Rockets Live Another Day

Going into last nights game down 3-1 in the series to the Portland Trailblazers, the Houston Rockets were playing with their backs against the wall. After a seesaw game going back and forth, the Rockets were able to come out of the game on top defeating Portland 108-98. No one took the game over for Houston, as this was truly a team win. With five players in double figures the Rockets played very smart and unselfish basketball. The key had to be Jeremy Lin’s 21 points off the bench. After struggling in game 4 pretty much costing Houston the game with his untimely turnover, he sure made up for it last night.
Despite the win, the Rockets are still down 3-2 in the series and have to go to Portland for game 6. Portland is one of the toughest arenas in the NBA for roads team to go in and get a win, especially facing elimination. We’ll see if Harden, Dwight and the rest of the gang can force a game 7 at home in Houston a.k.a Clutch City.

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Thunder at the End of the Plank

After last nights one point loss in overtime 100-99, the Oklahoma City Thunder are one game away from being eliminated in the first round. Many picked Oklahoma City to make it to the NBA Finals and possibly win it all, but Memphis clearly has other intentions. They cannot handle the two headed monster in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol as Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins are struggling defensively to guard them. It also doesn’t help that Mike Conley is turning into a stud these playoffs as even Westbrook can’t stop him consistently.
Durant is somewhat struggling this series and just doesn’t seem like himself. Westbrook is having a good series but he always makes those several plays that leave you scratching your head and we all know how close these games have been, one possession could cost you the game. This would be a huge upset if Oklahoma City gets bounced in the first round, mostly because the Western Conference is wide open as the Spurs and Clippers are also having a hard time in their series. Regardless the Thunder need to buckle down and win a game on the road which will sure to be a noisy arena in Memphis. Its time to sink or swim

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Donald Sterling Banned for Life

Just a few minutes ago NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media. He came to the podium for a press conference following Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s recorded conversation. Silver confirmed that the voice of the hateful comments was indeed Donald Sterling. He expressed how hurt and disappointed he was from the recording of Sterling and that this is just down right wrong. He then went onto the punishment, banning Sterling from the Clippers organization for life and fining him $2.5 M, the maximum under the NBA constitution. Silver also said that Sterling admitted that the voice on the phone call was him. Clearly Silver is making a statement that nothing like this will ever be tolerated in the NBA while he’s here.
Tweets are flying through social media many former and current professional players, praising Commissioner Silver for not only the punishment and fine but his thoughts and comments on the situation. This is a huge boost in trust and morale between the league and Adam Silver and is an excellent start to his career as NBA commissioner.

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Pineda Penalized for Pine Tar

After his second incident with pine tar Major League Baseball suspended Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda for 10 games. The first incident occurred two and a half weeks before Wednesday nights game which was also against the Red Sox. The most recent occurrence was caught by the Red Sox and in the middle of the first inning Red Sox manager John Farrell went out to the umpire to inform him of the substance on Pineda’s neck. The umpire went to the mound, swiped the substance off Pineda realized it was indeed pine tar and ejected him from the game. Pineda admitted to what he had done after the game and will not appeal his 10 game suspension.
This comes as a coincidence now because the first game when Pineda got caught no one came to the mound. It was seen after the game but lets be realistic, theres no way no one in the Red Sox organization didn’t know or see the substance on his hand. I’m bringing this up because that game Boston had their starter Clay Buchholz on the mound who has been accused of using pine tar throughout his whole career. If you look at his hair, it looks like he just jumped in a pool and then went to the mound. Buchholz is always touching and fixing his hair during the game as well. I believe Farrell didn’t bring this to the umpires attention the first game because he knows Buchholz uses pine tar as well.
None the less every pitcher uses pine tar, its not like Pineda is the first and won’t be the last, it’s just a matter of using it discretely. It doesn’t make you pitch any faster or give you an unfair advantage, it just gives you a bit of a better grip on the ball.

