Tag Archives: sport

Team USA Wins Their Opener Against Team France

The basketball competition at the 2012 London Olympics began today.  The US team came into this Olympics with high expectations.  This years Team USA has been compared to the great 1992 “Dream Team”.   Team USA took to the court against Tony Parker and the French team.   The game tipped off at 2:30pm local time in London, England.

Team USA
(David Becker/Getty Images)

1st Quarter

The 1st quarter began with the US getting the first points on the board.  Both teams were missing nearly all of their 3 point attempts.  There were reports that the Olympic basketballs were sometimes slick and even over inflated, it would make sense given all of the missed 3 pointers.  Neither team had very flashy play other than when Lebron James threw a long pass to Kevin Durant for a dunk on the French side of the court.  The 1st quarter came to an end with France’s Yannick Bokolo hitting the games first 3 point shot.  The score when the quarter ended was 22-21 in favor of team USA.  Tony Parker led the French team in the 1st quarter with 6 points, while the USA’s leading scorer was Kevin Durant with 7 points.

2nd Quarter

Lebron James started off the 2nd quarter with a 3 pointer.  The US team played the French team well on defense in the early part of the quarter.  Kevin Durant had an inedible blocked shot on a Nicolas Batum shot in the paint.  The US team committed a lot of fouls in the 1st half of the game, the french team did well at the free throw line when the fouls were made.  Durant continued his excellent play in the 2nd quarter with a beautiful 3 point shot with a little more than 4 minutes remaining in the half.  Team USA moved the ball around very well and started racking up points.  The half ended with the Team USA leading the French team by a score of 52-36.  The leading scorer for the US in the 1st half was Kevin Durant with 14 points. The leading scorer for the French was Florent Pietrus with 8 points, he also was 4 for 4 at the free throw line.

3rd Quarter

The US continued the excellent defending against the French in the 3rd quarter.  Lebron received a great pass from Deron Williams for the layup at the rim with 5 minutes left to go in the quarter.  The passing of the US team was perfect and counted for a lot of the scoring by the team.  Kevin Love played really well in the game with his signature shooting and aggressiveness.  The US ended the quarter leading 78-51.  The US really played more fluid and started clicking better in this quarter.

4th Quarter

Tony Parker began the final quarter on the bench.  Parker had been out of playing shape heading into the Olympics due to the eye injury he sustained a couple of months ago.  The game was all but over, all that was left to do for Team USA was pull away even more in the score.  The NBA’s #1 draft pick Anthony Davis got into the game in the final quarter and put his 1st ever Olympic points on the board.  James Hardin made a nice break away dunk with 4 minutes left to go in the game.  The bench was on the court for Team USA most of the 4th quarter,  they are all top level players and showed it by holding the lead.   The game ended like most thought it would with Team USA taking the game by a score of 98-71.  Kevin Durant was the lead scorer in the game with 22 points, Ali Traore was France’s leading scorer with 12 points.

Team USA looked really good today.  They proved that they can play well together as a team and are likely to win the gold medals this year.  Kevin Durant came out of this game as the teams best player and lead the team very well today.  Many will say it’s Lebron’s team but after today I would say it’s Durant’s.  Tunisia will be their next opponent on Tuesday night.  That game like this one should not be a difficult one for a squad with this many great players.

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Lebron VS Durant, Who Will Take The Title?

Kevin Durant (Left) and Lebron James (Right), two of the NBA’s best take to the court to see who is the best in the NBA Finals.
(photo by: Troy Ballard/Getty Images)

Tonight Game 1 of the NBA Finals takes place tonight. The Miami Heat will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City. Two of the NBA’s best player will match up in the same position in the same series for the greatest prize in all of Basketball.

The Heat have gone through the playoffs with some minor issues but did not really have a problem until the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. The Heat ended up taking the series in 7 games. Lebron had a incredible game 6 in that series where he scored 45 points and had 15 rebounds. Lebron proved a lot of the critics wrong that said he can’t win an elimination playoff game. The series with the Celtics has prepped the Heat and Lebron for their battle with the Thunder.

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have also had a good playoff run this year. The worst situation they were in was in their Western Conference Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder were losing the series by 2 games to 0 until they kicked things into gear and won the next 4 games to take the series. The Thunder impressed by taking the series from a very tough spurs team that was undefeated until they matched up with the Thunder. Kevin Durant is the leader of the Thunder and has been one of the best in basketball for the last couple of years. The Thunder want to show the world what they have on the big stage and they will get their opportunity tonight.

This is a very intriguing match up between the Thunder and Heat. The most intriguing aspect has to be Lebron VS Durant.

