Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Seton Hall Wins a Tough Battle Against #15 St. John's

Seton Hall's Sterling Gibbs Celebrates
After Hitting a Late Game Three Pointer
Coming into today no one expected Seton Hall to beat #15 St. John's.  They had just lost their freshman star Isaiah Whitehead to a stress fracture in his foot.  He was averaging 11.9 PPG and was playing spectacular.  Now they had to find a new team identity, as  they will be playing without him for a few weeks, and that they did.

Heading into halftime everything indicated that whoever would win was going to have to fight for it.  At the half Seton Hall was up 40-35 and they never skipped a beat in the 1st half.

Coming out of the half, Seton Hall impressed many again.  They had stretched their lead out a little, and with about 10 minutes left they led the 15th ranked team in the country by 9 points.  But once again St. John's fought their way right back into the game.  All of a sudden, they went on an 11-2 run to make it a 2 point game with Seton Hall still leading 65-63.  Although Seton Hall let them hang they finally stepped on St. John's throats and closed out the game to capture a 78-67 win.

Sterling Gibbs played a huge game for the Pirates of Seton Hall.  He finished with 25 points and 8 assists.  With the game hanging in the balance for either team to grab, Gibbs hit a clutch three pointer to spark his team into winning the game.

On the other hand, D'Angelo Harrison also scored 25 points, he also grabbed 4 rebounds for St. John's.  He proved once again how great he truly is.  The Red Storm's point guard was constantly battling for rebounds and hounding opponents on the defensive end.  Harrison also controlled St. John's offense and was able to produce clutch buckets down the stretch.

Today's game exposed both teams' true colors.  Seton Hall is definitely a top 25 team, they are 11-2 and have played great all season.  They are playing good as a whole team right now and when Whitehead comes back they will be one of the top teams in the Big East, if not the best.  But for St. John's they once again proved that they are inconsistent.  Some nights they come in ready to slaughter openents, but days like today they looked flat.  Although they have some troubles they are also 11-2 and have been playing great.  The battle between these two teams was a classic Big East game.  Both St. John's and Seton Hall were scrapping for buckets all the way until the final buzzer sounded.

Jalek Felton Commits to UNC

The #7 player in the Sophomore class has already committed to UNC.  Jalek Felton, the nephew of
former UNC guard and NBA player Raymond Felton, is looking to follow in his uncles footsteps.

The 6 foot 3 guard has always dreamed of going to UNC and decided to make that dream come true not even halfway through his high school career.

Felton is a combo guard who plays great on and off the ball.  He is known more for his slashing and finishing at the hoop rather than his jumpshot.  The jumpshot is there when he needs it though.



Felton was also being recruited by Kansas, South Carolina, Witchita State, and Louisville.

It will be interesting to see where the UNC basketball program is in a few years.  They currently have scandals surrounding the program that may haunt their future.  But on the brighter side, they have a future star in their hands in Felton.

Florida Beat Florida at the Buzzer

Yes, you read the title right.  The Florida Gators beat the Florida Gators last night.  Well, they didn't beat themselves literally, but they did beat themselves at the buzzer.  They were tied at 63 against Florida State with about 2 seconds left and Florida State was inbounding the ball. The Seminoles ended up missing their shot, but then this happened.


Yes, Jacob Kurtz of Florida tipped the ball in to win the game for Florida State.  He had the right idea, just for the wrong team.  

Kasey Hill led the Gators with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Montay Brandon helped lead Florida State to victory with this 17 points and 5 rebounds.  

The 65-63 loss is probably going to be the worst ending to a game for the Gators all season.  Hopefully this won't hurt them in the long run, but all in all it is a pretty funny ending to a game.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bradley Beal Nets a Season High 33 Points in Win Over Rockets

Last night the Washington Wizards defeated the Houston Rockets 104-103.

Heading into the fourth quarter the Wizards were up 78-67, after a dismal third quarter by the Rockets who were outscored 32-22.  The fourth was a whole new game though.  The Rockets outscored the Wizards 36-26 and closed the game back up.

Bradley Beal picked up 6 points from the charity stripe to help secure the Wizards' victory.  He ended the game with 33 points, a season high.


James Harden also scored 33 points, but his effort for the losing Rockets.

Paul Pierce added in 21 points for the Wizards.  Similarly, John Wall had a double-double with 13 points and 12 assists.

With their win the Wizards moved to 22-8.  This feat matches their franchise best start for the first 30 games in a season.  They will roll through the Eastern Conference if Bradley Beal and John Wall keep producing at a high level.

