What’s the Devil’s Favorite Sport?

Written by :
Published on : July 23, 2016

 

 

We already figured out the good side of the this story with Jesus and what he would play, so it seems only right to dive deep into the fiery rings of the inferno and have a conversation with the Prince of Darkness himself. This is the Devil’s time to shine. I feel like we talk about the accuser all the time but never ask him what he really likes. Is he a boxers or briefs kind of guy? Probably whichever lets his tail breathe. Whatever. Time to go to hell. Don’t worry, it’s just for a visit, plus it’s all about sports!

 

Football

The fallen angel loves football. Both the NFL and NCAA versions are rife with scandal and criminal activity. Everything from drugs to rape to murder all with a strong dose of lying to wash it down. And let’s not forget that any solid hit could ruin your brain forever. Oh and you can gamble on it. Where do you think Vegas gets their odds from?

 

UFC

 

A natural fit right? Wrong. The dark lord actually thinks two trained fighters in a ring, octagon or any polygon is too controlled of an experiment. Sure, he’ll watch if his friends are into it. But he’s not going to shell out for a pay-per-view unless others are chipping in. Also, he’s super squeamish about blood. Go figure.

 

Basketball

The ruler of demons is a diehard Knicks fan. Brutal right? He loves Carmelo Anthony. Was pumped about the Joakim Noah addition but puzzled by additions of Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose. How are they all going to share the ball? Spoiler alert, the big guy told me Melo leaves next year and joins LeBron on the Memphis Grizzlies.

 

Soccer

Jesus’ favorite. Not Satans. Too slow and not enough action. Not a fair assessment but you tell him you disagree. The deceiver was quick to note how many futbol pros had sold their souls for skill with the ball. The list is long and includes most of Europe’s top talent. I won’t reveal any names but most of your guesses are probably right.

 

Hockey

satan hockey

 

Too cold. Though, the serpent does like the fighting here. It’s raw, impulsive and generally allowed. Despite the physical nature, it’s the high-speed game play that puts him off. Honestly, I think the defiler’s eyesight is a little rusty and he has a hard time tracking the puck. He is pretty old. I only say this because he said he wished they would bring back that blue dot they used to have on the puck for tv broadcasts.

 

Golf

The evil one is super into golf. He digs the exclusivity, the cool clothes and the gorgeous greens. Oddly enough, he never uses a caddie or a golf cart and always carries his own clubs. He says he does his best thinking on the course. Like back in 1935 while putting for eagle, he came up for the idea of parking tickets.

 

Baseball

Leviathan has always loved baseball. There is hitting, crotch grabbing, spitting, racism, steroids, Pete Rose, plus grown men throwing tantrums at umpires. I asked the king of liars what his favorite team is and he said it was a tie between the kids from Sandlot and the Chicago Cubs. He continued on to say that the Cubbies won’t win the World Series until something about a blood oath and some sort of goat sacrifice. I’m a little foggy on the details. But it’s all in this SUPER creepy book he gave me. Let me know if anyone wants to borrow it.

 

Fantasy

In this Aug. 30, 2010 photograph, Brian Sherman, left, uses his laptop to record moves in his team's fantasy football draft, at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Cincinnati. Some restaurant chains around the country have launched promotional drives to score with dedicated players of the growing pastime. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

 

Lucifer plays fantasy everything. I hear he has a league for fantasy newscasters. It’s apparently wild. He really loves fantasy football. His team has won the championship 3 times over the last 16 years. So I’d say he’s on a hot streak. Word is, the son of the morning is drafting Cam Newton with the first overall pick. Not the worst move I’ve ever heard.

 

CrossFit

Beelzebub is obsessed with crossfit. This is hands down his favorite sport. I know this because he brought it up more than a few times. But, to be fair, he is totally ripped. Shredded. Like John Cena but made of granite. I literally bounced a quarter of his ass into a beer (which I made him drink), that’s how insane his body is. Later, I argued that crossfit isn’t really a true sport. Then he benched pressed me 3,000 times and ran around the building before doing what I assume was 10,000 squats. I escaped out the window.

 

So the Antichrist loves crossfit. No one would have ever guessed The Devil Wears Affliction. I think that teaches a valuable lesson. Go talk to people, ask them what they like. Their answers might just change you forever.

 

Feel the burn.

