Raptors keep on winning

The Toronto Raptors somehow keep on winning despite giving their opponents double-digit leads and making dramatic comebacks to win. This formula works well during the regular season against inferior teams. The Raptors won for the fifth time this season after trailing by at least 15 points during a game they came back and to win. The formula will not work in the playoffs against the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Raptors offense depends heavily on DeMar DeRozan high volume shooting to help them win. The Raptors win last night against the Chicago Bulls DeRozan took 38 field goal attempts to score 42 points. His 17 for 38 (44.7%) is an excellent percentage. He had no choice last night with Kyle Lowry hurt and Serge Ibaka kicked out of the game. The Raptors head coach Dwane Casey doesn’t seem to want balance scoring; it works during the season not against double and triple teams in the playoffs.

Coach Casey use of Jonas Valanciunas usage during the game is still a question because the Raptors win no one can doubt the coach’s decision. Jonas plays 26 minutes, averages 12 points and 9.5 rebounds a game despite playing no fourth quarter minutes. His shooting percentage is .549 with only 9 field goal attempts per game. Jonas recorded his 25th double-double this season two games ago. He leads the team in rebounding.

The Raptors only have 4 players who average more than 10 points a game without including Terrence Ross (10.4) who is no longer a Raptors and was traded for Ibaka who himself is averaging 14.4 points a game. DeRozan, Lowry and Valanciunas are the only Raptors who have done it who were with the team the full season.

Coach Casey’s is winning despite the up and downs of the Raptors. He will once again win close to 50 games, be a top 4 seed and a fourth consecutive playoff spot. If Lowry can comeback a few games before the playoffs to get himself comfortable after a long layoff. The Raptors playoffs success will guarantee Coach Casey job security.

Can the Raptors win 2 playoff rounds this season?

Have a fantastic day!

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

Time to play Lonzo Ball

The number 3 seed UCLA Bruins first NCAA tournament game will be Friday at 10 o’clock against 13 seed Kent State. Lonzo Ball will show case his basketball skills on the biggest stage for American University players before he turns professional. Ball is a consensus top 5 pick drafted player in next year’s NBA Draft. The 6’6” point guard is third in the Mock Draft based on this link: (http://www.si.com/nba/2017/03/03/nba-mock-draft-march-madness-tournament-prospect-rankings )

Lonzo’s dad, LaVar Ball, is a popular quote machine who is getting too much attention for what he is saying instead of his son’s basketball skills lately. LaVar is the media darling because he doesn’t hold back with his outrageous comments, which has earned him a presence on ESPN First Take. Dad’s career NCAA statistics are 26 games played and scoring 2.2 points a game (http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/lavar-ball-1.html ).

The reality T.V. stars generation has created star that make over-the-top comments and don’t care if it is true or make sense. The outrageous the better because it will get you face time and it is all about getting attention.

Lonzo doesn’t have to lead his team to the Sweet 16 to move up the draft board. Ben Simmons team didn’t qualify for the NCAA and declined to play in the N.I.T.; he was still the number one pick in the NBA Draft last year. Anthony Bennett’s UNLV lost in the first round and he was the number one pick in 2013.

I want to watch this kid play hopefully more than 1 game to see if he will be better than Michael Carter-Williams (Chicago Bulls) or Delon Wright (Toronto Raptors) who are tall point guards who can defend, drive to the rim and neither has  a mid-range or three-point shooting ability that would scare an opponent. Carter-Williams is on his third team in four season despite winning NBA Rookie of the Year and All-NBA Rookie team member in 2014.

The media won’t stop searching for LaVar for quotes that can’t be ignored because everybody is a talking about his comments. Lonzo has the additional pressure to live-up to the hype his dad has put on him. Stephen Curry lead small school Davidson to the Final 8 that was coming out party on the biggest stage. We will see if Lonzo can take UCLA to the Final 8 also with his leadership and play.

Mr. Ball let Lonzo’s play do the talking.

