On To The Next

On To The Next

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) points upward before playing against the Utah Jazz in Phoenix April 7, 2021. Micheal Chow, Micheal Chow/The Republic.
As we head into the second round of the NBA playoffs, the west proved itself to be the weirdest conference in the league.

Why, you may ask? Well, because the Suns delivered Lebron James’s first round-one loss since entering the league in 2002, posing a 14-1 record in the first round.

Devin Booker alone defeated the Lakers, scoring an outstanding 47,11, and 3 in game 6. Booker, throughout this series, has been averaging between 17 and 47 points this series.

On the opposing side, Lebron, as usual, carried his team averaging 18 and 29 points in his last six games in the postseason.

With Batman, there’s Robin; and Anthony Davis, although injured for the last two games, has played well in his fourth career playoff appearance. Anthony Davis’s best game was in game three, scoring 34 points with a field goal percentage of 50%. He also put up 11 rebounds.

The pairing of Anthony Davis, left, and LeBron James on the Lakers has been just as formidable as everyone expected.Credit…Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Shifting east, Trae Young begins his villain arc as he tears down the up-and-coming New York Knicks, with his lowest-scoring game being 21 points in game three. New York’s public enemy #1 averaged between 21 and 37 points the whole series shooting 44% from the field.
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In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid and the 76ers got it done in 5 games and won the series 4-1 against the Wizards.

Before his game five absence, MVP candidate Joel Embiid proving that he’s still in the MVP conversation, averaged 33.4 ppg, 15.5 rebounds, and 17.3 assists in this playoff run.

FILE – In this Feb. 19, 2021, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid reacts after making a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Philadelphia. Embiid is having the best season for a 76ers’ big man since Moses Malone and he has his team atop the Eastern Conference standings headed into the second half of the season. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
In Brooklyn, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant decimated the Celtics in 5.

The stats speak for themselves; this trio all proved their playoff dominance scoring 416 points with a 53% field goal percentage.

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On the other hand, the only sweep of the first round, the Bucks, shows their regular dominant postseason performance sweeping the Heat. 

Former MVP and defensive player of the year, Giannis Antetokunmpo, picked up where he left off after last year’s loss against the Heat and made sure they felt his presence. Giannis’s best game was in game two, scoring 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted on social media that he was “blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years.”Credit…Ashley Landis/Associated Press
This year’s playoffs have indeed been all about scoring.
AINGE OUT, STEVENS IN: Is this the right Decision?

AINGE OUT, STEVENS IN: Is this the right Decision?

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News broke of Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations, and former player Danny Ainge has retired from his role on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, the day after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets 4-1 in the best of seven series. It is also reported that Ainge has been thinking of resigning or retiring for several months now, and that’s something I could believe.

The last 4/5 years have shown that Ainge displayed levels of incompetence and poor negotiating skills after the failed trade of Kyrie Irving which ultimately crumbled the organization. After the deal for Irving didn’t work out, he had one job; bring a guard and a big-sized forward who could revert to the centre position. Celtics fans were all watching the market keenly and had their hearts set on Anthony Davis joining until the reality was Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter.

Last season when the world was all but shut down due to the Coronavirus, Boston had arguably their best shot of a finals appearance but they choked. In the off-season, Kanter was traded and the immediate reaction Celtics fans were looking for was a new top-tier Centre, i.e, Andre Drummond, or Myles Turner, or Karl-Anthony Towns, but the reality was an overweight looking, past his best Tristan Thompson to pair up with injury-prone Robert Williams III. Even trading Daniel Theis to Chicago for Mo Wagner, who was then traded for no positives whatsoever.

Photo Credit: Sky Sports
With the out-of-depth Ainge gone, his successor is an even more out of depth Brad Stevens. The now-former coach of the Celtics will take up the P.B.O role on a full-time basis, and will be in the process to assist in hiring his successor. For me Stevens never should’ve lasted this long, seeing as he choked in the playoffs last season. Yes, I know that he is the 4th winningest coach in Celtics history with 352 wins, and yes I know that only Gregg Popovich has more wins than Stevens minimum of 630 games since his appointment in 2014. However, if you are desperate for a game to be won, you’d be better off with a P.E teacher than Brad Stevens.

The man can’t coach through all four quarters, with the 3rd quarter being his worst. A man like Stevens who is always mellowed on the sideline, wastes challenges on ridiculous plays, and can’t motivate his team when the team desperately needs it and who would let an ant bully him. What the Celtics need is a coach with an intense personality, an obtuse/great knowledge of the sport, and who knows the winning mentality; and for me, that coach is Mike Krzyzewski.

Arguably and easily the greatest coach in college basketball history, I could see coach K in the TD Garden, yelling out plays to Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Robert Williams III. With 1,170 wins in his career as a head coach, it would only be right for him to coach the most decorated NBA franchise in history and bring them back to the days when Larry Bird used to suit up. Will the Celtics try and make a sensible decision for once, or will they be hindered by more unsatisfying appointments? We will wait and see.

A Forgotten Man: Mitchell Trubisky

A Forgotten Man: Mitchell Trubisky

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“With the 2nd pick in the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select Mitchell Trubisky, the quarterback from North Carolina.” Those were the words that Trubisky and the Bears fans heard and thought they had got their franchise QB. However, now in 2021, the first-rounder is an outcast at Chicago, now enrolled at the Buffalo Bills as Josh Allen’s understudy.

Remember, the Bears gave up a heap of draft stock to get Trubisky, including a late 3rd round pick to the Saints by the name of Alvin Kamara. Also, when trading up they took Mitchell over a few QBs such as Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and undrafted Taysom Hill, all of who have excelled in the league with the former already a Super Bowl champion.

Seeing that it didn’t work out for him at Chicago, how was his time there? The 2018 pro-bowler made 50 starts, producing 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. The 26-year-old threw for over ten thousand (10,609) yards at a completion rate of sixty-four percent (64%).

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How does this stock-up to other active QBs in that period since he was drafted up until last season? He ranks 25th in yards per game, 12th in most interceptions, and 19th in passing yards. This even ranks him behind “Mr. 30 for 30” Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill, of which the latter has played twelve games less. Eli Manning has more yards per attempt than Mitchell who has played 16 GAMES MORE.

Now the Bears will try again for that franchise QB, with drafting Ohio State QB Justin Fields in this year’s NFL Draft. Looking at the roster and seeing Fields, Foles and Dalton, there was never going to be room for the North Carolina native. Mitchell Trubisky; A forgotten man.