Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why he won't Get Fired..

A lot of Met fans have issues with the manager of their team, Terry Collins. He tends to overwork some relievers and sometimes doesn't know when is the right time to remove a starting pitcher and generally seems like he doesn't exactly know what he's doing at times. This is frustrating for fans of a team who were expecting to be competitive in the National League. Hell some might've chosen the Mets to represent the NL in the World Series especially after they brought back their slugger Yoenis Cespedes and with Jay Bruce having 19 home runs before the All Star break runs are still hard to come by for the Mets because they rely so much on the home run that their offense remains inefficient.

And even with the talent the Mets have on their roster or on the disabled list in my opinion their season is flushed down the toilet and yes I know it's still only June. Here is why their manager won't be fired. The team has been riddled with injuries. From their ace down to their second baseman, most of the players the Mets would rely on to reach said World Series have spent time on the disabled list. This is the perfect shield for Collins. He will hide behind the injuries and will stay employed as the Mets manager for the rest of this season even though he's been frustrating to watch. I wouldn't be surprised if Collins came back next year and the mistakes he makes with this roster will continue to frustrate the fans and jeopardize the Mets' chance at getting that World Series the fans want so much.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Moving Pieces

This is going to be an interesting offseason in the NBA.  If your favoie team isn't ready to compete on a level with the Warriors out West or the Cavs in the East you're favorite team will either be feasted on by powerful teams or you destined to be mediocre. The rumor mill in the NBA is only getting started. Once the draft is over the rumors are really going to get going. The three biggest storylines going so far are where is Indiana going to trade Paul George to, where is Blake Griffin going to sign, and where is Gordon Heyward going to sign. The Cavs are looking to get better and there are already rumors of them talking to multiple teams to trade for Bulls star Jimmy Butler and also had the Pacers reach out to them for a potential George move.

Teams are trying to follow the foot steps of the Warriors and are adding firepower in the hopes of getting to where the champs are. Teams like the Bulls who aren't either good enough to beat the Cavs or bad enough to get a top 10 pick in the lottery are in murky standing. So now the Bulls are getting pecked at by teams like the Cavs and while holding a player like Butler there will always be a potential "super" team laying in the grass. Toronto is under the same umbrella with rumors flying that their star player Kyle Lowry may be reluctant to resign even with his outright denial on twitter; things are always shady during these times in the NBA offseason.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Where's the Parity?

The Cavs are playing the Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third straight time and I've heard gas bags on TV saying that whichever team is to win the Finals they're officially up there as one of the greatest teams of all time. Both the teams playing in these Finals are good, but they both have vulnerabilities. The Cavs play the worse defense from a team that I've seen in the Finals in a long time and the Warriors brought in another all star and have become an unstoppable machine to get here. As much as the Celtics and Lakers had teams that were stacked with all stars, the parity in the league was so much better than what the NBA has at this point. The weakness in the East along with the monster squad coming out of the Golden State there is a good chance these two teams will face each other a few more times in the Finals.

To build a contender in these times in the Association requires at least three all stars. The Boston Celtics started this by bringing in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen into the fold and along side Paul Pierce they were able to drag themselves to one title. LeBron James then took the same angel and took his talents to South Beach and alongside his buddies Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade they promised not 1, not 2, not 3... and so on and so forth and even though they only brought 2 titles to southbeach they let Kevin Durant know that to fortify his legacy he would need a ring or 2 so he took his talent to an already built juggernaut and have become the knife that is going to through the rest of the league as if they're butter. Now the attention turns to any and all all star who is close to becoming a free agent to jump ship to another team with a friend and build a "Big 3" or in Golden State's case "Big 4". Chris Paul and Paul George will be on the clock once the Finals are over.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Finally Something Exciting Happens

These NBA playoffs have been boring. Blow out after blow out. Bad team after bad team. The Cavaliers had a 20 plus point lead when LeBron James finally showed he's capable of being human and actually have a bad game. The 11 points he scored against the Celtics in game 3 lead the Cavaliers to the snapping of their perfect record in these playoffs. Now only one team stands undefeated in the playoffs and that's the Golden State Warriors, who unlike the Cavaliers, have many more options on offense than the Cavaliers do. Kevin Love actually showed a pulse in this game and yet they still lost. Kyrie Irving where has he been? politely waiting for James to carry him to another title? I'm not trying to take anything away from Irving. He's a talented young player with the potential to carry a team, but 29 points 2 rebounds and 7 assists in 40 minutes in a game where LeBron didn't have it isn't going isn't going to cut it.

