Posts Tagged ‘LeBron James’

fantasy football

We are FINALLY back, Ush is back in the states and we are casting again. Now that the Sports world has come to complete standstill, we decided to do a new episode of the PT Sports Debate. On this episode, we start off mentioning the NBA Finals just because it has been that long since a previous episode. Afterwards, we discuss some of the moves in the NBA Free Agency season. Then we go on to the meat and potatoes of this cast, FANTASSSSY FOOTBALLLLL!!!! If you love fantasy football as much as we do, then now is a time to listen to the Debate. We are going to be touching on all of the divisions in football. We are doing actual division previews/predictions here on the blog, and on our podcasts we will be discussing Fantasy Football. Specifically we’ll be identifying some players to watch from each team. This episode we discuss the lovely teams of the NFC East. Check it out, laugh, cry, drink. Hope you enjoy.
Listen here:

Check out all our podcasts at http://ptsportsdebate.podbean.com
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Until next time.

-Stiltz

Heat in 6, what was I thinking?! I should have realized the Heat’s failure to make their bench any better since last year would be their downfall against a deep team like the Spurs. Besides the lopsided bench points, Ginobli was his old self during the Finals and Wade was a shell of his former self. It was mainly the Big 1 (LBJ) against the Spurs. I think Miami would have enjoyed seeing any other team come out of the West besides the Spurs. Their passing and defense wore out the old Heat lineup and they just couldn’t maintain the same level of intensity. Miami looked like the old team during the Finals largely in part to their lack of a solid rotation.

Let’s not take anything away from the Spurs, their play was magical and surgical in their 5 game destruction of the back-to-back champs. Like always, all the talk after the Finals was focused on Lebron and the Heat. The Spurs deserve more praise for the way they play and their legacy among all-time great NBA teams. Now the world seems to be holding its breath waiting for Lebron to decide where he will be going next season as it will surely shake up the landscape in the NBA.

The West will be just as tough next season regardless of where Lebron goes, while a new champion may rise from the East. It is remarkable how much power he has on the entire free agency market and there will be a slew of deals once he finally decides where he is taking his talents next year. The one thing stated by Lebron is that he wants a max deal and he deserves every penny.

Since free agency has started my phone has been glued to my hand while I refresh Twitter and check all the sporting websites. It doesn’t help that the US was eliminated from the World Cup and I have zero interest in baseball. Football season needs to start already so we can rid ourselves of this new obsession.

Predictions for Free Agency:
Lebron returns to Cleveland. Why not? People will always measure Lebron’s success by how many championships he has, is it unfair? No, that’s ultimately how every player is truly remembered. You can use the argument that he never had a great supporting cast in his years in Cleveland, and he still carried that team into the Finals (Back when the East was a lot more competitive too). He fixed that by joining two superstars in 2010, and the result was four straight Finals appearances. Did he ever get over leaving his hometown though? I don’t think so. Lebron is an extremely unselfish player, and I’m sure that translates into him being extremely compassionate off the court as well. Lebron bringing a championship back to Cleveland would probably mean more to him than his two rings with the Heat. Whatever he does, he is in control of his destiny.
**UPDATE-Lebron decides to go home! Signing a 2 year deal for 42 mil, setting himself up for an even bigger deal in the future.

Melo smartens up and goes to the Bulls. Melo could play on another year on the Knicks squad with a new offense and a new coach making over 20 million or possibly play in the Finals with the Bulls. If Melo truly cared about winning he may look to go to Chicago. Chicago would have to make some moves by way of a sign and trade with New York most likely, and you know Phil is going to walk away with Taj most likely.
**UPDATE-Melo says In Phil I trust, along with all those dead presidents. Chicago ends up signing Pau Gasol instead.

Bosh joins the Rockets. Bosh is on the clock thanks to the Mavs aggressive move to sign an offer sheet to RFA Chandler Parsons. The Rockets can keep Parsons if they get Bosh to sign first, and he is still waiting to hear from Lebron. Lebron will probably make his decision tomorrow, July 11th, before he heads out to the World Cup final and then the domino effect will occur. Of course if Lebron returns to the Heat, I believe Bosh will rejoin him.
**UPDATE- Bosh signs a max deal to stay with the Heat, giving him 30M more to stay in South Beach and a chance to become the lead dog again.

