Posts Tagged ‘Russell Westbrook’

It’s the time of the year in the NBA where the M.V.P. talk starts. For some reason this has been the week where everyone who supported Russell Westbrook earlier in the season have now turned their backs on him and are looking for other candidates for M.V.P. The other names that keep coming up are James Harden, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. So let’s take a look and see how these players match up.

Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder are 35-29 and currently holding on to the 7th spot in the Western Conference. In 64 games Westbrook averages 32.1 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 10 assists per game. Westbrook is the leagues leading scorer and he is 3rd in assists he is also 12th in rebounding, but remember he’s a point guard. That’s right Westbrook is averaging a triple-double per game so far this season. The last player to average a triple-double in a season was Oscar Robertson who did in during the 1961-62 season for the Cincinnati Royals.

Harden’s Houston Rockets are 44-20 and are currently in 3rd place in the Western Conference. In 64 games Harden is averaging 29 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and 11.5 assists per game. Harden is the leagues 2nd leading scorer and is leading the NBA in assists. Harden is tied for 25th in rebounding.

James’ Cleveland Cavaliers are the top team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-20. James has played in 57 games this season and is averaging 26 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game and 8.8 assists per game. James is the leagues 8th leading scorer. He is 4th in the league is assists and is tied for 22nd in rebounding.

Leonard’s San Antonio Spurs are 49-13 and in 2nd place in the Western Conference. Leonard averages 26.3 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and 6 rebounds a game. Leonard is the leagues 7th leading scorer. He is tied for 53rd in assists and is tied for 60th in rebounding. I’m sure you’ve noticed that with the exception of scoring Leonard’s stats don’t compare top the other M.V.P. candidates. While that may be the case Leonard is far and away the best defensive player out of the four candidates; so that should help his M.V.P. case.

Now it looks as even if Westbrook puts up the best numbers he’s not going to win the M.V.P. award and that’s even if he averages a triple-double. Since Oklahoma City isn’t really considered a threat to win the NBA title that will hurt Westbrook’s case even though it’s a regular season award. I’m not sold on the Rockets being a title contender either, but the team is much improved this season and Harden is being given the credit for that. I’m not sure why James is even in this conversation. Most people still consider him the best player in the NBA ; so I’m guessing that’s why his name keeps coming up, but he doesn’t deserve to win this award. Leonard is kind of a sleeper pick at this point, but he’s gained some support lately. San Antonio is always a title contender, but I’m not sure that Leonard’s stats are M.V.P. worthy especially when you compare him to the other candidates.

If I had a vote which I don’t I’d cast mine for Westbrook. What he’s doing is historic. Harden would be 2nd on my ballot with Leonard 3rd and James a distant 4th. When it’s all said and done look for Harden to walk away with the M.V.P. award when the voting comes out.

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-111 last night. Neither team is going to make the playoffs this season; so the importance of this game was would Dirk Nowitzki break the 30,000 point mark for his career in this game. Nowitzki came into the game needing 20 points to reach the 30,000 point mark. With 10:58 left in the 2nd quarter Nowitzki hit a jumper to reach the scoring milestone. Nowitzki became just the 6th player to reach the 30,000 point milestone. The other player to reach that mark are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain. Nowitzki is in his 19th season and has said he plans on returning for a 20th; all with the Mavericks.

Nowitzki has played in 1377 career games. For his career he averages 21.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game. Nowitzki is a 13 time All-Star, he was the M.V.P. for the 2006-07 season and was the finals M.V.P. in 2011 when the Mavericks won their only title over the Miami Heat, Dallas made the finals in the 2006-07 season, but lost to the Heat in the finals. Nowitzki is a sure bet to make the basketball Hall of Fame when his career is over. Don’t forget that Nowitzki was actually drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 9th pick in the 1998 draft. Nowitzki and Pat Garrity where traded to Dallas for Robert “Tractor” Traylor on draft night. Dallas had taken Traylor with the 6th pick of the draft.

