Who To Watch (May 31 – June 6)

Pascal Siakam soaring to the basket for a layup as he helped his team defeat the Warriors 118 to 109 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals (Credit: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Welcome back everyone!

Bit of a slow week in the office since we last met, right? Well, not exactly. We saw the Toronto Raptors cap of a comeback from being down 2-0 against the Milwaukee Bucks, winning the Eastern Conference Finals in 6 games. Oh yeah, we ALSO saw Toronto take Game 1 of the NBA Finals, their first Finals game in franchise history.  Pascal Siakam looked spectacular, and Toronto did a great job limiting the potent Warriors offense; folks, I think we actually have a legitimate series here. In the NHL, the Stanley Cup Finals began, as the Boston Bruins faced off against the St. Louis Blues. Boston took Game 1, while the Blues won Game 2 in OT; this also looks like another great series in the making. We’ll continue to have championship games occur over the next week, as well as baseball, which is roughly one-third of the way through. In case you were wondering, the Minnesota Twins (you read that right) have the best record in baseball, as they currently stand at 37-18. Christian Yelich leads baseball with 21 home runs as he makes a strong case for a second straight NL MVP. Domingo German leads baseball in wins with 9.

Alright, on to what to look for during the next week, as we enter the warmth of June.

Buy

Fredy: David Price

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Is David Price ready to shut the world up yet again and help his team win some games? Fredy thinks so (Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Since coming back from an injury, the guy has been… good! He ‘holds the cards now’ and boy is he proving it. In his last 2 eligible starts, he’s allowed 0 runs, which is the same number of championships as Chris Paul has. While the Sox shit the bed in other aspects of the game, they need their starters to help keep them afloat before that awful bullpen steps in and fucks everything up. Price needs to be part of that 1-2 punch with Sale and I have a feeling he’s finding his touch.

When to Watch: 

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (6/2, 7:05 PM)

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox (6/7, 7:10 PM)

Kerm: Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi will most likely have to play the role of fireman on the defensive end if the Raptors want to stand a chance in this series. With so many offensive weapons in Warriors jerseys, even without Durant, Kawhi will likely get the challenge of guarding whoever is hot.

What’s that? Draymond Green is eviscerating the Raptors as a playmaker. Put Kawhi on him. Oh, Steph Curry just drilled his sixth three of the night in Kyle Lowry’s mug? Put Kawhi on him. Just about every Warrior aside from the centers on the roster might get a taste of Kawhi’s god level defense at some point.

Win or lose this series, Kawhi will leave the 2019 playoffs a legend. If the Raptors keep this competitive, you know who’s getting the credit.

When to Watch: 

Game 2: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (6/2, 8:00 PM)

Game 3: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (6/5, 9:00 PM)

Written before Game 1 of the NBA Finals

Nick: Pascal Siakam

What a freaking game from Pascal Siakam. Basketball fans have learned who he is all season long, but tonight the whole world was introduced to the Cameroonian forward. If the Raptors want any chance of winning this series, they need to have strong play from their supporting cast, and man oh man, Pascal Siakam was up to that challenge. He played great defense all night, and scored a team-high 32 points while going 14 for 17 from the field. Siakam was great in the first round against Orlando, but slowed down as the playoffs progressed. If he is on top of his game, he could very well be the X-Factor that propels the Raptors past this Warriors team. I’m all for that chaos, and rooting for Siakam to continue the excellence we saw last night.

When to Watch: 

Game 2: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (6/2, 8:00 PM)

Game 3: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (6/5, 9:00 PM)


Sell

Fredy: Richie Incognito

Image result for richie incognito
Get this guy out of the NFL (Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP)

This dude’s a fucking psycho and yet he’s still allowed in the NFL huh? Between being a racist bully who yells racial slurs at his teammates, to threatening to kill people at his dads’ funeral, this guy is fucking nuts! Remember he started smashing his car with a fucking golf club? He’s okay but Josh Gordon smokes weed and the world is on fire. Can we stop with this double standard? Fucking Raiders man.

When to Watch: 

Whenever the Raiders shit season starts

Kerm: Kyle Lowry

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Kyle Lowry is in a situation where if he does well, no one says a word, but if he (or his team) flounders, he gets all the blame; expect that to continue (Credit: Jeff Wass/AP)

You knew this was coming right? Last week I gave Lowry big ups for a solid series against the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, but this is a whole different ball game. Kyle Lowry won’t have to stop the lackluster offensive player that was Eric Bledsoe, but instead a top 5 (minimum) point guard of all-time in Steph Curry.

This is already uncharted territory for Lowry as is, but throw in Curry as the opposition for a full series, and it seems unlikely that Lowry will end this series as the Finals hero. I’m already thinking about the Twitter memes that are gonna come when he scores in the single digits in a loss. If Raptors lose this series, you know who is gonna be the scapegoat.

When to Watch:

Game 2: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (6/2, 8:00 PM)

Game 3: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (6/5, 9:00 PM)

Written before Game 1 of the NBA Finals

Nick: Kevin Durant

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Will we see Kevin Durant suit up during the NBA Finals? (Credit: Getty Images)

I was a bit more confident on this pick prior to Game 1, but following the Warriors loss, Durant might be saved here. My logic was that if the Warriors continued to succeed in his absence, the media would further push the narrative the team is better without him, thus creating friction and lowering his standing as a needed player for Golden State’s success. I’ll keep him here for now, because every game he’s not on the court, HE loses a chance to shut everyone up and prove his greatness. The Warriors might be fun to watch without him (I enjoy it), but we all (should) know they are better WITH him. It’s like the old saying goes “when you want something down, do it yourself.” If KD wants to leave no doubt in the eyes of the critics, he would be best served getting back on the court as soon as he can (if healthy of course), otherwise, the haters will continue to hate.

When to Watch: 

Game 2: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (6/2, 8:00 PM)

Game 3: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (6/5, 9:00 PM)


The “Who to Watch” series drops every Friday, via Hold My Drink Sports

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