Tag Archives: NBA

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2018 NBA PLAYOFFS

Well ladies and gentlemen, the post-season is well underway, and it is time for those playoff games that NBA fans love so much. But it looks like Cavs v. Warriors 4.0 may not be the top headline this year.  

The current match-ups are as follows: 

Eastern Conference  

#1 Toronto Raptors (59-32) V. #8 Washington Wizards (43-39) 

Game 1: Sat, April 14 Raptors 130  Wizards 106  

Game 2: Tue, April 17 Raptors 130 – Wizards 119 

Game 3: Fri, April 20 Wizards 122 – Raptors 103 

Next Game: Sun, April 22 1 P.M. (ET) Capitol One Arena Washington, D.C. 

The Raptors (2-0) have redefined their playing style scoring 3-point shots over twice as much as last season. With offensive All-Stars Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Jonas Valanciunas, this team has managed to make the No. 1 seed and a 2-0 series lead while breaking franchise league records left and right. However, they struggled against the Wizards’ surprising offense in Game 3. 

For the Wizards (0-2), this situation is familiar after being down 0-2 last year in the playoffs against Boston. However, they have won the past six playoff games at home in the Capitol One Arena. They used that home advantage in the last game to gain their first win of the series. Guards John Wall and Bradley Beal dominated the backcourt in Game 3 while each scoring 28 points. But the Wizards will have to remain consistent and be careful to avoid racking up fouls like their last heated show-down against the Raptors. 

#2 Boston Celtics (55-27) V. #7 Milwaukee Bucks (44-38) 

Game 1: Sun, April 15 Celtics 113 – Bucks 107 (OT) 

Game 2: Tue, April 17 Celtics 120 – Bucks 106  

Game 3: Fri, April 20 Bucks 116 – Celtics 92 

Next Game: Sun, April 22 6:00 P.M. (ET) Bradley Center Milwaukee, WI 

The Celtics (2-1) have had an injury-filled season with players Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out with season-ending injuries. But rising star Jaylen Brown has held down the post-season fort, scoring 30 points to lead the Celtics to victory in Game 2. Despite their previous success, their offense fell apart in the last game against the Bucks. They will have to start off with a much better first quarter in the next game to avoid being dominated again. 

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have given their top performance this series, together averaging 55 points in the last game. The Celtics strong defense has proved an issue for the Bucks (1-2) in the past but they seemed to have adjusted in Game 3 after establishing the lead early on. If they can keep this momentum in the next game they may have a comeback in sight. 

#3 Philadelphia 76ers (52-30) V. #6 Miami Heat (44-38) 

Game 1: Sat, April 14 76ers 130 – Heat 103  

Game 2: Mon, April 16 Heat 113 – 76ers 103  

Game 3: Thurs, April 19 76ers 128 – Heat 108 

Next Game: Sat, April 21 2:30 P.M. (ET) American Airlines Arena Miami, FL 

Philadelphia 76ers (2-1) finished the season with a 16-game winning streak and are still going strong in this year’s series games. The return of center Joel Embiid, who is back after an orbital fracture and concussion, paired with guard Ben Simmons completes one of the strongest duos. In Game 4 they will have to maintain a strong offense to hold up against the Heats veteran team. 

Miami Heat (1-2) goes into this series with veteran Dwayne Wade, who showed his experience in Game 2 boasting 28 points and seven rebounds in just 26 minutes. Gorgon Dragic and Justice Winslow have also been strong assets. The Sixers will need to keep the ball away from them to avoid another loss. This series, the Heat has shown lack of stamina and 3-point shots which have cost them two games so far. They need to seize the home advantage for their next match in Miami. 

#4 Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32) V. #5 Indiana Pacers (48-34) 

Game 1: Sun, April 15 Pacers 98 – Cavaliers 80 

Game 2: Wed, April 18 Cavaliers 100 – Pacers 97 

Game 3: Fri, April 20 Pacers 92 – Cavaliers 90 

Next Game: Sun, April 22 8:30 P.M. (ET) Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indianapolis, IN 

The Pacers (1-2) pulled out a win in the last quarter against the Cavs in Game 3. Bojoan Bogdonavic sank seven 3-point shots, reaching the league record held by Reggie Miller, Paul George and Chuck Person, and led the team with 30 points. Along with guard Victor Oladipo, the Pacers are giving their All-Star opponents a hard time. But the Cavs can be expected to adjust their strategy and come back with an aggressive plan for Sunday’s game. The Pacers will have to plan to counteract this to keep their current lead. 

