Category Archives: sports

The Upcoming NBA Season: What to expect, offseason moves and their impact, standings, awards and more…​

What a wild offseason it has been! Starting off with the NBA Draft, we saw Markelle Fultz leave the board first, teaming up with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philly, followed by the most prominent name of the summer, Lonzo Ball, be selected by the Lakers at number 2. The Celtics traded down to 3 and snagged Jayson Tatum, potentially the most talented player in the entire draft. Josh Jackson went 4th to Phoenix, and De’Aaron Fox went to the Kings, rounding out the top 5 picks. With Jimmy Butler traded to the T-Wolves, the offseason was off to a wild start. We saw Chris Paul traded to the Rockets to join James Harden, and Paul George and Carmelo Anthony traded to the Thunder to team up with Westbrook. Paul Millsap joined Denver to speed up their rebuilding process. Gordon Hayward left the Jazz to join the Celtics, and shortly after, Kyrie Irving was traded in a blockbuster deal for Isaiah Thomas, a first-round pick and more. D-Wade signed a one year, $2.3 million deal with the Cavaliers, rejoining former teammate and good friend, LeBron James.

Big contract extensions were also a big theme this offseason. Kyle Lowry, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook all signed max deals with their respective teams.

So, what should we expect this season? Will Boston dethrone Cleveland in the East? Can anybody beat Golden State? Who will win MVP? Will the Lakers or Sixers make the playoffs?

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Five Hot Takes:

  1. Jayson Tatum will prove to be the best player in the draft (he will not win ROY).
  2. Joel Embiid will play at least 65 games and average at least 25 points a game.
  3. Giannis Antetokounmpo will win MVP (accomplishing Kobe Bryant’s challenge).
  4. Brandon Ingram will win Most Improved Player.
  5. Damian Lillard will be an All-Star starter (accomplishing Kobe Bryant’s challenge).

 

Top Storylines:

  1. The steep decline of Dwight Howard and why he should not be a Hall of Famer.
  2. Why Westbrook’s extension means that LeBron to LA is no longer a given.
  3. Will DeMarcus Cousins team up with John Wall in Washington?
  4. Kyle Kuzma’s emergence as a draft steal—what does this mean for the future?
  5. When will Trusting the Process lead to contending for titles?

 

Players with the most to prove this season:

  1. Carmelo Anthony (needs to show an ability to defend, create offense in transition)
  2. Dwight Howard (needs to prove that he won’t create dissension in the locker room)
  3. LaMarcus Aldridge (needs to prove that he is tough enough to play for Pop)
  4. Lonzo Ball (needs to show the NBA why Lavar is so high on him as an overall talent)
  5. Kyrie Irving (needs to prove that he can be the primary option on a title contender)

 

Standings

Eastern Conference:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Washington Wizards
  4. Milwaukee Bucks
  5. Toronto Raptors
  6. Philadelphia Sixers
  7. Detroit Pistons
  8. Miami Heat

 

Western Conference:

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. San Antonio Spurs
  4. Houston Rockets
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves
  6. Memphis Grizzlies
  7. Los Angeles Clippers
  8. Los Angeles Lakers

 

Awards:

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Most Improved Player: Brandon Ingram

Defensive Player of the Year: Hassan Whiteside

Rookie of the Year: Dennis Smith, Jr.

Comeback Player of the Year: Danilo Gallinari

Points Leader: Kevin Durant

Rebounds Leader: DeAndre Jordan

Assists Leader: Russell Westbrook

Blocks Leader: Hassan Whiteside

Steals Leader: Chris Paul

Most impact on a new team: Jimmy Butler

Least impact on a new team: Tim Hardaway Jr.

 

NBA Playoff Predictions

Eastern Conference Finals:

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics: Cleveland in 7

Western Conference Finals:

Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Golden State in 7

NBA Finals:

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors: Golden State in 6

Finals MVP: Kevin Durant

 

What are your thoughts and feelings about this upcoming season?

 

Image via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByVvmw2bbSw

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a freshman at the University of Miami from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees and all U-Miami sports. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

The Giants’ Disappointing Season

Hello Giants fans! SO glad to see you again.

