Bittersweet: Cavs Lost But LeBron Becomes the Youngest to Reach 30,000 Points

The Spurs make the King bleed for his points as Cleveland drops 4 of their last 5 games

There’s no stopping LeBron James now. He has been ripping through numerous history books and some jerseys too. Some even claim that he is the greatest player of all time to play the game of basketball, possibly greater than the likes of Kobe Bryant and yes, even His Airness, Michael Jordan.
While stopping Lebron James seems an impossible task to accomplish even among elite defenders in the NBA, stopping, beating and adding to the miseries of the still losing Cleveland Cavaliers seems a lot easier these days.
On a night when LeBron James became the youngest NBA player to reach 30,000 career points, the San Antonio Spurs finally broke out of their own slump as the Spurs beat the Cavs,114-102.
What were the differences?

LaMarcus Aldridge’s 30 points

With Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol all out and are resting their injured bodies, the Spurs turned to LaMarcus Aldridge this time around. And Aldridge delivered as he led all scorers with 30 points on 12 for 18 field goal shooting. He added 8 rebounds, 2 steals and a blocked shot for another complete big man. Most of his points came from mid-range jumpers off perfect pick-and-roll plays. Now that’s efficiency, folks.

Clamped Down Defense

As mentioned, stopping LeBron James is virtually a nightmare but it doesn’t mean that you can’t slow him down. Sure, he had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, an MVP-kind of a stat line but the Spurs played suffocating defense on the King which worked to perfection because the King shot 10 for 23 from the field including a horrible 2 for 6 performance from downtown. Also, the King turned the ball over 5 times. 

Conclusion

If you have seen Tyronn Lue’s clueless face during the game, that’s exactly how clueless the Cavs were. While there’s no denying that Cleveland is now in a crisis, they will have to fix whatever issues they have because LeBron James can’t save them every single game even if he goes supernova. 
On the other hand, it seems that the Spurs are slowly learning to play and win without Kawhi Leonard and without Tony Parker as their starting point guard and for San Antonio, that’s definitely a good sign because they continue to trust one another. After all, the Spurs might be the dark horse who can take down the empire of the Golden State Warriors. 

Magnolia Hotshots can Contend Provided that they Remain Healthy

Magnolia Hotshots
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Injury problems to a specific player can be amended as long as the rest of the team steps up for the injured player. But injury problems to multiple players? That’s a different story. No matter how good your coach and/or your team is, if your is not physically fit to play on the court, you will definitely struggle even against bad teams. 
And over the past conferences, that has been the problem with the Magnolia Hotshots. In fact, they were consistent on being on the semifinals only to be hit by injury to star players like Paul Lee and Marc Pingris. Paul Lee, for one, missed the latter parts of their Governors’ Cup semifinal series against the Meralco Bolts who swept the Hotshots in 3 games.
After dropping their Christmas Day game against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, the Magnolia Hotshots have been on the surge, winning 3 straight games, the last one being a 97-91 come-from-behind-win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters. That game saw the Hotshots erase a 5-point deficit in the final 3 minutes of the 4th quarter through the combined efforts of Marc Pingris, Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee and Rafi Reavis.

More Healthy Players = Higher Chances of Winning

While there’s no denying the fact that the Magnolia Hotshots have one of the oldest cores in the PBA, they are still among the few teams this conference who have both the talent and the experience to take down the defending Philippine Cup champions, the San Miguel Beermen. They just need to do one thing to remain competitive and hopefully end their semifinal slumps: stay away from injuries especially during the latter part of the conference.  
Why?
With the PBA now allowing a higher amount of physicality during games, we can expect more bodies banging against each other plus a few bodies flying onto the court. While it’s good and fun for the fans to see the league allowing more bangings between players, these are exactly the things that the Hotshots should be careful about because one bad fall could hurt not just a player but the conference of the team. 

Conclusion

With the Hotshots scheduled to face the Talk N Text KaTropa this coming Saturday, Chito Victolero can only hope and pray that none of his players will get not just during their next game but for the rest of the PBA’s 43rd season because no coach enjoys seeing his players not being able to play due to injury. 

TP9 Loses Starting Spot, Kawhi is Growing "Unhappy": What’s Next for the Spurs?

Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs

It appears that San Antonio will have their hands full in the next few months

Ever since Tim Duncan came into the NBA back in 1997, the San Antonio Spurs have yet to miss the playoffs. They have won 5 championships along the way and it could have been 6 if not to Ray Allen’s clutch three-pointer back in the 2013 NBA Finals. Even with Tim Duncan probably rocking his chair elsewhere, enjoying his retirement, the Spurs have managed to keep themselves competitive despite injury problems that have hit Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard.
Right now, the Spurs have a 30-18 record and are in 4th place in the Western Conference. They have dropped 6 of their last 10 games and are on a 2-game losing slide. What’s worse is that they are set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers next.
And things are not looking good for the Spurs. Earlier this week, Tony Parker has been demoted from his starting position as Gregg Popovich has promoted Dejounte Murray as the team’s new starting point guard. While this move has been anticipated by many considering the mere fact that Tony Parker has been dealing with injuries over the course of the past few seasons, Parker has openly embraced this decision by his team, even saying that this move was already expected.
While the Spurs can still enjoy Tony Parker’s presence on the floor, things have been strangely different with the Kawhi Leonard situation. To begin with, Leonard has only played sparingly this season as he just recovered from the injury which kept him out during last season’s playoffs. Now? Kawhi Leonard is rumored to be possibly missing the rest of the regular season but that’s not the bad part.
According to sources, Kawhi Leonard has grown “unhappy” and apparently, his relationship with the Spurs has been strained as of late. While the former Finals MVP’s camp and the Spurs front office have denied this story, various elements on the ways of treating and rehabilitating Leonard’s injury have a chilling impact on the star- the sources claimed.
If it’s true that Kawhi Leonard has grown “unhappy” with the Spurs despite the Spurs being known as a good team due to their ways of managing their players and, with aging stars slowly losing their minutes to younger teammates, this could only mean one thing: the Spurs are already preparing for life after Gregg Popovich.

What’s next for the Spurs?

Losing Kawhi Leonard for the rest of the season could force San Antonio could make the necessary moves to ensure that their playoff streak will continue. While there’s a lot of potentials for Dejounte Murray to develop into a star point guard in the near future, it will take a long time before that could materialize which means that the Spurs will have to rely on someone else aside from LaMarcus Aldridge. 
While it’s impossible for now to see the Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard, we all have to face the reality that Kawhi Leonard is no longer the same player he used to be during the past few seasons. He may have been one of the best two-way players but getting injured and growing unhappy? It’s a big problem. 
For the Spurs to avoid losing Kawhi Leonard for nothing, they must make the decision: trade him for their future superstar. 

