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Thread: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

  
  1. #16
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    OKC won Game 3 of the WCF's in convincing fashion and if they are able to win Game 4 tonight the Warriors chances of another trip to the NBA Finals doesn't look good. Strange things are indeed happening in both conference finals. The West looked like the best series matchup but the Warriors were obviously favored going in by virtue of their Sherman-like march through the NBA setting a new record for wins in a season breaking the old record held by the Chicago Bulls. The irony is not lost on the fact that Steve Kerr was a guard on that Bulls team who set the old record on their way to an NBA Championship and is now the coach of the GSW's team that broke the record. I heard on Mike and Mike this morning Golden State's Draymond Green will not get suspended for kicking OKC's Steven Adams in the kibbles and bits. A lot of people are surprised that Green will not get suspended and Kiki Vandeweghe, a former NBA player, who is now the NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations said they felt the kick was not intentional but more a situation where he was flailing about trying to draw a foul call from the refs. So now, because he's a former player that makes him qualified to decide a person's intent. Again on Mike and Mike, the question of making a decision on perceived intent rather than on what actually happened and they fact that Adams was temporarily incapacitated and could have been injured more severely wasn't the basis of the decision. By contrast Cleveland's Dahntay Jones will be suspended one game for hitting Toronto's Bismack Biyombo in the package when Biyombo jumped across Jones' body to get to a loose ball. If anything it should have been a foul on Bismack for draping himself all over Jones. The so-called "punch" in the groin couldn't have had much on it because Biyombo's body was all over Jones and had his arm pinned. It's crazy that one is a suspendable offense while the other is not. #lifeisnotfair. Game 4 is tonight in OKC.

    The Eastern Conference Final has gotten interesting as Toronto has suddenly come to life. Yesterday they beat Cleveland to even the series at 2 games apiece. It looked like, in the 4th quarter that Cleveland was going to break the Raptor's hearts as they came back from a 19 point halftime deficit to take a lead in the 4th. Toronto regrouped and held on for a 105-99 win to even that series at 2 games each. The series moves back to Cleveland for Game 5 on Wednesday. An interesting fact of this series is throughout the regular season when these teams played the home team always won. That doesn't speak well for the Raptors chances in the series since Cleveland has home court advantage but it also means if the results mirror the past this series is going 7 games. Another bad thing from Toronto's perspective is the Cavs have won by an average of 24 points per game. Ouch. The games got closer and Toronto has managed to even the series in no small part because of the fact that the Raptors are forcing LeBron to take shots from increasingly farther from the basket. In Game 1 when the Cav blew out Toronto LeBron average shot distance was 3 feet. In the closer Game 2 LeBron was pushed by to 8 feet average distance. In the Game 3 loss LeBron's average shot distance was 11 feet while Game 4's loss the distance was 12 feet. LeBron has got to start pushing the ball closer to the basket with Cleveland reasserting dominance on the offensive glass if they hope to beat a suddenly rejuvenated Raptors team.

  2. #17
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    Holy blowout, Batman! Holy blowout, indeed Robin. The Cleveland Cavs must have been embarrassed by getting swept in Games 3 and 4 in Toronto because from the opening tip the Cavs just took it to the Raptors. The Cavs led by 18 points by the end of the 1st quarter and at halftime Cleveland led by the largest margin ever in conference finals history, 31 points, as the Cavs took a 65-34 lead into the locker room. Nothing changed in the 2nd half as Cleveland kept pouring it on Toronto eventually beating the Raptors by 38 points with the final score ending up 116-78.

    As hot as Cleveland was from the field, they shot 57% from the field for the game and 75% at the free throw line, Toronto was that cold. The Raptors shot 39% from the field and just 60% from the foul line in a whopping 35 trips to the charity stripe. They also shot just 17% from 3 point range. They shot 3 of 17 from the arc and that is no recipe for staying in the game vs a red hot shooting team. Going into the game the home team has won all of the matchups between these two teams but in Cleveland the Raptors have been dominated with the average margin of victory being 24 points. After last night that number has gone up. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving both showed up for the Cavs which is cause for the argument that Cleveland, when they hit on all cylinders like last night, and they way they've played every game in these playoffs, they are nobody's 2nd banana. The next game is in Toronto on Friday night with Cleveland having a chance to close out the series. If Toronto holds serve and forces a Game 7 you really can't like their chances much. It's sort of a foregone conclusion that Cleveland will win the series the only unanswered question is, how many games will it take to get it done?

