$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 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.

 

Slow Start

The 2017 NBA season is off to a great start. There are a lot of surprising players and teams so far this season. Philadelphia 76ers rookie sensation Ben Simmons is off to a great start. He is averaging almost 20 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists a game. The Orlando Magic are in 3rd place in the East, Cleveland is 13th and the Boston Celtics have won 6 straight games after losing their first 2 games. Golden State Warriors are 6-3 after a slow start but they have been playing well the last couple of games. The Cleveland Cavaliers are 3-5 after losing 4 straight games. They will be playing the Washington Wizards tonight. (update: The defeated the Wizards 130-122, LeBron James with 57pts)

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Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers

Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers is having an up and down year so far. He was the 2nd overall pick in this NBA draft. Ball was the most hyped rookie coming out of the draft this year. He is averaging 9 points, 6 rebounds and 6  assists this season. Although he did have a 28 point game over a win in Phoenix Suns his second career game.

Some teams have been hit with some injuries to start the season especially the Houston Rockets. They lost Chris Paul for about a month. The Boston Celtics lost Gordon Hayward for the season during the first game of the season. Teams will be looking to bounce back and play through some injuries as the season continues.

 

 

Time for Some NBA

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship easily last year. Defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Most will say that Golden State cheated and that it wasn’t fair because the second best player in the NBA; Kevin Durant joined the team after losing to the Warriors in which his team (Oklahoma City Thunder) blew a 3-1 serious lead. That very same year, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead to Cleveland in the NBA finals.

Teams across the NBA watched the Warriors blow out teams during the playoffs, only losing one game to Cleveland in the finals. Kevin Durant joined a team that had set the NBA record for most wins in a season (72) lead by the first ever unanimous MVP Stephan Curry. The Warriors have two of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, one defensive player of the year and two MVP’s on the team.

Kevin Durant going to Golden State forced other superstars in the NBA to join teams so they could be able to beat Golden State. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are now on Oklahoma City Thunder along side Russell Westbrook; who averaged a triple-double during the season last year. Chris Paul is not on the Clippers anymore, he is now playing with James Harder in Houston.

There were a lot of player movement this NBA off-season. Some people will say that Golden State Warriors is still going to win the Championship even with all the other superstars teaming up. Cleveland Cavaliers did lost (trade) Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics but they were able to reload and get former MVP Derrick Rose, and Dwayne Wade; who won 2 NBA titles with LeBron James on the Miami Heat.

This NBA season is going to be one for the ages. NBA superstars teaming up to beat a super-team.

No one cares. It’s just the season!

The Cleveland Cavaliers are (4-6) in their last 10 games and has not won back-to-back games in almost two months. The Cavaliers have not been playing their best basketball in the last month. Due to many injuries; JR Smith (back from injury now) and Kevin Love have been sidelined for most of the season. Smith has been out since the beginning of the season and Love has been out for a little more than one month now but is expected to be ready for the playoffs.hqdefault Cleveland has been shuffling their roster all season; looking for a back up big man and a back up point guard. They added veteran point guard Deron Williams and veteran big man Andrew Bogut whom got injured his first two minutes in a Cavalier uniform. Bogut was later waived by Cleveland.

The media and many experts are starting count out the Cavaliers and are talking about the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics. The Wizards are two games behind Cleveland for the 1st seed in the East. The Celtics are only one game back from the Wizards and they are in the 3rd seed in the East.

This reminds of back in the day when Kobe Bryant and the Lakers would go on losing streaks right before the playoff starts and some experts will start doubting the Lakers to reach the NBA finals. The Lakers turn the switch on during the playoffs and beat every team to reach the finals and win it. This happen multiply times in the Kobe era. Some players or teams just don’t give that much effort during the end of the season but they would switch up the intensity during the playoffs.

Realistically, the Cleveland Cavaliers will reach the NBA finals again this year. People are starting to give the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics hope that they can beat LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in a playoff series. Yes, Celtics and the Wizards are both a game or two behind the Cavaliers but thats only because of the effort of the Cavaliers during the last stretch of the season.17872228-mmmain Some veteran players don’t try as hard during the end of the season like they would during the playoffs. LeBron James and the Cavaliers know they are going to the playoffs. They don’t care who the play or what seed they are. They will beat any team that they have to play during the playoffs, home or away.

Teams such as; Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards will all be competing against each other because those match up will be close playoff serious. The Cleveland Cavaliers will sweep each one of these teams in the playoffs this year. Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards might get lucky and win one playoff game against the Cavaliers but most likely not. I’ll see you in the NBA finals.

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.