Conclusion

Kawhi Leonard has only appeared in 9 games this season including in two of their last 10 games. Tony Parker has returned to being a role player off the bench. Only the Spurs themselves can really tell us what their next move will be. But if they want to ensure that they can stay competitive come playoff time, sacrifices must be made. 

Will Firing Tyron Lue fix the Cavs’ Problems?

Tyron Lue

Here’s why it will and why it will not

Whenever a team struggles on the court, the blame always goes to the coach. ALWAYS. But sometimes, firing your own head coach, who led your team to big wins and championships, doesn’t fix anything.
With the case of Tyronn Lue, coach of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers, it’s likely that he will be the next NBA head coach to lose his job this season. Why?
Here’s why:
Instead of leading the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers are currently in the 3rd spot with a 27-18 record. They are only half a game ahead of the Miami Heat. They have dropped 7 of their previous 10 games and things aren’t looking good for the Cavs as they are set to face the San Antonio Spurs.
Defensive problems have been visible in 5 of the last 6 games of the Cavs as they gave up a whopping 148 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder in front of their fans. And apparently, Tyronn Lue was to blame for those defensive lapses.
And apparently, the Cavs are not practicing more often than they should be- that is according to Isaiah Thomas who said that he can only get back into basketball shape if the Cavs are practicing.
So, if the Cavs are not practicing as frequent as they should be given their ongoing struggles, and none of Tyronn Lue’s defensive strategies seems to be producing more wins for Cleveland, will firing him fix things?

Yes

Assuming that the Cavs’ front office has grown tired of seeing Tyronn Lue’s seemingly puzzled face especially when the Cavs are trailing by a big margin, firing him MIGHT be a good move for Cleveland assuming that they will hire a more experienced head coach to replace him, it will help in terms of providing a new face at the helm which could also allow a fresher aura to enter the locker room. But again, that depends on who will replace Tyronn Lue and how will the players react.

Nope!

Regardless of who will replace Tyronn Lue if the problems are continuing to build up internally meaning the problems are caused by the players themselves, then firing Tyronn Lue will be useless because the internal problems will be left undealt with. Success won’t happen overnight and so does ending the Cavs’ struggles. The Cavs will need to make sure that Tyronn Lue’s coaching has been the source of their problems before they could terminate his contract because whether the Cavs will admit it or not, Tyronn Lue has done an amazing job of guiding the Cavs since taking over from David Blatt.Coach Kye has even guided the Cavs when they took down the empire of the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, 3-1.

Conclusion

Assuming that the Cavs pull the trigger on Tyronn Lue, who should they hire to replace him? The best choice would be David Fizdale who was fired by the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this season. Why him? He was one of Erik Spoelstra’s assistants when the Miami Heat had LeBron James so his familiarity with LeBron’s game can work the wonders for the Cavs. 
But at the end of the day, it will be all up to LeBron James himself. And to the Cavs’ front office, too. 

What is Really Wrong with the Cavs?

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas has some ideas

Whether their fans will admit it or not, the struggles of the Cleveland Cavaliers are REAL.


To begin with, this is the Cleveland Cavaliers team that erased a 3-1 Finals deficit against the empire of the Golden State Warriors two seasons ago. So what is the difference between that Cavs team and this one that we are seeing right now?

For starters, that team had an effective Tristan Thompson and a KYRIE IRVING. This season, Kyrie Irving is now doing the Alpha dog job for the league-leading Boston Celtics while Tristan Thompson hasn’t been the same since he was dealing with his own injury problem. Thompson has only appeared in 25 games this season, starting 5 of those games. In those games, Thompson averaged 5 points and close to 6 rebounds per game. He used to be the leading rebounder of the team. Now? It’s Kevin Love.
Another big difference between the 2016 champion team and this current team is that ON PAPER, they have gained more firepower after getting Isaiah Thomas, Dwayne Wade and of course, former league MVP, Derrick Rose.  Here’s the problem, folks. Dwayne is no longer the same “Flash” we all loved during his decorated stint with the Miami Heat. Isaiah Thomas is still not the 4th quarter monster we used to see during his stint with the Celtics. Rose? He hasn’t been the same explosive player since he got injured right after winning the MVP award.

So what is wrong with the Cavs, REALLY?

According to the new guy, Isaiah Thomas, there are two reasons why the Cavs are heading into the game against the San Antonio Spurs with a 27-18 record- having lost 7 of their last 10 games.
Firstly, Isaiah Thomas said that the Cavs aren’t trying harder defensively. And that claim can be verified just by looking at easily their opponents have scored in their last 5 defeats were the Cavs up 124 points per game on the average. The Cavs’ lack of defensive intensity was displayed against the Oklahoma City Thunder when they gave up 148 points. Isaiah Thomas even went as far as saying that the Celtics were a defensive team during his stint there. 
Secondly, the Cavs weren’t trusting each other. For a team that is loaded with talented passers, averaging 23 assists per game- the 7th in the league in that category, is totally unacceptable. And that’s one of the many reasons why LeBron James has been on a Super Saiyan mode as of late because of the fact that his teammates weren’t trusting each other. 


Conclusion

Getting new players off trade deals will help improve the Cavs’ situation but first, Cleveland will have to fix their internal problems ON THEIR OWN because that’s a first step towards rediscovering how good they are with the pieces that they have. One thing that the Cavs will need to do is to defend. Why? Even though the Spurs won’t have Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio is still loaded with talented scorers. 

Prediction: Kawhi-less Spurs vs. the Defenseless Cavs

LeBron James and Manu Ginobili

Two struggling teams both on the 3rd spot of both conferences. Who would win? Or who would fall first?

Yes, both squads aren’t standing as tough as they could but they are in different situations.
Cavs is in a conflict despite the team and its key players present all the time while San Antonio struggles without their key player Kawhi Leonard.
The Spurs is dealing with some mental or emotional hardship while the Cavs were really being rained down with embarrassing defeats.
So I guess, San Antonio’s not mentally conditioned while Cleveland couldn’t just give enough to win games.
After all, Cavs mental condition might’ve been affected after losing some must-win games especially the Warriors game followed by another unfortunate loss against OKC recently.
So what would be the story of this matchup?

