Archive for April, 2014
WATERCOOLER CHAT: STERLING GOT BAN AND MAX FINE, TIP IN OT DIDN’T HELP THUNDER, CLIPPERS EMOTIONAL BUT WINNING
The major story of the day was the much awaited punishment of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. After his highly racist remarks went public, everyone wondered what type of penalty new commissioner Adam Silver would administer. Would he force a sale? Or would it just be a big fine? Silver came to the podium and impressed everybody. He completely banned Donald Sterling from all NBA activities forever. He can’t come to a game or a practice. Furthermore, Sterling fined him the maximum allowed $2.5 million and said he would encourage the board of governors to force a sale of the team. Silver said he was personally offended by the remarks, and this behavior would not be tolerated in his league.
Basketball fans and players rejoiced — celebrating Silver’s action. They all took to Twitter in admiration.
In basketball action, it was Game 5 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies. The series was tied 2-2, and the Thunder definitely needed the win, as they didn’t want to face a close out win IN Memphis. Thanks to an incredible steal and lay-up by Russell Westbrook, the game needed overtime. And this is the 4th straight overtime in this series! In OT, the Thunder had one last shot, Durant put up a shot to win it, missed, and Ibaka tipped it in. The fans went crazy!!! But… unfortunately for Thunder fans, the tip-in was after the buzzer. Memphis 100, OKC 99.
And in Los Angeles, the Clippers took the court in the aftermath of the emotional situation with Donald Sterling. Would they be ready? Would they be too distracted? Not at all. They are motivated to make a journey toward the Finals this post-season, as they’re completely healthy and would love to win it all after such a challenging emotional journey these past few days. LA Clippers 113, Golden State 103.No comments
In the NBA, the playoffs continued with Game 4 between the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats are enjoying their time in the post-season. The Heat, however, want this series over so they can rest up for the Nets or Raptors, and they were looking for a sweep. Miami saved all their energy for the playoffs, and they easily grabbed the victory to sweep the Bobcats and advance to the second round. They clearly look like they’re on a mission yet again. Miami 109, Charlotte 98.
Then, it was Game 5 between the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers were able to grab the much-needed win in Atlanta to even the series, but the way the Pacers are playing (horrible), they needed to win this matchup to survive. Nobody could have guessed that, IN INDIANA, the Hawks would jump out to a 30-point lead in the second half. They absolutely clobbered the Pacers and now the series heads back to Atlanta for a chance for the red-hot Hawks to close it out. Atlanta 107, Indiana 97.
Then, it was Game 4 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks won Game 3 on a Vince Carter buzzer beater, and were hoping to gain a 3-1 edge on the #1 seeded Spurs. This game was neck and neck the whole way and came down to the end of the game once again. The Mavs even had a chance to win the game, down by 2, with 10 seconds to go. Monte Ellis got the ball, did a nifty spin move in the lane for a layup, and… in-and-out. The Spurs escaped Dallas with an even series. San Antonio 93, Dallas 89.No comments
In the NBA, we’re in the thick of the first round, and things are getting very interesting.
In Washington, the Wizards came home up 2-0 in the series. They dropped the first game at home, but, more notably, they lost their star forward Nene to a suspension. Nene got tangled up with Jimmy Butler, and threw a swing. That was enough to get him kicked out of Game 4. But this didn’t affect the Wizards’ winning attitude, and they got the fire power they needed from their hot shooters Brad Beal and Trevor Ariza to blow by the Bulls in Game 4. They now lead the series 3-1, and are headed back to Chicago. Washington 98, Chicago 89.
In Golden State, all the news centered around LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant from Saturday. Sterling was caught on tape saying awful things about African Americans — namely that he didn’t want his wife associating with them, and, of course, this triggered ire around the league. Magic Johnson, who was singled out by Sterling, said he would never attend a Clippers game again as long as Sterling owned the team. Even Michael Jordan came out saying Sterling’s acts were despicable.
So everyone wondered if the Clippers were going to protest by sitting out the game, refusing to play for their owner. But a move like that would give them an automatic loss, and they shouldn’t be penalized for Sterling’s horrible ways. They did, however, put their warm-up gear at center court in a show of solidarity, and didn’t show the Clippers’ moniker on their shirts in warm-ups. This showed that it was about ‘the team’, not the organization. Unfortunately for the Clips, Stephen Curry and the Warriors shot the lights out to even the series. Golden 118, LA Clippers 97.
