Posts Tagged ‘oklahoma city thunder’

With the ice show taking over the Chicago Bulls home area the United Center the team headed out on a six game road trip. The first stop for the Bulls was a visit to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder. The Bulls have had some issues within there own locker room, but they picked up a win in there last home game before facing Oklahoma City and they where able to extend there winning streak to a modest two games with a 128-100 win over the Thunder.

The 1st quarter was very even, but the Bulls did build a seven point lead at 14-7 with 4:35 left in the quarter. Oklahoma City finished the 1st quarter with a 13 to 7 run, but the Bulls where able to hold onto the lead at 21-20. Cristiano Felicio hit a jumper as the quarter expired to give the Bulls there one point lead.

The teams traded the lead ten different times in the quarter and the game was also tied five times. After Russell Westbrook made a free throw to finish off a three point play the Thunder took there last lead of the quarter at 42-41 with 2:43 left in the quarter. The Bulls finished the quarter on a 14 to 5 run to take a 55-47 lead at halftime.

The Bulls used a 17 to 5 run to build a 21 point lead at 72-51 with 6:41 left in the quarter. The closet the Thunder could get was 16 points after Joffery Lauvergne hit a 3-pointer to make the score 76-60. The quarter finished with the Bulls outscoring the Thunder 18 to 13 to take a 94-73 lead heading into the final quarter.

Now the Bulls blew a 20 plus point lead on January 25th and ended up losing a 119-114 to the Atlanta Hawks. Fortunately this game didn’t go that route for the Bulls and they where actually able to add to there lead in the 4th quarter. The Bulls outscored the Thunder 34 to 27 in the 4th quarter to pull away for one of there best wins of the season 128-100.

 

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls and tied for the games high scorer with 28 points. Dwayne Wade had 18 points and a team high 7 assists. Robin Lopez scored 14 points while Jerian Grant added 12 points. Cristiano Felicio and Doug McDermott each had 11 points off the Bulls bench while Taj Gibson was the games leading rebounder with 8.

Russell Westbrook with 28 points tied for the games high scorer. Westbrook also handed out a game high 8 assists. Victor Oladipo scored 12 points while Jerami Grant came off the Oklahoma City bench to score 15 points. Andre Roberson and Steven Adams tied for the team lead in rebounds with 6 each.

The win gets the Bulls back to .500 at 25-25 while the Thunder falls to 28-22 on the season. Chicago’s second game of there road trip is tomorrow night when they take on the 36-16 Houston Rockets. Oklahoma City will also get a day off before they host the 30-21 Memphis Grizzlies Friday night.

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The Chicago Bulls came into the game on a three game winning streak, but that came to an end when the Oklahoma City Thunder beat them 109-94. Jimmy Butler was sent home after being taken out of the game in the 3rd quarter. Butler was ill coming into the game and there was a chance he wouldn’t play at all. This was the first of  a back to back for the Bulls and it looks as though Butler won’t play Tuesday night and Dwayne Wade will also miss that game. Wade normally skips one game in a back to back set to rest.

Believe it or not the Bulls only lead of the game came when Taj Gibson hit a jump shot for the first points of the game and the Bulls lead 2-0. Chicago did manage to come back and tie the game at 10 all. Oklahoma City finished the quarter on a 16-10 run to take a 26-20 after one quarter.

The 2nd quarter saw Oklahoma City build a 17 point lead 39-22. The Bulls did score the next eight points as part of an 18-4 run that cut the Thunder’s lead to three points. The Bulls couldn’t keep the run going though as they scored just six points the remainder of the quarter as Oklahoma City built it’s lead to 15 points going into halftime ahead 61-46.

The Bulls mad a 11-6 run to cut the Thunder’s lead to 10 points (67-57) with 6:50 left in the quarter, but that was the closet Chicago could get. The rest of the quarter belonged to Oklahoma City. The Thunder went on a 27 to 7 run to build there biggest lead of the game (25 points) 89-64. The Bulls did manage to score the final three points of the quarter to make the score 89-67 at the end of three quarters.

With the result of the game appearing to be taken care of Oklahoma City was able to get there starters some rest. Chicago did outscored Oklahoma City 27 to 20 in the final quarter, but it wasn’t close to enough for a comeback win. By knocking seven points of the Oklahoma City lead just meant the Bulls lost by 15 points 109-94.

