Washington D.C. has been the land of disappointment, for sports that is. I'm sure you guys all have your opinions on the political side, but we can discuss that another time. Maybe when the 4 years is up, then we can look back on the President's term as a whole and decide how we feel. But for now, lets just hope that he either turns it around and does a good job, or continues to make himself look like a fool so that we will forever be reminded of how not to run a country. Hopefully, an NBA Finals championship can help the city take its mind off of all the craziness going on, even if it's just for a few months.
The Washington Wizards are a curious bunch. They are led by their head coach Scottie Brooks who seems to continue to have problems with having too much talent. Brooks had his one good Finals year run, and besides that has constantly found himself underachieving with his rosters. This season has been somewhat of a reversal affect. Brooks had his team actually looking better, and playing a better brand of basketball without their best player in John Wall. Look, all the individual stats are awesome. Wall is a one of a kind talent who can score at will, which is tough to find in a point guard. But his talents have yet to translate to team success in the playoffs.
I'll probably get killed for saying such blaspheme, but I honestly think that their better play without Wall is the way to go heading into the future. But, they gotta roll with what they got right now. It's insane of me to think that any team could be better without John Wall, so I'm going to continue with the mindset that he will make them better and that his play will translate to postseason success. Especially if they get a favorable draw in the first round against the wounded Boston Celtics, a rematch of last year's 7 game battle.
The roster for the Boston Celtics is very different than last season, but they still have Brad Stevens at the helm, which would give any team a significant advantage. But he can only do so much as a coach, the players have to go out there and play. The Wizards with health on their side, will have a favorable match up at pretty much every position on the court. Tomas Satoransky came in and covered for Wall in his absence, and in his 70 games on the court he put up an incredible 47% from three point land. Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin will have their hands full with those two guards. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart will be able to bring their experience from last season, but there will be too much pressure on them to carry the scoring load for the Celtics. The shooters of the Wizards will come to play as they will build off of their 4th best three point shooting percentage in the NBA. As their scoring will go through the roof, the Wizards will take the series in 6 games, and hopefully they will wear all black prior to the elimination game again.
Getting to the second round would be considered a success for Wizard's teams in the past, but it'll be just the beginning of something special. They will book themselves a date with the red hot Philadelphia 76ers. Although the 76ers have many significant statistical advantages, their youth and inexperience will be the driving force that allows the Wizards an opportunity to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Joel Embiid will do exactly what everyone has been afraid of, and get injured in the first game of the series. Marcin Gortat having to go against guys like Ersan Ilyasova and Richaun Holmes will be a breeze. Wall and Gortat will pick and roll them to death which will lead them to being the two leading scorers in the series. Scottie Brooks will come up with the perfect gameplay to limit Ben Simmons playmaking ability by constantly forcing him to get the ball out of his hands early in the shot clock. The 76ers lead the league in turnovers committed, while the Wizards are 7th in the NBA in turnovers forced. This recipe for disaster will be the doom for the 76ers, as they will go down in 6 games.
The Toronto Raptors finally came through and defeated Lebron James, which now gives a new Eastern Conference team to reach the Finals. The Wizards will be playing with house money, as everyone in the basketball world will be picking against them. The last thing this group needed was doubters, which will only fuel their fire. Sharing the basketball will be key in this series for the Wizards as the Raptors are 24th in the NBA in steals. The Wizards are 5th in the NBA in team assists, which will lead to them shooting a lot of wide open three point shots. High volume shooter Kelly Oubre will catch fire over 7 games, and will average 4 three point shots made per game. The Raptors commit the 5th most fouls in the NBA, which will lead the Wizards to want to play fast and aggressive. Toronto will blow a 3-0 lead, and none of the players will ever be able to go on Twitter ever again because of cyber-bullying.
With an opportunity to win their second championship in franchise history, they will have to do so against the Houston Rockets. The big men of the Rockets in Nene and Clint Capela don't affect many shots in the lane, as they are 23rd in the NBA in blocks per game. Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, and Mike Scott will dominate the short-range game as they will not be scared to shoot over the Rockets big men. This matchup is perfect for John Wall who is a great individual player, as he will face off against Chris Paul. Highlights of Steph Curry's handles will be a distant memory when Wall gets a hold of Paul's ankles on the biggest stage. Bradley Beal won't be able to guard James Harden, and vice versa. These two guys will both average 30+ points over the series and will give us one of the greatest individual offensive performances between two Finals opponents.
Scottie Brooks will finally figure out that running isolations 40 times a game through his two best players isn't the way to win basketball games, and will allow his players to share the wealth. Bradley Beal will hit a contested jumper in Harden's face in Game 7, and the city of Houston will burn cop cars. John Wall will be hurt by the fact that he didn't win Finals MVP and he will demand a trade to the New York Knicks, where individual basketball is celebrated with 35 win seasons. The President will call John Wall a crybaby and a loser for wanting to leave D.C., and Twitter will say they wish it was him leaving instead.
I couldn't find any cool highlights of any of the Wizards players, so here's some highlights of an All-Star reserve...
Everyone remembers the Kevin Garnett years in Minnesota. They went to the playoffs for 8 straight seasons, the only years in the teams 29 year history that they got to play in the postseason. But I remember those seasons for someone else, Wally Szczerbiak. This guy was the the true definition of a “3-and-D” wing. He could pull up and hit jumpers on you on the offensive end, then come right down the floor and shut down your team’s best player. He would slap the floor and get under the skin of his opponents simply with his grit and continuous effort from start to finish. I actually remember trying to mimick his style of play when I played youth basketball, I was never the best player on my team but I knew my role. Any good team that wants to win a championship needs a Kevin Garnett, but they also need a Wally.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have gone the opposite way over the years. Not in their play or improvement as a franchise, but with their uniforms. Those are probably some of the worst jerseys I’ve ever seen. But luckily for them, the guys in the jerseys are pretty good. Their season has been a roller coaster, started out shaky, was on a smooth ride for a bit, then an injury to Jimmy Butler has led the team to possibly derail off of the tracks. Yet, they will play for a chance at their first playoff berth since the 2003 season on Wednesday when they match up with the Denver Nuggets for a Win and You’re In situation.
