Kawhi Leonard goes to HOLLYWOOD with the LA Clippers

 

Kawhi Leonard & Free Agency

Kawhi the master Free Agent

After days and days of waiting, we finally have a decision from free agent, Small Forward Kawhi Leonard. The Los Angeles Clippers. All I can say is thank god it wasn’t the Lakers! He’s also from LA so it makes sense he wanted to go back home, that was clear when he requested a trade from the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard signed a 4 year $142 million deal with the Clippers and also got All Star, Paul George to request a trade from Oklahoma and join him. George is also from LA so he’s pretty happy about the move as well.

The Clippers over the Lakers

Kawhi & LeBron

Between LBJ, Magic, Pelinka, and all the “Lake show” drama, Kawhi wanted no part of that. He loves his privacy, he doesn’t want to be doing all the shows and movies like LeBron is. The Lakers also have Anthony Davis. Leonard is too talented to be 3rd fiddle on a team. Kawhi has also been wanting to play with Paul George for some time so he had to do his own recruiting before announcing his free agency decision.

Championship team coming?

2 All Stars

Can Leonard and George lead this team to its first Finals? After what The Klaw did in Toronto, I absolutely believe so. Kawhi did what LeBron was supposed to do in his first year with the Lakers – win the chip. Leonard is an absolute monster of a two-way player, he has the ability to lead any team to the Finals. He is a lock-down defender and amazing on offense.

The future of The Klaw in LA

New Balance deal

Los Angeles gives Kawhi Leonard the opportunity to grow his New Balance brand and nail some killer endorsements. He also can be a legend of his own with the Clippers. The team, since 1970 has 0 retired numbers, 0 conference titles, 0 championship and only 2 division titles. He can bring success to this team and be the first Clipper to have his number retired. Best of luck to Kawhi!

Kawhi & Paul

 

 

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Golden State Warriors- Will they be Champs Again?

Golden State Warriors In the Playoffs

Golden State Warriors celebrating a Win
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors are incredible at basketball with 5 All -Stars on the roster. After they added Kevin Durant in 2016, they only improved. They were 57-25 in the regular season this year, in the playoffs (so far) they’re 9-4. The chemistry has altered between egos. With KD & Curry running the show, this team remains unstoppable.

KD injured; the team going forward

Warriors KD & Curry

With Durant being injured with a calf sprain, I believe this team is still finding ways to win, beating the Houston Rockets 4-2. I think they desperately need Cousins back as well. Adding another big man gives them the advantage they need on both defense and offense. Green and Thompson have stepped up and are committed to this team and winning another Chip. Surprisingly the team performs better without Kevin Durant. KD will be able to play against Portland, but he’ll miss a few games.

How they can win

Golden State starting 5

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins.  Those five in the starting lineup are lethal. If the Warriors want to continue to win, they’ll have to stick together. They need an improved bench because the starters are doing all the work. This team plays well, just a matter of staying consistent.

Coaching & Health concerns

Golden State in the playoffs

Steve Kerr is the head coach. Since taking over the Warriors are 3-1 in the Finals. He’s a winner, and it shows. KD & Boogie being injured hurts, but doesn’t shut them out. They will still win. Adding those 2 Superstars gives them the bigger advantage. Durant playing right now, he’s the best player in the league. He dominates on each side of the floor.

5th Finals trip

Warriors Champions

The Warriors are currently 1-0 in the Conference Finals against the Portland Trailblazers. The 2 Curry brothers battling it out will be interesting to watch. If they win this series they’ll face either the Toronto Raptors, or the the Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals. Assuming all 5 All Stars are in the lineup, Giannis or Leonard don’t stand a chance against this squad.

Golden State next series

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Lakers in Trouble with Organization on the Rocks

The Lakers Franchise is a Mess

Lakers front office addressing media

Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations, former All Star and Champion Point Guard, Magic Johnson decided to step down from the job. He cited that he “wasn’t having fun, and missed being the bigger brother” to the organization.  It’s assumed that the entire coaching staff will be fired, after they failed to make the playoffs, for the 6th consecutive season.