Steven Adams was the Thunder’s leading scorer with 22 points. Russell Westbrook had a double-double with 21 points and a game high 14 assists. Westbrook missed a triple-double by 1 rebound. Enes Kanter had 20 points and his 11 rebounds tied for the game high coming off the Oklahoma City bench. Victor Oladipo also tallied 13 points for the Thunder.

Chicago was led by Dwayne Wade with 22 points. Michael Carter-Williams had 15 points while Jerian Grant and Cristiano Felicio came off the Bulls bench to score 11 points. Felicio also grabbed 11 rebounds to tie for the game high. Jimmy Butler did hand out 7 assists to lead the team before exiting the game.

The win improves Oklahoma City’s record to 23-16. The Thunder will get a day off before they return home to host the 24-16 Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night. The loss drops Chicago back to .500 at 19-19. This was the first of back to back games for the Bulls as they must play tonight in Washington against the 18-18 Wizards.

It’s starting to look like shortstop will be the big injury position this season. The St. Louis Cardinals lost their shortstop Jhonny Peralta to a wrist injury last week. Peralta did end up having surgery on his injured wrist and is expected to be out until about mid-season. Then yesterday the New York Mets announced that shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has been diagnosed with a strained patellar tendon in his left knee and appears likely to open the season on the disabled list. Cabrera will be inactive for at least two weeks. He;ll be allowed to resume some baseball activities if he is comfortable. The Mets Cabrera flew to New York on Friday to undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. With only 23 days until the Mets open the season against the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals on ESPN’s Sunday night baseball; it would be difficult for Cabrera to be ready for that game. Cabrera was part of the Mets off season reworking of their middle infield. He was signed to a two year $18.5 million dollar deal to play shortstop alongside new second baseman Neil Walker who the Mets acquired by sending left handed pitcher Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates this off season. With Cabrera and Walker brought in former starters Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada moved to backup infield roles. Now Flores and Tejada should go back to handling the shortstop duties until Cabrera is returns. There was some talk that the Mets might be looking to deal Tejada and with a salary of just $3 million for this season there where some teams interested. One of the teams that where interested in Tejada was the Cardinals who looked at him as a fill in for the inured Peralta. Of course with the injury to Cabrera it seems that Tejada is far more likely to stick with the Mets for Opening Day.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the NCAA will announce the tournament field for the men’s basketball championship. With the play in games and everything there is 68 teams; I think that have a chance to win the championship. I don’t watch college basketball and we don’t spend much time of any talking about it on Sports Time Radio. At least I do catch the highlights on whatever sports recap show I happen to be watching at that time. Of course with all this being said I still plan on entering a bracket into whatever championship pool I can find. Sometimes it seems as knowing less can actually be helpful, but I’m wondering how I should pick my bracket.I know there have been multiple teams that have held the #1 ranking in the polls only to be knocked off the top. That should mean the tournament is wide open, but could a mid-major team actually go all the way? I’ve heard over and over that you need good guard play to advance in the tournament. So who’s the best guard in college basketball? or do you need a pair of gourds in your back court to have tournament success. I’ve heard that Ben Simmons of Louisiana State University (LSU) is the best player in college basketball, but there’s a chance that his team might not even make the tournament. Of course then the question becomes; how far can the best player take a team? As you can tell I really have no clue who’s going to win this thing; so I’m asking for your help. Let me know who you think will win the title or even get to the Final Four. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The NASCAR series is staying out west as they’re at the Phoenix International Speedway for the Good Sam 500. Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) showed it’s muscle in qualifying as Kyle Busch took the pole position with a speed of 138.387. Busch’s teammate Carl Edwards took the 2nd spot with a speed of 137.515 and another JGR and this seasons Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin will start 3rd and had a qualifying speed of 137.426. Rounding out the Top 5 is Kurt Busch; Kyle’s brother starting 4th and Jimmie Johnson starting 5th. The only JGR driver not in the Top 5 is Matt Kenseth who will be starting 6th on Sunday. Chris Olmstead from Beyond the Flag will join us Sunday morning to preview the race. Not only will Chris preview the race with us, but he’ll let us know which three drivers he thinks has the best chance to wind up in victory lane. Last week Chris had Joey Logano; who finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson who finished 3rd. His third choice was Kenseth who got caught up in an accident and ended up finishing 37th. Chris should join the Sports Time Radio podcast a little after 10:00 a.m.

