Posts Tagged ‘san antonio spurs’

Are you use to Christmas day being an NBA day? There are five games on the schedule and the third one featured the San Antonio Spurs getting a 119 to 100 win over the Chicago Bulls. San Antonio improves to 25-6 with the win while the Bulls fall to 14-16. This was the Bulls sixth loss in seven games and it’s also the fifth time in those six losses that they’ve been beaten by double digit points.

The Bulls where in trouble right from the start as the Spurs scored the first 8 points of the game as well as scoring 17 of the first 19 points scored in the game. San Antonio seemed to make every shot they took in the quarter as they built the lead to 20 points at 30-10. The Bulls spent the rest of the quarter trying to cut the lead down. By the end of the quarter the lead was down to 11 as the Spurs led 36-25 after one.

After being down by 20 points early in the game the Bulls used the 2nd quarter to try and get themselves back into it. They got very close after  jimmy Butler dunk with 1:34 left in the quarter capped a Bulls 24 to 16 run and cut the Spurs lead to just 3 at 52-49. The Spurs where able to add a few more points back onto there lead and they went into halftime up 55-50.

The Bulls went on another run this time of 13 to 8 and believe it or not the game was tied at 63 all. Then Jimmy Butler actually gave the Bulls their first lead of the game when he hit a 3-pointer to make it 70-67 Chicago. The lead didn’t last long as the Spurs went on a 20 to 6 run to end the quarter. San Antonio took a 87-76 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

The Bulls didn’t have another run in them in the final quarter as they could only cut the lead to seven points on two occasions. Once the Spurs got a double digit lead the Bulls could only bring it under that one time. The Spurs lead got to 20 points with just under a minute to play, but a Bills free throw made the final 119-100.

LaMarcus Aldridge was the games leading scorer with 33 points Aldridge went 15 of 20 from the field in the game. Kawhi Leonard added 25 points and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds. Tony Parker scored 13 points and had a game high 8 assists while former Bull Pau Gasol had 10 points.

Dwayne Wade led the Bulls with 24 points and handed out a team high 6 assists. Jimmy Butler had 19 points while Taj Gibson scored 12 points and grabbed a team high 7 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic came off the Bulls bench to score 11 points while Robin Lopez scored 10 points.

The was the start of a three game home stand for San Antonio. The Spurs will get a few days off before hosting the 9-21 Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. Chicago is in another one of those scheduling quirks like earlier in the season. Chicago is in the middle of a three games in four days stretch as they’ll return home for a game tomorrow against the 15-16 Indiana Pacers.


The San Antonio Spurs cane into The United Center last night having won all 13 of their road games this season. The Chicago Bulls where on a 3 game losing streak coming into the game. Of course that means that the Bulls won the game 95-91 because that’s how things go; I guess.

The score was tied three different times in the 1st quarter and the biggest lead any team built was when the Bulls took a 7 point lead 19-12 after Doug McDermott made a lay up with 2:53 left in the quarter. It was a relatively low scoring 1st quarter, but the Bulls ended it with a 21-17 advantage.

San Antonio cut the leas to 2 points a couple of times early in the 2nd quarter, but the Bulls were able to pull away as the Spurs could manage just 15 points in the quarter. Dwayne Wade hit a 3-pointer with .07 seconds left in the quarter to give the Bulls a 45-32 lead at halftime.

The Bulls where able to get the lead to 15 points before the Spurs started to make up a little ground. San Antonio outscored the Bulls 31 to 27 in the 3rd quarter and ended the quarter on a 11-2 run. The 3rd quarter ended with the Bulls up 9 points 72-63.

The first basket of the 4th quarter was a 3-pointer by Patty Mills to get the Spurs to within 6 points, but that’s as close as they would get. San Antonio did manage to outscore the Bulls again in the 4th quarter 28 to 23, but that wasn’t enough to over come there slow first half and the Bulls ended up with a 95-91 win.

Dwayne Wade led the Bulls in scoring with 20 points. Jimmy Butler was just 4 for 14 from the field while scoring 13 points. Taj Gibson, Robin Lopez and Rajon Rondo all scored 12 points. Rondo just missed a triple-double as he tied for the game high with 10 rebounds and handed out a game high 9 assists.

Kawhi Leonard was the Spurs and the games leading scorer with 24 points. Patty Mils came off the Spurs bench and hit 4 of the 6 3-point sots he took on his way to 16 points. In his return to Chicago Pau Gasol scored 13 points and tied for the game high with 10 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge also added 10 points for San Antonio.