Can Lonzo live up to Dad’s hype?

Have a fantastic day!

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

Iguodala 13 years a Slave

Andre Iguodala “I do what Master say” comments, deserves more than a $10 000 fine. Head coach Steve Kerr has to say he wasn’t bothered by the comment because he needs Iguodala who will be a key player if the Golden State Warriors want to play in a third consecutive NBA Finals. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP was upset he was a healthy scratch for the nationally televised Saturday night game on ABC against the San Antonio Spurs.

Iguodala should spend some time watching ROOTS, 12 Years a Slave, Birth of a Nation (Nat Parkers’ version) and other slavery movies to understand the impact of his comments. I would like him to explain to his kids, family, friends, Warriors fans and viewers who look up to him when a Slave got a night off for the next “cotton picking shift”? Iguodala is not forced into free labour in a foreign country, he is not severely punished for a poor performance on the court, his family members won’t be sold at a whim on Black Friday, and he won’t be lynched because of the colour of his skin.

Iggy used the N – word repeatedly to express his displeasure with Coach Kerr’s decision. His reference to responding as a Dumb N****** reinforces a negative stereotype towards African-American and Black athletes all over the world. He was a student-athlete who left after his second season at Arizona University to purse an NBA professional career. He is not known as a Dumb N***** that is why it was surprising he made those disparaging comments.

The African-American Slaves never received repatriation for their blood, sweat, tears and lives lost during their free labour under “the Master” deplorable conditions. Iguodala during his 13 year NBA career has earned $118 683 918, with a net worth of $28 million dollars should never under any circumstance compare himself to a Master – Slave relationship.

Iguodala should also receive a reprimand from the different African-American social activist groups for making such discourteous and disrespectful comments. An NBA multi-million dollar player has no business using any slavery references to voice his displeasure with his head coach decision. Many of the paying fans who watch basketball games would love to receive one tenth of Iggy’s pay cheque ($12 million dollars) and get a night off.

Was the $10 000 fine the right disparaging amount for his “I do what the Master say”?

A moment of silence for the millions of African-American slaves who suffered and died at the hands of the “Massa”!

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

 

 

Sources:

http://www.getnetworth.com/tag/andre-iguodala-salary/

http://www.spotrac.com/nba/golden-state-warriors/andre-iguodala-2652/cash-earnings/

Can Romo beat Brady and Pats?

The two teams that will try just about do anything to get Tony Romo on their roster are both in the American Football Conference, which means if Romo wants to play in the Super Bowl he will have to beat the New England Patriots who have, the greatest quarterback in NFL history, Tom Brady as their quarterback. Romo may have to play against two-time Super Bowl Champion Ben Roethlisberger and his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates in the playoffs.

The Houston Texans and Denver Broncos will make their offers to the Dallas Cowboys organization. Both organizations believe they are a solid quarterback away from winning the Super Bowl.

The Texans maybe the best option in terms of not having to move since he will stay in the state of Texas. Houston have a great defense a great defense, Lamar Miller is a solid running back, receiving unit has DeAndre Hopkins who is a top 5 at his position, Will Fuller V and a talented tight-end C.J. Fiedorowicz. Head coach Bill O’Brien is known as an offensive genius who led the Texans to the playoffs with marginal quarterbacks.

The team that gives Romo the best chance to win a Super Bowl will be the Denver Broncos. The Broncos core defense that won the Super Bowl two years ago are still on the roster. The talented offensive line, good running back tandem (Devontae Booker and C.J. Anderson) and talented receivers (Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders). Thomas and Sanders still surpassed a thousand yards receiving despite having a rookie quarterback as a starter. Vance Joseph is a rookie head coach.

Jerry Jones will try to make his soon to be former quarterback happy by letting him decide, which team he would prefer to play for next season. The factors are: where he lives (Texas), defense (tie), running backs (Broncos), wide receivers (Broncos), offensive line (tie) and head coach (Texans).

If you were Romo which team would you choose between Broncos and Texans?