I know it’s been hard. But now, you’re likely feeling the way I felt before week one even started: hopeless, confused, upset and angry.

But c’mon guys, did you really think we could win with no O-line?

Now at 0-5 with Odell Beckham, Jr. and Brandon Marshall out for the season, I guess we can’t lean back on the “weapons galore” narrative anymore. Eli Manning has been inconsistent, throwing for 1338 yards, 8 TDs, and 5 interceptions. The Giants’ main struggles have been on offense. While they’re ranked 14th in total offense, they’re ranked 30th in rushing yards per game, and 28th in points. Due to their offensive struggles, their defense has been on the field more, leading to their more recent struggles as well. They’re much worse defensively this season, ranked 28th in total yards allowed and 24th in points allowed. The loss of Johnathan Hankins has also hurt their run defense, as rookie Dalvin Tomlinson hasn’t yet caught up to speed.

While the Giants are currently 0-5, they have lost their last three games by less than one possession, which points to the coaching. Ben McAdoo has been absolutely horrendous. From play-calling to personnel decisions, McAdoo has shown sheer incompetence and should be relieved of his duties at the end of the season, despite the Giants’ playoff appearance last season.

As for Jerry Reese, he should have been fired two years ago. His lack of care for offensive linemen, linebackers, and running backs has bled the Giants’ offense dry and has forced Eli Manning to make up the difference—something he is too old and too slow to do.

Reese and McAdoo’s stance on Ereck Flowers is also appalling. The guy is apparently a bust and should be released altogether if not benched. Both Reese and McAdoo have overstayed their welcome, and it’s time for them to go.

So, where do we go from here?

Tank the season. Play Evan Engram at wide receiver and make him and Sterling Shepard primary targets, allow their stocks to rise, and get the most out of them. As for Davis Webb, give him a shot. And while I know Eli Manning will continue to be played, there’s really no point in him doing so.

The next two opponents the Giants will face are the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. For those of you who think we can go 11-5 and squeeze into the playoffs, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not going to happen.

What is more likely for the Giants from this point on is that they’ll probably go .500. In my opinion, that will be worse for them than going 0-16. Because if they go 0-16, they can hope for a top pick and grab one of the top QBs in the class, as well as rebuild their horrible offensive line. Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg have been effective, but Bobby Hart, John Jerry, and Ereck Flowers need to go.

With that being said, ownership must clean house. It’s time for some new voices, and it’s time for Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese to take a hike. It’s time to hire a coach who can bring discipline to the Giants locker room, and it’s time for them to hire a GM that understands the need for a solid offensive line, as well as good linebackers who is willing to build through the draft and free agency.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a freshman at the University of Miami from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees and all U-Miami sports. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

NFL QB Rankings

FullSizeRender.jpg 2.jpeg5 tiers of NFL Quarterbacks

Tier 1- Superstar

Qualifications can include:

  • Can singlehandedly win games despite inconsistent performance from offensive line, receivers or running backs
  • Can play well in any situation and does not need elite playmakers- can win with “no names”
  • Consistently shows up in the big moments, few weaknesses
  • Rarely to blame for a loss

Players who fit the criteria: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees

 

Tier 2- Star

Qualifications can include:

  • Can lead a team to victory with a just a single elite playmaker
  • Can win with subpar offensive linemen, receivers and running backs
  • Usually shows up when needed, seldom cracks under pressure
  • Once in a while to blame for a loss

Players who fit the criteria: Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger

 

Tier 3- Franchise

Qualifications can include:

  • Very talented player with star potential who can help a team win games
  • Not the single reason for a win, needs a few playmakers on offense
  • Not experienced/developed enough to be considered a star yet
  • Occasional inconsistency, sometimes the reason for a loss
  • Reliable in most cases and many teams would be happy to have this QB
  • Can be considered “elite,” or has potential to be

Players who fit the criteria: Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, Kirk Cousins, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Alex Smith

 

