Tag Archives: Kyrie Irving

Blockbuster Deal: Kyrie Irving to Boston

After a wild offseason, a blockbuster trade took place last night when Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets 2018 first round pick.

Who would’ve thought the 1st pick in the 2011 NBA Draft would be traded for the last pick in that same draft?

So, who won in the deal?

Well, the Cavs won the trade- for this season. They were able to fulfill Irving’s request for a trade and got a guy who averaged 30 points a game last season in Thomas, as well as a solid starting caliber player in Crowder.

To combine those two with LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Derrick Rose, they should see themselves in another NBA Finals.

However, they don’t yet have the pieces to beat Golden State due to IT4’s poor defense and Tristan Thompson’s lack of offensive skills. So, what happens at the end of this season when James and IT4 are free agents?

The best scenario for Cleveland is for Thomas and James to re-sign, as well as signing a marquee free agent such as Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony or someone of that caliber to pair with them.

Of course, James and IT4 would need to take pay cuts in order for the team to have the cap space. Knowing that they’re on the clock, they would most likely trade the Nets pick for a star as well, maybe packaged with Kevin Love.

On the flip side, James could very well leave next season and join Lonzo Ball, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., and Julius Randle in Los Angeles, and maybe even Paul George or Russell Westbrook.

I’d be surprised to see James in a Cavaliers uniform at the start of next season. If James left Cleveland, IT4 would most likely leave as well.

So what did the Celtics gain?

Well, they acquired a superstar in Kyrie Irving. They made the rotation tighter by getting rid of Crowder, allowing Jayson Tatum to get more touches, as well as allowing Jaylen Brown to develop as a firm rotation player behind Tatum and Gordon Hayward.

With Al Horford, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and Gerald Green rounding out the rotation, the Celtics see themselves a piece away from being able to capture a title in the next 2 to 4 years.

Yes, the Celtics lost the Nets 2018 pick, however IT4 was most likely going to leave Boston, and Crowder made the rotation too crowded (no pun intended) for Brown and Tatum to be able to thrive.

I believe the Celtics won the deal long term, because James and Thomas will likely leave Cleveland after losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals, which will leave them with a top pick and Love as their franchise cornerstones.

I get the sense that Irving will enjoy playing for the Celtics because he is the best player on the team, and has a great number 2 option in Gordon Hayward, as well as guys like Horford and Morris who do not need to dominate the ball to be effective.

While they are still a piece away, they can address it next summer due to the plethora of star free agents on the market such as Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins and others.

Not to mention, Kyrie Irving is only 25 years old, and it gives Boston a sense of direction for the future.

Who do you think won the trade?

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 Miami Hurricanes football and basketball. 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 NBA Finals are Complete… What’s Next?

A 73-9 team versus a team that hasn’t won since… ever. Who would you have bet on? Last night, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers faced off for the second straight year, but this time, things were different. Kyrie Irving was healthy, along with the less important Kevin Love. After the Cavs looked lost and they were down 3-1 in Golden State, they turned it around and won three straight games to bring a title back to Cleveland, something LeBron James promised when he was drafted out of high school in 2003. The King fulfilled his destiny, but what does this mean for his legacy? And what will last night’s loss mean for the Warriors?

LeBron James, a 3-time champion, did someone that no one—not Jordan, not Kobe, not Kareem, not Magic, not Bird—has done. He led all players on both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, as well as recorded the first NBA Finals game 7 triple double since James Worthy! LeBron James certainly proved his greatness this series, and led the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history. However, let us not say he did it by himself because he did not. Kyrie Irving, for one, was essential during this series. The physical play of Tristan Thompson definitely elevated the Cav’schances in this series as well. Role players such as J.R. Smith, Richard Jefferson (yes, he still plays, but he just retired) and even Kevin Love in game 7, completed the puzzle to defeat the defending champs and reclaim the gold. So, what does this mean for LeBron’s legacy?

LeBron James is an all-time great player, but where does he rank? Well, this is a question that many people can dissect and analyze. In my opinion, it is too hard to say at this point in his career, and unfortunately it would not be fair to start ranking him until his career ends. He is 3-4 in the finals, a 4-time league MVP with career averages of 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. His versatility is unmatched by anyone, due to his size, strength and ability, but his greatness will either continue to grow or falter as his career continues, and we just need to wait and see. Maybe he has lost a step—we have seen moments of fatigue and wear—but nonetheless, he played like a champion should in games 5-7.

Now, to the Warriors. What does their loss mean for them?

73-9 was the greatest regular season record of all time. However, there is no ring to accompany it. Stephen Curry deserved to win MVP for the regular season, and he should be viewed as the greatest shooter ever, because he is. However, regardless of a knee “injury” Curry deserves to take a majority of the blame for the series loss. In games 1-3 he was practically invisible, and while he began to heat up in the remaining games, last night he missed his last handful of shots in the final 4 minutes of the game.