The win put the Bulls two games over .500 at 12-10. Chicago gets a day off before they host the 7-15 Miami Heat Saturday night. The loss dropped the Spurs to 18-5 on the season and ended there short three game road trip. San Antonio also returns top action Saturday night as they head home to face the 6-15 Brooklyn Nets.

The NBA season tipped off last night with three games on the schedule. The season started in Cleveland where the Cavaliers got their championship rings and hung their championship banner. After that the Cavaliers took the floor to face the New York Knicks. There are times that teams will start off flat after a championship ceremony, but not the Cavaliers. They got out to a 10-point lead after the 1st quarter 28 -18. The Knicks worked there way back into the game scoring 27 2nd quarter points while the Cavaliers where only able to put up 20 points. So going into halftime the Cavaliers held a 48-45 lead. The 2nd half belonged to the Cavaliers. Cleveland put up 34 3rd quarter points and 35 4th quarter points. The Knicks just couldn’t stay with them as they managed just 19 3rd quarter points and 24 4th quarter points as they watched the Cavaliers pull away to a 117-88 victory.

LeBron James started the season off with a triple-double as he scored 19 points handed out 14 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds. Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers in scoring with 29 points. Kevin Love added 23 points and grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. Richard Jefferson was the only other Cleveland player to score in double figures as he scored 13 points off the bench.

The Knicks where led by Carmelo Anthony with 19 points. Derrick rose scored 18 points in his Knicks debut. Kristaps Porzingis was the only other Knicks player in double figures with 16 points. Pozingis also had a team high 7 rebounds while Brandon Jennings led the Knicks in assists with 5.

The second game of the night and the one that was on TNT had the Portland Trail Blazers beating the Utah Jazz 113-104. Both teams out up 26 points apiece in the 1st quarter, but Portland took the lead going into halftime 54-46 by scoring 28 2nd quarter points while the Jazz scored just 20 2nd quarter points. The Jazz came out and pout up 37 3rd quarter points to the Trail Blazers 23; so going into the 4th quarter the Jazz had a 83-77 lead. In the 4th quarter it was Portland’s turn to go off as they put up 36 points in the quarter to Utah’s 21 points to take the 113-104 victory.

Damien Lilliard had a game high 39 points and led the Trail Blazers in rebounds with 9 and assists with 6. C.J. McCollum had 25 points while Alan Crabbe (18 points) and Noah Vonleh (11 points) came off the bench to score in double digits.

Four of the five Utah starters scored I  double figures led by Joe Johnson’s 29 points. Rodney Hood had 26 points while George Hill had 19 points and a team high 6 assists while Rudy Gobert had a double-double with 12 points and a game high 14 rebounds.

The night wrapped up with a Western Conference marquee match up, but ended with a surprising final score. The San Antonio Spurs went into Oracle Arena and easily beat the new look Golden State Warriors 129-100. The Spurs outscored the Warriors in every quarter of the game. It was 31-20 in the 1st, 33-26 in the 2nd, 33-31 in the 3rd and then 32-23 in the 4th quarter. Now to be fair the Spurs are a very good team, but no one expected them to win this game by 29 points.

The Spurs Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 35 points. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 and grabbed 14 rebounds. Three players off the Spurs benched scored in double figures. Patty Mills had 11 points and a team high 5 assists. Jonathon Simmons had 20 points while Manu Ginobili added 10 points.

Golden State was led by Kevin Durant who had a double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry was one point behind Durant with 26 in the game, Draymond Green also tallied a double-double with 18 points and a team high 12 rebounds. Green also had a team high 6 assists and added 5 steals. Klay Thompson was the only other Golden State player in double figures with 11 points. The Warriors live by the 3-point shot and last night they died by it. Golden State went 7 for 33 (21.2%) on 3-point shots last night.

There are 10 games on the NBA schedule tonight. The Miami Heat are at the Orlando Magic. The Dallas Mavericks are at the Indiana Pacers. The Brooklyn Nets are at the Boston Celtics. The Detroit Pistons are at the Toronto Raptors. The Charlotte Hornets are at the Milwaukee Bucks. The Minnesota Timberwolves are at the Memphis Grizzlies. The Oklahoma City Thunder are at the Philadelphia 76ers on ESPN. The Sacramento Kings are at the Phoenix Suns. The night on the hardwood wraps up with the Houston Rockets at the Los Angeles Lakers also on ESPN.

