These are not the Boston Celtics I know

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A lot has been made about the constant media attention surrounding Kyrie Irving this season.  Is is his own fault, or are others creating a narrative for him? (Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Consider these two teams: one started this season 10-10, while the other started 12-8.  Both teams were top 3 seeds in their respective conferences last season, so needless to say, they started off this year slower than expected.

After some bumps in the road those two teams have very similar records.  One team is 37-24, while the other is 37-23.  Both teams look set to make the playoffs, and after the first 20 games of their season, look to have righted the ship.  Yet after last night, it’s only safe to make that argument for one of those teams. Continue reading “These are not the Boston Celtics I know”

Why Comparing Flacco and Keenum is like Comparing Oranges and Grapes

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Case Keenum (left) and Joe Flacco (right) have been said to be more of the same, and that there was no reason for Denver to trade for Flacco when they already had Case (Credit: NBCSports.com)

Let me start this off by saying I am not that big of a Flacco guy. However, when he does have a good game or good moments, I laugh hard at football analysts trying to figure out if he’s actually good because the answer to that is… there is no fucking answer! (He’s elite if you ask me while I’m under the influence).

Flacco is a Super Bowl champion with one of the better playoff runs in recent memory. Case Keenum? A bum who couldn’t win in Minnesota and got throttled by Philly, even though he had Diggs and Theilen. In Denver, he had better weapons than Flacco has had the past few years, so why is there an argument saying the two QBs are the same? I can’t get enough Flacco talk so let’s get into the obvious differences! Continue reading “Why Comparing Flacco and Keenum is like Comparing Oranges and Grapes”

Who to Watch (February 22 – February 28)

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Hamidou Diallo after completing his second dunk in the 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest (Credit: NBA.com)

Welcome back to WHO. TO. WATCH.

This past week we saw Steph Curry make an amazing bounce pass to Giannis, as well as D-Wade lob it up to LeBron James one last time.  Jayson Tatum threw up a half court heave to steal the Skills Challenge from Trae Young; Joe Harris won a competitive three-point contest, and Hamidou Diallo won the dunk contest with a great performance that included dunking over Shaq and jamming the ball (and his elbow) in the hoop.  In baseball, we FINALLY saw some action, as Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres (more on that shortly).  Barack Obama went to see UNC-Duke, and the Bruins continue to be on a torrid point streak, having won 7 straight games.  And finally… Robert Kraft finds himself in a sticky situation.

With basketball back, hockey in full swing, and baseball and March Madness around the corner, things are about to pick up… soon my friends.

Onto the last week of February.

Continue reading “Who to Watch (February 22 – February 28)”

The 300 Million Dollar Man

Manny Machado reportedly will sign a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres, the largest contract for a free agent in the history of the Unites States (credit: ESPN)

Manny freaking Machado.

In my junior year U.S. History class, my teacher asked the class what the strongest union in country was.

He suddenly looked over at me; “NIIIICK!?” he asked.

I knew it was sports related (and he knew I knew that), but this was the around the time the NBA had cashed in on a lucrative TV deal that was about to drown everyone in money (see: Timofey Mozgov), so my mind was swayed.

“Basektball…” I said.

He was kind of angry (or sad) I got it wrong; the answer was baseball.

Continue reading “The 300 Million Dollar Man”

NBA “Midseason” Award Winners

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James Harden is averaging a historic 36.6 PPG, and has made 274 threes this season (5th all-time); is it good enough for a second straight MVP? (Credit: ABC Houston)

Okay, so “technically” the NBA has already gone past the halfway point, with all teams having played over 50 games, but the All-Star break serves as a ceremonial end to the first half of the NBA season. Players get a week to rest, the league showcases it’s stars, and we gear up for postseason runs, with the playoffs starting in just less than two months.

Also, all the people who spent their time watching football one day a week now have free time to focus on basketball (which is funny, because it’s on Monday-Saturday, but I digress). More games will be seen on prime time (Saturday Nights on ABC anyone!?), and a national focus will emerge.

There’s been lots of good basketball played this season, and through this time, lets go over who’s ahead of the pack for award season. Continue reading “NBA “Midseason” Award Winners”

The IT Conundrum

Isaiah Thomas has done a fantastic impression of Carmen Sandiego this season. Just when we think he will finally return to the court, Thomas vanishes again, pushing his activation date further and further into the future. While the Denver Nuggets have succeeded in IT’s absence, some tough decisions will have to be made when he is ready to play.

Will Isaiah Thomas return this year at all?

Thomas had to sign a one year “prove it” deal with Denver in the offseason, the result of an unproductive 2017-18 season split between the Cavaliers and Lakers that was cut short by arthroscopic hip surgery. The upside of this deal for the Nuggets was massive – if IT could even somewhat replicate his All-NBA level of play from just two years ago, then Denver would have one of the top guards in the league – and there was little risk because of Thomas’ league minimum salary.

When Thomas inked his deal with Denver, he was slated to be their main 6th man coming off the bench and running the point. However, as this season has progressed, second-year player Monte Morris has emerged as a rock solid second unit floor general for the Nuggets. In about 25 minutes per game, Morris is averaging 10.7 points on 49.6% shooting from the field and 43.8% from three point range; which is the 7th best mark in the entire NBA. Even more impressive than his shooting is Morris’ mistake-free playmaking, as he averages 3.9 assists per game against a miniscule 0.6 turnovers. Turnover percentage is a stat that estimates the number of TOs a player commits over 100 plays, and Morris’ number is 6.4, which is good for 6th in the NBA.

Former 2nd round pick Monte Morris has contributed to the Nuggets’ success this season. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

With Morris’ help, the Nuggets have thrived this season, holding onto the best record in the West for a while before the Warriors got back to being the Warriors. Now Denver is sitting in the second spot in the conference, and you have to wonder where Thomas fits in this squad that already seems to fit together seamlessly. Every team can use more scoring, but if Thomas isn’t impacting the offense significantly when he returns, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone will have to closely consider his playing time because of IT’s defensive deficiencies and Morris’ excellent play.

There are a few ways Thomas can still have a positive impact on the team even if he doesn’t immediately have a large role upon his return. The Nuggets are a young team and, with the exception of Paul Millsap, have very little playoff experience. Anyone who watched Thomas play in the postseason with the Celtics knows he has incredible heart and can motivate his team. Denver is going to need that passion once the playoffs come around and the going gets tough. Another key aspect to keep an eye on is Thomas’ ability to get baskets when the game slows down. He was known as the King of the 4th for a reason, and you know IT wants to reclaim that status.

Thomas has been biding his time on the bench so far. (Photo by John Kuntz, cleveland.com)

With Thomas’ return date theoretically getting closer, the Nuggets will soon have to deal with integrating him onto the court. It would be amazing if Thomas came back completely healthy and fit in perfectly with what Denver is already rolling out. However this is far from a perfect world, and the Nugget’s just have to hope that IT is ready to contribute when his abilities are needed the most come playoff time. It’s been quite a roller coaster ride for Thomas since he entered the league, maybe we’ll get to see it go up again by the time this season comes to a close.

(All stats from basketball-reference.com, through Feb. 11)