Durant is the young player that keeps getting better every year and with in no time could be the best player from year to year. He and Lebron were neck and neck this year for the MVP trophy of this season. Durant is a player that in no time will be a mega star.

Lebron is an incredible player and will probably go down as one of the top 10 players ever in the league. Lebron has caused a lot of criticism with his falling apart in games when he needs to step up. He has also never won an NBA Title yet, many thought it would be a short time before he won a title when he was drafted in 2003. Oh yeah, Lebron also pissed off the city of Cleveland and a nation of basketball fans when he left the Cavs in 2010 to play for the Miami Heat on a super team with 3 big stars. The Heat lost in 6 games to the Dallas Mavericks last year in the same NBA Finals.

Can Lebron win his 1st NBA Championship? Can Kevin Durant win his 1st also and defeat the great Lebron and the Heat? We will find out pretty soon. I think this will be a very close series. I think that Kevin Durant and the Thunder can take this series in 6 or 7 games. I feel Lebron will not take the title for another year in a row. He just does not have the heart and I don’t know if he will ever take a ring home. Durant is going to amaze a lot of fans and the sports world this series. He will probably take his 1st title and show that he is the new big superstar once and for all. It is just a matter of time before we see how it all unfolds. It will be a series to enjoy no matter what happens.

The Kings Cup

The Kings Game 2 star Jeff Carter celebrates with hockey’s most prized trophy the Stanley Cup.
(Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings shocked the sports world during this NHL postseason.  At a time when NHL coverage on the news and sports channels usually takes a back seat to what is happening in the NBA’s postseason,  the Kings had all of the attention.  On Monday night the Kings won Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils. It was   their first Stanley Cup trophy in the franchises 45 year history.

It was an amazing year for the Kings who began the year with not very high expectations.  Some figured they could make the playoffs but no one had any idea what was about to occur when the season kicked off last Fall.

The Kings had an average regular season finishing with a record of 40 wins, 27 loses and 15overtime loses.  When April started and the final games before the post season were about to be played many thought the Kings would not even qualify for the playoffs.  Well they did but barely and got the placed in the playoffs as the 8th seed.  The Kings faced off against the 1st seeded Vancouver Canucks and shocked the hockey world by taking the series in 5 games.  It was their first time making it out of the first round since 2001.  The Kings then swept the 2nd seeded St. Louis Blues and the hockey world started to think, maybe these guys are for real.  It was confirmed when the Kings took game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes by a score of 4-3 in overtime to advance into the Finals.  The Kings made history during this incredible playoff run by being the first 8th seeded team to beat both the 1st and 2nd seeded teams in the playoffs.

There were high expectations for the Kings by the time they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.  They were so dominant and seemed to breeze through the first 3 rounds.  The Kings did not lose any road games during the first 3 rounds of the NHL postseason.  The Kings had about a week off before the Cup was to begin.  Some were worried they might lose the momentum they had built up in the previous month of play.  Momentum ended up not being a problem for the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Stanley Cup Finals started on May 30th between the Kings and the Devils.  Game 1 took place in New Jersey and the sports world was on the edge of it seat to see if the Kings could keep up their incredible run and capture the cup.  The Kings took game 1 in overtime by a score of 2-1 with a goal from Anze Kopitar.  Game 2 was a similar story when both teams were tied 1-1 after 3 periods.  The Kings received a goal from Jeff Carter to win the game 2-1 over the Devils.

Games 3 and 4 took place in L.A. at the Staples Center.  The Kings would blow out the veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur and the Devils 4 goals to 0.  As game 4 approached it looked like the Kings would get the sweep and make NHL History not only for their playoff run but their Finals run as well.  With game 4 came disappointment came with a 3-1 lose as the series would then head back to New Jersey for game 5.

Game 5 was another disappointment with a close 2-1 lose.  But the good news was that the series was headed back to L.A. for game 6 and the Kings were only 1 win away from the Championship.

Game 6 brought an incredible blow out victory.  The Kings goaltender Johnathan Quick was named the series MVP for his great play during the Finals.  Quick also had a great postseason overall winning 16 games and only losing 4 over the month and a half playoff season. The Kings defeated the Devils 6-1 and sealed their place in NHL History as one of the most surprising champions to have ever come out of the NHL postseason.

This Stanley Cup victory will never be forgotten by the hockey world or the sports world for that matter.  The city of L.A. needed this victory at a time when the Lakers and Clippers both were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs early.  The city of L.A. got red hot over the Kings outstanding postseason run.  Many casual fans that disappeared when Wayne Gretzky left the team for the Rangers in the late 90’s were back.  The American Hockey scene needed this victory as well.  This could spark excitement and push the sport even further in the American Culture.

