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.
Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
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.

Getty Images

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.
The Wild Wild West

The Wild Wild West

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The UtahJazz during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers,at VivintSmart Home Arena, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

The opening weekend for the NBA playoffs in the western conference is coming to an end. Yet what’s happened in the west is quite unusual.

The Memphis Grizzlies finally washing out their four-year playoff drought, the Jazz as the first seed, the Suns as the second seed, and the defending champs as the 7th seed.

What’s surprising is to see the Pheonix Suns in the playoffs again after ten cruel years. After going 34-39 last season, the suns had their sudden breakout in the bubble, proving that they will be a threat in the future. Especially with how young their team is, last year’s bubble, in a way, showed their true potential. The sudden addition with the Chris Paul trade gave the Suns a veteran starter at point guard, which this team has struggled with finding in previous seasons. This team has improved their record tremendously with their recent moves and is now 51-21.

Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

Another shocker in this bracket is the 8th seeded Memphis Grizzlies. After beating the Jazz 112-109. The Grizzlies had momentum after playing two games in a row. As the 1st seed, you’re expected to handle the 8th seed like they were nothing. Not only are the Jazz the 1st seed inarguably the most challenging conference in the league, but they’re also the number one ranked team in defense while the Grizzlies are ranked 14in scoring.

Although it’s unfair to judge a series by the first game, what the Suns and Grizzlies displayed, they’re the teams to watch on the west.

Mamba Mentality

Mamba Mentality

Mamba mentality is a saying that dates back to the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. It means killer mentality, which Bryant had during his career in the NBA, a killer mentality. On May16th, 2021, Kobe Bryant was recently inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, and here’s why.

Kobe Bryant celebrates after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center June 17, 2010, in Los Angeles. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In his long career on the lakers, Kobe was drafted straight out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia by the Charlotte Hornets but later traded on the same day during the 1996 NBA draft.

Although his rookie year wasn’t the best, averaging almost 8 points a game, his minutes increased as he went into his sophomore year; not only that, his points, rebounds, shooting percentages, etc., increased as well. Kobe went onto average 15.4 points per game from his original 7.6.

After Bryant’s rookie season, the rest was history. The laker’s front office went on to rob the Orlando Magic in the infamous Shaq trade, Kobe dropped 81 on the Raptors, scored 60 points in his retirement game, and almost tying Micheal Jordan in rings, only winning five NBA championships.

CREDIT: ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/GETTY IMAGES

Bryant also won four MVPs, selected 12 times for the All-defensive team, 14 times for the All-NBA team,18 times for the All-Star team, and lastly, he was the NBA’s scoring champion twice.

From 2005 to 2007, Bryant went from 35.4 points a game to 31.6 points per game. However, he didn’t win a championship. Instead, he won the scoring title in both years.

Three years after his second scoring title, Kobe went on to win his last ring in 2010 as a laker six years before his final game before his retirement in 2016.

Throughout his career, he’s gone through coaching changes, roster changes, injuries, and controversy, all while dealing with both love and hate from all NBA fans around the world. While some may fold, Kobe still managed to keep his head up and play to the best of his ability.

2001: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes in for a slam dunk against the New Jersey Nets during the NBA game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2002 NBAE Mandatory credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images Credit: Photos from ÒThe Mamba MentalityÓ courtesy of photographer Andrew D. Bernstein.
Aaron Rodgers Vs. The Packers?

Aaron Rodgers Vs. The Packers?

Aaron Rodgers reportedly wants out of Green Bay. (APPhoto/Ben Margot, File)

The three-time MVP and Super Bowl champion Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. Given his circumstances, it makes sense why.

Off the field, there’s ongoing friction with Rodgers and the Packers organization. Rodgers doesn’t want anything to do with the organization and has sent out retirement threats.

On the field, it seems his only reliable wide receiver is Davante Adams, and he’s been his number one target since Adams arrived in the green and gold. Although Rodgers has had plenty of good receivers and tight ends over the years, they’re not what he needs to make another Super Bowl appearance.

By Bruce Feldman, Jan 22, 2021

Not only does Rodgers need another star receiver, but so does Adams. No other receiver or tight end on this team has broken over 700 yards in their careers. That’s why defenses focus on containing Adams. This past season Davante Adams received his second-most targets in a season, recording 149 targets while also having a 77.2% catch percentage. Adams carried this receiving team with 1374 receiving yards and a career-high 18 touchdowns.

Without Davante, Aaron Rodgers can’t do Aaron Rodger things.

The Packers could’ve helped the problematic situation with their Pro Bowl quarterback in the latest draft by drafting a half-decent wide receiver with their 29th first-round pick. Instead, they used their first-rounder on Cornerback Eric Stokes despite having elite Cornerback Jaire Alexander on the roster. They also had another opportunity to draft a receiver but instead drafted QB Jordan Love, who hasn’t taken an NFL snap since getting drafted in 2020.

It made sense why they drafted a cornerback to possibly replace Kevin King after his horrible performance against the Buccaneers. However, they had eight other picks in the later rounds to draft a corner. They could’ve used that first-round pick on Elijah Moore or possibly Rondale Moore despite his size.

The Packers also had their chances to go for big-name receivers such as Kenny Golladay, Curtis Samuel, T.Y. Hilton, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, or even Sammy Watkins all during free agency.

It’s clear that current Packer’s General Manager Brian Gutekunst doesn’t know what he’s doing nor where he’s going with his team. It’s confusing on whether he wants the team to turn into a Super Bowl winning team or if he’s just fine with a second-round exit team.

Retirement could be a good move for Rodgers, after all.

Look At Curry, So Inspirational

Look At Curry, So Inspirational

Jeff Chiu/AP Images

In the past few weeks, Stephen Curry has played the best couple of games this season, averaging 31.2 points per game. This type of performance is identical to his unanimous MVP season.

If anything, this season is almost a better scoring season than his 2015-2016 MVP season.

Although his 3 point percentage is low compared to his MVP year, he’s taking more threes since he has to carry most of the workload with shooting guard Klay Thompson out for the season. Right now, curry is shooting 42.5% from three and which is about 3% lower compared to his MVP season when he shot 45.4%.

Curry from three is something NBA fans are all used to by now but did you know that he’s shooting better from the mid-range as well? Well, if you didn’t, now you know. Right now, Curry is shooting 57.5% from mid. He’s also averaging 5.1 defensive rebounds and 5.6 total rebounds, his highest season average.

Mind you; he’s doing this good with only 52 games played. He’s barely in the MVP conversation, but fans can only imagine what the MVP leaderboard would be like if he played more than just 52 games.

Not to mention he recently broke Kobe Bryant’s 30 plus 11 game streak, and today he currently has made the most threes in any month in NBA history.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Curry is truly an inspiration and a once-in-a-lifetime player, and next season he will bean MVP again.

Curry has always been a consistent player since 2012.He’s averaged around 20 to 30 points every season and always shot about 40% from the three, except last year with him only playing five games before his injury.

With the number of threes he’s taken in his career, Curry has a career average of 8.5 attempted threes per game with a 43.4% career three-point percentage. Compared to now the second greatest shooter of all time, Ray Allen, whose career average is 5.7 attempts and a 40% three-point percentage.

Photo Credit: SLAM Magazine

On top of that, Curry averages more points and assist than Allen. Although these two had a different career path, it’s stupid to say Curry isn’t a better shooter than Jesus Shuttlesworth himself.