    In the West things aren't going well at all for Golden State. They are not out of it by any means but in yet another loss at OKC that causes them to fall to a 3-1 deficit isn't a cause for hope they can come back and win this series. OKC has been dominating the Warriors. Since the Thunder took home court away from Golden State by winning Game 1 they have been rolling. It was significant that OKC held serve in Oklahoma for Games 3 and 4 to maintain the momentum they have built. What I'm saying is GS is in deep doo-doo. All OKC has to do to close out this series is one of the next 3 games. We have to keep in mind GS was 73-9 setting a record for games won in a season so it's not impossible for the W's to come back but they really haven't played like that team yet in this series. The Warriors are back at home for Game 5 tonight and they have been nearly unbeatable at home. Trouble is, the last time they did was to this OKC team. Will it all end for the Warriors tonight? I guess we'll find out.

  3. #18
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    One half of the NBA Finals has been decided. The Cleveland Cavs took care of business last night beating Toronto 113-87. The road team finally won a game in the season long series including the playoffs. The Cavs were embarrassed by getting beat in Games 3 and 4 in Toronto, at least that's the way they've played the past two games. They have played like a team with the proverbial chip on their shoulders demolishing the Raptors by 38 and 26 points in the past two games. So Cleveland stands poised to face either Golden State or Oklahoma City who go against each other tonight in their own game 6 matchup in OKC.
    The Cavs have kick-started Kevin Love who poured in 20 pts with 12 rebounds. He was the third leading scorer for Cleveland last night behind LeBron's 33 points and Kyrie Irving's 30. JR Smith also contributing 15 points. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 35 to lead all scorers on the night but he didn't get much help.

    If OKC can't get it done on their home floor tonight you have to like the Warriors chances if it goes to a Game 7. You'd have to say all the pressure is on OKC to win tonight. If I know it it's a lead pipe cinch the Thunder know it too. Should be a good game and OKC's crowd can get loud.

  4. #19
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    The Western Conference Finals will have to wait to be decided in a seventh game because the Golden State Warriors did the impossible, or it seemed that way prior to yesterday's game, by going into Oklahoma City and beating the Thunder on their home court. The W's 108-101 win last night was a bit stunning considering how the Thunder had been using their length and size to deny the Warriors their usual free wheeling style of play. The Thunder continued to do that through 3 quarters of yesterdays game. They actually beat the W's in the first 3 quarters. The Thunder led by 3 at the end of the first quarter, 5 by halftime and after 3 quarters they led by 8 points. As you well know 8 points is not a safe lead by any means and the Warriors killed the Thunder in the 4th. They outscored OKC by 15 points in the final frame with Clay Thompson scoring 19 of his 41 points in the quarter. That was more than the Thunder scored as a team in the 4th. Can OKC overcome the disappointment of this loss and come back and win? I'll bet the wise guys in Vegas won't think so. OKC had GS on the ropes and they couldn't put them away and now the Warriors go back to Oakland feeling pretty good about themselves while the "C" word is likely flying around the fellows from the Indian Nations State. It sure looked like there was a good bit of 'choke' in the Thunder in the 4th quarter to go along with the rally the Warriors put up. It's a monumental challenge for OKC to be sure but they did win there once already in this series and to steal the victory away from GS on their home floor in the 1st and last games of the series would be humongous tale to tell.