It took until Week 7 for me to finally get a “W” in our pick contest, but I got one. I was 9-6 for Week 7 and that was good enough for a win. Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy finished just a game behind me at 8-7 while Schaumburg Stu came in under .500 at 7-8. Overall for the season Schaumburg Stu is still in the lead with a record of 63-44. Dan the Man held onto the 2nd spot at 60-47. I have the 3rd spot at 57-50 with Mr. Fantasy a game behind me at 56-51. I guess will see if I can get two wins in a row with my Week 8 picks.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup narrowed their field from 12 to 8 after this weekends race at Talladega Speedway. Brad Keslowski, Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon where knocked out of the “The Chase”. The 8 remaining drivers in “the Chase’ are headed to Martinsville Speedway for Sunday’s Goody’s 500. The elite 8 drivers are Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth. This is the first chance for these 8 drivers to qualify for the Sprint Cup final with a win. After Sunday’s race these drivers will have two more chances to qualify for the final with a win. On November 6th they’re at Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA 500 and then they’re at Phoenix International Raceway for the Cam-Am 500 on November 13th. A driver can either get into the final with a win or be in the Top 4 in points to move on to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20th for the Ford Ecoboost 400. It looks like a solid field of 8 drivers and it appears as though anyone of them could win the Sprint Cup. Who’s your favorite to win?

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How’s your NCAA tournament bracket? Mine actually went alright with one major exception. My tournament winner was Michigan State who loss in the 1st round to Middle Tennessee State. I know that #15 seeds have beaten #2 seeds before, but I really thought that wouldn’t happen to Michigan State. I thought a team with Denzel Valentine as their best player and coached by Tom Izzo would get through the first round against a much lower seeded team. Valentine struggled going 5 of 13 from the field including going 3 of 8 from behind the 3-point line. Oddly Valentine didn’t find his way to the free throw line and as a team Michigan State only shot 15 free throws in the entire game. Valentine ended up with a scoring line of 13 points, 6 rebounds and a tam high 12 assist. Middle Tennessee used pretty much just 5 players in the game as their bench as a whole played just 19 minutes and scored 9 points. Reggie Upshaw led the way for Middle Tennessee State with 21 points while playing 38 minutes. Giddy Potts had 19 points in 39 minutes. Perrin Buford and Darnell Harris each had 15 points. Buford also played 39 minutes while Harris played 28 minutes. Jaqawn Raymond also scored in double figures putting up 11 points in 37 minutes of action. Perrin also led the Blue Raiders in rebounding with 7 and assists wit 6. While Michigan State season and pretty much my tournament bracket are done for the season Middle Tennessee moves on to the 2nd round where they’ll face the #10 seeded Syracuse who beat Dayton (#7) 70-61 last night to advance. As a whole I didn’t do horrible picking the 1st round of the tournament. I lost 9 games total and I’m actually in the 84% of the contest I’m in. Of course with my tournament champion already eliminated my percentage will drop with the automatic losses I’ll take. Here’s hoping your 1st round went better than mine did.

Remember Chris Olmstead from Beyond the Flag will join me on the Sports Time Radio podcast tomorrow (Sunday) right around 10:00 a.m. to preview the NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway. Austin Dillion won the pole position for the Auto Club 400 with an average speed of 188.482. Last weeks winner Kevin Harvick qualified 2nd with an average speed of 188.329. Denny Hamlin starts 3rd, Ryan Newman is starting 4th and Carl Edwards who was just nudge out by Harvick last week rounds out the Top 5 starting off 5th. It was another good qualifying set for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) with Hamlin 3rd, Edwards 5th as well as Kyle Busch starting 6th. The fourth JGR driver Matt Kenseth had a solid qualifying run as well and will start the race 20th on Sunday. Chris did very well with his picks last week; so you’ll want to know which 3 drivers he thinks have the best chance to end up in victory lane.

The Portland Trail Blazers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 117-112 last night, but the story from the game will be the clothesline Kendrick Perkins of the Pelicans center gave to Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. Perkins hit Lillard in the chin or neck area as Lillard was attempting to score. Perkins was accessed a Flagrant foul 2; a call that was upheld after the video review. Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee immediately took exception to the foul and stepped up to defend Lillard. Plumlee and Perkins had to be separated by the other players on the court. The play started with Perkins who was initially guarding Plumlee but, a screen switched him onto Lillard at the top of the key. The the much faster Lillard quickly drove past the 6-foot-10, 270-pound center, who then hit him as he prepared to go up with a shot from inside the free throw line. Perkins was ejected for the Flagrant 2 foul as Lillard went on to score 33 points grab 8 rebounds and hand out 6 assists in the Trail Blazers victory.