DeMarcus Cousins Demolished the Nets With This Slam Dunk

Last night the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings faced off in Brooklyn.  DeMarcus Cousins decided to give fans a little extra gift with only a few minutes left in the game.  This gift ended up being a huge dunk all over Nets big man Mason Plumlee.  Although Cousins got the best of Plumlee, the Nets got the best of the Kings 107-99.  Cousins finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds.  Plumlee ended up leading the Nets in scoring with 22 points and got dunked on once.

Jahlil Okafor Scores a Season High 27 Points In Duke's Win

Jahlil Okafor Soars
in for an Easy Two
The nation's best player, best freshman, and best big man dominated in #2 Duke's win over Toledo last night.  Okafor scored 27 points in the Blue Devils' 86-69 win.

In the early minutes of the game, Duke jumped out to an 18-4 lead.  Okafor had Duke's first 6 points and right away you could already tell it was going to be a special night for him.

After falling behind early, Toledo ended up shooting their way back into the game.  They were only down 41-37 at the half against an amazing Duke team.

In the second half, Duke showed why they are ranked #2 in the country though.  They outscored Toledo 45-32 and pulled away on their way to victory.

Okafor absolutely dominated and was the one who started Duke's 21-9 run in the second half.  He started off this run with 7 straight points which was enough momentum for the team to carry.  This is Okafor's fourth time scoring 20 points in his last six games.  The nation's best player is tearing up defenses all across the country.

Quinn Cook added a season high 20 points and Tyus Jones had 15 points.

For Toledo, Julius Brown scored 19 points an
d helped keep them in the game for as long as possible.

With their win, Duke moves to 11-0 and only has one more non-conference game.  They play Wofford on New Years Eve, then the Blue Devils start the mighty task of playing the ACC.  Time will tell us how good they really are, after they play teams like Virginia, UNC, Louisville, St. John's, Notre Dame, and Syracuse.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Thunder Lifted to Victory With Westbrook's Stellar Performance

In the second game of the Christmas day marathon, the OKC Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs 114-106.

Russell Westbrook flat out dominated the game once again for the Thunder.  He started of very slow shooting 1-8 on his first shots, but after that was a whole new story.  Westbrook started to blow past defenders and finish at the rim, or pass it off for easy assists.  His performance was one of the funnest to watch in any of the past Christmas day games.  If the NBA had Christmas day MVP, Westbrook would have won it.  The Thunder point guard finished with 34 points, 11 assists, and 5 steals.  At halftime, Spurs coach Greg Popovich said he needed his players to start playing like Russell Westbrook, that's how well he played.


Without MVP forward Kevin Durant, Westbrook has held his own.  Over the past 10 games he is averaging 31.5 PPG, 7.9 APG, and 6.0 RPG.  This is MVP worthy on its own level.

OKC also received major contribution from second year big man Steven Adams.  He finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds.  This season his role has been increased a lot.  Not only has he met expectations, he has exceeded them and played amazing.  He also dunked all over multiple Spurs players during the Thunder's victory.


The Spurs kept this game tight throughout the late stages though.  They were led by Matt Bonner who finished with 17 points and a DUNK.  Yes, Matt Bonner dunked.


The Spurs also received great games from their surrounding core, they had 6 other players scoring in double figures.

Although the Spurs kept the game close late, the Thunder closed out strong.  Anthony Morrow hit multiple clutch shots in the final minutes, along with a Russell Westbrook surge, in order to close the game up.  All in all, Russell Westbrook was to much to handle on Christmas day and gifted us with a spectacular performance.

John Wall Hits a Crazy 360 Layup

During the Wizards routing of the Knicks on Christmas day, John Wall decided to show off his crazy skills.  The Wizards point guard drove the lane after splitting two defenders, then bumped into Jason Smith at the rim at spun around him in the air!


The Wizards went on to defeat the Knicks 102-91 in game one of the Christmas marathon.  Wall finished with 24 points and 11 assists, and one big present for fans to rewatch over and over.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Deja Vu: Damian Lillard Breaks Hearts Again

Last night the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder faced off in a grueling matchup.

Portland ended up overcoming a 13 point lead held by the Thunder to win 115-111 in overtime.

The story of the night was the battle of the point guards.  Russell Westbrook finished with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.  But Westbrook missed a potential game winning bucket at the end of regulation.  On the other hand, Damian Lillard also went off with 40 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds.  But Lillard was able to hit a shot to tie the game and eventually lead his team to victory.
Here is Lillard's game tying shot next to his game winner from last season in Houston, they are almost identical! It seems the Blazers have found a late game play they really like.




