NBA Discussion; A Night For Big Games – 29th Jan 2017

Last night, 28th January, saw a crazy night for big games, with five players in a seven game night boasting over 30 points. In a night filled with close games, buzzer-beaters, and huge games from star players, it was the first night this week that wasn’t drowned out by league drama; yes D Wade, Jimmy Buckets and Melo, I’m talking about you guys. It was a genuinely enjoyable night of basketball, I mean, my Rockets weren’t even playing last night but I still watched 3 games last night; Celtics and Bucks, Warriors and Clippers, and Kings and Hornets. I did my research though, and watched the rest of the big night games this morning, so I know what’s going on. So, let’s get into it.

Celtics vs. Bucks

Isaiah Thomas had a huge night in Milwaukee, showing the league and its fans that he should have been an All-Star Starter in the East. He boasted a huge 37 points in an overtime nail-biter, and threw in 8 assists too, including 2 highlight lobs, and was having his way; it didn’t  matter where he went; getting easy baskets inside, or stepping out to knock down 18 points from behind the line. IT also went 9-9 from the foul line. The Celtics were just able to hold onto the lead in overtime, winning the game by 4 points, after being up by 14 in the 3rd quarter, but a comeback led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker saw the Bucks tie the game in the final seconds of the 4th quarter. In fact, the Bucks could have won the game in regulation time, after Greg Monroe stole the ball in the final seconds, only for it to be thrown out of bounds by Jabari, allowing the Celtics to take the game in OT. IT shot 6-11 from behind the line, and showed us that he’s prepared to put on a show come All-Star weekend. Eastern Starter Antetoumnpo put up a decent 21 points as the Bucks lose this one to the Celtics.

Kings vs. Hornets

Another close game from last night saw DeMarcus Cousins take off for 35 points in a nail-biter played in Charlotte, against Kemba Walker and the Hornets. Boogie was having his way inside, picking up 18 huge rebounds in the progress. I genuinely feel sympathy for players that have to matchup against this guy, because, judging from last night’s game, he’s unstoppable when he gets into the paint. Many times you would see the Hornets players just step out of the way when he has a full head of steam, rather than sending him to the foul line. He also showed off his new-found range last night, shooting 2-2 from behind the arc. Not only did Boogie have a huge game last night, he hit clutch free throws to win the game for the Kings, who took this one by 3. Kemba Walker had 26 points for the Hornets, showing why he deserves that spot on the All-Star team, despite his teams loss in this one.

Nets vs. Timberwolves

Karl Anthony-Towns showed the league that he was snubbed out of an All-Star spot, boasting a dominant 37 points, including 6 points from long range, proving that his ROTY award from last season still stands as he continues to lead the young Wolves squad. Towns was clearly feeling his jumpshot last night, hitting most of his points from the close/ mid-range area, and held 13 rebounds, 4 of which were offensive boards which led to 8 second chance points for the Rising Stars poster boy. He led the Wolves to a blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets, who were led by a 25 point performance by Brook Lopez ( he didn’t get put on a poster last night, don’t worry ). Despite the hard fighting from the Nets, the Wolves take this game easily, led by their young 3 of Towns, Wiggins and LaVine, who all scored over 20 points.

Nuggets vs. Suns

Eric Bledsoe had a huge night last night, putting up 41 points in the only game that saw a big night and a loss for the Suns, who failed to make a comeback against a Nuggets squad, led by Danilo Gallinari and his big 32 points. Bledsoe sought to tale over last nights game, racking up 8 assists and 6 rebounds for the little guy; but his poor shooting from the field (12-27) and the 3 (3-8) wasn’t good enough for the Suns in this one. Watching the game, you wouldn’t have noticed Bledsoe’s 41, a career high for the Kentucky Wildcat, as some might say he even had a ‘subtle’ night, despite putting up huge numbers. Whether it was subtle or dominant, it wasn’t enough for the Suns as they fail to get a W in this one.

Warriors vs. Clippers

The Golden State Warriors, no let me rephrase that; Stephen Curry man-handled the LA Clippers at Oracle Arena last night. The Clippers clearly struggled without star PG Chris Paul, as they failed to stop Steph Curry as he put up a monstrous 43 point game, shooting 9-15 from behind the arc. And these weren’t open 3’s either, no, these were Steph 3’s; 35 foot treys over the hands of the opposition, and a half court buzzer-beater which was scored in true Curry fashion. He was unstoppable last night, getting several and-1’s and generally just Steph being Steph. Now I don’t know why he’s allowing KD to lead the Warriors, considering he has the ability to do this on a nightly basis, but I do know that if Curry continues to put up numbers like this, the Warriors will dominate the league. They blew out the Clippers by 46 last night, 46 fucking points. That’s just ridiculous. The Clippers are considered a title competitor in the NBA, but they’ve shown that they really struggle without Chris Paul leading the way; so for they’re sake, let’s hope Paul isn’t out for much longer. Warriors take this game easily.