Tier 4- Middle of the Road

Qualifications can include

  • Being a game manager
  • Can make plays but not the overwhelming reason for team success or failure
  • Frequently streaky, plays like a franchise QB and a fringe QB throughout the season
  • Helps a team win with great playmakers
  • Risk averse
  • Probably not on your fantasy team, age and attrition could play a factor too

Players who fit the criteria: Tyrod Taylor, Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer, Teddy Bridgewater, Eli Manning, Trevor Siemian

 

Tier 5- Fringe Starter

Qualifications can include:

  • Getting old
  • Not consistent at all, extremely streaky
  • Has potential but has not reached it
  • In and out of lineup
  • Can only win with great playmakers
  • Could be cut, not a solidified starter at all

Players who fit the criteria: Ryan Tannehill, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, Blake Bottles, Case Keenum, Jared Goff, Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Tom Savage, Josh McCown, Mike Glennon, Jacoby Brissett

 

Full rankings (at this moment):

  1. Tom Brady
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Drew Brees
  4. Ben Roethlisberger
  5. Andrew Luck
  6. Derek Carr
  7. Matt Ryan
  8. Philip Rivers
  9. Kirk Cousins
  10. Russell Wilson
  11. Cam Newton
  12. Jameis Winston
  13. Marcus Mariota
  14. Dak Prescott
  15. Carson Wentz
  16. Matthew Stafford
  17. Alex Smith
  18. Sam Bradford
  19. Tyrod Taylor
  20. Joe Flacco
  21. Teddy Bridgewater
  22. Trevor Siemian
  23. Eli Manning
  24. Carson Palmer
  25. Colin Kaepernick
  26. Andy Dalton
  27. Blake Bortles
  28. Brian Hoyer
  29. Josh McCown
  30. Bryce Petty
  31. Jay Cutler
  32. Jared Goff

*Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kaizer and Pat Mahomes have not taken enough snaps to be counted yet

**Injuries do not play a role in these rankings

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a freshman at the University of Miami from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees and all U-Miami sports. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

Guest Blog: Yankees Defy All Odds, Win Big Vs. Division Rival

unnamed-11.jpg

By Ilan Luttway

On April 28th, The New York Yankees were down 9-1 to the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the 6th inning. All hope seemed to be lost. Even after Aaron Judge’s huge second home run of the night, his first multi homer game of his career, the Orioles came back with another 2 runs in the top of the 7th to make the game 11-4, diminishing all hopes of a comeback. But in the bottom of the 7th inning, after a single by Austin Romine on a soft ground ball to third baseman Manny Machado, and starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was replaced by reliever Vidal Nuno, a glimmer of hope for the Yankees emerged. After a double from the third baseman Chase Headley and a walk to designated hitter Matt Holliday, Jacoby Ellsbury came through and hit a grand slam to right field, the 100th home run of his career.

While the Orioles were still up 11-8 after the top of the 9th inning, Yankee Stadium felt as vibrant as ever… a comeback was on the way. After a walk to Chase Headley, a sharp single from Matt Holliday, and an RBI groundout from Jacoby Ellsbury, the score was now 11-9 in the bottom of the 9th with Starlin Castro up to bat. As Castro dropped his knee to the ground, as he often did on home runs, fans at Yankee Stadium and at home gazed at the ball traveling through the air and shouted with excitement. 11-11. As the top of the 10th came to a close for the Orioles batters, fans screamed and yelled, knowing that this was the moment for the young and talented Yankees roster to complete their heroic comeback. Reliever Jayson Aquino must have felt it too, dishing out two walks in a row to Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka.

As Matt Holliday came up to bat with one out, runners on 1st and 2nd, everything began to slow down. As the first pitch breaking ball came running down through Aquino’s fingers, veteran Matt Holliday remained calm and put bat on ball, smashing a three run home run. Before he knew it, Holliday was being doused with water, jumped on by his teammates. Holliday’s walk-off three run home run capped off one of the most improbable comebacks in MLB history, a game that should never be forgotten.

But this game is only the beginning for the 2017 New York Yankees as they look to continue their success throughout May and make a statement to the AL East about who the best team in their division really is.