It’s another top notch match up for the NBA this Saturday night as the Golden State Warriors are at the San Antonio Spurs. They are the Top 2 teams in the NBA right now and are expected to be meeting in the Western Conference finals for the right to play for and as most people expect to win the NBA title. Golden State has the best record in the NBA at 62-6. San Antonio has the 2nd best record in the NBA at 58-10 and are a perfect 34-0 this season on there home court. As we’ve seen San Antonio’s head coach Gregg Popovich has rested his star player in these marquee type of match ups; so we’ll have to wait and see if any Spurs players are given the night off, but you’d think with a perfect home record on the line everyone one who’s healthy enough to play will play. San Antonio had the night off Friday night, but Golden State faced the Dallas Mavericks. Golden State picked up a 130-112 victory over the Mavericks, but 4 of the Warriors starters logged over 30 minutes in the game. Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes each played 36 minutes while Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both played 34 minutes. Fatigue shouldn’t be a factor for Golden State as they’re an up tempo team and while San Antonio does play a faster paced game it’s not the same speed the Warriors play at. On yesterday’s (Friday)Sports Time Radio podcast Dan the Man picked San Antonio to win the game and stay undefeated at home. Do you agree or disagree with Dan’s pick?

We had another significant injury in spring training this week. The Tampa Bay Rays lost their closer Brad Boxberger for at least 8 weeks when he need abdominal muscle surgery to repair what was described as a core muscle injury. Last season the 27 year old Boxberger had 41 saves in 47 opportunities. He went 4-10 with a 3.71 ERA and was an All-Star for the first time. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash didn’t name a replacement at closer, but has quite a few choices. Look for Tampa Bay to use Alex Colome, Ryan Webb, Xavier Cedeno, Danny Farquhar and Steven Geltz in that closer role as they try to find a way to fill the void until Boxberger can return.

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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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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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The NBA season is just about to it’s halfway point and I heard an interesting comment about the league the other day. I wish I could remember who I could attribute this to, but sadly I can’t. Anyway this NBA analyst went on to say that there are only 3 teams that are serious NBA championship contenders. So if you’re not a fan of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs or the Cleveland Cavaliers your season is over. Is that tough for you to hear? Golden State has the best record in the NBA at 37-3 while San Antonio is 35-6. Neither team has lost a home game so far this season as the Warriors are 19-0 at home and the Spurs are 23-0 at home. Cleveland is 28-10, but is far and away the best team in the Eastern Conference. While the Cavaliers may have the easiest road to the finals they have lost both of their games against the top to teams in the west. On Christmas Day Golden State beat the Cavaliers 89-83 and then just this Thursday Cleveland was beaten by San Antonio 99-95. To be fair both of these match ups where on the road and now the Cavaliers will get to host Golden State this coming Monday, but they don’t host San Antonio until January 30th. Cleveland’s only loss at home was on December 1st; a 97-85 defeat by the Washington Wizards. The Toronto Raptors are 25-15 and look like the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference, but are they a threat to beat the Cavaliers for a trip to the NBA Finals. In the Western Conference the Oklahoma City Thunder are 19-12 and the Los Angeles Clippers are 26-13 and look like the 3rd and 4th best teams in the Western Conference. Are the Thunder and the Clippers a threat to go to the NBA Finals? If someone besides the Warriors or the Spurs is going to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals they’ll have to beat both of those teams in a 7 game series. Say a team like the Thunder or the Clippers did manage to get past both the Warriors and the Spurs during the playoffs. How much would they have left for an NBA Finals match up against a team like Cleveland?

Remember when there was nothing but complaining about the Eastern Conference and the fact that they had teams with under .500 records getting into the playoffs. I don;t think I’ve heard as much complaining now that all 8 of what would be the Eastern Conference playoff teams would be over .500 and the Western Conference would have a team just 1 game over .500 sneak in and another team that is under .500 make the playoffs. Where did all these guys go who where saying the playoffs needed to be re-seeded and these terrible under.500 teams would ruin the playoffs by making it. Did those teams ruin Golden State’s run to a championship last season by making the playoffs. Yeah; I didn’t think so. Maybe it would affect the NBA if one of these under .500 teams actually made a playoff run and won a championship. It could also attract more casual fans to the NBA as a team that shouldn’t be there is there and that can draw a crowd. The playoff system the NBA uses seems to get good result as I don’t remember a team with an under .500 record win a championship over even go to a conference finals and while it might be tough to see a team with a better record than another team out of the playoffs that’s the way the conferences are set up. What will they say this season if there’s a team with a record above .500 that doesn’t make the playoffs, but it’s in the Eastern Conference this season.

