History of Game 7’s

Interesting game 7 numbers from Ben Golliver of Si.com:

There are a million factoids to consider when it comes to sizing up where the series stands now. Here are a few worth considering…

• Only nine of the 232 teams that have trailed a series 3-1, as the Warriors did, have gone on to win in seven games.
•  Teams that have led 3-1 in a series, as the Thunder did, are 7-7 (.500) when they play Game 7 on the road.
•  Home teams are 100-24 (.806) overall in Game 7s dating back to 1948. During the three-point era, home teams are 65-16 (.802) in Game 7s.
•  The Warriors are 17-3 (.850) at home during the playoffs under Kerr. Golden State is also 47-3 (.940) at home during the 2015-16 season and 2016 playoffs combined, although one of those three losses came to Oklahoma City in Game 1.
•  The Thunder are 5-3 on the road during the 2016 playoffs under Donovan, with a win over the Warriors, two wins over the Spurs, and two wins over the Mavericks.

I’d Like to Double Down on the Warriors!

Should Have Doubled Down on Your Warrior StockEthan Sherwood Strauss from ESPN:

With an incredible 108-101 comeback victory on the road Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors clawed their way out of the grave to force a Game 7. It was a game the Oklahoma City Thunder controlled until the Warriors slowly, relentlessly turned what looked like an inexorable tide. It was probably the best offensive performance of Klay Thompson’s life, maybe the best defensive performance of Andre Iguodala’s life, capped by a dagger from one Stephen Curry.

Alert to those who sold their Warrior stock. There is a game 7 and it seems the Warriors have found and drained their magic elixir.  It won them 73 games and will get them back to the NBA Finals.

There were 3 things that happened in this game that were significant:

Frist, I completely agree with Charles Barkley, that the Thunder played hero basketball and that is why they lost.  Between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook they missed 38 shots, the rest of the team only took 32.

Second, Klay Thompson single handedly saved the Warriors season by going 11-18 from behind the arc and scoring 41 points.  He kept the Warriors close and carried Steph until he was awoken from his slumber.

Third, Steph Curry found his swagger back in the 4th and the Thunder aren’t coming back.  This is eerily familiar with last year when Steph was out of sorts for the beginning of the Cavs/Warriors NBA Finals. Curry finally found his groove in the 4th quarter of game 3 and he never looked back. Look for him to do the same.

The only reason this game was close was because of all the second chance points by the Thunder. If momentum is a thing, the Thunder are done. If it isn’t, they are done.

Watching the Warriors come from behind and seeing Thompson go off is the reason why I enjoy this Warriors team so much. What a great series and hope to win some more money off of Curry and company come Monday.

Batman Vs. Superman

When is good a disappointment? When DC’s greatest heroes clash without a good understanding of why. The reason why The Dark Knight would want to fight against the Red Caped Moralist is muddled and confusing. The Dark Knight had the three greatest superhero movies ever and the Superman franchise seemed to have rebounded from mediocrity. Instead a trajectory that was headed to where the Avengers had taken the Marvel movies, we were left wanting more. With a great trailer we hoped for potential greatness, but when the credits rolled we were left with an overhyped title, underdeveloped plot, and a disappointing movie.

The expectation of a movie titled Batman vs. Superman we would expect to see an important problem with two different reasonable solutions where the two Superhero’s would passionately disagree on the best way to resolve the problem, which would lead to a historic fight of Epic proportions. The important problem didn’t seem that important and the solutions didn’t seem that reasonable.

The movie’s plot didn’t form naturally, but seemed forced taking leaps from scene to scene. If the movie was a painting, it would look more like a connect the dots picture as opposed to a breathtaking work of art. The outline of what they wanted to happen was there, but the path didn’t flow. The heroes’ crimes didn’t merit the outrage towards one another. The puppeteer fueling the feud, Lex Luther, planned to pit the two against one another, but it was only plausible because the script said so. The plot didn’t convince me that these two superheroes needed to fight each other, nor had good reason to fight one another.

The most enjoyable part of the movie was the actual fight.  I was fearful that they would dumb down Superman’s powers to fight Batman, I didn’t feel they did.  Superman, obviously faster, quicker, stronger when at full strength dominated, but Batman having the tactical advantage when he was able to use Kryptonite. When Batman puts Superman through the roof you get the sense that Superman underestimates his foe. Why shouldn’t he? Batman is a mere mortal and Superman is the epitome of Super. Superman’s lack of respect for Batman is evidenced when he prevents Batman from fighting crime in Gotham. These scenes were the very best parts of the movie.

