Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the most exciting players in all of the NBA. The way he dunks with crazy authority then scowls on the way back down the floor to play defense is something that gets everyone hyped up. It’s impossible to not be swept up by his enthusiasm and if you’re trying to not fall in love with this basketball genius then good luck. He is making the young and fun Milwaukee Bucks amazing to watch so far and they have won a bunch of games, some that maybe they even weren’t supposed to. Giannis is the talk of the entire NBA and everyone is saying that he is the favorite to win the MVP award but he’s not going to win the MVP and I’ll tell you why.
The Milwaukee Bucks are a good team and they’re a lot of fun. They are also destined to make the NBA Finals because the Eastern Conference is incredibly weak. Sure the Bucks are performing and don’t look to be slowing down in any sense of the word and that is all mostly because of Giannis and his awesome play. However, if you think a team in the Eastern Conference is going to have the MVP you are out of your mind.
The Western Conference is loaded, the competition over there is incredibly tough and the talent is unparalleled. Sure Giannis is good, but Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season. He will undoubtedly have another amazing season, especially now that he has the help of Melo and Paul George. James Harden was the runner-up for the MVP last season and he looks just as good or even better than he did last year. Sure, James Harden might not be as exciting as Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he is an unstoppable basketball force the likes of which we have never seen before. The West also has a little team called the Golden State Warriors that already has two MVPs on the roster in Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. To think that they’re not favorites to add another MVP to their selection this season is just crazy.
Even in the East, there are incredible talents that will lead their teams to better records than Giannis. First off, obviously Lebron James is always a front-runner and should realistically win the MVP each and every year he plays in the league. We also have Kyrie playing without Gordon Hayward and leading the Celtics all by himself. Check out some of his highlights this season, he looks incredible. John Wall is always a force to be reckoned with too. Oh also, the Unicorn, Porzingis looks good so far as well.
The league is too stacked with great players and a lot of those great players will play for better teams and have bigger impacts than Giannis Antetokounmpo. I know it’s trendy to say that he will win the MVP and I would be super excited if somehow he managed to keep the momentum he’s already garnered this season to win the coveted award. If it were up to me, Giannis would lead the Bucks to a title this year and it would be amazing. However, I just don’t think that is going to happen.
Dwyane Wade Turns Back The Clock Against 76ers
Dwayne Wade scores 28 points in just 26 minutes in the game two matchup against the 76ers.
Dwayne Wade looked like the Dwayne Wade of ten years ago when he took the court in Philadelphia for their game two matchup against the 76ers. He came off the bench, as he has most of the season, but it still didn’t matter as he put up 28 points in just 26 minutes. to tie the series at 1-1. It was a sight for sore eyes for Heat fans, who have been wondering if their glory days were over after Wade left Miami in 2016. But he pulled out some classic Wade heroics to at least keep their chances alive for this season.
It seemed to be a clear effort by coach Eric Spoelstra to make Wade more of a focal point in game two. Wade only played 19 minutes in game 1 and had very little impact in the game. But for whatever reason, Spoelstra took the chance and rolled the dice on Wade and his rapidly deteriorating knees in an effort to swing the series in their favor. And swing the series they did.
Oh, and did we mention the victory ended a 17-game win streak by the 76ers? Because it did.
Who knows where the series, and postseason as a whole, will go from here, but his performance Monday night has many fantasizing about one last championship run by Wade. There are already rumors that this could be his last season. And he’s made a career out of being one of the toughest guys in the league and doing whatever he needs to do to help his team win. So maybe, at this point, “whatever he needs to do” might just mean giving literally everything he has left. Because after all he’s given over the years, he honestly might not have much left.
“A lot of people think that if you do decide to go out it’s because you weren’t supposed to be able to play no more. It’s not always supposed to be that,” Wade commented after the game. “Just taking time to think, that’s all I’m doing [in the off-season]. Taking time to think and looking at every angle and what’s the best situation for me to be in. That’s all. It’s a lot of different things that come into play.”
Maybe he will go on a tear and take the Heat past the first round and beyond. Maybe he does have enough left to get them all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Or maybe this was just one last great game from one the greatest players of his generation. Either way, it was a beautiful thing to see and it has been an absolute pleasure to watch this man’s Hall of Fame career. Even if the Heat lose the series to the 76ers and Wade retires after the season, he will not soon be forgotten.
Duke Loses All Five Starters To The Draft
Freshman Wendell Carter Jr. announced today that he will declare for the NBA Draft, making him the fifth of five starters last season for Duke that will not be returning next season.
Freshman Wendell Carter Jr. announced today that he will declare for the NBA Draft, making him the fifth of five starters last season for Duke that will not be returning next season. He joins three other freshmen, Trevon Duval, Gary Trent Jr., and Marvin Bagley III. Along with the troublemaking senior, Grayson Allen. It’s just one example of the wild turnaround many college coaches have to deal with these days thanks to one year wait period required after graduating high school before a player can declare for the draft.
