$600,000! For Tanking?

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 for his statement about “tanking” this NBA season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was not having it. Mark Cuban said on his podcast;

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Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban

“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are, you know, we weren’t competing for the playoffs. I was like, ‘Look, losing is our best option.” Following that statement, NBA commissioner Adam said the fine was for “public statements detrimental to the NBA.”

Mark Cuban is one of the most outspoken owners in the NBA and his statement did not surprise some people. Many owners may not come out and say that they are “tanking” but most teams in the NBA today are “tanking”.

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Joel Embiid & Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers were tanking for about four years and were able to draft in the top 5 for in the last couple years. The Brooklyn Nets and 76ers were the two teams among many NBA teams trying to tank so they could own the 1st overall pick in the NBA draft. If a team “tanks” the right way and with some luck they can draft their own superstars. 76ers were able to draft Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid over the last coupe years and is now competitive team.

The NBA is a star driven league and if your team does not have a couple superstar players then your team will not be competitive. Superstars are now starting to team up so that is leaving the low market and non elite teams to be less irrelevant in the NBA. The only thing they can do is rebuild their teams. When a team is looking to rebuild, they want to own the 1st overall pick. Losing a lot of games is the best way to own a top 5 pick. Mark Cuban maybe should not have came out and said that but most NBA owners do agree with his statement.

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The Blow Up In Cleveland

The 2017-18 NBA season has been very unpredictable so far. If I was told that Dwayne Wade and LeBron James wouldn’t finish the season together I would have told you that you were crazy. There were a lot of player transactions during the NBA off-season due to the Golden State Warriors. Golden State has been dominating the NBA during the last couple years and players are started to team up against them.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had a lot of player movement during the off-season after a poor performance in the NBA finals last year. Kyrie Irving was reportedly not interested in playing with LeBron James anymore and wanted to play on his own so he could have the opportunity to lead his own team. maxresdefaultKyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and next year’s first round pick (Brooklyn Nets top 10 pick). Isaiah Thomas averaged almost 30 points a game but is coming off an injury that he suffered during the playoffs last year. They also added former MVP Derrick Rose and LeBron’s old teammate Dwayne Wade.

The season didn’t start of well for the Cavaliers, Isaiah Thomas was still sidelined from the injury he suffered in the playoffs. The team dealt with injuries and chemistry issues at the beginning of the season. The Cavaliers thought their problems would be fixed over time with more games played and once Thomas came back into the lineup.

A week before the trade deadline the Cleveland Cavaliers were still not playing playoff basketball and that started to be a cause for concern. Isaiah was back in the lineup but wasn’t playing like he did last year and wasn’t fitting well with his new team. The Cavaliers had no defense all year and it got worst once Isaiah Thomas came back. They were listed as the oldest team in the NBA and was playing like it. The front office knew that they had to make moves to be able to complete in the playoff this year. The day before the trade deadline the Cavaliers made some block-buster trades. AR-180209465.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667They traded Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Dwayne Wade and Isaiah Thomas. They traded all their aging players and got younger players that are willing to try hard every single play. They acquired; George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood. The Cleveland Cavaliers got long and athletic players that played defense.

 

The Cavaliers have won 4 straight games and it looks like LeBron is finally having fun again. Jordan-Clarkson-LeBron-James-640x426-300x195All the players they acquired has been playing great. George Hill is their new starting point guard; Clarkson, Hood and Nance Jr. are bringing the energy and scoring off the bench. Kevin Love is still out with a broken finger and is expected to return in about a month. With his upcoming return, the Cavaliers will look to be a threat again to win the NBA finals this year.

 

 

The King’s Perfect Plan

LeBron James recently made headlines again with his comments about considering joining the Golden State Warriors if they cleared the cap space to sign  him this offseason. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been struggling this season and is currently 3rd in the standings in the Eastern Conference at 30-20. Cleveland has been dealing with injuries most of the season and it’s not getting better with the recent injury to their star forward Kevin Love. Love will be out 6 – 8 weeks with a fractured hand. Cavaliers have been in trade talks with several teams. Cleveland wants to make a move to improve their roster before the NBA’s February trade deadline.

