Tag Archives: Playoffs

NBA “What If’s & Nonsense

NBA “What If’s & Nonsense

By Francis S Estepan

Today is the last day of the NBA Season.  Without a doubt the only important game tonight will be Minnesota Timberwolves Vs Denver Nuggets fighting for a spot in the playoffs.  Once that game finishes the playoff matchups will be determined and nonsense predictions will be made.  Till then here are some “What if” and some extra Nonsense:

  • LeBron James did not want to face the Miami Heat in the playoffs – “You can’t script/fix NBA Games” but you can play like trash and get blown out by a Miami team led by a collection of role players and D-Wade. As great as D-Wade is, he has more value to Miami in terms of legacy than anything else.
  • Donovan Mitchell is a true rookie. If Ben Simmons wins Rookie of The Year, the NBA will more than likely think about changing out the whole “Rookie Rule”.  Thinking about it, a guy sits out a whole a year but still gets access to everything else team wise?
  • New Celtics Same Old Kyrie. I hate injuries as much as any other player, fan or just spectator but is just hard not to notice that Kyrie, as valuable and talented as he is, hasn’t played 82 games in his career.
  • I wonder how mad the Memphis Grizzlies GMs and back office became once the Phoenix Suns accomplished their mission of getting the worse record in the NBA.
  • The Warriors can’t win without Curry. KD has been great but according to the numbers without Curry this team could struggle to come out the 1st  If the Warriors don’t make out the 1st round, do they get rid of KD? Or just kickback and wait for their real leader? The REAL question is if the Warriors had to choose between Curry and KD who do they keep?
  • Who are the real Dark Horses in each conference?
    • West:
      • OKC – But not really. How did Billy Donovan performed so bad with this roster or should we blame it on Westbrook hero ball
      • Spurs – No Kawhi, no problem. Other not winning 50 games, it can be said it was successful season.  Remember the beat Houston last year
      • Jazz – Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell only have one job each. Gobert – Defense.  Mitchell – Offense.
    • East
      • Heat – If every game came down to a last second shot and D-Wade was shooting the ball, that was the game plan.
      • Philly – Let’s be honest by now, we all “Trust the Process”, but championships? Wait? Hold Up? Would that complete the process?
      • Cavaliers – Lebron James is the fiery Dark Horse in the East.
    • When did we all decided to ignore the Blazers & Pelicans as possible contenders??
    • What if somebody other than the Warriors, Rockets, Raptors or Cleveland wins the CHAMPIOSHIP? Would that be a good twist??

Did LeBron James throw the 2011 NBA Finals?

Did LeBron James throw the 2011 NBA Finals?

By Kevin Bertalotto.  March 29, 2018.

(Note: Not saying he did or didn’t but promoting the question/theory)

Now this does sound bizarre that a superstar competitor like LeBron would throw a whole Finals series considering he didn’t really gain anything, however after considering everything in play I guarantee you this article will make you think, “maybe.”

Everyone remembers the complete meltdown of “LeCHOKE” in the 2011 NBA Finals, however after reviewing it I believe LeBron low-key tanked it. There is multiple theories to why he would do such a thing.

Didn’t want Wade to be FMVP

052514 heat game story rg 8Sounds crazy but hold on, prior to Game 4 when LeBron had 8 points, Dwyane Wade was averaging 27 ppg, 8.7 rebs, 5 apg over 1 stl and 1 blk a game on 57% shooting. Surely that is FMVP worthy stats compared to Lebrons 20 ppg, 6.7 rebs, 6 asts, 2 stls on 51% shooting. Here’s why he would not allow this to happen. LeBron joining Wade’s Heat  was bad enough so for Wade winning FMVP would only make it worse just like Curry winning FMVP over KD last yr would make it worse for Durant. Now after Game 3 LBJ averaged about 15 8 and 8, 4.7 tovs and shot 44% so maybe after realizing he wouldn’t win FMVP he decided he wouldn’t let a teammate win it over him.

