The newest BA Today Show Podcast —-> Check it out and let us know what you think.
Cubs sign Soler, will he feast or falter in the Cubs farm system? Discussing current and past prospects of the Cubs organization.
Who wins this Sunday at WWE’s “No Way Out” pay-per-view and who’s my favorite to win the briefcase at next month’s “Money in the Bank.”
Game 1 of the NBA Finals – Heat vs. Thunder game overview
Russell Westbrook and what NBA Hall of Famer and “NBA’s 50 Greatest” his game reminds me of. (Never been compared to)
(I do not own the rights to the following songs)
Kevin MacLeod – Cut & Run
Glory Nugget – Iron Bacon
Kayne West & Lupe Fiasco – Touch the Sky
Kevin MacLeod – Organic Grunge
Kevin MacLeod – Zap Beat
Kevin MacLeod – Cut & Dry
New podcast available from two of your chair members discussing sports & entertainment. We are looking for approval from Itunes and waiting to be confirmed. If/When that happens we will be available to be downloaded on there as well.
Here’s the link to the first episode… BA Today Show – June 11, 2012
A story about my favorite NBA player that I didn’t know and I’m sure few people do.
REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
West (Predicted December 2011)/ Actual
1) Thunder – Spurs 50-16
2) Mavericks – Thunder 47-19
3) Spurs – Lakers 41-25
4) Clippers – Grizzlies 41-25
5) Lakers – Clippers 40-26
6) Grizzlies – Nuggets 38-28
7) Blazers – Mavericks 36-30
8) Warriors – Jazz 36-30
(Finals: Heat & Thunder. Heat win in 6)
Although I wasn’t as successful as with the western conference I still think I did pretty well. The Clippers were the ones who splashed in the offseason with Paul and Billups but no one was sure how well they’d do. I had them at #4 and they’re really only two games away from being that. If Billups didn’t get hurt they could have possibly been a #3 which would have helped them this year in my opinion. Jazz barely squeaked in. They have young talent but they’re not ready.
1 Spurs vs. 8 Jazz – As I just stated the Jazz have young talent and the Spurs have older talent with some younger parts off the bench. Spurs somehow managed to tie for the best record in the NBA. Personally the Spurs bore me. I will not watch this series and unless the Jazz get lucky or Manu breaks something again the Spurs will advance.
2. Thunder vs. 7 Mavericks – The Thunder have a very similar roster as last season where the Mavericks seem a lot different. Mavericks lost two key guys like Chandler and J.J. Barea that helped a lot last season. The Mavericks got by because of Dirk’s big time shots. Age has really gotten to this team. Dropping from one of the top seeds all the way to #7 has showed this. They need to learn from the Spurs coach how to maintain. Thunder are just too good with Durant and Westbrook. These guys won’t be stopped in this series. Thunder also will feel like they have something to prove since the Mavericks are who beat them last year.
3. Lakers vs. 6 Nuggets – Somehow the Nuggets win games without having any big elite players. They are just a good solid team. That’s about all I can say about them. I like Afflalo but Lakers adding Sessions and Kobe keeping himself healthy and rested for the playoffs is all the Lakers need with the duo of bigs they have. Lakers will advance and Kobe will hit big shots anytime he needs to.
4. Grizzlies vs. 5 Clippers – This could be a fun series to watch. I like the guys on both teams. I think “Lob City” is going to be in trouble when they have to slow down and run sets. I think Paul can carry the team at times but Billups needed to be there for big shot for them to go deeper. I like the Grizzlies and I think they showed a lot of people how good they were last year without their best player in Rudy Gay. I think the Grizzlies advance in a lot of close games.
1 Spurs vs. 4 Grizzlies – Upset alert! Rankings wise this is really the only upset I have for your guys. The Spurs are good and have depth but in the playoffs the key players play more minutes and I feel like the Spurs will wear down. I also think this is the year that Mark Gasol shows he’s now the better Gasol brother in the NBA. He will be huge. I think Randolph will be back in shape after his injury enough to contribute. Gay will have a great series and Conley and Mayo will continue to do their thing and win games.
2 Thunder vs. 3 Lakers – This shit just got personal. Metta World Peace will be back after his suspension and hopefully Harden will be back to playing 100% after suffering a concussion. You have the top two scorers in the league going at it. Ibaka and Perkins are going to have to have a good defensive series against Gasol and Bynum. Before the Lakers traded for Sessions I figured the point guard position would be the downfall for the Lakers. He is a great improvement over what they had. I think the Thunder are determined to be in the finals or the season will be a bust. The depth of the Thunder and youth will outlast the Lakers. Expect a game or two where Kobe & Durant get the chance for a last second shot.