LeBron James will be a free agent this upcoming offseason. Many teams will be creating the cap space to have the opportunity to sign LeBron. It was reported that LeBron would consider meeting with the Golden State Warriors “if” they cleared the cap space for him.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

Golden State’s 1st NBA Championship

Most of the sports world is shocked to hear that statement from LeBron James because most basketball fans already view the Warriors as a cheating team and how Kevin Durant ruined the competition nature in the NBA. Durant joined a Golden State Warriors team that had already broke the NBA record for most wins in a season (73) and won the championship already without him. Personally, that was a weak minded move by Kevin Durant and most NBA fans will agree with me.

The Golden State Warriors have the best roster in the NBA and it’s not even close. Teams like the Houston Rockets are trying very hard to compete and beat the Warriors but it will be difficult with their current roster. This is why I believe that the statement made by LeBron James is the start of breaking up the Warriors. Could it be that LeBron James wants the Warriors to create the cap space by cutting or trading some of their core players? Trading or cutting some of their core players would gut the Warriors roster so they could have a meeting with LeBron.

LeBron James meeting with the Warriors doesn’t mean that he is going to sign with the team.  I believe that this is part of LeBron’s plan to break apart the Warriors team.

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LeBron James with the Warriors?

LeBron wants the Golden State Warriors management to break apart the team and create the cap space to sign him. The Warriors are in for a treat because personally; I believe that LeBron’s plan is to have the Warriors create the cap space to sign him but LeBron will not sign with the Warriors.  He wants them to break apart the team knowing that he will not sign with them. If the Warriors traded or cut some of their core players to make room for LeBron and he ends up not signing with them, then Warriors roster will not be as good because they had to trade/cut players to just secure a meeting with LeBron. If they did create enough space to have a meeting with him LeBron he will listen to their pitch but wont sign with the team. The plan is; Golden State Warriors trade or cut core players to make room to meet/sign LeBron. During the meeting, LeBron will listen to their offers but will turn down their offer. At this point, the Warriors have already traded or cut key players expecting that LeBron will sign with them . If he doesn’t sign with them then Golden State would have gutted their roster for no reason.

This would be an affective way to breaking up the Warriors because they will be able to sign all their key players this offseason if LeBron doesn’t make this move. This would be the King’s best plan yet.

The Struggles In Cleveland

It’s almost the All-Star break in the NBA season. At this point of the year many teams have already found their identity and are just adjusting a few things before making their post-season run. The Cleveland Cavaliers are having an up and down season so far. They started the season under .500 win percentage throughout the first 15 games of the season. Isaiah Thomas, the acquired star in the Kyrie Irving to Boston trade was not in the line for the first 35 games of the season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers started the season 5-7, then won 19 out of their next 21 games. They have been dealing with some injuries this year. It doesn’t help that they are the oldest team in the NBA this season. Derrick Rose just recently came back after taking some time off from basketball for personal reasons (thinking about retirement due to injuries). He will be worked back into the line up.

 

 

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The best thing Cleveland has going for them is LeBron James; He has been having a career season so far and should win MVP this season. Career highs in shooting percentage, efficiency and much more. The Cavaliers are 3-7 in their last 10 games and are still struggling on defense. Isaiah Thomas is back in the line up now and have to adjust to him in the line up which will take some time.

Cleveland is 3rd in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors. Not getting the number one seed hasn’t been a problem for LeBron James in the past. Last year Cleveland was the 2nd seed and LeBron James didn’t have a problem on the way to his 7th straight NBA finals.Ben-Simmons-and-Joel-Embiid-will-be-integral-to-the-Philadelphia-76ers-if-they-want-to-make-the-playoffs-1126362 This year it will be much tougher for Cleveland because the Eastern Conference has gotten better this year with teams like; Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers getting stronger and younger.

Even though the Cavaliers are struggling I still think that they will make it to the NBA finals but will lose to the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James is too good of a player to beat in a 7-games series. Cleveland is an experience team and will find a way to make it back to the finals this year.

 

Not So Easy Right?

Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors this summer thinking that they would give him the best chance to win the NBA title. The season started off smoothly for the Golden State Warriors, becoming the first team this season to reach 50 wins and clinch a playoff spot. The Warriors are the team to beat this season; the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title last season but with Kevin Durant on the Warriors they are favorited to win the title this season.

The Golden State Warriors are (6-4) in their last 10 games. Kevin Durant sprained his MCL almost 2 weeks ago and the Warriors have not looked the same.635693290884210411-USATSI-8602218.jpg Curry is not playing like the way he did last year when he won the MVP. Kevin Durant is the Golden State Warriors; without him the Warriors are not the same team. Teams like the Houston Rockets and of course the San Antonio Spurs will give Golden State problems in the playoffs if they don’t have their best player Kevin Durant. The Spurs are now one game back from the Warriors for the number 1 seed in the Western Conference. Kevin Durant is going to miss the rest of the regular season; the Warriors will most likely not keep the 1 one seed in the west without Durant. The Spurs are (9-1) their last 10 games.

Many teams made their last minute transactions before the trade deadline passed. The Cleveland Cavaliers added veterans like Deron Williams, Kyler Korver and Andrew Bogut; whom got hurt just after two minutes in his first game as a Cavalier. kevin-love-lebron-james-kyrie-irving-nba-cleveland-cavaliers-charlotte-hornets-1-e1459182290544-1Realistically, Bogut was not a key part of Cleveland’s rotation so this injury won’t impact them as much. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the best change to beat the Warriors especially with superstar players like LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

If Kevin Durant doesn’t come back to full strength during the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors will lose in the second round of the playoffs. They signed players like Matt Barnes to replace Durant. Barnes is no Durant and he won’t contribute enough to replace Kevin Durant. The San Antonio Spurts, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and the sleeper team that no one talks about; the Utah Jazz. Utah has an excellent defense and is going to be a hard team to knock out the playoffs. Not going to be so easy for the Warriors.

Better Luck Next Year!?

The Golden State Warriors are (50-10) through 60 games in the NBA season. Which is the best record in the NBA. This season means a lot for the Golden State Warriors because they lost in the NBA finals last year and are the villains of the NBA this season especially after superstar Keven Durant signed with the team this offseason.

Last season, Golden State set the record for the most wins in an NBA regular season with 73 wins and only nine loses. They were able to reach the NBA finals but only to blew a 3-1 series lead to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. With an attempt to reach the NBA finals again and redeem themselves from an embarrassing finals lost; the Warriors desperately recruited free agent Kevin Durant and gutted most of their team to get Durant to join the Warriors.

The sad truth about Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors is; Durant himself and the Oklahoma City Thunder blew a 3-1 series lead to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals; which lead to Golden State also blowing a 3-1 series lead that same year in the NBA finals. Golden State gutted their team to be able to sign free agent Kevin Durant. maxresdefault.jpgWhen Durant signed with Golden State, there were a lot of tension between current NBA players, his old teammates and the sports media. Why would you (Durant) sign to a team that you blew a 3-1 series lead to? and also wouldn’t you want to compete with the best teams instead of joining them? There were a lot of questions surrounding Kevin Durant’s decision to team up with Curry, Green and Thompson.

Now, Kevin Durant has a grade two MCL sprained and a bone bruised in his left leg and is expected to miss about four weeks. The NBA playoffs are right around the corner. Kevin Durant’s timetable for his return is right before the playoff start. The real question is; will Durant be healthy enough to play without re-injuring his MCL again when he returns to the court? The Warriors are desperate for his replacement and signed Matt Barnes to their roster.

The Cleveland Cavaliers reloaded their roster with new additions during the season; Derrick Williams, Deron Williams and former Golden State Warrior Andrew Bogut were added to their roster.lebron-james-kyrie-irving-nba-cleveland-cavaliers-phoenix-suns.jpg If the Warriors want to defeat the defending champs, they will need Kevin Durant back at full strengths. Matt Barnes is a good player but Golden State will not advance to the NBA finals if Durant does not recover to full strength. Better luck next year!