LaMarcus Aldridge also added in 25 points and 9 rebounds to help push the Blazers to victory.  For the Thunder it was Reggie Jackson who also helped out by adding 21 points.  Overall, last night was all about the point guards in Oklahoma City.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cody Zeller Destroys Kennth Faried With This Poster

Last night Cody Zeller dunked all over the manimal himself, Kenneth Faried.  The Hornets went on to win this one over the Nuggets 110-82.  Zeller finished with 10 points and 1 crazy dunk for the night.


Vince Carter Turns Back the Clock

Last night the Memphis Grizzlies lost to the Utah Jazz 97-91.  Although the Grizzlies' three game losing skid is not the best of news, Vince Carter decided to change that.  In the fourth quarter he dunked over 7 foot 3 Rudy Gobert and we saw flashes of the old Vince.  Watch the dunk below.


While you watched that you probably reminisced over the old memories of the high-flying dunker, so here you go:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Josh Smith Released by the Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons have released Josh Smith.

Smith had 2 years and about $26 million left on his contract.  This news shocks many across the league as he is averaging 13.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 4.7 APG this season.

The Pistons, who hired Stan Van Gundy as coach and team president over the summer, have been trying to build in a new direction.  They had struggled this season and have been trying to trend in a younger direction.  Smith's attitude and low field goal percentage are the main reasons for his release.

If Smith can clear waivers many teams will be jumping to sign him.  The Kings, Mavericks, Rockets, Heat, and Clippers have all shown interest in his talents.  The Kings are early favorites to snag him as they have been known to try to trade for him multiple times in the past.

Although Josh Smith does have talent, but he also has a terrible attitude.  It seems the Pistons have grown sick of his ways and want to start building in a younger and more positive direction.  This also may mean the Pistons will hold on to forward Greg Monroe who was supposedly on the trading block a few weeks ago.

Detroit plays the Pacers tomorrow night and hope to improve on their dismal 5-23 record.

#5 Danvers Glides Past Gloucester

Tonight #5 Danvers faced off with the Gloucester Fishermen.  Danvers, a Massachusetts powerhouse was coming off of a win against Somerville on Saturday, and was ready to clean up their game.

Before the game even tipped off Danvers jumped out to an advantage.  They took a 2-0 lead on a technical foul called in warmups.  From there it was all Danvers.  The Falcons jumped out to an early 9-0 start and their game was almost flawless.

Senior Devan Harris got into early foul trouble for the Falcons and forced them to create a new game plan.

Danvers did not skip a beat at all though.  Vinny Clifford scored 27 first half points for them to give them a 42-20 lead going into the half.  He finished with 29 points and 8 rebounds on the night.

Sophomore Devonn Allen also played a great game.  The Falcons' guard finished with 12 points, 8 assists, and 6 steals.  He was all over the court and played with a special bounce in his step tonight.

Even though they lost their best player in Harris early on, Danvers still found a way to dominate the game.  With their win tonight they move to 4-0 on the season and look like they are ready to dominate the Northeastern Conference.  Danvers is now #5 in the state and is certainly one of the best all around teams in the state of Massachusetts.  They play Rockland next on Friday, January 2nd.

Friday, December 19, 2014

#2 Duke Sneaks Past UConn in Order to Remain Undefeated

Duke's Big Men Duo Battles for a Rebound
 Over Uconn's big Phillip Nolan
The Duke Blue Devils came into East Rutherford NJ last night ready to beat the defending national champions in UConn.  And that they did, Duke ended the night with a 66-56 win over the Huskies.

Tyus Jones had another great game for Duke.  The freshman point guard finished with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.  Not only did he do this in a big game, he did it against one of the nation's toughest guards in Ryan Boatright.  Jones' performance is just further proof that he is one of, if not the best guard in the country.

Duke and UConn battled and traded buckets all the way from the tip off until halftime, when Duke was up 30-25.  In the first half the Huskies' Amida Brimah got 2 early fouls.  He was just coming off of a 40 point game and was set to protect the rim against the nation's best big man, Jahlil Okafor.  Instead, Brimah was on the bench and senior point guard Ryan Boatright put the team on his back in order to keep it a game.

Coming out of the half, UConn tied the game and looked like they were primed to steal a game against the #2 team in the country.  Duke had other plans though... after the Huskies tied the game, Duke went on a 15-2 run to grab control.  After that the Blue Devils never had a doubt that they would lose the game.

As previously stated, Ryan Boatright was an animal for UConn.  He finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists.  His senior leadership and guidance from head coach Kevin Ollie has transformed him into an all new player this year.  Hopefully it will be sooner than later when he starts receiving contribution from his teammates every night.