It was a great night for NBA fans last night, especially if you’re a Warriors fan ( not the bandwagoners, they don’t count ). I figured I had to cover that huge night in the league, I just couldn’t let the likes of IT and Bledsoe be left out of the limelight, as it’s almost a guarantee they’ll only be a shadow against Curry’s huge performance. Follow my blog for more NBA posts, and let me know what you thought of last night’s big night below. Check out my Twitter so you can keep up with my daily shite-talking. Enjoy your day.

NBA Discussion; Cavs Have Hit a Wall, LeBron Playing The Blame Game

Last week I spoke about the Golden State Warriors looking weak in the regular season, despite their superstar talent, but made me eat my words by going on a 7 game win streak. Now it’s their rivals for the NBA Title, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have lost their heads and recently shown us that there might not be a team in the league that can put up a statistical battle against the Warriors. The Cavs have lost their last 5 of 7 games, one of those teams being the aforementioned Warriors, and not just to strong teams like the Warriors and the Spurs, but teams playing below .500 basketball, those being the Pelicans and the Kings last night. Not only that, but LeBron James, start of the Cavs, and the NBA in general, is blaming the GM and front office of the Cavaliers for the team’s recent stretch of losses, believing that their lack of signings is affecting the teams win percentage.

Starting with the Cavaliers recent losing streak, which is currently at 3 games; the reigning champions of the NBA have lost to significantly weaker teams than we’re used to seeing from LeBron’s squad, even losing to the Pelicans despite Anthony Davis being out on an injury basis, and swallowing a tough lose to the Sacramento Kings last night in another close game. Recently, it seems that the league’s best hope for beating Golden State’s ‘super team’ has shown that they may no longer be as tough as we thought they were, with a number of close game losses under the belt in their current stretch of a poor performance by the reigning champs. On their current losing streak, LeBron and the Cavs haven’t lost by more than 7 points, with games being decided by one or two clutch baskets sealing the deal for the opposing sides, showing signs that it’s possible that the Cavs are struggling to find a formula for wrapping up close games, despite having one of the most clutch players in the league in Kyrie Irving. Last night against the Kings, for example, the Cavs had a chance to tie the game in the final ten seconds of the game in overtime. But, instead of setting a pick for Kyrie to get an open 3, the squad went to LeBron, who took a contested 3, and while he did hustle to get the rebound, the ball was turned over by Kyle Korver, allowing Kings star DeMarcus Cousins to seal the game with a free throw, putting Sacramento up by 4. This has been the case for the Cavs a lot lately, with a similar scenario taking place in all 3 games; the opposing team being poorly defended on clutch shots, while the Cavs throw up hail-mary 3’s at the other end. The Cavs need to improve in close game situations if they hope to keep the chip in Cleveland come June; if not, we could see Stephen Curry lead Golden State to their second title in 3 years, and nobody wants that, as the Warriors are considered the ‘villains’ of the league after the acquisition of Kevin Durant in the off-season.

The recent poor performances of the NBA champions are not the fault of the squad though, according to team leader LeBron James, who’s putting the blame on the GM’s and front office staff. According to’s Dave McMenamin, LBJ is placing the weight of the team’s recent stretch of losses on the lack of depth of the squad, and saying that the Cavs are a “top-heavy” team; by this he means that the team’s all offence and lacks other options to get baskets.

“We need a fucking playmaker. I’m not saying you can go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that.”