Alright, so let’s say they win that game and find themselves in the 7 seed. They will book a date with the defending champions in the Golden State Warriors, who will be without Steph Curry. The Warriors have not finished the season strongly without their best player, having gone 7-8 since his injury. This series looks to be a favorable matchup in many aspects for the Wolves, as they have the size and scoring ability to go toe-to-toe for 7 games. The biggest factor in this series is Karl-Anthony Towns, as the Warriors will not have an answer for him. Although they do have Draymond Green, it has been his least productive season on the defensive end of his career. KAT will eat all series long, and will stretch the floor with his shooting ability that has led him to 42% from three on 3.6 attempts per game. Jamal Crawford will score big off the bench and will match every three pointer that Klay Thompson splashes. The Wolves will finally have their We’ve Arrived moment that we have all been waiting for when the knock off the hobbled Warriors in 7 games.
Their second round matchup will be a breeze when they face off against the Utah Jazz. KAT and Butler can essentially coast through this series and allow the load to be carried by their veterans. Jeff Teague will look across from him and see barbecue chicken when he matches up with Ricky Rubio. As Teague has 66 playoff games under his belt, he will carry his career playoff field goal percentage of 40% and his 1 steal per game into a series that he will dominate. Taj Gibson will have no trouble using the fundamentals of the game to break down Rudy Gobert and make him look foolish when an old man schools him. Jimmy Butler’s only job will be to shut down Donovan Mitchell, which will be no trouble at all. The Wolves will win the the series in 6 games and advance to the Western Conference Finals in their toughest test.
The Houston Rockets are coming off of a grueling series with the Portland Trail Blazers, where they lost their second leading scorer in Eric Gordon due to injury. This puts an extreme amount of pressure on James Harden and Chris Paul to deliver on the offensive end on almost every possession. These two guys will do what they have always done in the biggest moments, fold. The bench will play a significant role in this series, as guys like Tyus Jones and Shabazz Muhammad will play tough defense on the Rockets other shooters. Gorgei Dieng will accept his matchup with Nene and will play physical all series. With all the talk of the high powered offense, people will forget that the Wolves rank 5th in field goal percentage, while the Rockets are 14th. The Wolves will shoot the lights out and will win a high scoring 7 game series.
The NBA Finals will be a duel of unicorns, as KAT and Joel Embiid will fight for the future of the league when the Wolves play against the Philadelphia 76ers. With health on both teams sides, it will be one of the greatest series in NBA history as every game will be decided by 3 points or less. But there will be one secret weapon for the Wolves that the 76ers will have no answer for, Derrick Rose. His amount of rest throughout the playoffs has allowed for Head Coach Tom Thibadeau to play him at a high volume. Rose will be Prime DRose and will be unstoppable off the bench when facing guys like Markelle Fultz and TJ McConell. On the final play of a tied up score in Game 7, Rose will drive, the defense will crash and leave Andrew Wiggins wide open for the series winning 19 foot jumper. As it will be his only shot he will make all postseason, he will find a way to trick the Wolves into actually believing they got their money’s worth. Derrick Rose will win NBA Finals MVP and get a max contract by the Phoenix Suns, where he will play the first half of the first game of the 2018 season, go missing for three days, then announce his retirement. It’ll be peak Suns.
I’m just here for Prime DRose...
Everybody is driven by something. Whether that be money, fame, sex, notoriety, or a pat on the back. There's a long list of factors that drive people to do whatever it is that they do, but not everybody really wants to put the work that it takes to gain the benefits. Some people are just cut out differently than others, and they find themselves constantly achieving whatever it is that they are searching for out of life. This next dude has that old school hustler mentality that helps him to continue to be a driving force in the entertainment industry.
My Krazy Life
March 18, 2014
For those old enough to remember, MySpace was the spot when it came to listening to the newest of the new music. It was the SoundCloud platform for artists way before it was even thought of. And if you were really on the hype, you would find the newest music and put it on your profile so that when people went onto your page they'd be like "This guy always got songs on here that I've never heard of." Back when the Jerkin' phase was just starting to get hot, a teenage YG was dropping some of the hardest dance songs out with a hood twist. "I'm Still Poppin" had to be the hardest jerkin song I ever heard. I don't even know if he intended for it to be a dance song, but I was rocking my purple skinny jeans doing all kinds of crazy leg moves in Downtown Modesto slapping the 4Fingaz mixtape out of my Geo Metro. Had the hatchback open so you could hear the bass, probably looking like a damn fool.
For a good 5 or 6 years, all we had was the constant release of mixtapes from YG, so by the time it came for his debut album to finally drop, the world was already prepared for the future. He did not disappoint and delivered with the whole world watching. The most anticipated debut in Los Angeles rap since Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle not only lived up to expectations, but could be considered a certified classic at the end of his career. My Krazy Life gives us a glimpse into the street life of Los Angeles for a gang affiliated artist with dreams of making sure his mom and dad never have to work again.
The release of the megahit worldwide single in "My Nigga" months before the release of the album only built the anticipation. Young Jeezy not only was featured on the first single, but was the Executive Producer for the album. Having a man in his corner who has been in the rap game for a long time could only help YG in his rise to stardom. Following his first hit single, he followed it with another chart topper that featured worldwide pop singer Drake in "Who Do You Love?" YG came with some hot lyrics that could only be created by someone who has really gone through it, and made himself extremely relatable to the masses.