The Kings are as they proved a very talented and young team that could dominate the NHL for years to come.  I know that many fans will be waiting for next season to see if the Kings return to their 2012 playoff form.  But until then we should acknowledge how great of a team this was and how much of a story book playoff run this 2011-2012 Kings team had.  Long live the Kings!

The Spurs Are Boring, But They Are Good

The San Antonio Spurs are one of the least entertaining teams to watch in all of sports.   The Spurs are in one word “Boring”.  They have been that way for many years.  It is due to a combination of playing a methodical and a very non flashy style of basketball and the lack of charismatic stars.

They have one of the best centers in the NBA Tim Duncan.  Duncan has had a great Career and will be in the Hall Of Fame one day. The unfortunate thing is Duncan has no charisma at all and never says anything that is not obvious when being asked questions in interviews. Their other stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are not much better.

San Antonio Spurs Star Tim Duncan
(Getty Images)

There is one thing you cannot dispute though,  the Spurs are really good.  They have especially excelled this year in the playoffs.  They swept the Utah Jazz in the first round of the post season.  They continued into the second round where they swept the L.A. Clippers and their superstar Chris Paul.

On Tuesday night the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 120-111. With that victory the Spurs are up on the Thunder 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals.  The Spurs are undefeated this postseason.  They have won 10 straight games and while they have not been exciting while doing so, it is an impressive feat.

Will we see the Spurs in the NBA Finals?  Probably but the NBA will not be happy about it.  The ratings for the NBA Finals have been declining over the last few years.  The Spurs will likely drive those numbers down.  Even with the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics as their opponents it could be a rather sleepy Championship Series.

For now I suggest you get your pillows ready.  The Spurs are not going anywhere for now, which means the boring brand of Spurs basketball is going to sweep across the nation and put viewers in a NyQuil type sleep state.

Can David Wright Finish Above .400?

The baseball season is about to complete its second month.  There is a potential story brewing that could dominate the sports media this summer.  David Wright and the possibility that he could end the season with an above .400 batting average.  While the New York Mets have been average this season and have not had a great season in a couple of years,  David Wright could vault the team into the sports media mainstream for the next few months.

New York Mets Third Baseman David Wright
(Marc Serota/Getty Images North America)

Wright has played in 38 games as the Third Baseman for the Mets this year, and  as of May 22nd is batting .415.  Wright has been incredibly hot and extremely valuable for a Mets team that has fallen down a bit over the last couple of years.

The Mets are currently 22-20 and are 3.5 games back in the very tough N.L. East.  Whether the Mets will contend this year is hard to say but based on the recent past looks unlikely.  The Mets caught a lot of flack last season after it was found out the their new stadium might have been paid for by many people who’s live were ruined by the fraudulent financial scams of Bernie Madoff.  Wright could help the team move on and put that in their past this season.  The New York Mets need a player like David Wright at this point and need him to do well and that is exactly what he is doing.

The .400 single season batting average is one of the most elusive marks in all of sports.  The last man to hit above .400 in one season was Boston Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Ted Williams.  Williams hit .406 in 1941.  Since then no one else has done it,  Tony Gwynn did come close in 1994 when he finish with .394 in 1994 but that is a mute point given the fact it was a strike shortened season.  Royal’s Hall of Famer George Brett finished with a .390 batting average in 1980.

Wright will have to continue to be hot through what is  a very long and grueling baseball season.  As Wright continues toward the .400 mark and the season gets further along the media pressure will heat up.  That could be and has been something that has affected many players going towards not only this mark but all records in baseball.  The Mets are positioned in one of the biggest sports markets in the country and you have to know it will be like a zoo towards August if Wright can still be close to the mark by then

Not very many players have had a batting average this high at this point in the season.  So it is definitely time to start watching the Mets and David Wright to see how this progresses.  David Wright is an amazing player and really deserves to reach such a mark.  His stock has already risen and we are not even half way through this season.  So as the season moves along into the summer keep an eye out for David Wright he might just shock the sports world.

Magic Out Stan Van Gundy

Ex Orland Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy
Photo credit:
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Stan Van Gundy era came to an end in Orlando on Monday when the Orlando Magic fired their coach.  The firing has to be both a blessing and a curse for Van Gundy.    He doesn’t have a job but at the same time he no longer has to deal with Dwight Howard drama.  Van Gundy and the Magic’s star center Dwight Howard have been feuding all year both behind the scenes and in front of the media.  Their were rumors that Howard was calling for Van Gundy’s firing by the middle of this past season.  Even though Magic front office staff had confirmed those rumors, Howard has repeatedly denied such allegations.  Well Monday it came to pass and Van Gundy was gone, whether it was due to the pressure Howard put on the Magic is hard to say.