    If Golden State wins on Monday it would mean a rematch of last year's NBA finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavs and I would have no doubt in my heart who I'm rooting for and that would be Cleveland without a doubt. If OKC pulls off the upset I will definitely be torn. I would love to see LeBron finally bring a title back to Cleveland. The city by Lake Erie has not had a professional title to call their own since the 1950's when the Browns ruled the NFL but I also want some love in Oklahoma City too. The Sooner State has never had a professional title in the history of the state and the last National Title was accomplished by the Oklahoma Sooners in 2000. That's 16 years ago. I may have to lean toward Cleveland there but it will be difficult to choose.

  5. #20
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    I think the thunder choked. Too bad, I really hate Golden State.

  6. #21
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    The Thunder choked again last night as Golden State won their 3rd consecutive game after being down to OKC 3-1. The Thunder have got to be kicking their own asses today as they have to know they have the Warriors on the ropes and they failed to deliver the knockout blow. The biggest concern for OKC was the play of Russell Westbrook who blew 4 straight possessions with the game on the line in the 4th quarter. He turned the ball over 3 times and he missed the only shot he took. The Warriors did not choke as they kept pouring it on. Steph Curry was the best he's been since the playoffs began and it could be he is finally over the bad ankle and bad knee problems that have plagued him during the playoffs. So now it's down to Golden State and Cleveland in a rematch of last year's finals. The difference here is Cleveland did not have Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love in the finals. This year's finals won't be the lead pipe cinch last year's finals were going in. Cleveland has the team and the ability to beat Golden State in a 7 game series and I really hope they do it for two reasons. 1) I like LeBron James and 2) Cleveland deserves it's day in the sun and it's been denied to them for over 50 years since the last time a pro franchise in Cleveland has won a championship. To me, Cleveland is the underdog and don't we all like to root for the 'dog? It's sort of an American thing to root for the underdog isn't it? Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday in Golden State. C'mon Cleveland!

    http://www.nba.com/playoffs/

  7. #22
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    Cleveland went into the Golden State Warriors home court as decided underdogs. No shock there and when they walked off the court they had to be shaking their heads over the missed opportunity to steal Game 1 away from GS. The Warriors played okay, but not all that great. They were certain not unbeatable unless you were the Cavs who played like crap. They had a total of 16 put back attempts on second shots and only scored 6 points. They missed a bunch of shots inside the paint and as a matter of fact they shot lousy from pretty much everywhere. The shot only 38% from the field and 33% from the 3-point line. They did make 90% of their free throws making 18 of 20 attempts. On the flip side GS shot 49% from the field with the same 33% of their 3's as Cleveland. They also matched Cleveland at the foul line making 90% of their attempts going 9 or 10. The poor shooting did the Cavs in obviously but the 15 point loss was not as bad as it may seem. Grandpa always said, "If 'if's and buts' were candy and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas.", meaning in a roundabout way you can't lament over what could have been but the Cavs have to be kicking their own asses over the poor shooting by the whole doggone team. They'll get another chance on Sunday to get a win in Golden State but it won't get done if they shoot like they did last night.

    I have noticed that when Cleveland does do well they pass the ball and Kyrie or LeBron are allowed to create and dish the ball to the open man. All too often though the Cavs stand back and watch as either Kyrie or LeBron play a one man game against the opposing defense while the rest of the team stands around watching. 1) That's boring basketball and 2) it usually doesn't end well. I like to watch a team who moves the ball around and the players move without the basketball. To me, over the last 15 years or so nobody plays that type of game better than San Antonio. The problem with the Spurs is they just got old. Golden State plays like that and I believe that's why they are probably the best team in the NBA right now. I've seen the Cavs move and move the ball and if they hope to keep everyone engaged they need to play like that. I think Cleveland has the length and the talent to beat Golden State but they can't play like they are in AAU basketball going one on one all the time. If Cleveland plays like that they will lose in 5 games like they did last year. One other thing about this series is Steve Kerr is a way better coach than Tyronn Lue. Personally, I think Lue is just a figurehead anyway and that's the other big problem the Cavs have. Kerr is the undeniable leader of the Warriors but Lue is not that at all. In fact it seems like he's just a figurehead while LeBron runs the show. That is not a good thing. The best thing that could happen to LeBron is if he can play for a real honest to goodness quality head coach. I can't imaging how good LeBron would be if a new age Pat Riley or Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich were to coach him. Tyronn Lue is not that guy, I'm sorry but he's not. You could argue that LeBron did play for Pat Riley but he didn't really, he played for Riley's pet cat Erik Spoelstra and I don't think much of him either. The trouble is it may be too late in his career for LeBron to subjugate himself to a strong willed coach. Too bad because I think that's just what he needs.