Prove his value

Now although I believe Derrick Rose deserved that MVP award, LeBron likely didn’t so after defeating Rose’s Bulls in 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron figured “losing this series will prove how valuable I am” yeah it backlashed on him but doesn’t mean he didn’t think this.

Was asked to

Here’s the craziest theory. LeBron was asked by the then NBA commissioner David Stern to tank it to boost the ratings of next year’s Finals (OKC vs HEAT). Think about it what would make a better story, an experienced trio with a ring vs a young ringless trio or a ringless experienced trio vs a young ringless trio? LeBron being REALLY hungry for that ring and seeking to redeem himself only made the Kevin Durant/Bron matchup even better. So to get LeBron to throw 2011 Finals, they made a deal that the refs would favor Miami the following Finals which as a proud Heat fan I admit the officiating was horrible. OR instead of it being for ratings the next year Finals it was to repay DAL since the 2006 NBA Finals with the Mavericks vs Miami was officiated horribly against the Mavs and Mark Cuban part Mavs owner claimed the league is rigged.

Worth mentioning

Since the 2000 NBA Finals 14 times the champs got the most FTAs and what’s interesting is Miami in the first 3 rounds had more FTs 436-303 which means the Heat averaged 8 more FTAs than their opponent. DAL in their first 3 rounds had 378 FTs-364 which is only about 1 more free throw attempt a game. So keep that in mind Miami had a big difference in FTAs as opposed to DAL. Fast forward to the end and the Mavericks managed to get more free throws 155 to Heat’s 148. Not a big difference but still worth noting since Miami always got way more FTs until the Finals.

Sure all this is just speculation but definitely worth thinking over.

NBA Nonsense Expectations!! The East

NBA Nonsense Expectations!! The East

The NBA All Star break is just about over and the real race for the playoff will begin (for some teams).  With only about 25 games left for most teams the debate “To Tank or Not to Tank” begins.  So here are some nonsense predictions and expectations for each of the NBA Teams for the final half of the season.

Let’s Begin with the East:

 

  1. Toronto Raptors v Detroit PistonsToronto 41-16 (Currently 1) – Toronto will continue dominate their opponents. Derozan will continue his strong season averaging 23.7 points per game. The bench with surge with more time given to VanVleet and Poetl. For a team that still has 25 games left in the season and only 10 wins away to match their total from last year. Coach of the year nominee could lead his team to a 60 wins season. Looking at the scheduled they play Orlando and Detroit 3 times each. Ending record 56-26.
  2. LeBron-James-George-Hill-Rodney-Hood-Jordan-Clarkson-Larry-Nance-JrCleveland Cavaliers 34-22 (Currently 3) – LeBron James and the new looking Cavaliers will reach the number 2 seed. Even being behind the Celtics 6 games, they still have 26 games left. If anything we have learn about any team that LeBron plays for is that they rally in the 2nd half of the season.  Also keep in mind that this team already looks scary and Kevin Love is still out of the line up. Ending record 54-28.
  3. hi-res-96bdc9f15fa5024c64b0e954c528736c_crop_northBoston Celtics 40-19 (Currently 2) – Brad Stevens is a great coach. Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Tatum have all had great seasons. The rise of Terry Rozier has also proven to be very valuable. Unfortunately for the Celtics they haven’t been winning the 50-50 games and teams are preparing more and more for them. Also a big factor are injuries Kyrie and Horford have both missed games this year, therefore rest will play a big factor for the Celtics for the rest of the season. Ending record 53-59.
  4. vongIndiana Pacers 33-25 (Currently 5) – Victor Oladipo is averaging 24.4 points per game, which is the highest of his career. If he can keeps on torching teams on the offensive the Pacers will be in a great playoff position.  At the beginning of the season it would have impossible to predict that the Pacers would be doing this good.  The only question left is what else can this Cinderella/ redemption team can do. Ending record 49-33.
  5. hi-res-de20fea29527a7521d50268316bac474_crop_northWashington Wizards 33-24 (Currently 4) – Bradley Beal have been great, since John Wall went down, proving that he can be the leader to this Wizards team. The question lies on how Wall will adjust to the new team play and if he is willing to (maybe) take a backseat to Beal. Expect locker room drama and lack of leadership to cost this team a couple games. Who is or who should be the leader of this Wizards team? Wall or Beal??Ending record 48-34.
  6. simmons_ncxfkvnqm0b91pmi8tei5zlx7Philadelphia 76ers 30-25 (Currently 7) – Embiid and Simmons are going to be playing with fire in their eyes. Do you #TrustTheProcess?? Going into the All Star break with a 5 game winning streak and starting out the final stretch with a matchup against the Bulls. The 76ers are done tanking and now making an entrance back in to the playoffs. Ending Record 46-36.
  7. DwadeMiami Heat 30-28 (Currently 8) – D-Wade will lead his team to the promise land (the playoffs, not championships) before he signs another deal for a paycheck or retires.   The Heat are nowhere close to any kind of championship form that they have been in the past.  But that doesn’t mean that Pat is going to take the “tanking route.  Plus why tank when you can make the playoffs and build history (by history, I mean endless profit) with every minute that Dwayne Wade Plays.  Ending record 44-38.
  8. GFMilwaukee Bucks 32-25 (Currently 6) – The Bucks will miss Jason Kidd playoff experience. The Greek Freak will continue to make highlights for the rest of the season. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of help and it will take time to re-integrate Jabari Parker in to the team full rotation.   Khris Middleton is a diamond in disguise that the Bucks aren’t fully taking advantage off.  If they fully commit to Parker (which they shouldn’t do) they will see Middleton succeed somewhere else. Ending record 43-39.                    

