Finally Cavs and Warriors III NBA Finals

The NBA Finals will make-up for the awful Conference Finals this season.  The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have one loss between them. The 12 – 0 Warriors will be the favourite. This will be the third consecutive year that the two rivals face each other. This will break the tie. The NBA fans and commissioner are hoping for an exciting back and forth series from the two best teams.

The biggest difference in the match-up is the Warriors acquisition of Kevin Durant in the off-season. The signing has made the Warriors the heavy favourites. Durant is four wins away from finally winning an NBA Championship. How Durant handles the pressure as he gets closer to his ultimate goal is an important story line.

LeBron James is chasing the ghost of Michael Jordan’s six NBA Championships. Can he lead the Cavs past the most talented team he has faced in the NBA Finals? LeBron and the Cavs are rested and healthy. There are no injuries to any prominent Cavs player. The Cavs key players got the fourth quarter off in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics.

James and Kyrie Irving will match Durant and Stephen Curry scoring totals. The difference will be the role players. The third, fourth and fifth scorers will decide who will win the Championship. The three match-ups that will tip the scale towards the winner will be: power forwards Kevin Love and Draymond Green, shooting guards J.R. Smith and Klay Thompson also the bench production.

The Cavs bench Deron Williams, Kyle Korver and Channing Frye versus Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGhee and Shaun Livingston are key contributors because they will each play fifteen minutes a game.

The team with the most double-digit scorers will most likely win the series. I will be cheering for the Cavs.

We have to wait a few more days to watch the story lines, quotes and build up to what could be one of the greatest Finals in NBA History.

Who will take the lead 2 – 1 in NBA titles: Cavaliers or Warriors?

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Lowry wants championship ring

The Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry is a free agent this summer after opting out of his contract. He has said he would like to move to a team with Championship aspirations. The Raptors fans will be hurt to find out their emotional leader is saying that he must sign with another team to win a Championship.

The Raptors DeMar DeRozan will be without the one player he hung out the most with throughout his career as a Raptors. DeRozan and Lowry families spent a lot of time together. The Raptors must fear the possibility that DeRozan asked for a trade if Lowry signs with another team. It would be the end of an amazing run.

DeRozan and Lowry have been a Dynamic Duo that helped the Raptors win over fifty games two consecutive seasons and haven’t won less than 48 in the last four seasons. The Raptors were in the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago. The Dynamic Duo were on multiple All-star teams and members of Team USA Gold Medal winning team in Brazil.

Masai Ujiri can’t get into a bidding war to keep Lowry in Toronto. The All-star point guard can make the most money by signing with Toronto. A sign and trade is a real possibility to avoid losing Lowry for nothing. The Raptors can’t afford to lose Lowry without compensation.

Ujiri first step is to get Lowry to agree to a sign and trade. The Raptors shouldn’t pay number seven a max contract to keep him in Toronto because they aren’t better than the Cleveland Cavaliers by signing him. The cap room spent on less expensive players, draft picks and still see the Raptors make the playoffs.

I was wrong that Lowry’s 4 years for $48 million dollars was a mistake because he out played that contract. He was under-valued for the three years he played at $12 million dollars a year. He definitely won’t out play his next contract. Lowry had a great run with the Raptors, but it is time to move on.

Should the Raptors sign Lowry at all cost?

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Predators Stanley Cup underdog

The Nashville Predators versus the Pittsburgh Penguins will continue the one goal playoffs outcomes we have seen on a regular basis this playoff season. The Predators are 2 – 1 underdogs. Who will win the Stanley Cup?

