Monday, April 27, 2015

Why the Bulls Will Beat the Cavs

        Game 4 of the Eastern Conference 1st Round might've been a win for Cleveland, but it felt more like a loss. Kevin Love popped his shoulder out of place in a tangle-up with Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Perkins shoved Jae Crowder, and J.R. Smith proceeded to karate-chop that same shoved guy in the face. Both will potentially face suspensions. It seems like the perfect storm for what could be the end of the Cavaliers' season. To make matters worse, the Cavs will likely face the Bulls in the next round and the Bulls are on the verge of eliminating the Bucks. Why are the Bulls their biggest threat?
        For starters, Cleveland will definitely miss Kevin Love. Cleveland will need a big man to combat Chicago and Kevin Love is one of the best rebounding players in the league. It's likely he'll be out three to four weeks. It certainly won't help matters that Kendrick Perkins will possibly be suspended for his dirty play on Jae Crowder since he's the next best option behind Love. How will they counter Pau Gasol, who's averaging 13.3 rebounds in this postseason? That leads me to my next point.
        While Cleveland may be ahead of Chicago in terms of bench scoring (30.8 ppg compared to Chicago's 27.2), losing Kendrick Perkins hurts not only the rebounding aspect of Cleveland's game, but also the scoring part. Take away Perkins's 3.6 ppg and Cleveland's dead even with Chicago in terms of bench scoring. Experts have clamored about how deep the Bulls are and this could be a major problem for Cleveland in the series.
        Let's not forget about Jimmy Butler, who's averaging 28.3 ppg this postseason. He has been a pleasant surprise for the Bulls this year and he continues to contribute a lot for Chicago. Can you also imagine if Derrick Rose starts becoming consistent? That could be a scary thought for Cleveland.
        If there's one thing Cleveland can take out of this that's positive, Chicago's been having problems with turnovers so far. It's what got them in Game 4 against the Bucks and it's what Cleveland could use to their advantage in order to march on towards their pursuit of a title. Still, this series will be a huge hill to climb for Cleveland, so they better hope that the Bucks can stall (or upset) the Bulls.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Some of the Best Athletes to Never Win a Title

      For many athletes, their number one goal is to win the championship in their respective sport. They practice for hours on end every day in hopes of achieving that goal at some point in their career. However, there are certain athletes who are of a higher level of play who don't win that elusive title. These sort of athletes miss out on the opportunity to hoist their sport's trophy while a bench player gets a chance to hold it. Here are some of these athletes who were so great in their careers, but never hoisted the trophy.

MLB: Ken Griffey Jr. In an era where steroid use and scandals were brewing, one player managed to become one of the greatest athletes in his sport without such advantages. That man was Ken Griffey Jr. Having played for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and the Chicago White Sox from 1989 to 2010, Griffey has amassed great numbers. He has a .284 lifetime batting average, 2,781 hits, 630 home runs, and 1,836 RBIs. He was also the AL MVP in 1997, a 13-time All Star, a ten-time Gold Glove winner, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Not to mention the fact that he has his own video game(s).
NFL: Dan Marino: Thank goodness Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Otherwise, he would've been on this list. Anyways, Dan Marino is perhaps one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. The 1983 NFL Rookie of the Year (Who became MVP the very next year) has played with the Miami Dolphins from 1983 to 1999. He's thrown for 61,361 yards in his NFL career and for 420 touchdowns. The NFL Hall of Fame inductee (2005) also has a career winning percentage of .613 and is fifth behind Manning, Brett Favre, Tom Brady and John Elway for most wins as a starting quarterback with 147.

NBA: Karl Malone: They call him 'the Mailman". You can call him one half of the dynamic duo that was John Stockton and Karl Malone. From 1985 to 2004, the two-time MVP was sixth in career rebounds with 14,986 and 10th in steals with 2,085. He also has the second most points in NBA history with 36,928 and is also a 14-time All Star and an 11-time member of the All-NBA team. He is the all-time leading scorer for the Utah Jazz. He did reach the NBA finals three times in his career, only to fall short all three times.

MLB: Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt" has had a prolific career in baseball, mainly for the Chicago White Sox. The two-time MVP has a .301 lifetime batting average, 2,468 career hits, 521 total home runs, and 1,704 lifetime RBIs. He was also the AL batting champion in 1997, a four-time Silver Slugger winner, and a five-time All Star. He was inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

NBA: John Stockton: Speaking of the dynamic duo of Malone-Stockton, here is the other half of that duo. He spent his entire career with the Utah Jazz, playing for them from 1984 to 2003. He led the NBA in assists from 1987-1988 to 1995-1996 and is a two-time Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame inductee. He holds the NBA record for most career assists (15,806) and for most career steals (3,265). The ten-time NBA All Star was also named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and was also a member of the 1992 United States "Dream Team".

