Category Archives: Basketball

The Amazing (MVP) Race ft. The James’s

It’s 12:20am at the Perry Castañeda Library (better known as the PCL) on the University of Texas campus. As I am going over physics material for my test in the morning, my mind begins to wander. I have been at the library since 8:00pm. I decide it is time for a 5-minute break on and then I will get back to work.

Unfortunately, that did not go as planned because here I am writing about the 2017-2018 NBA MVP race.

So, you might ask, who do I think will win the NBA MVP?

It will come down to either LeBron James or James Harden.

Both players have had extraordinary years. Just look at their numbers. Harden averages 30.7 points per game; LeBron is just short at 27.4 PPG. Although LeBron trails Harden in points per game, LeBron is a more effective shooter at 54.8% from the field while Harden shoots just 44.8%. LeBron has Harden beat in two categories: assists per game and rebounds per game. LeBron dishes out 9.1 APG and grabs 8.6 RPG; Harden is not far off at 8.7 APG but is down at 5.4 RPG.

The KIA Race to the MVP Ladder has had James Harden sitting as the MVP for most of the season, which makes it almost impossible for LeBron to overtake the spot.

What’s the point of me even writing this if the MVP has practically been decided? Well, that is the reason.

Here’s the deal. LeBron has won the MVP on four separate occasions. Harden, on the other hand, has won ZERO finishing runner-up twice

My belief is they will award James Harden the MVP. Harden needs an MVP. Not only will it be a

testament to the incredible season Houston has had, it will only boost to his Hall of Fame resume.

However, I think the way the season has unfolded, LeBron should be the MVP.

And MVP stands for Most Valuable Player. Last season, Russell Westbrook was the MVP. Why? He carried the Oklahoma City Thunder almost single-handedly to the NBA Playoffs.

Oh, that’s right, he also averaged a triple-double. That might have increased his chances.

All jokes aside, Westbrook was the MVP because he was the best player. He lost his two compadres, Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors and Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic. That all happened prior to the start of season.

Unlike Westbrook, LeBron had to adapt his play as the season went on. He has seen players come and go constantly this season. For example, Cleveland brought in Isaiah Thomas, Dwayne

Wade and Derrick Rose at the beginning of the year. None of these players are on the Cavs roster today.

Meanwhile, James Harden has been set up quite nicely. The Rockets signed Chris Paul in the offseason and the rest is history. The combination of Harden and Paul has teams dreading to face them come playoff time.

To make matters interesting, Harden has played in only 66 games this season. If he plays the rest of the regular season games, he will have played in a total of 72 games. LeBron has already played 75 games. That is all of the games so far for the Cavaliers. He has not missed one yet. The last 7 MVP’s average playing in 79.28 games. Derrick Rose even played in 81 games when he won back in the 2010-2011 season. A player has to be a factor in almost every single game in order to be casted on the MVP ballot.

In this case, it’s not for me to decide. Therefore, as much as I think LeBron deserves it, James Harden is a lock to win MVP.

Lebron James to the NFL makes too much sense

I originally got the idea for this from something Colin Cowherd said.

He makes some good points. Michael retired, Phil retired. Then I saw something:

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 6.19.53 PM
Courtesy of Bleacher Report @bleacherreport via Twitter, Instagram

And it r e a l l y made me think. Michael retired in the middle of his career to go pursue his dream of being an MLB baseball player. It’s no secret the entire world believes Lebron has a real future in the NFL.

He LOVES football and misses playing since his days in high school.

He’s 6’8″ 265 lbs. That is about the most perfect body a tight end could have. I bet you, football abilities or not, that if Lebron decided to take a year off and pursue a career in the NFL he’d receive a call from all 32 teams within the first 5 minutes of his decision.

Cowherd makes some really excellent points. He’s right. Everyone is always worried about the next job right away. They rarely take time to really think about what the best move for them is. The Lakers are too young, Philly would be great on paper but end in disaster, the Warriors would be a sell-out and San Antonio would be a long-shot with the Rockets and Warriors both in the same conference.

Lebron has made enough money for 4 lifetimes and he could care less about that. He’s focusing on his brand. Lebron football cleats? They look pretty sick, remember when Ohio State wore them?

Kinda nasty.