There was a little bit of controversy when the NHL held an online vote to name captains for the All-Star game and John Scott of the Arizona Coyotes won one of those spots. Scott has played in 11 games this season for the Coyotes. Scott has 1 assists in those 11 games, but does have 25 penalty minutes. Now yesterday the Coyotes made a couple of trades. The first trade had Arizona sending defenseman Stefan Elliott to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Victor Bartley. Arizona then turned around and sent Bartley along with Scott to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Jarred Tinordi and minor league winger Stefan Fournier. It looks like just an even swap of players; no big deal. Well the Canadiens assigned Scott to their minor league affiliate  St. John’s of the AHL. Now accord to NHL rules Scott has to be on an NHL team to play in the All-Star game. I’m sure the players association will go back and forth with the NHL on this, but Scott himself said he’d follow the league rules. What this is all leading me too and this is normally Dan the Man’s thing on Sports Time Radio, but was this a conspiracy? I’m sure the NHL saw Scot being voted an All-Star captain as embarrassing and while both teams are saying the right things; you have to look at this and wonder.

After the rumors yesterday that the Baltimore Orioles had offered free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes a 5-year $90 million dollar contract I was surprised to see that there are reports that say the Orioles and free agent Chris Davis have agreed on a 7-year $161 million dollar deal. Maybe the contract offer to Cespedes was to try and get Davis’ camp moving as they seemed to be dragging their feet in negotiations with Baltimore. Davis hit a league high 47 home runs last season to go with 117 RBI’s and hit .262. Could the Orioles bring Davis back and still sign Cespedes?

The World Series champion Kansas City Royals also added a free agent overnight as it’s being reported that the Royals and Ian Kennedy have agreed on a 5-year $70 million dollar contract. Kennedy spent the last 3 seasons with the San Diego Padres where last season he was 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA in 30 starts.

In our picks for the wild card round Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man and I went 3-1 while Mr. Fantasy was 2-2. The divisional round kicks off this afternoon with the Kansas City Chiefs at the New England Patriots and then tonight it’s the Green Bay Packers at the Arizona Cardinals. While I didn’t receive Mr. Fantasy’s picks in time to add them to this I can tell you that Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and I are all picking New England to win today’s first game, but Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu have Green Bay winning tonight;s game while I have Arizona getting the win. Sunday’s games are the Seattle Seahawks at the Carolina Panthers to start the day and then the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Denver Broncos in the afternoon to wrap up the divisional round. Tomorrow on the Sports Time radio podcast I’ll give you are picks for the Sunday games as well as a review of how today’s games went. Mr. Fantasy should be their and he’ll be able to adjust his picks to go 2-0 on Saturday. You can find the podcast on live from 10:00 a.m. until Noon.

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We’re through 14 weeks in our NFL picks. For Week 14 Dan the Man and I went 10-6 while Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy went 8-8. For the season I’m in the lead with a record of 125-82. Dan the Man is in 2nd place with a record of 120-87. Schaumburg Stu is in 3rd place with a record of 114-93. That means Mr. Fantasy finds himself in the cellar, but by only 1 game with a record of 113-94. Week 15 starts tomorrow (Thursday) night and then there’s also a Saturday game this week; so will see how are picks go this week.

What’s the worst division in the NFL? Is it the NFC East where 3 teams are tied for the lead with records of 6-7. Or is it the AFC South where 6-7 is also the record you need to lead that division as 2 teams have. It’s looking like 8-8 or a 7-9 record will send a team into the playoffs. I don;t have so much of an issue with teams from these divisions making the playoffs. I believe that you should get something for winning your division even if it’s a bad division. I don’t like the fact that these teams get to host a playoff game. I’d be surprised to see either of these divisions winners getting past the wild card weekend of the playoffs, but you never know. Maybe the Indianapolis Colts could make some kind of run if their quarterback Andrew Luck comes back healthy. If the New York Giants win the NFC East could they get something going in the playoffs and win a game or two. I’m not as sold on teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins or Houston Texans getting a playoff win. The difficult part is I’m not sure if there’s a good way to reconfigure the playoffs when teams win divisions with .500 or below records. I’d be open to listening to ideas if you guys have any.