NBA: Charles Barkley: You might know him as one of the analysts on "NBA on TNT". But you should also know that "Sir Charles" was a former MVP. From 1984 to 2000, Barkley has played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets. He was also an 11-time NBA All-Star and a five-time member of the NBA All-First Team. He did win two gold medals for the U.S. basketball team, one in 1992 and one in 1996. He was also voted as one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History".

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Most Intriguing Non-Prime Time NFL Match-Ups of 2015

     The NFL has released its schedule for the 2015 season and there are plenty of eye-catching match-ups to look at. Here are some of the non-prime time match-ups to watch.

  1. Packers vs. Bears (Week 1): The oldest rivalry in the NFL and perhaps all of sports gets another go right from the start as the Packers head to Soldier Field to take on DA Bears. This will be John Fox's first game as the head coach of the Chicago Bears.
  2. Patriots vs. Bills (Week 2): Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan face off again. Only this time, Ryan's coaching the Bills. Rex looks to establish a winning identity in Buffalo and winning this game will help that cause. 
  3. 49ers vs. Cardinals (Week 3): This could be an good game. The Cardinals were fantastic last year with Carson Palmer under center and look to capitalize on last year's success. As for the 49ers, they're looking to rebuild for the future.
  4. Patriots vs. Cowboys (Week 5): Tom Brady vs. Tony Romo will be going down at JerryWorld as the defending Super Bowl champs will be heading to Arlington. This could be a shootout similar to when Peyton and the Broncos played at AT&T stadium a couple of years ago.
  5. Texans vs. Colts (Week 5): Another noteworthy player takes on his former team: Andre Johnson will play against his former club for the first time in his career. Indianapolis has high hopes for the Super Bowl this year and are hoping that Johnson will come through for them.
  6. Panthers vs. Seahawks (Week 6): A rematch from last year's playoff. Jimmy Graham is a new weapon for Russell Wilson as Seattle looks to take back the Lombardi trophy this season. Carolina hopes to continue their stranglehold on the NFC South. 
  7. Broncos vs. Colts (Week 9): Andrew Luck vs. his predecessor as the Colts quarterback makes for an intriguing match-up.
  8. Bills vs. Eagles (Week 14): LeSean McCoy makes his return to Philly as Buffalo visits Lincoln Financial Field. Will Eagles fans be welcoming to McCoy or will they do what Philly fans do best?
  9. Cowboys vs. Packers (Week 14): A rematch of last year's exciting playoff game, the Cowboys are looking to exact revenge on the Packers at Lambeau. This won't be easy, though: They kept themselves in the game last year with DeMarco Murray. However, he's gone to Philadelphia.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

More Funny (And Eye-Catchingly) Interesting Pics

     If you thought you've seen enough funny pics, you're in for more! Check out these hilarious pictures found all over the internet!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2015 NBA Playoff Preview

     The first round match-ups in the NBA playoffs are set in stone. Here's what to expect from this year's playoffs in each conference.


TEAM NO ONE WANTS TO FACE:  Cleveland Cavaliers. It could be the Chicago Bulls if Derrick Rose can play like his old MVP self after being injured for most of the season. However, the Cavs have been on a roll after struggling early in the season. Of course it's going to be hard to stop Lebron and Kyrie Irving. But this team also has other players who can score. Acquiring J.R. Smith (12.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG), Dion Waiters (10.5 PPG), and Timofey Mozgov (10.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG) helps to make the case for why Cleveland's the odds-on favorite in Vegas to win it all.
PLAYER TO WATCH FOR: Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors point guard. Lowry makes a great swingman for DeMar DeRozan and does more than expected. Aside from scoring (17.8 PPG) and distributing (6.8 APG), he's great defensively. He can create turnovers for the Raptors (1.6 steals per game).
HOW WILL THE NO. 1 SEED DO? The Atlanta Hawks should easily make it out of the first and second round. But they'll likely be facing a Bulls team that has the dangerous Jimmy Butler and potential Rookie of the Year Nikola Mirotic or Lebron and the Cavs. Both teams could eliminate Atlanta in the Conference finals.
SERIES MOST LIKELY TO GO SEVEN GAMES: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors. Really, it would be a surprise to see Cleveland, Atlanta, or Chicago be taken to a seven-game series. Therefore, this would be the most logical choice.
THE TEAM THAT LOOKS LIKE A PLAYOFF TEAM THE LEAST: Brooklyn Nets. This is a Brooklyn team that was losing in the 3rd quarter of the last regular season game to Orlando. A game that they needed to win in order to make the playoffs. Now they face an Atlanta team which mirrors San Antonio's style. Ouch. 


