OK….C If You Pass the Ball

by Yusuf Gadlin

The Basketball God’s sent a blessing to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder acquired four time All-Star Paul George from the Indiana Pacers for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. The Newly minted MVP Russell Westbrook now has a more than capable team to get the job done in OKC.
The only question is, will Russell Westbrook pass the damn ball?
Paul George  averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3 assist per game. George did not come to Oklahoma City to be an innocent bystander, He came to win. Paul George cannot be reduced to a spot up shooter because Westbrook continues to play 100mph. Once again we find ourselves asking will Russell Westbrook sacrifice his own riches for the betterment of his own team.
This cannot be the Kevin Durant soap opera  part two. Russell cannot add evidence to the notion that he is a ball hog, only out to soak up the spotlight for himself at the expense of others.  Its simple quite frankly. At least for one year, Russell Westbrook must let Paul George be batman while he is the ultimate robin. That details more rebounding , more assisting, more stealing, more dirty work for westbrook, while Paul george is the silky smooth scorer that he has always been.
This could be a formidable team  in the jam packed Western Conference. Obviously, a lot of this hinges on the shoulders of  Mr. Triple Double himself. Mr. Westbrook, Do you want to win or do you want the numbers, that is the question.
Legacy is on the line this season for Russell Westbrook.  Its all about making adjustments and being unselfish  for the reigning most valuable player.
#Russellwestbrook #MrTripleDouble #NBA #OKThunder

The Great White Hype

by Yusuf Gadlin

After a long strenuous free agency process, the Boston Celtics finally got their man. 

The Celtics got their hero and unofficial face of the franchise Gordon Hayward. This move reunites Hayward and his former coach Brad Stevens who had the honor to coach Hayward during their successful collegiate days at Butler University.

Let’s be clear, while this move helps the Celtics compete for a NBA finals berth next year, the Hayward signing is more about making the Boston faithful fully  embrace their roots again.

It’s no secret Boston is recognized as the most racist city in America. The classic Boston apologist will say ” But we made arguably the greatest player ever in Bill Russell the first black coach in the NBA in 1966.”  Well, the 11-time champion Bill Russell said this in his memoir, Second Wind. “Boston itself was a flea market of racism. It had all varieties, old and new, and in their most virulent form. The city had corrupt, city hall-crony racists, brick-throwing, send-‘em-back-to-Africa racists, and in the university areas phony radical-chic racists. At the same time, Russell expressed an inner conflict at how he was supposed to feel when he was routinely cheered by some of those same people while leading the Celtics to NBA titles.”

What were you saying again?

Nobody likes to talk about race in America, I get it. It makes you angry if your black, and uncomfortable if you’re white. But facts are facts, and you can’t change history. Gordon Hayward represents the good ol’ days of the Larry Bird era, who was the baddest white dude to ever touch a basketball.  

However, the Hayward signing is a breath of fresh air for the Boston faithful.  They get a little better, while LeBron gets a little older. And if LeBron leaves the eastern conference in 2018, The Celtics would become the consensus pick to get back to the NBA finals. 

Can the Boston Celtics finally get over the hump? It remains to be seen. But with Gordon Hayward now in the fold, Boston Strong  will now rally around the great white hype.

 