Patrick Kane’s scoring streak came to an end last night at 26 games. Kane’s Chicago Blackhawks where shutout by the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Tuesday night to end the streak. It was the longest scoring streak in the NHL since Mats Sundin picked up a point in 30 straight games during the 1992-93 season. Kane’s 26 game scoring streak ranks as the 6th longest scoring streak in NHL history. Guy Lafleur (1976-77), Wayne Gretzky (1984-85), Mario Lemieux (1985-86), Paul Coffey (1985-86) and Steve Yzerman (1988-89) had points streaks of 28 games. Gretzky had a 30 game scoring streak in 1982-83. Sundin had his 30 game streak in 1992-93. Gretzky also had a 39 game scoring streak in 1985-86. Lemieux had a scoring streak of 46 games in 2989-90. Gretzky has the longest scoring streak in NHL history at 51 games in 2983-84. While it was a great streak for Kane it’s hard to believe he was 25 games away from catching Gretzky.

With the NHL season coming up on it’s halfway point the Dallas Stars have  the most points in the league with 48. The Washington Capitals are 2nd and the leader in the Eastern conference with 44 points. The Montreal Canadiens are 3rd with 43 points. The New York Rangers are 4th with 42 points and the New York Islanders round out the Top 5 with 41 points. While the Stars have looked like the best team in the NHL you’ll notice that the next 4 teams are all from the Eastern conference. The Western conference has won the last 4 Stanley Cups and 5 out of the last 6. Is Dallas the team in the Western conference to keep that going or will one of those Eastern conference teams step up and take the Cup home.

We have a fantasy hockey league associated with the Sports Time Radio podcast. We do an auction style draft for hockey and this season we put in a minimum  of 3 starts per week for a teams goaltenders. This rule has been difficult for some owners to work with. It’s just Dan the Man and I who are playing in the 16 team league. Dan is currently 8th overall in the standings while my team is 3rd right now. With his 26 game scoring streak Patrick Kane has been the  top player in our league. Tyler Seguin and his teammate Jamie Benn of the Stars are ranked #2 and #3. Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers ranks as the 4th best player and rounding out the Top 5 is Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks. Sadly for Dan and I none of these 5 players are on our teams.

With the Golden State Warriors running off to a record 24-0 start and even after just dropping their 1st game they’re still getting a lot of the headlines. With all this interest in Golden State the San Antonio Spurs have quietly gotten off to a 21-5 start to the season. As Tim Duncan’s and Tony Parker’s careers head towards the finish the Spurs have seem to become Kawhi Leonard’s team. Leonard leads San Antonio in scoring averaging 20.8 points per game. Leonard is also averaging 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2 steals and just over 1 block a game while turning the basketball over an average of 1.3 times per game. Leonard is also averaging more minutes than any other San Antonio player at 33 minutes per game. San Antonio went out in the off season and made a big free agent signing bringing in LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is the 2nd on the Spurs in scoring with an average of 15.8 points per game. Aldridge does lead the team in rebounding averaging 8.8 rebounds per game. Aldridge also plays the 2nd most minutes on the Spurs with an average of 29.2 minutes per game. Now when you talk about the Spurs you’re use to using the names Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili; they’re all still there. Duncan is playing 26.5 minutes per game and is averaging 9 points per game. Duncan is also grabbing an average of 8.3 rebounds per game and is the team leader with 1.4 blocked shots per game. Point guard Parker is averaging 26.7 minutes per game. He averages 12.8 points per game and is the Spurs leader in assists with 4.9 per game. With Danny Green filling the role in the starting line up Ginobili is back to his 6th man role. Ginobili is averaging just 19.6 minutes per game, but is scoring 10.8 points per game. As the NBA season moves along will the Spurs be able to continue to control the minutes of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili and will this pay off for them come playoff time. If things go as planned will we see a San Antonio Spurs vs. the Golden State Warriors Western conference finals match up?