NFL free agents can’t officially sign with teams until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. Of course that isn’t going to stop reports from coming out on who’s going to go where. The first such report that came out has Brandon Marshall staying in New York, but moving from the Jets to the Giants. It’s being reported that Marshall will sign a two year $12 million dollar deal to join the Giants. Marshall had hoped that the Jets would grant him his release and they did saving $7.5 million dollars on their salary cap. There was some talk that the Jets and Marshall engaged in contract extension talks, but in the end the two sides parted ways. The Jets didn’t look for any type of trade for Marshall as the team considered it a “long shot” on getting a deal done. Marshall spent two seasons with the Jets with his first one being much more productive than his second one. Of course quarterback play has a lot to do with how a wide receiver is going to do and the Jets didn’t have very good quarterback play last season. Marshall should be a good fit for the second receiver slot behind Odell Beckham Jr. in the Giants offense. Marshall also gives  Giants quarterback Eli Manning another target to throw to. With the release of Victor Cruz the Giants have found a solid veteran replacement for that wide receiver position. Of course by staying in New York Marshall will also be able to continue to do Inside the NFL.

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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.

The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs kicks off today with two games. The other two games are Sunday. Just like last week I’m going to put your Saturday picks in here to keep us honest. Mr. Fantasy and I will let you know who we’re all going with on Sunday’s podcast. The first game has the Seattle Seahawks at the Atlanta Falcons. We are split on this game as Mr. Fantasy and Schaumburg Stu are going with the Falcons and Dan the Man and I are taking the Seahawks. The second game today has the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots. This was the only game this weekend we all agreed on and no surprise we all picked the Patriots to win this one.

Because of the weather in the Kansas City area the NFL adjusted the Sunday schedule to try and make travel safer for everyone getting to and from the game. The Pittsburgh Steelers at the Kansas City Chiefs game was originally scheduled to kickoff at 12:05 p.m. but with the weather situation in the area the game has been moved to a 7:20 p.m. kickoff time. The other game on Sunday hasn’t been moved. It’s still a 3:40 p.m. kickoff time for the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in Week 6 the Seahawks beat the Falcons 26-24 in Seattle. Atlanta was driving at the end of the game and with the clock running down Matt Ryan tried to hit Julio Jones with a long pass down the middle of the field. It appeared as though Richard Sherman interfered with Jones on the play, but there was no penalty called. What I’m trying to figure out is why everyone thinks that if pass interference would’ve been called on that play that Atlanta would’ve won it. Even if the penalty had been called the football would’ve been at the Seattle 35 yard line. Now that means it would’ve been a 52 yard field goal that Matt Bryant would’ve needed to make for the Falcons to win the game. What I’m not understanding is why everyone thinks that a 52 yard field goal is a gimme and that Atlanta would win. Bryant is a very good kicker. He made 34 of 37 field goal attempts with a long of 59 yards, but two of his three misses on the season where from 50+ yards. Bryant also missed one extra point this season. Apparently the first game between these two teams featured the only missed call by a referee in the NFL this season and then a guarantee that a kicker would make a 52 yard field goal. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is ridiculous.

The Patriots/Texans game is also a rematch from the regular season. In Week 3 the Patriots beat the Texans 27-0 in New England. Since this game was back in Week 3 Tom Brady was suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo was injured; so that means Jacoby Brissett was the Patriots quarterback for the game. Now neither team is the same as they where back in Week 3, but New England is favorite by 15 1/2 to 17 points in the betting lines. That’s a very big point spread for a playoff game. Brock Osweiler started the game in Week 3 and he’ll be under center for Houston tonight. Osweiler went 24 of 41 for 196 yards with an interception in Week 3. Lamar Miller ran for 80 yards on 21 carries in that game and Ryan Griffin caught 8 passes for the Texans. Houston is also coming into this game with the #1 ranked defense in the NFL. Now back in Week 14 the Patriots faced the #1 defense of the Baltimore Ravens. Tom Brady threw for 406 yards against that defense as New England won 30-23. We’ll have to see if we get a good game or if we get the big win that the odds are predicting.

