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

The Easy Way Out

By Yusuf Gadlin

Make no mistake about it. Kevin Durant took the easy way out.  I understand why the nine-year veteran made the decision to leave his former team (Oklahoma City Thunder) and join forces with the Golden State Warriors, but that doesn’t mean it was a respectable one.  

There is a unwritten rule in all sports that any franchises Superstar player is supposed to do everything in his power to deliver a championship to his/her respective city. When it comes to the NBA, the superstar player is driven by the championship ring. If that superstar player fails in that attempt, that superstar becomes possessed, works tirelessly and ferociously in the offseason , comes back the following year, and tries it all over again.  Some NBA superstars never win the ultimate prize but the fact that they gave their blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of a championship is why those players are respected and forever remembered for their heroic efforts.

Kevin Durant said “The hell with all that.”

This summer Kevin Durant joined a Golden State Warriors team that not only won a NBA record 73 games out of 82, but also had the NBA’s first ever unanimously voted most valuable player in Stephen Curry. To make matters worst, The Golden State Warriors were responsible for eliminating Kevin Durant in the Western Conference finals  after Durant was up 3-1 in a best of seven series. After nine years and no championship, Kevin Durant quit. He didn’t want to be a superstar anymore. He didn’t want to bear the responsibility of putting an entire franchise on his back and propelling them to prosperity any longer. 

He didn’t want to work tirelessly and ferociously another year.the pain of losing didn’t drive him anymore, it forced him to take the easy way out. Kevin Durant has won an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and two Olympic gold medals. He has a 27.4 career scoring average and is a 7x NBA All Star.  A payer of Kevin Durant’s caliber is  supposed to beat them not join them.

Imagine if Michael Jordan quit on the bulls and said i’m joining the bad boy pistons[a] of the late 80’s early 90’s. Jordan and the Bulls lost to the Pistons for  three consecutive years before finally beating them in 1991. 

Imagine if  Utah Jazz legends Karl Malone and John Stockton joined the Chicago Bulls in ‘97 after losing to the Bulls in the 1996 NBA finals because they wanted a championship by any means necessary. Stockton & Malone never won a championship, but the fact that they remained loyal to Utah and that burning desire to keep trying never dissipated makes them champions in the eyes of many.

Former  Superstars and hall of fame legends like Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson, New York’s Patrick Ewing, Indiana’s  Reggie Miller never hoisted the Larry O’brien trophy but they damn near died trying, never gave up, and never took a short cut to glory. Its why those guys are forever respected. They never cheated the process.  They never took the easy way out.

Kevin Durant may very well win a championship this year. To question the validity of it is something only he can do. When that final  buzzer sounds and the confetti drops that’s when Kevin Durant will realize he took the easy way out.

#NBAPlayoffs #NBA

We Need Legendary Wade

by Yusuf Gadlin

Nobody expected the Chicago Bulls to be within one victory of clinching a playoff spot. Maybe the diehard Bulls fans did, maybe the Bulls players themselves, but not the casual NBA fan.
As the clock continues to tick towards the Playoffs, all of the lights in Chicago will be on Dwyane Wade. After suffering a fractured elbow, Wade initially  was declared out for the rest of the season. But with the Bulls surging and looking formidable, Wade has decided to jump back in the game.
On the season Wade is averaging 19 points only appearing in 57 games. His return to Chicago has been forgettable. simply put, Dwyane Wade has left the city of Chicago with a lot to be desired.
Insert the playoffs.
What better time to remind the basketball world who really run things? This is the perfect opportunity for Wade to add to his already legendary career. This Bulls team as constructed is scrappy while being led by a borderline superstar in Jimmy Butler. For every offensively challenged player that the Bulls have, they counter with Rajon rondo to mask those deficiencies, the perfect point guard for that reason alone.
Dwyane Wade is the missing ingredient.
while the Chicago faithful hope this is the playoff run that Jimmy Butler finally ascends to superstar status, Dwyane Wade already is. Wade is not a sidekick this playoff run, he is the leader and must play like it. I’m looking forward to a statement game from Wade in the Bulls final three games that proves my theory. After all, Chicago doesn’t want “Father Prime” we just  want Dwyane Wade.
#chicagobulls, #dwade, #jimnybutler, #NBA