Knicks Offseason Plans

Well the Knicks are not in the playoffs. After the terrible start, they turned it around cutting their amount of games under .500 from 23 to 8. However, it wasn’t enough as they missed out on the 8th seed in the east to the Atlanta Hawks.
Phil Jackson is the new man in town as he took over as general manager of the Knicks. An 11 time champion, he’s a basketball genius but has never done this before. He signed his former 6th man of the year player Lamar Odom who has been trying to get his career back on track after finally beating his drug addiction. If he can turn it around thats a huge piece to the Knicks puzzle.
Mike Woodson is pretty much done in New York although its not official yet. Jackson will want to run the triangle offense and will want a coach who he can somewhat control. Steve Kerr has emerged as the leading candidate to take the job and also rumors of Jackson’s former player Derek Fisher have come up. Although the deplorable year the Knicks had, it was not all Woodson’s fault. The whole team struggled besides Carmelo Anthony and once again injuries affected the team as well. None the less Woodson will probably be unemployed next week.
Finally comes the real major task, what Carmelo Anthony wants to do. His stardom has grown in the big apple no question, last season they won 54 games and made it to the end of the second round losing to Indiana in a tightly contested series and this year he set the franchise record for point in a game at 61 surpassing the great Bernard King. Carmelo wants that ring and wants it badly after all the comments that you can’t build a team around him. He came out and said earlier this week in a press conference that he wants to stay in New York but wants to win and to be honest that won’t happen next season. The Knicks still have to pay $34 million just between Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, they have no draft picks in either round and no expiring contracts this offseason which means no cap space.
On the contrary, next offseason the Knicks have the most cap space out of any team in league via Amar’e and Tyson’s contracts expiring. This is where they can get the pieces to put around Anthony if he remains a Knick. The key players who they could go after are Timberwolves forward Kevin Love and Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving along other names. If Carmelo signs a one year deal and lets the Knicks make the moves they’re going to make next offseason, we could be looking at a dynasty in New York.

Duke Freshmen Star Jabari Parker Enters 2014 NBA Draft

After the two Kansas freshmen studs Joel Embid and Andrew Wiggins declared for the draft, the spot light turned to Jabari Parker to see if he would stay another season at Duke or join Embid and Wiggins in the draft. Parker is considered the most NBA ready player and scouts and general managers of the NBA have been raving about his talent all year. Offensively he’s versatile, he can get to the paint at will, but then can pull up on a defender from downtown. It’s on the defensive side of the ball where he’s underrated. At 6’8, 225 he’s a force to be wreck-in with. He’ll stick to you like glue on the perimeter, but will body any player in the paint. His main defensive attribute is his rebounding. Between the way he boxes out and his relentless effort rebounding he’s a player any GM would love to get their hands on.
Despite all that he’s projected to go 2nd in the draft behind Kansas big-man Joel Embid due to his height and the fact that he’s still going to grow. Regardless, Parker will be a very solid NBA player and for him, the sky is the limit.

NBA Playoffs Set

Three games last night finalized the playoff match-ups and are now in place. With the Wizards defeating the Celtics (bumping up to the fifth seed) and the Nets losing to the Cavaliers (falling to the sixth seed) the Eastern Conference playoff match-ups are as follows:
1.) Indiana Pacers vs. 8.) Atlanta Hawks
2.) Miami Heat vs. 7.) Charlotte Bobcats
3.) Toronto Raptors vs. 6.) Brooklyn Nets
4.) Chicago Bulls vs. 5.) Washington Wizards

Then later last night the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Dallas Mavericks in a battle for the seventh seed. The Western Conference playoff match-ups are as follows:
1.) San Antonio Spurs vs. 8.) Dallas Mavericks
2.) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7.) Memphis Grizzlies
3.) Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6.) Golden State Warriors
4.) Houston Rockets vs. 5.) Portland Trailblazers

The playoffs tip off on Saturday at Noon. I don’t know about you but i cannot wait for them to start. This years playoffs is going to be one for the ages.

CJ2K Headed To the Big Apple

This afternoon the New York Jets announced they have signed former Tennessee Titans star running back Chris Johnson to a 2 year deal. Not only did they get him for a bargain, but in the 2 year contract Johnson signed theres an option for the second year of the deal. So if Johnson doesnt perform the way the Jets hope he will, they can cut ties with the speedster. Everyone knew the Jets needed to make some serious adjustments to one of the leagues worst offenses last year and have done just that. Along with Johnson they added quarterback Michael Vicks whose looking to resurrect his career and wide receiver Eric Decker who has proven to be a reliable target. Decker is also coming off the best year of his career, although playing with Peyton Manning will help anyones stats, the Jets are showing they’re not afraid to spend some cash but at the same time making very smart and affordable additions to their organization. The Jets are also having a visit from wideout Sidney Rice who would fit perfectly across the field from Decker with veteran reciever Jeremy Kerley in the slot and an upcoming star tight end in Jeff Cumberland. If Vick can stay healthy and Chris Johnson can go back to his days in Tennessee, the Jets just might have the team to make some serious noise in the playoffs.