Street Fight Is Mcgregor’s only Chance

by Yusuf Gadlin

The boxing world received a huge treat Saturday night. We saw a unbelievable 12 round bout between  Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn. This fight had everything you wanted see. We saw passion, aggression, heart, and resiliency all on the part of Jeff Horn. We saw showmanship, accuracy, patience, and the most important component to this all ” Aging” on the part Manny Pacquiao. Make no mistake about it, Manny Pacquiao got royally screwed by the judges. Jeff Horn lost this fight by a landslide. But Horn did reveal to the world the potential damage a young whipper snapper could do against a old man.
If only we had a whipper snapper young enough, disciplined enough, skilled enough, tough enough, to fight another aging boxing legend.
Oh we do. August 26. Floyd Mayweather (40) versus Conner Mcgregor (28).
What Jeff Horn revealed to us, although sloppily, is that a age will be a deciding  factor in this super fight. It doesn’t matter how much you stay in elite shape as a 40 year old man. There is nothing a elder gentleman can do to tame a mature physically superior, young beast. Especially if that beast is coming from the UFC, where you have to be a special type a crazy to compete in that bloodbath of a sport.
Experience wont matter in a fight pitting young against old. The mistake the experienced  Pacquiao made was trying to have a boxing match while out thinking and setting traps for his opponent. What Pac failed to realize is that this wasn’t a boxing match, it was a street fight.
In a street fight, a victory is always rewarded to the underdog depending on if he doesn’t get knocked out when expected to, his Heart, determination, will-power , and circumstances.
Nobody expects Conner Mcgregor to upset the undefeated  floyd Mayweather. Just beware  when that crazy  S.O.B. Mcgregor turns August 26 into the ultimate street fight. Don’t be surprised if Mayweather gets knocked out or the underdog emotions that we go through watching a nerd face a bully hands a decision in Mcgregor’s favor.
Everybody has been young before, but not everybody has been old before. Floyd Mayweather is playing with fire and his undefeated record might be burned to the ground on August 26.
#moneyteam #boxing #mcgregor

Issa Dynasty

by Yusuf Gadlin

 

The Golden State Warriors are now the NBA champions of the world. The Warriors dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games to win their second title in three years.
There is a strong possibility that the Warriors are the next Dynasty in the making. Couple that with an aging  Lebron James who is the only superstar left in the NBA that gives you a real chance against the warriors, and that dynasty is all but assured.
Wait… the only Superstar left? Unfortunately that’s the truth. Maybe you bring up  the loan San Antonio Spur Kawhi Leonard but his team is too old, too slow, and a roster retooling is necessary. OK, well what about Russell Westbrook? Not enough talent on the roster, to much ego, and not enough TALENT, again. Realistically there isn’t much any NBA team can do, but there is one thing, and it may be the only option.
Let the super team building begin.
The fact is you are not beating the Warriors without a minimum of two unselfish Superstars, One all star, and at least three proven bench players capable of scoring 20 points CONSISTENTLY every night. Oh, and they ALL cant be allergic to playing above average defense or executing defensive schemes.
Lord , bless the General Manager that can pull that off.
That’s not mentioning player chemistry, guys willing to sacrifice numbers, and players accepting roles. Lets be honest, The NBA for the next three years is the Golden Sate Warriors Vs Who the hell will help Lebron James.
The Golden State Warriors are Champions and the dominance is only beginning. We all will watch, we all will stare, and in the end, we all will be disappointed how easy things are about to get for this Dynasty in the making.
#NBA

Dissecting A Warrior

by Yusuf Gadlin

The Cleveland Cavaliers finally secured a victory 137-116 in game 4 of the NBA finals. Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 40 points on 27 shots. @KingJames had another triple double with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.

The Cavaliers find themselves in the same predicament as last years finals trailing 3-1. The Cavaliers were the first team in NBA history to comeback from that deficit to win the NBA title, Cleveland’s first title in 40+ years.

Can they do it again?

In most NBA fans opinions across the world, hell no. But the only belief the Cavaliers need are the 12 men on its roster. In order to pull off this dubious comeback, The cavaliers must dissect the Warriors game by game from here on out. Everything has to be surgical, precise, and malpractice must be obsolete.

Its the small things that will decide game 5 back in the bay area. Without question the two most important factors will be paying attention to detail and withstanding  that inevitable Golden State run that might catapult them to the 2017 NBA championship.

Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry cannot be a factor in game 5. One must be doubled teamed while the other is under the impression he is about to be in double coverage. This involves the Cavs executing the game plan and playing this scheme perfectly.

LeBron will be LeBron and Kyrie will be Kyrie. The Cavaliers don’t have to connect on 24 three pointers like they did in game 4 breaking an NBA finals record, but they do  have to hit about 15 to be victorious. The Cavilers are averaging 13 threes in this series which means look for somebody to hit two huge three pointers if the Cavs were to win game 5.

The type of anatomization  the cavilers engage in will be stressful and complications might arise . But with LeBron James head of this operation, The cavaliers always have a chance to pull out a miracle.