Known for being a successful franchise, and winning 16 titles, right under the Boston Celtics having 17 titles.

This season though, has been the worst so far.

Landing LeBron James

lakers SF LeBron James upset

They managed to sign the best NBA player right now, but still missed the playoffs. Regardless of injuries, LeBron did more with less last year with the Cavaliers. I’ll give LeBron a little leeway because of his injury, because before he was injured they were sitting at the 4th seed in a very competitive West. I honestly believe signing LeBron was a bad move, on both sides. Now LeBron is in the middle of a disaster season, and the team around him is crumbling.

Distractions, Distractions, Distractions…

LA pickups

Anthony Davis is one of them. The Lakers tried too hard to acquire him in a trade. LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, leaked the trade information so that made things awkward in the locker room. Lavar Ball managed to stay semi quiet during the year, but still managed to insult the coach, Luke Walton.

Even Magic Johnson got sick of the “backstabbing”. When the President of the team is sick of it, something’s gone wrong, and the public just isn’t aware of it yet.

Lakers coach and LBJ

LeBron James is focusing too much on being “Hollywood”. I get it, that’s why he came to LA, it wasn’t a basketball move. But for one of the greatest franchises, it should’ve been. Lakers are all about winning championships, not just games.  James is focusing on movies, shows, simply soaking up that California Love.

Lakers front office
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

This team can be in the playoffs next year, it’s going to be an interesting free agency and off season. They’ll need a new president, coach, basically a new team as well.

Starters

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Boston Celtics – Playoff Preview

Boston Celtics

Background:

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Boston Celtics ended the season on Tuesday night with a win over the Washington Wizards. Boston’s record was (49-33) and was good to be placed 4th in the Eastern Conference. Celtics did have an up and down season with injuries, Kyrie Irving turmoil and being linked to Anthony Davis. Albeit, the team had high expectations heading into the 2018-2019 season.  Did high expectations get to the C’s early on leading to struggle? I believe the hype is what happened, but now its playoff time.

The Opponent

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers held the 5th seed at season’s end right behind Boston. Victor Oladipo went down with a season ending injury. C’s won the season series (3-1) against the Pacers. Myles Turner has been a nice player for them. Will Indiana continue to play well without their top superstar or will injuries finally throw them off their “A” game?

Player to Watch for

Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving should be the player to keep an eye on throughout the series. Seeing Irving missed the end of last season into the playoffs and Boston was one game short of the finals. He has to be the leader of this team and have the young core of players on the same page going forward.

Prediction

Firstly, the Celtics should not take the Pacers lightly. If they take it game by game they win this series in six games. Secondly, Brad Stevens will have a good game plan to make sure the team is ready to go. Guys like Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum need to be healthy and will have to be ready to go. The Celtics will advance with Kyrie Irving as the entire cast will be playing together for the 1st time in the playoffs.

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Who’s the GOAT – MJ or LBJ?

Charlotte Bobcats’ team owner Michael Jordan shakes hands with Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6), after the Heat defeated the Bobcats, 109-98, in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, April 28, 2014. The Heat swept the series, 4-0. (David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)

We’re always talking about who the GOAT really is. If only talking NBA, time to end the debate. It’s Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

Why not LeBron James?

LeBron in his career has obviously given question for some debate, until he does something foolish. James has played for 3 different teams, winning 2 titles with Miami and 1 with Cleveland. Playing for Cleveland for the first 7 years of his career, then leaving in what is known as “The Decision”. Joining the Heat to win titles left him as the most hated athlete for some time.

Joining the Lakers was a move made out of pure frustration and the desire the entertain in Hollywood. While LBJ’s resume is impressive, he still has to deal with being 3-6 in the Finals – the most important stage of a NBA players career.

A Resume that includes a 4x season MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 15x All Star, ROY, 12x All NBA, top 10 in all time assists, and #4 all time scoring just to name a few accolades. While James has accomplished a lot, it’s more of his drive to win that doubts him as the greatest. We’ve seen him give up multiple times, and play defense when he wants.  LeBron lacks that “killer” mentality.