The NBA has another one of there marquee match up Saturday night games as the Oklahoma City Thunder are at the San Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City is in 3rd place in the Western Conference with a record of 44-21. San Antonio is the team ahead of the Thunder in the Western Conference standings as they are 55-10 in 2nd place. Now it’s difficult to go into San Antonio and win as the Spurs are 31-0 at home this season. Oklahoma City is 6 games over .500 on the road this season at 18-12, but can they go into San Antonio and beat a team like the Spurs? If Oklahoma City could find a way to win this game it could be a statement that they’re a team to watch in the playoffs. If the Western Conference plays out like it should Oklahoma City would have to play San Antonio in a playoff series and they’d need to be able to win a game on the Spurs home court to advance. It looks like Oklahoma City will be playing without Dion Waiters who is away from the team because of a death in his family. Andre Roberson is battling a left ankle injury and it hasn’t been announced yet if he will play tonight. Of course with San Antonio you never know who is going to be getting a night off. Tony Parker does have a toe injury, but should be go to go for tonight’s game. Parker along with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili all sat out Tuesday nights game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. You would think these three players where rested so they’d be ready to play tonight against Oklahoma City, but you never know with the Spurs. On Friday’s podcast Dan the Man took San Antonio to stay undefeated at home. Do you agree with Dan or do you have Oklahoma City winning tonight?

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Friday night Kyle Lowry scored a career high 43 points including the game winning shot with 3.8 seconds left in the Toronto Raptors 99-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The win was also Toronto’s 10th in a row at home tying a franchise record. Lowry was 15 of 20 from the floor. He made 11 of his 15 free throw attempts while picking up 4 steals, 5 rebounds and handing out a team high 9 assists. Lowry’s night proved to be even bigger as Toronto’s leading scorer DeMar DeRozan struggled. DeRozen scored just 6 points going 1 of 11 from the field in the game. Terrence Ross came off the bench t score 15 points. Toronto’s big man Jonas Valanciunas and Bismack Biyombo each scored 11 points. Valanciunas also grabbed a team high 9 rebounds. I’m sure if you asked any player on the Raptors or their head coach Dwayne Casey they’d tell you this was just another regular season game. You do have to wonder if getting a win over the Cavaliers the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference might give some confidence to the #2 seed in the East. The Cavaliers where led in scoring by LeBron James wit 25 points. James had a chance to win the game for Cleveland with a last second shot, but was unable to get the shot to drop. James also handed out a team high 7 assists. James was 9 of 18 from the field and made 5 of the 9 3-point shots he took. Kevin Love added 20 points for the Cavaliers while J.R. Smith had 13 points and Kyrie Irving scored 10 points. Tristan Thompson led the Cavaliers in rebounding grabbing 10 of them. With the win the Raptors improved to 39-18 just 2 games behind the Cavaliers (41-16) for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Would the Raptors moving into that #1 seed help them in a playoff match up against the Cavaliers? I guess having home court couldn’t hurt.

Lowry wasn’t the only NBA player to score 40 points last night. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers scored 40 points exactly in his teams 117-107 win over the Sacramento Kings. Paul also added 13 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds as well. Paul was 13 of 20 from the field going 4 of 9 from behind the 3-point line. Paul also made all 10 of his free throw attempts. There was just one 30 point scorer last night. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers put up 32 points in a losing effort as the Pacers fell 96-95 to the Charlotte Hornets. George went 13 for 26 from the field, but was just 2 of 8 from behind the 3-point line. Hopefully you had Lowry, Paul and George in your daily fantasy line up last night.

The NBA has really been doing a good job of getting marquee match ups for their nationally televised Saturday night games and tonight is no exceptions. Tonight we’ll see the Golden State Warriors (52-5) against the Oklahoma City Thunder (41-17) at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Warriors are 9-1 in there last 10 games and are on a 4 game winning streak. The Thunder are just 6-4 in there last 10 games and dropped their last game 123-119 on Thursday to the New Orleans Pelicans. Is it possible the Thunder was looking ahead t this match up against the Warriors and got caught off guard by the Pelicans?

