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NBA 2017-2018

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Today's blockbuster trade has set the stage for the new season. Kyrie Irving was traded to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and rights for the No. 1 pick by the Net's in 2018. The talk is that Kyrie has moved Boston to a higher level. Maybe. I think Cleveland has unloaded an unhappy star for a rising star. Isaiah is an outstanding player with something to prove and a goal to make the NBA championship. True, Boston actually won the regular season title in the Eastern Conference last year, but we saw what happened in the playoffs. Isaiah is tough as nails and I am betting he keeps Cleveland on top, after all, he averaged 28.9 points per game during the 2016-2017 season. Plus he has good help. There is talk that Dwayne Wade, released by Chicago, could join his old pal from Miami's championship days. He has a few good minutes per game left as does Derrick Rose, also a former MVP laid low by injuries. Carmelo Anthony could still make a last minute deal possible and join LeBron too.

 

Boston may be patting themselves on the back, but Cleveland has nothing to be upset about.

 

 

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What if we took half of what these glorified athletes make and give that money to help feed the needy?

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How do you think Irivin pairs with Gordon Hayward?

 

Kyrie wants to be top dog. If Hayward is fine with that, he will be OK. unless Kyrie's selfishness begins to hurt the team. Then, Hayward may not be the only dissenter.

 

Since my last post I read that Isaiah said Boston would need to back up a Brink's truck to to the gym in order to pay him next year. If he is all about the money he will be looking beyond Cleveland. His stay could be short when free agency hits. Unless players are willing to make some sacrifice or at least offer to, like Curry and Durant, a championship will be difficult to win. Kyrie and Hayward are not enough to beat Cleveland, nor the top teams in the West. OKC will be a team to watch with the addition of Paul George. The LA Clippers will be no worse without their star point guard given the rash of injuries that derailed them the last few years. When Houston poached Chris Paul from LAC, they moved up a notch. San Antonio will always be near the top of the league as long as Pop is in charge and Kawhi is the main man. Still, unless injuries intervene, Golden State will remain golden for at least the next three years.

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I think San Antionio is the Jimmie Johnson of the NBA. Even if they arent pulling away with a regular season lead or the favorite to win it all...they are always a threat!

 

They said that about Jimmie Johnson last year in the Cup until he pulls out the win in Homestead and his 7th title. With Coach Pops at the helm they are ALWAYS A THREAT! Just like the times they won the title after it was a "sure thing" that Kobe would get to the final, or the Big 3 from Miami are planning their victory parade, and then Mr. Fundamental puts a double-double per game and Tim Duncan gets that ring.

 

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I think San Antionio is the Jimmie Johnson of the NBA. Even if they arent pulling away with a regular season lead or the favorite to win it all...they are always a threat!

 

They said that about Jimmie Johnson last year in the Cup until he pulls out the win in Homestead and his 7th title. With Coach Pops at the helm they are ALWAYS A THREAT! Just like the times they won the title after it was a "sure thing" that Kobe would get to the final, or the Big 3 from Miami are planning their victory parade, and then Mr. Fundamental puts a double-double per game and Tim Duncan gets that ring.

 

 

So true. I still love San Antonio, even if Duncan is gone, Ginobli is on the edge, and Parker is a shadow of his championship years.

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Hold the phone! The Boston-Cleveland trade is not a done deal. Because Isaiah Thomas is still having problems with his hip injury from the end of last season, Cleveland has not certified the trade and, apparently, is seeking additional compensation before doing so. Several issues arise. Did Thomas show too much loyalty by playing through all manner of injuries going into and during the playoffs? Was the injury a factor in the decision to trade him? Added to this drama is the growing chorus of writers who say LeBron is leaving the Cavaliers at the end of this season and heading to LA where his film career and financial interests are calling. One is an immediate concern the other is a media-driven distraction that undermines the game. Both are taking a toll on preparations for the new season in Boston and Cleveland.

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Boston is giving Cleveland a second round draft pick in 2020 it acquired from Miami and both teams have certified the trade sending Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isaiah Thomas and friends to Cleveland. This comes a few hours before the trading deadline.

 

The early advantage in this trade goes to Boston since Thomas will not be ready to start the season. How long he will be out is a huge question mark. Thomas claimed yesterday that he would return as good as ever once he completes rehab. He did not have hip surgery and no doctor recommended it, he said. If he does return to form, there is no reason to think Cleveland would not be able to repeat as champions of the East in the playoffs. The early advantage, however, would add to the possibility that Boston would again top the East at the end of the regular season. Former NBA Player of the Year, Derrick Rose, was picked up by Cleveland this summer also. A series of injuries have reduced him to an average ability level. He will be the likely fill-in while Isaiah is recovering.