THE GOAT

Michael Jordan was a fierce competitor, with a killer instinct, a desire to win, not chase stats. When it came to the main stage, Jordan didn’t lose, and never even had to play in a game 7. Every year Jordan was on the Bulls they went to the playoffs, regardless losing in the first round a few times.

He was dominant on both offense and defense, and even blessed us as dunk contest competitor, winning twice. A resume including 6x Champ, 6x Finals MVP, 5x MVP, 14x All Star, DPOY, ROY, 10x scoring champ, and the list literally has no end.

The Real KING

Jordan was, and still is a loved player. He put his blood, sweat & tears into the game, and was loyal which the fans adored. Had he not retired twice during his prime, he’d have more championships and no one would catch him in all time scoring.

My Take

Now this is my take on this never ending debate. By all means LeBron is one of the greats and funnest to watch. It’s hard to argue when both have different skills sets, and play 2 different positions. LeBron may never catch up to the GOAT, but he’s certainly still going to try and have an incredible career when it’s all said and done.

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Kyrie Irving – Leaving in Free Agency?

Is Kyrie Irving Returning to Boston?

If I had to guess today, Kyrie Irving will most likely not be returning to Boston once the season is over. Hopefully for Celtics Fans, I’m wrong, but if you’ve been paying attention, the signs indicate he’s good as gone.

Image result for kyrie irving

Before the Trade Went Down

Image result for kyrie and lebron

Kyrie Irving demanded a trade from Cleveland before the start of the 2017 season. He wants to be the leader of his own team, escaping the shadow of LeBron James. So the Celtics traded for him. Swapping their PG Isaiah Thomas who was unhealthy with a hip injury, they started fresh with Irving.  Cleveland also received a first and second round pick. The Celtics received an All Star PG assuming they could convince him to re-sign long term. In the 2014-2015 season with the Cavaliers, Irving signed a contract for 5 years. Including a player option in the fourth year (We’re in that fourth year now).

Image result for kyrie irving

Team chemistry and frustrations

In February, he went on record saying to “ask him on July 1st” if he’s going to re-sign. Wait a minute, didn’t he say back in October, “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year“.

Image result for celtics and kyrie irvingIrving’s visible frustrations are showing as the season continues. He wants this team to go exactly his way. Boston currently sits at the 5th seed in the East (38-25). While a playoff push is definitely going to happen, going to the Finals may not happen.  Team chemistry is fading and Irving could be the problem. Last year this young, talented Celtics team almost took down LeBron’s led Cavaliers to go to the NBA Finals. All without Kyrie, as he went down with a knee injury. We understand he wants to win, but him taking shots at his teammates, severely puts his leadership into question.

Teaming up in New York

Image result for kyrie and KD knicks

Finally, the KD video we are all still talking about. During All Star weekend it appears that Ky is telling Kevin Durant that the New York Knicks will have 2 max slots in free agency, hinting for them to team up in NY. Now we don’t know for certain if that’s what he said, but him and KD are best friends so one can only wonder.

Come July, Irving will most likely opt-out becoming an Unrestricted free agent. Or he could sign re-sign with Boston and stay put. The Celtics are loaded with talent, it simply cannot only be “Kyrie Irving’s” team. Either he’s going to adjust or possibly head to New York sharing the spotlight once again. We’ll have to sit patiently and wait for July 1st to see how NBA Free Agency plays out.

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Lebron James’ Struggling Lakers

Can the Lakers Make the Playoffs?

Currently, the Los Angeles Lakers are sitting at the 10th seed (29-30) in the Western Conference. This team is led by Lebron James and a mix of young and veteran players trying to contend. So why are the Lakers fighting for a playoff spot when they have James and a promising young core?

First, the Deal.