However, Draymond Green deserves some blame for the series being extended but he certainly made amends for that by putting up a near triple double last night with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists. Klay Thompson came up small last night as well putting up only 14 points on 17 shot attempts—not good. It seemed to be a case of youth for the Warriors; they showed their vulnerabilities against a hungry, physical Cavaliers squad. With Green’s suspension, the momentum of the series completely shifted to LeBron and crew, as they took full advantage. Now, the Warriors of 2015-16 can be seen as the greatest regular season team of all time, which in part is what they wanted. However, the talk about being better than the Showtime Lakers or 96’ Bulls can be put to bed for now.

I think we know who’s feelings are hurt now…and I don’t think looking at those new Curry shoes will help anyone right now.

Will we see another rematch next year? If so, how will that end?

Image via solecollector.com 

About me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a rising 12th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees and the Oregon football team. 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 predictions 2015-16

After a tremendous postseason, when the Golden State Warriors reigned victorious, there were still a lot of questions to be answered. What if they played the Spurs? What if Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were all healthy? All these questions still remain. At the same time, the Warriors are getting a lot of heat from other teams that remain unconvinced that they’re the champs. A great offseason has led to some powerful additions to many teams which will make this year all the more competitive. So, here are my predictions for the upcoming NBA season:

East Standings:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Miami Heat
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Milwaukee Bucks
  5. Washington Wizards
  6. Chicago Bulls
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. Charlotte Hornets

West Standings:

  1. Houston Rockets
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. San Antonio Spurs
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder
  5. Los Angeles Clippers
  6. Dallas Mavericks
  7. Memphis Grizzlies
  8. New Orleans Pelicans

Conference Finals Matchups:

Cavaliers vs. Heat

Rockets vs. Thunder

NBA Finals Matchup:

Cavaliers vs. Thunder

Awards:
Scoring leader: Kevin Durant, Thunder

Rebounds leader: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers

Assists leader: Rajon Rondo, Kings

3pt % leader: Stephen Curry, Warriors

Blocks leader: Anthony Davis, Pelicans

Rookie: Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

Coach: Greg Popovich, Spurs

Defensive: Anthony Davis, Pelicans

Most Improved: Michael Carter-Williams, Bucks

MVP:  Anthony Davis (Pelicans)

What are your predictions for the upcoming NBA season?

Check out previous posts on Second Take with Spencer A here

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).

NBA Finals Recap

 

What a series we just witnessed! The series we saw was quite entertaining, however the offensive talent level was much lower than in years past. Nonetheless, the Golden State Warriors are the new NBA Champions!

Although LeBron James was phenomenal in this series, averaging an historic 36 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists (approximately), he did not have the appropriate pieces around him to get the job done. Kevin Love going down in round one, and Kyrie Irving going down in game one hurt the Cavs much on the offensive, however not so much on the defensive. This was a different LeBron than we have seen before. His usage rate went through the roof as he was carrying this minimally talented team consisting of Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova. The fact that Lebron was able to win two games was a miracle in and of itself considering the players who surrounded him. Not to throw shade at Mozgov or Thompson because they are legitimate NBA starters, but J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova are reserves- and they certainly played like it. As we saw in game six, Lebron ran out of gas and gave up because he knew he couldn’t carry these bums past the sharpshooting Warriors.

It certainly didn’t help the injury-ridden Cavaliers that the MVP Steph Curry was on the other side of the ball. The play of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes was inconsistent. However, Andre Iguodala was the unsung hero of this series, at least until he was awarded finals MVP. Iggy is clearly the third best player on the Warriors besides the splash bros. He won the MVP not just because of what he did offensively, but because of his immaculate performance on the best player in the world. Lebron’s production dramatically changed when Iggy was covering him. He shot 38% while the Cavs were a -55 when he was on the court. When Iggy was off the court, the Cavs were a +30 while Lebron shot 44%. When Steve Kerr made the adjustment to put Iggy into the starting lineup, David Blatt left big man Mozgov in the game, daring Iggy to shoot from the perimeter- and he did so. He averaged a pedestrian 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists a game, but his impact was far more than pedestrian, and his consistency and indirect and direct impact allowed the Warriors to capture the title. Steph Curry was very good, but choked in game two and did not play well in game three until the 4th quarter, so this vote was based on consistent dominance, something only Iggy showed.

What does this mean for Lebron’s legacy? Well, if you scratch the surface, it looks like another finals loss for the King. But if you actually take the time to look at his stats, you’ll realize he had no help and willed his team to two games versus the best team in basketball- pretty unheard of. This series does not really propel him upward on the “top 10 players of all time” list, however it certainly does not drop him down. He played a great series and ran out of mental and physical gas against this deep, cohesive Warriors attack. Lebron will be back to the finals, maybe even against Golden State again next year- who knows?

Image via theguardian.com 

About Me:  I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th 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).

NBA Playoff Predictions

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In a recent blog post, I made predictions about who I thought would win each series in the NBA. I was correct when it came to the Warriors, the Hawks, the Cavaliers, the Bulls, and the Grizzlies. But I was wrong to pick against the Clippers, the Rockets, and the Wizards.

