Monday, April 21, 2014

Recapping The NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend

This weekend witnessed an extraordinary start to the NBA playoffs.  All eight series premiered this weekend.  It was not the start you would be hoping for if your favorite team had home court to start their series with 5 away teams winning game ones. The Spurs, Thunder and Heat were the only home teams to take care of business opening night, which could tell us two things.  It’s going to be a fun first round of the playoffs and that the only legit contenders to walk away championships are the Spurs, Thunder and Heat.  Either way, let’s break down the opening weekend.

Nets 94 – Raptors 87

Not the opening the Raptors wanted for their fans, who turned out in droves.  With about 20,000 inside and near 10,000 outside, the city of Toronto kicked off the playoff season perfectly.  We witnessed a battle of the point guards, although Deron Williams (24 points) is more of a 2 guard thee days.  Kyle Lowry (22 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) was spectacular for the Raptors, who were playing their first playoff game in years, fresh off their division championship.  Jonas Valanciunas (17 points, 18 rebounds) was unstoppable in spurts but wasn’t able to help out the poor play of Amir Johnson, Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan (14 points on 13 shots). 

Brooklyn was able to take this game with the play of their veterans.  Joe Johnson (24 points, 8 rebounds) was consistent all game. Deron handled the first half alone at times for the Nets giving them a comfortable lead until Toronto fought back.  This opened the opportunity for the Truth, Paul Pierce (9 points in the final 4 minutes of the 4th quarter) to take over and seal game one for Brooklyn.  Kevin Garnett saw many boo birds and was non-existent on the offensive end.  This series is going to be better than I originally thought  and can’t wait to see the adjustments made by both coaches.

Draft Prospect: Joel Embiid By Daniel Caccamo

Kansas coach Bill Self has shut down rumors from earlier last week that big man Joel Embiid will be declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft, saying to the Journal-World, “No decision has been made on what he’s going to do next year at all. I’m telling you, no decision at all has been made. I think he’s still a little ways away from that. That information that was reported did not come from Jo.” Later in the interview Self didn’t deny that there was a possibility that Embiid could potentially declare for the draft at a later date by saying, “That’s the way this business works. There are all kinds of reports out there that are not accurate. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t potentially be accurate in the future.” If that didn’t shut down the report that Embiid has decided to enter the draft – Embiid himself came out on twitter in an exchange with Kansas signee, Cliff Alexander, stating “haven’t made a decision yet” in regards to declaring for the NBA draft.

Joel Embiid was born in Cameroon and moved to America as a teenager. Whilst in Cameroon, Embiid was a talented soccer player and volleyball player. At just 20 years old, Embiid has only been playing organized basketball since 2011 and the amount of skill on both ends of the court he is exhibiting is unbelievable. He has the scouts drooling over what he could do for their franchise.
College Career Stats

*All stats used in this article were gathered from the ESPN stats page, the Draft Express stats page and the Basketball Reference stats page*

2013-14 Season
11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 2.6 blocks, 62.6 FG %, 68.5 FT %

Per 40 minutes
19.4 points, 14.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 4.5 blocks
Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eastern Conference First Round Playoff Predictions

With 82-games in the books it’s time for the second season to begin. 16 teams begin a journey for the NBA crown – the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The two-month odyssey starts with the first round as one team is 16 wins away from achieving their season long goal. Becoming NBA Champions. 

Here are my predictions for the First Round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (8) Atlanta Hawks

All season long Indiana stressed on the importance of gaining home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Pacers looking to avenge last postseasons game seven Eastern Conference Finals loss in Miami. This time the Pacers find themselves with home court advantage throughout the eastern conference playoffs. Now that they have it, let's see how far they can get with it. The Pacers stumbled to finish line - with lackluster after lackluster performances including a humiliating home loss to Hawks in early April. The Pacers and Hawks split their four game season series but since the Hawks lost All-Star big man Al Horford for the season due to injury they struggled to remain competitive though they had enough left in the tank to outlast the New York Knicks for the eight seed albeit with a sub .500 record. At the moment the Pacers are as vulnerable as ever but expect them to get there act together in time for this series at least and quickly dispose of the Hawks. Roy Hibbert, Paul George and company are sure to be too much for point guard Jeff Teague, a cast of aging vets and inexperienced players to handle. Prediction: Pacers win 4-1

Western Conference First Round Playoff Predictions

With 82-games in the books it’s time for the second season to begin. 16 teams begin a journey for the NBA crown – the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The two-month odyssey starts with the first round as one team is 16 wins away from achieving their season long goal. Becoming NBA Champions.

