In the NBA, much like any other major sport, you don’t get the benefit of the doubt when you fall off the map. For Kevin Durant it wasn’t his play that has fallen off, it was his ability to stay healthy and stay on the court. Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are rapidly becoming one of the biggest ‘What ifs’ in sports history. At one point in time OKC had James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Russel Westbrook in their line up — 3 of the best players in the entire league, and yet a Finals Championship eluded them. Now KD is sitting on the sidelines watching Steph Curry and LeBron James put it all out on the court, it has to sting.
You don’t get to where Kevin Durant is by sulking when things get hard. Instead, it seems that Durant is getting motivated as he watches two of the best players in the world square off on the biggest stage in NBA history. According to the Epoch Times,
Durant and Oklahoma City missed the playoffs this season thanks to a string of injures to both Westbrook and Durant that eventually led to Durant putting up his shoes for the rest of the season.
If Durant wants to be considered one of the elite players in the game he has got to push himself to the next level, stay healthy, and lead his team to an NBA Finals Championship.
The second round of the NBA Playoffs has been full of exciting finishes and buzzer-beating shots, but Paul Pierce could not capitalize on another moment to help the Washington Wizards take a 3-1 lead over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. Instead, with 9.5 seconds remaining in the game and his team down by 3 points, Pierce missed an open jumper. The Hawks went on to win 106-101 and tied the series up at two games apiece. With John Wall injured, Pierce was able to step up for his team in Game 3, but it was the Hawks point guard, Jeff Teague, that took control of Game 4. Teague scored a career-high 26 points in the playoff game to accompany his eight assists, four rebounds, and two steals. The win is a relief for the Hawks, who will now have home-court advantage as the battle heads back to Philips Arena for Game 5 on Wednesday.
Fans at Boraie Development (blog.nj.com) have found that, meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors dominated the Memphis Grizzlies in a road game that tied up the series 2-2. NBA MVP Stephen Curry showed up big for his team during the 101-84 victory with a performance that even impressed some Grizzlies fans. Game 5 will be played on the Warrior’s home court on Wednesday and the fans in Oracle Arena will be rowdy as they welcome their team back home in hopes of taking the lead in the series.
Kansas is without Cliff Alexander as he deals with something that appears to be a compliance issue. His family has retained an attorney, and that is a problem for the team because it appears he might not be able to come back. Some players are sent back to the team after they handle their problems, but a player that has to retain an attorney is probably not going to be coming back any time soon.
We need to remember that there were rumors that Derrick Rose had someone take the SAT for him stated Haidar Barbouti. There are many instances where players are not doing all that they should with their academics, and UNC had a whole department that was basically made to give As to players who were playing sports. So, it appears that the NCAA is going to take this very seriously. The Kansas team training in Highland Village
has struggled throughout this whole period because they are without Alexander, and they are probably going to keep struggling because he was the catalyst for their offense. Their offense is not going to improve if they are not at full strength, and they are going to have a hard time getting past the teams that will play defense.
Say what you will about Donald Sterling, but he just never made the right moves to form a contender in LA. Robert Sarver is doing the same thing in Phoenix, and he is making the team a place no one wants to go. Goran Dargic could be a superstar in Phoenix, and he could drag them along with some help for years to come. However, he does not want to be there.
We have heard rumblings of Sarver yelling racial epithets at players from his courtside seats, and now his best player wants to get out as soon as possible. Steve Kerr did not last long as a GM even though he is now killing it in Oakland. Fans like Flavio Pentagna Guimaraes BMG wonder: How is it possible for the Suns to be so bad when they have such resources?
The owner is the problem. He has made the team a place that no one wants to go. Yes, Dragic will make more money going somewhere else, but there is no pull at all for him to stay. That tells me that the Suns have a major front office problem, and problems like that make teams impossible to improve, hard to build and even harder to sustain.
Westbrook named All-Star MVP
The NBA All-Star game is one of the most highly watched sports events of the year. Russell Westbrook made sure of that this year, especially now that he has added an accolade to his shelf.
As fans such as Marc Sparks (Facebook) know, Westbrook, the star guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder, simply acted like himself on Sunday night as he earned the Most Valuable Player award for his performance in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game that took place in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Against the rival Eastern Conference, Westbrook helped lead the Western Conference to a win in a 163-158 victory.
Over the course of the game, Westbrook scored a total of 41 points and went 16 for 28 in shooting, as well as also setting the All-Star record by shooting 27 points scored in the first half, a record previously held by Glenn Rice who made 24 points. A very notable moment that also occurred during the game was Westbrook performing a monster dunk on one of the hoops and actually managing to hit his head on the backboard.