I love LBJ’s game, I mean the guy’s an absolute beast, but these list of complaints are making him out to be a real bitch when he’s faced with the challenge of keeping the title in Cleveland. We all know that the Cavs main concern is the talent on the Warriors’ roster, and it’s understandable that James is frustrated with the lack of depth and ability on the Cavs roster is lacking, while the Warriors have only gotten better during the off-season since they signed scoring machine Kevin Durant. But he’s going to have to realise that they might not get a “fucking playmaker” before the trade deadline which is less than a month away. And only recently the Cavaliers’ front office turned down a trade offer of Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony, although that would’ve been a bad decision considering Melo’s need to have the ball in his hands in order to get points on the board, which wouldn’t work on a team with LeBron and Kyrie. What I’m saying is, though, the Cavaliers are lacking in, not only the cap space to acquire a star playmaker, but the requirements which need to met for most playmakers in the league; that being the ability to hold the ball more than would be the case on the Cavs squad. So, in fear of the 13x all-star coming after me for saying this; LBJ needs to stop complaining to the media and putting the blame on the front office, the GM, basically everyone but the team, and realise that the squad’s main problem is their inability to finish out close game scenarios, which we’ve seen quite frequently in this recent stretch of games. Time to “Defend the Land,” LBJ, as the Cavaliers host the Brooklyn Nets in Cleveland tomorrow night.

That wraps up my thoughts on the Cavaliers recent performances while they continue to rack up losses in the regular season. Let me know what you think below, and follow my blog for more posts on the NBA. Also, check out my Twitter to follow more of the shite I talk about. Enjoy your day.

NBA Discussion; What the Hell Happened Last Night? – 24th Jan 2017

Last night, Monday the 23rd, was one of the craziest nights I’ve ever seen in basketball. Not only did the three powerhouse teams in the NBA ( Warriors, Rockets and Cavs ) all lose in one night, they all lost to teams playing under .500 basketball, those teams being the Bucks, Pelicans and Heat. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; the Rockets got blown out, but at least they played against a team which had a superstar playing, that being Giannis Antetokounmpo. But the Warriors lost to a struggling heat team, and the Cavs were getting blown out by a Pelicans team playing without Anthony Davis, until they fought back to only a 2 point loss. So what the hell happened last night in the NBA?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a stretch of bad games lately, but this game against the Pelicans should have been a blow out victory for the reigning champs, even if they didn’t play their starters ( which they did ). But they didn’t blow out the Pelicans ( 18-27 ), in fact, they lost to the struggling Western Conference side, and were even getting blown out by them, up until the second half when Kyrie Irving stepped up for a monstrous 49 point game, which still wasn’t enough to get the Cavs back into it, even though it was combined with LeBron’s triple double. The Cavs just weren’t hustling, allowing Terrence Jones and Jrue Holiday to combine for 69 points. The Pelicans were getting wherever they wanted to, slashing to the basket and bullying the Cavs in the post, despite the fact that they were without their star player Anthony Davis. At one point, Jrue Holiday was given a free dunk in the half court setting, which shouldn’t happen on any team in the NBA, let alone the reigning champions of the league. One positive which can be taken away from the Cavs poor performance was Kyrie’s 49 points, a performance which prevented the Cavs from suffering an even further humiliation as he fought back, almost by himself in an almost Mamba like-fashion, to bring his struggling team to a 2 point loss.

The Golden State Warriors were in Miami last night for a game which was a lot closer than it should have been, considering Miami’s 15-30 season, as well as the Warriors talent and 7 game win streak, which came to an end last night against the 14th place Heat. Before I get into the game breakdown though, Zaza Pachulia got another flagrant foul after getting in a heated exchange with Luke Babbitt, ending in a blow to the face by Zaza; that man needs to calm down soon, he should know he’s not good enough to get an attitude. The Warriors didn’t play bad enough to lose the game, certainly putting in a better performance than the Cavaliers, although their 3PT % ( 8-30 ) and FT% ( 60% ) could have been a little better. No, the main factor in the Warriors loss was Dion Waiters, who put in a 33pt performance, including the game winning dagger over Klay Thompson, in one of the best games of his career. He clearly had the hot hand that night, and was a tough match-up for even Draymond Green when he chose to guard him. Steph Curry led the Warriors in rebounds with ten, and also had 8 assists and 11 points. Kevin Durant put up 27pts in a desperate attempt to bring his squad back into it, tying the game up in the final seconds, but was unable to snatch the lead as the Heat take the game by 3pts.

The Rockets went up against the Bucks for the second time in a week last night, this time in Milwaukee, hoping to notch another win against Giannis Antetokounmpo’s side. But the Bucks weren’t going to lay down and let the Rockets walk all over them again, putting up a well fought battle in their victory against James Harden’s side. They shot just under 60% in a 13pt victory against one of the tougher teams in the NBA. The Bucks took high percentage shots by going inside the paint, getting layups and dunks in order to keep their momentum going.. In the second quarter, they shot 80% from the field, which helped the push the Rockets back as they fought against the Bucks ( 21-23 ). All-Star starter Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 31pts in the Bucks’ victory, including several highlights from alley-oops and dunks. They went inside against the Rockets, which was the key to their win by exhausting the opposing team as they bullied them in the paint. James Harden put up 26pts as the Rockets fall in Milwaukee.