One year can make all the difference. Colin said it. Let’s see if the Lakers and Sixers continue to grow, if the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard can continue to build. There are plenty of pieces out there and moves to be made. But, it’s all about timing and right now, is just not the right time for his next move in the NBA.

Take his talents to the NFL. Don’t make the wrong move and “damage” his reputation of losing ANOTHER Finals. I put damage in quotations because it’s a bunch of BS and it’s just haters being haters. Seven consecutive NBA Finals appearances? Astounding.

Jerry Jones would eat this up. It makes too much sense. Lebron to the NFL is a work of art.

There is hope for the Horns

Every year before the NCAA announces the field of 68 for the Men’s Basketball tournament, a handful of teams are consumed with the uncertainty of whether they’ll be invited to the Big Dance. The past two seasons, the Texas Longhorns have been one of those teams. Not anymore.

The Texas Longhorns deserve to be in the field of 68.

Heading into Wednesday night’s Big 12 Tournament opener against last-place Iowa State, the Horns have an RPI of 49 even though ESPN ranks their schedule as the 17th-toughest in the nation. Generally speaking, these 2 statistics seem to fit the profile of a team that should make the tournament.

With so much parity in college basketball this year, especially in the Big 12, Wednesday night’s matchup is no cakewalk. Iowa State might seem like a blow-off opponent judging by their below average RPI of 121, 13-17 overall record and 4-14 last place conference finish, but don’t be fooled. They have some pretty impressive home wins over Texas Tech, Oklahoma and West Virginia. They even took the Horns to overtime ultimately falling 74-70. Simply put, the Cyclones are a tough team and are not going home without a fight.

That being said, a loss to Iowa State could seriously hurt Texas’s tournament hopes, but a win SHOULD assure a room full of smiles in Austin on Selection Sunday.

How could they miss out, to begin with?

Check out the Horns’ resume. They have no sub-150 RPI losses. Add that to 6 top 100 wins which included a season sweep over Trae Young and fellow bubble team Oklahoma, homes win over Texas Tech and Baylor and a quality non-conference win against Butler. When it comes to the bubble, the Longhorns also hold two RPI 51-100 wins, including a neutral site win over SEC power Alabama and a home win over Big 12 Bubble opponent Oklahoma State.

Now, it might be concerning as the Longhorns are part of a group of 4 teams in the Big 12 with 18 overall wins and 8 conference wins, but they DO deserve to be in the tournament. Bracketologists Joe Lunardi of ESPN

and Jerry Palm of CBS both have Texas in play-in games right now, but I believe the Horns should be solidified in the field and should avoid playing in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.

Assuming the Longhorns don’t collapse on Wednesday night, they should be part of the most entertaining event in sports. A win in the 2nd round against 2-seed Texas Tech isn’t out of reach, and depending on how they fare in Kansas City, the Longhorns have the potential to really help their seeding this week. Banking on the returns of Mo Bamba and Eric Davis, this team has shown that they are capable of playing with anyone. They have taken both Duke and Gonzaga to overtime and have come up just short against top teams like Texas Tech, Michigan and Kansas.

If they get to playing their best basketball over the course of the tournament, the Alamodome could be painted in burnt orange in a few weeks.

Why Lonzo Ball is the most underrated player in the NBA

Read this and you’ll see why Lonzo Ball is one of the top young players in the NBA. If you’re already disgusted with that first sentence I encourage you to read the rest because I will do my best to change your mind.

Here’s what is wrong with all this criticism on Lonzo. It’s all based on the dislike for his family brand name, and his loudmouth father.

Since Lonzo has entered the league, everyone likes to compare him to Lebron and his rookie year. They like to say when James first came up he was tearing teams up. Scoring at will, defending like an animal, etc. Well, what I’m about to show you will prove to you why Lonzo should not be scrutinized anymore at the expense of his father .

In his first season, Lonzo is averaging 10.1 ppg. Lebron averaged 20.9. I know that’s not great but I had to get the bad out of the way first to blow your mind with his other stats. First off, I know this is average, but it makes sense. Lonzo isn’t a scorer. His game isn’t centered around scoring the way James’ is. Second, Lonzo has also only played 36 games as compared to James 79 his rookie year. Expect Lonzo’s numbers to only get better.

