OKC duo out dueled by the Splash Brothers

The Oklahoma City Thunder were out dueled by the Golden State Warriors Splash Brothers in Game 6. The Warriors duo was 17 for 31 from the three point line while the Thunder duo were 1 for 13. Thunder had an 8 point lead going into the fourth quarter of a close out game at home.

The Warriors Draymond Green (12) and Stephen Curry (10) had more rebounds than anybody on the Thunder squad. Curry was one assists away from a triple double, while Russell Westbrook was one rebound away. The big difference was Westbrook 5 turnovers. Curry seemed to more points in the paint than his counterpart with driving layups.

The score keeper must have been generous because Kevin Durant only had 3 turnovers. Durant didn’t have a stretch that he was able to match the Warriors offense. He missed 21 field goal attempts and many were with his team up 8 and needed key baskets to extend the lead.

It seemed like the Thunder should have been up by more than 8 points going into the fourth quarter. Oklahoma had 16 assists as a team and Westbrook had 11 of them. The lack of ball movement and City Thunder reverting to Hero Ball. The team took 90 shots and 58 came from their stars took 64.4% of the shots. Many of Curry’s 10 rebounds were long rebounds of missed three points by Thunder players, which lead to fast break three point opportunities for Warriors.

The game was really decided by the Warriors dominance behind the arc as they were 21 for 44 and Thunder were 3 for 23 from behind the arc. An outstanding 54 points advantage in their 7 point win.

The NBA president Adam Silver dream final still has a chance. Game 7 usually is a huge advantage to the home.

Does OKC still have a chance?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Now Raptors season over Masai Ujiri has tough choices

The Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has tough choices now the season is over. The Raptors most successful season ever and the team is not a roster that could win a Championship right now. Toronto had many open shots, but they didn’t make their shots consistently.

Raptors Big 2 (Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan) 20 for 40 and the rest of the team was 13 for 29. The three point shooting was atrocious unless it was Lowry shooting it. The Raptors won 2 playoff series and 2 games in the Conference Finals with marginal role players supporting Lowry and DeRozan.

Patrick Patterson can’t be the main power forward to supply the three and defense role that Coach Dwane Casey wants at the four. Luis Scola should not have a prominent role if he is signed again. Toronto needs a major upgrade at power forward.

What will Ujiri do with the center position? Bismack Biyombo and his agent will want a contract similar to what Tristan Thompson got last year after a great playoff run. Is Bismack worth 5 years 80 million plus contract? If the Raptors sign him then the next question is do you keep Jonas Valanciunas? Coach Casey doesn’t like playing them together.

The number one question Ujiri and MLSE has to resolve is do they pay DeMar DeRozan franchise player money? The Raptors reaching the Eastern Conference Finals and winning 56 games has made the decision harder for the organization. The fans want him to stay. DeRozan is a two time All-star who is entering the prime of his career.

Can this roster repeat what they did this season if the roster stays intact and the Raptors add the ninth pick overall in the NBA Draft? If the Raptors is close can the team trade the ninth pick for immediate at power forward?

What do you suggest to improve the Raptors roster?

Have a great weekend!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

OKC Hero Ball back for Game 5

The Oklahoma City Thunder Hero Ball back for Game 5 with Kevin Durant took 31 and Russell Westbrook 28 shots. The Thunder took a total of 91 shots as a team, which means the dynamic duo took 64.8% of the teams shots. Head coach Billy Donovan needs to remind the Thunder stars it is as a team that they made it that far.

Thunder Big 2 outscored the Golden State Warriors Splash Brothers: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson 71 to 58. The Splash Brothers did it by taking only taking 41 shots. The Warriors took 85 shots as a team; therefore, the backcourt to 48% of the shots.

The Warriors finally got contributions from their big men who out played the Thunder big men for first time this series it seems. Andrew Bogut (15 points and 14 rebounds), Draymond Green (11 and 13) and Marresse Speights 14 points. Bogut first double this series was the difference tonight.

The Thunder were not blown out, which is good news for their fans. They battled throughout the game and are mentally tougher than the previous years. They must finish the series at home because it would be nearly impossible to beat the Warriors in a Game 7 in Golden State.

The Thunder second unit have to contribute more than they did tonight. Dion Waiters who scored in double digits in three games this series and his team won all three. He scored 0 points tonight. Enes Kanter has scored a total of 2 points in his last two games.

Game 6 will be an exciting and a great boost for the NBA T.V. ratings. I don’t expect a blowout. I do expect for Westbrook to go back to getting double digits assists totals. This was the first time this series he didn’t get a minimum of 11 assists. The Thunder need to share the ball for one more game.

Who do you have in Game 6 in Oklahoma?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Raptors roller coaster continues

The Toronto Raptors roller coaster rides continues with a horrendous Game 5 performance. The Cleveland Cavaliers Big 3 (LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love) outscored the entire Raptors team 81 – 78. The Raptors didn’t put up much of a fight. Toronto Big 2 (Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan) struggled and finished with a total of 27 points and 7 for 20 from the field.