For Duke, the tandem of Jahlil Okafor and Amile Jefferson in the post is unstoppable.  You either put one person on Okafor and keep one on Jefferson, but that leads to the super freshman putting up 25 and 20 like he did against Elon.  Or you can do what the Huskies did last night and leave Jefferson  half guarded and double Okafor.  But either way points from the Duke big men are being scored.  Okafor finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds, while Jefferson had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.  Duke's big men have been unstoppable all season long thus far.  And with Okafor receiving so much attention, Jefferson is shooting it great from the floor at 67%.

Although UConn made it seem like they could play with Duke, they can't right now.  Duke is loaded with the best freshmen in the country and scoring options galore.  The problem for UConn was they had no Brimah to defend the paint, and Tyus Jones was even to much for Ryan Boatright to handle.  Once again, Duke proved why they deserve to be ranked #2 in the country.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dallas Mavericks Acquire Rajon Rondo in a 5 Player Deal

The Mavs' Newest All-Star Point Guard
No, you are not seeing things.  The Dallas Mavericks have traded for Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics in exchange for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, a 2015 first-round pick and future second round pick.  


This trade has shocked many all across Beantown. The Celtics did not get a lot in return for their all-star point guard. They got a rim protector in Wright that they desperately needed. But they don't really need Jameer Nelson to take up minutes from their young prospects, or Jae Crowder who is a young piece but he will never be anything to special. In addition to that they only got a 1st rounder that is most likely to be in the range of 20-30, and a second-rounder that won't do much.


So why is the price for Rondo so little? He is averaging 10.8 APG, 8.3 PPG, and 7.5 RPG and leads the league with his assists numbers. Maybe Danny Ainge is accepting to little for their all-star point guard. But one thing is for sure, the Celtics are primed to rebuild over the next few years as they have 11 draft picks over the next four years. In addition to that, they have a nice young core in Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and James Young if he develops.


Congratulations to the Mavs, who have the best win of the year so far. Even better than the Grizzlies 1 point win in triple OT over the Spurs last night. They got Rajon Rondo for absolutely nothing. They gave up an expiring contract, a bench player, picks they won't need, and swapped point guards... an absolute steal.


The Mavericks now have the best starting five not only in the Western Conference, but in the NBA. They will start Rondo, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler. They also still have a very deep bench. The Mavs have jumped from a middle of the pack team in the west, to an instant NBA title contender.


As Celtics fans have a hard time sleeping tonight, Mavericks fans will be filled with joy. As many say the Celtics should have kept Rondo, it was time for him to go. For so long they were trying to do two things; rebuild and win. They finally chose one path and decided to rebuild. They can now start tanking to try to get better picks in the upcoming draft and building around a young core. But for the Mavericks, they can now start their chase for the championship.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Are The Toronto Raptors Are For Real?

Raptor's Point Guard Kyle Lowry Celebrates
During the Raptors Win on Drake Night
Tonight, the Toronto Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 105-89.

Kyle Lowry led the team with 20 points and 12 assists.  They ended with 6 players scoring in double digits and capitalized on the Nets mistakes by scoring 19 points off of turnovers.

Overall, it was a typical night for the Raptors.  Kyle Lowry played his normal game, just over his 19.6 PPG and 7.6 APG.  They also scored 2 points under their 107.5 PPG average.

Toronto has won their last four games and is starting to make a run.  But the question is; are they for real?

Well one thing's for sure, Toronto is among the top of the NBA offensively.  They rank 2nd in the offensive efficiency rating, only behind Dallas.  They also rank 13th in defensive efficiency.  Although it's not great, their defense still is efficient enough to allow the Raptors to win games with offense.

The Raptors as of tonight are 20-6 and have beaten top teams such as Atlanta, Washington, Memphis, Cleveland, and Milwaukee.  So far, they are off to a red hot start and are standing atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Toronto is now set to bring their high powered offense out west.  On December 27th, they play the Clippers in Los Angeles.  They then go on to play Denver, Portland, and Golden State.  When the Raptors head out on their road trip it's time to prove themselves.  We already know they can win in a weakened Eastern Conference, but can they defeat the giants out west?

In order to get to the NBA finals the Raptors will have to go through the Bulls and the Cavaliers, but they have what it takes.  They have a high powered offense and a solidified star in Kyle Lowry.  He also has a great supporting cast who can push their team to the next level when it's needed.  It will be interesting to see if the Raptors can prove themselves out west and show us they are a legitamate NBA title contender.  Our prediction is they will be fighting to get into the Finals once spring time rolls around and the playoffs are in full swing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kyle Lowry Shakes Victor Oladipo Out of His Shoes

Last night, the Toronto Raptors won 95-82 over the Orlando Magic.  Kyle Lowry decided to show off his smooth dribbling moves when he just embarrasses Victor Oladipo on a set of crossovers.  Lowry ended up finishing with 17 points and 8 assists.