There was a marquee match up in the NHL last night as the Washington capitals hosted the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams had 59 points coming into the game, but you wouldn’t know that by the way the game went. Washington totally embarrassed Chicago skating to a very easy 6-0 win. The Capitals put the game away very early as they scored three goals in the 1st period. Jay Beagle started the scoring for Washington with his 7th goal of the year. :13 seconds later Nicholas Backstrom made it 2-0 with his 12th goal of the season. Brett Connolly picked up his 6th goal of the season to make to score 3-0 with just under three minutes left in the 1st period. The Blackhawks managed to hold the Capitals to just one goal in the 2nd period. Tom Wilson scored for Washington with three minutes left in the period. It was Wilson 3rd goal of the season putting Washington up 4-0 after two periods. T.J. Oshie scored his 12th goal of the game just about eight minutes in to the 3rd period to make the score 5-0. Beagle then picked up his 2nd goal of the night and his 8th on the season with about 1:30 left to play.

Braden Holtby made 24 saves to post his league leading 6th shutout. With the shoutout Holtby’s Goals Against Average dropped to 1.85 for the season. All-Star Corey Crawford was a joke in goal for the Blackhawks as he allowed 5 goals on 30 shots. Even the Blackhawks back up goaltender Scott Darling found a way to give up a goal as he was beaten 1 time out of the 4 shots he faced.

It would be great if Blackhawks fans could say that the team was just looking ahead to there game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, but I don’t think that was the case. Now Minnesota is just two points behind the Blackhawks in the Central division standings of the Western Conference and if Minnesota wins there game tonight against the Dallas Stars the teams each have 59 points when they met on Sunday.

The NBA regular season is just about halfway over and Russell Westbrook just picked up his 19th triple-double of the season. Westbrook had 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, but also had 10 turnovers as the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-86 last night. Westbrook had a rough shooting night going 7 of 23 in the game and just 1 of 10 from behind the 3-point line.

According to records; Westbrook is the only player since 1973-74 to record multiple triple-doubles with at least 10 turnovers in a single season.

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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.

Baseball is definitely a tough sport to predict. For the first time in 71 years there was a World Series game at Wrigley Field and the weather cooperated. It was in the 60’s; not bad for late October and the wind was blowing out. It sure looked like we’d see some offense last night, but Josh Tomlin and Kyle Hendricks had other ideas.

Hendricks gave up two singles in the Top of the 1st, but struck out Mike Napoli looking to end the threat. Tomlin went 1,2,3 in the bottom of the inning. Both teams managed singles in the 2nd inning, but didn’t threaten. A two out walk in the 3rd didn’t amount to anything for Cleveland while Tomlin worked another 1,2,3 inning. The Indians had the first real threat of the game in the Top of the 4th inning. A lead off single and then a one out single had runners on 2nd and 3rd. A fielder’s choice put moved a runner to 3rd with two outs, but Hendricks struck out Roberto Perez to end the inning. Tomlin walked the lead off man in the bottom of the inning, but went 1,2,3 after that to end the inning. The Indians put together another threat in the Top of the 5th. A single, a sacrifice by Tomlin, a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases and ended Hendricks night after 4 1/3rd. Justin Grimm came out of the Cubs bullpen and induced a double play ground ball out of the Indians hottest hitter Francisco Lindor to end the scoring threat. A lead off single and two ground outs pout a Cubs runner on 3rd with two outs and the pitchers spot up. Miguel Montero came up to pinch hit and Andrew Miller came out of the Indians bullpen to face him. Montero looked over matched early in the at bat, but managed to hit a solid line drive, but it was right at the rightfielder for the final out of the inning. That closed the book on Tomlin after 4/2/3rd innings. Carl Edwards Jr. entered the game in the Top of the 6th and worked a 1,2,3 inning. Miller did the same in the bottom of the inning and we’re still 0-0 going into the 7th; who would’ve thought. A single, a sacrifice and a wild pitch out pinch runner Michael Martinez on 3rd with one out and the Indians where threatening again. Rajai Davis walked and Coco Crisp came up to pinch hit for Miller. Crisp singled to rightfield to drive in the only run of the night and out the Indians up 1-0. On the play Jorge Soler threw Davis out at 3rd for the 2nd out of the inning. Mike Montgomery came in top relieve Edwards Jr. and got Jason Kipnis to ground out to end the inning. Bryan Shaw came in to pitch the bottom of the inning and got two ground outs to start. Soler hit a wind aided triple down the rightfield line and the Cubs had a chance. Jason Heyward came in to run for Soler, but Shaw got Javier Baez to ground out to end the inning. Montgomery got the first out of the 8th inning and then was replaced by Pedro Stop who retired the next two hitters. Shaw got the first two outs in the bottom of the inning, but a Dexter Fowler singled chased Shaw and Cody Allen came in to try to get the 4 out save. Allen struck out Kris Bryant to end the 8th inning. Aroldis Chapman entered to pitch the Top of the 9th. Chapman struck out the first two batters he faced and then got a ground out for a 1,2,3 inning. Anthony Rizzo singled to lead off the bottom of the 9th and was pinch ran for by Chris Coghlan. A strikeout and a ground out moved Coghlan to 2nd with two outs, Heyward got an infield single to move Coghlan to 3rd, Heyward stole second; so the Cubs had the winning run on the bases with Baez at the plate. Allen struck out Baez to end the game. You could’ve never convinced me that this would be a 1-0 game, but it was and the Indians got the win and have taken a 2 games to 1 lead in the series.