That’s my thoughts on last night’s crazy action in the NBA. Let me know what you thought down below. Follow my blog for more, and check out my NBA Discussions page for more posts on the NBA. Also, follow my Twitter to keep up with my daily shite-posting. Enjoy your day!

NBA Discussion; 76ers On The Rise – 23rd Jan 2017

Since the retirement of Philly superstar and NBA bad boy Allen Iverson, the Philadelphia 76ers have had little to no success in the league, and have been in a long-term status of rebuilding. But after losing players such as Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala, the 76ers have been pretty hard on luck when it comes to retaining franchise players. Although, the 76ers have had decent luck in the draft, acquiring players like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, once he returns from injury that is. And Robert Covington is turning into a player that the 76ers can rely on, and if the last few games are anything to go by, he’s becoming a clutch shooter, hitting several key baskets and also the game winning bucket on more than one occasion this season. So it raises the question; are the Philadelphia 76ers on the rise, and can they hope to be a playoff team in the coming years?

Let’s look at the facts for a minute. The 76ers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and while that’s not an exceptional record, they have won against significantly tougher teams in the league, the Celtics and Raptors coming to mind. Their record is slowly improving as the season progresses, and although they won’t be a playoff team by any means this season, their odds have increased significantly with the recent performances of leading candidate for Rookie of The Year, Joel Embiid, and Robert Covington. Embiid is averaging 20 PPG and 8RPG in his rookie season, while Covington is in double digits in scoring too, and is becoming a relatively clutch scorer for Philly. Next year, maybe the year after, could be Philly’s time to get back into the playoff picture, and with Ben Simmons supposedly returning from a foot fracture injury after the All-Star break, the 76ers could become a strong force, challenging the Timberwolves for young talent. The future is bright for the young roster, but let’s just hope Embiid can keep a cool head, we don’t need another Boogie in the league.

I want to focus on Embiid for a bit, more importantly, his potential partnership with Ben Simmons when he returns. We’ve all seen the Embiid has a full game in terms of skillset, and while it’s a little raw, there’s no doubting his ability as a big man. He can post up against most players in the league due to huge size, is already a prolific shot blocker, and has the long range ability that lacks in most big men. What the 76ers are lacking though is a playmaker, somebody who can move the ball around the court. And that’s where Simmons comes in; we’ve seen from his footage of the NBA Summer League that he has a unique passing ability, with some comparing it to that of John Wall, who’s known for his flashy passes as well as his athleticism. Quite a big comparison for a rookie to live up to, but there’s no denying that Simmons has huge potential for a player who hasn’t even played in the NBA yet. Back to Philly; Embiid needs a player on the roster who can feed him the ball in the post, a quality which can be found in the injured rookie. With this in mind, Embiid will get the ball more, meaning more bullying from the big guy inside. Simmons also has a decent jumpshot, and after watching a training video released on the internet, the rookie has some bounce in his legs. If the partnership between Simmons and Embiid works, we could see a new forceful duo in the league, which can induce some excitement into Philly fans for the future. Maybe it’s time to “Trust the Process.”

That’s my thoughts on the 76ers recent improvement, and while they certainly won’t be a force in the next 2 or 3 years, a playoff spot isn’t out of the picture if Simmons and Embiid can work well together. Let me know what you think down below. Follow my blog for more, and check out my NBA Discussions page for more posts like this one. Have a look at my Twitter to see the utter shite I post on a daily basis. Enjoy your day!

NBA Discussion; All – Star Starters – 21st Jan 2017

So the finalised All-Star starters were announced last night, after votes from players, fans and the media were totalled. First of all, I’d like to state my absolute delight that Zaza Pachulia won’t be a starter in the All-Star game. I know he’s a Warrior and all that good stuff, but he’s terribly trash, I mean, how can you be a 7 foot starter and still not average double digit rebounds, let alone points. I personally feel that averaging 5 and 5 as a starting NBA player isn’t enough to make you a starting player in the regular season, let alone at All-Star weekend. Now, back to the starting teams;

Kevin Durant

There was never really any doubt that KD was going to make the All-Star team considering his ability to put up 26 PPG on a team like the Warriors. He’s also averaging just under 9 RPG, which is more than Golden State’s centre Zaza Pachulia.. Aside from the fact that he’s able to put up numbers on any given night, KD is a genuinely an entertaining player to watch.  6’9, with the ability to run the floor on a fastbreak and throw it done at the other end, as well as the ability to control the pace of the game when he brings the ball up. A good decision in my books.