Golden State is led by Stephen Curry and his 30.4 points per game average, but Curry is also grabbing 5.3 rebounds per game and averages 6.7 assists per game. Klay Thompson is scoring an average of 21.6 points per game and then there’s the all around game of Draymond Green. Green averages 14 points per game along with 9.6 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game as well. You have to wonder though if Oklahoma City is the team that can match the Golden State offense. Kevin Durant leads Oklahoma City in scoring at 27.7 points per game, but I bet a lot of people don’t know that he’s also the teams leading rebounder grabbing an average of 8 boards a game. Russell Westbrook can go for a triple-double at any time. Westbrook averages 24.3 points per game, 10.2 assists per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. Oklahoma City’s big men Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter add to the offense as well. Ibaka averages 12.8 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game and is the tam leader in blocked shots with an average of 2.1 per game. Kanter scores an average of 11.8 points per game and grabs and average of 7.6 rebounds per game. The difficult part for Oklahoma City is Kanter is ineffective against the Golden State small ball line up. While Ibaka will have to be able to handle Green on defense to give Oklahoma City a chance to win. When Oklahoma City has the basketball Thompson will have to be able to keep Westbrook in check and Green will have to help out on Durant. It should be big time NBA offense with a lot of 3-point shots being taken.

The NHL has another Stadium Series game tonight as the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche will play outside at Coors Field. The Red Wings have 71 points and the Avalanche have 68 points. Both teams are hanging out to Wild Card playoff spots right now. The Red Wings are in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference 3 points ahead of the 8th place Pittsburgh Penguins. The Avalanche currently hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Colorado is 3 points behind the 7th place Nashville Predators and has a 4 point lead on the 9th place Minnesota Wild.

On Sunday we may be seeing a preview of the Stanley Cup finals as the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks host the best team in the NHL this season the Washington Capitals. Washington has 94 points in just 60 games this season and is running away with the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Blackhawks have 81 points and are just 1 point behind the Dallas Stars for 1st place in the Central division of the Western Conference. Patrick Kane is the NHL’s scoring leader and has a 14 point lead over Jamie Benn of Dallas, but Washington’s Alexander Overchkin has 5 more goals (40) than Kane has (35) this season. We should also get to see the Branden Holtby and Corey Crawford in goal for their respective teams. Holtby leads all goaltenders in wins with 39 wins while Crawford is 2nd with 32 wins. It’s incredibly difficult to repeat as champion in the NHL; so will the Blackhawks even get the Stanley Cup finals. The NHL playoffs also feature quite a few upsets; so the Capitals have to be careful just to get to the finals themselves.

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We have what looks like another quality match in the NBA tonight. These Saturday marquee match ups that ESPN has been running out there to us look good and hopefully tonight’s will produce a good game. Will get to see the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Golden State Warriors. It seems like every time the Warriors is in one of these type of games they end up winning by 30 points; can Oklahoma City be that team that stays in the game with the Warriors. Golden State should easily be the favorite since they’re 45-4 overall and a perfect 22-0 at Oracle arena where the game will be played tonight. Oklahoma City is 38-13 on the season and are currently 3rd in the Western Conference. Both teams are 9-1 over the last 10 games. Golden State has won their last 8 games in a row while Oklahoma City is coming into tonight’s match up having won their last 5 games in a row. Oklahoma City maybe the only team in the NBA that can score with Golden State. Golden State is far and away the highest scoring team in the NBA averaging 115.4 points per game, but did you know that Oklahoma City is the 2nd highest scoring team on average in the NBA with 109.7 points per game. Oklahoma City’s scoring defense on average is actually a little better than Golden State’s. The Thunder give up 101.6 points per game on average while the Warriors average giving up 102.7 points per game. What does Oklahoma City have to do tonight to hand Golden State their first home loss of the season. Kevin Durant averages 27.4 points per game this season. Does he need to go for 40 or 50 points tonight for Oklahoma City to win this game? What about Russell Westbrook who averages 24 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game and 10 assists per game this season and has 8 triple-doubles. Westbrook’s 8 triple-doubles put him 2nd in the NBA this season; who is he tailing? That would be Draymond Green of Golden State who has 10 triple-doubles to lead the league. Does Westbrook need his 9th triple-double of the season for Oklahoma City to win this game? Would big games by Durant and Westbrook even be enough for Oklahoma City to get a win or would they need someone else or possible two someone else’s to step up and have a big night. While Serge Ibaka (12.8), Enes Kanter (11.8) and Dion Waiters (10.0) all average in double figures for Oklahoma City can they elevate their game enough to help the Thunder get a big win. On the Friday Sports Time Radio podcast Dan the Man took Golden State to win this game. Now Dan doesn’t play the betting line he just makes picks, but if you’re a betting man Golden State is anywhere from a 8 1/2 to a 9 point favorite in the game. The over/under for the game which is the combined score of both teams is between 230 and 231.5 total points.Where are you pout your money tonight?