Miller picked up the win pitching 1 1/3rd innings with Allen getting the save. Edwards Jr. ended up being the tough luck loser in this one. The Indians had 8 hits in the game with Lindor and Jose Ramirez each getting two hits apiece. The Cubs had 5 hits in the game with Soler being the only player with more than one hit.

Cleveland will look to take a commanding lead in the series as their ace Corey Kluber takes the mound. Kluber was the Game 1 winner pitching 6 innings giving up 4 hits and striking out 9. Kluber has made 4 post season starts and is 3-1 with an ERA of 0.74. The Cubs turn to veteran John Lackey who is making his first start of this World Series. Lackey has made two post season starts and hasn’t had a decision, but his ERA is 5.63. Can Kluber pitch the Indians to a 3 games to 1 lead or will the veteran Lackey even the series for the Cubs?

Not that it’s anything new, but Russell Westbrook had a triple-double last night. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Phoenix Suns 113-110 in overtime with Westbrook leading the way. Westbrook put up 51 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. It’s the first time since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it in 1975 that a player scored 50 or more points in a triple-double. Westbrook played 45 minutes in the game and took 44 shots while recording his 1st triple-double of the season and 39th of his career. Westbrook led the NBA in triple-doubles last season with 18. It was the second triple-double of the NBA season as LeBron James had one opening night against the New York Knicks.

Besides Westbrook’s big night Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans followed up his 50 point opening night by outing up 45 points last night against the Golden State Warriors. Davis has had double-doubles in both games as well. He had 17 rebounds ion the opening game and 15 last night. Davis is also playing a lot of minutes to start the season. He played 41 in the first game and 40 last night. Sadly his big numbers haven’t helped the Pelicans win a game. They lost opening night to the Denver Nuggets 107-102 and last night the Warriors beat them 122-114. The Pelicans will look for their first win of the season tonight in San Antonio as they face the 2-0 Spurs. How many points will Davis score tonight?

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I, what most NBA experts saw as a surprise, saw Russell Westbrook sign a 3-year contract extension to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Most if not all of the experts that cover the NBA expected Westbrrok to follow Kevin Durant out of Oklahoma City when his contract expired after the 2016-17 season. Even though Westbrook has a new deal there’s no guarantee that he’ll be with Oklahoma City long term. Westbrook’s new contract replaces the final year of the deal he was under. He’s also signed for the 2017-18 season and has a player option for the 2018-19 season. We see a lot of these player options in contracts now because of the escalating salary cap number. With the new contract Westbrrok gets a raise for the 2016-17 season. He was originally due to make $17,769.374 for this coming season, but under his new contract that salary jumps to $26.5 million. That will also be Westbrook’s salary for the 2017-18 season and it would also be that for the 2018-19 season if he doesn’t opt out of the contract.