2 Thunder vs. 4 Grizzlies – The funny thing is this was probably one of the hardest series for the Thunder last year. I think they competed with the Mavericks better but not being able to close games and Dirk hitting big shots is why they lose. The Thunder and Grizzlies match-up really well against one another. Now the Grizzlies have Rudy Gay this series and could be a huge upset here. I’m not going to say that though. I believe last season the biggest flaws of the Thunder was their half court offense and their maturity to close at the end of games. I think they have fixed these problems and with the addition of signing Fisher brings great experience and also allows Westbrook to play some SG for the entire playoffs. I would love to see when Thunder go small with Fisher, Westbrook, Harden, Durant, and Ibaka/Collison. I think this series will go 6 or 7 but the Thunder will come out victorious to face the Heat in the finals.
BY REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
For those of you who do not know Russell Westbrook, he is an emerging basketball star for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is the starting point guard who was very much criticized for his play in the western conference playoffs. The biggest issue with Westbrook could be considered his head. At times he can get out of control and have high turnover numbers and shoot the ball as many times as his fellow all-star teammate Kevin Durant. He also has his own “Why Not” theory that he has on his wristbands and promotes on twitter with his #WhyNotWednesdays. I by no means disagree with his theory. As soon as you think you can’t do something you are already limiting what you can do. I love his why not ideology and even though certain coaches believe you need to play within yourself and play within the team philosophy Russell Westbrook is such an explosive and athletically gifted specimen that he might not have any limits. He can get to the rim almost anytime he wants to and either score or draw a foul. He can also create his own shot whenever he wants.
As a player who was drafted in 2008 out of UCLA he has incredible talent but is still a maturing talent. He played the shooting guard role and is still learning to be a point guard. With all the attention that Russell Westbrook has gotten, with the media and fans finally getting to see him play in the western conference finals, and them labeling him as reckless and a ball hog I couldn’t help but taking a different look at the situation as a Thunder fan. Westbrook is a beautiful distraction to a possible bigger issue. What is the biggest issue with LeBron James right now? That he doesn’t show up in big games, he plays timid, he doesn’t have that killer instinct. If Durant didn’t have Westbrook taking all the criticism for all the Thunder losses Kevin Durant would be in the same situation as LeBron. Durant has games where he looks amazing and he has that killer instinct. He takes it to the hole and draws fouls and is almost automatic at the free throw line. The games where the offense is stagnant and Durant isn’t driving and settles for three-point shots the Thunder are in trouble.
The Thunder’s offense does not have a low post game at all. Not even Durant at 6’10”. If Durant, Harden, Manor, and Cook aren’t knocking down their shots and Perkins and Ibaka aren’t getting cheap put back points the only play-makers the Thunder have are Westbrook and Harden. Harden is a good shooter and is more suited for a pick and roll motion type of offense which works well with the players around him but if they can’t hit shots it’s useless. Enter Westbrook, a player who drives to the lane with almost a reckless abandonment style and can get to the rim any time he wants. At 6’3” he is normally faster, taller, and stronger than whoever is guarding him. He’s fearless when he takes it to the hole. He isn’t afraid of contact. He absorbs it. He’s a great free throw shooter and isn’t afraid of getting fouled. Westbrook has the killer instinct. He just isn’t in the position where it’s acceptable to have it. When you’re on a team with the multiple time scoring champion I guess you’re only allowed to play side kick and facilitate the ball. There’s no room to be partners in crime. When the media tried to inflate the situation by asking if Durant had a problem with Westbrook’s shot selection and quantity Durant basically said he loves Westbrook as a teammate and encourages him to play his game.
So when it comes to all of the attention that surrounds Russell Westbrook and the type of player he is I can only think what Durant is thinking. Durant doesn’t want the ball in his hands all the time and having to create his own shots. He wants to curl on a screen and shoot three pointers. He wants to slash without the ball. Westbrook is a great compliment to his game as he always has that killer instinct when the pressure might be getting to Durant in key games and he becomes timid if his shots aren’t falling. Why not Westbrook? You’re telling me Westbrook can’t take over a game? Why not? Over the off-season Westbrook trained with the same trainer Derrick Rose used before his MVP season. Westbrook focused on improving his jumper that had a slight lean. He believes that has been corrected. He also focused on a low-post game as he is one of the bigger point guards in the game today. A floater has also been added to his arsenal of weapons increasing his percentages within five feet when he drives and doesn’t get the fouls called. Even though realistically it’s hard to say that Westbrook will win a MVP anytime soon with Durant being on the same team it’s still possible. He did post pretty similar numbers to Rose last season. Why not a future MVP? Why not a future NBA champion? I guess only time will tell but expect an even better season for Russell Westbrook in his 4th season.