Bucks Win on a Late Game Prayer

Last night, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 96-94.  Kris Middleton hit a buzzer beater three to boost the Bucks to a two point victory.


Kris Middleton finished the game with 14 points.  Brandon Knight had 20 points to lead Milwaukee and also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Suns were led by Markieff Morris who scored 25 points and also grabbed 7 boards.

Isaiah Thomas also played great for Phoenix and had 20 points.  After the game he revealed how tough this game was, "This one hurts. They all hurt. You felt like you did enough to win a game and at the buzzer they make a crazy shot." (NBA.com)

In third quarter Bucks rookie Jabari Parker went down with a leg injury.  He was driving to the basket, when his left knee gave out.  The team doctors expect it just to be a sprain, and hopefully he will have a fast recovery.

All night the teams traded the lead and battled for the win until the final second, literally. Both Phoenix and Milwaukee, have records that are bordering around .500 after tonight.  Their records tell the story, both are young, exciting, and practically equal.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan for the 3rd Spot on the All Time Scoring List

Kobe Bryant climbed to the free throw stripe with 32,291 points in his career last night.  The Black Mamba easily sank both free-throws and climbed up to 32,293 points.  With these buckets, Kobe passed Michael Jordan for the 3rd spot on the all time scoring list.


It took Bryant 19 seasons to record his milestone.  On the other hand, it only took Jordan 15 seasons to do so.  So, who really is better?

Although Kobe has more points, many would agree Jordan is ultimately the better player.  He came at a time when the game was old-fashioned, but made basketball a whole new sport.  He ended up transcending into a global superstar and spread basketball along with his own brand.

Bryant came at a time when Jordan had already changed the game; it was already athletic and cool.  He couldn't change the game the same way, instead the Black Mamba just proved himself.  Bryant fought to just get playing time early on in his career, and then molded himself into a star.  Throughout his career so far, he has made himself a name.  Kobe Bryant will be known along with the names of Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson.

 
After the game Jordan reached out to Kobe to congratulate the Lakers star.  When asked what he said Jordan said, " He's obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I've enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next."
 
Nike revealed a new shoe last night, in honor of their signature athlete passing Jordan.  They are set to release a new colorway of the Kobe 9 that is mainly gray, with a purple bottom, and some green accents.  Below is the "Mamba Moment":
 
 
 
All in all, congrats to Kobe on accomplishing such a feat.  Kobe and Jordan will forever be two different players, and they will both be great in their own retrospect. Even Kobe himself knows Jordan is an all time great as seen in this great picture of the Black Mamba.
 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Derrick Rose Had a Season Best Performance in the Bulls Win Over Portland

The Chicago Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-106 tonight.

The game started off very close with the first quarter ending with Portland up 28-24.  It was a whole new story in the second quarter though, the Bulls flipped the switch and won the quarter 35-23.

If it wasn't for the second quarter Portland may have been able to steal a win in the battle of the point guards.

Coming into the night Damian Lillard was very excited to play a healthy Derrick Rose.  His performance tonight illustrated that excitement.  Lillard scored a season high 35 points and he also dished out 6 assists.

Derrick Rose was ready to play up to Lillard's level though.  He responded by scoring a season high in points as well.  Rose finished with 31 points and 5 assists.  Rose played well of the dribble and worked the clock and offense well all night.

In the 4th quarter it was the battle of the point guards.  Rose and Lillard went back and forth as they were trading bucket after bucket.  At one point, they hit back to back to back shots.  Aaron Brooks also decided to dip into the fun in this "point guard battle."  He finished with 17 points and hit floater after floater.  Rose and Brooks prevented Portland from making a comeback in the fourth quarter.

LaMarcus Aldridge also had a monster game for the Trail Blazers.  He finished with 35 points and 9 rebounds.  Along with Lillard, he felt the burden of carrying their team all night long.  Together they scored 66% of Portland's points.

Portland fell to 17-6 tonight but still remains 4th in the West, only three games behind Golden State in 1st.  On the other hand, Chicago has been playing great as of late, well because of Rose.  They improved to 14-8 tonight.

Seattle's Dejounte Murray Explodes For 52 Points and 20 Rebounds

Dejounte "Baby Boy" Murray scored 52 points and grabbed 20 rebounds the other night in Rainier Beach's home opener.  Rainier Beach was one of the top high school teams in the country last season and is widely known as one of the top contenders in Seattle this season.


Murray is ranked 47th in the ESPN 100 and the #1 player in Seattle.  He is committed to the University of Washington as one of their top recruits.

Dejounte Murray is also friends with Seattle's best basketball stars.  Over the summer he played in Jamal Crawford's Seattle Pro-Am league.  He played along Crawford, Chris Paul, Tony Wroten, and Spencer Hawes.  He is also friends with both Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas.  With NBA players mentoring a superior talent, Murray is sure to excel at the next level.