But enough about the singles that as my wife says all the time are played out. I'm like Bangers never get played out, but she doesn't care she skips them anyway. But I don't blame her, because the tracks on this album that weren't for the radio were exponentially better and contained much more substance than that of those popular songs. In case you didn't know where he was from, he lets you know right from the start. After his mom calls for him to come inside, stating his whole name as Keenon Daequan Ray Mutha Fuckin Jackson, his song "BPT" lets you know where he is from and what raised him.
Nigga I'm from BPT
Westside (x4) TTP
What block? (x4) 400 Spruce Street
What y'all doin? (x4)
Nigga kill off all beef
I’m a Westside get brackin' in the back like what’s happnin'
That 40 Glock snap like Insta, ain't no need for a caption
I got put on by four niggas, wasn't need for no bandage
I did my stuff like a young nigga, that's how I'm s'posed to handle it
Here's a little translation for you guys: BPT=Bompton aka Compton; TTP=Tree Top Piru. Listening to YG's music is sometimes like listening to an entirely different language, but it represents what he is. A young man who grew up in a city that treats those of the same gang affiliation like family, and his heavy use of Blood terminology is a nod to his upbringing. But it's not all guns and violence with YG, his music is his weapon of choice, and he uses it to try to create a better future for his family. He expresses some of his truest feelings and allows the world to feel what fuels his fire in "Really Be"
I be goin' through shit, losin' bitches and homies
If I don't make it with this rap shit, nigga, I might be homeless
My moms don't got a job, my pop's checks ain't enough
If I ain't bringin' home that money, my whole family is fucked
That's why I move like the Mob, I'm watchin' movies too much
If niggas wanted you dead, what would you suggest?
That last line really resonates with me as I've listened to this album for probably the 50th time through. He knows that most of his listeners won't ever know what it is like to go through what he has gone through. To have people that want you dead definitely would give you a different perspective on life. He shows that he knows how powerful his art can be, and that if he uses it correctly he can keep himself safe, and allow his mother and father to live the lives he believes they deserve.
That's all most of us really want, right? For any of us who have parents or whoever guided us through life, we want to make them proud and give them the opportunity to live comfortable. You may not understand why YG talks about guns, sex, and gang violence, but his art allows you to at least see what he is doing it for. If he grew up around those influences, he has to share those with the world. It gives the listener a chance to see who someone real looks like. A lot of rappers, especially from Los Angeles, try to create the appearance that they are from the hood or had a tough upbringing or whatever. But when you listen to YG, not only do you hear him, but you feel his words.
Life is a feeling process. If you don't have the ability to feel someone's emotions through their art, then this probably isn't for you. But for those of you who have an ability to understand that everyone has different backgrounds, and you can respect someone who represents what they are about, then you will understand what I mean when I say you can feel his words. Not only that, YG just gives you the hood shit that most of y'all beg for in rap. The real West Coast shit that came from the 90's is all here in this album, mixed in with a little bit of G-Unit as he can teach you how to stunt.
It's obvious what YG does it for, his family, himself, and the people who created a lasting influence on his life and music. But what do you do it for? What drives you? There may be a person ten thousand miles away who is a different race, have a different background, and has gone through different life experiences than you. But it is very possible that you have the same common goals as that random person. I see a lot of myself in YG, not in appearance with the tattoos, the gang language, and the fact that he is black and I'm more of like a medium brown, but in the fact that I'm doing what I do for my family. So I encourage you to listen to this album with a mindset of understanding. Because once you are able to understand others, it will only make others more understanding of you. Real shit.
Putting mama's in a music video is a BIG MOOD...
The city of New Orleans is an interesting location for 400,000 people to live, seeing as how most of the city is below sea level. With a 4 foot increase in the sea level since Hurricane Katrina, it is getting a little dicey keeping all those people protected by just a couple of levees. Yet, I am no politician. I don’t know where we could move all of those people, but I can see clearly that continuing to allow people to live below sea level so close to an ocean that is susceptible to hurricanes is a little . . . alarming. But it says something about the people who inhabit this city, they are fighters. Even after getting knocked down over a decade ago, they have come back stronger than ever. And they have a basketball team that represents that fight.
The New Orleans Pelicans made a huge move in last season’s deadline by trading for Demarcus Cousins. Things were looking great. Boogie was averaging 25.2 points per game and 13 rebounds per game before he suffered a huge blow when he tore his Achilles’ tendon on January 26th. This was supposed to be their death blow. The Pelicans were 27-21 and were sitting in 8th place. There was no way that Anthony Davis could carry this team to the playoffs without his Twin Tower. Yet here they are, sitting in the 5th seed with three games to go. Davis has shown that he can not only lead this team, but that he can be the best player on the court on any given night.
Just like their city, they have fought even harder after being knocked down and doubted. With the Western Conference playoff race as tight as it is, they can either be knocked out of playoff contention or have home court advantage in round one depending on how things shake out over these final days of the NBA season. But in this case, let’s say the Pelicans stay where they are at and stay at the 5 seed. This will match them up with the Utah Jazz in the first round. The efficiency of the Pelicans could win them this series, as a team they are 2nd in the NBA in field goal percentage whereas the Jazz are 14th. Guys like NBA Champion Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday will have way too much playoff experience against a young guy like Donovan Mitchell. They will kill him in the pick and roll and will play tight defense on him throughout the series. A dominant Anthony Davis will not make this series pretty as they will win in 5 games.