 

 


5 Most Disappointing Players in Fantasy Basketball

Written by :
Published on : April 11, 2016

 

As you know, the 2015-16 regular season is sadly nearing its end and so is the trash-talking and nail-biting nature of fantasy basketball. Some teams have reached great heights and others — buried under injuries, but maybe you had high expectations for your squad and those expectations weren’t quite met, so you spent the majority of the season raging and cursing players out on social media.

 

Anyhow, here’s a look at some of the players who might’ve not produced as much as you expected:

 

Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert

 

What may have seemed like a breakout for the long athletic big man toward the end of the 2014-15 season averaging 10.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in between months February and April translating into 35.5 daily fantasy points, per basketball-reference.

 

The young center hasn’t seemed to build on the momentum over to this season averaging just 9.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. The reason for the let down? Gobert did miss a significant amount of time due to a knee injury back in November. Or it could be that due to such a crowded roster filled with so much young talent. Making it difficult for him to actually have a presence offensively.

 

Despite Gobert’s lack of production on some fantasy box scores, His presence is felt around the rim continuing to cast back shots that come near him. Rudy Gobert is certainly an important piece to Utah going down the road with his abilty to protect the rim and be a defensive anchor for the young and surging Utah Jazz.

 


Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis

 

The 30-year-old vet is definitely well traveled around the league. He makes most of his money being an instant offense scorer. For the most part averaging around 18-20 points per game in his career, this season has come a little differently to the 6’3″ guard, averaging just 14.2 points with the Indiana Pacers.

 

This chapter in Ellis’ career has come as a surprise to loyal fantasy owners who usually look for his 20 point game outings, but that hasn’t been the case this year.

 

After declining his $8.3 million option with the Dallas Mavericks and agreeing to a four-year deal with Indiana, Ellis joined a team with NBA star Paul George who is already quite the scorer. Not to mention playing for a defensive oriented coach in Frank Vogel might just inadvertently take away some of his scoring opportunity. Of course it could be a number of things to factor in, but bottom line, Ellis let some people down.

 


Kenneth Faried

Kenneth Faried

 

After making an appearance in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, many thought the “Manimal” was due for a breakout year.

 

With Brian Shaw and his half-court offense out, the new more fast paced offense should be more suitable for his style of play. The athletic forward was projected one of the players bound to have a great year around numerous fantasy basketball outlets. Sadly, there’s a reason he’s on this list. Faried has struggled greatly this year and has failed to stay consistent, mainly due to his series of back injuries reoccurring all season long.

 

The 26-year-old was subject of trade talks around the deadline, so it’s interesting to see whether Denver values him as a piece moving forward. It’s also intriguing to fantasy league owners to see if a different environment will cause him to be more productive, until then, it is hard to say whether or not to be patient with the young athlete. “The Manimal” doesn’t have much of a solidified offensive game to have faith in yet.

 


Serge Ibaka

ibaka

 

Going into this season, the 26-year-old may have been too overvalued. Ibaka, a year removed from a knee procedure, is having quite an underwhelming and inconsistent season thus far, averaging 12.7 points 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. With his noticeable drop in averages from his best season (’13-’14)  when he averaged 15.1 points 8.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, the elite shot-blocker doesn’t play with the same passion and intensity as he did a couple years back, seeming lackadaisical out there on the court.

 

Despite the issue of enthusiasm, it may not be his fault totally. A teammate of his, Russell Westbrook, has been playing out of his mind as of late, having an Oscar Robertson-like season racking up triple-double after triple-double.

 

Even with the regressed play of Ibaka, the Thunder don’t look to be slowed down one bit. Being carried by two of the best players in the league, the Oklahoma City Thunder stand at the 3 seed in the western conference.

 


Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay

 

While never being an all-star, the 6’8″ forward out of the University of Connecticut has been quite the scorer over his nine years in the league. Averaging 18.4 points and 5.9 rebounds for his career, the 29-year-old hasn’t seen too many shots he hasn’t liked. But the problem this year which translates to his fantasy basketball production is that he’s not seeing too many shots, period. New teammate, point guard Rajon Rondo is a pace-controlling player who plays with the ball in his hands.

 

While labeled a “true point guard” and facilitator, Rondo is a player who spends a lot of the shot clock “reading” and evaluating the defense. Okay, being really nice right now. If you want it in simpler terms, Rondo has a lot of possessions where he may dribble the air out of the ball for 14 seconds which ultimately takes shots away from Rudy Gay.

 

This season, Gay is averaging 17.1 points a game, the lowest he’s ever scored in a season and 2 shot attempts less than before Rondo arrived in Sacramento.

