Posts Tagged With: ESPN

NBA on Christmas Day

Football is to Thanksgiving as basketball is to Christmas: they just work together. Throughout the day, five games will be played, starting at noon ET on ESPN with the New York Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards in Madison Square Garden. The NBA-filled day ends at 10:30 ET on TNT in Los Angeles as the Clippers take on their rivals, the Golden State Warriors, which will hopefully be a good game. Between spending time with family, I plan to watch as many games as possible. Here are my picks for each game:

  • Wizards at Knicks: Wizards. I think this one is a give-me game for the Wizards. The Washington team is doing well, with John Wall averaging 17.8 points, 10.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Their team gels well together and are currently 19-8, making them third in the Eastern Conference. The 5-25 Knicks, however continue to struggle and even though Carmelo Anthony is putting up big numbers, 23.7 points per game, it’s not enough. Wizards win 100-89.
  • Thunder at Spurs: Thunder. Even with Kevin Durant out, I give Oklahoma City the advantage. Kawhi Leonard is still out for the Spurs and Tony Parker may be out as well. Russell Westbrook seems to be running on all cylinders. If he plays the point, Cory Joseph is going to have a rough time trying to contain him. It will, of course, be a more competitive game than the one before, but I give the Thunder the edge 99-95.
  • Cavaliers at Heat: Cavaliers. Well, this will certainly be an interesting (and tense) game. It will be LeBron James’ first time back in South Beach since he decided to leave earlier this year. No doubt, he will be showered with boos, but still play well. The Cavs are still getting used to playing with one another, but at 17-10, I think they can arrange to do some good things on the offensive end to get the victory. With Chris Bosh out indefinitely, the Heat’s front court will take a hit. Kevin Love is currently averaging a double-double, making him a threat when it comes to shooting and crashing the boards. Kyrie Irving’s quickness will be too much for Mario Chalmers, allowing him to get the ball where it needs to be in a timely manner. Even with the home court advantage, Miami falls to Cleveland 94-110.
  • Lakers at Bulls: Chi-town. Derrick Rose is back. *drops mic* …*picks mic back up* But seriously, even if Kobe Bryant plays, it won’t be enough for the Lakers to get the win in Chicago. The Bulls have a good thing going and I don’t see the LA team messing that up. If Nick Young gets hot, he can put up some major points, but on the other side, there’s Rose and Jimmy Butler at the other end ready to fire at will with former Laker Pau Gasol getting it done in the paint. Being that Gasol is playing his former team and Carlos Boozer his former team, it will be interesting to see how each does. Chicago has the advantage 103-97.
  • Warriors at Clippers: Clippers. This is heart over head decision. The 19-10 Clippers have to keep it moving and get the win. Golden State is coming off a 115-105 loss to the Kobe-less Lakers, which could work in either team’s favor. The Warriors could use it as motivation to get the next win. The Clippers can be motivated by it because if a struggling Lakers team can win without Bryant, they should be able to get the job done with the squad they have. Being at home on Christmas Day, I trust that everyone will step up and put on a great show. Clippers take care of business and win 118-113.

Merry Christmas!

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Robin Roberts honored at the ESPYS

Last night, ESPN held the ESPYS, the sports version of the Oscars, hosted by Jon Hamm. It was filled with tears, laughs and all-around fun.

Hamm started out with a funny monologue, covering topics from Dwight Howard leaving the Lakers to actor-athlete differences.

LeBron James took home the most awards, winning Best NBA Player, Best Championship Performance and Best Male Athlete individually and Best Team and Best Game as part of the Miami Heat team.

Other award winners include Brittney Griner for Best Female College Athlete; Adrian Peterson for Best NFL Player; Colin Kaepernick for Best Breakthrough Athlete; Serena Williams for Best Female Athlete and Best Female Tennis Player; Rick Pitino for Best Coach/Manager; and Jack Hoffman TD during Nebraska spring game for Best Moment.

The most touching moments of the night were Robin Roberts honored with the Arthur Ashe Award and Dick and Rick Hoyt with the Jimmy V Perserverance Award.

As an African American female looking to go into journalism, Roberts is a personal inspiration. Her body of work is amazing and she has warmed the hearts of many.

The Hoyts were a reminder of how people were affected by the Boston bombing, but no matter what, you should never give up. The bond between the father and son is one that cannot be manufactured nor broken. They exemplify their city’s new-found saying, “Boston Strong.”