When down the road I am looking in Netflix for a superhero movie to watch, I will probably end up choosing one of the Christian Bale Batman’s or a Marvel movie. This is a disappointment, because if Christopher Nolan had made this movie I am sure that I would have bought this movie and watched it annually.

Here are some critics opinions.

Richard Roper from the Chicago Sun Times, writes:

Here’s what rocks. We all know Batman, even with all his fighting skills and his cool toys and his cunning, would be no match one-on-one against Superman. “Dawn of Justice” figures out a way to level the playing field and then some.

David Edelstein from vulture.com says:

But he never gets to the heart of that all-important civil liberties question, not because the question is unresolvable but because there can be no true endings in this superhero universe. The problem is that you can’t build a coherent myth out of fragments. You can only hope that the audience will be too jolted — and too turned on by the prospect of more jolts — to care.

Plenty are Selling Their Warrior Stock

The Warriors, got, well, ‘warriored’. Generally it is the Warriors blowing out teams and leaving them exasperated looking for answers. Sunday the Warriors took their turn from the wooden spoon.  Their was plenty of blame for everyone.  Draymond Green appeared to have been possessed with Kendrick Perkins. He was 1 for 9 from the floor. Curry and Thompson shot poorly and their once stellar defense was shoddy at best allowing 133 points. Durant played like a man among boys on both ends and the Warriors were ran out of the building. Most reactions are giving up on the Warrriors.

Good article from Chris Mannix writing for the Vertical:

“Where was the Warriors’ confidence? Gone, beaten from them by a relentless performance from Kevin Durant, the one-time MVP, who shook off two subpar games to deliver a 33-point, eight-rebound gem. The accolades have come fast for Curry, deservedly, yet here was Durant, firing in midrange jump shots, steamrolling down the lane for dunks, reminding everyone that any list of the world’s best scorers includes him – that the war he once waged with LeBron James for the NBA’s most dominant player was ongoing.

Where was the Warriors’ swagger? Hijacked, first by Russell Westbrook, who, for the second time this series, has outdueled Curry, the reigning MVP.”

At fivethirtyeight.com:

“We’ve hardly ever seen this incarnation of the Warriors destroyed so thoroughly, and never in a game that meant so much.

“Putting aside why it happened — yes, the Warriors had one of their worst (unluckiest?) shot-making nights of the season, but they also played some of their most porous defense of the year and looked out of sorts for long stretches of the game — Golden State’s Game 3 drubbing has left the team in trouble.”

Fivethirtyeight’s NBA Playoff predictions seem to be down on the Warriors chances and the Thunder are now 64% favorites to make the NBA Finals. According to ESPN’s BPI The Thunder are 60% favorites.

Dieter Kurtenbach for Fox Sports isn’t convinced that the Warriors are cooked:

“It was the kind of lopsided victory from which teams don’t usually come back. It’s the kind of knockdown that keeps teams on the mat. To double-down on the boxing metaphors, the Thunder’s Game 3 win was a punishing haymaker straight to the jaw.

The Warriors were floored Sunday —€” there’s no questioning that, in a 28-point loss where the margin was as large as 41 in the second half —€” and it’s put them in a must-win scenario ahead of Game 4. But it’s a bad idea to presume the Western Conference Finals is over and that the Thunder will be heading to the NBA Finals.

Write them off if you want, but remember: the Warriors are historically good, and a single game is a pretty small sample size.

And for all of the narrative out there, Sunday’s Game 3 win for the Thunder was just that, a Game 3 win. Impressive as it was, it only counts as one.”

I am expecting a series win from the Warriors and hope to make my money back from last nights loss.

Reactions on Knicks Coaching Hire, Jeff Hornacek

WFAN Sports Radio’s Mike Francesca on Jeff Hornacek’s hire:

“Can I sit here and rail against it like it is an absolutely terrible move? No,” Francesa said on his WFAN show Thursday. “Do I sit here and say that it’s a stroke of genius and what a great step for the franchise? I don’t get that either.

“When I think of Hornacek, I think of the player. Loved him as a player. Clutch, tough. Loved everything about him as a player. I mean, he was the kind of player who was underrated, who you could just always rely on. Absolutely loved him as a player.”

“As a coach, you know, he hasn’t been around that long. …Can I tell you about what I think about the way Hornacek decides to lead men and coach basketball and do things and things about his team? You know what, how many times did any of us really pay attention to that team in the short amount of time he was the head coach? Does that mean he’s not a good coach? No.”