Westbrook played in and started 80 games for the Thunder last season. He averages 34.4 minutes per game. He averaged 23.5 points per game, 10.4 assists per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. On average he took 18.1 shots per game, but with Durant now wearing a Golden State Warriors uniform look for that number to go up. Westbrook is a 5-time All-Star and has finished in the Top 12 of the league’s MVP voting in four of the last five seasons. With Durant gone  Oklahoma City is clearly Westbrook’s team and I expect him to take full advantage of that.  Westbrook is a triple-double waiting to happen and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him win the league MVP award in one of both of these next two seasons he’ll be under contract to the Thunder. RW’s Career Page

Oklahoma City is going to have a different look this season than in the past. Not only is Durant gone, but the Thunder traded Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis on draft night. Besides getting the #11 pick Sabonis in a trade with the Magic the Thunder also made a deal with the Denver Nuggets to acquire Daniel Hamilton the 56th pick in the draft. Oklahoma City was 55-27 and the 3rd seed in the Western Conference playoffs under 1st year coach Billy Donovan. The Thunder made it all the way to the Western Conference finals where they lost to Golden State in 7 games. Even in the tough Western Conference; the lost of Durant and the trading of Ibaka the Thunder should still be a playoff team. Can they get to the conference finals again? and if they did could they find a way to get past Golden State and into the NBA Finals?

New York Yankees 1st baseman Mark Teixeira announced this week that he’ll be retiring after the 2016 season. Teixeira is 36 years old and is in his 14th major league season. He currently has 404 career home runs and is one of just five switch hitters with 400 or more career home runs. Teixeira is a 3-time All-Star and a 5-time Gold Glove winner. His best season may have been his first one with the Yankees. He hit .292 while leading the league in home runs with 39 and RBI’s with 122. He finished 2nd in the MVP voting that season to Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins. Teixeira was the 5th overall pick of the 2001 draft by the Texas Rangers. He made his major league debut April 1st of the 2003 season. Injuries have really taken it’s toll on Teixeira the last 5 seasons. He hasn’t played in more than 123 games in any of those seasons and only played 15 games in 2013 due to injury. Besides the 404 career home runs Teixeira is a career .269 hitter and has driven in 1281 runs over his 14 seasons. Tex career stats While I don’t think Teixeira has the career numbers to get into the Hall of Fame he has been with the Yankees for 8 seasons and that can help a player in the voting.

Has anyone broken out as the National League MVP to you? Before Clayton Kershaw got injured it seemed as tough he was the front runner for the award even though he’s a pitcher and it’s a cop out to vote that way. There are some contenders, but I don’t think anyone has separated themselves from the field as of yet. Daniel Murphy is having a great season for the 1st place Washington Nationals. Murphy is leading the NL with a .356 average along with 21 home runs and 81 RBI’s. With Bryce Harper having what is considered a down year Murphy has been a huge piece for the Nationals. What about Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies? Gonzalez has good numbers this season with 23 home runs, 75 RBI’s and is hitting 320. Will there be questions about his numbers because he plays in Colorado. What may hurt Gonzalez more than anything is that it doesn’t look like the Rockies will be a playoff team. Colorado is 8 games out of the NL West lead and trail by 4 games in the wild card race. It may seem odd to talk about the standings when your looking at the MVP race, but they actual matter to the people who vote for the award. Could Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers be a surprise candidate. Seager is the front runner for NL Rookie of the Year, but with his .303 batting average, 19 home runs and 51 RBI’s could MVP also be included. Seager also plays shortstop and he plays shortstop for the Dodgers. With the injury to Kershaw and some of the other issues the Dodgers have dealt with Seager may get some consideration for MVP. Don’t forget Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. Someone on the Cubs is going to get MVP votes with the year the team is having and Bryant may be the guy. He’s currently 2nd in the NL with 26 home runs; just one behind the league lead. He has also driven in 68 runs and is hitting .284 this season. It should also be taken into consideration that Bryant has played multiple position for the best team in the NL. Bryant has played most of his games at 3rd (68 games), but has played the outfield in 57 games. He has also played 5 games at 1st base; he DH’d in 1 game and even played an inning at shortstop this season. With Kershaw out of the running for this award could the cowards that can’t make a decision on an everyday player run and hide behind another pitcher. Is there a chance they turn to another Nationls player and get behind Steven Strasburg. Strasburg is 15-1 with an ERA of 2.63 in 20 starts this season. He’s struck out 161 batters this season while walking 38 guys. He has given up 13 home runs and teams are hitting .194 against him this season. Are one of these five players the NL MVP? or is these someone else out there? If you had a ballot; who do you have a top of it?