Have a fantastic day!

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

NBA MVP should be Kwahi Leonard

The NBA Most Valuable Player should come should be on a winning team, have great statistics and make clutch plays throughout the season. The four leading candidates are Kwahi Leonard, LeBron James, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Name Points Assists Rebounds Steals
Leonard 26.3 3.4 6.0 1.9
James 26.0 8.8 8.2 1.3
Harden 29.0 11.3 7.9 1.47
Westbrook 31.7 10.0 10.6 1.6

 

Westbrook’s triple double season is an incredible one and lead his team in four categories, but his team won’t win 50 games this season. Oklahoma City Thunder have won 35 games with 19 games remaining to win 15 more is highly unlikely.

Harden leads his team in the three main categories and does the majority of the ball handling for the run and gun Houston Rockets offense. His team will win more than 50 games and most likely finish with the third most wins in the NBA. He should receive more votes than Westbrook. Harden only plays one side of the floor.

James is an MVP candidate every year and he has already won 4 NBA MVP trophies. The Cleveland Cavaliers will once again have the best record in the Eastern Conference. LeBron has missed 5 games due to rest and this will affect the number of votes he will receive. Westbrook and Harden have played every game, which puts them ahead of King James.

Leonard not only is he the catalyst for the San Antonio Spurs offense with the second best scorer only averages 17.3 points a game, LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs are second in the NBA with 49 wins and have already locked-up a playoff spot. Leonard guards the opponents’ best player every night he plays. The Spurs have the second best opponents’ points per game average (98.4) to the Utah Jazz (96.0).

Same can’t be said about the other candidates because they guard best players only for a portion of the game not every minute they are on the court. Kwahi’s only negative was the 5 games missed due to rest.

Who is your NBA MVP?

Have a fantastic day!

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

Islanders Ho Sang number 66

Josh Ho-Sang has upset a lot of people who are NHL fans, former players and social media for choosing jersey number 66. The only team a player can’t wear number 66 is the Pittsburgh Penguins because it has been retired. Mario Lemieux’s number hasn’t been retired throughout the NHL and it will not be. He played 915 games and scored 1723 points. He is second all-time in points per game with 1.883 to Wayne Gretzky (1.921) and had to retire early due to a back injury. Number 99 has been retired by the NHL.

Every sports league have iconic numbers that the top players want to wear to pay tribute to their idols and also to show everyone that they want to be the next superstar in their sport. The longest time number 12 was worn by many NFL quarterbacks after Pittsburgh Steelers Terry Bradshaw (4 Super Bowls) and Dallas Cowboys Roger Staubach (2 Super Bowls and many comebacks).

The NBA is all about number 23 and I don’t have to tell anybody who wore the number. Now, we have the Sacramento Kings Ben McLemore who has a career points per game average 9.3 after 4 years in the NBA wearing it. The league has also seen LeBron James live up to the number 23 standard if he accomplished what he has in the NBA without wearing Michael Jordan’s number would there be the constant compassion to the Legend?

The NHL people are way too sensitive to unwritten rules because iconic numbers are off limits because Gretzky and Lemieux were the first there specific numbers? The number 9 had so many great and average players wearing it because was synonymous with a great winger and power forward who can score goals.

The MLB number 42 has been retired by the league, but 24 might have been the next most iconic number for African-American players because of San Francisco Giants Willie Mays. Barry Bonds with the Pittsburgh Pirates and moved to 25 when he signed with the Giants. Ken Griffey Jr wearing it with the Seattle Mariners. The Giants and Mariners retired the number; we know why the Pirates haven’t.

The number 10 for every soccer player who wore it throughout history started with Pele to Diego Maradona now Lionel Messi. The best player or scorer is expected to wear the number and handle the pressure that comes with it.