Carter released a statement that read as follows, “I want to thank Duke University, my coaches, and teammates for helping me so much, not only on the court but off it as well. We’re all brothers, we all have each other’s backs. I’m really going to miss being around my friends, but I’m really going to cherish the moments we had together. I’m very excited and very happy to say I was part of something special here at Duke.”
During his one and only season at Duke, Carter averaged 13.5 points and 9/1 rebounds. He is considered by many scouts and executives to be a lottery pick, which makes the decision likely a smart one for Carter. Not to mention, all signs point to his Duke teammate, Marvin Bagley III, being taken in the lottery as well. Bagley entered his Duke career as one of the top prospects in the country and didn’t disappoint during his freshman campaign.
Trevon Duval averaged 10.3 points, 2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists a game. His decision to turn pro was slightly more surprising than Bagley and Carter, but he is likely hoping to ride his intangibles onto an NBA roster. While Trent Jr. averaged 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Much stronger numbers that should help him make a roster. Not to mention he’s 6’6” and 209 pounds. Giving him the ideal size and skill level to play multiple positions at the next level.
Then there’s the ever-controversial Grayson Allen. His four-year career at Duke was well documented for both his successes and his odd behavior. While his skill level, overall production, willingness to leave it all on the court would be desired but just about any NBA franchise, his dirty play, and occasional bad attitude has to be a red flag for many GMs and owners. It could definitely hurt his draft stock, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t get drafted at all. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see how he will be welcomed into the NBA by veterans who may not be too crazy about his behavior. He might be in for a rude awakening.
The NBA Playoffs Are Finally Here
Another fantastic and exciting NBA season is in the books, and now it’s time for what really matters: the playoffs.
Another fantastic and exciting NBA season is in the books, and now it’s time for what really matters: the playoffs. Sure, players can make a great career out of regular season success. Maybe they’ll even be considered a “star” for some of those seasons. But heroes? Heroes are born in the playoffs. If you want to go down as one of the greats, you sure as heck better hit some game winning shots and give absolutely everything you’ve got to try and get your team a championship. And I for one have got a feeling we’re about to see quite a few heroics in the coming weeks.
This excitement of this season went right down to the wire this year. Specifically, The Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets met in their final games of the regular season, with the 8th seed in the West and a trip to the playoffs on the line. It was an incredible game that went into overtime, but by the end, the Timberwolves had prevailed. They’re in for quite a shock now, though, as they’ll face the all mighty Houston Rockets in the first round.
In Portland, the Utah Jazz came to town with the 3rd seed in the west on the line. It was a very interesting game because if Portland would have lost, everything would have basically stayed the same. Utah would have stayed the 3 seed and Portland the 4, giving them both home-court advantage in the first round. But because Portland won, they jumped into the number 3 spot and Utah dropped all the way to the 5 spot. They will now face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, with OKC benefiting from home court advantage. Portland, meanwhile, will face off with Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, while the 2nd-seeded Golden State Warriors will face the 7th-seeded San Antonio Spurs.
In the East, the Washington Wizards snuck in as the 8th seed and will face the top-seeded Toronto Raptors in the first round. It could be a tough series for the Raptors though, as it’s likely the Wizards are only the 8th seed because they were without their star point guard, John Wall, for much of the season. But many believe, especially those in Toronto, that the Raptors are finally due for playoff success and a trip to the NBA Finals.
The rest of the Eastern Conference match-ups look like this: (2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Milwaukee Bucks, (3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Miami Heat, and (4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Indiana Pacers. And make no mistake, despite all the attention I gave the Western Conference at the beginning of this article, there are definitely some intriguing match-ups in the East.
You can never count out the Brad Stevens-led Boston Celtics, but due to the recent announcement that Kyrie Irving is out for the rest of the season, the 7th-seeded Milwaukee Bucks might be in the perfect position to reach the second round for the first time since the ’00/’01 season. While the 3rd-seeded 76ers are riding a 16 game winning streak into the playoffs, which could spell disaster for the Miami Heat. But, then again, can you ever truly count out Dwyane Wade?
And last but not least, you have the 4th-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers against the 5th-seeded Indiana Pacers. In any other season, this would seem like a relatively easy first-round match-up for a Lebron James-led team. But this has been, in his words, one of the most difficult seasons of his career. So there’s no telling what kind of mindset the Cavaliers are in. While the young, underdog Pacers have played loud and fast all season, thanks to a stellar season by their star, Victor Oladipo. For me, this is one of the trickiest match-ups in the first round. Because, on one hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cavs yet again make it to the NBA Finals. But, on the other hand, I can’t say I’d be surprised if the Pacers steal this one from Cleveland and knock them out in the first round.
Either way, I am very excited for whatever is about to happen.
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