Kobe Bryant Left Practice Because the Lakers Are too Soft

During the Lakers' recent practice Kobe Bryant freaked out on his teammates.  He was fed up with their play and said "You guys are soft like Charmin!"  He also said "This is why we have lost 20 games."  It seems this losing trend for the Lakers' star is getting very old.  At first the video is funny, but then you actually feel bad for Bryant.  He worked out all summer determined to make a comeback, but yet his teammates can't even help him win a handful of games.  As Bryant's window of opportunity starts to close, his frustrations will grow.

Eric Garner Protests Spead Through the NBA

Starting with Derrick Rose, protests for Eric Garner spread through the NBA in an instant.  Garner was killed by New York Police after being choked.  As cases of police brutality pop up across America, so do the protests.  Derrick Rose started a trend in the NBA wearing a shirt reading "I Can't Breathe," attributing to Garner's last words.  Many other players followed his trend, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kyrie Irving.  Commissioner Adam Silver said he wishes the players would follow the NBA's dress code, but it seems he is accepting of change in this case.  Below are images of the NBA players across the league protesting.


Derrick Rose Starting the Trend

Lakers Point Guard Jeremy Lin

Many Lakers Players Wore the Now Famous Shirts

Portland Guard Damian Lillard

The Black Mamba Himself: Kobe Bryant

Cavs Point Guard Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Squad Posed With Rapper Jay-Z

Monday, December 8, 2014

Washington Wizards Win a Double OT Thriller Vs. Boston

The Washington Wizards won 133-132 in double overtime over the Boston Celtics tonight.

The Celtics were down 58-45 at halftime due to a slow start.  That has been a common theme for this team all year.  They start off slow and get them selves into a hole. The rest of the game they exhaust themselves digging back into contention.

At the end of the third quarter, Washington was up 92-76 and was ready to cruise through the next 12 minutes en route to victory.  But the Celtics, who were down 16 at that time, had different plans.  They went on to outscore the Wizards 34-18 in the 4th quarter.

Evan Turner sent the game to overtime on a late three point shot with about 1 second left on the clock.  Up until then the Celtics had struggled to score a game tying or winning basket.


After the first overtime the teams still could not resolve their battle.  They were all tied at 121 and momentum seemed to be on the Celtics side.

But as the 2nd overtime began John Wall took over.  He dominated by getting to the hoop for an
and-1 lay in, hitting jump shots, and penetrating the Celtic's Defense.

With the Celtics down by 1 with 10 seconds left they inbounded the ball to Evan Turner.  He was driving the lane with a full head of steam, when Bradley Beal used the Wizard's last foul to give.  Discombobulated, the Celtics ran the same isolation for Turner again.  With 4 seconds left he drove to the elbow, stopped, and popped.  His shot clanked off the rim and fell back down with the Celtics' hopes of winning.

Washington wound up winning 133-132.

John Wall finished off a 26 point, 17 assist, and 7 rebound night with a monstrous performance in overtime.  When it comes down the stretch, Wall is just simply unstoppable.  The Celtics had both Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart, two of the best defensive guards in the league on him, and he still found a way to score the ball.

Paul Pierce also played great down the stretch for the Wizards and finished with a season high 28 points and also grabbed 7 rebounds.

For the Celtics, it was their bench tonight.  The bench outscored the starters 82-50.  The 82 points was the highest for the Celtics in their storied history.  Every bench player besides Marcus Thornton scored in double digits.  As a whole, Boston finished with 6 players scoring in double digits.

Boston's main force was led by Jeff Green.  He finished with 28 points, well over his season average of 19.3 PPG.  Green has been a beast all year for the Celtics squad.

As a whole, it was the Celtics poor execution late that lost them another close game.  It seems Brad Stevens can not draw up a successful play in late game situations.  Tonight, the Celtics once again lacked a second option once the play had broken down.  This forces bad shot selection and ultimately costed them late once again.

On the bright side the Celtics fought hard with one of the NBA's premier teams in Washington.  With their loss the Celtics now fall to 7-12, while Washington improved to 14-6.

After the game John Wall had an emotional interview and for good reason.  Yesterday he lost his friend Miyah Telemaque-Nelson.  She passed away from cancer at only 6 years old, and that was all Wall needed to fuel him for a memorable night.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

#3 Arizona Slides Past #9 Gonzaga in Overtime

T.J. McConnell Steals an Inbounds Pass
And Then Lays It In For An Easy Two
Everyone expected a great matchup between #3 Arizona and #9 Gonzaga tonight.  And a great matchup it was.  The top ranked teams went into overtime and fought all the way to the buzzer.  Arizona ended up winning 66-63.