The Raptors Big 2 scored 52 points in Game 3 and 65 in Game 4 wins to even the series. Toronto fans attacked everybody on social media that didn’t give their team a chance. The Raptors gave the city and Canada hope that they can shock the World. The Raptors paraphernalia seems to be everywhere in Toronto; Bismack Biyombo became the talk of the town.

The Cavaliers were going to be better in Game 5 at home and the final score demonstrated the point. The victory particularly guarantees Cleveland a series win because 84% of teams that win Game 5 in a seven games series after it was tied went on to win the series.

Game 6 in Toronto could be the last game of the magical season for the Raptors. Lowry and DeRozan usually play better at home. This will not be enough because a determined Cavaliers team will make sure there is no Game 7 match.

Coach Dwan Casey got play Jonas Valanciunas 18:27 and he went 4 for 4 from the field. He finished the game with 9 points and altered some shots by the opponent. Coach Casey will have to decide does he start JV or bring him off the bench? It could be only change by Raptors coach.

The Cavs will start Game 6 again with plays to Love in the post and Raptors have to respond to the challenge. It would not surprise me if the Raptors win Game 6 and force 7. The home team has won every game in this series.

Who will win the series?

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You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Cavs coach Lue will have to make adjustments

The Cleveland Cavaliers Head coach Tyronn Lue will have to make adjustments such as put Kevin Love on a shorter leash and replace him by Channing Frye earlier in the game. Also he may need to have J.R. Smith watch video of how Richard Jefferson moves without the ball to get open. Smith took 12 shots and 11 of them were from behind the arc.

Tristan Thompson got only 2 points and 9 rebounds in 29 minutes. I understand Timofey Mozgov is slow footed, but his offensive game may help Cavs gets more open three point shots and more offensive rebounds. Right now Toronto Raptors Bismack Biyombo owned the key in the last two games in Toronto with 40 (26 and 14) rebounds.

The Cavaliers are finally playing a team that is not afraid of them and battle them until the series is over. Cleveland hasn’t responded to the Raptors challenge in Toronto. They have Game 5 and 7 at home if necessary.

Coach Lue job is to get to the NBA Finals this season. His team has the talent; he has to decide on rotations and strategy to win 2 more games. The Cavs have put him in a position now that he has to handle to media questioning his decisions because of the Game 3 blowout loss and Game 4 they couldn’t hold on to lead after a big comeback.

Love, Smith and Thompson provided 21 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Thompson played 29 minutes and the other two played more than 30 minutes. Love and Smith can’t be on the court that long if they are not scoring because they are not known for their defensive abilities.

Iman Shumpert is supposed to be the defensive wing player. He will need to play more than 12 minutes to handle Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

Will the Cavs turn it around in Game 5?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Raptors mental toughness won Game 4

The Toronto Raptors mental toughness was the difference in Game 4. The series is now tied at 2 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs fought back done 12 to take the lead in the fourth quarter and the Raptors fought back to win the game.

The Raptors All-star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were fantastic. They each shot a high percentage Lowry 14 – 20 for 35 points and DeRozan 14 – 23 for 32 points compared to Cavaliers Kyrie Irving 11 – 21 for 26 points and J.R. Smith 3 – 12 for 9 points.

Cavs second unit with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye lead their comeback that fell short. Cleveland took 41 three point shots out of 83 field goal attempts. When the three point shots goes in it looks great, but when it doesn’t Cavs don’t seem to have a back-up plan. They only made 13. Compare that to the Raptors who only took 22 and made 7.

Toronto now believes they can beat Cleveland. It is a two out of three now. Game 5 LeBron’s supporting cast have to be better. Kevin Love and J.R. Smith have been great the first two series and first two games of Eastern Conference Finals have to be better. The Cavs Big 3 is now a Big 1 against the Raptors Big 2.

Head coach Dwane Casey’s confidence in his All-stars has paid off. He has stood by them in the media even when they were struggling. Lowry and DeRozan now need to play big on the road.

I was one of the people who thought this would be a sweep. The Cavs have more offensive talent, but the Raptors have more heart. Sometimes in the playoffs it is better to have more the latter. The series now will be minimum 6.

Can the Raptors continue their success home and do the same in Cleveland?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

The Blue Jays are in last place in the AL East

The Toronto Blue Jays are in last place in the American League East division. They are only half a game behind the Tampa Devil Rays and New York Yankees. The Jays will face the Yankees 6 times in their next 12 games.

The Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro’s trade for Drew Storen has not worked out and he is now on the trading block. Stroen’s 7.80 era will not scare MLB teams away, but the Blue Jays will not get Ben Revere type talent in return. The play of Michael Saunders saved the Jays organization more media heat for that terrible trade.

Shapiro wants to re-evaluate what he has on the roster at the 60 game mark. Toronto is a struggling team that is two games under .500. They have reached 46 games and the next 12 are against Boston Red Sox and Yankees. The organization will quickly see is this season can be saved or they will be trading some assets.

The Blue Jays fans were expecting a repeat performance. Toronto couldn’t do what the Kansas City Royals did by playing in back-to-back World Series and winning last year. A poor start is hard to make-up for late in the season.