The reasons why I like the Predators:

  1. Pekka Rinne is the hottest goalie.
  2. Their top 4 defensemen are a better with P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm.
  3. Filip Forsberg is playing like Colorado Avalanche legend Peter Forsberg
  4. They have 20 different players in the playoffs who scored at least one goal which speaks to the depth and next man up attitude.
  5. Captain Mike Fisher will be in the line-up for Game 1 of the Finals. He is their best faceoff man and will be responsible for shadowing Sydney Crosby.
  6. Peter Laviolette will be behind the bench for a third Stanley Cup Finals with a third different team. He is an excellent coach.
  7. The Predators got a few extra days rest and ready to go in Game 1, while the Penguins have played back-to-back seven game series. The Pens core players have played heavy minutes during the playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Penguins advantages are:

  1. They are defending Champions
  2. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel are the most talented forwards in the series.

The Predators have the advantage in the intangibles area because the beat the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks who have many players on their roster that won a Stanley Cup.

I will be cheering for the underdog. I pick the Predators to win in 6 because they are hot and are getting all the breaks or bounces so far this year. Picking against Crosby isn’t a smart move, but I will stick to the Predators.

Predators in 6

Who will win the Stanley Cup Predators or Penguins?

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NBA Draft Lottery make Lakers relevant again

The NBA Draft Lottery is random according to what they tell us. The NBA and network television stations that paid huge money for the rights to televise games needed the Los Angeles Lakers to be relevant again since they love to show them at 10:30 as the second game of a double header.

The Lakers will pick number two in the next NBA Draft, which means they can pick Lonzo Ball if they believe he is the second best player in the Draft. The hype surrounding Ball and his over the top dad LaVar will make the Lakers must see again. The buzz around the team will be continuous.

The NBA couldn’t afford the Lakers not finishing in the top 3 and losing the pick, which would have delayed their accession to greatness. Another three years of Lakers awful basketball would hurt the league and television networks.

Magic Johnson will ask for Kobe Bryant’s input since he played with the core group of young players that the organization will have to decide their future over the next few years: D’Angelo Russell (21), Jordan Clarkson (24), Larry Nance Jr.(24) and Julius Randle (22). Kobe didn’t play with Brandon Ingram (19) and Ivica Zubac (20).

A number two pick overall added to this young core could be fun to watch in a few years. Kobe’s opinion on the players that played with him will help decide if this core should stay intact or not?

Johnson legacy as the President of Basketball Operations will largely be decided by this pick and ability to add free agents to the Lakers. The organization better bring in all the top 5 rated players in the next NBA Draft and do their homework. Ball has a great basketball I.Q.; what about his athletic ability? Will LaVar’s presence around the team and media be a distraction or entertaining?

The Los Angeles Lakers is the most talked about team right now in social media because of Lonzo’s desire to play in the purple and gold. The television networks are hoping the Lakers draft Ball. The NBA President secretly wouldn’t mind Ball being on the Lakers.

Will Magic make the right choice?

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Subban and Predators Stanley Cup Finals

The Nashville Predators will represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. They will wait for the winner between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Head coach Peter Laviolette will be behind the bench for his third Stanley Cup Finals. He won with the Carolina Hurricanes and lost with the Philadelphia Flyers. His experience will be valuable behind the bench for the Predators.

Pekka Rinne is the Most Valuable Player and could win the Conne Smythe if the Predators win the Stanley Cup. Filip Forsberg is the scoring machine. Hopefully, the Captain Mike Fisher can recover from his concussion in time to contribute in the Finals.

The Predators top four defensemen are happy they are no longer playing against the bruising Anaheim Ducks power forwards. The Penguins and Senators forwards are fast, but they won’t use the body as much as the Ducks forwards. Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm have been great at moving the puck and contributing offensively.

Subban’s presence in the Stanley Cup Finals one year removed from the block buster trade last summer will make life difficult for general manager Marc Bergevin. I’m still waiting for him to be fired. The Montreal Canadiens expected to win the trade early and Predators will win it in the long run instead Subban has already made the finals.

Subban has played in three Conference Finals in his seven year career. He made it twice with the Montreal Canadiens. Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price were his goalies during his Canadiens days. Now Pekka Rinne took Subban to the next level. Number seventy-six is a winner despite whatever the haters say about him.