The New York Islanders let Ho-Sang have the number because it was available and he wanted it. He will get booed and jeered when he plays in Pittsburgh because of it and he is old enough to know that will happen. Ho-Sang is a talented player who was drafted 28th pick in the first round because he has a reputation of marching to his own drum, he has a very good stats line (click on link hockeydb to view stats http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=160279) and Islanders tried trading before the deadline. I hope he keeps wearing number 66 until he retires. Islanders playing the Penguins in the playoffs will have one more reason to make it fun to watch.

The comparison between  Josh Ho-Sang to Mike Ribiero in terms of talent and physique makes sense. Ribeiro played 1 074 and accumulated 793 points mostly assists 565. He had a solid career in the NHL. Ho-Sang idolized Lemieux never said he would be better or the same.

John Tavares would have worn number 19 if it was available instead he is wearing 91. Bryan Trottier number was retired by the Islanders only despite his legacy as a Stanley Cup Champion.

Should Ho-Sang keep number 66?

Have a fabulous weekend!

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

 

Knicks Jackson’s triangle offense

The New York Knicks President of Basketball operations Phil Jackson wants to incorporate the triangle offense. Jackson has 13 NBA Championships (2 as a player and 11 as a Head coach) and as a coach he used the triangle offense. This sounds like a great idea because of his past success that it would automatically work in New York. He is part of the front office not the coach.

Jackson greatest strengths was handling strong personalities (Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Rodman). I don’t believe in the triangle offense was a big factor in the 11 coaching Championships. The NBA All-time scoring list has many players that helped make Jackson seem like a genius: Kobe (3rd), Jordan (4th), Shaq (7th), Pau Gasol (43rd) and Scottie Pippen (55th).

Phil had many role players for many of his championship teams were also ranked in the top 250 NBA scorers All-time: Ron Harper (164), Ron “Metta World Peace” Artest (191), Lamar Odom (204) and Bill Cartwright (207).

Jackson’s nickname is the Zen Master because he got his players on winning a Championship not their differences. His X’s and O’s or the triangle offense was not his biggest asset as a coach. The talent level on the players mentioned was extreme high. Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Shaq are in the Hall of Fame. Kobe will be first ballot and Gasol will be in the hall of Fame. Toni Kukoc might make it for a combination International and NBA success.

Jackson needs to improve the Knicks roster instead of talking to the media about Carmelo Anthony and the triangle offense. Jordan and Kobe were tremendous scorers when the triangle broke down; they had to create their own shots. The new NBA doesn’t have many back to the basket big men anymore who can pass out of the post when necessary or score by starting their move with the back to the basket.

Which aspect of Jackson coaching was better: Triangle offense or Zen Master?

Have a fantastic day!

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

Shaq Cyber Bullies McGhee

The current generation of NBA fans enjoy watching Cyber Bullying because that is what I call what Shaquille O’Neal did to JaVale McGhee. The reality show winners are often bullies, the current U.S.A President Donald Trump is a bully and Shaq bullying McGhee. It is considered entertainment by many. Shaq is a Hall of Fame player, works for NBA networks and has a greater following than the man he is picking on. O’Neal is using his clout to keep on bothering the Warriors back-up center. It is not a fair fight.

The social media feud between O’Neal and McGhee saw the two mothers’ intervene through social media. McGhee’s mom tried defending her son and asked for TNT to fired Shaq for his behavior. Shaq’s mom had to tell him to leave McGhee alone. The 44 years old NBA Legend who has a son who is off to University next season had to be told by his mom to leave McGhee alone.

Shaqtin’ A Fool saw it rise to popularity due to JaVale McGhee blunders and Shaq’s comments. The video clips of NBA players’ blunders is funny, but the picking on one person to show video clips repeatedly of the same player is not. Shaq has made shows dedicated to McGhee blunders and made it personal instead of selecting players who have made recent gaffes. O’Neal relishes yelling JaVale McGhee’s name during the shows just because the Hall of Famer finds great joy in mocking the young man.