In the first half Gonzaga and Arizona were trading baskets the whole time.  Brandon Ashley looked great right off the bat and scored 8 points in the first half.

Going into the locker room the game was all tied up at 27.

Gonzaga came out of halftime with a new attitude and jumped out to a great start.  But then, Arizona started to creep right back into the game.

Kaleb Tarcsewski only had 2 points in the first half, but the second 20 minutes were a different story for him.  He ended the game with 11 points and led Arizona right back into the game.

Once Arizona started to creep back in the game, Gonzaga made their own run.  They slipped the ball inside to Przemek Zarnowski multiple times.  Every time he made the right decision, he continued to read the defense well all night. The Zag's big man finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

After a great first half by Brandon Ashley, he was held scoreless in the second until there was about 5 minutes left.  That was when he had a huge block and then ran all the way back down the floor to lay the ball in for a crucial 2 points.  He brought Arizona back to tie the game up at 60-60 with around 3 minutes left.  Ashley finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds.

With 10.9 seconds left Gonzaga had the ball with the game tied at 60.  They missed their first attempt, but Arizona tipped the rebound out of bounds with 1.4 seconds left so they got one more try.  On their second chance they missed again, forcing the game to overtime.

Once the game was in overtime T.J. McConnell took over.  He scored on back to back shots to give Arizona a 64-60 lead.  The Wildcat's guard scored all 6 of their points in overtime.  He finished with 12 points, 3 steals, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

With a few seconds left in overtime, Gonzaga was only down three and they had the ball.  Kevin Pangos missed a three point try, but the Zags got the rebounds and took another three.  Only this time they were fouled.  Byron Wesley air balled the first free throw, bricked the second, and then purposefully missed the third to try to get a rebound.  Arizona ended up grabbing the rebound along with the win against the Zags.

Although Gonzaga lost, they still put up a great fight.  Kyle Wiltjer led them in scoring with 15 points, and he also grabbed 7 rebounds.

Kevin Pangos was shut down by the Arizona Wildcat defense tonight.  Usually he leads the team in scoring, but tonight he was shut down.  He was held to only 8 points and shot 30% from the field.

With their win, Arizona improved to 8-0.  The Wildcats have seemed to struggle in games, but they always finish out strong with victories.  Tonight they held Gonzaga to a season low in points.  With their loss Gonzaga is now 7-1, but they proved they can hang with the top teams in the country.  Hopefully we get to see a rematch between these two teams in March, as shown it would certainly be one to remember.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wayne Selden Leads #11 Kansas in Their Comeback Win

Selden Dominated With 21 Points Tonight
#11 Kansas entered tonight knowing they had to play a good game to get past Florida.  In the first half it seemed they had forgotten that though.

Florida picked apart the Kansas defense early.  They had great penetration and sensational ball movement all started by point guard Kasey Hill.  He finished with 5 points and 8 assists.

Freshman Devin Robinson also played good in spurts for the Gators and finished with 13 points.

Kansas went into halftime down 39-24 and Bill Self knew he had to make changes.

Coming out of halftime, Kansas made those changes.  They went on a 19-3 run to take a 56-52 lead.  Cliff Alexander and Wayne Selden led the Jayhawks' run by doing all the little things.  Alexander had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Selden dominated the game and had 21 points.  The Jayhawks' guard scored clutch bucket after clutch bucket down the stretch to win the game for Kansas.

Although Florida had a great first half, they fell apart in the second.  They settled for deep jump shots inside the arc and missed multiple layups.  The Gators also had Kasey Hill on the bench with about 7 minutes to go and without him had no one to run their offense in a time of need.

Kansas ended up winning 71-65 after their huge second half run.

#11 Kansas played up to their true ability tonight, but only in the second half.  Hopefully the Jayhawks can carry over momentum and keep up their great play.  With their win they improved to
6-1.

Kemba Walker Hits The Buzzer Beater to Win the Game

Kemba Walker did it again.  Tonight he hit a late buzzer beater with 4 seconds left to lift the Hornets to a victory.  They ended up winning 103-102 over the New York Knicks.  Walker scored 11 points, but the Hornets were led by Gerald Henderson who scored 22 points in their win.


In honor of Kemba Walker hitting another crazy buzzer beater, we throw it back to the good ol' days.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Posterizes Chris Bosh

Giannis Antetokounmpo aka the Greek Freek showed us why he has that nickname once again tonight.  The 6'11" shooting guard, yes shooting guard, dunked all over Chris Bosh tonight.  Boy oh boy, Giannis is bound to be something special in this league.

Rapper J. Cole Wants to Play High School Star Dennis Smith Jr.