And in Portland, the Houston Rockets were doing everything they could to even the series and gain back home court advantage. In a show of solidarity against Donald Sterling, both teams came out wearing black socks. This game went into overtime . The Blazers were gelling and had just a bit too much in them, pulling out the victory. The Blazers now head back to Houston up 3-1 in the series. Portland 123, Houston 120.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: HAWKS 2-1 OVER PACERS, MEMPHIS WINS IN OT, CLIPS STOLE VICTORY, PINETA SUSPENDED FOR PINE TAR
In the NBA, all eyes were on the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 in Atlanta. The Pacers have seemingly fallen apart, but they did have a surge in Game 2 to come back and win. The Hawks were going to take advantage of home court. The Pacers never made much noise, the Hawks grabbed the win, and suddenly the #8 seed has a 2-1 advantage over the #1 seed in the East. The Pacers are in serious trouble. They look dead out there — nothing like the amazing team we saw the first 3 months of the season. Atlanta 98, Indiana 85.
Then, it was Game 3 of the Memphis Grizzlies hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder looked unbeatable in Game 1 of this series, but Memphis is no joke. They played perfect basketball to win Game 2. Late in the 4th quarter of game 3, the Thunder went on a huge run, the Grizzlies collapsed, and we headed to overtime. In OT the Grizzlies were able to bounce back, despite making a lot of mistakes. They grabbed the win to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Memphis 98, OKC 95.
Finally, in the late game, it was the Golden State Warriors hosting the Los Angeles Clippers. This was going to be a battle, as these teams do not like each other. It’s a new rivalry. It was a low-scoring game and came down to the last possession. The Warriors were trailing late in the 4th, but they muscled their way back, Stephen Curry hit an amazing shot, and they had the ball with just 8 seconds left. Unfortunately for Curry, he had Chris Paul glued to him, and couldn’t get off a good shot. The Clips stole the road victory. LA Clippers 98, Golden State 96.
Michael Pineta, pitcher for the NY Yankees was suspended 10 games for having pine tar on his neck…yes, pine tar. He used it for helping him grip the ball, but Rule 8.02(b) “prohibits pitchers from altering the ball to gain an unfair advantage, and forbids them from having a foreign substance on them or in their possession on the mound”. Pineta admitted his error and isn’t planning on contesting. Apparently many well known pitchers have used this substance (or others like it) although in very discreet ways.No comments
In the NBA, more playoff action:
First up, it was Game 2 of the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats. Everybody was already counting the Bobcats out of this series, but they came to play in Game 2. The Heat still controlled most of the way, but some key shots from former UConn superstar Kemba Walker brought the Bobcats within 3 points late. But the Heat are professionals at ending games, and made the right smart moves to seal the victory and grab the 2-0 series lead. Miami 101, Charlotte 97.
Then, it was Game 2 of the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs. The Mavs had the edge in Game 1 for most of the way, but Spurs came back at the very end to save the win. Game 2, however, was a different story. This Mavs team is very determined, and they don’t seem to be threatened whatsoever by the Spurs home court. The Spurs continued to turn the ball over, and the Mavericks just kept scoring in transition. This one wasn’t even close, and definitely gave the Spurs a scare. They are going to have to fight hard to earn this series. Dallas took the win, and the series is tied headed back to Dallas. Dallas 113, San Antonio 92.
Finally, we were hoping for another offensive doozy between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets. Expectations for Houston are high, especially given their off-season signing of the most coveted free agent: Dwight Howard. But the Rockets already dropped Game 1 at home, and Game 2 wasn’t any easier. LaMarcus Aldridge is giving the Rockets fits. Even though Howard had a good game, he can’t do anything about stopping Aldridge. The Blazers cruised to another victory and now head back to a raucous Portland crowd up 2-0. Portland 112, Houston 95.No comments
In the NBA, it was time for a batch of Game 2’s that were highly anticipated. All of the teams playing Tuesday night lost Game 1 on their home floor. Could they rebound?
First up, the #1 seed Indiana Pacers desperately needed a win against the #8 Atlanta Hawks who stole a game on Indiana’s home floor. But, once again, the Hawks started the game up big, and the Pacers were left wondering what the heck was happening. Then, in the 2nd half, the Pacers finally turned back into the Pacers of old and went on a huge run. They simply blew out the Hawks in the 2nd half and evened up the series. Indiana 101, Atlanta 85.
Then, it was the Toronto Raptors and their rabid fan base hosting the Brooklyn Nets. After the Nets won Game #1, everybody was dismissing the Raptors from the playoffs — saying they were too young, inexperienced, etc… But this game, DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors came to play. The Nets and their veteran staff was still tough, but the Raptors had the edge and won a close one. This series is still up in the air, but the Raptors are going to have to take it to another level if they want to beat the Nets in Brooklyn.Raptors 100, Nets 95
Finally, it was the Bulls hosting the Washington Wizards in a must-win game. The Wizards came out red-hot, getting up to a 12-point lead. But then, as they typically do, the Wizards collapsed in the 3rd quarter and this game turned into all Chicago. Everybody was handing them the win, but you can’t count out a hot shooting team like the Wizards. They caught fire at the very end, doing enough to send the game to overtime. In OT, it was all Wizards at the beginning, but the Bulls came back. They were about to tie the game, but Kirk Heinrich missed a free throw to give the Wizards the 2-0 lead heading back to Washington. Washington 101, Chicago 99.1 comment
In the NBA, it was the start of the playoffs, with all games getting underway this weekend. Here were the notables:
The Indiana Pacers were not playing well heading into the playoffs, but most assumed that they would get their act together and start dominating again. After all, they are the #1 seed. But the Heat intentionally dropped to the #2 seed to avoid playing a red hot Atlanta Hawks team. Funny enough, the Hawks are arguably without their best player in Al Horford. He is out for the entire post-season. The Hawks came into the playoffs with nothing to lose and totally unafraid of the Pacers. They demolished Indiana in game 1. Indiana better shape up for Game 2. Atlanta 101, Indiana 93.