Kawhi Leonard

I’m not entirely sure about this one. Don’t get me wrong, Kawhi is having a great season, being one of the elite defenders and putting up 25 PPG are fantastic achievements to boast in the modern NBA. But I feel that he’s being pulled out of the plays too much due to his excessive effort on defence, and isn’t getting to show his talent which would get him on my All-Star list in any other season. But Kawhi is a machine, to be fair to the 2x Defensive POTY, and he’s a fun player to watch when he gets going. I personally feel that DeMarcus Cousins deserved the starting role more, but I’ll talk more about that later. Credit given to Kawhi for making the starting line-up though.

Anthony Davis

One of the best decisions in the starting line-up, in my own opinion. Davis is having an amazing season, and while the Pelicans are no doubt struggling in the regular season, none of the blame can be placed on Anthony Davis. Boasting an impressive 29 PPG combined with 12 RPG is a great feat on a weak squad, and I feel that Davis needs to leave the Pelicans for a team that could actually win a title, he’s definitely deserving of one. But the most important factor of being selected for the All-Star team, Davis is a moving highlight reel, which is why I’m so glad he’s been selected. Excellent choice for me.

Stephen Curry

Everybody and their dog are stating their opinions on this choice, and it’s probably the most controversial decision in the starting line-up. So Steph is Steph, one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA with his crazy shooting and slashing ability, as well as a more than impressive repertoire of dribbling moves. His 25 PPG is understandable considering the addition of KD to the Warriors, so no arguments there. But it’s not Steph’s ability, or lack thereof, that’s causing controversy throughout the NBA fan base. No, it’s Russel Westbrook. Everyone, including myself, feel that Westbrook is having the best season this year, second possibly to James Harden. But I’ll talk more about Westbrook later. This is a bad decision in my opinion, but Curry is a Warrior, so he’s always going to get more votes than most players in the league.

James Harden

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that The Beard was going to crack to starting line-up, especially myself, being a Rockets fan and all.  Only being 1.7 RPG off averaging a triple double this season, Harden is boasting an impressive 29 PPG and 12 APG. What makes his season even better is that he’s carrying the Houston Rockets on his back in his first season at Point Guard, which is clearly one of the best decisions the Rockets have ever made. He and Westbrook are the leading vote getters for MVP this year, but I feel he deserved the starting spot more than Westbrook because he doesn’t force his stats in-game, he just lets the play come to him. Can dance around players, shoot the ball from way down town, and throw it down with the best of them, making him an exciting player to watch. Excellent decision for me.

LeBron James

The All-Star game wouldn’t be the All-Star game without King James, would it? In 13 years he’s made the All-Star team 13 times, 12 of those times as a starting player. The 6’8 monster has dominated the NBA since he came into the league straight out of high school, and this season has been no different. While he’s not putting up an MVP performance, he’s still averaging 25 PPG and 8 APG, making an impact in both scoring and passing. He’s in his 30’s now, but LeBron is still one of the most exciting players in the league to watch, with his ability to throw the ball down off a drive, or a lob, unmatched by any player in the league with the exception of KD, Westbrook and Zach LaVine. No arguments here from me with this choice.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

I swear I spelled his name by heart. Giannis is having a monstrous year in every way, quickly becoming a star in the league that the Bucks can build around. The 6’11 Point Forward has exceptional abilitys for a player his size, including ball handling. Giannis has quickly risen to fame in All-Star voting, despite how difficult it is to spell his awkward-ass surname. He’s now fifth in the KIA MVP race after putting up a series of fantastic games, which, at only 22 years of age, is almost unheard of in the NBA as of recent history. High basketball IQ for such a young player, making him a smart yet entertaining player to watch, especially when he gets a head of steam while charging towards the basket. Very happy that he cracked the starting line-up.

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Buckets has become one of the most clutch players in the league this season, hitting several game winners and putting up big numbers in the fourth quarter of close games. Improved tremoundesly as a shooter after the Bulls’ acquistition of  veterans D-Wade and Rajon Rondo, despite Rondo taking a step away from the starting line-up. Butler has become the player that the Bulls are going to build their franchise around, and, if he sticks around and continues to play like he has been, he could be the MVP in a few years. While his passing ability leaves much to be desired, averaging only 5 APG, his scoring and slashing ability makes him a fantastic player on the court. Definitely a good choice as a starter.