Now here’s where it gets good. Lonzo is averaging 7.1 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game. Lebron averaged 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Both of Lonzo’s rebounds and assist stats rank within the top three among all rookies. The only rookie better at both, is clear cut ROY favorite Ben Simmons.

In their first seasons, Lebron averaged 3.5 turnovers per game. Lonzo’s averaging 2.7.

Lonzo’s Player efficiency is 16.3. James’ was 18.8.

I looked back and saw that had Lonzo been a rookie in ‘03-’04 with that same number PER, he’d have been third in the league among all rookies. Only behind the second best player of all time Lebron James, and future hall of famer Carmelo Anthony.

He would have been before guys like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Kirk Hinrich.

If you’re still not convinced I’ll leave you with one last stat. Lonzo’s defensive efficiency ranks in the top 15 amongst ALL players in the NBA.

Lebron’s rookie year? Didn’t even crack the top 50 list.

Now, I am not telling you all of this to try and prove Lonzo is a better player than Lebron. I am just showing you that Lonzo is held to a much higher standard and put under a lot more pressure because of his father. Everything he does is looked at under a microscope, but don’t tell me for a second that he sucks because you don’t like his father’s loud mouth.

Shooting and learning to score is the easiest thing to correct in a players game. In fact, most players continue to improve their ability to score as their careers continue. Give the kid some time and he’ll be turning some heads no doubt about it.

Colin Cowherd said it best. Lonzo is dealing with a very different type of pressure than Lebron did. Lebron had hype. Because of his father, Lonzo has negativity. Lebron had to overcome the expectations of being the next greatest, Lonzo deals with people’s hatred for him and his family.

They want him to fail. Wanting someone to fail at all costs and not living up to the hype are two very different things.


The Bulls are right where they need to be, now trust the process

If there’s one thing I hate about the NBA it’s tanking. I hate losing in the first place, and losing on purpose just flat out pisses me off.

As a Bulls fan going into this season I knew it was going to be rough. No Jimmy Buckets, No Taj Gibson, and to make it that much worst, two weeks before the season starts Bobby Portis lays a beating on Nikola Mirotic’s bearded face.

I heard a rumor this whole “incident” was over Niko spoiling the ending of the show, Ballers. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the show, and the Rock is fantastic, and I’d be pretty pissed if someone spoiled the ending too, but to punch him in the face? C’mon now.

This season was going to be a doozy, we all knew that. But something is changing with this team and I kind of like it. They’re meshing together nicely as a team. Questions were out there on how Lavine would be after coming off an ACL injury, if Kris Dunn could prove to be an above average point guard in the league and if Lauri Markkanen was the next Dirk Nowitzki.

For Lavine, so far so good. He appears to still have the same bounce as before, and has already  put up a highlight reel of dunks in the 13 games he’s been back. He’s averaging 17.3 ppg, and 4.7 rpg which are both career highs.

Dunn was having a much needed upside year, until he broke his face when he hit the deck after a dunk. He is averaging 13.7 ppg, 6.4 apg, and 4.6 rpg. All three are career highs for him and will look for him to get better after he is recovered from injury.

The biggest speculation was about Markkanen. What would he amount to? His best player comp is quite obviously Dirk Nowitzki. Both seven footers who can stretch the floor and shoot from just about anywhere. In his first year, Markkanen is averaging 15.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 1.3 apg. He also broke the record for fastest player to hit 100 three-pointers in NBA history. Faster than a-n-y-b-o-d-y. Great numbers for a rookie.

I went back and looked at Dirk’s numbers to see how the Finland native stacked up against the German future Hall of Famer. In Dirk’s first year, he averaged 8.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 1.0 apg. Dirk shot .406% from the field, and .206% from three. Markkanen? .429% from the field and .354% from three. Something to think about as the Bulls move forward.

Markkanen is the future of that team. Now it’s up to… take a deep breath… Gar Forman and John Paxson… exhale… to put together a competent team for Fred Hoiberg to do something with.

I’ll be honest when they decided to let Jimmy go instead of building around him I thought there was no chance that Gar and Pax had any idea what they were doing. Kris Dunn, a good college point guard but underperformed his first year. Zach Lavine, a dunk contest champion who’s coming off an ACL tear. These two for a guy who was coming off a year averaging 23.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 5.5 apg. Career high numbers for Jimbo.