 

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Carmelo Anthony is no longer a Knick. He was traded today to...NOT HOUSTON...but Oklahoma City where he will join the NBA Player of the Year (Decade), Russell Westbrook, and recently acquired Paul George. The presence of the three all-stars have vaulted OKC back into contention for second place in the West. An interesting aside is to note how talent is migrating West. The division already had the best teams overall and that balance has continued to shift during the trading season.

 

Is this OKC telling Durant that he should have stayed? Too little, too late. The man has a RING and a Finals MVP. He don't* care. 

 

*(grammatically altered for effect) LOL

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Curry seems like a thoughtful kid to me. He had a privileged childhood, not entirely unlike Trump. But, he was taught how to handle the spotlight with some grace. Trump's obnoxious behavior has always been his calling card. Obviously a lot of people liked that about him. There is no contest. Trump is a first class jerk and Curry is just first class.

 

WHAT CURRY SAID:

 

Curry said [regarding a possible invitation to visit the White House as NBA Champs] the Warriors want “to respect the opportunity that we have ... to take the time to understand the magnitude of the decision and the right thing to do.”

 

Curry was prepared for the topic, and when pressed on what kind of statement he felt a boycott would make, he didn’t hesitate.

 

“That we basically don’t stand for what our president has said, and the things he hasn’t said at the right time,” Curry said. “By not going, hopefully it will inspire some change for what we tolerate in this country and what we stand for, what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye toward.

 

“It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have do on the back end to push that message into motion. You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things from (Colin) Kaepernick to what happened with Michael Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that has led to change.

 

We’re all trying to do what we can, using our platforms, our opportunities, to shed light on it.

 

What do you think IT is in Curry's comment? (RACISM)

 

Will Warriors boycott White House? Stephen Curry says ‘I don’t want to go’

http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Will-Warriors-boycott-White-House-Stephen-Curry-12221610.php

 

WHAT TRUMP SAID:

 

President Trump turned professional sports into a political battleground Friday night into Saturday, directing full-throated ire toward African American athletes who have spoken out against him and prompting a sharp rebuttal from the National Football League and several prominent sports figures.

 

In a span of roughly 12 hours, as the sports world would typically be gearing up for college football and baseball’s pennant races, Trump ensnared and agitated the most powerful sports league in North America and angered NBA superstars Stephen Curry and LeBron James. His comments set the stage for potential mass protest Sunday along NFL sidelines.

 

At a political rally Friday in Huntsville, Ala., Trump called on NFL owners to release players who demonstrated during the national anthem in the manner of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt last season to draw attention to police violence against African Americans. Saturday morning on Twitter, Trump rescinded a White House visit invitation to Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, although it is unclear whether the Warriors had been invited in the first place.

 

...“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump posted at 7:45 a.m. Saturday.

 

Trump turns sports into a political battleground with comments on NFL and Steph Curry

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/trump-sticks-to-sports-with-comments-on-nfl-players-and-owners-and-steph-curry/2017/09/23/50e76dd2-a071-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpsports-1147am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.f647419a6b0d

 

Then, LeBron stepped into the fray and unloaded on Trump:

 

 

U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

 

LeBron James sticks up for Stephen Curry, calls President Trump a ‘bum’

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/09/23/lebron-james-sticks-up-for-stephen-curry-calls-president-trump-a-bum/?tid=pm_sports_pop&utm_term=.ac6f87315f19

 

 

One day after Curry told reporters that he would rather not accept an invitation to visit the White House because of his objections to the current administration’s policies and rhetoric, Trump tweeted that he was revoking any invitation because of Curry’s remarks.

 

“I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others,” Curry, a two-time N.B.A. most valuable player, said at a news conference after the team’s first practice of the season. “I have an idea of why, but it’s kind of beneath the leader of a country to go that route. It’s not what leaders do.”

 

The question about whether the Warriors would visit the White House — a tradition for various sports champions — had trailed them since they won the N.B.A. title in June. Many members of the team, including Coach Steve Kerr, have been openly critical of Trump and his policies.

 

As a player and as a coach, Kerr has visited the White House on several occasions. And despite his well-publicized criticism of the current administration, Kerr said in June that he was open to the idea of the Warriors’ visiting the White House as something of a unifying gesture.