 

#NBA #striveforgreatness

Back on Road

by Yusuf Gadlin

The Golden state Warriors obliterated the Cleveland Cavaliers 132-113. Kevin Durant continued his onslaught in these finals with 33 points and 13 rebounds. Durant’s running mate Stephen Curry had a triple double that totaled 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assist.

But in 1987, these great words were spoken by hall of fame coach and current Miami Heat team president Pat Riley, “No playoff series truly begins until the road team wins a game.” With that said, The Warriors will now try to win at least one game in Cleveland Ohio.

While the Cavaliers continue to struggle in this series with turnovers, lack of focus, and unfortunately stage fright, The Warriors have been playing stress free. we get it, Kevin Durant makes this game look easy, but damn, THIS EASY.

What should the Cavs do?

My suggestion would be to double team Stephen Curry every time he touches the ball. Force another teammate to score the basketball alongside Kevin Durant. Easier said than done, I get that. But the Cavilers don’t have many options left  and essentially are playing the top of the sixth, with Prime Roy Holiday  pitching the seventh, Prime Randy Johnson pitching the eighth, and prime Mario Rivera to close this thing out.

Also, there are some Cavaliers players that have to look themselves in the mirror not named Lebron James, Kyrie Irving (to some degree), and Kevin Love. Lets start with  Jr Smith  who is going through the motions, Kyle Korver who should have stayed in Atlanta, and Tristan Thompson  who is lost in the sunken place. Every other Cavs player not mentioned isn’t worth mentioning .

The Golden State Warriors have the Cleveland Cavaliers on the ropes and the punches just keep on coming. Either this is the greatest rope-a-dope performance by the Cavaliers before they finally strike back  or this Warriors team is truly Mike Tyson in his prime. We will definitely find out now that the Warriors are back on road.

Warriors must avoid the Kings’ Trap

by Yusuf Gadlin

The Warriors rolled to a 113-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to open up game 1 of the NBA finals. The Warriors were sensational, well two of them were, that being Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

Durant smoothly produced 38 points on 26 shots in his first finals performance since 2012, where he lost in 5 games to the Miami Heat. Five years later to the present, there was Kevin again, scoring with ease, making the pressurized NBA finals look like child’s play. Durant did everything ferociously from outplaying the great LeBron James, to severely crossing over the Cavs’ grandfather in Richard Jefferson, to finally hitting pop sensation and a highly documented LeBron “super-fan” Rihanna with multiple death stares in the process.

On the other hand.

Stephen Curry resurgence on the NBA finals stage was very impressive. Curry blasted the lethargic Cavaliers to the tune of 28 points, drilling six three pointers in the process. Curry quieted his critics who have labeled him a choker on this stage and added credence to his biggest supporters arguments that indeed he was injured or re-aggravated an preexisting injury in last years underwhelming finals performance.

Oh that King’s trap. I almost forgot.

The Golden state Warriors are universally known for playing team basketball. Team basketball is what made the Warriors, the freaking Warriors. Game 1 was a scary indication that the once team friendly  warriors became a two man show.  Curry and Durant combined to take 48 shots, while the other three starters took 33 shots. If we strictly look at the four-headed monster that is Durant, Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson–Thompson and Green combined to take 28 shots.

48 shots to 28. You do the math. This is not the formula for success for a team that has prided itself on team basketball and find the open man.

Hopefully Durant and Curry don’t fully transform into Durant and  Russell Westbrook, a combination that never produced a championship. What made the Warriors special was that you once had to guard everybody, nobody was a decoy, everybody could hurt you. Durant and Curry can’t fall into the trap of one LeBron James.

LeBron James is a mastermind and is known to sacrifice games here and there to bring the ultimate goal to fruition. this year finals goal? lull both Curry and Durant into a false sense of individual dominance while slowly taking away their teammates. Though the Cavaliers lost game one, they will continue to battle together as a team. Strength in numbers is something I hope the Warriors haven’t  forgotten about. When facing Lebron James  in the game of basketball, Chess not checkers is his only preference.

@NBA #KingJames #StephCurry