ruben Amaro Jr’s interest in Andrew Cashner could Cole Hamles be on the radar. One of the best things was listening to Scott and Billy’s take on each others team.

The NHL trade deadline is March 2nd; so which players may be switching teams. Will the Ottawa Senators trade Chris Neil? Will the New York Rangers try to deal J.T. Miller and clear some salary cap space? Will the  New Jersey Devils trade Jaromir Jagr? Since the Carolina Hurricanes haven’t been able to reach extensions with forwards Jiri Tlusty and Jay McClement, will they be dealt before the trade deadline? There’s a couple of names that might move before March 2nd for you. Which Stanley Cup contenders need to add what to win it all? We should get some of these answers soon.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime and remember you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast at BlogTalkRadio.com

So how was your week?