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The NBA is in the 1st round of it’s playoffs and most series have played 2 or 3 games and a few teams have chances to close out their series today. There is just 1 series where each teams has won a basketball game. That series is the San Antonio Spurs vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers won Game 1 of the series by 15 points, 107-92 and there were quite a few experts saying that the Spurs were done after just 1 game. They seemed to have forgotten that the Spurs were one of the hotter teams heading into the playoffs and the only reason they were facing the Clippers was because the Western conference standings were so tight that when they lost their last game of the season they feel from the 2nd or 3rd seed down to the 6th seed. So with the Spurs being declared out of the series after 1 game they turned around and took home court advantage in the series by winning Game 2 111-107. Game 3 was last night (Friday) in San Antonio and if you would’ve told me that one of these teams would win this game by 27 points I would’ve thought you were crazy. Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and the Spurs beat the Clippers 100-73 to go up 2 game to 1 in the series. Besides Leonard only 2 other Spurs players scored in double figures and neither of them was named Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili. It was Boris Diaw (15) and Danny Green (11) would scored double digit points in San Antonio’s win. The Clippers shot 34.1% from the field and 6-23 from behind the 3-point line. Blake Griffin going 6-15 from the floor and 2-3 from the free throw line and led the Clippers in scoring with 14 points. Chris Paul struggled from the field going 3-11 and Jamal Crawford had a horrible shooting night going just 1-11 from the floor. Austin Rivers scored 11 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 points; as the only other Clippers who scored in double figures. San Antonio has found different ways to win Game 2 and Game 3 and with Game 4 Sunday in San Antonio do the Spurs have a 3rd different way to win a game in this series. Does Game 3 become a must win for the Clippers or would they have a shot at winning the series if they went back to Los Angeles down 3 games to 1.

Now when the NBA playoffs started there was a lot of complaining that there were teams that finished the regular season under .500 that made the Eastern conference playoffs. With the way the 1st round of the playoffs have went is that the biggest problem or could the issue be that there are too many teams in the playoffs. Besides San Antonio the Washington Wizards are the only other lower seeded team to win a playoff game. The Wizards went into the playoffs as a #5 seed and were matched up against the Toronto Raptors. It’s not a huge surprise that the Wizards are winning this series as there’s not a lot of difference between a #4 and #5 seed, but the Raptors really struggled down the final stretch of the regular season. If the playoffs went from 16 teams to 12 teams no under .500 teams would’ve made it. The Milwaukee Bucks where 41-41 and are the 6th seed in the Eastern conference. Now lowering the number of playoff teams will never happen, but when the 1st round plays out like this doesn’t it take some of the excitement out of it. Now the Memphis Grizzlies/Portland Trailblazers series has just played 2 games; so maybe something will happen their with Memphis up 2 games to 0 and Game 3 today. The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets have only played 2 games with Atlanta winning both of them, but does anyone think Brooklyn will win a game in this series. Atlanta is the eastern conferences #1 seed while Brooklyn barely found it’s way into the playoffs. While there has been a game here or there that has been exciting I’m not sure this is the 1st round the NBA had hoped for.

I took a chance last season on my fantasy teams and late in both drafts I managed to get Yordano Ventura of the Kansas City Royals. He had a very good rookie season going 14-10 with a 3.20 E.R.A, in 30 regular season starts and was one of the big reasons the Royals found themselves playing Game 7 of the World Series last season. In the off season the Royals decided not to re-sign James Shields and allow Ventura to become the ace of the pitching staff. So this season Ventura has made 4 starts; he is 2-1 with a 4.09 E.R.A. over 22 innings so far. In what may be some kind of record in his last 3 starts the benches have cleared and he’s been right in the middle of it. Now when this happened in his start against the Oakland A’s in understood it. Ventura hit Brett Lawrie who had taken out the Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar with a slide into 2nd base the game before. The pitch hit Lawrie low and even Lawrie acted like he knew it was coming and just went to 1st base. Ventura  escalated the situation by barking at Lawrie who was going up the 1st base line while Ventura was leaving the game. That didn’t bother me too much as Ventura was just defending a teammate. In Ventura’s start before that against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim/ After Mike Trout scored a run and with Ventura was backing up home plate they started to exchange words over something and this led to the benches emptying. Then in his last start against the Chicago White Sox Adam Eaton hit a ball back up the middle that Ventutra fielded. While Eaton was running the ball out Ventura started barking at him more or less because he hit the ball back up the middle which is something I heard Ventura doesn’t like when hitters do. This led to yet another bench clearing for the Royals and there where even some punches thrown. There have also been reports that White Sox pitcher Chris Sale tried to get in the Royals clubhouse to find Ventura and continue the fight. Now I understand that pitchers are going to throw at batters and there’s going to be times when players get upset and it will lead to on field fights, but in your last 3 starts. Kansas City looks like they have a very good team again and may have a shot to get into the playoffs, but can they do that with their best pitcher starting fights every time he takes the mound. Then you also have to wonder how many more times are Royals hitters going to be understanding about getting drilled because of something Ventura did or said. Is it time for major league baseball to step in and suspend or fine Ventura for his actions or will the Royals be able to police themselves and get their ace under control.