Stan Van Gundy came to the Magic in 2007.  He was essentially a back up plan when the Florida Gators head coach signed with the Orlando Magic and then 5 days later quit and went back to the Gators.  There have been a lot of ups and downs for the team during Van Gundy’s tenure.  Van Gundy leaves the Magic with a 259-135 record and a 31-28 record in the playoffs.  He was with the team for a total of 5 seasons.  The Magic made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 2009, only to fall victim quickly to the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Magic also made an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2010 losing the series 4-2 to the Boston Celtics.

The timing is very strange to me though, with the NBA Draft is coming up next month.  The Magic need to find their new head coach and they need to find him soon.  It is imperative to have a new coach in time to have him on board for the draft and helping the team set for in a new and hopefully successful direction.

This next season will be a very interesting and probably very stressful on for the Orland Magic.  Dwight Howard’s contract is up at the end of the season.  The Magic will definitely want to either sign Howard or trade him away.  The Magic almost traded Howard this past season when it was unclear whether he would accept his team option for another season to close out his contract.  The Magic have never forgotten the situation Shaq put them in after the 1996 season.  Shaq left the team for The Lakers and the Magic got nothing in return due to the fact Shaq was a free agent.

Howard is a fantastic player and has potential to be an NBA Finals MVP.  Howard will however need to tone down the drama that plagued last season in order for that to be possible.  He would need to make a decision and resign or have the team deal him away way before the trade deadline if he wants to contend for the NBA Championship this season.  One has to hope that with Van Gundy gone Howard can focus more on the court and lead the Magic the way he has shown himself capable of doing.

So will we see Dwight Howards final game with the Magic this year or the continuation of the good career he has had with the Magic.  Is a championship in the Magic’s future?  I think Dwight Howard’s season and decision has a lot to do with the answer to that question.

Josh Hamilton After 40 Games

The Texas Rangers have played 40 games so far this season. They hold a record of 25 wins and 15 losses. The team is 5 games ahead of the second place team in the A.L. West. The real story this season for the Rangers is their main star Josh Hamilton and his hot streak, or should we call it the beginning of a hot season.

The Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton
(Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton has a .392 batting average, 18 home runs, 45 RBI’s, 33 runs and 3 stolen bases. Of the 40 games the Rangers have played this season Hamilton has played 37 of those games. Hamilton is on pace for 72 home runs, 180 RBI’s, 132 runs and 12 stolen bases. He has already hit 4 home runs in one game this season. Now I don’t need to tell you that it would be one of the best seasons we have ever seen. It should be noted however, Hamilton has never hit more than 32 home runs in one season, but at the same time he has never been this hot.

The big stat that has everyone’s attention are the amount of home runs he has complied so far. His home run hitting this season has reminded me a lot of Ken Griffey Jr.’s record pace in the 1994 season. However Griffey’s season ended in June when the players went on strike. Hamilton will not have anything other than an injury to hold him back this particular season. His pace is impressive but would not be a record. However if he could have hot streaks from time to time, he could very well take the home run record of 73 held by Barry Bonds in 2001.

If Josh Hamilton could take the home run record it would be an incredible thing to happen to Major League Baseball. We all know how tainted the record held by Barry Bonds is after the truth about him taking Performance Enhancing Drugs came out a few years ago. Hamilton would clean up the record having played in an era with stricter testing and a lower tolerance of P.E.D.’s. Hamilton also would be a great story of a man who has battled demons and while he will never be clear of them, made things right and triumphed over them.

Hamilton has had a crazy last 13 years. He was drafted 1st overall in the 1999 June MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He struggled with a drug addiction and alcoholism. Hmilton never fully adapted to the system in order to become a Major League star. The Rays gave him numerous chance but had no choice but to let him go after 4 years of working with him. Hamilton battled his demons and came back to baseball in the Independent League and later got a contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. He played so well that year that he was signed by the Texas Rangers in 2008. He had an incredible showing in the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby and caught the attention of the sports world. Hamilton has developed into a superstar and is the face of the Rangers Franchise.

The season is only 1/4 complete though. He could calm down, or he could keep going. He is the heart of this team and I feel how Josh Hamilton goes so does the team. The team has made the World Series the last 2 seasons. I totally believe they could make another appearance this year and actually win the championship this time.

Josh Hamilton is what is good about baseball right now. He is a man that has fallen down numerous times, picked himself up every time and succeeded. He will continue to garner attention this year from all baseball fans. I believe the baseball world will rally behind him and if he is close to breaking Barry Bonds’ record near the end of the season and push him to breaking it. Hamilton is already a hero but he could become the single season home run hero by the end of the summer.