Hopefully we’ll be able to get some new podcasts out and blogs as the football season is quickly approaching. Honestly Football is really what we care about the most here at the PT Sports Debate and we can’t wait for kickoff. Cheers all,

-Stiltz

Another NBA season is coming to a close, but the Spurs/Heat remain the best two teams from their respective divisions. This will be the first rematch in consecutive finals since the Bulls/Jazz, and we all know how that one ended.

Will Miami top the Spurs in consecutive years? The Spurs were on the verge of taking out Miami in Game 6 even while LeBron was posting a triple double. They still needed an untimely miss by the greatest PF of all time, a perfect bounce to Chris Bosh, and the greatest three point shooter of all time just to make it to overtime. This time around the Spurs have homecourt advantage, which I believe works in the Heat’s favor.

It’s hard to imagine the series returning to Miami for Game 3 with the Heat down 2-0.  Eric Spoelstra did a great job this season resting Dwayne Wade, and it has paid dividends in the playoffs. Last year, the season wore out the aging Heat superstar and it effected his play in the playoffs. Wade averaged a career low 15.9 pts/gm in the 2012/2013 playoffs. He’s up to 18.7 pts/gm while shooting 52% and 39% from three! Wade is going to be a huge factor in the series this year. Somebody else who didn’t play so well last year, Manu Ginoboli, has also tapped into the fountain of youth this season.

Last year Manu struggled tremendously in the Finals. The one game he really excelled was Game 5 and the Spurs were in control for the entire game. Manu has been spectacular this postseason; his scoring woes seem to be behind him and making some pretty dimes. This finals has the makings to top last year’s Finals, and that is saying something.

Tony Parker’s Game 1 Winner:

Game 2- Chalmers’ break out game and this ridiculous block

Game 3- 16 3’s from the Spurs

Gary Neal 6/10 from 3p and Danny Green NBA Finals Record 7/9

Game 4-Big Three combine for 85 points in a 109-93 win

Game 5- Mannuuuuuuu

Game 6- LeBron’s triple double and Jesus Shuttlesworth

Game 7- Battier remembers how to shoot 6/8 3p and LeBron goes off as the Spurs dare him to shoot

Last year’s Finals was filled with drama and story lines. So what can we look for this year in this series? Everybody talked about KD and LeBron meeting up in the Finals as the best matchup, but they don’t play a similar style. LeBron Vs Kawhi Leonard is the real deal for matchups! It’s such a fun matchup to watch and they are going to bring it on both ends of the court. Sugar Kay Leonard was the only man brave enough to go right at Ibaka and finish strong. Another interesting story line will be the coaching battle with lineup changes. Both coaches adjusted their starting lineups in the conference finals and look to see more of that as the series develops.

I expect the Heat to come out with: Chalmers, Wade, James, Rashard, and Bosh. With the resurgence of Rashard as a legitimate three point threat, this lineup really spaces the floor. Spurs: Parker, Green, Kawhi, Duncan, Splitter. I can see either Diaw or Ginobli moving into Splitter’s spot on the starting rotation. Something the Spurs didn’t have to worry about last year that much was Chris Bosh shooting threes. He’s already made 25 threes this postseason while shooting at an All Star level of 41%. Bosh dragging out one of the Spurs bigs really opens up lanes for James and Wade to do their thing.

The second units are going to play a major role in this battle and both teams are deep. Norris Cole and Birdman provide a nice spark off the bench. Cole is a great defender and should be up for the challenge in defending Patty Mills. Spo usually always has LeBron or Wade on the court at all times. Wade leads the second unit from around 3 minutes left in the first until around 7 mins left into the 2nd. This will be a make or break stretch for both clubs in building or narrowing leads. The Spurs always have a deep bench since Pop limits the main stars to around 30 mins/game. We know the Spurs will have excellent ball movement, play good defense, and shoot a ton of threes.

The Spurs have a more balanced attack on offense with 5 players averaging double figures: Parker 17.2, Duncan 16.5, Ginobli 14.3, Leonard 13.3, and Diaw 10. The Heat rely a lot more on the big three’s scoring as they are the only ones averaging double figures: LeBron 27.1, Wade 18.7, Bosh 15.2 with Ray Allen coming in at 9.1.