  8. #23
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    The answer to the question, 'How would Cleveland respond to the Game 1 loss?', is a very terse, "Badly". The Golden State Warriors stomped a mudhole in the Cavs in a 33 point win last night. Not only that but a wild elbow to the back of Kevin Love's head eventually knocked him out of the game. Not just last night's game but, in all likelihood, Game 3 as well as he goes through the concussion protocol. Again, Cleveland played like crap missing shots left and right and turning the ball over way too much for a championship team. You wonder how in the world Cleveland can come back from back to back drubbings by the Warriors. I was rooting for the Cavs and I still do but based on the first two games I don't have much faith Cleveland with be much more than a helpless sacrifice to the Warriors 2nd straight championship. Needless to say this series has ceased to hold much interest for non-Warriors fans. I just don't seem to be able to get very excited about Game 3 on Wednesday after the 110-77 beat down.

  9. #24
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    The one thing you can say about this finals series is that Golden State won't sweep the Cavs after Cleveland blew out the Warriors by 30 points last night in Game 3 on the Cavs home court. After Cleveland had their asses handed to them in Oakland in Games 1 and 2 you tend forget that Cleveland is undefeated at home in the playoffs so far. I sure didn't give them much of a chance of winning Game 3 and that's why it is so surprising to me that Cleveland won last night. Just winning would have been a moral victory as well but to beat GS 120-90 should be a confidence booster for the Cavs. It is the first game of the series where Cleveland played worth a crap. Not only that but they out muscled the Warriors pretty much bullying them around the court. LeBron and Kyrie Irving combined for 62 points and the Cavs as a whole seemed to be doing just fine without Kevin Love who missed because of a concussion he got when he was elbowed in the head in Game 2. If Love comes back for Game 4 maybe Cleveland ought to consider just bringing him in off the bench. We won't have to wait long for Game 4, it will take place tomorrow night in Cleveland beginning at 8 o'clock. If Cleveland wins this is a new series but if it's going to be a series where the home team wins every game Cleveland is doomed. If Cleveland can win Friday night and even the series at 2 then Game 5 in Oakland on Monday is huge. It is the one game I believe Cleveland has a shot at winning assuming they win Game 4. It is the only scenario I see where it's possible for Cleveland to win the series and the championship. Two of the next 3 games are in Cleveland--advantage Cavs. If it goes to a 7th game at Golden State I just believe the W's will win. It'll be fun to see how it all shakes out.

  10. #25
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    Game 4 of the NBA Finals is tonight. Anybody want to place any bets on tonight's winner? Yeah, me either. 8 o'clock, be there or be square.

  11. #26
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    Going into the game tonight there will be one change for the benefit of the Cleveland Cavs, they won't have to deal with Draymond Green kicking or hitting anyone in the balls. During these playoffs this would make the 3rd time Green has assaulted an opponent's private parts. In Game 4 Green hit LeBron James in the hoo-ha's after he fell to the floor battling for the real ball in the game. James stepped over Green and it was a little disrespectful to be sure but it didn't warrant a violent response to the family jewels. 3 Weeks ago Green kicked an opponent in the toolbag and it was decided that he was flailing trying to draw a foul and the kick was inadvertent. This time there was no room for Green to wriggle out of because a right cross to a person's ball sack isn't an accident. I have heard all kinds of crap on Mike and Mike this morning by a lot of people saying Green shouldn't be suspended in Game 5 but I disagree. If you throw a punch you deserve to be tossed. It doesn't matter at what part of the body that punch is thrown, you don't throw a punch. It also doesn't matter if that punch is a haymaker or a jab, it's still a punch. I'm sick of Stephen A Smith anyway. He is beyond annoying and I love it when Skip Bayless gets the better of him on First Take. This suspension could make a difference to the outcome of tonight's game in Cleveland's favor but I think this is just a rallying point for the Warriors. I really think Golden State will win tonight claiming their 2nd straight NBA title. If anyone gives a crap here's an article from USA Today about why Kiki VandeWeghe, the guy in charge of disciplinary issues for the NBA, suspended Green.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...sion/85797916/