Overall, the ESPYS were put together well and everything flowed nicely. It was a great evening to honor great athletes and even greater people.

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Weekend NBA Playoffs Get Interesting

This weekend, the Miami Heat took a 2-1 lead over the Indiana Pacers. Game two on Friday was a back-to-back game between the two teams that came down to the wire. Paul George and LeBron James made two monstrous shots before halftime and even traded a congratulatory hi-five. The score was very close throughout the whole game and came down to the last few seconds. It seemed that the Heat would win, but James had two crucial turnovers that caused the Pacers win, tying the series 1-1.

Roy Hibbert ended the game with a double-double (29 points, 10 rebounds) and James had a playoff-high 36 points. Chris Andersen also had a perfect scoring game, going 2-2 from the field and 3-3 from the free throw line.

On Sunday, however, the Heat went into overdrive and beat the Pacers 114-96 in Indiana. The whole team, including the bench, stepped up. Udonis Haslem came up big with 17 points and 7 rebounds.

While the Heat did play well, it seems that the Pacers did not play at their usual high level. They shot well from the outside, but had trouble shooting from the field. Their defense lacked its usual intensity, giving up 52 points in the paint. The Pacers also ended with 11 team turnovers. It seemed that the young team could not get going.

George was unable to guard James as well as he has in past times. He also was not very effective on the offensive end, going 3-10 from the field.

The Pacers are looking to tie the series tomorrow (Tuesday) at home before they head back to Miami.

The San Antonio Spurs are also on the verge of sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies as they are up three games to none. Many believed that the series would be closer, especially with big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. However, the Spurs have found ways around them. On Saturday, the Spurs beat Memphis 104-93 in Memphis.

The Grizzlies came out strong, ending the first quarter up by 16, but the Spurs were able to cut the Memphis lead to four by the end of the first half.

Mike Conley played a good game. His five steals and 20 points accounted for much of the Grizzlies’ early lead. However, his five turnovers helped the Spurs stay in the game.

The game ultimately came down to a missed free throw by Tony Allen and missed shot by Conley, forcing overtime.

Tim Duncan, once again, played a vital role in overtime play. He assisted in or scored half of the shots made by the Spurs.

The Grizzlies look to avoid a sweep tonight in Memphis for game four. The game will be aired on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.

Categories: basketball, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, National Basketball Association, NBA, San Antonio Spurs, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spurs take 2-0 lead

Tim Duncan and Tony Allen in last night’s game of the Western Conference Finals.

Spurs are now up two games to none after an overtime win against the Grizzlies. This game, however, was not like the first. The difference was Zach Randolph. By the end of the first quarter, he had the same amount of points as he did in the first game. Randolph’s performance was much better and he ended the game with a double-double (15 points, 18 rebounds). This game was a glimpse into how dynamic the Grizzlies can be. They outscored San Antonio 21-9 in the fourth quarter. The difference maker in overtime, and throughout the game, was Tim Duncan.

Duncan led the Spurs team in scoring, ending with 17 points and made six out of eight of the Spurs’ overtime points. The impressive part about this is that he received his fifth foul in the middle of the fourth quarter. Duncan’s physical play and ability to score anywhere off of the backboard was the cause of his 17 points, four blocks and nine rebounds.

Spurs PG Tony Parker also was an essential key to the Spurs’ win and Duncan’s high scoring, ending with 18 assists. Parker has all of the vital elements to being a great point guard. In last night’s game, he was able to move the ball efficiently and get it in the hands of the right man.

Even after the Spurs blew the lead, their veteran status and textbook skill set allowed them to win in overtime.

The biggest debate in the game, however, was the flagrant foul called on Manu Ginobili after he grabbed Tony Allen’s arm when Allen was going up for a fast break layup. When Allen went down, he grabbed his head, but his arm was the first thing to hit the ground. After watching several replays, his head did not hit the ground until after the rest of his body had landed. With this in mind, Ginobili never grabbed, hit or even touched Allen in any place other than his arm. Although it was a hard foul, it did not seem to me to be flagrant.

There has been question as to whether Allen’s fall was… “exaggerated”… with the intention of getting the call. From my point of view, the foul was not flagrant, but the source of Allen’s pain resulted more from how he fell, rather than Ginobili grabbing his arm. This call did seem to change the vibe of the game, but the Spurs found it within themselves to win the game 93-89.

The Grizzlies have home court advantage for game three on Saturday. The game airs on TNT.

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