Everything points to this series being another classic, and we don’t expect anything less. The Spurs have been poetic at times with their ball movement. It has been fun to watch, but they have also been blown out twice by a younger more explosive Thunder team. The Heat are always fun to watch, and when they are locked in on defense are next to impossible to beat. Will the Heat three peat? Or will Pop and Timmay’s Spurs get their 5th title in 15 years?

I wouldn’t be surprised with either team winning, of course. We thought last year was the Spurs last hurrah but they continue to defy time by reloading with the proper players for their system and ageless super stars. On the other hand, the Heat have tried their best to fill their lineup with enough solid role players for their Big 3 and it’s paid off with 4 straight Finals appearances. They took some gambles this year that haven’t paid off with Beasley and Oden, but they still have enough shooting to supplant their free agency whiffs.

My prediction: The Heat in 6.

The Heat steal game 1, Spurs win game 2, the Heat hold down home court in games 3 and 4, Spurs fight off elimination in game 5, and the Heat win in front of their home court in Game 6.

LeBron wins his third straight Finals MVP. It’s worth noting that this is LeBron and Wade’s 5th finals appearance in their 11 years in the league. They have a chance to make it .500 by getting back to the Finals next year, and that will be too good for LeBron to go anywhere else.

Whatever happens, I know what I’ll be watching this Thursday.

Stiltz

Be sure to check out our podcasts over at http://ptsportsdebate.podbean.com

On the 12th Episode of the PT Sports Debate we recap the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. Then we talk about our thoughts and predictions for the Final Four. After that we discuss the Philadelphia Eagles recent decision to let go of DeSean Jackson and what is impact may be on his new team. Also, we talk about some recent comments Clowney made about being selected No.1 in this year’s upcoming draft. Finally, we talk about the Miami Heat and the decision they are facing this offseason to stay together or move on. Hope you enjoy. Check out the rest of our episodes on http://ptsportsdebate.podbean.com and follow us on Twitter
PTSportsDebate

Cheers!
Stiltz and Ush

We all know that LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world. His journey to the top has been well documented. What about the journey of his headband? Every great player has their signature move/look, and LeBron’s headband is his. He refuses to let it go, but there was a moment in last year’s finals when LeBron went ballistic after losing his headband. Check out this video of all of LeBron’s contributions to his triple double in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals against the Spurs. You can start it from the 5 minute mark if you just want to see headbandless LeBron, who completely took over the game.

It almost makes you wonder if his headband is holding him back. Watching him play without his headband though, it just didn’t feel right. It felt like you were watching him run around out there naked and uncomfortable.

High School Bron- Oh life was good, he was on the cover of magazines and the #1 prospect. They(Headband and LeBron) were on good terms.

2003 LeBron- Nothing to see here on his way to winning Rookie of the Year

2004 LeBron- Shaq isn’t impressed early on, possibly thinking Lebron should just shave it already.

2005 LeBron- LeBron’s third year in the league they finally made the playoffs, and he started feuding with his headband. He was slowly becoming the best player on Earth, and his headband wasn’t getting the recognition it wanted.

2006 LeBron- The feud is real. Even though he was the youngest NBA All Star MVP, his hairline was aged beyond it’s years.

2007 LeBron- The headband appeared to be getting larger in 2007, almost the size of two traditional headbands combined. You think we wouldn’t notice.

2008 LeBron- You have to start wondering if there was some sort of tape to hold it on when it reaches these heights.

2009 LeBron- The struggle is real people.

2010 LeBron- Check out previous years, his hair is barely noticeable past the headband. This year he mixed it up by growing out his hair to throw everybody off. This was his last season on Cleveland and maybe he took his talents to Miami and a new fanbase so they wouldn’t notice what was transpiring on his head. Mainly because they aren’t in the stands, and if they are they aren’t watching the game.

2011 LeBron- The decision seemed to speed this process up.

2012 LeBron- It has to be on the verge of just rubber banding off his head and shooting into the stands. This could also turn into a halftime tradition and get rid of the tshirt machine.

2013 LeBron- This picture reveals what has transpired in his 10 years in the NBA. Either they couldn’t keep the headband on his head long enough for the picture or winning his first ring finally allowed him to let it go.

How long will he continue to try and keep his headband, I say forever. Even if he were to give in to his receding hairline and shave his head, he most definitely would rock the headband. It just might look this.