Weak defense vs. Incomplete Offense

Cavs loss was due to their defensive issues like letting the opponent score too much than usual which is, of course, a result of a very loose wall defense. On the other hand, Spurs would play without Kawhi.
It would be a battle of singlehanded powerhouse teams that are now perhaps not at full power like they used to be.
The outcome would depend on how fast the score would rise. A low scoring ball game means that the Cavs are taking control, otherwise, it would be the Spurs walking with heads high even without Kawhi.
It would be an adjustment within the match. Whoever adopts first with their weaknesses to take advantage of the other side’s vulnerability would prevail.
Cavs way to win is to force Spurs to turnovers, make them miss a lot of shots and deliver empty possessions while the best way for Spurs is for someone off the bench to set up and fill in Kawhi’s void. 

Ginebra Loses Anew as Aces Pound on Slaughter’s Absence

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Alaska Uses a Big Third Quarter to Get Third Straight Win

Sometimes, having a bully on your team helps a lot especially when you’re up against the elite teams in the PBA such as the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. The bully on your team will do the dirty works against the opponents’ best player from mind tricks to small antics that will take the focus out of that specific and even, absorb some elbows along the way. Usually, the bully on your team is your team’s main muscle man. Fortunately for the Alaska Aces, they do have their own muscle man and that man is none other than Vic Manuel.
Greg Slaughter is nowhere on the court but on the bench. Joe Devance isn’t playing just yet. Both men were forced to watch as their team got dominated for the second time around, this time by the surging Alaska Aces, 97-83. The Aces of Alex Compton hiked their win number to 3 after starting the season with two consecutive losses. On the other hand, Ginebra has dropped its second straight game exactly 9 days after their stunning loss at the hands of the Blackwater Elites.
What happened in the game? Below are the numbers:

The absence of Gregzilla balanced things out

Greg Slaughter has played a vital role in Ginebra’s Governors’ Cup championship which earned him the Best Player of the Conference award. So it’s no surprise that Ginebra missed him during last night’s encounter against the Aces as Alaska took advantage of the situation. Offensively, the Aces shot 44% from the field which also includes a 43% shooting from the 2-point area. This is precisely because Slaughter wasn’t around to challenge the Aces’ slashers. It also enabled the biggies of Alaska to do their works as Sonny Thoss had 17 points, complimenting the efforts of Vic Manuel who led the Aces with 18 points. The Aces also won the rebounding battle, 45-43.

Vic Manuel’s Efforts

Over the last few years, Vic Manuel has established a reputation as a bruiser, someone you wouldn’t enjoy playing against because of the mere fact that he will find ways to knock the ball out of your hands or worse, to frustrate you and eventually, take away your focus in the game. And we all saw Vic Manuel’s efforts to the fullest last night as he led the Aces with his18 points- 14 of those points came in the 2nd half when the Aces ran havoc against the puzzled Gin Kings. He shot 6 for 15 from the field and made 6 of his 8 attempts from the free throw line. Manuel also added  6 rebounds while playing for 23 minutes.

Conclusion

The good news for the Gin Kings though, they have until Friday to prepare for their game against the Phoenix Fuel Masters. It should give them enough time to ponder on their mistakes. It should give Tim Cone to plan the needed adjustments should Greg Slaughter miss that game, again because despite the Fuel Masters’ 2-2 record, Phoenix has vastly improved. Will Ginebra finally break their losing streak? They better. Why? The league-leading San Miguel Beermen are next after Friday. 

Cavs Interested in Lou Williams

Cleveland has been said to be willing to send two players for Williams

There’s no doubt in the minds of every fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers that their team is struggling DESPITE LeBron James’ brilliance and the fact that Isaiah Thomas has been playing. They have dropped 7 of their last 10 games and the last one wasn’t a good one either. The Cavs got themselves destroyed by the Oklahoma City Thunder. 148-124, ON THE CAVS’ OWN FLOOR.
The Cavs have been included in the teams that are looking to make a move before the trade deadline this February and among the players whom the Cavs are targetting is DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers. And apparently, DJ isn’t the only player from the Clippers who is being targetted by the defending Eastern Conference champions.
Ladies and gentlemen, can you imagine Lou Williams in a Cavs uniform?
Yes, folks. Lou Williams, one of the few bright spots in the otherwise an ugly season for the Clippers, has emerged as a trade target for the Cavaliers who are looking to reshape their roster because people are beginning to worry that they might not make it past the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics- should both squads make it that far.
To begin with, Lou Williams has been on a tear in the last 10 games as he is averaging 31 points and 6 assists per game. And the Clippers are lurking around in the 8th spot in the West with a 23-21 record.
Apparently, the Cavs are willing to send JR Smith alongside Tristan Thompson in exchange for DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. While the ESPN Trade Machine has indicated that the trade involving the said players will work without the complexities, the Trade Machine also indicated that the Cavs will add 4 wins to their projected number of wins assuming that they pull the trigger on this one.
Assuming that both teams will make this deal a reality, the Cavs will now have two elite scorers off the bench in Lou Williams and Dwayne Wade. With DeAndre Jordan at the 5 spot, Kevin Love can now focus on playing at his natural position. With JR Smith gone, Tyronn Lue can start Kyle Korver at the 2 spot to provide some early long-range bombs.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that the Cavs are in dire need of upgrade despite having one of the best players in the NBA on board. Hopefully, having a player like Lou Williams and having one of the league’s elite rim defenders in DeAndre Jordan will improve the Cavs’  situation because if not, they will become the laughingstock of the NBA. 

Hornets Open to Trade Kemba Walker: The Pros and Cons

Kemba Walker of Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker has been Charlotte’s star so why they would want to trade him in the first place?

The Charlotte Hornets are far from being a playoff-bound team, to say the least. At 18-26, they are at the 11th place in the Eastern Conference after a 106-105 defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat. The good news though: they have won 6 of their last 10 games but are they gonna be satisfied with that?
To give credit to the Hornets, they are no longer the same team who used to dwell down the bottom of the standings like they used to do in the previous seasons. They’ve managed to beat the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this. Thanks to Dwight Howard, the Hornets are the second-best rebounding team in the league, averaging 46 rebounds per game with Howard averaging 12 rebounds per game.
So why would the Charlotte Hornets willing to trade their long-time leader, Kemba Walker
Yup. You’ve read it right, folks. The Charlotte Hornets are rumored to be willing to part ways with Kemba Walker who is leading this season with his 21 points, 5 assists and 1 steal per game averages. Walker has played 41 games this season, starting in all of them.

So what would be the effects of trading away Kemba Walker?