 

 


Kings, DeMarcus Cousins On Edge Of Breakup

Written by :
Published on : March 19, 2016

 

 

It’s not me, it’s you…

 

 

Sacramento Kings‘ center DeMarcus Cousins and Kings organization have been through a series of complications during their six year relationship. Since the offensively-gifted big man entered the league he’s had an awful long track record of issues.

 

Cousins — Leading the league in technical fouls for three out of six years and leading in ejections twice, while serving six suspensions (5-league, 1-team), it’s not rocket science to figure out why he’s been deemed a knuckle-head throughout his career.

 

Despite Kings’ general manager Vlade Divac assembling, what at first looked like a team that could at least make a playoff run with the addition of 4-time NBA All-Star and former NBA Champion Rajon Rondo as well as former coach of the year George Karl, winning games on a consistent basis has been an ongoing problem for Sacramento.

 

demarcus-cousins

 

Even with the staggering numbers the all-star center has posted, the Kings have gone 24-58, 22-44, 28-54, 28-54, 29-53 and now 26-41 since drafting Cousins fifth overall in the 2010 draft.

 

Winning games hasn’t been the only problem. Since the hiring of head coach George Karl, trade talks centered around Cousins have been put in a spotlight and the chemistry between Kings’ franchise player and head coach yet again are hanging by a thread.

 

Will general manager Divac finally give in and trade his troubled all-star center?

 

“I’m sure Sacramento will look seriously at moving Cousins this summer”, per NBA.com’s David Aldridge.

 

Whether or not DeMarcus Cousins is the issue, Kings’ front office face a bigger problem concerning the reason why, as of late, their team fails to be competitive in the regular season.

 

 


Champ and Chump: Week 14

Written by :
Published on : December 16, 2015

 

 

A little more variety this week as we give some love to the frozen pond and hit the hardwood in our Champ and Chump sections. As always, the gridiron takes center stage with quarterbacks in the leading role. And there were a couple very memorable performances, while another gets awful reviews for his play. So here we go, see which players took a bow as the fans begged for an encore performance and who saw the curtains crash down on them. To the picks!

 

Champ: Russell Wilson

 Can Russell lead the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl?

 

Hard to find a hotter quarterback on the planet right now than Seattle’s Russell Wilson. A few weeks ago the Seahawks looked like a team that might miss out on the playoffs after consecutive Super Bowl appearances, especially when running back Marshawn Lynch went down with an injury. Since then, Wilson has led the Seahawks to four straight wins and has Seattle looking at a Wild Card spot. On Sunday, the Seahawks manhandled the Ravens 35-6 with Wilson finishing 23-32 and 292 yards with 5 touchdowns. During the four game win streak, Wilson has 17 touchdowns (1 rushing) and 0 interceptions. With Lynch expected back for the playoffs, Seattle may be hitting their stride, and for everyone else in the NFC that could be very bad news.

 

Honorable Mention:

Khalil Mack- The Oakland Raider finished with 5 sacks, as he constantly pressured and hit Denver’s Brock Osweiler, leading the Raiders to a 15-12 victory.

Eli Manning- Finished 27-31 and 337 yards with 4 touchdowns in a win on Monday Night in Miami. A nearly perfect evening for Eli keeping the Giants in the playoff hunt.

Patrick Kane- With an assist on Sunday night, Kane extended his points streak to 26 games as the Blackhawks blanked the Canucks 4-0. Kane leads the league with 46 points.

Golden State Warriors- Speaking of streaks, an incredible run was put to an end this past weekend as the Warriors took their first loss of the season after starting the year 24-0. Give the Bucks credit for being the first to take down the defending champs, but my guess is Golden State will get another streak going here real soon, and I predict they will win 70+ games.

 

 

Chump: Rajon Rondo

 Rondo wins the award for biggest chump.

 

Rajon Rondo is not known as one of the “good guys” by any stretch in the NBA, and he may have made matters even worse this past weekend. Disgusted with a call, Rondo lashed out on an official before being ejected, going as far as to call him a slur that rhymes with “maggot.” Days later, that official has come out as a gay man. Whether Rondo knew he was gay or not isn’t necessarily the issue, though I suppose Rondo looks even worse if he did. Just last year on a Dallas squad that made the playoffs, we saw Rondo absolutely give up on his team and wound up being benched by coach Rick Carlisle, who Rondo constantly argued with on and off the court. Once thought to be potentially the best point guard in the NBA, Rondo has continued to put up good numbers for the Kings all the while looking like an absolute joker.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Robbie Gould- For the second consecutive week, Gould lined up with a chance to give Chicago the win or in this case a tie as time expired, and in both cases he missed it. The Bears easily could have won both these games making them 7-6 and just a game out of the playoffs with three winnable games left. However, instead they’re 5-8 with the chips stacked high against them.