Lavar is a Box of Chocolates

By Yusuf Gadlin

Lavar Ball is basking in his glory. He is a father with three talented sons, all with a chance to go to the NBA. For some parents that chance alone is enough for them to stay quiet in the background and hope/pray that their child’s dream will come to fruition.

Not Lavar Ball, who is a interesting fellow.

When Lavar talks about others, he comes off as delusional, rude, cocky, or flat out stupid. You guys already know how he strokes his children egos or dare say he can beat Michael Jordan in a game of one on one. You know how he wants billion-dollar endorsement deals for his own sons, while at the same time almost wanting a 12-year-old Lebron James, Jr. to fail at emerging from his father Atlantic Ocean shadows.

Then you step back further from Lavar Ball.

Is this guy a marketing genius? Do we congratulate him for shattering that nasty stigma that black boys don’t have black fathers as back bones? Charles M. Blow of the New York Times provided facts to the last question in a article he wrote two years ago. ” In fact, a C.D.C. report issued in December 2013 found that black fathers were the most involved with their children daily, on a number of measures, of any other group of fathers — and in many cases, that was among fathers who didn’t live with their children, as well as those who did”.

Let’s step back even further.

Some wish Lavar Ball was a tad bid classier with his criticism or critique of others. Some wish he would just return to his hole and patiently wait for his sons to throw millions of dollars in it. But Lavar Ball isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He’s here now, and we have to be selective when we pay attention to him as he is now his own separate entity, intentional or unintentionally so.

The only explanation is Lavar Ball is a box chocolate, you’re never know what you going get.

The New York Let Down

by Yusuf Gadlin

New York Knicks fans are tortured yet again.

The Knicks entered 2016-2017 season as a team on a mission. But they are about the leave the disastrous season having pressed the abort button.

You could point to a multitude of reasons as to why this season turned into a nightmare from hell. There’s the lackadaisical coaching, an inept owner, a old prick for a team president, or the fan favorite”Blame Melo” if you want to force yourself into some sort of false sense of closure. Ultimately, you must look at the players who refused to commit to one another.

Former Knicks guard Brandon Jennings entered the season clamoring to bring the Knicks back to its glory days. 60 games later Jennings noticed everyone’s pride and ego refused to budge, and he got the he’ll out of town. Now with the second seeded Washington Wizards, Jennings gushed “I’m in the same position I was in New York, but just in a better system for me personally and with a team that actually plays together.”

The Derrick Rose saga continues to get stranger by the seasons. Kicked out of Chicago in a contract year, the Knicks traded for the former MVP hoping he could help guide them back to the playoffs while being financially motivated. While the playoff part back fired, Rose has shown teams around the league he still has the juice, but only on the offensive end of the floor. This by far has been Derrick Rose worst defensive season. The only thing worse than Rose defense is when he disappeared on the Knicks organization January 11th, failing to let everyone know about his whereabouts. Rose cited a family emergency for the weird disappearance, but there was his coach, Jeff Hornacek trying to shield for Rose. “We’re all in this together, “We all think of ourselves as a big family.”

Lies, all lies.
Again, if your looking for closure, tell yourself Carmelo Anthony should have sacrificed more. Tell yourself Kriptas Porzingus is soft and needs to toughen up. Tell yourself it’s the out dated triangle offense , or that damn broken down Joakim Noah. Tell yourself if only Charles Oakley never showed up that night or if Phil Jackson never tweeted.

But the fact is , selfishness and ego destroyed your 2016-2017 New York Knicks

#NBA #DerrickRose #NYKnicks #JoakimNoah