Cleveland is home to arguably one of the best players in the league, if not the most famous, LeBron James. But for the first time since 2008, James is 2-1 this post-season following Game 3 after another loss to the Pacers. They held the lead during the first half of the game but had trouble against the Pacers defense later in the second half. In the past the Cavs (2-1) have been criticized for being a one-man team. James will need help on the offense and a new strategy to win this Sunday. 

Western Conference 

#1 Houston Rockets (65-17) V. #8 Minnesota Timberwolves (47-35) 

Game 1: Sun, April 15 Rockets 104 – Timberwolves 101 

Game 2: Wed, April 18 Rockets 102 – Timberwolves 82 

Next Game: Sat, April 21 7:30 P.M. (ET) Target Center Minneapolis, MN 

The Houston Rockets (2-0) have been strong contenders all the way through the regular season and now into the post-season. Possible MVP James Harden and shooting guard Gerald Green both accomplished playoff career-highs in the last game. But the Rockets haven’t showed their best game in terms of shooting. They went 16 for 52 in Game 2 and 16 for 23 in Game 1. The Rockets do have several All-Star assets, including point guard Chris Paul to carry them to their next win if they continue their winning performances. 

The Wolves (0-2) have struggled with their defense all year. Now the Wolves’ top two scorers, Jimmy Butler and Karl Anthony-Towns, didn’t even lead in points in their last game. The Minnesota team isn’t known for taking 3-point shots and that has been a big factor in their post-season losses. However, if Butler can successfully shut down Harden ad Towns can hold down the offense there may be a chance for the Wolves to turn this series around. 

#2 Golden State Warriors (58-24) V. #7 San Antonio Spurs (47-35) 

Game 1: Sat, April 14 Warriors 113 – Spurs 92 

Game 2: Mon, April 16 Warriors 116 – Spurs 101 

Game 3: Thurs, April 19 Warriors 110 – Spurs 97 

Next Game: Sun, April 22 3:30 P.M. (ET) AT&T Center San Antonio, TX 

These defending champs have not disappointed this series, even without All-Star Stephen Curry. That’s not to say the Warriors (3-0) have played their best offensively but they still have the benefit of experienced talent like Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. If they can close the series on Sunday, then they’ll have to tighten up to hang on in the semi-finals. 

The Spurs (0-3) are having a tough time without head coach Gregg Popovich, who recently lost his wife, and forward Kawhi Leonard. They continue to miss open 3-point shots and their faulty offense has been no match for their talented opponents. The Spurs put up a fight during the first half of all three games, but they haven’t been able overcome the Warriors defense. Game 4 in at home is their last chance to stay in the series. 

#3 Portland Trail Blazers (49-33) V. #6 New Orleans Pelicans (48-34) 

Game 1: Sat, April 14 Pelicans 97 –  Trail Blazers 95  

Game 2: Tue, April 17 Pelicans 111 – Trail Blazers 102 

Game 3: Thurs, April 19 Pelicans 119 – Trail Blazers 102 

Next Game: Sat, April 21 5 P.M. (ET) Smoothie King Center New Orleans, LA 

This is the Pelicans (3-0) first playoffs appearance since 2015 where they lost to the Warriors in a 4-game sweep. Now Anthony Davis has been unstoppable, leading the offense with Nikola Mirotic, who joined the team after the loss of Demarcus Cousins. Their defense is solid too, headed by Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo. The Pelicans aggressiveness has overwhelmed the Blazers and if they win Game 4, they will take home the first-round upset for 2018.  

The Trail Blazers (0-3) are looking to be the first team in series history to come back from three losses in a best-of-seven playoff series. Damian Lillard is being suffocated by Pelican’s defense and center Jusuf Nurkic can’t match the Davis/Mirotic duo. The Pelicans will need some plan of action to counteract the pressure from their opponents in the elimination game this weekend. 

#4 Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) V. #5 Utah Jazz (48-34) 

Game 1: Sun, April 15 Thunder 116 – Jazz 108 

Game 2: Wed, April 18 Jazz 102 – Thunder 95 

Next Game: Sat, April 21 10 P.M. (ET) Vivant Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City, UT 

The Jazz (1-1) effectively improved their strategy after their first loss of the series. Center Rudy Gobert showed his skill in the paint, scoring 13 points and 15 rebounds. Rookie Donovan Mitchell played an aggressive offense last game with help from Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio. But the star could be out due to bruised foot from Wednesday, and without him scoring won’t be easy. Turnovers are still a weak spot for the Jazz and even with their turnaround game, they’ll need consistency to pull ahead in Game 3. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder (1-1) is usually an offensive powerhouse but the notorious ” Big Three” – Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George – shot 0 to 14 in the fourth quarter of Game 2. They’ll also have to work on their defensive strategy, focusing on their rebounds and transitions in the next game. OKC does have the advantage of experience. Steven Adams is a great counterpart to Westbrook. If he can hit his stride in the next game he’ll be trouble for Gobert. Overall, they can be expected to adjust their intensity for better execution the upcoming away game.  