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The Pittsburgh Penguins evened up there Eastern Conference finals series with the Tampa Bay Lighting at 3 game apiece with a 5-2 win in Game 6 last night. It looked as tough Pittsburgh was headed for an easy victory. Phil Kessel scored the only goal of the 1st period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Then in the 2nd period a goal by Kris Letang and then another by Sidney Crosby gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead and it seems as the game was pretty much settled. Then in the 3rd period Brian Boyle scored unassisted for Tampa bay t make it 3-1. Then a second goal by Boyle cut the Penguins lead to just one goal at 3-2. That was as close as the Lighting would get as Bryan Rust and Nick Bonino added 3rd period goals for the Penguins to make the final score 5-3 and send the series to a Game 7 Thursday night in Pittsburgh. The Penguins went back to Matt Murray on goal and he stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in Game 6. You have to figure he’ll get the call in net for Game 7. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been solid in goal for the Lighting, but you have to wonder if we’ll see Ben Bishop in Game 7 if he’s close to being ready to go.

Over in the Western Conference the San Jose Sharks took a 3 games to 2 lead in there series against the St. Louis Blues with a 6-3 win in St. Louis. San Jose will have a chance to close out the series tonight as they host the Blues in Game 6. With there season on the line tonight the Blues announced that Brian Elliott will be the starting goalie for Game 6 in San Jose. Jake Allen started the previous two games against San Jose. Elliott is undefeated this postseason in elimination games, winning a pair of Game 7’s against the Blackhawks and Stars. Overall, Elliott is 9-8 with a .925 save percentage this postseason. San Jose will stick with Martin Jones in goal. Jones is 11-6 with a goals against average of 2.13 and a save percentage of .918.  Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are leading San Jose in points this post season with 21 apiece while the Blues are led by Robby Fabbri who has 15 points. If St. Louis wins tonight and forces a Game 7 it will be played back at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday night.

Are the Golden State Warriors in trouble? Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder took a 3 games to 1 lead in the Western Conference finals over the Warriors with an easy 118-94 victory. This is the second game in a row that Oklahoma City has won the game by 20 plus points. While it was a 24 point margin of victory last night in Game 4 in Game 3 they won by 28 points 133-105. Oklahoma City got out to a double digit lead early, but by the end of the 1st quarter Golden State had cut the lead to just 4 at 30-26. The 2nd quarter is where the game really swung Oklahoma City’s way as they outscored Golden State 42-27 in the quarter and took a 72-53 lead into the locker room at halftime. Golden State did manage to knock 7 points off the lead by outscoring Oklahoma City 29-22 in the 3rd quarter, but it was already to little too late. With a 94-82 going int the 4th quarter Oklahoma City actually added to there lead outscoring Golden State 24-12 in the final quarter.

All five of the Thunder’s starters scored in double figures led by Russell Westbrook’s 36 points. Those 36 points where part of Westbrook’s triple-double as he added a team high 11 assists and 11 rebounds. Kevin Durant had 26 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson each scored 17 points while Roberson grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. Steve Adams chipped in 11 points for Oklahoma City while Dion Waiters scored 10 points off the Thunder bench.