After a great first round, the action will ramp up even more. So will the pressure. With only one game seven this time instead of many game sevens last year, there were three sweeps, one of which was between a 4 seed and a 5 seed. Much has happened, and now I’m going to tell you who I think will take it all.

Semi-Finals

Warriors vs. Grizzles

This series will be a good one. Memphis likes to slow things down, while Golden State likes a fast pace. However, Mike Conley’s injury hurts the Grizzles, and will hurt them moving forward. The Warriors have too much depth for the Grizzles, and while this series will be entertaining, it will be lopsided.

Warriors in 6

Cavaliers vs. Bulls

Kevin Love is out for the remainder of the playoffs. While it will hurt the Cavaliers’ title chances, it should not dramatically affect this series. While Chicago is versatile at the power forward position, Tristan Thompson will hold his own in this series. Although everyone will likely pick Chicago because Derrick Rose is healthy, the Cavs do still have Lebron and Kyrie, and until one of them goes down, nobody in the East will beat them.

Cavaliers in 6

Rockets vs. Clippers

Although the Rockets finished the injury-ridden Mavericks quickly, and the Spurs and Clippers went to seven games, the Clippers will defeat the Rockets. They are a better all around team. And while no individual can stop MVP candidate James Harden, the Clips have the pieces in order to take down the Rockets. DeAndre Jordan will help neutralize Dwight Howard. This series will go the distance, but Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will be too much for the young Rockets.

Clippers in 7

Hawks vs. Wizards

John Wall and the Wizards resurrected themselves in a sweep vs. the favorite Raptors. The Wizards will continue to ride the wave and will be too much for the Hawks to handle.

Wizards in 5

Conference Finals

Cavaliers vs. Wizards

The Cavaliers will not lose the East, Lebron and co. will take John Wall and the speedy Wizards down.

Cavaliers in 6

Warriors vs. Clippers

The MVP candidate Steph Curry will show the Clippers all he’s got, and will propel his team to victory. He has had his way with CP3 this year, having big nights against one of the league’s toughest defenders. Klay Thompson and the sharp shooting Warriors will be too much for the hot Clippers and will shoot their way into the NBA Finals. It will be a fantastic series, and it will go down to the wire.

Warriors in 7

NBA Finals

Cavaliers vs. Warriors

While Lebron James and Kyrie Irving are great, they will truly miss Kevin Love’s absence, and it will lead to their demise. It will be a great series, but MVP candidate Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, along with the Warriors 10-man rotation will be too much for the Love-less Cavs. Lebron will do all he can, but in the end it will not be enough. However, if Lebron does prevail, it will not surprise me at all.

Warriors in 7: Stephen Curry NBA Finals MVP

About me: I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th 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).

NBA Preview

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.47.54 PM

This off-season was full of excitement. With Lebron James returning home to Cleveland to join Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in exchange for number one pick Andrew Wiggins, Lance Stephenson joining the Hornets, Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler joining the Mavericks, Loul Deng joining Wade and Bosh in Miami, Paul George sidelined for the season with a broken leg, Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant also out for six to eight weeks with injuries, and the Knicks resigning Carmelo Anthony and adding a new head coach, Derek Fisher, are all big and crucial moves that will impact the NBA season.

Here are my predictions:

Eastern Conference Playoff Standings:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (58-22)
  2. Chicago Bulls (56-24)
  3. Miami Heat (53-29)
  4. Washington Wizards (51-31)
  5. Charlotte Hornets (50-32)
  6. New York Knicks (47-35)
  7. Toronto Raptors (44-38)
  8. Boston Celtics (41-41)

Western Conference Playoff Standings:

  1. San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
  2. Los Angeles Clippers (53-29)
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder (53-29)
  4. Dallas Mavericks (51-31)
  5. Golden State Warriors (50-32)
  6. Portland Trail Blazers (47-35)
  7. Houston Rockets (46-36)
  8. Los Angeles Lakers (45-37)

NBA MVP: Blake Griffin; Projected Stats: 24 PPG, 12 RPG, 5 APG, 2 BPG, 1 SPG , 55% FG, 36% 3pt FG

With the additions to the Cavaliers, Lebron James will be dominant. However, he will share dominance with Kyrie Irving. As for reigning MVP Kevin Durant, he will miss the first six to eight weeks of the season and it will take him a while to get back into the flow. I predict Blake Griffin will win MVP since he has shown major improvements in the last three seasons and has taken his game to another level, adding an effective three-point shot to his loaded arsenal.

Eastern Conference Finals: Cavaliers over Bulls in 7

Western Conference Finals: Spurs over Warriors in 6

NBA Finals: Spurs over Cavaliers in 6

NBA Finals MVP: Tim Duncan

The old, boring and slow San Antonio Spurs will find a way to yet again reach the NBA Finals for a third straight year. They share the ball like nobody else and have fantastic team chemistry. The Spurs cannot be stopped, and will repeat as NBA Champions.

What are your predictions for this upcoming NBA season?

About Me:

I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th 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).