DeMar DeRozan

Another starter I’m slightly on the fence about. Don’t get me wrong, DeRozan’s having a great season and is a very good player, leading the Raptors to the second seed alongside PG Kyle Lowry. The 6’7 Shooting Guard is averaging 28 PPG, putting him in fith place on the leading scoring list, and making him one of the most dynamic scorers in the league, and we all know that pump fake is deadly. While the Raptors took a serious L last night against the Hornets, DeRozan played well on a weak Raptors team, one of the only poor performances we’ve seen from the second seed squad this season. But I feel DeRozan’s choice has left Celtics carrier Isaiah Thomas off the squad, who I believe is much more deserving of the starting position due to his recent play.

Kyrie Irving

While some feel that Isaiah Thomas is more deserving of the starting PG spot in the East line-up, I personally believe that Kyrie is having a better season. While he isn’t putting up the scoring numbers that IT is, that’s understandable considering that he’s playing with LeBron James and Kevin Love. But there’s no denying that Kyrie is the most cold-blooded player in the league right now, shooting daggers against almost every team in the NBA. His ball handling and finishing ability is second to none, and his passing ability is improving as he continues to play alongside LBJ and feed him the ball more. Averaging almost 24 PPG and 6 PPG, Kyrie is an obvious choice for the East PG role, closely followed by IT

There are a few players in the league that I feel were snubbed by the NBA voting system, players that, while they wouldn’t be most people’s first choice in most seasons, are certainly leading the league in their ability to carry their respective teams to a playoff seed. Honourable mentions in this category are Joel Embiid, Kyle Lowry and Eric Gordon, but these aren’t the players I want to talk about.

Russell Westbrook

I shouldn’t even have to say why I think Westbrook was snubbed by the league. Westbeast is averaging a triple double, what other stats do you need to realise why he should be starting for the West. He’s got 22 triple doubles this year, and while he may force some assists to reach double digits, there’s no denying that Westbrook is putting on a show this year as he carries a struggling OKC Thunder squad to the 6th seed in the Western Conference. His dunking ability and sheer speed and athleticism is unmatched at the Point Guard position, making him the toughest match-up in the league for other guards. Westbrook’s already won the All-Star MVP award perviously, and averaging a triple double should give him a guaranteed spot on the starting line-up, but he was snubbed by Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry. This is just a ridiculous position to be in for Westbrook.

DeMarcus Cousins

Boogie was benched for Defensive Superstar Kawhi Leonard as a Western All-Star starter. But there’s one major problem with a Defensive Superstar being a starter at All-Star weekend; there’s no defence played in the All-Star game, so defence shouldn’t really play a role in why a player was voted for. Kawhi is a fantastic player, but Boogie has that fire in him that makes him such an exciting player to watch.  The Kings are struggling to get into the playoff picture this season, holding a 16-26 record which secures them the 11th seed, Cousins is certainly not to blame for their failure, Averaging nearly 28 PPG and 10 RPG, Cousins is the most dominant centre in the West, second only maybe to Anthony Davis. If it was my choice, I’d bench Kawhi and throw Boogie into the starting line-up in the centre role, moving AD to the Power-Forward role.

Isaiah Thomas

IT is carrying the Celtics to the third seed in the East, while also hitting some clutch shots in the progress, many of those being game winners. IT is averaging nearly 29 PPG, but is often overlooked due to his size. His dribble pull-up is unmatched in the league, and his offensive ability is becoming one of the most deadly in the NBA.  I feel that IT was snubbed from the starting role at SG by DeMar DeRozan, who is also having a great season but isn’t on the same level as Isaiah at the moment. I’d certainly like to see IT in the All-Star game, and since he isn’t a starter I hope to see him get some decent minutes in come Feburary 17th.

Well that’s my thoughts on the All-Star starters for 2017. Let me know what you think of the starting teams for both the East and West All-Stars.

Review Friday; NBA 2K17

2K’s NBA 2K17 took the reigns as the leading basketball based video game in terms of purchases almost 4 years ago from EA’s NBA Live, which is absolutely rubbish. 2K have just done everything better; MyTeam beats out any fantasy team building game mode out there, including FIFA’s Ultimate Team. Gameplay soars above NBA Live’s poor physics and animations, I mean it’s not a basketball game if you can’t injure somebody with a vicious ankle breaker is it? And to top it all off, 2K’s MyCareer mode is one of the most innovating sport based story in gaming history. But NBA 2K17 definitely has its flaws, with slow servers and CPU teammate glitches, which cause quite a bit of anger from the games buyers. So without further ado, here’s my detailed review of NBA 2K17.