Golden State was led by Klay Thompson with 26 points. Stephen Curry scored 19 points, but was just 2 of 10 from behind the 3-point line. Curry did hand out a team high 5 assists. Harrison Barnes was the only other Golden State player to reach double figures had 11 points. Draymond Green who let’s face it shouldn’t even of been playing in this game led the Warriors in rebounds with 11. Golden State shot 9 of 30 (30.0%) from behind the 3-point line in the game. Golden State does head home for Game 5 facing elimination, but as we know they’re very good at home.

In the Eastern Conference finals; who had the Toronto Raptors winning both of there games at home and evening the series at 2 games apiece. There where people who thought that the Raptors wouldn’t win a game in this series and now they’ve won two. Are they a real threat to win this series? Game 5 is tonight in Cleveland and it’s going to be tough for the Raptors to win there as the Cavaliers get a large disparity in fouls called. I did get a chuckle out of the huge flop LeBron James took when he git hit in the face in I think Game 3. The referees being incredibly stupid called a technical foul on one of the three Toronto players standing there when as it turned out it was LeBron’s own teammate Tristan Thompson who hit him in the face. Does the NBA still fine players for flopping? and would there dare try and fine LeBron for his terrible flop?

The NFL handed out the Super Bowl for the 2019, 2020 and the 2021 seasons. For 2017 the game will be held in Houston’s NRG Stadium. The other Super Bowl that was already on the books was 2018 and that will be played in the Minnesota Vikings new U.S. Bank stadium. For 2019 the Super Bowl goes to Atlanta and will be played at the Mercedes-Benz stadium. The 2020 game will be at the New Miami stadium, Miami Gardens home of the Dolphins. I’m not sure why, but for some reason the NFL listed this game as being played in South Florida with no details of which city it would be in. Then finally the 2021 Super Bowl will be played at the home of the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, California as long as the stadium is ready; which hopefully it will be by 2021.

 

 

You can listen to The Podcast by clicking the link and you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

NBA Awards

Posted: April 21, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports
Tags: , , ,

Here we go with the Sports Time Radio NBA Awards. Now the guys only had to pick and MVP and a Rookie of the Year. We used the same set up we always do; Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy were sent stats for 6 players with no names attached and were asked to ranked them from best season to worse season. Not that any of these where bad seasons; just in comparison to the guys they were up against. A player got 6 points for a 1st place vote, 5 points for a 2nd place vote and so on down to 1 point for a 6th place vote. To help break ties a player was giving .5 of a point.for a 1st place vote. Here’s what we got.

Russell Westbrook (15.5) of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the Sports Time Radio NBA MVP. Westbrook played in 67 games and led the NBA in scoring with 28.1 points per game. Westbrook also handed out 8.6 assists per game, grabbed 7.3 rebounds per game and 2.1 steals per game this season. Here are the other player who received votes with their point totals next to their name in parenthesis. Anthony Davis (14.5) New Orleans Pelicans. James Harden (11.5) Houston Rockets. Stephen Curry (11) Golden State Warriors. LeBron James (9) Cleveland Cavaliers. DeMarcus Cousins (3) Sacramento Kings.

Andrew Wiggins (19.5) of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the unanimous as Rookie of the Year. Wiigins played in all 82 games for the Timberwolves. He averaged 16.9 points per game, grabbed 4.6 rebounds per game and handed out 2.1 assists per game while getting 1.0 steals per game. Here are the other player who received votes. Nikola Mirotic (13) Chicago Bulls. Efrid Payton (12) Orlando Magic. Langston Galloway (10) New York Knicks. There was a tie between Nerleans Noel (5) of the Philadelphia 76ers and Zach LaVine (5) of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

If you agree or disagree feel free to leave your comments or find me on Twitter @Burketime. It would be interesting to get your picks. You can also listen to Sports Time Radio at http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com