This free agency, Lebron James left the Cavaliers again. In July he signed with one of the most successful teams, the Lakers, on a 4 year deal worth $154 million. James just couldn’t commit to Cleveland long term. Once Kyrie Irving left, it was assumed the King would leave “The Land” for the second time. Managing to take the Cavs to the Finals 4 years in a row, he walked away 1-3 within those years. While a hometown hero, it’s another hometown disaster for Ohio. It’s possible Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, pushed him out the door. Or the thoughts of being in Hollywood were just too good to turn down. Magic Johnson certainly played a role in Lebron’s decision, seeing as James looked up to Johnson growing up.

Not as Easy as it Looks

The Western Conference is stacked with teams that have multiple All Stars. Coming out of the Eastern Conference for 15 years, did Lebron really think he could take Golden State, Denver, Oklahoma, Portland, and blast his way to another Finals appearance? Joining the Lakers he thought he’d have more help but even with the Lakers young talent, it’s the same result. Before James was hurt, the Lakers were the 4th seed, mainly because Lebron’s efforts.

Even then, they’ll need help from other teams. Once they reach the playoffs? He’ll go through All Stars such as Curry, Durant, Harden, Westbrook, the list goes on. Not to mention possibly facing the Warriors (Lebron’s weakness) in the 1st round if the Lakers grab the 8th seed.

 

Chemistry Gone Bad

When the Lakers were trying to develop team chemistry, both Lebron and Point Guard, Lonzo Ball go down. Lebron suffered a groin injury, while Ball suffered an ankle sprain. While injured, the team engaged in trade talks once All Star PF Anthony Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans. That damaged the teams chemistry with every player except Lebron and Kentavious Caldwell- Pope (No Trade Clause) being offered. Trade talks diminished, and the deadline passed. No Anthony Davis, Ball injured and LBJ coming off of injury. The team still couldn’t get enough wins with future All Stars in Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma.

Lebron’s Prime Wearing Down.

This is his 16th season. His attempts to win will be now. At some point father time will kick in, and an aging LBJ won’t be as fun to watch. It’ll be disappointing to see Lebron’s final years be a waste. He’s a little older, slower, sometimes he even gives up in games. Those fast break points, ain’t so fast anymore. Magic Johnson expects nothing but Showtime from him, so he can’t afford to slow down too much. Granted he’s coming off a groin injury, he still has 3 years remaining on his contract to redeem himself. Lebron being Lebron, we should expect some Lakers success. This is still only year 1 but every year matters. The Lakers haven’t made the playoffs in 5 years and are looking for immediate redemption.

Is it possible for him to get through these superstar teams and back to the Finals? It’s a hard NO for me. I truly do not believe he will get back to the Finals, never mind win it all. Maybe, if he was in the East again, but he’s not.

DEMANDS
Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Lebron stated that he’s “playoff activated”, so expect him to play like it’s game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. The Lakers need this young core to develop now rather than later. They need big games from Kuz and BI, a healthy Lonzo to facilitate the offense. Coach Luke Walton better come up with a master plan, because time’s running out. His team has been falling apart. The need to win is now.

Lebron James will likely retire a 3x Champion, and 3x Finals MVP. There’s nothing wrong with that. With nothing to prove to anyone, he’s just trying to prove it to himself. Just sit back and enjoy greatness, and that’s exactly what Lebron James is, GREAT. If not the GOAT, he will go down a top 3 player in NBA history.

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A.D. Rumors

The News:

Here we go again. Rumors surrounding New Orleans Pelicans star Power forward Anthony Davis came out this week. Davis said that he either wants a trade or will leave in free agency this upcoming summer. He also mentioned that he wants to be on a contender and have a chance to win a NBA championship in the future. I get it, he’s sick of always losing. He wants a change in his career, still only being 25 years old. The NBA trade deadline is next Thursday and it should be very interesting what actually happens with A.D.

Boston Celtics:

Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Celtics have been linked to Davis for a few seasons now. Reports as of late are that he prefers to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and join LeBron James. However, the best package for the Pelicans is in Boston, with everyone but Kyrie Irving on the table. Obviously this can not happen until the off season according to the “rose rule”. Jayson Tatum even said earlier this year he would trade himself for Davis. That sounds crazy from a young player like him, as rising star,  on both ends of the floor.

