Posts Tagged ‘nba’

Like many Cleveland fans, I fell into the category of “hater” regarding Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. “Why is that,” you ask?

Could it be his cocky demeanor?

cocky 

Or the trash talk? And no, I don’t want to “read the whole quote.”

http://www.slamonline.com/nba/stephen-curry-hopes-locker-room-in-cleveland-still-smells-like-champagne/#k7t6IhcmtBg9GjX0.97

What about the halfway out mouthpiece?

mouthpiece

Or the shimmy in front of an opponents bench?

How about the fact that because of him, the Cavaliers chances of bringing a championship to Cleveland after over a 50 year drought seems to be diminishing with every effortless 30 foot three point attempt that barely grazes iron.

Notice I said, “fell” in the first sentence of this column. As I sat and watched the Warriors come-from-behind win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday, I subconsciously started rooting for Curry. After making the game winning basket on this incredible shot, I quietly said to myself, “Good Lord, this dude is amazing.”

 

 

After a short moment of silence, it hit me. I thought about what makes sports great and why I would rather watch a Sun Belt Conference football game on a Thursday night then a political debate in the middle of a Presidential race. The answer is quite simple; the opportunity to witness greatness. Stephen Curry is a “once in a generation” type of player.

Ever since Michael Jordan retired, we’ve longed for the next “Airness.” First it was Grant Hill, then Harold Minor, then Kobe Bryant, then LeBron James. All were compared to the GOAT, but none could duplicate his aura.

Curry’s game is a complete 180 degree circle from the gravity defying moves that made Jordan seem like he was from another planet. Maybe we were just well-wishing because there will likely never be another Jordan.

Curry is different. No one ever compared him or his game to Jordan’s. He’s already the best shooter to ever play. Honestly, have you ever seen anything like it? The same things we said about Jordan when he made jaw dropping dunks, reverse layups, or hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity, are now being said every time Curry hoists a shot from well behind the three point line.

And Curry and the Warriors have the look of a dynasty, just like Chicago in the ‘90’s. When Jordan and the Bulls won their first title, everyone knew they were just getting started. Well, here is Curry, fresh off his first title with the Warriors, and no one is expecting anything different this season.

Don’t let the hate consume you, and I know that’s tough for Clevelanders, but we are witnessing what we all long for as sports fans. Sit back, drink your favorite beverage, and enjoy the ride, even at the behest of another year without a Championship in Cleveland. But hey, we’re used to things just not going our way. The last time the Cavaliers had a legit shot at an NBA Championship, we were stumped by the greatest player ever, now we are being stumped by the greatest shooter ever.

1. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals for the second time in team history and I’ve got one piece of advice for everyone out there. Enjoy it! No matter the outcome. Enjoy it! Sure I want to see them bring a championship to my city, but in the process of doing so, I’m going to soak in the entire atmosphere that being in the Finals bring. Most of you aren’t going to pay the steep price for playoff tickets (myself included) so do what I’m going to do. Buy a $5 ticket and go watch one of the road games at the Q with 20,000 other fans. While you won’t actually ‘be’ at the game, it’ll create a memory that you won’t forget. And it’s much more affordable!

2. Speaking of the Cavaliers, you know it’s a good thing when President Lincoln is also #AllinCle

3. I shared a video about Cavalier’s center Timofey Mozgov in an earlier blog and now here is a video about JR Smith. Grab a cigar and some cognac.

 

4. The MLB All-Star game is six weeks away and there are two Cleveland Indian position players that are worthy of All-Star consideration.

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis is coming off one of the greatest months in not just team history, but also MLB history and his .340 batting average is second best in the entire American League. He is in the top 10 in the AL in the following categories: Hits (2nd), runs (4th), doubles (3rd), triples (2nd), total bases (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (9th) and OPS (6th). When it comes to the All-Star voting, however, Kipnis ranks a distant 4th, over 1.5 million votes behind the leader, Jose Altuve, of the Houston Astros.