Andy Dalton- The “Red Rocket” may have just cost the Bengals their season on Sunday. While blaming a guy for breaking his thumb while trying to make a tackle may seem a bit unfair, you have to consider the circumstance. In the redzone, Dalton threw an interception on an atrocious shovel pass attempt. I had to watch this replay a few times to even see what happened because it honestly looked like he just threw it to the defensive lineman and then dove into his knees. Dalton may be ready for the postseason where his resume absolutely needs a playoff win, perhaps more than any other quarterback.

Miami Dolphins- This one is personal. I just have to vent real quick. In the first round of my fantasy football playoffs I am sitting pretty at halftime with Lamar Miler and Josh Brown (NY Giants’ kicker) going against Odell Beckham Jr, who for the most part was held in check. Miller went off in the first half and Miami is leading so I think I’ll be ok. Fast forward to the second half and OBJ goes off for two scores (one being an 85-yarder) and Miller gets just 4 second half touches. Just 4! Thanks Miami, I hope you lose the rest of your games.

 

 


2015 NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEW

Written by :
Published on : October 13, 2015

 

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year. We get football, the October Classic in baseball, and now NBA Basketball. What’s more is that we’re only about 2 weeks from Opening Tip Off! Last season was great in terms of team play and the evolving spread-the-floor/”3 and D” tactics. Although there was no major shifting of power between the two conferences, the Eastern conference hierarchy changed with the relocation of LeBron James from South Beach to Cleveland. The conference was also hit hard with injuries to their stars in comparison to the West. Assuming everyone is coming back at full health, here are my preseason Power Ranking for the Eastern Conference.

 

*Note: This is not an indication of playoff seeding

 

15. Philadelphia 76ers

Coach Brett Brown has his work cut out for him but will be given time to make it work.

 

“Trust The Process” is the slogan in the City of Brotherly Love. The team began that process roughly three seasons ago, trading away All-Star PG Jrue Holiday. Since then the team has drafted big men in three consecutive drafts, while acquiring draft picks to build their team cheap, while staying away from free agency. With Joel Embiid on the mend, the team drafted Jahlil Okafor 3rd overall in the 2015 Draft. Paired with Center Nerlens Noel, Okafor stands to see significant time at the power forward position. With a “replacements” cast around him and Noel, they will be a sub-20 win team for yet another season. Coach Brett Brown has a long leash that many coaches don’t get due to the rebuilding process. Hopefully, the process ends sooner than later for all parties involved.

 

14. Orlando Magic

A lot of young talent on this team with no coaching to spearhead their development. Shooting guard Victor Oladipo came out of college with Dwayne Wade comparisons. He is a good player but has to take his game to the next level for the team to crack the top 8. Elfrid Peyton meanwhile has the make up of a young Rajon Rondo, sans the attitude. This team will be competitive in many games and may even win 30. However, coach Scott Skiles must take advantage on his 3rd opportunity to lead a team. With no veteran presence I think this is a bad fit.

 

13. Brooklyn Nets

Will the Nets continue to squander Joe Johnson’s talent?

 

The fire sale is just getting started. With PG Deron Williams gone, the team must decide what to do with SG Joe Johnson. He has thrived in great offensive systems in Atlanta and Phoenix but has struggled in Brooklyn. He is not a clutch player and is too mild mannered to lead a team. Center Brook Lopez has struggled to stay healthy and most of his work comes underneath the basket. Coach Lionel Hollins of Isley Brothers fame (ok, I couldn’t resist! He does look like he will do a spin and sing ‘For the loveee of you!’) is a good coach but he needs his own players. When in doubt pass the ball to Andrea Bargnani, said no one ever.

 

12. Charlotte Hornets

When an injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the preseason is breaking news it says a lot about the lack of talent on your roster. Think about this; the Hornets acquired Jeremy Lin this summer. I could end my analysis there but I digress. Center Al Jefferson has been a solid player in the league since coming out of high school. He is an offensive force and I would argue that if he had not gotten hurt last season, the Hornets would have made the playoffs. I do like the addition of Nicholas Batum and the draft pick of Frank Kaminsky. It does not help to have Kemba Walker as your starting point guard and I think that will keep them out the postseason.