The Sacramento Kings have dropped their last two games and 6 out of there last 7 games. On Wednesday they lost a home game 107-102 to the Chicago Bulls. Well the Bulls are going to be a playoff team and even though it’s a home game and the Kings had their chances to win the game; so not a bad loss, but a loss just the same. Then last night the Kings gave up 128 points to the Brooklyn Nets in their 128-119 loss. The win improved the Nets record to 13-38. The Nets are 14 out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. The only team that Brooklyn has a better record than are the 7-43 Philadelphia 76ers. With these two losses the talk has started again if George Karl is the right coach for Sacramento. It seems as Sacramento might try and stay with Karl until the All-Star break which is just 3 games away. The Kings face the Boston Celtics on Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday and then the 76ers on Wednesday heading into the All-Star break. These 3 games are on the road and there’s a chance that Sacramento will go into the All-Star break on a 5 game losing streak. Even if Sacramento goes 2-1 in these 3 games would that be enough to save Karl’s job. Would a loss to Philadelphia doom Karl? If Sacramento makes a change it is unlikely assistant coach Nancy Lieberman would take over. It looks more like they would elevate assistant coach and former Kings forward Corliss Williamson to interim coach. It was roughly this time a year ago that the Kings struck a deal to hire Karl away from ESPN to replace then-interim coach Tyrone Corbin. A five-game winning streak in mid-January improved Sacramento’s record to 20-23 and lifted the Kings into the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, but the 1-6 nosedive has left them 3 1/2 games behind the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has made it known that he expected the team to push for a playoff berth this season and bring an end to a postseason drought dating to 2006. Karl’s job appeared to be in trouble in early November, but he survived those storms. If the 64-year-old is ultimately dismissed now; it would be Sacramento’s third coaching change since December 2014. Mike Malone was fired after an 11-13 start last season, and Karl was brought in on a four-year, $15 million deal after Sacramento went 7-21 under Corbin.

Now on tomorrow’s (Sunday) edition of Sports Time Radio Mr. Fantasy and I will let you know who Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy himself are taking to win Super Bowl 50 this Sunday. Not only will you learn who they think will win the game, but what they think the final score will be and who’s going home with the MVP trophy. I am actually going to go ahead and give you my picks right here for Super Bowl Sunday. I’m going with the Denver Broncos to pull off the upset and beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. I do believe that it will be a close game and that a field goal will decide it. I’m going with a final score of Denver 27 Carolina 24. It’s always easy to pick the quarterback of the Super Bowl winning team to take home the MVP but I asked everyone to be creative and find someone else too pick; so I’ll stay away from Peyton Manning as MVP. So I am going to go out on a limb and say that for the first time since Super Bowl 35 a defensive player will win the MVP By the way that player was Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. My choice for MVP of Super Bowl 50 is Von Miller!

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Does the NBA have a problem? There are reports that ratings for TNT and ESPN are down this season. TNT has lost close to 8 points in the ratings while ESPN was said to be down about 5 ratings points. It seems as though fans are only interested in seeing the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers in primetime. No these teams are the Top 3 teams in the NBA and barring an upset in the playoffs you’d have to think Cleveland will play either San Antonio or Golden State in the NBA Finals. So can you blame fans for only really wanted to watch these 3 teams play?