 

Grading the New York Giants’ Draft  

engram-1.jpg

 

Team needs prior to the draft: OL, RB, TE, DL, LB

1st round pick (23rd overall): Evan Engram, WR/TE, Ole Miss

Standing at 6’3” and 235 pounds, Engram is certainly a talented player with tremendous ability. Running a 4.42 and showing off a 36” vertical at the NFL combine, his speed along with his athleticism make him a matchup nightmare. However, his inability to effectively block as well as his lack of height for his position makes me think he is more of a wide receiver. With four lethal weapons on the field, the Giants’ potential in the passing game is high. However, the Giants went for flash and flare and ignored evident holes on their O-line and in their running game. With offensive linemen Ryan Ramczyk and Cam Robinson on the board, along with running back Dalvin Cook, I certainly question this move—not to knock Engram, because he can be special, but to knock Jerry Reese for blatantly ignoring the Giants’ dire needs and going for the “sexy pick” instead. Hopefully, Engram can show off his speed, because Eli may not have that much time to get rid of the ball!

 

Scouting report via A.R. Smith Scouting

Engram is a super athletic four-year starter from Ole Miss. He has the speed and agility be a threat against all defenders on any area of the field. Engram has naturally soft hands and displays great concentration on hard catches but struggles mightily when asked to catch through contact. Defenders often are able to separate the ball with simple contact. Engram doesn’t use his size to box out defenders nor does display the toughness to out muscle defenders at the catch point. Engram isn’t a great route runner. He was able to rely on using his speed to run away from slower defenders at the college level. Ole Miss also did a great job putting him in position where he could combine his speed with natural leverage, such as running an out route vs. a defender lined up towards the inside. He needs to learn to break down and explode out his cuts using his natural burst rather than running round routes. Engram also struggled when contacted during his routes. Even the slightest shove will throw him off his path and he takes too long to regain balance and is sometimes eliminated from the whole play. Engram has the vertical ability to compete for the ball at the highest point but in limited opportunities he didn’t show enough consistency. As a blocker he shows good effort but he needs to learn to keep his head up and rely on his arms to make contact first in order to whiff less. He also needs to gain strength to be able to block NFL defenders. While he does a good job driving his legs, his base can be a bit wide initially giving him less balance. After the catch Engram relies on his speed rather than attempting to elude defenders in the open field or break tackles. Engram is a TE with a super high ceiling. Passing teams will be able to line him up at all receiver and TE positions effectively. He needs to gain strength as well as sharpen his route running to become a better player. He’s a high upside early 2nd rounder.

Grade: B-/C+

Who I would have taken: Ryan Ramczyk, OL, Wisconsin

 

2nd round pick (55th overall): Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama

This guy is impressive on and off the field. He was offered an academic scholarship to Harvard, but chose to play football at Alabama instead—a good decision. At 6’3” and 310 lbs., Tomlinson can certainly fill the starting defensive tackle position which is vacant due to Jonathan Hankins’ exit. I love any defensive player who comes out of Alabama; they’re the best of the best! Tomlinson’s strength and ability to stuff the run can really bolster the Giants’ front four. While they need a linebacker, it is certainly the next best option since Hankins left. He will not necessarily be an immediate starter, because he will need to compete with Jay Bromley and Michael Thomas, but I think he will beat them out and be very effective this season.

Grade: A-/B+

Who I would have taken: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

 

3rd round pick (87th overall): Davis Webb, QB, California

We really needed a quarterback, and thank goodness we took one—oh wait, we have one. He’s 36-years-old, not 42. Eli Manning has a solid 3 to 4 years left of being a very good quarterback. No, he isn’t Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, but last season he threw for over 4,000 yards while completing 63% of his passes on 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. This is Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion who does not need to be replaced for another few years. There was absolutely no need to take a quarterback this early, especially since we needed a top tier running back in this class, and yet again we passed on it. Next year’s quarterback class is supposed to be loaded, and no matter how much potential Webb really has, I don’t know if he’s really the guy we can mold into a franchise quarterback. Plus, weren’t we supposed to resurrect Geno Smith’s career? I’m not saying Webb can’t be good, because he can be, but it is not the right place or time to have him join the team. And while Webb has a lot of arm strength, he struggles with accuracy—something that’s very concerning when your job is to be accurate.