Now that I think about it, it was a good thing. Sure, Jimmy would’ve been the star in Chicago, but he would’ve prevented the inevitable rebuild. I believe this front office and Fred Hoiberg have a vision. They are bringing in pieces that fit Hoiberg’s style and I like that. I think Hoiberg will be a good NBA coach when he has the talent. But for now, we need more.

One way they will do that is through this years draft. I used to think I wanted Trae Young, because I thought the Bulls needed a pure scorer. But boy did I change my mind. College’s have figured him out and Oklahoma has lost 6 of 8. If college players and coaches can do it, NBA players most certainly can.

I don’t want the Bulls to tank. I’m stating that right now. As I said earlier I hate that concept. Especially when, even if you finish dead last in the league, there’s still not a one-hundred percent chance you secure that number one pick. They will lose, because they will lose. Not because they’re not trying to. They just don’t have it and that’s totally fine.

The Bulls need to build character. They are very young and I think they are just figuring out how good they can become. They have some good pieces right now but are nowhere near where they need to be for the future. When a young team that knows their not supposed to win comes out on top, that builds character. It takes grit and teaches plenty of valuable lessons.

The game is getting bigger and smaller all at the same time. Big men are now stretching the floor and becoming shooters and better ball handlers. Point guards are becoming even better  athletes with unbelievable skills. Every player on the floor, will soon have to be able to play at least three different positions on the court. I’m not saying they will, but they’ll need to be able to.

For the Bulls in the draft, I want them to take the best available. Whether that’s a guard, or forward they just need the best of the best available. A lot of this will depend on how much they continue to improve over the season.

They need to build around Markkanen because he’s the next face of this team. Bring in a guard who will mesh well with him, the same way Steve Nash did with Dirk in Dallas.

The foundation is there, now all we have to do, is trust the process.


Did I just predict the future?

If I remember correctly, I pretty much called it the night before the Cavs went rogue and traded everyone away. After that Timberwolves game, I wrote how it was the turning point for them.

37 points, 10 boards and 15 assists from Bron Bron that night was the changing of the tide in Cleveland.

A new wave of sports, where one player is so dominant he acts as not only the best player, but the Head Coach and GM as well.

There was no way he would let them suck for a second longer. He took matters into his own hands and did what he had to do. And look.

Three straight wins? Averaging a triple double? Any of this ring a bell?

Well it should, because I freaking wrote about it three days ago.

Shoutout to me for predicting the future.

Now, let’s get back to the Cleveland Lebroniers.

They look real good. They are finally using that team the way they needed to. After GM James went and traded away every person on that team, he finally got the system that suits the style of play he wants to run as the new Head Coach.

Tyronn Lue might as well be on a beach in the Bahamas right now, because there’s no coaching going on by him anymore.

Against the Hawks, Lebron finished with 22 pts, 12 rebs, and 19 (NINETEEN) assists. Oh, and did I forget to mention he had only 3 turnovers? Shoot, my bad. Guess I forgot about that.

Against the number one ranked Celtics he had 24 pts, 8 rebs and 10 assists. I know, how terrible right? No triple double? Did I forget to mention he only played 28 minutes? My bad again. I have a terrible memory, what can I say?

These new additions make the Cavs younger. I had a feeling that’s what Lebron needed. He is a 33 year-old in, a 22 year-olds body. He is the definition of a true professional. He puts his head down and he works his you-know-what off.

You’re probably thinking, what do you mean he puts his head down, he’s always in the media? Well, when you’re the second greatest basketball player of all-time, and considered one of the greatest athletes to ever play a sport, it’s hard to hide your face from the camera.

This post-trades Cavs team looks different, and feels different. There were two many egos on that old team, and as far as I’m concerned, Isaiah Thomas was at the center of it. He was abysmal in that locker room. You don’t go into the same locker room as Lebron James and say, “I’m the best player on this team,” because you’re not. You . just . don’t . do . that. (insert sassy lady clapping in between each word). Even if you’re fresh off a career year.

I.T., my man, in case you didn’t know, the Celtics traded you right after said “career year”. For who? Oh that’s right. Kyrie Irving.