While the Cavaliers lead in the Eastern Conference is just 2 1/2 games over the Toronto Raptors does anyone think that in a 7 game series the Raptors could beat the Cavaliers. The Chicago Bulls are currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference 7 games behind the Cavaliers. Now the Bulls have actually had some success against Cleveland, but have they had enough success to win 4 games in a 7 game series. Then it’s the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics who are ties for 4th place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics did show some flashes against the Cavaliers in last years playoffs, but not enough to win the series. Atlanta had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, but it was still the Cavaliers who went to the NBA Finals. Right no the Eastern Conference playoffs would round out with the Miami Heat (6th seed), Detroit Pistons (7th seed) and the Indiana Pacers (8th seed) as the final teams in. There are a few teams that the Cavaliers might drop a game or even two to in a series, but is there a team on that list that’s going to beat the Cavaliers in a 7 game series.

Golden State leads the Western Conference with a record of 42-4. San Antonio is 3 games behind with a record of 39-7. Did you know that neither team has lost a home game this season. The Warriors are 22-0 at home while the Spurs are 25-0 at home. So with the way these two teams are playing on their home courts could a team going into there arena and get a playoff road win? Is that team the Oklahoma City Thunder. With a healthy Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook you’d have t think that Oklahoma City has the best chance to get by either Golden State or San Antonio in a 7 game playoff series. Durant averages 27.2 points per game to go with an average of 8 rebounds a game. Durant also hands out an average of 4.5 assists a game as well. Westbrook is just a triple-double waiting to happen no matter who the opponent is. Westbrook is averaging 24.1 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game and 9.9 assists per game. Oklahoma City also has a big man who can protect the rim in Serge Ibaka who blocks 2.1 shots per game to go along with 12.8 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game.  Enes Kanter (11.8) and Dion Waiters (10.1) also average double digit points per game for Oklahoma City. This could be the toughest match up besides each other for either Golden State or San Antonio come playoff time. The Los Angeles Clippers are 31-16 and in 4th place in the Western Conference, but with the Blake Griffin situation going on it seems as though the team is more of a dumpster fire than a championship contender. The Clippers will have time to put it together when Griffin returns in 4 to 6 weeks from his broken hand, but can the team gel for a playoff run. The rest of the Western Conference looks like this right now. The Memphis Grizzlies are 5th at 27-20. The Dallas Mavericks are 6th at 27-22. The Houston Rockets are 7th at 25-24 and the Portland Trailblazers currently hold the 8th and final playoff spot with a record of 22-26, but are just a 1/2 ahead of the Utah Jazz. Do you think that the Grizzlies, Mavericks, Rockets, Trailblazers or possible Jazz will have what it takes to beat the Warriors or the Spurs in a 7 game playoff series?

I’ve mentioned on the podcast that I don;t enjoy the style of play that is going on in the NBA right now and I also feel that all I ever really need to watch is the 4th quarter of a game. It’s a drive and kick league now, but when someone kicks the basketball out it’s to the 3-point line for a shot. How many jump shots are taken from within 20 feet in an NBA game? Sadly I could never make it through an entire game to count, but one of these days I might have to try. Of course you wouldn’t count lay ups or dunks. I also have a big issue with the way the referees call the game and it’s really just one simple thing; call traveling. I understand that they want the monster dunks on the highlights, but there are so many other traveling violations in a game that are uncalled. Just last week I was checking in on the Cavaliers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. While I had the game on I watched a player catch the ball at the 3-point line and his defender came out with him and faced him up. The player with the basketball changed his pivot foot 4 different times to get space from his defender to make a pass and no traveling was called on the play. Now I was able to see this on television; so how did the referee who was just a few feet away from these two players not see the multiple changes of the players pivot feet. Now I’m not saying that you can’t give that guy the extra step on his way too the basket for a monster dunk, but call it when it’s out on the floor in pain sight. Or maybe it’s just time to get rid of the traveling call all together.

While I’m not a huge fan of tennis I do enjoy watching some of a match if Serena Williams is involved. Earlier this morning Williams was in the finals of the Australian Open. While I didn’t get up to watch the match live i did read that Williams lost in the finals 4-6, 6-3, 4-6 to the #7 ranked player in the world Angelique Kerber. It was a big comeback for Kerber who was just 1 point away from being eliminated from the tournament in the opening round. Kerber went from almost going home to winning her 1st Grand Slam title.