Grade: D

Who I would have taken: D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas

 

4th round pick (140th overall): Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson

Gallman won the National Championship at Clemson and ran a 4.6 at the combine—pretty middle of the road for his position. He knows how to win, having played with NFL-caliber players and against NFL-caliber opponents at Clemson.

Grade: B+

 

5th round pick (167th overall): Avery Moss, DE, Youngstown State

Scouts say that Moss reminds them of Robert Ayers, so essentially the guy could come in on first or second down to give JPP or Vernon a breather. Late round pick, so not much to lose here.

Grade: B

 

6th round pick (200th overall): Adam Bisnowaty, OL, Pitt

Reese finally realized he forgot that our biggest need was our offensive line. Good thing he realized this late.

Grade: A+

 

Overall draft grade: C+

Overall, the Giants had a slightly underwhelming draft. They took talented guys, but really ignored most of their core needs, waiting until the 4th round to pick a running back, and until the 6th to take an offensive lineman. They were ranked 27th in offensive efficiency last season, so taking one offensive player who will play in the first three rounds is unacceptable. They absolutely should not have taken a quarterback unless he is as good as Eli right now, because the fact is, Eli is still playing well and the next guy in line is probably someone in the next couple of classes. Reese is banking on the hope that Erick Flowers will improve and not be as much of a liability as he was last season, as well as on the hope that Webb can be molded into the next franchise quarterback. Hopefully, they’ll get their guys ready for opening night, and I can’t wait for Giants football this fall!

 

DISCLAIMER: Scouting Report on Evan Engram was written by @AdemiSmithScout. Share your feedback with him on twitter.

 

Image via http://nypost.com/2017/04/27/giants-snare-ole-miss-pass-catching-tight-end-with-23rd-pick/

 

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a 12th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants and the Yankees. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

NFL Playoff Predictions 2017

The regular NFL season has ended, and the fields are getting set for the playoffs. Who will lead their team to victory?

As an avid New York Giants fan, I sincerely hope they can win the Super Bowl. They have an amazing defense, and can really give offenses trouble. However, I see too many problems on the offensive line and anticipate that they might not be able to adequately protect their quarterback Eli Manning.

We all know what happens when Manning gets pressured—he either falls down (regardless if there is contact) or he throws an interception.

That being said, here are my playoff and Super Bowl predictions:

 NFC

 Wildcard

Packers beat Giants 24-13

Seahawks beat Lions 20-16

Divisional

Cowboys beat Packers 34-31

Falcons beat Seahawks 26-17

Championship

Cowboys beat Falcons 31-27

AFC

Wildcard

Raiders beat Texans 23-13

Steelers beat Dolphins 31-14

Divisional

Patriots beat Raiders 27-16

Steelers beat Chiefs 23-20

Championship

Steelers beat Patriots 30-24

Super Bowl

Cowboys beat Steelers 28-24

What are your predictions?

Image via NFL.com

About me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a  12th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants and the Yankees. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN2. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

NBA Christmas Day Recap

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Here is a recap of yesterday’s games.

 

Pelicans versus Heat

As the Heat went into the 4th quarter with an 11 point lead, Anthony Davis and the squad cut that lead enough to tie the game up and force overtime. However, it didn’t quite work out for them, as the Heat finished the job late, sustaining a 94-88 victory. The high man for the Heat was Chris Bosh, who put up 30 points and 10 boards on 11 of 25 shooting from the field. Hassan Whiteside helped out with a whopping 17 rebounds, as well as D-Wade who dropped 19. On the opposite side of the ball, superstar Anthony Davis put up an outstanding double-double with 29 points, 15 boards, 4 steals and 3 blocks. However, Ryan Anderson’s 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting was not enough help to lift the Pelicans over the extremely talented Heat team. The Pelicans depleted roster continues to be covered by Anthony Davis’ immaculate performances, but they can’t hide their 3-14 road record for much longer. The Heat continues to show its depth, as the team has a healthy mix of veterans and young players and continues to hold onto championship aspirations regardless of not having LeBron James.