    Not Tanking but Not Making Strides Forward (in no particular order)

  9. 27580517_418419595237409_356549153913831424_n (002)Detroit Pistons – Acquiring Blake Griffin was treated as when Monty Python found the Holy Grail. Both seem great at the time and will prove worthless overtime. Detroit will find more future success than it would have keeping Harris and Bradley (so that’s a step forward). Sitting 2 Sports out of the playoffs, the Pistons will find their success with Blake Griffin mostly putting people in the stands so they can see amazing dunks (and ignored the team missing the playoffs).  SVG is not going to have an easy summer.  His job is on the line.  The Pistons will have a better year next year, which is something am sure Pistons fans have been telling each other for a while now.
  10. kembaCharlotte Hornets – have more than likely ruined whatever future they had with Kemba Walker. Are already shopping for back office roles. Their biggest attribute is Dwight Howard great bounce back season. Developing young players should be the number 1 priority. With 25 games the Hornets don’t have many options other than to just keep on their average play.  MKG, Malik Monk and so many more fail experiments for the Hornets.  The RESET BUTTON needs to be push.  Most importantly for Kemba give him a chance to be great somewhere else (With the Knicks).
  11. 2015_01_06_3a_KnicksThumb_c0e16New York Knicks – Going in to the 2nd half losing 8 straight. First game is against fellow tanking team the Orlando Magic, so that’s going to be a battle and only the best loser will win. Porzinguis is out (again). Michael Beasley is not the answer. Tim Hardaway Jr was, literally, jumped over by the Greak Freak (and not it wasn’t at the dunk competition). Knicks fan are jumping ship. Why did they sign Mudiay?
  12. chicago_bulls2Chicago Bulls – This team is actually trending up. They knew what was in store for them after trading away Jimmy Butler and getting back an injured Zach Lavine. But the future is brighter than it looks and this season may have been “Meh” for the most part. The Bulls are taking to the fast lane to rebuilding and for the most part with Lauri, Dunn and Lavine the future is couldn’t be any brighter. The Bulls they are not tanking, they are just losing games. That happens.