In Los Angeles, the city doesn’t have the Lakers to root for this post-season, but the Clippers have a legitimate chance to make it to the Finals. They’re healthy, and playing very well together. The Warriors are a very tough team to beat with their sharpshooting guards Stephan Curry and Klay Thompson. This game was rather close for a while, but the Warriors pulled ahead in the end, especially since Blake Griffin fouled out. The Clippers seriously need a home win in the next game before the series heads back to Oakland. Golden State 109, LA Clippers 105.
And, of course, everyone was extremely curious about the Heat. Will they be able to defend their crown and win a 3rd straight championship? They haven’t played well lately, but this team knows that the time to turn it on is right now. Nothing else really matters. Plus, the Pacers don’t look like the threat they once did the first half of the season. But first… the Heat have to get past a young, pesky Bobcats team led by former UCONN superstar Kemba Walker. The Bobcats had the edge for most of the game, but LeBron took over in the 4th quarter, and the Heat surged ahead. Remember when people said that LeBron used to “disappear” in the 4th quarter? Those days are long over. Miami 99, Charlotte 88.No comments
In the NBA, with the playoffs not until the weekend, the headline of Wednesday was the Milwaukee Bucks organization selling for a whopping $550 million. Keep in mind that this is the worst team in the league, yet they are still worth $550 million. Clearly the new owners think that owning a team is a good investment. The deal will also keep the Bucks in Wisconsin per the contract. The Bucks may be bad now, but if they land a top star in the draft, and make some smart off-season moves, their fortunes could change quite quickly. Even Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks savvy business owner, called it a great deal.
In college basketball, the wait is over, and Duke’s superstar Jabari Parker has decided to become a one-and-done player and declare for the NBA Draft. Parker is a project, but he is a super athletic, and if he takes his game seriously, he will likely blossom into a superstar in the NBA. Most draft experts have him as either #1 or #2 behind Kansas’ Joel Embiid. But Parker is considered to be the safest bet in June’s draft. This draft is loaded, and if you get a Top 10 pick, you could get a player that could change the face and fate of your franchise.No comments
The NY Mets franchise in Brooklyn (the Cyclones) are hosting a “Seinfeld night” at the stadium on July 5th. It’s in honor of the 25th anniversary of the sitcom. The whole evening will feature “Seinfeldian” themed events.Some fun elements of the night: Cyclones will wear puffy shirts during batting practice, latex salesmen will get in for free, the stadium will be called Vandelay industries and they will host an Elaine Benes dance contest. No word on whether Jerry Seinfeld will make an appearance but seems like a really fun night!
The New York Jets signed free agent Chris Johnson. The former Tennessee Titans running back will get $9 million for two years. This signing will give the Jets some more star power for their offense. Johnson joins other high profile signee quarterback Michael Vick.
A major ruling was passed Tuesday which could provide an interesting precedent. The NCAA ruled that colleges can and should provide unlimited meals and snacks to all of their athletes. Prior to this, there were limits on spending. However, recently, UCONN star guard Shabazz Napier complained that during the Final Four he went to bed starving sometimes because he couldn’t afford food. The feeling is that these athletes have no time to hold jobs, so their food should at least be supplemented.
In the NFL, the hottest free agent right now is former Tennessee Titans star running-back Chris Johnson. Sure, Johnson’s performance has been lackluster over the past 2 seasons, and the Titans were fed up with his attitude and work ethic. He is still an amazing athlete, however, and other teams could definitely use his services. The first team to come running was the New York Jets. They have a big hole at running back, and having a great athlete like Johnson in the backfield could open up their passing game. Plus, they brought in Michael Vick to serve as a safety blanket for second-year quarterback Geno Smith. Johnson will likely visit a few teams, but the Jets are the front-runner right now.
And finally in the NFL, the once-storied franchise Buffalo Bills have been subpar the past 15 years. So much so that they are in jeopardy of losing their team to Canada. They have even been testing this out the past few seasons playing games in Toronto. But now, one man is stepping to the plate to save the day. It appears that Donald Trump is seriously considering buying the Bills and keeping them in Buffalo. The franchise could use a makeover, and perhaps he is the guy who can do it. Similar to how Mark Cuban reinvigorated the Dallas Mavericks.No comments