Landing Spot:

If Anthony Davis isn’t moved by next week’s deadline he has a solid chance to end up in green over the summer. As long as Kyrie sign’s a new deal with the C’s and reaches out to Davis I don’t see the deal not working. Both sides will then have to agree on deal that might include Tatum or Brown or both and few other players and most likely draft picks. For now we all wait in anticipation.

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The Houston Rockets Suck – Why?

Houston we Have a Problem

Cliche, I know, but the Houston Rockets aren’t playing great this season. Why do they suck? What’s the reason? I’m not 100 percent sure. They are completely up and down this year. A few days ago they went into San Antonio and handed them their asses in a 136 -105 drubbing. James Harden scored 23 and had 10 assists, Chris Paul added 14 and 10 assists of his own.

Harden is averaging 30.6 and 8.7. Paul is averaging 16.6 and 8.1 through the first 18 games he’s played. Then, just a few days before that landslide victory against the Spurs, Houston got beat at home by the lowly Cavaliers. Chris Paul didn’t play, so what, we are talking about the Cavs here, a college team can beat them.

Problem #1

Dare I say Chris Paul is finally slowing down? The veteran Point Guard turns 34 years old soon. His game was never predicated around athleticism however his quickness and agility undoubtedly have to be affected by father time. His numbers aren’t bad but 16.6 and 8.1 are long way off from 23 and 11. Albeit that was his best season ever, in 2008-2009 a decade ago. However, Paul still has averaged 18.7 and 9.1 over the last 3 seasons. Chris has fallen from elite to really good.

Problem #2

The Carmelo Anthony Saga. Talk about a distraction, here ya go! Carmelo came to town and was expecting to be a starter. Then he found out he was a bench player as Houston hoped he’d be a spark and get them 15ppg as a reserve.  That didn’t happen either. Trade Rumors began to swirl around Melo but guess what, nobody wants him.

Super Naturals Health

The New York Post even thinks Carmelo’s career could be over. Is it fair to rip him for lackluster defense? Maybe in Boston but Houston?Come on now… Additionally, this start him, sit him, play him drama affects the bench rotation and can mess up the rest of the squads mojo.

Problem #3The Offense has been inconsistent. Let’s not list the defense here because that has always been an issue in Houston. When James Harden is your defensive leader you win by outscoring your opponent. The Rockets have scored under 100 points 7 times this year. That’s an issue when you give up 112 a game and rank 25th in the league on team defense.

With these three major issues, I don’t see this team as a contender in a Western Conference that has only gotten better.

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The Jimmy Butler Deal – What it Means for the East

Jimmy Buckets to Philly

Over the weekend the T-Wolves shipped Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton (whoever he is) to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return for “Jimmy Buckets” Minnesota was sent Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a future second round pick. What does this really mean for both teams and the rest of the NBA?

Credit: Jeffrey Becker – USA TODAY Sports

Philly

Losing Dario Saric and Robert Covington may a hurt a little but they had to ship something. The rest of the trade doesn’t even matter. Firstly, these two role players were pretty solid and fit well with the team, yawn. Secondly, Philly gained a perennial all star in what seems like will be a perfect fit in the starting lineup. Thirdly with rising superstars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Butler should be the perfect swing man compliment. Some may argue that an up and coming team with two superstars just landed their best player. Additionally, with J.J. Redick still lingering looking to keep them relevant from downtown, Philly seems to have every offensive angle covered. They just got way better

Minnesota

The “original” Jimmy Butler deal brought him to Minnesota and sent away a potential superstar in the high rising Zach Lavine. Butler laster 18 months in a Timberwolves uniform. Disappointing to say the least. In the short term the pieces they received will service them well. However, they really got played here especially if Zach Lavine keeps dropping 30 point games. Someone is getting fired in Minnesota.

The Eastern Conference

The East loses Lebron James and yet seems more powerful than it has been in a long time. Philly immediately becomes a challenger in the East, (if they weren’t already considered one). Boston and Toronto now have a legitimate contender to challenge for Eastern Conference Supremacy. Things just became that much more interesting in the East.

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