    Pretending to Tank, Trying Not To Tank, and obviously (sucking at) tanking

  13. SDBrooklyn Nets – Finally have a semi healthy roster. Russell is back. Okafor is finally playing. Spencer Dinwiddie is bringing back the old school mustache and afro. The Nets are pretending to tank. They team they have is a lot better than advertised (when healthy). Somewhere in the Brooklyn Nets main building cheers can be heard because they may suck, but not sucking as much as the Knicks are.
  14. vpn99tgm2kr6kmlmyffgOrlando Magic – The Magic are really trying not to tank. They just don’t have any players that affect the winning column. I think they have realized this and started getting rid of some projects (Elfrid Payton). The Magic roster shows so much potential we all want to see this team win. They should really stop trying not to tank and just start tanking. Go lobby for Trae Young.
  15. 21Atlanta Hawks – there is not a team that sucks so badly at tanking than the Hawks. They need to accept their tanking role. Every night play Collins for 30+ minutes and just throw lobs at him all day long. Keep focusing on bringing in rappers for halftime events, Hot Sauce playing 1-1 with fans and everything else that you’re doing. Just accept it and keep walking like there is nothing happening. The Atlanta Hawks are going to be at the bottom of the East for a very long time. So give the people more Collins and have a better bio for Andrew White III.  Maybe is a genius idea to have a great half time show.

Best performances against each team since 84

teams.png

Best performances against each team since 84

by Kevin Bertalotto,

In this article we’ll be looking at the top 2 best regular season performances against each team. Enjoy!

Vs 76ers: In Philadelphia against Joel Embiid, James Harden had a historic game with 51 points, 13 rebs, 13 dimes shooting 16/28 and 6/11 on 3s. W

Honorable mention: Russell Westbrook vs the Sixers at home back in 2015 had 49, 15 rebs and 10 asts on 16/33 shooting. W

Vs MIL: At against the Bucks Karl Malone aka “The Mailman” scored 61 points shooting 21/26, collected 18 rebs and stole the ball 3x. W

Honorable mention: Allen Iverson on the road finished the game with 54 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 5 asts. W

   Vs CHI: At home against the Bulls Demarcus Cousins had a Wilt Chamberlain-esque game. Scored 44 pts, gobbled  23 rebs, had 10 asts and 4 stls and got the win in double OT.  W

Honorable mention: In just 29 minutes CJ McCollum had 50 pts shooting 18/25, grabbed 5 rebs and assisted on 2 shots. W

   Vs CLE: No doubt Michael Jordan’s 69 points on 62% shooting, 18 rebs and 6 asts alongwith 4 stls was the best performance vs the Cavs. W

Honorable mention: Yet again Michael Jordan had a great vs CLE but this time he had 54, 14 rebs and 6 asts along with 3 stls.W

Vs BOS: Devin Booker’s 70 points is the most pts ever scored in Madison Square Garden, Devin also grabbed 8 rebs and assisted 6 shots. L

Honorable mention: In 1989 Michael Jordan in 89 had 42 points, 9 rebs, 11 asts and stole the ball 8x shooting 56%. W

 Vs LAC: David Robinson at Los Angeles scored 71 points, grabbed 14 rebs and dished out 5 asts. W

Honorable mention: On his birthday Shaquille O’Neal had 61 points, collected 23 rebs, had 4 asts too. W

   Vs Mem: LeBron James vs the Grizzlies scored 51 pts, grabbed 8 rebs and assisted on 9 shots shooting 64%. W

Honorable mention: Kobe Bryant had 56 points, gobbled 5 rebs and had 4 asts. W

   Vs ATL: Going against Dominique Wilkins in Boston, Larry Bird finished the game with 50 13 and 7 on 19/25 shooting. W

Honorable mention: No surprise Michael Jordan scored 61 pts, grabbed 10 rebs and stole the ball 4x.

Vs MIA: Against his future team the Miami Heat, Lebron James played great with 47 pts, 12 rebs, 9 asts shooting 16/25. W

Honorable mention: Going against a young Wade, Allen Iverson finished the game with 38 pts, 6 rebs and 16 asts getting the victory in OT. W

   Vs CHA: In a win over the Hornets, Jimmy Butler scored 52 pts, grabbed 12 rebs and dished out 6 asts. W

Honorable mention: At home Carmelo Anthony had the hot hand scoring 62 points, gobbling 13 rebs and shot 66%.