Left fielder Michael Brantley, who finished third in last years MVP voting, is hitting .302, fifth best among AL outfielders. He is in the top 10 among outfielders in the following categories: Hits (5th), doubles (1st), RBI (4th), walks (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (7th), and OPS (5th). Brantley is currently 7th in the All-Star voting  among outfielders, over 1 million votes behind 3rd place Alex Gordon of the Royals.

Do what I did and vote for these two as they both deserve to be on the team.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2015/ballot.jsp?tcid=ASG15_mlb_leftrailpromo

5. Speaking of the Tribe, remember when I said that reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber would be just fine? Over his last four starts, Kluber is 3-0 with 50 strikeouts and  miniscule 1.41 ERA. He’s looking every bit like the Cy Young winner that we saw last season.

6. I recently heard there is a remake of one of my all time favorite movies, ‘Point Break.’  No, I’m not joking. Patrick Swayze has to be turning in his grave over this one. Why redo a movie that was already a classic and featured an ex Ohio State quarterback turned FBI agent chasing a group of bank robbing surfers? Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis says in this scene, “That would be a waste of time.”

 

7. The latest addition to my guilty pleasure.

breds

8. I’m still a beginning smoker but I’m really enjoying it. The latest thing I smoked was St. Louis style ribs. The difference between these and baby backs are the St Louis style has more fat, which provides more flavor. I used apple wood to smoke and they turned out pretty good. I went 5 hours at 250 degrees, which was just a little too long, so I’m going to shorten them up next time.

ribs

9. Okay, back to sports. The College football season is less than 100 days away and the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season according to the Vegas odds is Ohio State Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliot. He’s even got his own hype video. Check it out.

 

10. Speaking of college football, we recently wrapped up the 2015 Phil Steele College Football Preview magazine, AKA the college football bible. That also means we’ve released our pre-season All-American teams. Notre Dame led the way with three 1st team All-Americans. To see the entire four team list click the link below.

http://philsteele.com/All_Conference/2015/2015%20Preseason/All-American.html

11. Floyd Mayweather is expected to return to the ring in September and many are wondering who his next opponent or vitctim will be. There has been plenty of talk about England’s Amir Khan getting the next shot at the pound for pound king but after his lackluster performance last week against Chris Algieri, he’ll likely be removed from the discussion. Why not give Miguel Cotto, who fights this weekend on HBO, a rematch? He gave Mayweather a good fight when the two shared the ring in 2012. Here’s his greatest hits for those that aren’t aware of what he brings to the table.

 

12. I haven’t written since the NFL draft took place and heading into the draft I was worried about the incompetence that the Cleveland Browns were likely going to show. Well I was relieved during the first round as I turned to my cousin and brother-in-law, who were with me at the Cleveland Convention Center for the draft party, and told them that this draft proves the team is trying to win games and not sell jersey’s like last season. I think the Browns hit a home run with this draft and will start seeing immediate dividends on the field.

13. Speaking of the Browns, the odds in Vegas have the Browns over/under at 6 1/2 wins. The Browns will win more than six games this season. Those that know me know first hand that I am not a homer in any way, shape, or form so for me to come out and write this is a change in the way that I’ve thought about my hometown team for some time. They won seven games last season, have improved every position group on the roster, and competed with every team in their division last year. Yes, I know the schedule is tougher, but splitting with our division isn’t out of the question and the Browns should be able to beat teams qb’d by the Geno Smith (Jets) and Marcus Mariota/Zach Mettenberger (Titans) while also getting past the 49ers at home in December. That’s seven wins right there.

Cleveland_James_Lebron_News

Click the link below to see my story published by Vocero Latino about LeBron James

http://vocerolatinonews.com/lebron-james-is-the-real-nba-mvp-this-season/

 

1. The Cleveland Indians were featured on one of the regional covers of the Sports Illustrated MLB preview edition. Naturally, Cleveland fans panicked and brought up the dreaded SI cover jinx. Relax folks. There have been plenty of examples that defunct that so called jinx. Here’s one such example.

russell-wilson-sports-illustrated-cover

 

2. Speaking of the Tribe, they’ve announced their starting rotation. Taking the mound for the home opener next Friday will be Zach McAlister, who earned the number 4 spot. So far this Spring McAlister has a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings pitched with 24 strikeouts and just four walks. While McAlister had a 5.23 ERA in 2014, he did finish strong, posting just a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings in the month of September.