The Pros

For starters, Kemba Walker, at 27 years-old, is still young and still in his prime years. He could be a valuable asset to any team who would make a run at him. This will give the Hornets the advantage to ask for a  high-tier player in exchange for their star point guard who has been their offense for the past 7 seasons now. In addition to this, the inclusion of Walker to a possible trade package will also give the Hornets the advantage because they can also ask for a first-round draft pick. 

The Cons

Let’s state the painful truth here. Trading Kemba Walker would mean that the Charlotte Hornets are virtually throwing away their future.Walker is now the number 2 all-time in career points and assists in a Charlotte uniform. That would be a big blow because it would also mean that Dwight Howard will need to take over the lead. Not to discredit Dwight Howard but, can he actually lead the Hornets once Kemba Walker is playing elsewhere? Another bad side of trading Kemba Walker is that there would be no assurance that Charlotte will improve.

Conclusion

Kemba Walker is still one of the point guards to watch out for. He will be an additional asset to any of the championship-contending teams who will trade for him. 
Question: Will Charlotte push the panic button and trade Kemba Walker? That depends on how ready they are to go back o the bottom of the standings. 

ICYMI: Kia finally Snapped its 16-Game Losing Streak

Ricky Dandan
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

One factor enabled the Picanto to clinch their first win in 8 months

Everybody hates losing and that’s something we cannot deny not just in sports but in life in general. However, it has been said that whenever you lose in anything whether it’s a basketball game or you’ve miserably failed your examinations in school, you will learn something from the mistakes which led to that specific setback and will help you improve the next time around. But, as they say, if you keep on committing the same set of mistakes, then something is wrong with you.
That has been the case for the Kia Picanto. For 8 months, they have endured nothing but defeat. They came closest to a win against the NLEX Road Warriors to open the Philippine Cup but faltered late in the 4th quarter. Then, Chris Gavina reigned as coach, paving way for Ricky Dandan to be promoted as top tactician. However, that move didn’t have any effect as Kia dropped its two games since Dandan took over. Then, came the game against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, a game had the Picanto lost, would have made them own the second-longest losing streak in the history of the PBA.
Fortunately, losing’s over for the Kia Picanto, for now, as they scored 32 points in the pivotal 3rd quarter en route to a 98-94 win over the inconsistent Elasto Painters. Given how close the final score was, Ricky Dandan could only release a sigh of relief. After all, it was a game that was filled with tension and ejections plus the fact that two Kia players were ejected in the second quarter. Still, Kia has other players on its roster who produced notable good numbers to get over the hump, finally.
But if you will ask Ricky Dandan, there was one factor that pushed Kia to their first win of the season: they had no choice but to keep going, dig deep and look for positive things that kept them going. The coach also added that he was overall happy with the fact that his team was able to keep their composure and played for 48 minutes- the first time this season that they actually did that.

Conclusion

With their first win already in the bag, Ricky Dandan is hoping that the Kia Picanto can build up their confidence from beating a team like Rain or Shine and start gaining more W. However, with a game against the Meralco Bolts coming up this Wednesday, Kia needs all of its players aboard because Meralco has been to the Governors’ Cup Finals, twice. And despite its struggles, Meralco is still better-coached. But who knows? Kia has already one game so why stop there, right?  

Ginebra is Over the Stunning Loss to Blackwater- Tim Cone Hopes so

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

9 days should be enough for the Gin Kings to get over the trauma

Whenever the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings lose a game in the PBA whether it’s in the Finals or in the elimination rounds, almost the whole of the venue is quiet. Why? Ginebra is the crowd darlings that’s why it’s extremely painful and maddening for their fans to see their beloved Gin Kings go down. But perhaps, one guy on the Ginebra bench is absorbing all of the pain and disappointment every time his team loses a game and that guy is none other than Coach Tim Cone, winner of 20 PBA championships.
Against the Blackwater Elites who handed Ginebra their first defeat in three games, Tim Cone has all the reasons to be disappointed with the performance of his players. They were limited to 77 points including 14 points 16 points in the 2nd and 4th quarters respectively. They shot 36% from the field and 15% from the three-point territory. They had 21 turnovers and their bench got outscored by Blackwater’s bench, 34-13.
9 days after their horrible game, Tim Cone is hoping that the Gin Kings have already put the Blackwater game behind them as they are up against the Alaska Aces who are coming into this game, riding on their 2-game winning streak. They destroyed the Kia Picanto in their last game when they limited Kia to only 65 points including only 5 points in the third quarter.
While Alaska is leaning on the confidence of Jeron Teng plus the presence of Calvin Abueva, the Aces are still up for an uphill battle against the Gin Kings because we all know that Ginebra could only get meaner and tougher to play against coming off a defeat.

Conclusion

Despite their shakiness which can be associated with the fact that they were still intoxicated by their championship run during the Governors’ Cup, the Gin Kings are still among this conference’s title contenders.

Prediction: Ginebra will win. 

Magic Passes: Westbrook’s 20 Assists Outwit Cavs Shaky Defense

Russell Westbrook and LeBron James

The rare simultaneous burst of the triple threat Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook came into a supernova to destroy the Cavs for their 4th straight victory 148 – 124.
Melo hit his season high with 29 points, while George scored 36. But what’s even more jaw-dropping is Westbrook’s 23 points with 20 assists.
Westbrook’s magic passes are at it again. He tends to pass the ball a lot yet still scored more than enough to provide triumph for OKC. He was one board short of getting another astonishing triple-double.
Cleveland’s burden became heavier and heavier. It was a game of frustrations for Cavs. LeBron James was rooting to hit 30 000 career points but was pulled out with only 7 points remaining. Love played 3 minutes due to his sickness.
What’s most frustrating is that their defensive issues apparently are still left unsolved. They let OKC scored so high that they’ve lost with a huge gap. A team with a defensive strength normally does not allow their opponent to hit the century mark even in lost games.
Cleveland became too much of an offensive team yet they were almost outshone by OKC starters alone.
OKC totaled 121 points out of 148 with their 5 starters alone. 7 points behind and Thunder first five could have beaten Cavs’ whole team score.
Cavs just do not have enough force to push forward or pull OKC back in as they could not force a single digit deficit. They reached by as close as being 12 points behind but it turned out to be LBJ’s last hit of the night and OKC stretched once again by as much as 31 points.
Scores:
OKC 148 – George 36, Anthony 29, Adams 25, Westbrook 23, Roberson 8, Bench – 27
Cavs 124 – Thomas 24, James 18, Crowder 17, Smith 8, Love 0, Bench – 57

Balls-Eye: Would Spurs Slide Without Kawhi?