Subban four wins away from announcing where he bring the Stanley Cup when it will be his turn to have it for 24 hours. Montreal Sick Kids Hospital and Toronto in one day. The Canadiens organization are praying that the Predators lose.

Can the Predators win the Stanley Cup?

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Celtics will keep number 1 pick

The Boston Celtics two blowout losses in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers made the decision to keep the number one pick in the next NBA Draft easier. The Celtics despite being the number one seed aren’t able to compete with the Cavs. The Celtics also have the Brooklyn Nets picks first round pick next year also.

The Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge will build the team that he hopes will replace the Cavs as the best team in the Eastern Conference. Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford can’t be the cornerstones of the franchise if it wants to play in the NBA Finals. The Celtics select number 1, 36, 54 and 58 if they keep all their picks.

Thomas will get a raise in two years without getting the franchise player salary. He will have a hard time explaining to NBA teams that he can lead a team to the NBA Finals as a starting PG. He is better suited to be a sixth man of the year candidate than a NBA MVP. The Celtics may also listen to offers during the off-season for their All-star point guard.

The eight man rotation that head coach Brad Stevens like to use only Al Horford and Jae Crowder are under contract past the 2017 – 18 season each for two more seasons. Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart have one more year remaining on their contracts. Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk are free agents after the playoffs.

The Celtics had a great season with number one seed, played in Eastern Conference Finals and won number one pick in the NBA Draft. The organization will have to decide to keep team together or reload roster with their draft picks. The series against the Cavs will make it easier to decide. The Game 3 win without Isaiah will make it harder for him to demand a huge contract.

Do you give Isaiah a max contract?

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LeBron below average game Cavs lose

Chris Webber mentioned during the telecast of Game 3 that the Cleveland Cavaliers were 1 – 8 in playoff games in which LeBron James scores 15 points or less. After last night’s game make it 1 – 9. Everybody watching the game was expecting LeBron to take over the game in the last six minutes. It never happened.

The Boston Celtics were able to make shots especially from the three-point line. They were 18 for 40 compared to the Cavs 16 for 39. The Celtics won at the three-point line and bench scoring. The Celtics got 32 points, while the Cavs got 9.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens team were not only lucky on the last second shot bouncing around the rim and killing the precious few seconds before going in. The injury to Amir Johnson ended up being the turning point because Jonas Jerebko played a key 13 minutes made two three-point shots and finished the game with ten points.

The Celtics man of the match was definitely Marcus Smart who made seven of ten from the three-point line. He will most likely won’t duplicate this game, but he did it once and his team won.

Head coach Tyronn Lue Cavaliers bench looked like the Washington Wizards bench. The Cavs didn’t have a bench player in the game more than 16 minutes. The Cavs starters were playing so well that coach Lue didn’t even play Channing Frye who could’ve given some minutes against Celtics big men and long distance shooting. Kyle Korver was 1 for 5 from the three point line and Iman Shumpert scored six points.

The Cavs fans saw Kevin Love make seven three-pointers, scored 28 and grabbed ten rebounds; Tristan Thompson 18 and 13 also made 12 of 15 free throws and Kyrie Irving scored 29 with seven assists. The Cavs blew a sixteen point half-time lead. Coach Lue still played LeBron 45 minutes despite his struggles instead of trying to steal a win and minutes from his bench.

An NBA Finals victory will depend on LeBron being the best player every night against the Golden State Warriors.

Was it the bench or LeBron’s fault Cavs blew lead?

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Blue Jays after 25% 2017 season

The Toronto Blue Jays gave their fans and organization hope after a 5 game winning streak then followed that by losing three in a row. The Blue Jays were the first team this season to lose 20 games despite that they are only 4 games out of a Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays will be getting back Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson within the week.