The Cavaliers are going to make the NBA Finals. They're going to go up against the Warriors, but without a competent Irving and Love the chase for back to back titles is going to be futile for LeBron and the Land. The Cavs are better than the Celtics, and better than the Wizards, and better than any other team out of the East, but the Warriors are really good and their role players would be able to compete against some of the lower level teams out of the East. Without Irving the Cavs don't stand a chance. LeBron deserves blame for losing game 3, but let's not forget Irving's 29 and Love's 28 points (6 of which came in the second half) won't cut it especially when the Warriors look as good as they do. It took a lucky bounce from a kid named Smart to finally bring some excitement to these proceedings.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Oh, The Clippers

The Clippers have gone from a joke during the regular season to a joke in the post season. The Los Angeles Clippers just haven't been able to break through. Before the Clippers became contenders they were a lack luster group of players who played through the 82 game season and was habitually in the lottery. Until recently, when the Clippers were able to hire Coach Doc Rivers away from Boston and then draft talented players like Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan while also getting Chris Paul from New Orleans in a shady deal that initially was supposed to send him to the Los Angeles Lakers, but then commissioner David Stern shut the trade down to the Lakers deciding that it would make the league unbalanced (which is funny considering the state of the league right now).

So now with a core of  Paul, Griffin, Jordan, three potential hall of famers, while being lead by a hall of fame coach, and an ever growing supporting cast, the Clippers were finally able to put together a wining season and a march to the playoffs. That first run resulted in a series win over the Grizzlies, but then a sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. In the 6 years the Clippers have in contention they haven't made it passed the Conference Semi Finals and crashing and burning in the playoffs. The Clippers would have leads on their opponents and somehow would cough it up. Injuries and bad luck have taken their toll especially on Griffin who always seems to get hurt at the wrong time. Now the Clip show, Lob City, or whatever clever nicknames they have are out of the playoffs, again, and now have to decide what they're going to do with Griffin who can be a free agent and JJ Reddick who also is supposed to be a free agent. Doc has a lot to work to do or he may be done.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Death of the Big Man

Oh how the NBA has evolved. No longer is the center centric roster format the popular way to go. Before, most teams were trying to find the next Shaq, now most teams are trying to find the next Stephen Curry. Guard heavy roster construction has become the norm. In fact most teams don't care how tall a player may be as long as he can make a 3 point shot. Along with the statistical overload that has started taking over sports in the last 3 to 4 years the emphasis of the 3 point shot has gotten the biggest boost, because why score 2 points when you can get 3 in the same possession? That train of thought is very much valid, but it has made the likes of Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan almost obsolete. Sure Howard and Jordan can still be relied upon to defend the paint, but in previous versions of the NBA they would not only be the defensive horse, but they'd also be one of the main offensive options. Sure, there's Rudy Gobert in Utah who is still considered one of their main offensive threats, but off the top of my head I think that's the last big man who plays a vital role in the team's offensive thinking.

Think of the Gasol brothers. Marc was a Shaq-like player who played in the paint and along with Zach Randolph made the Grizzlies look intimidating in the paint. Now, he still plays in the paint on defense, but on offense he prefers to take mid-range jump shots and floats to the 3 point line from time to time. Pao has always been more versatile than his brother, taking advantage of what the defense would give him whether it be a mid-range jump shot or a lay up or even the 3 pointer, but as Pao has gotten older he too has banged less in the paint and drifted out to where only guards usually roam. The success of the Golden State Warriors hasn't helped the cause of the big man since they won their title on the backs of position-less basketball rotations anchored by Draymond Green who can guard the opposing team's center and can keep an opposing guard in front him. Sure not every team has a Draymond, but that was never a worry for GMs. Now they all want Green's teammate with the smooth J from 3.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Where the NBA Stands

The NBA is a special league. No other American sports league has the type of space that the NBA has to work with. The NBA has the popularity of generations and doesn't have to deal with the short attention span issues that baseball has to deal with and doesn't have the violent streak that scares off the fragile from the NFL. The new commissioner has made a link between previous stars and modern stars and actually has allowed them to be themselves on TV. The "Player's Only" programming on TNT Monday nights is genius it's like the studio show with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith, but on steroids. All roles from the pregame studio show, to the sideline reporting, to the halftime studio show is done by former players. No studio gasbags leading the conversation or trying to change the subject or trying to control the players when they go off on a rant. All other sports shows incorporate former players, but not like this.

The NBA has labor peace, popularity, and most importantly a HUGE TV deal that gets everyone paid. But the league isn't without some minor issues. Teams resting stars during nationally televised games is a problem but it isn't anything that should sink the ship. Silver can write however many sternly worded emails to the owners, but when it comes to winning an NBA championship coaches are going to rest their stars whenever they need to. Most NBA games, even when sloppy, can excite a crowd with fast pace action even if it leads to nothing. That's the kind of instant entertainment this generation craves. No need to wait for a hitter to put a ball in play or one guy crushing another guy in the middle of an open football field. When it comes to basketball, parents won't complain about their kid playing a violent sport and risk long term health issues and they can't complain about the price of baseball equipment. Basketball is the safest sport of all. It's about time the Association started playing their cards right.