Kawhi Leonard

Let us reminisce the tragic injury moment of Kawhi Leonard during their series against the Golden State Warriors.
Without Kawhi, the Spurs rally way back that season ended in the hands of the defending champs.
How about this season?
The Spurs team announced Kawhi’s absence as indefinite. An extremely disastrous scenario for the Spurs as they would be severely downgraded on the fiery battle for the top spot. They are currently hanging on the top three and is going head to head against the Rockets and the Dubs.
Kawhi’s absence may affect the Spurs games both directly and indirectly. Of course, damage infliction is for certain once the ace has fallen. Directly in a sense that they have lost temporarily but lengthy a major scorer and offensive runner. Indirectly in a way that the whole team would probably be in despair as they would be reminded of their fall on the western finals against Warriors.
Nevertheless, regular season games are quite different as compared to playoff games particularly pressure and materiality of the game.
What they may be at risk right now is their chance of climbing up to the uppermost position in the western conference.
Yet unlike that season, it isn’t the end for Spurs. Not even close to the end of their season.
Their next opponent would be another team from the other end which is also trying to get to the top. The Toronto Raptors. It would be a great test of their readiness to fight without Kawhi once again.
This match would make us predetermine Spurs’ future performances without Kawhi if ever his absence would be extended or he’d be gone again at some point in time. 

Who Should the Celtics Trade for Anthony Davis: The Possibility

Anthony Davis

The trade rumors surrounding the Brow seem to be getting louder and louder by the day

The New Orleans Pelicans have risen to 23-21 in the season, tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the 7th spot in the Western Conference. That is despite their early struggles which include injury problems for Rajon Rondo among others. Now that Rondo is healthy and is playing like the “point god” he used to be during his stint with the Boston Celtics, he is throwing the ball towards DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis at any given opportunity, running Alvin Gentry’s offense to perfection.
However, despite the success of the Pelicans who recently dropped a game against the lowly Atlanta Hawks, the rumors surrounding star center, Anthony Davis who is set to start this year’s All-Star Game for the Western Conference alongside DeMarcus Cousins, have been as noisy as ever. A few weeks ago, Davis was included in the 8-player deal that would have sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Ian Clark in exchange for 6 players which include Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Then, the possibility of seeing Davis play alongside Steph Curry and the rest of the Golden State Warriors came along as the defending champions are said to be willing to give up two stars in exchange for the Brow.
Now? Even his own coach, Alvin Gentry has said that they would be trading Anthony Davis to the Boston Celtics “as long as the Celtics will give New England Patriots along with the two planes that the Patriots just bought.”
Okay. For non-basketball-minded fans, let this pundit on wheels translate that phrase. What is Alvin Gentry is trying to say here is that the Pelicans are willing to trade Davis as long as the Celtics will send the same amount of talent n exchange for the Brow?

Question: Who should Boston send to New Orleans in exchange for Anthony Davis?

Ideally, a 2-for-1 swap should do the trick but since it would require Boston to send one of its starters, a one-on-one swap would d. Why? Sending two players: a starter and a bench player will cost the Pelicans too much luxury taxes on top of the limitation in the cap space.
Fortunately, the Celtics do have Al Horford who saw his career rejuvenated by the Celtics thanks to the arrival of Kyrie Irving. Al Horford has played 42 games this season and has been averaging 13 points and 8 rebounds per game. Plus, he is shooting 42% from the three-point territory, a rare shooting percentage for someone of his size and position.
Should the Celtics find the willpower to send Al Horford to the Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis, they would have gained additional star power to compliment Kyrie Irving and soon, Gordon Hayward who is expected to return earlier than originally expected. In addition to this, 9 wins will be added to the projected number of wins of the Celtics this season so it’s definitely a win-win deal for Boston all throughout.
Question: Will Boston’s front office pull the trigger on this one? Definitely!
Question: Will New Orleans stumble towards the bottom once Anthony Davis heads East? Possibly.
But who knows? Al Horford still has a few good years ahead of him and if he can stay healthy, then he can help the Pelicans hike for more wins and hopefully, avoid a first-round date with either the Warriors or the Houston Rockets. 

Beating the Still Perfect Beermen is Possible for NLEX. But…

San Miguel Beermen
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

SMB looked like a team that can’t be stopped by a Phenom. Alone

Having the best all-local starting five has its perks for the San Miguel Beermen. After 3 games into the new season, they have already converted those games into 3 wins with the last one being against the Talk N Text KaTropa where they needed to bleed for that win before hanging on for an 88-76 victory. And that game also proved that the Beermen are more than just about their super starting unit which is led by 4-time MVP, June Mar Fajardo.
Against the KaTropa, Brian Heruela and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, a former TNT player, provided the defensive intensity that held the ground for San Miguel before stars Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos and sharpshooter, Marcio Lassiter all returned to the floor and delivered the finishing blows. Rosser had 8 points while Heruela had 5 points- both came off the bench for Coach Leo Austria.
If Leo Austria can lean on his bench players the same way he can lean on his starters, then it’s already a big problem for the NLEX Road Warriors as they happened to be the next team who will try to end the Berman’s winning streak.
To begin with, no one among Yeng Guiao’s boys can actually match-up defensively against the Kraken, Fajardo. Sure, the Road Warriors got Asi Taulava who has been as dominant as Fajardo back in his prime years but Taulava is among the oldest players to hit the court in the history of the league so Yeng Guiao can’t risk letting his big man getting eaten by Fajardo.
Another reason why Yeng Guiao will have a hard time working on his strategies against San Miguel is the fact that his guards will have to defend the dynamic duo of Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross, two of the league’s best pick-and-roll guards. Sure, Guiao can send his own dynamic duo of Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena to match-against the backcourt duo of San Miguel but we all know that even if Kiefer Ravena goes supernova, it’s not enough. Not against a team like the Beermen.

Conclusion

One thing is certain for now: tonight’s main event between the Beermen and the Road Warriors will be a must-see game because we can expect a high-scoring game from two high-scoring teams who have explosive scorers left and right. 
Question: Can NLEX become the first team to beat San Miguel this season? 
Answer: No. 
Why? The Beermen got 5 stars on their starting 5 and a bunch of reliable players- and a good system that has been installed by a winning coach. 