Can the Blue Jays stay close enough with help from the starting pitchers and all regulars comeback healthy over the next 20 game stretch? The Blue Jays won’t be able to stay in contention and by the mid-way point of the season they won’t be able to move up very much. There are eight teams ahead of the Blue Jays; therefore, worrying about a Wild Card spot shouldn’t be the first priority.

Who can get hot and have a dominating month to carry the Blue Jays to a long winning streak? Donaldson can try to win the player of the Month award in June and get his team towards the American League playoffs. Fans can’t expect Donaldson to return from injury and put up monster numbers immediately.

The Blue Jays 18 – 24 record with a .429 winning percentage is great for a team that had such a horrendous start. They need to finish 72 – 48 to reach 90 wins. There won’t be a ten game winning streak to get them in serious Wild Card contention. This team won’t win 6 out of 10 games over the next three months.

Blue Jays fans be ready for the team to start trading major pieces to rebuild their farm system also try to find the next Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion or Marco Estrada before they became Superstars.

Are the Blue Jays contenders?

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Cavs will beat Celtics in 5

The Cleveland Cavaliers not having home court advantage won’t stop them from beating the Boston Celtics in 5. LeBron James won’t be denied another appearance in the NBA Finals.

The Cavs match-up will remind the Celtics they should package either this year or next year first round pick with a few players to get either Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) or Paul George (Indiana Pacers) to give them an All-star wing player.

The Cavaliers will be too much to handle for the Celtics. The Cavs have multiple three point-specialist who can make more than the Celtics. Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye aren’t afraid to guard Al Horford and Kelly Olynyk, the Game six hero, anywhere on the court. The Cavs big men will have advantage.

Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving match-up will be even offensively. Avery Bradley will guard Irving and try to limit an offensive explosion. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have the size, ability and quickness to pressure Thomas and limit his scoring.

This time Kyle Krover, Deron Williams and Fyre won’t be out scored 48 to 5 like the Wizards bench in Game 6. The veteran bench won’t blow 20 point leads if the opportunity arises.

The Cavs LeBron James will be the major advantage because Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder won’t be able to handle the speed and strength of the best player in the NBA. The long rest will give him the energy to play heavy minutes throughout the series.

The Cavs will take advantage of the Celtics weaknesses in a short series. An unexpected hero will be needed every game to give the Celtics a chance.

What is your prediction?

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Great time to be a Celtics Fan

The Boston Celtics are the number one seed, in the Eastern Conference Finals, have home court advantage and they have the Brooklyn Nets next two first round unprotected picks. The Celtics have accomplished a lot with a roster filled with two very talented players (Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford) and many good NBA players on their roster. The series against the Cleveland Cavaliers will show everybody that the Celtics need an All-star wing player.

The Celtics beat the Washington Wizards more because of their opponents’ lack of bench production, poor decision-making, two twenty point blown leads in Game one and two. The Celtics won every home game, with great bench production and Head coach Brad Stevens’ ability to use his rotations correctly.

The Cavs match-up will remind the Celtics they should package either this year or next year first round pick with a few players to get either Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) or Paul George (Indiana Pacers) to give them an All-star wing player. The Bulls and Pacers will listen to offers for their franchise players. A number one pick in this summer’s NBA Draft with a package of players would be too much to pass up.

The number one seed will be a better team with the addition of either player. Thomas, Horford, Crowder and Smart want to win a Championship now not add a future star. The roster age Marcus Smart (23), Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk (26), Isaiah Thomas (28), Al Horford (30). The core members want to win now not in five years once the one and done player has developed into a star.

The Celtics Danny Ainge will have the toughest decision to make this summer after the season is over. Select a one and done player with first pick overall or trade pick for a franchise type player?

The Cleveland Cavaliers decision to trade Andrew Wiggins to get Kevin Love worked out for them. Two straight NBA Finals appearances and one Championship. Minnesota Timberwolves have yet to make the playoffs.

What would you do if you were Danny Ainge?

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