  12. #27
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    Just when you give up hope is just the time when people find that something extra to overcome the odds to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat. That is what Cleveland did last night when they had the best game of their 2016 playoffs and beat Golden State 112-97. It wasn't like Golden State just rolled over and played dead they led after the first and second quarters as Clay Thompson was sick for the W's scoring 37 points for the game but it wasn't enough as both Kyrie Irving and LeBron had 41 points to lead the Cavs. In fact only JR Smith who had 10 points was the only other Cav in double digits scoring and Richard Jefferson (8 pts) and Iman Shumpert (4 pts) were the only bench players to score on the night. It was all Kyrie and LeBron as they combined for 82 points on 61% shooting as they answered every single run by Golden State with one of their own. Last night was a totally unexpected win in a totally unexpected location, on the road. To win the championship the Cavs are going to need to do this 2 more times and the likelihood of that is very remote. After the Game 3 blowout win Cleveland went right back to sucking because as good as Kyrie was last night he was that bad in Game 4. So, which Cleveland team shows up on Thursday night? Can the Cavs defend their home court and force a Game 7 next Sunday at Golden State? That is the $100,000 question which won't be answered until Thursday night.
    A lot is being made of how not have the old ball kicker Draymond Green in the lineup last night but Green was on the floor when Cleveland blew the Warriors' doors off in Game 3. So I'm not buying what is being sold. Whiners like Stephen A Smith are still crying over Green being suspended but at what point will Green learn you can't drop-kick an opponents cajones and get away with it? Apparently, the NBA feels like the 3rd time is the charm. The Warriors did lose a man last night after coming down after attempting to block a shot Andrew Bogut hurt his left knee. It was bad enough he couldn't put any weight on it and had to be helped off the court. The injury was in the 3rd quarter and it he did not return to the game. Bogut is the Warriors presence in the paint and you don't lose a 7' center and play up to your potential without him. Cleveland scored 46 of their points in the paint and much of that was after Bogut left the game. If his knee is as bad as it looked last night this could really be a game changer for Cleveland. Draymond Green will be back but he isn't the force inside Bogut is and there is about 5 inches in height difference between the two. The job of protecting the middle would fall to Festus Ezeli and Anderson Varejao neither of which is as good as Bogut. The loss of Bogut could be a deal breaker unless LeBron and Kyrie have a crap game in which case it won't matter.

  13. #28
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    I don't need spew out a bunch of stats to talk about this NBA Finals series I just need to tell you that it's 3 games apiece and Game 7 will be at Golden State on Sunday night. Cleveland defended their home court in a dominating fashion and the game was not as close as the 115-101 score might indicate. Draymond Green was in the lineup so all the posturing over his Game 5 suspension is just so much gas. It appears that the loss of C Andrew Bogut is a much bigger blow than the loss of Green. Cleveland crashed the boards without much difficulty and they dominated in the paint without Bogut there to stop them. Steph Curry acted like a bitch getting himself tossed after fouling out of the game and arguing with refs. Steph's wife went ballistic on Instagram saying her man was wronged, her family was wronged and the NBA is a rigged deal trying to push the series to 7 games. She removed her posts after she had time to think about it and probably at the urging of her family as well. It just wasn't a good night for the Curry family. Steve Kerr bitched about the refs in the post game presser as did Curry who was still mad about the last foul called on him that fouled him out of the game. It's sort of sad to see the Warriors lose a little of the good will and class they have built up over the last couple of years. The Cavaliers will be walking into a viper pit in Oakland on Sunday but without Andrew Bogut it may not matter how nasty the atmosphere is the Warriors may not be good enough to beat a Cleveland team who is at full strength. The tables are turned a bit from last year when Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were out for Cleveland. The difference is Golden State didn't lose their Kyrie, Clay Thompson. He has been a beast the whole series and if GS wins the whole thing he should be the MVP. At any rate it should be fun to watch Game 7.