Round 1 began on April 14 and the Conference Semi Finals will take place April 30 – May 1, with the possibility of being moved up to April 28 – 29. Conference Finals are currently set for May 15 – 16, with the possibility of being moved to up to May 13 – 14, while NBA finals begin May 31.  

YOUNG IS ALL GROWN UP!!!

Trae Young, who has been compared to a young Stephen Curry, has officially announced that he is leaving the University of Oklahoma for the NBA Draft in June.

Young has made a name for himself as a freshman guard with excellent passes and an impressive 3-point shot. During Young’s first and only season the Sooner’s made the #4 ranking in the national polls and are 18-14 overall this season.

The first team All-American is currently averaging 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game making him the first college basketball player in history to lead in both categories. He previously shattered the Big 12 conference freshman scoring record with over 800 points beating out runner up Devonté Graham by over 250 points. Averaging 9.9 points per game more than any other player in the league, Young is the first to lead by such a gap in 20 years.

Young is already predicted to be the lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft. He tells ESPN “I’ve been preparing most of my life to join the NBA. That time has come for me now.”

Earlier this season the Sooners held a 10-game winning streak before their NCAA dreams were dashed in the first round of the tournament against Rhode Island. The second half of their season has been rough and given the OU history before Young’s appearance they will have to overcompensate for the loss of this star player and his impressive stats.

“And the Oscar goes to…”

He might be retired but Kobe continues winning. On March 4th at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, Kobe Bryant took home an Oscar for Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball.

“This feels better than winning the championship, to be honest with you,” Bryant said. “Growing up as a kid, I dreamed of winning championships and working really hard to make that dream come true, but then you have something like this seemingly come out of left field.”

Inspired by his retirement poem published in 2015 by The Players’ Tribune, Kobe Bryant traded in 20 years of basketball for a career as a storyteller. Dear Basketball is a six minute film written and narrated by Bryant and directed and animated by the legendary Glen Keane. An all-star collaboration, Keane is responsible for classic Disney characters like Ariel from The Little Mermaid and The Beast from Beauty and the Beast.

During his acceptance speech, Kobe Bryant threw shade at Fox New’s Laura Ingraham who recently told LeBron James to “Shut up and dribble” after making political statements. Bryant  said, “As basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble but I’m glad we do a little more than that.”

Kobe is tied with Leonardo Dicaprio and now has more Oscars than Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Amy Adams, Will Smith, Michelle Williams, and Matt Damon… combined.

Backstage, Kobe credited Oprah and Shonda Rhimes for mentoring him and sharing their expertise of the entertainment industry. “When you have mentors like that in your life, everything tends to work itself out,” he explained.

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, LeBron James and former teammate Shaquille O’Neal took to twitter to congratulate Bryant.

 

Not everyone is celebrating Kobe’s Oscar win. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, a petition was started demanding the academy rescind Kobe’s nomination because of a rape charge dating back to 2003. The petition of course is referencing Bryant’s arrest after the alleged rape of 19-year old hotel worker in Colorado. Despite overwhelming evidence (blood in the victim’s underwear and on Bryant’s shirt), the situation was settled outside of court in a civil suit. Kobe described the encounter as consensual but later apologized for the “pain she has had to endure.”

Kobe can now add an Oscar to his collection of 5 NBA championships, 2 Olympic gold metals, an NBA MVP, 2 NBA Finals MVP, and 4 All-Star game MVPs.

You can watch Dear Basketball here: https://www.go90.com/videos/261MflWkD3N

Do you think Kobe should have won the Oscar? We will be discussing that and more tomorrow on Chicks Into Sports from 1-2PM on 1100AM. Call in and give us your opinion!!

 

 

Alicia Bostic
Alicia Bostic “Unapologetically Honest”-Co-Host of Chicks Into Sports 

Chicks Into Sports 3.3.2018 Episode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this episode Chicks into Sports Contributor Kaelyn Green breaksdown NASCAR-The Pennzoil 400, Alicia breaks down March Madness. The ladies also discussed the Winter Olympics Closing ceremony and highlights, March Madness, Atlanta Hawks, Falcons owner Arthur Blanks being inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, and much more…GAME ON!

Listen to “CHICKS N2 SPORTS 3-2-18” on Spreaker.