Tag Archives: MVP

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).

Super Bowl weekend: And the winners are…

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It surely has been a great season in the NFL. The playoffs were very exciting, and now we wait to see a Super Bowl champion crowned on Sunday. As we look forward to the Patriots vs. Seahawks game, let’s not forget the many standout performances during the regular season. To celebrate the many players who showcased their skills and talent, here are my picks to win this year’s NFL awards:

MVP: RB, DeMarco Murray (Cowboys)

The Cowboys have gone 8-8 in the last few seasons, until this one, where the running back broke loose, helping lead the Cowboys to 12 wins, while rushing for 1845 yards and 13 touchdowns, which led the league. The Cowboys much improved offensive line contributed greatly to those big numbers, but with his progress and production, Murray was the real reason the Cowboys thrived this season. Tony Romo was able to create big plays, only with the help of the rushing attack. As for Aaron Rodgers, he played phenomenally well, however he had a few blunders on the road and was too close in numbers to Romo, which is why DeMarco Murray deserves the MVP award.

Offensive Player of the Year: QB, Aaron Rodgers (Packers)

The superstar quarterback threw for 4831 yards, along with 38 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. As the Packers struggled in the beginning of the season, Rodgers continued to find ways to lead his team to victory, and to go undefeated at home. Another fantastic season for Rodgers, who in my opinion should win the Offensive Player of the Year award.

Defensive Player of the Year: DE, JJ Watt (Texans)

Without a doubt, this was the best season of this young man’s career, with many more to come after he signed a mega contract with the Texans for over $100 million. With 20.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 5 touchdowns (3 offensive), he proved to be the best defensive player in the NFL by a long shot. Unfortunately, Watt doesn’t play offense, although he had three touchdowns, and he can’t play quarterback either which is why the Texans missed the playoffs. Easy!

Coach of the Year: HC, Bruce Arians (Cardinals)

In his second year as head coach for the Cardinals, Arians led the team to an astounding 9-1 record, leading the NFC West. Carson Palmer tore his ACL and was marked out for the season, which certainly contributed to the 11-5 record. However, the Cardinals were disciplined on defense. Injuries to their two top quarterbacks and starting running back really hurt them moving forward, but still, Arians deserves a lot of credit for the team’s success.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: WR, Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants)

The 1st round pick out of LSU was an assassin on the receiving end of the ball this season, recording 91 receptions, 1305 yards and 12 touchdowns—oh yeah, in only 12 games played. As he shattered many Giants’ records, he made the season watchable, including having the catch of the year against the Giants archrival Cowboys where he caught the ball with three fingers.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: DT, Aaron Donald (Rams)

Although the Rams did not make the playoffs, this 1st round defensive tackle out of Pittsburgh solidified the Rams defensive line and complemented star defensive end Robert Quinn. With 9 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, he slightly outplayed runner up C.J. Mosley, the Ravens rookie linebacker from Alabama.

Comeback Player of the Year: TE, Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)

After undergoing major surgeries and being in and out of the lineup last year and early this year, Gronkowski has proven that he is still the league’s best tight end. With 82 catches, 1124 yards and 12 touchdowns, he has been the difference maker and has helped the Patriots become the team they are today.

Here are a few made-up awards that I believe these respective players would deserve.

Honorable mentions

WR, Antonio Brown (Steelers)

LB, Justin Houston (Chiefs)

QB, Tony Romo (Cowboys)

Best Free Agent Signings

CB, Darelle Revis (Patriots)

WR, Golden Tate (Lions)

WR, Steve Smith (Ravens)

 

Biggest Disappointments

LB, Jadeveon Clowney (Texans)

QB, Robert Griffin III (Redskins)

RB, Trent Richardson (Colts)

  

What’s your opinion?

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

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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).