The NBA Conference Finals are…

This year the NBA Conference Finals have been a huge disappointment. The Eastern Conference Finals has been affected by injuries to Kyrie Irving who might not play the rest of the series and Kevin Love is out for the season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, while the Atlanta Hawks DeMarre Carroll hyper-extended his knee in Game 1 and Kyle Korver is out for the season due to a knee injury in Game 2.
The Cavaliers have a 2 – 0 and looked dominant in the series so far.
The Western Conference Finals has been a huge disappointment because the Houston Rockets didn’t show up in Game 3 at home and are down 3 – 0. The Golden State Warriors are not the Los Angeles Clippers and will not blow this huge series lead.
The Los Angeles Clippers ruined the Western Conference Finals for all basketball fans by defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers defeated their nemesis and took a 3 – 1 lead against the Rockets and proceeded to fall apart to a team they beat in consecutive games by more than 25 points.
The Spurs or Clippers against the Warriors would have been an exciting series instead we are now stuck watching the Rockets fall apart. The Rockets did beat the Clippers and the Portland Trailblazers to reach this point. Houston fans will say they had a chance to win Game 2 and only lost by one point. Coach Kevin McHale now regrets not calling a timeout.
The NBA better hope the Finals will be a series worth watching. The best series this playoff season has been the Clippers versus the Spurs in first round. It was a seven game series that was won by a late game basket by Chris Paul.
Will the NBA Finals be great entertainment?
Have a great weekend!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Sam signs with the Alouettes

The Montreal Alouettes signing is a major marketing move for the Canadian Football League. The first openly gay professional football player will play his rookie season in Montreal. The city is a great place for Michael Sam to begin his career because it has a strong gay community who will support him.
The Alouettes have already put Sam’s 94 jersey number for sell before he has played a game because many people want him to succeed. The American stations will now send reporters and show Alouettes highlights because of the Sam factor. He will have to handle some dumb questions about showers and his sexuality.
Now Sam has to go out and make plays. He needs to accumulate sacks to prove he is a very good football not a gay one. He will have the opportunity to show he is a good teammate also.
It is possible to play in the CFL and get signed by an NFL team after a few seasons. Sam needs to produce 10 or more sacks and in his second season either be first or second in the CFL in sacks. Defensive lineman who have played in the NFL after having successful CFL careers: John Chick and Cameron Wake.
Chick’s outstanding play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2007-09) led to his two seasons in the NFL before returning to the CFL. Chick led the CFL with 15 sacks last year upon his return.
Wake parlayed his two seasons in the CFL and 39 sacks to an opportunity with the Miami Dolphins (NFL). He made the NFL Pro Bowl four out of five seasons since singing with the Dolphins.
There is absolutely no way the Alouettes will cut Sam because he is a valuable commodity. The CFL has only 3 downs; therefore, he will get many chances to get sacks. The Alouettes love to play an aggressive defensive style which employs a lot of blitzes.
Will Sam be a very good player in the CFL?
Have a great weekend!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

The Twolves have the number one pick

The Minnesota Timberwolves had the Rookie of the Year in NBA this season (Andrew Wiggins) and this summer will have the opportunity to pick the next season Rookie standout. The will decide between Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahill Okafor which means no matter who they pick they are getting a franchise center.
The Timberwolves are still one more lottery pick away from being a playoff team. The key players to their playoff aspiration will be Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine if they want to move into the over 35 win category next year.
Team President Flip Saunders has two major questions to answer during the off season: one he has to decide what he will do with assets: Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic? The second question is when will Sam Mitchell take over as head coach? Saunders has to pick a timetable as to how long to keep his talented players? He can’t keep managerial and coaching positions at the same time for much longer?
Minnesota has accumulated a lot of talented players Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng will be solid professional who will contribute, but not be star players. A healthy and in shape former number one pick overall Anthony Bennett could still be a  good player.
The nine players mentioned give the team an eight man rotation that can put up very good statistics. A solid veteran coach that can make his young team play hard and run an offense which suits their players’ skills can help Minnesota move from a 16 win team to 30. In the tough Western Conference it won’t be enough to make the playoffs.
The Timberwolves fans have a young athletic team that needs to work on their fundamentals.
Who will the Timberwolves draft 1st overall?
Have a great weekend!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Were the Knicks punished for tanking?