TEAM NO ONE WANTS TO FACE: San Antonio Spurs. Before losing the last game of the season to New Orleans, the Spurs were on an 11-game winning streak. They were 14-1 in their last 15 games heading into that game as well. They have Tony Parker back along with Khawi Leonard. This is the Western Conference team most likely to give Golden State fits.
PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR:  Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets center. Now that the Rockets have Dwight back, it can become a legitimate rebounding team again. In 41 games, Howard's averaging 15.8 PPG and 10.5 RPG (7.8 of those defensive). He'll give James Harden more opportunities to make plays.
HOW WILL THE NO. 1 SEED DO? Like Atlanta, Golden State has an easy road to the Conference Finals. They'll take on the New Orleans Pelicans, who are Anthony Davis and no one else. Then, they'll take on either Memphis or Portland. Both of these teams are hobbled with injuries. It's very likely that the Warriors will be going to the NBA Finals.
SERIES MOST LIKELY TO GO SEVEN GAMES: Dallas vs. Houston or San Antonio vs. Los Angeles Clippers. Both series will be highly competitive and tense match-ups. Dallas vs. Houston is one hell of an in-state rivalry that should be a physical battle, while San Antonio vs. Los Angeles will be a battle of quite possibly the two most dangerous teams to Golden State in the Western Conference.
THE TEAM THAT LOOKS LIKE A PLAYOFF TEAM THE LEAST: Portland Trail Blazers. Don't let the #4 seed fool you; this Trail Blazers squad has been hampered by injuries all season long. LaMarcus Aldridge has been bit with the injury bug and is now dealing with a left foot sprain and Portland's already lost Wesley Matthews to an Achilles injury. Realisticly, both Portland and Memphis have injury problems. So whoever wins this series will most likely be ousted by Golden State in the second round. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

From Outta NOWHERE!!

     This baseball season has started off with a bang. The first week of baseball went by with some surprises (Washington Nationals at 2-5, Atlanta Braves at 6-1, Colorado Rockies at 5-2) and some expected results (Detroit Tigers at 6-1, Minnesota Twins at 1-6). But what many didn't expect was for the Kansas City Royals to start the first week off undefeated (From outta NOWHERE).

     Coming off of a World Series trip which saw them nearly upend Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants, the Kansas City Royals were picked by many experts to be a .500 ball club this year. Why? Because they lost their ace in James Shields to San Diego, who went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA, a WHIP of 1.18, and 180 strikeouts. They also lost Billy Butler to Oakland, which didn't seem to matter to them since he batted .271 with nine home runs and 66 RBIs last season. Although both Butler and Shields are having solid starts to their season, that hasn't deterred the Royals from starting off 7-0.
     Remember the trio of Wade Davis (1.00 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 109 K's, 33 holds), Kelvin Herrera (1.41 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 20 holds), and Greg Holland (1.44 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 90 K's, 46 saves)? Those three fueled the Kansas City bullpen to a World Series trip that took San Francisco to the wire. Those three are back and NONE of them have allowed an earned run so far. In fact, the three have combined for just two walks and eleven strikeouts. A lot of experts believed that the bullpen would tail off this year. Believe it or not, they also acquired oft-injured Kendrys Morales to replace Billy Butler and he's been a surprise. He's batting .414 with two home runs and five RBI's and get this: He's walked five times and struck out only six times. Salvador Perez (.414, three home runs, nine RBIs) and Lorenzo Cain (.407, one home run, eight RBIs) have also been very productive. But don't think for a second that this blog is all about the Royals.
     The one BIG surprise to the season so far has been the Atlanta Braves. Many experts picked the Braves to be absolutely abysmal this year. But Atlanta's performance so far has raised the eyebrows of many. This is the same Atlanta team that made major overhauls in the offseason. Out went the Upton brothers, Evan Gattis, Craig Kimbrel, Jason Heyward, and Tommy La Stella. In went Jason Grilli, Shelby Miller, Alberto Callaspo, Nick Markakis, Jonny Gomes, Jim Johnson, A.J. Pierzynski, Cameron Maybin, and Eric Young Jr., a.k.a. the guy who stepped on Tim Hudson's foot.
     One acquisition that has helped out the Braves (And one that I really liked) was the addition of Shelby Miller. It might only be two starts, but Miller boasts an ERA of 0.90 and a WHIP of 1.10. Granted, he hasn't struck out a lot of batters (Only five to be exact). But that's probably not Miller's forte; his career best was in 2013 when he had 169 strikeouts for St. Louis. He's a part of Atlanta's stellar pitching, which leads the majors in team ERA at 1.86. Opponents are also batting .206 against Atlanta pitchers, which is good for sixth in the majors.
     Can Atlanta keep this up while the Nationals are down? Crazier things have happened, but as long as the Braves can contribute timely hitting to go with their pitching (11th in runs scored with 32 and 7th in BA with .256), then this team could be in the playoff chase come the dog days of summer. It could also take the ease off the rebuilding process and make it much more useful for the Braves. As for the Royals, don't write them off. This team has a lot of their core players back and are hungry for more than just an appearance in the Fall Classic.