We have seen many teenagers who have committed suicide because of Cyber Bullying. The parents, principals and teachers tell the youth that Bullying is bad, will not be tolerated and some schools have a Zero tolerance policy. No one has called out Shaq for his behavior because Ernie Johnson Jr. and Charles Barkley find the harassment amusing since they are not telling him to stop.

McGhee can enjoy the resurgence of his career and enjoy the rest of the season. He is contributing 9.5 minutes, 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on the Golden State Warriors who presently have the best record in the NBA. I’m glad it is over.

Was Shaq Bullying McGhee?

Have a fantastic day!

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

NHL Subban and Webber 20 games left

The biggest NHL trade of the summer P.K. Subban for Shea Webber was the move that was to make the Montreal Canadiens a better team. The Canadiens 13 – 1 – 1 start made the trade look like a major win for them, while the Nashville Predators were struggling. The Canadiens are 21 – 20 – 7 since the extremely hot start.

Teams Games Wins Losses OTL Points
Canadiens 63 34 21 8 76
Predators 62 31 22 9 71

 

There isn’t much difference between the two teams statistically. The Canadiens are leading the Eastern Atlantic Division with 20 games remaining. Michel Therrien convinced his general manager to trade Subban to improve the team and he was fired due to an extended slump; Claude Julien has taken over the head coaching position. Marc Bevegin needs a long playoff run to keep his job because an Atlantic title is not why he traded Subban.

The Predators are holding on to a playoff spot with a four point lead over the St. Louis Blues. Subban’s team has won their last 3 games. The Predators are 6 – 3 – 1 in the last 10 games, while the Candiens are 3 – 6 – 1.

I said Subban would score more points than Webber this season. P.K. is down 6 with 20 games remaining. No surprise Webber has the better plus minus. Webber is there to be the shutdown defense who plays against the opponents’ best lines, power play unit and shorthanded situations. Subban is an offensive catalyst who is great on the power play and the Predators coaches let him take risks.

Name Games Goals Assists Points +/-
Webber 63 14 22 36 9
Subban 46 8 22 30 – 5

 

The Canadiens are now searching for an offensive defenseman who can move the puck quickly or lead a rush. Exactly what Subban is great at doing when he is on the ice?  The Subban haters will see Webber’s game slow down since he is four years older. Montreal will need to win a Stanley Cup within two years to win the trade.

Will the Canadiens win a Stanley Cup within two years?

Have a fantastic day!

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

NBA made a mistake with Celtics Thomas

The NBA commissioner Adam Silver didn’t fine Boston Celtics Isiah Thomas for showing the gun gesture after Toronto Raptors DeMarre Carroll hard foul February 24, 2017. The teams will be battling for the number two seed in the Eastern Conference and the Raptors won the season series.

DeMarre Carroll was a victim of gun violence in 2007 trying to break-up a fight. The bullet barely missed his Achilles tendon instead it hit his ankle. (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2158655-a-family-death-shooting-liver-disease-and-nba-cuts-didnt-stop-demarre-carroll ) Thomas showing the gun sign after the hard foul could have led to something far worse. I can understand Thomas being upset because Carroll did give him a major shove while the Celtics All-star point guard was off-balance. The gun gesture was an over the top reaction to a hard foul. Thomas ending up shooting a free throw because Carroll got a technical foul.

Gun violence in the African-American cities and lives has resulted too many deaths especially of innocent by standers. The gun gesture association with the NBA players must be eliminated because so many kids look up to the players. The kids will not only emulate the basketball moves, but the response to referees, coaches and opponents. A school yard or park game should not have players flashing gun gesture, which may led to real guns being pulled.

The NBA has fined players for gestures deemed as taunting or menacing. A gun gesture towards an opponent is menacing. Thomas should have received a hefty fine to discourage the players from thinking about showing the gun gesture towards an opponent. Commissioner Silver made a mistake not to take a strong stance against gun violence and gesture. The NBA should have a Zero Tolerance policy when a gun gesture shown it leads to an automatic fine.

Should Celtics Isiah Thomas receive a hefty fine?

Have a fantastic day!

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

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