In terms of gameplay, 2K have done a fantastic job in creating a realistic yet addictive basketball game, second to no other sports game in my opinion, including EA’s FIFA franchise. With over 15,000 animations, NBA 2K17 has a realistic reaction to every move in the game, from player emotions after a bad call, to the filthy ankle breaking animations to prove just how cruel you can be at the hands of players like Kyrie Irving and former 76er Allen Iverson. At first glance, 2K’s gameplay seems flawless, and it is, until you try a full court pass, which will no doubt be fired into the stands. Oh maybe I’ll try a behind the back move, 2K says no, you’ve arrived at Destination Fucked it’s turnover time baby. Or maybe you’re defending another player, you’ve got it all under control, nah you’re teammate decides to run a double team with you, leaving his man wide open for a layup, thanks 2K. But aside from the full court pass, behind the back animations, and poor defensive rotation, 2K really have hit the nail on the head in terms of outstanding gameplay, allowing you to create your own jumpshot, choose your own dribble move from a wide variety of options, and posterize opposing players with that elusive Posterizer badge. They’ve also acknowledged the shooting ablity of players like Steph Curry, adding extended range to players who are known to shoot from way down town, and added a shot meter to layups so players like Kyrie and Isaiah Thomas can actually finish around the rim when timed right. But now players can’t just spam the right stick if they wish to do a signature size-up dribble, they now have to flick the right stick as if they were actually performing the dribble move, and players on the Park can’t spam Jamal Crawford’s behind the back dribble due to 2K17’s stamina meter for dribble moves. So the gameplays incredibly good, with a few kinks that need to be ironed out before NBA 2K18 is released.

In terms of gamemodes, 2K17’s MyTeam and MyCareer take the title in terms of most addictive and innovating gamemodes of any sports game. In MyTeam, you do exactly what it says on the tin; you create your own fantasy team, buy packs or boxes to upgrade your team, and play against other players online. The aim is to reach the Diamond League and become 2K champion. But 2K’s awful server issues cause a lot of crashes and force you to leave a game allowing, causing you to lose VC and waste contracts for your players. When the servers are looking good, I genuinely play MyTeam for hours on end, it really is an enjoyable gamemode. But the MyCareer mode is what makes NBA 2K17 the best sports game this year. 2K have created a story based career, where you create the biggest draft prospect in college known as Pres. But it;s up to you to live up to the hype you recieved as a college player when you move to the big leagues and join the NBA. 2K17 added the “Dynamic Duo” feature to the MyCreer mode with the addition of teammate Justice Young and the “Orange Juice” team of Young and Pres. Your play in-game will affect how well Justice plays, and vice versa. 2K also reintroduced the archtypes into NBA 2K17, so you create a specialty player, such as a slasher or sharpshooter, and build your legacy from there. And if you ever get bored of playing against the CPU, you can jump onto MyPark and play against players online in games like 3v3 and 21, earn your rep and become a Park Superstar. With hundreds of signature moves, the ability to create your own jumpshot, and build up your fortune by signing with famous brands such as Nike and Jordan. Hunt down over 50 badges to improve your abilities and become the greatest of all time. Apart from a few minor glitches, the MyCareer mode is basically flawless in terms of enjoyment and gameplay. And if you want to try something different, jump onto Play Now or Blacktop for some game-time with real players.

NBA 2K17 is one of the games I put a lot of time into, from building a superstar in MyCareer to building a super team in MyTeam, I really do enjoy playing this game for hours upon hours on end. And while 2K certainly has some problems to iron out with 2K17, such as the server issues and full court passes, 2K18 could really be the perfect game if these issues are fixed. If you enjoy basketball in any way, shape or form, definitely pick up a copy of NBA 2K17 and create your own legacy.