Vs Uta: In a blowout win over the Gobert-less Jazz, James Harden had 56 pts, 2 rebs and 13 asts on 76% shooting. W

Honorable mention: Damian Lillard at home scored 59 points, collected 5 rebs and dished out 6 asts. W

   Vs SAC: David Robinson at home had 48 pts, 16 rebs, 6 asts, 4 stls and 4blks. W

Honorable mention: 37 of Klay Thompson’s 52 pts came in the third quarter, Klay finished the game 11-15 on 3s. W

   Vs NYK: Arguably his best triple dub, James Harden had 53 pts, 16 rebs and 17 asts on 54% shooting.  W

Honorable mention: Dwyane Wade at home scored 46 pts, grabbed 8 rebs and dished out 10 asts while shooting 55%. W

Vs LAL: Going against Lonzo Ball in L.A., Joel Embiid had a historic game with 46 pts, 15 rebs, 7 asts and 7 blks on 70% shooting. W

Honorable mention: Gilbert Arenas had 60 points against Kobe’s Lakers but also had 8 rebs and 8 asts. W

Vs ORL: Taking over the 4th Q and OT, Russell Westbrook had 57 pts, 13 rebs and dished out 11 asts against a healthy Magic. W

Honorable mention: James Harden’s 60 pts is the most pts scored in a triple double. James also had 10 rebs and 11 asts vs the Magic missing their two best players. W

Vs Dal: In the first 3 quarters Kobe Bryant outscored the Mavs 62-61. Kobe collected 8 rebs and shot 58%. W

Honorable mention: On the road Clyde Drexler had 41, 8 and 15 asts on 17/23 shooting. L

Vs NJN: At home vs the Nets Michael Jordan scored 58 pts, had 8 rebs, 3 asts along with 3 stls and 2 blks. W

Honorable mention: Michael Adams finished the game with 45, 11 and 12.

Vs DEN: Trailing in the 4th Russell Westbrook took over and finished the game with 50 16 and 10 giving him his 42nd triple dub of the season. Oh yeah he also made the game winning 3 at the buzzer. W

Honorable mention: Anthony Davis scored 50 pts, gobbled 15 rebs, assisted on 5 shots, stole the ball 5x and blocked 4 shots. L

Vs IND: Although his all around game was not great, Klay Thompson did score 60 pts having the ball for only 90 secs.

Honorable mention: Chris Webber hada Wilt type game of 51 pts, 26 rebs, 5 asts, 3 stls and 2 blks. L

Vs NO During Stephen Curry’s first MVP season had an efficient game vs the Pelicans scoring 53 pts, grabbed 4 rebs and dished out 9 asts while shooting 63% and 9/13 on 3s.  W

Honorable mention: Russell Westbrook vs Anthony Davis had 48 9 and 11 plus 4 stls on 53% shooting. L

Vs DET: Anthony Davis vs Andre Drummond  on the road scored 59 pts, collected 20 rebs and shot 71%. W

Honorable mention: Kevin McHale at home scored a then franchise record of 56 pts, grabbed 16 rebs too on 22/28 shooting. W

   Vs TOR: It’s a no brainer Kobe Bryant’s 81 pt game is the best performance vs the Raps. Besides scoring the 2nd most pts in a game ever he shot 61%. W

Honorable mention: LeBron James at TOR had 45 10 and 5 on 50% shooting. L

   Vs HOU: Vs their rivals, Dirk Nowitzki scored 53 pts, gobbled 16 rebs shot 53% and blocked 4 shots . W

Honorable mention: On the road John Stockton jad 26 pts, 24 asts, stole the ball 6x and shot 12/16. W

Vs S.A.: Purvis Short of GS had 57 and 15 vs the Spurs in 1984. W

Honorable mention: Hakeem Olajuwon at home hada triple dub of 38, 10 rebs, 4 asts, 5 stls and 10 blks. L

Vs PHX: Michael Jordan against the 89 Suns had 53 pts, 14 rebs and 8 asts on 20/28 shooting. L

Honorable mention: Russell Westbrook scored 48 pts, grabbed 17 rebs and dished out 9 asts. L