The New York Knicks had a great 2014 summer with the infusion of many NBA Championship rings with the signing of Phil Jackson as President of basketball operations (11 as a head coach and 2 as a player) and rookie head coach Derek Fisher (5 as a player). Jackson was able to convince Carmelo Anthony to sign a maximum contract and stay with the Knicks organization.
The Knicks should have been able to battle the reigning Atlantic Division champions Toronto Raptors for the 2014 – 15 championship. Instead Carmelo only played 40 games, played his last game February 9, 2015 and the team gave up on the season. The Knicks had the second worst record in the NBA this season with 17 wins.
Owner James Dolan and President Jackson were letting their fans know the roster will have major changes and the lottery pick will be the building block to future playoff runs. The Knicks organization and fans are now watching J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert become key members of the Cleveland Cavaliers who are two games away from being in the NBA Finals.
The lottery reminded Knicks fans of Patrick Ewing who changed the fortunes of the organization. He averaged 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks a game during his 15 years Knicks career. New York fans were hoping to have either the number one or two pick and get a franchise center to pair with Melo. The presence of Jackson will make it easier to attract free agents to New York.
The number four pick will still guarantee a talented player, but it won’t be a center. Melo is still a top 5 scorer in the NBA. The Knicks can’t afford a long rebuilding process in a big market with very impatient fans and media.
The NBA league office may have sent a message to the big market tanker by dropping them two spots. I don’t believe the lottery ping pong balls are randomly selected. The NBA sent teams a message by dropping New York out of the number two spot.
Did the Knicks get punished for tanking?
Have a great weekend!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

McHale choked not Harden in Game 2

The Houston Rockets got a rebound with six seconds down one and with one timeout remaining. Head coach Kevin McHale decided not to use his last timeout and call a set play for the Rockets. They lost the first game of the series and have an opportunity to tie the series with the next 2 games in Houston.
James Harden tried to create and take the winning shot for his team. It looked like Harden had the space to take the winning shot and he passed it out to an open teammate. Unfortunately it was to Dwight Howard with 3 seconds left who gave it back to a doubled teamed Harden. Houston lost the game without an attempt at the rim.
Coach McHale didn’t want to call a timeout because he wanted to give his franchise player an opportunity to take the winning shot against an organized Golden State Warriors defense. The result was not what he had hoped for yesterday and now has to explain why he didn’t use a timeout. Coach McHale calls a timeout; he would have a chance to put 5 players on the court that can shot the ball and call a set an offensive play with multiple options.
Steve Kerr most famous playoff highlight is Coach Phil Jackson called a play where Michael Jordan had the current Warriors Coach as his outlet late in the game. Kerr and John Paxson made playoff winning shots while Jordan attracted a double team. McHale could have called a similar play with Jason Terry (third all-time in three pointers made), Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer with someone inbounding the ball.
The best scorer doesn’t always have to take the winning shot. Houston missed a great opportunity to tie the series now are down 2 – 0.
Can the Rockets recover from the crushing defeat?
Have a great weekend!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

The Cavs versus the Hawks will be close

The Atlanta Hawks did what a number one seed supposed to do by getting to the Eastern Conference Finals. It wasn’t pretty, but effective display of team basketball and very good defense. Kyle Krover and Jeff Teague have struggled at times during the playoffs. Al Horford and DeMarre Carroll have carried the Hawks offensively on most nights. Carroll has scored 20 points or more in 7 of the 12 playoff games this year.
Cleveland Cavaliers will live and die by the performance of LeBron James. Kyrie Irving is playing his first post season will definitely play hurt. The Cavs second key will be the play of their big men: Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson must hold their own against Horford and Paul Millsap could decide who will win the series.
The Hawks have more wins, the Coach of the Year, four All-star players this season and have home court advantage. The Cavs have the best basketball on the planet (LeBron) and a lot of playoff experience with past NBA champions Mike Miller, James Jones, Shawn Marion and James.
Can Carroll guard LeBron and still contribute offensively? Who will be better from the three point and points in the paint?
The media is saying LeBron is struggling; he has to take more shots than he is accustomed too. He averaged 18.5 shots a game during the season and is averaging over 26 during the playoffs. The absence of Kevin Love and Irving not being healthy has made the Cavs more dependent on James scoring.
James will find a way to lead the Cavs to the NBA Finals. I will take the Cavs in 6.
Who is your pick to win?
Have a great day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Warriors will beat the Rockets in 5

This series will be fun to watch because it will be like watching old high scoring ABA games with each team scoring over 100 points every game.
The number one seed Golden State Warriors were impressive in their dismantling of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Houston Rockets did just enough to beat the Los Angeles Clippers. The Rockets lost in back-to-back games by more than 25 points and were down 19 in the third quarter of Game 6 in L.A. The NBA would have preferred the Warriors versus Clippers match-up, which would have produced excellent ratings.
The Warriors and Rockets each depend primarily on the three point shot to win games. Golden State has better ball movement, three point percentage, free throw shooters and home court advantage; therefore Houston’s inconsistent offense will not be able to keep up. The NBA MVP Stephen Curry has been playing like one in the playoffs and will continue to do so against the Rockets.
Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are very good one on one defenders will be able to limit James Harden offensive effectiveness. Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights will guard Dwight Howard. Steve Kerr and his assistants will be better than Kevin McHale and his staff. The two teams play a similar high scoring style, small line-ups and high number of three point attempts. The Warriors will be better at it than the Rockets.
The Rockets will need Josh Smith, Corey Brewer and Jason Terry will have to be excellent to give them any chance at winning the series. They would need to combine for over 50 points a game to help Harden and Howard.
Do the Rockets have a chance?
Have a great day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Clippers blew a great opportunity