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How many more injuries can the Oklahoma City Thunder take this season. Kevin Durant missed games early in the season recovering from his foot surgery and now he’s out because they had to go in and adjust the screws in the plate they put in that foot.  Russell Westbrook suffered facial fractures had surgery to repair them and didn’t miss too many games, but is playing with a protective mask on. Now Serge Ibaka injured his knee and is out four to six weeks. Ibaka had  successful arthroscopic surgery yesterday and would be back for the playoffs if the Thunder makes the playoffs. Westbrook has been keeping the Thunder in the playoff hunt while making a case for himself as the MVP, but with the New Orleans Pelicans victory last night Oklahoma City finds themselves 1/2 a game out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western conference. Oklahoma City has 15 games left starting tonight (Wednesday) against the Boston Celtics to get past the Pelicans and into the NBA playoffs. If the Thunder can find a way to pass the Pelicans and grab that 8th seed they’d  get a 1st round match up with the Golden State Warriors. You’d think the Thunder would have to go into that opening round match up without Ibaka, but Golden State doesn’t really feature their big men. If Oklahoma City can get a healthy Durant back playing with the MVP candidate Westbrook against Golden State’s “Splash Brothers” Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry in just the 1st round of the playoffs. Would a Durant return be enough for Oklahoma City to shock a team like Golden State?

The NCAA tournament goes into full swing tomorrow as the official 1st round starts. We don’t cover much college basketball on the podcast, but I always fill out a tournament bracket just for the fun of it. While I’m not going to go game by game through my picks, but here’s my Final Four teams. Out of the Midwest region I have who else, but Kentucky. I have the Wisconsin Badgers coming out of the West region and they’ll play Kentucky in the Final Four. In the South region I have the Gonzaga Bulldogs going to the Final Four to play the winner of the East region which I have as Northern Iowa; with Gonzaga going to the championship game. So my finals match up is Gonzaga vs. Kentucky and I have Kentucky winning it all with a 70 – 61 victory in the tournament final.

At just 24 years of age and with just one season of professional football under his belt San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired because he is concerned about head injuries. Now I have no issues with Borland deciding to walk away from the NFL but the mainstream media has handled this story very, very poorly. I’ve heard Borland called everything from a hero to a quitter and I don’t believe he’s either. To me he’s just a guy who no longer wanted to play football. When you’re an athlete you have this fire or love inside you for the sport you play; it’s what keeps you going when you think you can’t go on. I’m guessing that Borland didn’t have a love for football or the NFL and just decided to move on with his life. Of course the media jumped all over this story and started predicting the end of the NFL Just because Chris Borland didn’t want to play football anymore doesn’t mean there aren’t players lining up to find their way into the NFL Is it possible that you’ll receive an injury that might affect your long-term healthy; yes. Are you paid very, very well to take that chance and play professional football; yes. Let’s not turn Borland into the poster boy for leaving the NFL because of head trauma. I don’t believe he has or received a serious head injury; he may have had a concussion last season, but I don’t think he missed any games because of it. Borland is a guy who accessed the risk of playing in the NFL to what he’d like to do with the rest of his life and decided to leave the sport. Don’t expect the mass exodus that the media is predicting now that one player has done it. I’m interested to see if any other players go this route.

While the NASCAR season is only four weeks old with the way it’s started can anyone stop defending champion Kevin Harvick? Harvick started his season by finishing 2nd to Joey Logano at the Daytona 500. The next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway Harvick finished 2nd again; this time to Jimmie Johnson at the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500. Week 3 in Las Vegas Harvick led 142 on his way to his 1st victory of the season at the Kolbalt 400. Then last week at the Phoenix International Raceway Harvick led 224 of the 312 laps and easily won the CampingWorld.com 500. So in four weeks of racing Harvick has two 2nd place finishes and two victories. This week NASCAR moves to Fontana California for the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway. Will Harvick get his 3rd win in a row or can another driver find his or her way to victory lane. I guess the question if someone else does win the race will Harvick finish 2nd?