The second round will be their toughest test, matching up with the Houston Rockets. The Pelicans will not have any answer for James Harden, but they will win every other matchup on the court. The Rockets are a high volume three point shooting team and the Pelicans allow the second most three point attempts per game, which is not a recipe for success. But per 100 possessions, the Pelicans are 9th in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage, so there is hope. The Pelicans will force the Rockets to step up and take deep two point shots, and Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis will Dominate the boards and limit the Rockets second chance points. The deep point guard play will wear down Chris Paul as they can throw their two guys I previously mentioned as well as another NBA Champion in Ian Clark. The Rockets will prove that they were who we thought they were all season, choke artists. The Pelicans will pull off the upset in 7 games, and Anthony Davis will average an unbelievable 50 points and 20 rebounds over the course of the series.
The Golden State Warriors could not overcome their injuries and got knocked out by the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Pelicans are thankful. As the Pelicans will continue to share the ball well as they have all season, their rank of 2nd in the NBA in team assists will shine throughout this series. The Blazers are 23rd in the NBA in steals, and their inability to force turnovers will allow for the Pelicans to display incredible ball movement that will tire the Blazers out. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will exert so much energy on the defensive end that they will not be able to score like they usually do. E’Twaun Moore will carry his season long 50% shooting into this series and will not miss a beat. Newly added piece Jordan Crawford, will turn heads and have people going “When the hell did they get Jordan Crawford?” He’s been there, we just didn’t pay attention. The Pelicans will do right by their city and will advance in 6 games over the Blazers.
The Boston Celtics somehow willed their way to the NBA Finals on the back of their coach Brad Stevens. But their incredible run will fall short, as Stevens will remember what it feels like to lose in the championship. The lack of stars that can deliver in the biggest moments will make it tough on the Celtics. Head coach Alvin Gentry will push all the right buttons and every lineup he throws out there will work. Rajon Rondo will get an increase in minutes as he will show once again what he is capable of when he is on the biggest stage. The Celtics will dribble the ball way too much and their 20th rank in assists will make it difficult for them to score. They also allow the 10th most rebounds in the NBA, which is not good when you’re facing off against Anthony Davis. As he did when he reached the championship at the college level, Davis will dominate the boards and will block every shot that comes near him. The low scoring affairs will be bad for television ratings, but will be indicative of the city of New Orleans. As we continue to go through our day, they continue to rebuild their city. Anthony Davis will bring a championship back to New Orleans the way Drew Brees did, and his path to getting a levee named after him will begin.
Some Brow highlights just cuz...
Out of all the time zones, I would say that Mountain Time is probably the worst for sports viewing. If I had to rank them I would say it goes Pacific Standard, Eastern Standard, Central, and then Mountain. Pacific, you pretty much never have to stay up past 11 pm to finish watching a sporting event, and early games are perfect for brunch. Eastern would come second because pretty much every sporting event is tailored around your spoiled asses. Central is fine I guess because when you get off of work from your 9-5 games are just starting. And Mountain is just kind of, like, there. Thats probably why your basketball teams get no love.
The Denver Nuggets have quietly been one of the best team basketball type of teams this season. They don't have any All-Stars, unless you count an older Paul Millsap. None of their players are in the top 25 in jersey sales in the NBA. They are the second youngest team among playoff contenders, yet they have played so well as a young team and are currently tied of the 8 seed. They are on the outside looking in due to tiebreakers, but they have a chance to play their way into the NBA Playoffs.
With a huge win at home over the Minnesota Timberwolves on national television, the Nuggets brought themselves one win closer to their first playoff appearance since the 2012 season. To go even deeper, they haven't won a playoff series since the 2008 season. But one decade later, they look to put on for the Mountain Timers and reach their first NBA Finals in their 50th season. The Nuggets play the Wolves in their final game of the season, which will most likely seal the fate for both of those teams. Achieving the 8 seed will set the up with a date with the best team in the league in the Houston Rockets.
The Pepsi Center is home to one of the best home-court advantages in the league. When you factor in the elevation, the Mountain Time, and the electric atmosphere, it is a tough place for any team to get a win. The Nuggets are 30-10 this season at home, which is the 4th best in the league. Their Offensive Rebound Percentage is 2nd best in the NBA, which creates more opportunities for themselves for a team that likes to shoot three pointers 36% of the time. They match up well against a deep team like the Rockets, and if they can get all of their wins at home, they will give themselves a chance in a Game 7. Gary Harris has shot 40% from three point land this season, and his hot shooting will give the Nuggets a high scoring victory over the Rockets and send shockwaves through the league.
The second round matchup might be the most uninteresting series in NBA history. A duel with the Utah Jazz, a matchup between two Mountain Time opponents, will probably only be watched by those team's fans. No disrespect, these teams are good, they are just not that interesting, if that makes sense. Yet here they are in round two, so who cares if the world is entertained. This series will be quick and somewhat easy. The Jazz are a defensive minded squad and the Nuggets play with pace and three point shooting. The veteran presence of Devin Harris, Wilson Chandler, and Paul Millsap will dominate the youth of the Jazz. Rudy Gobert will be virtually invisible on the offensive end and Ricky Rubio will get outplayed by Jamal Murray. The Nuggets will win the series in front of their home fans in Game 6 and reach the Western Conference Finals.
With the Portland Trail Blazers knocking off the injured Golden State Warriors, a matchup of division opponents will decide who represents the West in the NBA Finals. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will not disappoint, they will carry their team throughout the entire series but the Nuggets will work to shut everyone else down. Nikola Jokic will show the world his versatility and will distribute the basketball to his shooters over a 7 game series. Being the leading scorer on the season, he will go shot for shot with the Blazers shooters and will average 40 points per game. The Nuggets are 5th in the NBA in shots from 3-10 feet, and they will use this to their advantage by being aggressive and living in the paint. Mason Plumlee will get revenge on his former team and hit a buzzer beating hook shot in Game 7 to send the Nuggets to their first NBA Finals appearance in team history.