Vs SEA: In a loss Hakeem Olajuwon had 38 pts,  17 rebs, 6 asts, 7 stls, 12 blks. L

Honorable mention: Magic Johnson vs Seattle had 29 pts, 9 rebs, 21 asts. W

   Vs MIN: Another great game by Hakeem Olajuwon with 46 pts, 19 rebs, 8 asts shooting 70%. W

Honorable mention: David Robinson had a triple double with 43 pts, 11 rebs, 10 blks. W

Vs POR: In 50 mins Kobe Bryant had 65 pts, 7 rebs and shot 59%. W

Honorable mention Charles Barkley vs Drexler had 41 pts, 22 rebs, 5 asts, 6 stls on 13/18 shooting. W

   Vs GSW: At Oakland, Dwight Howard scored 45 pts, collected 13 rebs, stole the ball 4x, blocked 2 shots.  W

Honorable mention: Hakeem Olajuwon was so close to a quadruple double of 29 pts, 18 rebs, 9 asts and 11 blks on 13/18 shooting. W

   Vs WAS: This season LeBron James on the road  had 57 pts, 11 rebs and 7 asts on 68% shooting.  W

Honorable Mention: Vince Carter as a Net had 46 pts, 16 rebs and 10 asts shooting 16/28. W

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday: The Ten Best NBA Game 1 performances since 1984

Throwback Thursday: The ten Best Game 1 performances since  1984

Written By Kevin Bertalotto

   It doesn’t seem often enough that we see a star player have an amazing game at the very start of a series. Well, these players have certainly made their statement in their first game of that playoff series. Now obviously this list was made as unbiased as possible. Enjoy!

    1. At number one we have Shaquille O’Neal who had 44 points on 17/32 shooting, 21 rebs and 7 blocked shots in the 01 playoffs vs the Kings. W
    2. Next up is Tim Duncan in the 03 Finals vs the Nets who finished with 32 pts, 20 rebs, 6 asts, altered 7 shots and shot 11/17. W
    3. Hakeem Olajuwon made a statement vs the 86 Nuggets when he scored 38 points, grabbed 16 rebs, dished out 4 asts, blocked 6 shots and stole the ball 5x all while shooting 18/27. W
    4. Once again Shaq made his way to the top 5 but this time his great game was against the 00 Pacers. He had 43 pts, gobbled 19 rebs, blocked 3 shots, had 4 asts and shot 21/31 getting the W.
    5. In a close loss to the Magic, LeBron James was on another level of greatness, he had 49 points on 20/30 shooting, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 8 asts, stole the ball 2x and rejected 3 shots. L
    6. Vs the Sacramento Kings Shaquille O’Neal once again displayed what individual dominance looks like. The Big Diesel scored 46 points, collected 17 rebs, altered 5 shots and led his team to the win. W
    7. Brad Daugherty nearly had a triple double with 40, 16 and 9 vs the New Jersey Nets. He got the win and shot good 12/22.
    8. Karl Malone in this specific game vs the Sonics was spectacular. With 50 points he became 1 of 3 players in history to score 50+ in a Game 1. Along with his 50 pts Karl grabbed 12 rebs, stole the ball 3x and shot 18/32. W
    9. Going against the heavily favored 01 Lakers on the road the Sixers would need Allen Iverson to have a great game to have a shot. A.I. did not disappoint as he finished the game with 48 points including clutch shots in OT, grabbed 5 rebs, assisted on 6 shots, stole the ball 5x all while shooting 18/41. W
    10. Barely cracking top 10 is Round Mound the Rebound, Charles Barkley. Versus the Golden State Warriors Charles had a great all around game of 36 points, 19 rebounds, 7 asts, 4 stls on 14/24 shooting. W

Honorable mentions:

Allen Iverson’s 55, 4 and 8 vs 03 NOH. W

Dirk’s 48 pts on 15 shots vs ‘11 OKC.  W

Lamarcus A. 46 and 18 vs 2014 HOU. W

Tim D. 40 15 and 7 blks 14/20 vs 03 DAL. L

Pat. Ewing: 36, 16, 8 asts, 6 blks vs 92 CHI. W