 

“I think we would, in normal times, easily be able to set aside political visits, and go visit and have a great time,” Kerr said Saturday. “But these are not ordinary times. Probably the most divisive times in my life, I guess, since Vietnam, when I was just a kid.”

 

He added, “The president made it really, really difficult for us to honor that institution.”

 

On Friday, at the team’s annual media day ahead of the start of training camp, Curry said that the Warriors had not decided as a team whether they would visit the White House and that they planned to talk about it at a meeting. But Curry said that if it were up to him, he would not go. That seemed to be the consensus among the players.

 

On Saturday morning, Trump made the Warriors’ decision for them when he tweeted that the invitation had been “withdrawn” because Curry was “hesitating.”

 

As Kerr put it, “He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him.”

 

Stephen Curry, on a ‘Surreal Day,’ Confronts a Presidential Snub

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/sports/stephen-curry-trump-nba-.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

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Dwayne Wade gave up part of his contract to negotiate his way out of Chicago and sign a one year contract with Cleveland. He could be very important in the early part of the season since their new scoring/point guard, Isaiah Thomas, is still on the injured list. LeBron and Wade are reportedly very good friends and that could make for a smooth transition. Cleveland is shaping up to be deep in old all-stars and may be better than last year despite Kyrie's departure. Too bad they couldn't get Carmelo Anthony. I would have liked to see that team take on Golden State. I still think Cleveland is a Carmelo short of challenging the Warriors.

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The NBA preseason has begun. Who knew?

 

OKC gave Westbrook the contract of the millennium to stay, and he took it. I can't count that high, so don't ask how much. OK, it was a five year extension worth $205 million. Wow, when Durant left, those folks in Oklahoma City really got serious. With Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, plus Westbrook there for the long haul, OKC is looking for revenge. Watch your knees, big guy.

 

The All-Star game will no longer be West v East. The 24 players will be divvied up like a pickup game. The top vote winners from East and West will be captains and pick from the players. Hmmm...I wonder if anyone will be rejected by both captains? Yeah, this is a little different from your usual pickup game.

 

The regular season begins on Tuesday, Oct. 17...too soon.

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Steph Curry scored 40 points in an exhibition game against the Timberwolves in Shanghai. They won by 32 after trailing for most of the 1st half against a respected Minnesota team--Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins. Think the Warriors are ready for the season? LOL

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Gosh! I can't tell you the last time I've watched the NBA. I used to be as much involved in the NBA as I am the NFL back in the 1980's. I loved watching the Lakers and the Celtics play. I used to try my best to catch every Lakers game they would show on TV. Then when Michael Jordan came into the league, I followed both the Lakers and the Bulls. I didn't always watch the regular season games, but the playoffs and the finals always had to be on TV. I was glued to the set! I bet it's been over 10 years since I've sat down and watched one game, let alone a playoff series. Every year I try to promise myself to start watching (just like I attempt to watch the NHL) and every year, I don't watch even 5 minutes of the sport.

 

College basketball is a different story, but even I don't get to watch all of the college basketball games I'd like to watch.

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The NBA regular season opens tonight, Oct. 17. TNT has an interesting double-header that will pit teams at the top of the NBA. Boston will face Cleveland after the controversial exit of point guard Kyrie Irving to the Celtics. Cleveland will have a pregame salute to Kyrie--sportsmanship at its best--then the fans can boo him to their heart's content. LeBron may not play due to a bad ankle, but it's a game-time decision. Of course, Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland's gem in the trade with Boston, is out until January.

 

The Rockets have retooled with Chris Paul joining James Harden to increase the team's play-making and scoring punch. It will be interesting to see how they match up with the champs in a game at Golden State. The Warriors are favored to win another title, so Houston provides a new look and a new challenge to that dominance. 

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The opening games have been interesting. The Warriors lost by a point when last year's Finals MVP launched his game winning shot a fraction of a second after the backboard lights lit up. The Warriors start at the bottom of the league. Houston trailed comfortably most of the game. GS can't rest on its last season glory.

 

Despite his sore ankle, LeBron did play and put Boston in its place. To show how the Eumenides still stalk the earth, Gordon Hayward broke his ankle in the first quarter. He has had surgery and will probably miss the entire season. This more than equalizes the absence of Isaiah Thomas from the Cleveland lineup, I suppose.

 

The team to watch is OKC with its supercharged lineup of triple double master, Russell Westbrook, and All Star additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. They made short work of New York, and, yes, Westbrook had a triple double. 