 

Bulls versus Thunder

After demolishing the Lakers a few days ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder probably kicked back and relaxed, getting ready for Santa to put a finals trophy under their tree—because that’s how they played. While Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook put up a combined 55 points, 16 rebounds, 15 assists and 7 steals, their supporting players were completely out of it, as the team shot 25% from the 3 point arc, leading to their demise. Even though the Bulls lost Joakim Noah, they got their Christmas wish, as they received a healthy Pau Gasol, someone they really missed this past week, as he put up 21 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks on the day. Unlike Westbrook and Durant, he received help from his teammates such as Jimmy Butler, who put up 23 points. The Bulls handily won this game 105-96, as they have the depth in size to replace Noah’s absence. As for the Thunder, they need better production from their role players.

 

Cavaliers versus Warriors

I was fortunate to watch this game live (see image above) and the finals rematch was thrilling! We could finally see the Cavs and Warriors go at it fully healthy, or at least mostly healthy (the Warriors were missing Harrison Barnes). But that didn’t seem to bother them. All eyes were on LeBron James and Steph Curry, though they weren’t the highlight of this matchup. Curry finished strong late, but struggled early when going up against the tough Matthew Dellavedova and his aching calf, totaling only 19 points and 7 assists on 6 of 15 shooting. As for James, he really struggled late in the 4th, missing 3 out of 4 free throws, awakening the ghosts of his anti-clutch gene, totaling 25 points, 9 rebounds with just 2 assists. Draymond Green was the man for Golden State, tallying 22 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks. The still recovering Kyrie Irving also struggled, shooting just 4 of 15 from the field and grabbing 13 points. Kevin Love had a double double with 10 points and 18 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough, as the Warriors toughened this one out and won by a score of 89-83. This game was certainly an ugly one, as this matchup is a challenge for both teams.

 

Spurs versus Rockets

This was a Texas matchup that many wanted to see. While the Rockets have been a disappointment this year, having a .500 record, they certainly showed up tonight against the high powered Spurs team. James Harden struggled in the first half, scoring just 2 points. However, he turned it around and finished with 20 points and 9 assists, getting some help from Terrance Jones and Jason Terry. The Spurs, sitting in 2nd place in the West, really showed their age and attrition tonight, as they did not play like a team with a 25-5 record. Tim Duncan had 13 points and 11 boards, Kawhi Leonard had 20 points, and 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks and Lamarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 9 rebounds—so how did they lose? Well, considering Tony Parker had a total of 2 points and 3 assists, the Spurs had nobody to initiate their offense, as they struggled down the stretch. A 4th quarter comeback wasn’t enough to take down the average Houston Rockets. The Rockets won this ugly game by a score of 88-84, hopping to 1 game over .500.

 

Clippers versus Lakers

An LA showdown to finish the night on Christmas Day! The Lakers have been an utter disappointment in Kobe Bryant’s final year, recording only 5 wins almost 2 months into the season—not such a good mark. As for the Clippers, they continue to crumble late in games, as they did in this one as well, allowing the Lakers to make a surge though it fell short due to their lack of talent. Chris Paul showed up as he usually does, getting 23 points and 6 assists on 11 of 19 shooting on the night. Blake Griffin had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists and Jamal Crawford dropped 13 in the bucket off the bench, all leading to the Clippers inevitable victory. As for the deficient Lakers, their 2nd overall pick point guard D’Angelo Russell had a game high 16 points, along with 7 boards on 7 of 13 shooting from the field off the bench. While he has not yet lived up to his #2 overall status, he can’t be labeled BUST just yet, regardless of the Lakers horrid 5-25 record. Kobe Bryant struggled again, tallying 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting. Julius Randle’s presence certainly helped them, as he was out multiple games before returning on Christmas Day. He came off the bench and had a solid 11 points and 8 rebounds, outperforming a disappointing and pathetic 7’2” Roy Hibbert, who got 8 points and 3 rebounds. The Lakers talent is pathetic, as the Clippers snatched a victory, winning by a score of 94-84.

Did you enjoy the games?

 

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, an 11th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).