Everybody says you can’t teach size. A premium is put on an athletic big man whether he is completely raw or can flat out play. First picks in the NBA Draft are sometimes based simply off of size instead of skill. 26 Centers have been chosen with the First overall pick since 1947.  Some would become future Hall of Famers: Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal. Others would be remembered for all the wrong reasons: Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, Michael Olowokandi. What went wrong?

This question takes us back to our initial statement, “you can’t teach size”. NBA teams must believe SURELY they can teach their newly acquired big men all of the necessary skills required to be a successful NBA center. What they forget is, they made the drastic mistake of already wasting the first overall pick and all the money that comes along with it on pure potential. What can you possibly get back on your investment from a guy that is now living large. Essentially, the team has taken away his drive to work hard and become the best possible player. Don’t expect a guy who is getting PAID to put in those extra hours in the off-season improving his post up game or mid-range shot.

Let’s take a closer look at the successful centers taken with the first overall pick. What is a common trend among these players? They are all polished veterans around the basket on both ends of the court. Is this a skill that was acquired during their time in the NBA, or was it fine tuned during their professional careers? Those players all spent at least a couple of years in college developing their skills and working at it everyday in order to earn the right of being selected first overall. On the other hand, Kwame Brown came straight out of high school and Oden spent one year at OSU before bolting to the NBA.

What is the incentive to stay in the NCAA after they complete their one year? A post-up game for one! Great post-up players are rare in today’s NBA and are always labeled as an “old school” guy. Roy Hibbert is always at the top of everybody’s list when we speak about those “old school” players. Roy spent four years at Georgetown, let me repeat that. He stayed at Georgetown for FOUR YEARS! What about his teammate David West, oh he happened to spend four years playing at Xavier. There is clearly a connection between players who stay around in the NCAA to work on things like their post-up game instead of going straight out of High School(when it was allowed) or playing the minimum of one year.

Let’s look at some of those #1 overall picks who came straight out of high school. Dwight Howard, a boy in a grown man’s body. He averaged 12/10 in his rookie year which is respectable, but just imagine his rookie year if he would have went and developed his game on the college level. LeBron James, clearly the best player in basketball, only recently developed a low post game following a collapse in the 2010 NBA Finals. More often than not, those players aren’t going to develop that low post skill set while they are in the NBA because it is too hard. LeBron is one player who was able to accomplish this because of his work ethic and drive.

The center position appears to be dying off in the NBA as traditional fours are being moved to the five spot and a stretch four is on the court to play “smallball”. The Heat have mastered small ball, but it has lead to other teams trying to match up instead of sticking with a traditional lineup. A team like the Pacers causes fits for Heat players because they don’t alter their lineup. They stay big and abuse players like Shane Battier on the boxes. Why doesn’t this motivate more teams to look for those “old school” players and run a traditional offense in the NBA?

The NBA’s love of smallball does not help the cause. They love the idea of a faster pace game with higher scores, thus higher entertainment value. However, growing up watching the Pistons vs anybody, Knicks/Pacers, Bulls/Pacers & Knicks I developed a love for a rugged game with tough defense. It is sad to see the center position become what it has in the NBA and players like Hibbert be under appreciated. Now I’m not blaming the players because what kid who is given an opportunity to make millions will turn it down and risk being injured. However, I do think the play in the NBA could benefit if they were to increase the amount of time required to play in the NCAA. A three-year minimum (like NCAA football) would not only increase the quality of play in the NCAA, the players would be entering the league with solid fundamentals and a well-rounded game. I don’t see why we don’t give college basketball players the same amount of time for their body to develop before entering the professional league. The NBA season is a grind! Anybody who has ever played basketball understands the wear and tear it has on your body and that’s without having to fight in the paint with 250 lb athletes.

Now the return on investment for the NBA is a cleaner game, along with mature athletes coming into the NBA instead of boys. Also, it would most likely calm down this increasing epidemic of threes being tossed up at an alarming rate which is definitely hurting the game of basketball. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not excited watching this rookie class in the NCAA and wondering what teams they will fall to next year. Each of their games are flawed though, and when you see the rankings and hear the analysis you’ll hear that scary word of “potential” be mentioned. Let’s just hope the NBA does something to improve the product that is being put on the court. Maybe it’s as simple as taking a page from the old school guys and staying in school. If not, the “Center” position is going to die.

-Randall “Stiltz”