The Toronto Raptors finally find a way to end the reign of Lebron James, and will bring Drake with them to the NBA Finals. This is the perfect matchup for a hot shooting team like the Nuggets. Will Barton and Trey Lyles will create spacing on the floor and will shoot the lights out. Nikola Jokic will scoop up all of his shooters misses and will create enough second chance opportunities to allow his team to dominate the rebounds and the clock. The Nuggets will go undefeated at home throughout the entire postseason, and will defeat the Raptors in Game 7 to send the entire state of Colorado into one big smokefest. One small step for the Nuggets, one big step for Mountain Time.
Keep it lit Denver...
So the past couple of days I have given you some hypotheticals that have given some teams a chance to win the NBA Finals, which in any universe would be impossible. There was alien abductions, mass amount of player injuries, and some truly unbelievable historical occurrences. But thats all over, all of the teams I will go through now will be given real opportunities to win the championship. This first team with a real shot has one of the best young talents in the league, and possibly the best player of the future.
The Milwaukee Bucks have lacked hope in the new millennium. Since their Conference Finals appearance in 2001 the Bucks have made the playoffs 7 times but have yet to advance to the second round. With a possible matchup against a depleted Boston Celtics team or a Toronto Raptors team that has looked uncomfortable over the last month, there is hope for some upsets. Although they will need some help along the way, there is a chance that Giannis Antetokounmpo can reach another level and be the best player on the court every night.
Lets say the Bucks finish in the 8 seed. They will face off against the Raptors in the first round. The Raptors have gone 4-5 since March 18th with only one win coming against a playoff opponent. The Bucks length could win them this series, with 8.8 steals per game, they can win the points off of turnovers race since the Raptors average 13.2 turnovers per game. A lot of questions have been raised about the Bucks offensive production, yet they actually have a better field goal percentage than the Raptors with a .480 to .472 advantage. This number can only increase over a series with a higher usage of Giannis, who will dominate the mid-range game. There is no player on the Raptors who can guard him, and with the help of the Raptors turnovers and their annual choke job, the Bucks will win this series in 7 games and Eric Bledsoe will dab in front of Drake.
Their matchup in the second round will be one that will be very tough for them. Playing against the young and hot Philadelphia 76ers. With the size and power of the Bucks, they will continue to pound the paint and will get guys like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to get into foul trouble early in games. The Bucks gain more free throws per game than the 76ers with a rate of 24.4 to 22.9 per 100 possessions. Guys like Malcolm Brogdon, Jabari Parker, and Khris Middleton will be aggressive from start to finish. The last time the 76ers and Bucks matched up, the Bucks came out on top. The Bucks forced 26 turnovers and won the points off of turnovers race by a score of 36-11. Giannis dropped 34 points and a 58-38 second half gave the Bucks a big win at home. If the Bucks can get that kind of play for just 4 out of 7 games, they will find themselves in the Eastern Conference Finals.
This is where things begin to really get tough. Giannis against Lebron. The future face of the league against a man who has been the face for about 10 years now. In many cases, Giannis is a younger, longer, more athletic form of Lebron. And in a 7 games series, the depth of the Bucks could prove too much for one man. The defense of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been, in a word, bad all season. They allow 109.7 points per game and force fewer turnovers per game than the Bucks. Brandon Jennings will come off the bench and feast on guys like George Hill and Jose Calderon. It will have to be the Giannis moment, he will have to go toe-to-toe with Lebron and be slightly better than him at every phase of the game. He will average a triple-double over 7 games, and will finally catapult an Eastern Conference team that doesn’t have Lebron into the NBA Finals.
After getting past Lebron, the NBA Finals will seem to be a breeze to the Bucks with their matchup against the Houston Rockets. Matthew Dellavedova and Jason Terry’s minutes will skyrocket as they will bring their NBA Championship experience to the series. There is little to no stats that the Rockets don’t lead in this season, so numbers won’t tell the story. The Bucks will win with grit, and will have the best player on the floor every night. Giannis will take it upon himself to guard James Harden, and he will successfully limit his big plays. Thon Maker will have his moment as well as he will continue to shoot his three point shot that has improved over his young career which will stretch the defense and allow John Henson to dominate the boards. Giannis will follow his performance with another triple-double average over a 6 game series and Milwaukee will hoist the trophy in front of their fans for the first time since 1971.
Here's to hoping Giannis can jump over another man, but this time on the biggest stage of them all...
It is time for a history lesson. Oh god, thats a horrible way to get your attention. I know a few of you read that first line thinking "I'm not here for school you bozo, just tell me about the damn food." Alright, alright I got it. You don't want to learn anything, well too damn bad because you're going to. So wake your brain up and sit in your Thinking Chair because you're about to get that history lesson that you so desperately need.
On the Sand at the Kauai Marriott Resort
3610 Rice Street, Lihue, HI 96766
Hours: Dinner 4:45pm-9:30pm Barefoot Bar 11:00am-10:30pm
The Ambassador of Aloha, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, born in 1890, was the most decorated Hawaiian that you have never heard of. A winner of 6 Olympic medals, Olympic Hall of Famer, and the first person ever to be inducted into the Swimming and Surfing Hall of Fame. Duke lived a long and fulfilling life and created an impact all over the world. He introduced surfing to the US Atlantic Coast, New Zealand, and even Australia where they put up a statue of him after his death in 1968. He even lived in Los Angeles for 8 years and had a role in 28 movies. He was a Sheriff for the city and county of Honolulu for 25 years, and was appointed the new state of Hawaii's Official Ambassador of Aloha in 1960.
The guy did it all, even before Hawaii was even a part of the United States. His willingness to teach the world about his passion not only affected those who came in contact with him, but the people who benefited from his teachings that came after him. And the only reason I even know who this guy is, is because I went to a restaurant that was named after him. And the story is just as good as the food.