Here are my predictions for the First Round of the Western Conference playoffs.

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Dallas Mavericks

With a record of 24-5 since February 26, San Antonio stepped on the gas in the second half of the season en route to a league best 62 wins and the top seed in the western conference. First up in San Antonio’s journey back to the Finals  - the veteran-laden Dallas Mavericks who as a franchise have had their fare share of playoff battles against the Spurs over the past decade. Of course still led by Dirk Nowitzki who returned to all-star form this season averaging of 21.7 points and 6.2 rebounds after an injury riddled 2012-13 season which saw the Mavs miss the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Nowitzki and his solid supporting cast of high scoring guard Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion and sixth man Vince Carter are sure to put up a valiant effort but the Spurs are sure to be too much to handle as they swept the season series and with the rest Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gave his stars to end the season – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will be geared and ready to deal with the Mavs. Prediction: Spurs win 4-1
Friday, April 18, 2014

NBA Playoffs Theme (With A Bozo Twist)

The Bozo’s have made no secrets of their disdain for the NBA this season.  Teams throwing games, stars sitting out, arrests, injuries, and Andrew Bynum.  While they may see a few seconds here or there of these Playoffs (because they drag on for 7 months), this song sums up their feelings.  Sure, they have BASKETBALL in their name (@BasketballBozos), but they tend to ignore that.  Sit back, enjoy, and sing along.  We present, “I’m Not Watching The Playoffs”.  #ENJOY


I’m not watching the Playoffs; they are on too late, on every weeknight date.
I’m not watching the Playoffs; for I need my sleep, and to binge-watch Veep.

Stephen Curry, John Wall, 
Dribbling the Basketball, 
Bombing three’s, getting T’s, where is J.R. Smith?
Heat, Clips, Raptors, 
Bunch of Flopping Actors, 
Birdman has Tatted Neck, 
Seriously, What the Heck?
Bunch of crappy East-seeds, 
Larry Sanders loves his weed, 
Tanking, Losing, Wig or Park or bust.
OKC with Chemistry, 
Healthy-Looking Westbrook Knee,
KD is the MVP, but what is the BFD?

I’m not watching the Playoffs; games start way too late, what if I’m on a date?
I’m not watching the Playoffs; Heat will play the Pacers, stab me with a tracer.

Bosh with the Ostrich Face, 
Rose on bench is out of place, 
Timeout after Timeout, Games never end.
Big Baby weighing very much, 
Dirk is the King of Clutch, 
Lowry, Ellis, Klay and Dwight, 
Who hits Blake and starts a fight?
Taking charges, but they’re flops, 
Whining to refs, it never stops,
Stars getting calls, on batted balls, 
stinky, smelly league.
Cliff Paul on TV’s everywhere, 
The ad makes me pull out my hair, 
Then set fire to a chair, 
Here, There and Everywhere.
Teams will win, and I’ll drink gin, 
with a Baker, name of Vin,
Sin, Bin, Jin, Flynn, 
Quinn, Pin, Tin, Berlin.
So watch the games, if you’d like, 
just don’t wake me for Conley, Mike
NBA?  Playoff day?   
No thank you, please go away.

I’m not watching the Playoffs; games go on and on, until the break of dawn,
I’m not watching the Playoffs; I’m old & surly, with hair that’s curly.

I’m not watching the Playoffs; the league is rigged & fixed, unless you’re on the Knicks.
I’m not watching the Playoffs; I’m snoozin’ on my couch, hands on my nugget pouch….

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Sheridan Hoops