  14. #29
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    I feel that Cleveland is going to do it. That's just my gut talking but I keep hearing, in my head, that line from the Movie "Young Frankenstein." It's alive.

  15. #30
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    Re: NBA Playoffs Have Begun

    Dracula was right as rain. The beast known as the Cleveland Cavaliers was indeed alive as they gutted out a 93-89 four point win in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. If you stop and think about it the feat of winning after being down 3-1 to Golden State is even more impressive when you think about a couple of things. 1) No team had ever won the championship after being down 3-1. That in, and of, itself is pretty impressive. 2) Cleveland did an almost impossible task of completing 2 of the 3 wins to close out the championship on the road. Even more impressive is the Cavs did it against a team that set the regular season record for wins and it was in their house. LeBron was the series MVP but Kyrie Irving was the bread to James' butter. Last year the Warriors beat the Cavs in the finals but Cleveland only had LeBron and some decent role players because both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were both injured and unable to play a single minute. It looked like having Irving and Love wasn't going to matter but the Cavs caught fire and got it done.
    It was cool to see Cleveland's 52 year draught end and it was equally good to see the fans in Cleveland didn't trash the city as part of their long awaited and much deserved celebration. Way to go Cleveland.
    LeBron won't be dogged over his failure in NBA finals. This win puts him in the conversation as one of the true greats of basketball all time. The fact is, LeBron could become a terrible criminal down the road and Cleveland will still love him because the home town son made good on his promise to his city. Good. Golden State fans are disappointed now but their team is young and they will be back maybe even with Kevin Durant. Who knows. Cleveland will be back too. We could see Golden State vs Cleveland III next year. I'm happy for James because he deserves this day in the sun as do the Cavs and the fans of Cleveland. Sometimes the right team wins and the right team won last Sunday night. Props to King James, the rest of Cavaliers team and fans of Cleveland.

    Since the Cavs won the championship a big move happened in the NBA. Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is a Bull no longer. Today he was traded to the New York Knicks ending any hope of Chicago home boy Rose having his own LeBron James moment with the Bulls. If Rose can stay healthy he will be a great addition to the Knicks roster. If he can't stay healthy, and recent past says he won't, then Chicago cuts bait with a high dollar player they haven't been getting any bang from all those bucks. As part of the deal New York sent C Robin Lopez and guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant to Chicago and New York gets Rose, G Justin Holiday and the Bulls 2017 2nd round pick. The key element for NY is Rose. Maybe a change of scenery will be just the ticket to put all the injury woes behind him and he can make the Knicks relevant again for the first time since the early nineties when they had Patrick Ewing and John Starks.

    The NBA draft is tonight and it's a bigger deal than the MLB draft but not by much. Mainly, everyone wonders about the top 10 picks then they turn off the TV and go to sleep. For the most part the real game changing impact players come in those first ten picks. You get a sleeper or three in the rest of the draft but nobody loses sleep over the draft. The NFL draft is still king of the draft hill but it will be interesting to see who Houston takes now that they have to say goodbye to Dwight Howard. Howard turned down a deal for over $23MM and he will become a free agent on July 1st. See ya later, Dwight. As for any moves to replace Howard in the draft it will have to wait for the second round because Houston doesn't have a first round pick. They do have two picks in the 2nd round at No. 37 and No. 43. So that is something. Here is a link to NBA.com with the current draft results. As expected Ben Simmons from LSU was the first pick in the draft going to Philadelphia. Will Simmons become the first star in Philly since Allen Iverson? Time will tell.

    http://www.nba.com/draft/2016/draftboard.html

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