Willie Marcial as PBA Commissioner?

willie marcial pba commissioner

Marcial opts to stay quiet until OIC stint is over

One of the many questions that the PBA needed to answer heading into the board members’ first board meeting for 2018 which is set on January 26, 2018, is: Who will be the new PBA commissioner to take over from now-resigned Chito Narvasa?  There are many names that have been included in the list of possible candidates to take the league’s top post which includes Rebu Saguisag, Charles Chua, among others. But now, even Wilie Marcial, the long-time chief of the PBA Media Bureau, also acting as the OIC upon the effectivity of Narvasa’s resignation, has his name included in the possible candidates to take the top post.
Apparently, several parties are said to be making the big push for Willie Marcial to be formally named as the league’s new commissioner. After all, Mr. Marcial has gradually started implementing changes in the PBA which includes allowing more physicality to come into play during games. And that’s not surprising if Marcial’s name is included in the choices because like it or not, Marcial’s plans for the league sounds better for the PBA and for the fans in effect.
However, Willie Marcial intends to wait until his stint as OIC is finished by the end of the month before making any further moves,  noting that he doesn’t know if the board will eventually give him the post of commissioner.

Question: Is Willie Marcial as commissioner good for the PBA?

As mentioned above, Willie Marcial has managed to keep the ground running upon Narvasa’s departure and has implemented noteworthy changes in the short period of time that he has been the league’s temporary caretaker. 
So if you are one of the board members, would you still look elsewhere for a new commissioner if your OIC is doing a great job? 
This pundit on wheels isn’t saying that Willie Marcial should be the next PBA commissioner but for the sake of the continuity of good things that have been happening in the PBA right now, this pundit thinks that the board should consider naming Marcial as the commissioner because it will benefit the league and it can definitely help repair the strained between the PBA and the basketball-loving Filipino fans. 

Conclusion

While Willie Marcial has indicated earlier that he only intends to help in the selection of a new process, hearing him say that he will rather wait for the end of his OIC stint before making any further plans, says one thing: that he would welcome the league’s decision if it decides to name him as Chito Narvasa’s successor.
But then again, the call is up to the board itself. 

 

What is happening to the Cavs?

In the crazy world of NBA basketball, one thing has been a constant in the past few years, the Cleveland Cavs always playing solidly. They might not have won every game, they perhaps haven’t blown too many sides off the court, however, they have rarely been crushed. It has been incredibly rare to see LeBron and co have to slink off the court after suffering a genuine mauling by another side.
Last night though they were left broken and bruised after a stunning performance by the Minnesota Timberwolves who raced in a 20-4 league and didn’t look back for a second. If you are feeling as lucky as the Timberwolves then come shoot some hoops with 243 ways to win on the excellent game basketball star. It is a game that combines the best of basketball with the best of slots. It is easy to play, fun to win and is the perfect way to combine a love of dunks with a passion for spins. The Cavs will be hoping their luck can turn as the season goes on.

Basketball, Spalding, Ball, Sport, Game




They will be particularly worried about the fact that LeBron was kept down to only ten points and with rumours abounding that he might not be sticking around in Ohio for too long, the team need to get back on track and have the King playing at his best, sooner rather than later. It was his lowest points total in a game since October 2007 which was all the way back during his first stint with the Cavs. For a team hoping to win back the title they lost to Golden State Warriors last season they are not in great form having lost four of their last six matches as they experience travel sickness in road matches.
The margins have not made for great reading either, this 28 point loss has come hot on the heels of a 14 point deficit against the Boston Celtics and a 14 point defeat to the Sacramento Kings who currently hold a losing record. While the Cavs themselves are 26-14, they have already lost more than half as many games as they did when they won their last championship with a significant amount of games to go.
They do therefore look a little bit vulnerable, while the Warriors continue to sweep all before them with their 33-8 record, this could be the first year in a while where we do not see LeBron in the NBA finals and he decides his time back in Akron has come to an end. With the Celtics on form and the Raptors firing on all cylinders this could be a very hard year for the Cavs and LeBron.
Basketball, Basket, Ball Game, Sport
It is important for them to get back on track quickly, to get LeBron firing again and to give a boost to the whole team. It absolutely does not feel like they are big trouble or in a crisis but they also are nowhere near their best and if any team are going to stop Golden State then they have to reach a level far higher than where the Cavaliers are at right now. They can start on the road back to the top with a win over the Raptors, a side currently above them in conference, when they meet on Friday.

The Struggle is REAL for LeBron and the Cavs

Lebron James and Stephen Curry

LeBron admits this season is the hardest for him

When the Cleveland Cavaliers swapped Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas who, at the time of the trade, was still recovering from the injury he sustained during the last playoffs, many people were worried that this deal would have a rippling effect to the success rate of the Cavs. Despite getting Derrick Rose who was also dealing with his own injury problems among other matters, and Dwayne Wade, the defending Eastern Conference Champions are not as dominant as they used to be during the previous 3 seasons despite LeBron James playing another MVP-worthy season.
The Cavs began the season inconsistently and right now, they are nowhere near the super team that they should be. Why? If they are, then they should be holding the best record in the Eastern Conference, to say the least. Instead, the Cavs are in the 3rd spot in the East with a 26-17 record- 7 games behind the East-leading Boston Celtics.
Recently, LeBron James, who is averaging 27 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks in 43 games this season has finally admitted one thing that has been observed by many: the 2017-2018 season has been the hardest for LeBron. 

How bad is it? 

Since December 19, 2017, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone 3-9 and are riding on a 4-game losing streak. The Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors, twice, and to the Celtics of Kyrie Irving. But one of the ugliest defeats that the Cavs have to endure this season was the one against the Toronto Raptors, 133-99. That, by the way, was the most lopsided defeat that has been absorbed by the Cavs. It was so horrible that LeBron James was seen yelling at his teammates at the bench as if he was the coach. 

Conclusion

If the Cavs can’t figure things out before the playoffs, it will put Tyronn Lue’s coaching job in jeopardy and worse, it will almost secure LeBron James’ ticket out of Cleveland. However, we shouldn’t count the Cavs just yet because whether we like it or not, the Cavs are still seasoned for another Finals trip assuming the Cavs make it past the Celtics. And who knows? These struggles might benefit the Cavs in the long run. 