Now the 1st round of the NHL playoffs are also going on and 2 of their series have already ended. The Anaheim Ducks swept the Winnipeg Jets 4 games to 0 and the New York Rangers closed out the Pittsburgh Penguins 4 games to 1 last  night. I was a little disappointed to see Sidney Crosby go out of the playoffs in the 1st round and his team not even out up much of a fight. There is a chance that 3 more series will come to an end tonight. The Washington Capitals have a chance to close out the New York Islanders. The Chicago Blackhawks can eliminate the Nashville Predators and the Calgary Flames can send the Vancouver Canucks home with a win. The Tampa Bay Lighting hist the Detroit Red Wings as well today, but that series is tied at 2 games apiece.

So how was your week?

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Since the followers to this blog seem to be increasing I figured I’d try to start writing a 2nd blog during the week and Wednesday seemed a good a day as any to do it. The plan is to get a blog up every Wednesday along with the Saturday blog and we’ll see how this goes.

While I wasn’t surprised to see the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat to win the NBA championship it was the way they beat them that surprised me. Game 1 was a 15 point win 110-95. Game 2 of course was the only game Miami won during the series. A 2 point Heat win 98-96. Game 3 of course went to San Antonio 111-92. Game 4 saw San Antonio win 107-86. San Antonio won the championship with a Game 5 victory 104-87. While I never made a prediction in this series; I just said I’d like to see the Spurs win. The majority of the experts I heard predicted the Heat to win this series; actually come to think of it I didn’t hear anyone pick the Spurs to win the series. While the experts thought the Spurs would keep the series close and some even said it would go seven games none of them thought San Antonio would win it let alone win it in the fashion they did. No one had Miami winning only one game in this series and no one had them being beaten the way they where. Going into the series I thought Miami was the better team, but San Antonio dominated Miami in winning the championship. Kawhi Leonard was the Spurs player who broke out in the finals. He averaged 17.8 points per game for the series, but in the final three games he went for 29 points in Game 3. 20 points in Game 4 and 22 points in Game 5. Leonard actually posted double-doubles in Games 4 and 5. He grabbed 14 rebounds in Game 4 and then 10 rebounds in Game 5. For his play Leonard was named NBA finals MVP. While Leonard was the breakout star San Antonio’s big three did their part to win this championship. Tim Duncan had double-doubles in three games; Game 1, Game 2 and Game 4. Tony Parker made a case for himself being the best point guard in the NBA. Parker averaged 18.0 points and 4.6 assists during the finals. Manu Ginobili averaged 14.4 points and 4.4 assists during the finals. When Danny Green struggled shooting the ball in Game 5 it was Ginobili who stepped up and went 3 for 6 from behind the three-point line. Green was held scoreless in Game 5 and the Spurs needed Ginobili to come up big like he did. Will this be the Spurs last title with this big three no one can be sure. Duncan is 38 years old, Ginobili is 36 and Parker is 32. Head coach Greg Popovich has said he plans on coaching next season after some rumors came out that he might retire if the Spurs won the title. There was also that same rumor floated out there about Duncan, but nothing has been confirmed. Ginobili as well may retire from the NBA and return to Argentina and play for their team. Will have to wait and see what these Spurs do, but they’ll do it as champions.

Let the NBA off-season rumor mill start. Will LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh all stay in Miami? Where will Carmelo Anthony be playing next season? The Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls are the reported front-runners if Carmelo does opt out of his deal and become a free agent. All reports have indicated that he will opt out, but remember the New York Knicks can pay him more than any other team out there. How would interest in Carmelo change if LeBron opted out of his deal in Miami and became a free agent? Could a team Like the Los Angeles Clippers who are on the verge of winning a title make the moves they’d need to make to bring in a player like Carmelo. The Clippers are a team that could be a dark horse for a guy like Anthony. Can Kevin Love force the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade him? and where would he end up. Love has mentioned the Bulls as well as the Golden State Warriors as two places he’d like to go. Could Carmelo be a sign and trade player for the Knicks? Could LeBron end up playing in Cleveland next season? Is there a team that’s willing to pay the price Minnesota would want for Love? Plus the NBA Draft is right around the corner; Thursday June 26th. All this and more will be answered in the NBA off-season.

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