 

11. New York Knicks

With Carmelo at the helm, this ship will continue to sink.

 

I’ll make this one brief. Unless Phil Jackson can turn water into wine, make that roster into the 12 Disciples, and make Carmelo Anthony into a person slightly interested in defense, this team will be taking trade inquiries for Anthony by Christmas. There’s no way this team, as currently constructed, will make the playoffs with Anthony as the primary player.

 

10. Detroit Pistons

Coach Stan Van Gundy is making this Pistons team in the image of the Orlando Magic team that he led to the NBA Finals with a young Dwight Howard at center. Andre Drummond has unlimited potential as a defensive force in this league. Whereas Howard had limitations offensively that were masked by putback dunks, Drummond will have time to develop as Van Gundy places offensive weapons around him. Van Gundy still has to acquire more 3-point players to create the spacing needed to have the team where he would like it. PF Marcus Morris is capable of shooting mid range shots but Van Gundy must get a true stretch 4 in the mold of a Ryan Anderson. This team is on the cusp of being in the playoffs this season with some more roster movement.

 

9. Indiana Pacers

Can Paul George coexist with Monta Ellis?

 

There’s a lot to like about this team. Small forward Paul George will come back a more efficient player after that devastating leg injury. Although there’s speculation that he will play more 4 this year, he is best suited to defend the 3 position, as well as facilitate the offense from the perimeter. The team drafted Myles Turner but it will take time for him to develop into a solid center. I have never liked George Hill as the primary ball handler and point guard. He is not remotely close to a competent point guard and the team has failed to address that position. The addition of SG Monta Ellis will give the team another scoring option but how will that mesh with George’s touches? This team can be supplanted by The Pistons or Hornets if it fails to address the point guard and power forward positions.

 

8. Toronto Raptors

Despite having one of the best fan bases in the league this team will take a fall in the hierarchy of the East, but I still feel it’s a good team. The problem is that all their star players have reached their ceiling. PG Kyle Lowry is what he is now, a pitbull defender and an emotional leader. There is no improvement on the offensive end of the floor and I think the ball is glued to his hands at times. SG Demar Derozan is another player that has reached his peak far too early in his career. He is a solid 20 point per game player but does not offer much more than that. Outside of a 51 point game last season, SF Terrence Ross is merely a slasher. Collectively, this team has had chances the past two seasons with injuries on opposing teams to make a charge for the Finals and failed to do so. Coach Dwane Casey has to be exasperated with the lack of talent he has to work with. Anytime you trade one number 1 bust pick (Bargnani) with another (PF Anthony Bennett) you are in a world of hurt.

 

7. Milwaukee Bucks

Jason Kidd has a very young and talented team. Now he just has to lead them.

 

Coach Jason Kidd has to be the luckiest son of a gun ever. He walked in to an abundance of riches in talent and potential. His starting lineup last season had an average height of 6’6″, best in the league. The average age of his team is 25. This is without having arguably his best player in SF Jabari Parker. With his team intact, I think they can land from 3 to 8 in playoff seeding. They’re scary good. In a league where offense is the focus, his team was near the top in several defensive rankings. The length of his team starting with PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG Giannis Antetokounmpo (6’11”), and the addition of C Greg Monroe will make this team a tough matchup. Monroe is an underrated low post passer who will create more opportunities for the offense. Overall, if not for inexperience I’d have them in my top 4. They’ll be that good this year.

 

6. Boston Celtics

This team’s ranking is because of one man, Brad Stevens. Making the playoffs last year, albeit with a losing record, says a lot about the coaching of this young team. Whereas the Bucks have a talented roster and sufficient coaching, the Celtics have great coaching and decent talent. Acquiring PG Isaiah Thomas was a good pick up and the ongoing development of PG Marcus Smart will make for an interesting pairing in the back court. I am curious how Stevens will foster a good front court between PF Jared Sullinger and C Kelly Olynyk. SG R.J. Hunter is an intriguing draft choice and he fits Stevens profile for a scorer. If this team makes the playoffs it will be a credit to the coaching staff as there is no Alpha Dog on the team speak of. Maybe Evan Turner can truly blossom this year and live up to his 2010 2nd overall draft pick status.

 

5. Chicago Bulls

Jimmy Butler is making the Bulls his team.