TheBloggingLeprechaun Rating; 7.5/10


NBA Discussion; Let’s Talk about LeBron James – 19th Jan 2017

LeBron James is without a doubt the greatest player of our generation, second of all-time only to Michael Jordan. LBJ is this huge, machine of a man with one of the best basketball brains you’ll ever see. He can clearly play well in all 5 positions due to his perfect size and build, but is most suited to that Point Forward role in the Cleveland Cavaliers line-up. There’s not many things that man can’t do in a basketball court, and what he lacks in a jump shot ability, he makes up for in extreme athleticism and unique passing ability for someone his size. LBJ is known for making his teammates better in almost every aspect of their play, leading his teams to the finals for 7 straight years. But I personally feel that he hasn’t been performing to his usual standards this season, and that doesn’t bode well for a Cavaliers team faced with the challenge of being the NBA’s main hope for taking down the Golden State Warriors. I’ll use Monday night’s Cavs vs. Warriors game as an example.

I’ll take you back to the 2016 NBA Finals, Game 5 more specifically. Warriors were holding a 3-1 lead over the Cavs in a very one-sided series. But you ever heard the phrase, “don’t poke the bear?” Well that’s exactly what Draymond Green did when he hit LeBron under the belt. In the first 4 games, LeBron was virtually invisible on a struggling Cavs team, with Kyrie taking the reigns as leading scorer. But when Draymond hit LBJ, he awoke the beast inside The King, released a fire in him that we hadn’t seen in The Finals. LeBron was mad, he started playing like the aggressive machine we’d been so used to seeing, attacking the basket and demanding the ball at all times. And we all remember The Block? One of the craziest defensive plays in NBA history. Well that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Draymond’s ridiculous foul. Now, back to the present, well Monday night. LeBron put up his weakest performance all season against the Warriors who were having an extremely hot night from the field. He was weak going to the basket, struggled to carry the ball in a 6 turnover performance, and was unable to show-up on this generations biggest rivalry, despite LBJ refusing to call it that. But this was only game. There’s one moment in that game that really caught my attention, one which instantly sent my mind back to Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, and you all know which moment I’m talking about.

Draymond Green pulled off one of the biggest boneheaded moves I’ve ever seen, in what others would call a “smart foul.” While James was running the ball up on a fastbreak, Green did ran into LeBron from the side, knocking him to the floor. I know, believe me I know, LeBron flopped in this incredibly dramatic performance of acting, I mean look at the guy, if LeBron James doesn’t want to be moved, he will NOT be moved. But that’s beside the point. Green obviously has no recollection of last years Finals after he hit LBJ the first time, so decided he would not only knock LeBron to the floor once again, but then choose to taunt The King after in a flailing dance to the crowd, metaphorically poking the bear. And while LeBron did not show up in that game against Golden State after Green’s flagrant, I do have a sneaking suspicion that foul will come back to bite the Warriors come June, in what is either the bravest or most stupid play in recent history. It’s clear that Draymond doesn’t fear LeBron, perhaps he fails to recognise what LBJ is capable of when he’s pissed off, but I do know that he’d ought to be afraid of The King, because we’ve all seen what happens when LeBron’s mad, and the collective Warriors squad should be top of the list of people to fear LBJ, if the 2016 Finals are any indication of his ability to ruin a team. But while I feel LeBron can be the player to take the Warriors, if there is anybody that can take them down it’s him and his Cavs, he needs to step up his recent performances if he wants to achieve this and bring the title home to Cleveland for the second straight year.

I personally feel that LBJ isn’t having an MVP performance this season, at least not yet anyway. I mean don’t get me wrong, he’d be having a great season if he were someone else, on a different team, boasting 26 PPG, 8 RPG and 8 APG is no easy feat for a normal player, but LeBron isn’t a normal player. I understand that he’s getting older now and is losing some of his athleticism as age becomes a factor in his play, and his jump shot is certainly improving, bringing his career FG% up to 38% this year. But look at players like Russel Westbrook and James Harden, who are carrying weak squads to the playoffs as well as boasting a triple double on a more than rare occasion, I mean, Westbrook’s averaging a triple double for Christ’s sake. It’s easy to argue that LeBron can’t fill his stats as much as Westbrook and Harden because he’s on a team with players like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, who are also “stat sheet stuffers “, but that hasn’t stopped him before. Last year I felt that LeBron should’ve won the MVP award over Curry in terms of individual play, but Curry’s Warriors holding a 73-9 record in the league obviously helped his votes, aside from the fact that he did have freak-like outbreak of a season in terms of shooting the ball. So what’s stopping LBJ from going for another MVP award as a Cavalier, and bringing the title home for a second time. We all know he could do it, and I know I definitely want to see LeBron get another award before he inevitably hangs up his boots and retires. Although it’s going to take a hell of an effort to knock my man Harden from his podium as leading go-getter for this years MVP award, but we all know if anyone’s going to do it, it’s going to be The King.