Jeron Teng Looks Forward to 1st Game against Ginebra

Jeron Teng
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

The son of Alvin Teng embraces confidence boost heading into battle against the giants

After winning their first two games to open the league’s 43rd season, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings looked like the team who is ready to take down the league’s best all-Filipino crew, the San Miguel Beermen. Then, they ran into the path of the Blackwater Elites who in turn, handed the Gin Kings their first taste of defeat this conference, 94-77. While the fans of the Gin Kings are hoping that their team will bounce back from this setback, they are heading into another anticipated battle and it’s not some mediocre team, folks. It’s the Alaska Aces who are now bannered by Calvin Abueva AND their prized rookie, Jeron Teng.
Facing the Gin Kings may be a daunting task but one player is looking forward to it and that player is Jeron Teng. In fact, the son of former PBA player, Alvin Teng, is the welcoming the confidence boost that he gained from breakaway third quarter against the Kia Picanto when outscored the entire Kia team, 13-5. Folks, that’s 13 of his 23 points in the win- Alaska’s 2nd straight.

Question: Can Ginebra defend Jeron Teng?

Realistically, Ginebra has no one on their current roster ASIDE from Joe Devance that can match-up the intensity of Jeron Teng on both ends of the court. As we saw in their previous game against Blackwater, Ginebra struggled to defend Mac Belo who scored 22 points despite making 6 of 17 shots. Aside from Belo, Ginebra also failed to limit Allein Maliksi who added 17 points for the win. 
Having said that, Ginebra will have their hands full on Jeron Teng aside from the Beast, Calvin Abueva. Sure, they can contain the Beast but defending Jeron Teng is another story all throughout. Tim Cone could send out Kevin Ferrer or even start Japeth Aguilar at the 3 spot to try to defend Teng. But then, we’re talking about Tim Cone, ladies and gentlemen, the winningest coach in the history of the PBA. One way or another, he’ll figure things out. But then again, we’re also talking about defending Jeron Teng. 

Prediction: Alaska will stun the Gin Kings in Sunday’s game, January 21.

DeAndre Jordan Wants to be Traded to Houston

Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan

Apparently, DJ wants to be reunited with Chris Paul

One thing is certain for now: DeAndre Jordan won’t be finishing his career with the Los Angeles Clippers. In fact, he might be even playing for another team after the trade deadline. 
Why? His name has been included in a great number of trade rumor over the course of the last few months and given the fact that the Clippers aren’t winning the number of games they should  be winning even after the departure of Chris Paul, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Clippers are growing frustrated and among those who are clearly frustrated is none other  than DeAndre Jordan himself.
And now, the man of the hour has already stated what he wanted to happen- that if you will understand Stephen A. Smith of ESPN. 
Apparently, DeAndre Jordan would welcome any trade that would send him to the Houston Rockets that would reunite him with Chris Paul- someone who provided a big amount of success to the Clippers during their stint together which were highlighted by multiple playoff appearances and non-stop alley-oop plays that ignited the crowd whether they were playing at Staples Center or on the road.

Who should the Rockets send in exchange for DeAndre Jordan?

To begin with, DeAndre Jordan could make the Rockets a lot better especially on the defensive end of the game as he is the 2nd-best rebounder in the league right now, averaging 14 rebounds per game while his ability to penetrate the shaded area should benefit the Rockets as he’s shooting 66.1% from the field- the second-best in the league just behind the Rockets’ Clint Capela.
Ideally, a one-on-one swap would be the best way to handle this one. However, ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine has said that a straight swap between DeAndre Jordan and Clint Capela wouldn’t work because of the luxury tax and cap space issues. And so would Eric Gordon. 
So who’s the best guy the Rockets could offer?

Ryan Anderson 

A DeAndre Jordan-Ryan Anderson swap would benefit the Rockets because according to the Trade Machine, the Rockets would have added 5 wins to their projected number of wins by the end of the current season. On the other hand, a guy like Ryan Anderson could provide a stretched player who could play both 3 and 4 spots and can shoot threes. 

Conclusion

Remember those alley-oop plays ran by Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan? Those are amazing to watch, right? We might be able to see them again. The only question is: will the teams pull the trigger on this deal? 

Physicality is back in PBA: Coaches Pleased

Coach Norman Black

Alex Compton and Norman Black laud PBA’s move to provide more leeway for physicalities

Over the course of the past few seasons, one of the usual grievances that are being voiced out by the players, coaches and even the fans is that referees back then were almost “trigger happy” when calling fouls on physical plays. And we cannot blame them for voicing out such grievances. Picture this, folks. Referees could whistle you for a foul for simply bumping the player whom you are defending. That’s really frustrating and could change the overall pace of the game because the more fouls that were called, the slower the game becomes. And slow games bore fans. They want faster games. They want more physicalities.
Fortunately, things are starting to get better as one of the changes that OIC Willie Marcial wants to implement this year is the reinstatement of the old “No Harm No Foul”  rule for the purpose of speeding up games and also to make the games themselves more exciting especially for the fans. Like it or not, the officiating has been horrible that fans were complaining about fouls that should haven’t been called and fouls that should have been called And the frequent call of fouls have taken away the physicality in the PBA.
Before 2018 came in, Willie Marcial has stated that the league has already started training its referees as they prepare for the reinstatement of the said rule.
Just last January 10, 2018, two coaches expressed that they were overall pleased with the higher amount of physicality that was allowed during their game. Those coaches are none other than Norman Black and Alex Compton- both coaches whose team are relying heavily on their physicality especially on the defensive end.
Norman Black, for one, despite losing to Compton’s Alaska Aces, 103-98, shared his observation that the game was being officiated a “little bit” differently and even took note that more contact between players was allowed on the court.
Alex Compton, for his part, has said that he’s liking the new direction that the PBA is taking when it comes to the officiating of the games. The American coach even said that allowing more physicality to come into play is good for the game.

Conclusion

The best thing about the reinstatement of the “No Harm No Foul” rule is that more coaches and players can do their defensive assignments better because they are now lesser worried about being called for a foul.The only side effect of this is that we’ll see more flopping players but then again, we just have to accept that flopping has been a part of the game, right? And so is physicality.  

Leethal Weapon is still Lethal: Earns PBA Player of the Week Recognition

Paul Lee of Magnolia
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Paul Lee adds another recognition after leading Magnolia to back-to-back wins

Paul Lee, despite the tons of injuries that hampered his performance in the last several seasons and even made him miss most of the Star Hotshots’, now known as the Magnolia Hotshots, semifinal series against the Meralco Bolts during the previous Governors’ Cup.
Now healthy and free of injury, Paul Lee is ready to lead his Hotshots as they attempt to end their semifinals upsets over the past season. And he is already making noise early on the 43rd season as he was named as the Player of the Week after leading his team to two consecutive wins after dropping their season opener against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. 

Just how good was Paul Lee?