Westbrook wasn’t the only attraction in the game, as Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers scored 12 points early in the game, and going 11 for 15 for shooting before the end of the first half. Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks also contributed by performing an alley-oop dunk as well.
The Houston Rockets have been a pretty good team thus far this season in the National Basketball Association. When they are fully healthy, they truly do play great basketball, as they are led by superstars James Harden and Dwight Howard. When one of them is injured, they just do not play like a team that has any chance to win on any given night. Fans like Zeca Oliveira know Saturday night was no different. More on Oliveira is available on his Linkedin page. As they dropped a game to the struggling Detroit Pistons, who are not even in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, which is truly pathetic as you can get into the playoffs in the East and still be about a dozen games or more under 500. Dwight Howard went out with an injury last week that is going to keep him out for the next several weeks to a month. Look for the Houston Rockets to completely tank over this time period, because they just do not seem to be able to get it done when Dwight Howard or James Harden is not in the game. It is pretty hard to have a successful team when a team cannot keep their head above water when one of their best players goes out. It is truly laying all the chips on the line and basketball is an unpredictable game. Players are going to get hurt and if one of their duos gets injured, they are toast.
Stephen Curry has absolutely exploded out of the gates this season and he is well on his way to winning his very first Most Valuable Player award. Fans like Haidar Barbouti know that he has had a ton of respect from players around the league over the last few years because they respect the way he plays the game and the fact that he can will his own shot whenever he wants and does not need hardly any room. Furthermore, he very well may have the best shot the game has ever seen, and it is only complimented by the fact that he has the luxury of playing in the back court with Klay Thompson, who just put up an astonishing 37 points in a single quarter and smashed the previous NBA record of 33. Curry flat out has demanded his spot on the throne of the best guard in basketball. Chris Paul is not even in the question anymore, as Curry has solidified that he is not only the best overall basketball player in the game, but he is one of the smartest, most efficient and confident players that have ever played the game. He will be rolling into the All Star game next week to play as a starter, but this is the first step to a long laundry list of things that Stephen Curry has set out to accomplish in his still young National Basketball Association career.
The midpoint of the season in the National Basketball Association
creates a ton of controversy as to who are really the best players in the league. There has been an increasing amount of attention to how the All Star teams are selected due to the fact that it is conducted by votes from fans and it really is a popularity contest that goes back a bunch of seasons rather than concentrating on the single season at hand.
There is always going to be people that probably should have been on the roster and got snubbed and some players who probably should not have made the team but have enough popularity that they get enough votes to make it. The System has totally taken away from what the All Star game is supposed to represent. We are supposed to see the best players of the individual season, but it is constantly overshadowed by the media attention to who is in and who is out over some drama that has been circulating around the league.
Enough is enough and the Dallas owner has posed a solution to the situation. Mark Cuban is not shy to state his opinion on anything and everything that is going on in the National Basketball Association and he has weighed in on the All Star problems. He thinks that the NBA coaches and owners should decide who is an All Star and he probably is correct with that opinion. Some fans, like Haidar Barbouti, thinks this takes the fun out of the All Star game, but eater.com states that
a coach favored system might be better for ratings.
When Bruce Levenson started UCG with just one newsletter in an apartment. The business took off, and it was based in Washington, DC. The two gentlemen who started this business were able to increase their wealth a great deal over time. They grew UCG into an amazing business that provided them with great wealth. They were able to use that wealth to buy a stake in the Atlanta Hawks.
They actually were part of a group of investors who purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena. They were just one small piece of puzzle, but Bruce Levenson was able to become the principal owner of the team and serve on the NBA board of governors. When Bruce became the principal owner of the team, he was able to bring in a better general manager and coach for the team.
He used his love of basketball to hire the right people for the jobs. Bruce Levenson brought in people from the San Antonio Spurs, and he knew that that culture would permeate the Hawks and the city of Atlanta. He was able to turn around the team in just one season, and the team is playing the best basketball in the league as of the writing of this article.
Bruce was the person that was able to bring the Hawks into the 21st Century with new players and new management. He was the person that had the vision to make the team into a more powerful team. They do not have superstars on the team, and they are content to work without those stars long into the future. The team basketball is more fun to watch, and all the fans in the city are raving about this team.
There are many ways to thank Bruce Levenson for his work with the team, and his love of basketball has make a dramatic change in the franchise.