 

I prefaced this article by stating my rankings depended on players remaining healthy. At time of publishing, former league MVP PG Derrick Rose will be on the mend from an orbital fracture injury. SG Jimmy Butler benefited most from former head coach Tom Thibodeau’s tutelage and he’s a hard nosed two way player. There’s reports that Butler is not enthralled with Rose’s work ethic. Butler is primed to become the unquestioned leader of new head coach Fred Hoiberg’s team. Center Joakim Noah is the same kind of grit and grind player and will eventually become his counterpart over Rose. Hoiberg will allow young players to do what they do best. SF Doug McDermott and PF Bobby Portis will get enhanced roles on the team and will likely lead to the departure of fan favorite PF Taj Gibson. This team will go as far as Butler will take it. Hopefully, Rose will follow.

 

4. Atlanta Hawks

Owners of the conference’s best record last year, the Hawks will take a step back to familiar territory this season. The Hawks have been a perennial playoff team but not contenders. Coach Mike Budenholzer impact has San Antonio Spurs written all over it. The team spreads the floor and plays unselfish ball. They were the first team to lead the conference in wins without a 20 PPG scorer. Absolutely amazing results last year. This year they’ve added some role players to a team of role players. PG Jeff Teague and C Al Horford will lead this team to playoffs again but there’s no player that can match wits with the top three teams of the conference. Coach Bud caught a lot of teams by surprise last year sadly by just playing team ball. This year with several roster changes and players coming back from injury the Hawks will go back to what they know best, a team that’s good but not good enough to win it all.

 

3. Washington Wizards

John Wall and the Wizards will pick up where they left off last season.

 

The back court of this team can rival any in the league. PG John Wall and SG Bradley Beal are growing together and I think will come to fruition this season. Beal was hurt for an extended time last year which led to some losses that otherwise would have propelled them to a better seeding in the playoffs. SF Otto Porter is turning the corner from being a potential bust to a solid contributor on this team. Having former teammate Paul Pierce for a year seems to have stoked his competitive fire and may lead him to a better role on this year’s team. Coach Randy Wittman has to demand more front court depth. The East isn’t deep with prominent front court players but having the depth may put the Wizards over the hump. Definitely keep an eye out for SF Kelly Oubre Jr as he gets minutes behind Beal and Porter.

 

2. Miami Heat

The Heat are by far the deepest team in the Eastern Conference. They’ve kept most of their team intact from their championship run. This year PF Chris Bosh will be healthy after a life-threatening blood clot ailment. PF Josh McRoberts is coming off a season ending injury. C Hassan Whiteside has gained nearly 15 pounds of muscle over the summer. PG Goran Dragic signed a new contract over the summer and the team still has SF Luol Deng, C Chris Anderson, and PG Mario Chalmers. Add the addition of draft pick SF Justice Winslow and you have a very deep roster. The success hinges on the health of SG Dwayne Wade. He showed flashes of “Flash” last year while playing a good number of games. If he can remain healthy and if there is any slippage of the #1 team in my ranking, the Heat will advance to the NBA Finals. They have one of the most underrated coaches in the league in Erik Spoelstra. He has done a phenomenal job of working with the talent he has regardless of the circumstances. If he has a healthy team come June then he has the tools to shock the world.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

It’ll be Lebron’s conference to lose once again.

 

The Cavaliers returning to the Finals has everything to do with one thing, chemistry. The same core players are set to return. The competition shouldn’t differ much from last year. The underlying issue at hand is the chemistry and cohesiveness of it’s Big Three. LeBron James, PG Kyrie Irving, and PF Kevin Love have been great when on the floor together. Although Love has griped about his role in the offense, he can contribute in other ways than he’s accustomed to. Love is an excellent spot up shooter. When LeBron played with Bosh, Bosh was better when he expanded his game outside the paint. It provided LeBron more opportunities near the basket and allowed Bosh to pick and pop for easy 18 footers. It would behoove Love to follow that model. Irving simply has to remain healthy. Many people are quick to write him off as injury prone. Those detractors said the same about PG Stephen Curry when he battled ankle ailments early in his career. Irving must also facilitate the offense and not hog the ball. LeBron is better as a primary decision maker but Irving is a better ball handler. Add in PF Tristan Thompson, SG J.R. Smith, and PG Mo Williams and you have a championship quality team. They have a championship caliber coach in David Blatt (albeit with only international experience) and would be wise to trust in his in-game strategy. If James and Blatt can marry their philosophies they will win the championship this season.

The Eastern Conference will go through Cleveland, Ohio again. Maybe some Heat and Wizard-ry can derail a James 7th Finals appearance.

 

 


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