Watching the Cavs play the Celtics the other night was Fun. For the first time all year, it looked like Lebron was enjoying being around his teammates. He was joking with the young guys, he was smiling, laughing. It was good to watch. These new look Cavs have the potential to be a one seed in the East now.

With nearly a triple-double a night from Lebron, and good role guys to keep feeding him, the Cavs could have what it takes to compete in a seven game series with any team.

Except the Warriors. They’re just unfair.

The King Has Officially Taken Over

Before I start, I would just like to say that I wrote this at midnight last night after I watched the Cavs-Timberwolves duke it out, and I didn’t finish until around 3:30 in the morning.

So without further ado…

Ladies and Gentlemen, please gather around. What you are about to witness will be hard to fathom, but the truth, is the truth.

LeBron James is about to bring Cleveland so far out of the dumps, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns won the Super Bowl next year.

First, I hear Lebron gets in this huge exchange with two Cavs Execs where voices were raised and fists were thrown. Well, no, not really, but could you imagine? That first part’s true, unfortunately no fists were thrown.

My reaction to this whole situation? I am currently standing at my microwave, poppin’ some popcorn, getting ready to watch my soon to be favorite new show:

The King Has Taken Over.

As far as I’m concerned, Lebron is the acting Head Coach, President and GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Whatever he says, goes. He’s the new Sherriff in town. If he wants bagels in the locker room on Monday’s, there better be a hot ‘n fresh stack of New York Bagels with a nice spread of different flavored shmeers waiting right there at his chair every Monday morning.

The King, is the King for a reason. He gets what he wants, when he wants it. And he wants to win. After watching last nights game against the T-wolves, I’m convinced his loud mouth has got this team back on track.

138-136 Timberwolves up by two.

Lebron lays it in off the glass with 24.0 seconds left in OT. Shot clock turned off. Tie game.

138-138 Timberwolves Ball with Jimmy Butler driving. Lebron swats it in his face with 2.3 seconds left.

Timeout. 1.3 seconds left. Cavs Ball.

138-138 Cavaliers to inbound.

Lebron sinks game winner over Butler. 0.0.

Cavs win 140-138. He flipped the switch right on National Television.

This man, or whatever he is, played 48 minutes tonight. Let that sink in first, people. This man is thirty-three years old. He finished with 37 points. 15 Rebounds. And 10 assists. He shot 16-22 from the field, a soft seventy-three percent for the night, and was 5-7 from downtown, a sorry seventy-one percent.

Just your average night for a King.

Let me just point out that he is currently 13 years older than Lonzo Ball. Congrats on the kid,  I see your recovery is going splendid. And is playing the length of an entire NBA game, a week and a half before the freaking All-Star Break.

Lebron just took Cleveland out of the ground, picked that entire city up, put them on his back, and is currently carrying them towards the promised land.

People, I just want you to know, in case you hadn’t heard, human beings don’t do stuff like this. This is special. This is really fun to watch. Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s going to use these next two weeks and recover the hell out of his body after a night like tonight, so expect the shirtless Instagram stories that’ll make you want to propel yourself at a concrete wall. But I promise you, come second half, mark my words, he will go on and absolute TEAR in the NBA. Fear. The. King.

He’s already averaging a pretty 26.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. But that’s nothing compared to what this second half is going to look like. Absolutely disgusting numbers are about to be put up post All-Star break. I really wouldn’t be surprised if he averages a triple double.

This was a statement game for him. He just ripped his jersey right down the middle, screamed as loud as he could, and said, I got this. He told everybody in Cleveland, you let me run your franchise, from top to bottom, and we’re going to win another NBA Championship.

The King has officially taken over.

Obviously he can’t do it for that long by himself, but that is what tonight was for. He told everybody in that locker room,

I am the captain now.

He looked right at Isaiah Thomas and said, you work for me now.

I did not expect him to trade him away the next day, but damn I am pretty much a fortune teller.

With Kevin Love out of the picture, this team can finally mesh the way they should have been all along.

Expect to see a very angry Lebron James this second half of the season. He is about to rampage through the NBA like a bat outta hell, all the way to the NBA finals.

At the end of the day, I guess it doesn’t really matter though, because the Golden State Warriors still exist, and they’re pretty much going to win. Not without a historic NBA finals performance, by the one and only, the King.