Duke's Kauai is located right on Nawiliwili Bay and the view from the restaurant is a picture perfect moment that belongs on the cover of one of those Must Go To Restaurants books. This beautiful restaurant is the place that my wife and I decided to go to the night before our wedding. We figured if we were going to go out to somewhere nice, we might as well do it right and ball out.
The dining is split up into two parts. The downstairs area is your bar and grill area, which offers American style dishes with some Hawaiian fresh fish specials as well. But the upstairs area is where you want to go if you are looking for a complete dining experience with a view. You also get a menu that is only offered during their dinner hours. With pupus (appetizers), fresh fish, seafood, and a steakhouse grill, you will feel like an honored guest in this fine dining experience.
The wine and cocktails menu is very unique. They offer many Hawaiian specific drinks as well as local beers and fine wines. My wife ordered the Lava Flow which is blended fresh pineapple, coconut syrup, strawberries and rum. That shit was so damn good, definitely because of the fact that the pineapple was so fresh and obviously was grown locally. I ordered La Piña which was blended fresh pineapple, coconut cream, and Hana Bay gold rum with a Darkk rum float. But the best part about my drink was that it was inside of a fresh pineapple, I felt like damn royalty.
We started off with their Panko Crusted Calamari with wasabi-guava cocktail sauce. I didn't even know wasabi and guava went together, but I soon realized that it was a pair that I had been missing out on my whole life. You know when you go get deep fried calamari and usually the pieces are like pretty thin and a little crunchy? I honestly thought that was just how it was always supposed to be, until we got our plate. The calamari was so thick that they looked like they had the octopus on steroids, and if he was I really don't care. Biting into that calamari was something totally different then I've ever experienced with calamari before, it was like an entirely different kind of food. I was actually a little bit sad because I knew I was probably never going to have calamari like that again.
So that was just the appetizer, what came next was even more Knock Your Socks Off kind of feeling. We ordered the Signature Top Sirloin which was grilled usda prime beef, garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized maui onion demi glace. We also ordered the Pulehu Style Filet Mignon which was grilled with Hawaiian salt, brown sugar, cracked pepper, roasted garlic butter, mashed potatoes. And of course we also ordered a quarter pound Tristan lobster tail and a side of Coconut Shrimp with Lilikoi dip because we were getting married the next day so we had to celebrate that moment with a lot, and I mean a lot, of food.
Let's start with the Sirloin. I have never had a piece of meat cooked so perfectly, sorry to anyone who has ever cooked for me. The maui onion demi glaze sweetness gave an incredible balance to the mashed potatoes that I wasn't expecting. The Filet Mignon did not disappoint either. The Hawaiian salt and brown sugar gave it a subtle taste of Hawaii in every bite. But what really made the dish was the garlic butter, I mean they must have melted an entire stick of butter on that that plate because the filet mignon was swimming in a pool of delicious flavor. The lobster tail just put everything over the top, getting fresh seafood from an island in the middle of the ocean is probably the best thing you can do for yourself.
When we were finally done stuffing our entire body's with all the food we could possibly indulge over the span of about an hour, we just sat there and enjoyed the moment. I remember looking at my wife and thinking that I wasn't sure if we were ever going to have a dining experience like that again. The drinks, the food, the view, the fact that we were about to get married, all added up and made it for a special moment. Which is exactly what that place is, special. The standard that this restaurant holds itself to is that of the man it is named after. It will make an impact on you so significant that you will have to tell everyone you know to fly all the way to Kauai simply for this moment of food bliss. Duke is the Ambassador of Aloha, and Duke's Kauai carries on his legacy with every meal.
RIP a legend! The Father of Surfing!
The Staples Center has been home for the playoffs for the last six seasons. Yet only one of those seasons has been for the Lakers, and they got swept in the first round. If it wasn't for the Los Angeles Clippers having some of their greatest years as a franchise ever, The Staples Center would have been a very quiet place during the NBA Playoffs. With the Clippers trading away Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, you would think their playoff streak of 6 consecutive seasons would end. But with some dominant interior play and good coaching, the Clippers have found themselves with a chance to continue their streak.
The Los Angeles Clippers are in the playoff race yet again. If you're about 10 years old living in Los Angeles, there is a pretty good possibility that you have chosen to become a Clippers fan. Hey kid, you do you, because your team has been in the playoffs more than half of your life. Whereas the other Los Angeles team has been fishing for talent in the lottery for 5 consecutive seasons. And if you happen to also be a Dodgers fan, well kid let me tell you that your sports watching life is going to be filled with a lot of disappointment.
But not for this season at least, as there is still a way for the Clippers to find a way into the NBA Playoffs and shock the world by winning the NBA Finals. With 3 of their final 4 games left on their schedule coming against playoff opponents, they are essentially in a play yourself into the tournament situation. Peaking at the right time is key in runs like these, and after a huge win against the San Antonio Spurs, the confidence for the Clippers can only grow if they find a way to win out and lock up the 8 seed.
The last time an 8 seed upset a 1 seed was when the Golden State Warriors defeated Dallas Mavericks who were 67-15 and had the MVP in Dirk Nowitzki. Now the Clippers would have to face off against a team very similar to that Mavericks team in the Houston Rockets who will probably end up with 65 wins and has the MVP in James Harden. So basically what I'm saying is that this has been done before.
Deandre Jordan is second in the NBA in rebounds and rebounds per game, so having to match up against an untested guy like Clint Capela could be a significant advantage. Boban Marjonovic will destroy Nene and send him into retirement two games into the series. Wesley Johnson gets revenge with his own crossover that literally breaks both of James Harden's ankles on the first play of the series. And with Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and Ryan Anderson all somehow getting hurt, the Clippers sneak past the Rockets in an unbelievable upset. The Clippers will win the series in game 6 in front of their home crowd.