I’ll be the first person to say that I can’t stand the way Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the Chicago Cubs are handling the Kris Bryant situation. To tell you the truth though I’m not really that upset with the way they’re handling his situation this spring training. The Cubs front office is making a business decision not a baseball decision to send Bryant to Triple A Iowa to start the 2015 season. In case you don’t know if Bryant goes to Triple A and spends 12 days there the Cubs gain and extra year of salary control with him. I can deal with him just going to Triple A for 12 days. The issue I actually have is this shouldn’t even be an issue as Bryant should’ve been in the major leagues last season and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Imagine if Bryant had a years worth of big league experience under his belt going into this season and wouldn’t have to learn on the fly at the major league level. Major league pitching is tough and it’s a lot more difficult to adjust to than Triple A pitching is. That would all be out-of-the-way had the Cubs just looked ahead and brought Bryant up last season. This is just part of the reasons why the Cubs don’t win. Poor front office decisions lead to poor on field results and the Chicago Cubs are living proof of that. Now the Cubs look better than they have in a long time and might have an outside shot at making the playoffs. How much more help would a Kris Bryant with one year of major league at bats be compared to a Kris Bryant who’s a rookie and learning major league pitchers be?

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On Thursday the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103 – 81. I think you could call it a statement game for the Heat but the main stream media got way, way to carried away with just this one game. I think they had to fight each other to get off the Oklahoma City bandwagon and give the MVP award back to LeBron James and crown the Heat as NBA champions. Now in the reality of the NBA both of those things could easily happen. James is the best player in the NBA and scored 33 points in the Heat victory. Miami is considered by many the best team in the NBA and hopefully they’ll get to prove it against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern conference playoffs. I think James is a great player but I’m baffled how one game made everyone either realize this or change their mind this season. There are 82 regular season games in the NBA and Miami winning 1 game against Oklahoma City doesn’t make that big of an impact. It was Russell Westbrook’s first game back from injury. Westbrook played close to 24 minutes and scored 16 points. He was 4 – 12 from the field and handed out 2 assists. Do you think it was a good idea for Westbrook”s first game back from injury to be against the Heat?

The NFL combined started this weekend. The big story to start out with was that Johnny Manziel wasn’t measured at 6′ feet tall. What they forgot the mention when they led with this story was that he was just 1/4 of an inch below 6′ feet tall. With the way the different media outlets led with this story you would’ve thought they measured him at 5′ feet 5 inches tall or something like that. It was 1/4 of an inch people. Drew Brees won a Super Bowl and he was under 6′ feet tall. Russell Wilson just won a Super Bowl and he’s under 6′ feet tall. If you’d like to go back in time Fran Tarkenton took the Minnesota Vikings to three Super Bowls and while the Vikings didn’t win any of them Tarkenton still got them their. By the way Tarkenton is also in the pro football Hall of Fame. Does it matter that Manziel is under 6′ feet tall; no it doesn’t. There’s no height requirement to play quarterback in the NFL; at least not that I know of. Will Manziel take a team to the Super Bowl and win it? who knows. Will Manziel have a Hall of Fame career? who knows. Maybe we should let his NFL career play out before we decide that he’s to short to be an NFL quarterback.

After going back and looking over what I’m writing today I realized that I’ve been tough on the mainstream media but sadly they deserve it. After the U.S. woman’s hockey team lost a heartbreaking gold medal game in overtime to Canada there was actual a story written about how sad the woman looked while they where receiving there silver medals. They lost a 2 goal lead with a little over 3 minutes to play. They had a tough penalty called against them in the overtime period. They gave up the gold medal winning goal on that very power play. How where they suppose to look? Do you believe that they wanted to be on the ice watching Canada celebrate a gold medal that Team U.S.A. should’ve won.

Spring training has opened and there are still a couple of free agents out on the market. While Ubaldo Jimenez got a contract with the Baltimore Orioles, but outfielder Nelson Cruz and pitcher Ervin Santana are still unsigned. Cruz has had talks with quite a few teams and I think will end up with a team before to long. Santana on the other hand has actually said he’s willing to wait for the contract he wants. At the beginning of free agency Santana said he wanted a $100 million dollar deal. You have to wonder how long Santana is willing to sit out. Would it help his career if he sat out the entire 2014 season? If he was out all season why would a team by interested in paying him big money in 2015. I guess when you’re a free agent you have to make sure you don’t over play your hand. Maybe Santana should talk to Kendry Morales about that.

So how was your week?

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