The Los Angeles Clippers seemed to get over there playoffs woes by eliminating the San Antonio Spurs after being down 3 – 2. The Clippers were the heavy favourite to beat their next opponent the Houston Rockets. Head coach Doc Rivers was brought in to take the Clippers to the next level and finally get them in the Western Conference Finals.
The Clippers went into Game 6 at home up 3 – 2 in the series against the Rockets. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the rest of their team were up by 19 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter with James Harden siting on the bench. The NBA commentators were talking about Paul reaching the Western Conference Finals for the first time.
The Clippers role players who came up big in the last two victories against the Spurs and the first four games against the Rockets just stopped producing. Austin Rivers and Matt Barnes had each four fouls, which was more than point totals: Rivers (2) and Barnes (0) in game 7. Jamaal Crawford scored 17 points, but the team was a – 22 with him on the court. Glen Davis scored a total of 16 points in the seven game series against the Rockets and played more than 10 minutes in only 2 games.
The Clippers have arguably the best point guard in the NBA with Paul, one of the top 5 power forwards in Griffin and a top 7 center in Jordan. The best top 3 in NBA can’t win playoff series if they don’t have role players to help them win games.
Coach Doc Rivers is also the President of Basketball Operations, therefore he is responsible for putting the roster together. It is time the Clippers cut ties with Barnes, Davis and Crawford as major contributors. Rivers’ son can’t be counted on to be a vital cog of the bench. The President should also realize Nate Robinson is not the answer either.
The most pressing matter this summer is to re-sign Jordan before making any other move.
Can the Clippers recover from this devastating elimination?
Have a great day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Chicago Bulls are at a crossroad

The Chicago Bulls elimination to the Cleveland Cavaliers could be the end of the Tom Thibodeau era and the closing of the Bulls opportunity to be NBA Champions. The Bulls have 6 key players who are 29 years old or over: Aaron Brooks (30), Mike Dunleavy (34), Pau Gasol (34), Taj Gibson (29), Kirk Hinrich (34) and Joakim Noah (30). Derrick Rose is 26, but has the body of a 35 years old athlete due to multiple injuries and surgeries. The same can be said about Noah.
Chicago will have to make a decision with this aging group of key players. The Bulls fans will say if Gasol didn’t hurt his hamstring they would have beaten the Cavaliers. Coach Thibodeau’s team can play great defense and thought his offensive woes would be solved with the addition of Gasol. Once again the Bulls scoring slumps that would last 5 minutes or more lead to their doom.
Jimmy Butler is the future franchise player and he is already 25. He easily won the most improved player with a 7 points a game improvement in his scoring average. Bulls have to resign their next star player.
The players who will need to set-up next year will be Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott. Mirotic is 24; he will be a solid professional who will average double digit scoring and five rebounds a game. McDermott is a rookie at 23 and hasn’t showed yet if he can handle the NBA speed. They need to be part of the eight man rotation or this team is in trouble.
The Bulls are playing in the Eastern Conference and will win 50 games next year. The general manger will have an easier decision to replace the coach rather than make major changes to the roster. Coach Thibodeau brought this team as far as he could and the team has plateaued.
Will Coach Thibodeau be fired?
Have a great day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Bills Ryan must have a talk with McCoy

LeSean McCoy since his acquisition from the Philadelphia Eagles only wants to talk about Chip Kelly. McCoy sounds like someone who didn’t want to leave his former team and feels like a jilted ex-partner who wants to tell the world negative things about his ex. Coach Kelly has moved on and signed DeMarco Murray to replace McCoy.
Head Coach Rex Ryan needs to have a chat with his star running back and the focal point of Buffalo’s offense next season. Coach Ryan can’t let McCoy keep his negative attitude and only talking about Coach Kelly. The Bills organization and Coach Ryan must confirm if McCoy wants to be part of the team and is excited to play for the Bills.
The Bills last playoff game was in 1999, which was a lost to the Tennessee Titans on a controversial lateral play (The Music City Miracle). The hiring of Coach Ryan, not losing sack specialist Jerry Hughes and the addition of McCoy could make the Bills a serious contender to win the AFC East. The four games suspension to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may also help.
Buffalo football fans need to hear that McCoy is excited to be a Bills player, to play alongside Sammy Watkins and wants to show his former employee they made a mistake in trading one of the best running backs in the NFL. This should happen before the Bills mini-camp because he is supposed to be one of the leaders and play makers.
McCoy relationship with the Bills is not starting off on a good note if he continues to speak about his ex-Coach; he is not accepting the fact he is no longer part of the Eagles organization and be happy the Bills want him to be a big part of their offense. Coach Ryan need to make this public relations move as soon as possible.
Will McCoy have a great year with the Bills?
Have a great day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

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