3. The best marketing department among the Cleveland professional sports teams easily belongs to the Indians. Their latest “Mean Tweets” video is priceless. If you haven’t seen it by now, check it out!

 

4. We are down to the Final four in college hoops. The baseball season is about to start. The two month long NBA playoff season is about to start. But you know what I’m really excited about? The start of college football season! Yes, I’m aware we’re still about five months away but I get the privilege to work on the “Bible” of college football. Of course I’m talking about Phil Steele’s College Football Preview. The official “on sale” date is July 1st, but there is a way to get it three weeks sooner! How, you ask? We are accepting pre-orders right now by clicking the link below.

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

5. Speaking of College Football, spring practices are underway. Want to get a heads up on the season? Well we at the lovely offices of Phil Steele have put together our annual Spring Preview and it’s available for free.

http://philsteele.com/Pdf/SpringGuide/2015/2015_Spring_Guide1.pdf

6. Time to recognize some Cleveland hoop stars doing big things. Former Shaker Heights High standout & current Louisville Cardinals point guard Terry Rozier has announced his decision to turn pro after two seasons in the college game. The 6-1 Rozier led the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 17.1 points/game. He is projected as a late first round/early second round pick. Hmmm. I know of a particular pro team that plays its home games at Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland that could use a backup point guard.

Louisville may not have to look that far for a replacement as former Garfield Heights High star and current Cleveland State Viking guard Trey Lewis is exploring his options as a graduate transfer and the Cardinals, among many others, have shown interest according to his high school coach and former Ohio Mr. Basketball winner Sonny Johnson.

Lewis set the Viking single season three point record with 93 while averaging a team high 16.3 points/game en route to being named to the Horizon League first team. He played two seasons at CSU after transferring from Penn State after his freshman year following a coaching change there. He will be eligible to play right away because he will have graduated already. To clear up any confusion, it’s the exact same thing Russell Wilson did when he transferred to Wisconsin from NC State for his final year of college eligibility. I have no issue with Lewis transferring at all. I wish him the best. If you never went down to the Wolstein Center to see him play, shame on you.

7. Speaking of amateur hoops, anyone catch the McDonalds All American skills challenge on ESPN? Note to girls that think they belong in a dunk contest with a bunch of dudes. Stop it. Just stop it. I may sound like a chauvinist here, but so what. These are my thoughts and I’m surely not alone in thinking this. This girl for some reason thought it was a good idea to enter the dunk contest and proceeded to miss EVERY SINGLE one of her attempts. I can’t make this up. Every time I see girls on the basketball court I think of this greatly thought about video game concept.

 

8. Those of you who know me or even those of you who don’t but are among the privileged to be among my Facebook friends (I’m being sarcastic here folks, relax, I really don’t take myself that seriously) are aware of my dislike for one Lebron James AKA ‘LeQuit’. That being said, there is no doubt whatsoever that he is the MVP this season. He won’t win it, which is a disgrace, but can you name another player in the NBA that can make his team among the elite in the game, leave and the aforementioned team sucks so bad that they win the draft lottery THREE times while failing to make the playoffs for four straight years, then come back to make the same team among the elite once again? No you cannot. Also remember, the MVP is a regular season award, so you can bet come crunch time in the playoffs or NBA finals, something will come up with LeQuit that will cost the Cavaliers a championship. Mark it down. It WILL happen.

lebron-james-carried-off-court-leg-cramp-nba-finals

9. The Browns were of course in the news again this week but the news wasn’t that bad for fans of the team. The NFL handed down its punishment from the result of GM Ray Farmer sending text messages to coaches during games. The team wasn’t docked any draft picks, but Farmer will be suspended for the first four games of the season and the team was hit with a $250K fine. The punishment was fair. They shouldn’t have lost any draft picks. What Farmer did had absolutely no bearing on the outcome of any games. Now let’s hope the team can get some solid contributors in the draft. Here’s a hint. GO INTERIOR DL WITH YOUR FIRST PICK!