Many people will say it is only 46 games and there are many games remaining. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion contracts will become a topic of discussion as the team tries to right the ship. The hitting of Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki who each have huge contracts will also be problem for fans.

The Jays can’t really think about firing manager John Gibbons because all the potential managers who can replace him are working. Second in command DeMarlo Hale would take over and may not improve the situation. It be hard to imagine Gibbons still being manager if at the half way mark the team is still hovering around .500.

The Jays have the next 12 games to turn their season around and get back into the race for the Division title. This time of year a team should not be worried about a Wild Card spot.

Can the Blue Jays turn their season around in the next 2 weeks?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

OKC Game 3 win was a team effort

The Oklahoma City Thunder Game 3 win in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors was a team effort. The Thunder two Superstars (Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant) totaled 63 points, 16 rebounds and 14 assists, which is no surprise because they put great numbers every night. The third member of the BIG 3 is Serge Ibaka who added 14 point, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The surprise is the continued great play of the OKC role players such as Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter. Only Adams didn’t get double digits points because he only play 17:37 minutes. Roberson is often left open at the three point line because he is considered the weakest link. He was 3 for 5 from behind the arc. Waiters was solid n his performance with 13 points and 3 assists while Kanter had a double. Each one only had1 turnover in the destruction of the Warriors.

The Warriors role players were non-existent with nobody getting 10 points or more. Yes, only Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had more than 10 points. Expect see to a lot more of Marresse Speights either Draymond Green gets suspended or not. Speights is a big man (6’11) who can score the ball and battle with Adams and Kanter for rebounds.

Green’s kick to Admas groin will be reviewed and was the turning point of the game. He is the so called emotional leader of the team, trash talking, taunting and in the opponent’s face when things are going well. Draymond was to provide the third 20 point scorer and be Mr. Triple Double he has been all year.

Adam Silver will have a tough choice. It was easy to suspend Cleveland Cavaliers Dahntay Jones who is a bench player. Suspending Green can tilt the series into the Oklahoma’s favour.

Will Green be suspended?

Can OKC repeat their Game 3 performance?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Raptors Bismack was awesome tonight

The Toronto Raptors got an awesome performance from Bismack Biyombo who got 26 rebounds, 4 blocks and 7 points. He was a one man show and 8 offensive rebounds created extra opportunities for his teammates.

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 52 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. They performed at an All-star level. Coach Dwane Casey Big 2 came through for the Raptors once again. Late in the game each one made a great pass to a cutting Bismack for easy baskets.

The Raptors had a 6 minute stretch where they didn’t score a point in the fourth quarter and still won by 15 points against a Cavs team that score more than 100 points every game this post season.

The Raptors won the first conference finals game played outside the USA. The role players made offensive contributions Corey Joseph (14 points), Patrick Patterson and DeMarre Carroll 10 points. Toronto three point shot was 12 for 31 from three point line.

Toronto once again battle back after looking so bad in the first two games. Does this mean they will win Game 4? The Raptors have gained confidence and will be tougher to beat in the next game.

Cavaliers Big 3 was only one because Kevin Love (1-9) and Kyrie Irving (3-19). Will those two big this bad again in Game 4? LeBron James will challenge his team to be better and the importance of taking a 3 – 1 lead.

The Raptors home performance was fantastic, energy level and physical toughness was excellent. Can the Raptors repeat it again; will be Cavs respond in Game 4? This series will now worth watching. I love watching Coach Casey complain that his team didn’t get 1 free throw in the fourth quarter.

Can the Raptors win Game 4?

Have a great weekend!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Why is Jose leading off for the Blue Jays?

The Toronto Blue Jays had Jose Bautista lead off last night against the Minnesota Twins. He is by far the best RBI man on the team even though right now he is second in that category.

The five game losing streak and pressure to live up to the expectations after a great season and playoffs last year is getting to them. The Jays offense is no longer the best part of the team; it is the starting rotation and they would have had more wins if weak bullpen had been better.

The Jays beat an offensively challenged Minnesota Twins in game one of their series and have three games remaining against a very beatable opponent. They need to win three out of four and get their offense back. They would leave with a 22 – 24 record if they win three out of four.

The Blue Jays first half could be decided during the following 12 games (6 against the Boston Red Sox and same amount against the New York Yankees). Toronto will be at the 58 mark at the end of the inter-division series. The Red Sox are currently 6 games ahead of the Jays and the Yankees are half a game back.

It will make the decision easier for vice-president of baseball operations Mark Shapiro to start looking for trades, which can help improve team. Many in the Rogers organization didn’t like the David Price trade late in the season last year, which saw some future prospects traded for one shot at a World Series.

The Blue Jays organization will resort to being a frugal organization that wants to win without spending the money. In the American League East with New York and Boston who are near the top in spending every year it will be hard to compete.

Rogers Communications Inc. need to put some of the profits from last season playoff run into the Blue Jays budget. The fans will stop showing up if this team will start struggling again with a small market budget.

Can the Blue Jays turn around their season?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

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