 

The Warriors get a chance to show off on TV again tonight (Fri, Oct. 20, ESPN) against the New Orleans Pelicans with its two All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. GS--0 - 2 anyone, anyone?

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Cleveland and Golden State are off to so-so starts. Both are 3-2. GS is 6th in its conference and Cleveland is 3rd. LeBron is in top form with consistent performances equal to any in his illustrious career. Curry and Durant were ejected at the end of a losing contest the other night. It was too late to make a difference, so it must have been a frustration move. It's very, very rare to see either of these guys lose it like that.

 

The team suffering playoff injuries for the last several years, the LA Clippers, is 4-0 and playing great without their All Star point guard, Chris Paul, who was traded to Houston. Blake Griffin is showing his best form in recent years. San Antonio is also 4-0, always near the top. It's Pop's team so what would you expect? These two are the only undefeated teams.

 

The season may be more competitive and more interesting than observers were predicting.

 

 

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How quickly the worm has turned. San Antonio had lost 4 straight until last night (Kawai Leonard and Tony Parker are injured, riding the bench) and Cleveland has a losing record despite LeBron reaching the 29,000 point career mark joining only 6 other players in league history. Boston has taken off with an NBA-leading 7-2 record, and overcame a 19 point lead last night to beat OKC--who, despite an abundance of All-Stars, are disappointing. The Orlando Magic are second in the league at 6-3 (Huh?) along with the Detroit Pistons (Double Huh?) and Golden State.

 

The talk of the league is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. He is the second coming of LeBron and Durant rolled into one. He is fulfilling the prophesy in the early games of the season. Lots of hype, but lots of production too.  (Anti toe koompo--pronounced just like it is spelled  ;D)

 

 

 

 

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Golden State has reasserted itself and is on an epic winning streak not in length--6 games--but in power--winning every game by 17 points or more. Still, they are a game behind the Houston Rockets (11-3) in the Western Conference at 10-3. There is at least a semblance of normality in the West. The only puzzle is OKC. With two perennial All Stars, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, joining Westbrook, this team was expected to be contending for the top spot. Currently they are 6-7 and rank 10th in the West...and everybody is healthy. What's up?

 

In the East, the world has turned upside down. The Cleveland Cavaliers, suffering through early season injuries, are 6-7 with only the 9th best record. The defensive play has been awful and, without the ability of LeBron to play every position, the record would be worse. They have players on the bench, however, who can and will turn this around when they are able to play. In the meantime, their main nemesis, the Boston Celtics (12-2) are soaring. They have won 12 straight after losing one of their stars for the rest of the season in game one. With the best record in the NBA, they are clearly a threat to unseat Cleveland as the top team in the East. Detroit continues to surprise everyone at 10-3.

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How quickly the worm has turned. San Antonio had lost 4 straight until last night (Kawai Leonard and Tony Parker are injured, riding the bench) and Cleveland has a losing record despite LeBron reaching the 29,000 point career mark joining only 6 other players in league history. Boston has taken off with an NBA-leading 7-2 record, and overcame a 19 point lead last night to beat OKC--who, despite an abundance of All-Stars, are disappointing. The Orlando Magic are second in the league at 6-3 (Huh?) along with the Detroit Pistons (Double Huh?) and Golden State.

 

The talk of the league is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. He is the second coming of LeBron and Durant rolled into one. He is fulfilling the prophesy in the early games of the season. Lots of hype, but lots of production too.  (Anti toe koompo--pronounced just like it is spelled  ;D)

 

 

Whoa whoa whoa...I'm not an NBA guy but I didn't think Orlando was relevant after the Shaq and Hardaway years!

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Whoa whoa whoa...I'm not an NBA guy but I didn't think Orlando was relevant after the Shaq and Hardaway years!

 

 

You are probably correct since Orlando has fallen back into the pack a bit at 8-6. The real surprise continues to be Detroit at 10-3. They are only one game in the loss column behind the league-leading Boston Celtics. Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond are major contributors. Never heard of them. LOL

 

They beat the LA Clippers and the GS Warriors on a Western swing recently. Not too shabby.

 

This Thursday should be a good one. Golden State travels to Boston. It's on TNT. The teams with the two best records should be worth watching.

 

 

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Man just imagine the dymanics of that squad if Gordon Hayward didn't get hurt!

 

 

So true! GS coach Steve Kerr said, in comments today, that Boston looks like the team that is going to be at the top of the East for a long time to come. Hmmm...waiting to hear from LeBron.  ;)

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