10. Boxing is once again on Free network TV this weekend! This time it will be on CBS. Like the March 7th NBC telecast that featured some of the top fighters in the world, this weekend will be no different. The Light Heavyweight division will be the focal point as the main event features the lineal Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, Adonis Stevenson against Sakio Bika. The opening bout will be between a battle of legit top 10 contenders in the same division as Ring Magazine #9 ranked Gabriel Campillo takes on #10 ranked Artur Beterbiev. Don’t miss it as there will surly be fireworks. The broadcast starts at 3PM ET.

 

11. Speaking of boxing, Cleveland’s Mickey Bey, the IBF World Lightweight titlist, is making the first defense of his title on April 30th in Las Vegas against Denis Shafikov in a fight that will be televised on ESPN2. Bey is a former US Olympian and is a slick boxer with great footwork and defense to go along with excellent hand speed. He is rated as the #4 Lightweight in the world by The Ring and is a member of Floyd Mayweather’s famed TMT.
***Update 4/3. The fight is now off as the two promoters, Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank couldn’t compromise. Instead the fight will be promoted by the highest bidder. Stay tuned for more details.

12. Okay enough about sports. When I do find time to relax and watch something on TV non sports related, it usually consists of something comedy related. I’ll admit, I am a bit of a sitcom guy. Right now there are two shows that I am extremely enjoying. Broad City and Fresh off the Boat. If you enjoy laughing and want to take the edge off, I suggest these two silly shows. Below is the trailer for one of the shows.

 

13. And finally I’m a bit of a sneaker head. Don’t judge me. Picked up a fresh pair of Kyrie 1’s last week. If you want to be cool like me go cop yourself a pair as well.

My new Kyrie's

My new Kyrie’s

AP

AP


The Cleveland Cavaliers search for a head coach is still ongoing as the NBA draft is quickly approaching on June 26th. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert prefers a defensive minded head coach, while general manager Chris Grant prefers one that focuses more attention on the offensive side of the ball.

The perfect solution would be former Golden State Warriors head coach and current ESPN analyst Mark Jackson. Jackson’s primary focus is on the defense, but it’s a type of defense that leads to fast break scoring opportunities on the offensive end of the floor.

Jackson was let go by the Warriors this year despite leading them to 51 wins in a tough Western Conference, which was their most wins since the 1991-’92 season. They won 47 games last year and you have to go back all the way to the mid seventies to find a Warriors team that had won at least 47 games in back to back seasons!

Prior to the so called “Chosen One” being drafted, the last time the Cavaliers had at least that many wins in back to back years was the early nineties.

Jackson’s Warrior teams improved on a number of offensive categories each season he was at the helm including field goals made and attempted, FG%, offensive rebounds, assists, and most importantly points.

You have to go all the way back to the 1992-’93 season to find a Cavaliers team that averaged more than the 104.3 points/gm that the Warriors averaged this past season.

Defensively, the Warriors’ improved their defensive rebounds, opponents field goals made, FG%, assists, and points/gm each year under Jackson. The 99.5 ppg allowed this season was the best for the Warriors since the 2003-’04 season.

The last time the Cavaliers defense allowed less than 100 ppg was 2009-’10.
Jackson would give the Cavaliers a young coach the players would respect, while also commanding a physical type of play that a blue collar town and fan base in Cleveland would appreciate.

The trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee flourished under the tutelage of Jackson and I’d love to see how Irving, Waiters, Bennett and the 2014 number one overall pick would develop.

It’s clear that Irving and Waiters need to learn how to complement one another. If they gel, I can see them playing like the tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beale in Washington.

Get Mark Jackson here. He’s a proven winner as a player and a coach, and he is the perfect fit on both sides of the floor that the Cavaliers desperately need.