As I said in a previous article, in this world where the Clippers find themselves winning their way to the top, the San Antonio Spurs have gotten abducted by aliens. Which has opened the door for them to play a very young team in the Utah Jazz. The moment proves far too big for Donovan Mitchell, who gets whooped in all phases of the game by Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams. Tobias Harris gets hot from three point land and makes 60 three pointers in a series that goes the full 7 games. The entire home crowd in Utah is stunned when Austin Rivers makes a game winning shot in the final seconds to send the Clippers to their first ever Conference Finals.
Yes, the Los Angeles Clippers have been in existence since 1970 and they have never been to the Conference Finals, like ever ever. But that all changes in 2018. Luckily for everyone, Steph Curry couldn't overcome his injury which led to the Golden State Warriors losing to the New Orleans Pelicans. Boban and Deandre take turns guarding Anthony Davis for the full 48 minutes of every game. They wear Davis down to the point where he is only averaging 30 points and 10 rebounds over this 7 game series. Milos Teodosic just makes Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo look foolish as he averages 20 assists and 5 steals per game. The rebirth of Danilo Gallinari gives the Clippers more than enough firepower to defeat the Pelicans in the lowest scoring Game 7 in NBA history, when their 42-39 victory punches their ticket to their first ever NBA Finals trip.
The Milwaukee Bucks played so horribly in the final few games that the NBA decided to give the Detroit Pistons their spot, and they somehow found a way into the NBA Finals. With the Staples Center hosting its first NBA Finals since the Lakers won in 2010, the city of Los Angeles trades in all of their Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram jerseys for Montrezl Harrell and Sam Decker jerseys. Austin Rivers scores 60 points per game and Deandre Jordan dunks all over his former teammate Blake Griffin multiple times and actually makes him cry on the court.
With Austin Rivers winning the Finals MVP, he and his dad decide to both retire from the NBA and start their own league of 2-on-2 basketball where fathers and sons match up against each other. The city of Los Angeles pretends to be Clippers fans the entire summer and ESPN acts like they knew this was going to happen all along. They make a movie about the team and nobody goes to watch it because they forgot any of this even happened. Stay classy Los Angeles.
Let's throw it back to when Deandre Jordan ended Brandon Knight's career...
The NBA Playoffs are upon us and with just 10 days until the start of the postseason, there are still teams fighting to get into the tournament. Over the next few weeks I will be giving each team currently in the playoff race an opportunity to see how it will be possible for them to win the NBA Finals. I will be writing these in order of which teams I believe have absolutely no chance to the teams with the highest possibility of hoisting the trophy. Let's dive in.
The Detroit Pistons, what a mess huh? On the contrary, a team playing with house money is always very dangerous. Not a single soul in the basketball world believes these guys have a chance, which should only fuel their fire. With 5 games left in their season, they not only need to win out, but they also need the Milwaukee Bucks to lose out. The Pistons face the Sixers and Raptors over this final stretch, and wins over those teams would give them extreme confidence heading into the playoffs most likely facing Toronto in the first round.
A mid-season trade for Blake Griffin looked like a move that was going to propel the Pistons into the playoffs. But injuries and a lack of willingness to change from coach Stan Van Gundy has hindered their chances to get back into the playoffs. Andre Drummond leads the league in rebounding with 1198 rebounds and 16 per game. That doesn't even make sense, he is dominating his opponents on the boards night in and night out. And to have an athletic big like Blake Griffin to share the load down low has only eased the pressure off of Drummond. And with Reggie Jackson back and healthy, the Pistons have their three "guys" that they can lean heavily on.
So lets talk hypotheticals. Let's say the Pistons get red hot and win their way into the playoffs with a first round matchup against a Raptors team who has struggled over the last month of the season. Andre Drummond will scoop up every rebound on both ends of the floor and give his team second chances at points while taking those chances away from the Raptors. Blake Griffin will eat up guys like Poetl and Siakam on his way to 35 points per game. Reggie Jackson will lock down Kyle Lowry on the defensive end, while dropping dimes to his hot three point shooters in Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway, and Stanley Johnson. The Raptors will once again choke their way out of the playoffs in a Game 7 loss at home on a buzzer beater by Blake Griffin that will set the city of Detroit on fire.
They will find themselves in a second round matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, one of the hottest teams in the league. Unfortunately, for the 76ers in this situation, they will be without Embiid who could not overcome his recent orbital injury that he suffered. Ben Simmons will be swayed to stay out of the lane with Detroit's big men forcing him to shoot jumpers all series. Guys like Covington, Belinelli, Saric and Redick will be forced to carry the scoring load and will not live up to their playoff expectations. Ish Smith will want revenge on the 76ers and will be the hero of this series off of the bench. The Pistons will win another grueling 7 game series that will send them to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Luckily for them, the Boston Celtics found a way to knock Lebron out of the playoff race and has opened the door for a new Eastern Conference team to represent in the Finals for the first time in 8 years. In the first game of the series, Kyrie Irving injures his ailing knee and won't return for the series. Leaving undersized guys like Shane Larkin and Terry Rozier responsible for guarding Reggie Jackson, which won't end well for the Celtics. The Pistons remain hot and Blake Griffin continues to eat, dominating guys like Baynes and Theis in the post. Drummond will destroy Greg Monroe and will force the Celtics to depend on jump shots. In game 7 of the series, the Celtics go ice cold and the Pistons will make 20 three pointers on their way to the most improbable run to the NBA Finals.
With Steph Curry never becoming fully healthy, James Harden and Chris Paul failing to do their jobs, Blazers choking, and the Spurs organization getting abducted by aliens, the Los Angeles Clippers find a way into the NBA Finals for a matchup against Blake Griffin. The most unbelievable will happen this year if all of those things happen. With the whole world freaking out about the aliens, the only people focused on winning are the Detroit Pistons in probably the last NBA Finals before the world ends. I'm guessing the aliens didn't bother to abduct either of these teams because they just didn't even know these teams existed. The Pistons have to go the full 7 games again to hoist their first NBA Finals trophy for the 4th time in their organization's history and Griffin gets the ultimate revenge against his former team for trading him away.