Paul Lee, AKA The Angas ng Tondo, averaged 17 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds and, 1.5 blocks in their first two games of the new year. His brilliance started off against the winless, Kia Picanto when he scored all of his 13 points in the pivotal 3rd quarter alone which enabled the Hotshots to run away for good. Then, he took the super rookie, Kiefer Ravena to school as Lee scored 21 points to help Magnolia beat Ravena’s NLEX Road Warriors. 
By taking the recognition, Paul Lee just beat some of the big shots in the league such as 4-time MVP, June Mar Fajardo, Stanley Pringle, Vic Manuel, JP Eram, among others. If he can keep on playing this good, we shouldn’t be surprised if he is to become one of the leading candidates for the Best Player of the Conference award for the All-Filipino conference. 

Conclusion

The Magnolia Hotshots are currently tied with the Gin Kings as both squads have a 3-1 record which is good for second place just behind the unbeaten San Miguel Beermen and one of the reasons why the Hotshots are hot is because of the brilliance of Paul Lee. And like it or not, Paul Lee is more than just about “angas”. 

Scrutinizing Dubs: KD Slowly Outshining Steph

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant

Is Steph Curry still the leader of the reigning Golden State Warriors? Or is it the great Kevin Durant who lift them to their recent championships?

Stephen Curry is an original player of the Dubs and has been the core of the ever since. He plays offense well as well as leading and directing it. Steph is a full package point guard that boosted the team for a title over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But so as KD.
Kevin Durant is an offensive monster just like Steph. just juat differ in size but in production, there is an almost negligible difference between the two. Curry has 27.8 points a game while Durant has 26.3. They both do their jobs as aces of the team especially in clutch times. They deliver winning shots in the final seconds and all varieties of ways to let their team win.
Nevertheless, it seems like Durant’s light is getting even brighter and brighter that it eventually it would make Steph a little bit unnoticeable.

Why is that so?

We all know that KD played a single season with the Dubs and already had a title with the team. Most will view this phenomema in a way that it is Kevin Durant that led the Dubs to this championship. Why? Because he spells the difference from an old to the new Warriors.
What makes his addition even more catchy is that he was crowned as the finals MVP last season. 
A clear and concrete evidence of him being the spear header of the title shot recently won.
Another thing is Durant was already a superstar way back the OKC days. He’s not just a typical player who got some skills to play. His name would echo in every corner there is in the world where basketball fans do exist. And besides, his game mixed quite well with the Warriors eversince he was added.

Would it be beneficial for the Dubs?

Regardless of whoever shines the brightest, what’a important is the team’s victory. Whether it is Curry or Durant or somebodyelse. Everyone exerts efforts just to win a single game, therefore it is not just KD or Steph. Warriors is Warriors, because of all of them. 

A Better Kyrie Without LeBron or a Better LeBron Without Kyrie?

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving

Before this season commenced, the phenomenal duo of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving parted ways.

How are they doing separately so far?
Kyrie Irving with the Boston Celtics is already on fire or should I say, already set a fire. They ran a jaw-dropping 16 straight wins and is holding on the eastern top quite tight until the current time. They’re just so strong despite Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder’s departure to the Cavs. What’s even more amazing is they withstood an unfortunate scenario of Gordon Hayward being seriously injured.
It is Kyrie Irving who defines Celtics’ success this season so far.
On the other hand, Lebron and the Cavs have been in a swamp on the opening of their season. They stayed for a little bit of time on the lower part of the standings at the number but slowly found their way up to number 3 currently. They also lost to a Curryless Warriors. A very painful defeat tastes against their rivals.
Nevertheless, the Cavs beat Kyrie and the Celtics on their 1st game.
If we would judge LeBron and Kyrie in terms of their performance with their teams, the favor would obviously be on Irving’s side as the Celtics are sizzling hot on this phase.

But how about their performance in individual terms?

Based on my observations, it is and will be both beneficial for LeBron and Kyrie. Why? They are both offensive monsters and both score by themselves most of the time. Two players like this should not stay on one team as it would lead to lack of team play. Them being separated would lead to the maximization of their skills in isolation plays and clutch times. Anyone could score, but in terms of clutch times, it would take a Kyrie or a LeBron to take and make that winning basket.
But as of now, Kyrie with the Celtics is having a great season as compared to King James with the all-out Cavs. In fact, LeBron was deprived of the separation benefits mentioned above because the Cavs had a lot of players that mostly play and finish individually like Derick Rose and Dwyane Wade.

Individually the betterment is in equilibrium but the holistic improvement slid down to the Celtics land. 

Too Good to Happen: Anthony Davis to GSW

Apparently, the Warriors are willing to give up two stars for Davis

As it is right now, the Golden State Warriors are headed for another top-seeded finish and are seasoned for another Finals trip, their 4th straight trip if ever they make it that far. They have the Splash Brothers in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson who can make it rain from deep at any given time. They also have Draymond Green, a workhorse who does all the dirty works, figuratively and literally. But there’s one player who makes the Warriors a better team. His name is Kevin Durant- a guy who was acquired by the Warriors just a few months after the Warriors blew a 3-1 Finals lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And as it is right now, they are not yet done building a super team, just yet. Apparently, the Warriors were willing to send Draymond Green and Klay Thompson in exchange for one star, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. While  many pundits believe that the deal won’t happen and ESPN’s Trade Machine has already stated that such deal involving the mentioned players will fail due to the complex cap space issues plus tons of luxury taxes that will be penalized upon the Pelicans, a few believers think that this deal could actually happen in the future.
Here’s the catch, Anthony Davis is just in the 2nd year of a 5-year deal to stay in New Orleans. Klay Thompson is expected to stay until 2019 while Draymond Green’s contract expires in 2020. While the trade would not happen this season or even in the next season, this deal could actually make sense two seasons from now because both teams will have someone to gain instead of letting the players walk away into the free agency.
Now, assuming that the trade does happen two seasons, this will be the starting line up of the Warriors after trade:
  • Steph Curry
  • Nick Young
  • Kevin Durant
  • ANTHONY DAVIS
  • Zaza Pachulia 
Or, Steve Kerr could start Kevin Durant at the power forward position then start Andre Iguodala at 3 then Davis at the 5 spot. Now that’s a super 5, right? 

Conclusion

While Anthony Davis has said that he wants to remain a Pelican until such time when he finally calls it a career, we all know that nothing is certain when it comes to the NBA. As scary as the potential star power that the Warriors could gain, there’s also the potentiality of a chemistry issue that could run down Golden State. But yeah, Anthony Davis in a GSW uniform could also mean that Golden State could become a legitimate super team even without Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.