North Carolina Native and the renown rapper J. Cole met North Carolina's best high school player Dennis Smith Jr. recently.  During their talk Cole is recorded saying he wants to play Smith.  I'm sorry J. Cole, but their is no way you can play a close game with this kid.


Dennis Smith Jr. is ranked the 5th player in the junior class by ESPN.  Although he is ranked 5th and only a junior, Smith is one of the top point guards in the whole country.  Watch the star's mixtape below, then realize how foolish J. Cole sounds.

Derrick Jones Crushes the 360 Through the Legs Dunk

Derrick Jones crushed the 360 through the legs dunk tonight at the Marshall County Hoopfest.  The 6-6 forward is ranked 22nd in the ESPN 100 and is committed to UNLV.  Tonight he scored 16 points in their 76-65 win over Callaway.  The 3rd ranked player in the ESPN 100 Malik Newman scored 35 points for Callaway, but his team still fell short.

#1 Kentucky Moves on Past #6 Texas and Remains Undefeated

Willie Cauley-Stein
Dominated Tonight's Game
Willie Cauley-Stein... he did it all tonight for the top ranked Wildcats.  He had his biggest game all season thus far, against perhaps the best talent he has played so far.  Cauley-Stein finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 blocks.

The Kentucky big man led them to 63-51 over the sixth ranked Texas Longhorns.

The Wildcats still won despite only being able to hit 1 three pointer all night.  The Harrison twins finished a combined 3-17 tonight also.

Texas gave Kentucky a great game despite their
loss.  Jonathan Holmes led the Longhorns' front court attack with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

Although Texas did lose, this game is still a great sign for them.  They played without their star point guard Isaiah Taylor, and still gave Kentucky a run for their money.  As this Texas team grows and gets Taylor back, they will be one of the top teams in college basketball.  As if they aren't already while being ranked 6th in the country.

With their win Kentucky improves to 8-0 and continues their pursuit of the perfect season.  Texas now falls to 7-1, but this is a great loss to have.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

#4 Duke Wins Battle of the Bigs Over #2 Wisconsin

Duke Freshman Jahlil Okafor Lays The Ball
In Over Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky
All week College Basketball talk was dominated by this battle of the bigs, Jahlil Okafor vs. Frank Kaminsky.  Okafor is expected to be the first pick in this year's upcoming NBA Draft, and Kaminsky is regarded as the top big man in college basketball.  But wait, it gets better.  Okafor plays for #4 Duke and Kaminsky for #2 Wisconsin.  Even before the opening tip this game was slated to be spectacular.

Right out of the gate the bigs started battling.  After the first 5 minutes it was 6-2 Wisconsin.  Well 6-2 Kaminsky over Okafor.

In these opening minutes Duke's offense looked hesitant as they were not getting into their sets.  On the defensive end their rotations and transition defense were off too.

Then all of the sudden a change came for Duke.  They ramped up their defense and took control of the game.  This run was started off by Justise Winslow diving on the floor for a loose ball which led to a monstrous slam by Marshal Plumlee.

Towards the end of the half Okafor had picked up 2 fouls and Kaminsky took a shot to the groin, so they were both on the bench.  This was when Tyus Jones started to take over.

Duke went into the locker room at halftime up 35-32.

As soon as the ball was given to Duke to start the second half Tyus Jones carried over his momentum from the first half.  He started to attack the basket and draw fouls time after time.  With 13:47 left in the second half Jones already had 16 points and led Duke to a 48-43 lead over Wisconsin.

With 5 minutes left in the game Wisconsin was within three points and Jahlil Okafor was just sent to the bench with 4 fouls.  So Wisconsin went on a run to win the game right?  Nope, Duke the team who lost their best player went on a 9-0 run and took control of the game for good.  During this stretch Frank Kaminsky turned the ball over, missed an easy lay-up, and was called for goaltending.  Towards the end of the game he just seemed to be exhausted.

Duke wound up winning the game 80-70 over the second ranked Badgers.

So who won the battle of the bigs?  Can Tyus Jones win this award? He deserves it after stealing the spotlight from the big men.  Jones finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and only 1 turnover.

The real battle of the bigs was won by Kaminsky.  The Wisconsin big man finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds.  On the other hand, Okafor finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds.

Although many expected Wisconsin to win the game, Duke proved all of them wrong.  Freshman Tyus Jones was not phased by the atmosphere of playing on the road for the first time in his college career, and played a huge game.  Overall, Duke's depth prevailed over Wisconsin.  With their win Duke is now 8-0 and Wisconsin now falls to 7-1.  Before the night even started everyone expected a spectacular game.  Tonight was nothing short and proved to be one of the best games of the young college season.