Basically what I'm saying is Detroit, keep faith man. Anything is possible. Except for winning the title this year. That is in fact impossible. Unless all of those things I mentioned happen. In which case, I hope that you don't get abducted by aliens and get to witness your first championship in 14 years. Well maybe the aliens have a better viewing experience than television, maybe they abducted all those people and the Spurs for Space Jam 2 with the revamped roster for the Monstars. Actually yeah, being abducted sounds better than living in America in 2018. Anyway, good luck Detroit. You're gonna need it after that tough Michigan loss. . . Too soon?
As long as the Pistons have Drummond, they have a punchers chance... literally
With the growing world of social media, everybody has an opinion. And with everyone having to be on one side or the other about every issue, there is no gray area. You either are this or you’re that, once you voice your opinion on an issue or a public figure you are stuck with that label. If you put it on social media, you better be able to find a way to defend your point or you will get drug through the mud for what you believe to be right or wrong. I have been listening to rap music pretty much my whole life, and I don’t remember a more controversial artist than this next rapper.
February 23, 2018
Daniel Hernandez, better known as 6ix9ine or Tekashi69, is a young rapper out of Brooklyn, New York. His personality may be as colorful as his hair and grill, if not more. Before we get into any of his music, we have to talk about his legal issues, which have defined him in his young career. In 2015, Hernandez was 18 years old and pled guilty to one felony count of Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance, when a video of him smacking a 13 year old girl on the butt surfaced and brought to the authority. He also served some jail time as a minor for selling heroin.
It is interesting to think about the rap game, a world where breaking the law is not only accepted, but celebrated. If you are a proven murderer, drug user, drug dealer, gang member, or claim to have broken a number of laws then your street crew goes up by a million. It is a dangerous line that rappers have walked over the years, and it seems 6ix9ine crossed that line. I don’t condone anything this young man has done, but it’s just curious to me that when other rappers or just people in general have gotten in trouble with the law, people are upset with the world labeling them as criminals and bad people. Typically people would say something like “I hope this guy figures it out and creates a better future” but in this case it is different. Most likely because 6ix9ine’s musical style shows no remorse for the way he acts or who he is. And also because people just simply don’t like the guy or his music.
But there is something to be said about controversial artists. One way or another, everyone has an opinion about 6ix9ine. Pretty much the main reason I decided to talk about this young man today. I hope he does what the judge requires him to do once his trial is over and that he has learned his lesson from his troubled past and he moves forward in life with nothing but positivity. Many people have made incredible mistakes in their past and have created a better future even after doing serious time in jail and prison, and I would never wish negativity on another person. The only way for us to grow as people is to lift each other up, and I hope he has people around him who want him to be better.
With his father being shot and killed when he was in 8th grade, he lost guidance very quickly in life. He dropped out of school and began a path down a scary road that many people may not have survived. But he is here, and his debut album has produced five songs that have reached the Billboard Top 100. Whether people like this guy or not, they can’t keep their eyes off of him. His album has heavy tones of a young emotionally disturbed man who is trying to find his way through life with the use of violence, sex, and drugs. Nothing much different than most of the rap you listen to.
The first person that comes to mind when I hear his music is DMX. You talk about a man who was just angry like all of the time, DMX probably invented this yelling style of rap. Just flat out telling you that he will kill you and that he has people around him who will do the same. While you are not going to find anything crazy lyrical in his music, you will find that street sound that many people have claimed has been missing from rap for a long time. On his hit single “Billy” he tells the world what he is capable of.
These niggas lookin for me, you could hit my jack
I done dropped my address, y’all know where 6ix9ine at
I don’t flock, yeah, 9 to his back like Ibaka
Not nice, with the fuckin choppa
Pop em, scope on the nigga, who shot ya?
Dropped him, somebody call the fuckin doctor!
Yes, that shit is scary. I can’t put myself in that guys shoes even for a second. But the amount of emotion he puts into his music, you can tell he meant that shit when he said it. He is putting himself out there to the world and it seems that he doesn’t care about any of the repercussions or the negativity that will fall back onto him. Which is what I thought people wanted from their rap music. For so long I have heard people say “All rap these days is soft and isn’t that hood shit” Which is fine, because rap and hip-hop should have versatility, thats what made hip-hop so popular to begin with.
Just to be clear, I like the album. I have listened to it a few times through and I can vibe with the emotions. He is serious about his craft and he won't stop until the world know who he is and what he is about. It definitely is on some crazy hyped up level that can only be listened to when you need your blood to get boiling. The album is very raw and you can tell it's a debut, he has a lot to work on, just like he does with his life.
This guy is being the only thing he knows how to be. Whether that is good or bad for his own health or life is only for him to find out, or for us to witness. But to me, there is something about being yourself even when the world tells you not to be the way you are. This young man has ran into nothing but doubters and negativity for being who he is. I have said before and I will continue to say it, we are not here on this planet to judge others. We are here to look out for each other because we are all we got. 6ix9ine may not be for you and I understand the argument, but instead of wishing failure on another, we should be trying to help him find a way forward.
I have known people that have gone to jail and prison and they have turned their lives around. If it wasn’t for the people around them believing in them, and people giving them a second chance who know what could have been in their future. I know this guy has not done anything to help himself look any better with his comments, but maybe he just needs some guidance. That shit is important, especially at his age. He is so controversial, and I know you guys have something to say about this, so please let me know your point of view and don’t hold back. There’s no way for us to grow as people if we don’t have tough conversations and issues.
Here is his very not safe for work music video...
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.