Chris Mannix of the Vertical wrote:

“Jackson gets a good coach here, and the next step will be to get out of his way. No one questions Jackson’s coaching brilliance – his 11 rings qualifies him as arguably the greatest coach of all time. He should be a resource for Hornacek, but only when Hornacek wants to tap into it. It will be hard enough for Hornacek to placate Anthony while transitioning the team to Porzingis, all while trying to satisfy a media and fan base expecting playoff-level results. He doesn’t need unsolicited input from his boss on spacing while he’s doing it.

The Knicks made a savvy move in grabbing Hornacek, and Jackson must turn his focus to the other equally important duties of his job.”

Steve Popper from northjersey.com isn’t convinced Hornacek will be a good hire:

“If you could be sold on someone from outside of your very limited circle of basketball friends, why not talk to more of the candidates? While he went outside his comfort zone, Jackson brought in a coach who, no matter how solid a guy he is, if we live by the old Bill Parcell’s line — “You are what your record says you are” — has been a sub-.500 coach. Great first year, fought through tough circumstances in the second year and imploded with, well, a Knicks-like roster this season.

…Or is Hornacek a man who coached an awkwardly constructed roster in Phoenix to the greatest heights they could have reached? And can he do that with the Knicks, a roster that is built to play a 1990’s game in a world where the game has moved on to a small-ball, fast-paced style?”

Hornacek played here in Utah and was instrumental in the Jazz getting over the hump into the Finals, but not enough to beat Michael Jordan. His reputation here is outstanding and we were a little upset when Phoenix hired him before we fired Tyrone Corbin. The only doubts that I have is how quickly he lost the team after overachieving his first year in Phoenix.  He wasn’t a superstar, but he was a Steve Kerr type.  Smart, good character guy, and worked hard.  The 3rd best option on a great team.  He is they type of player seem to make a good coaches, not a Superstar, but someone that can understand and relate to the others on the team.  I side with the crowd calling it a good hire.   Either way, many Knick fans are just glad that it isn’t Rambis.

Thunder’s Win Draws Interest

Westbrook should be the new mascot for Energizer as his motor doesn’t stop. He played an excellent second half and led his team over the Warriors, stunning many in the process. The Thunder are as legitimate contenders now. Just ask Nate Silver.

According to Fivethirtyeight.com their NBA final predictions the Thunder They have a 56% chance of making the finals, more than the Warriors, and a 36% chance of winning the finals, which is the highest percentage (Warriors have a 35%) when a week ago they had a 10% chance of making the finals and a 6% chance of winning the title.

Vegas hasn’t bailed on the Warriors, thebiglead.com reported from Jeff Sherman’s twitter account:

NBA Champ updated
Warriors 6/5
Cavaliers 3/2
Thunder 3/1
Raptors 60/1

After scouring the internet yesterday, I wasn’t able to find an article that spelled doom for the Warriors. Mostly people are excited for a competitive 6 or 7 game series now.

Zach Lowe’s article does a great job, as usual, from ESPN breaking down game 1 and feels the Key terms of engagement for the series are set:

“The Thunder will not win this series playing small ball”
“Warriors Coach Steve Kerr will play the Death Lineup–Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes, with Green at center…”
“Donovan is rightfully reluctant to play the Adams-Kanter combination against the Death Lineup…”
“The Thunder will switch almost everything away from the ball.”

Lowe states the reasons why the Thunder won this game:

“The Thunder mostly played a smart, hyper-aware brand of defense that eluded them for much of the season.”

The Thunder players get bored during the season while they stand and watch Durant and Westbrook, but for the playoffs they are able to keep focused for a whole game. Congratulations Thunder players on being professional, maybe they promised them a Capri-Sun and a Little Debbie after the game. Whatever it is, Adams has stepped up his game and the Thunder have found a way to finish out close games, which has eluded them all season long. They are in this series after a great game 1 win.

Let’s not overreact over a game one, if the Thunder/Spurs series taught us anything, it is that 1 game is only one game. The winningest team in NBA regular season history is capable of rattling off four wins.  I expect the Warriors to feed Curry a more and win still win, but now there is a higher level of uncertainty and excitement. Should be a fun ride.

Fox’s Colin Cowherd’s Hot Take

Colin Cowherd’s Hot Take

Jim Rome on his radio show:

“Hot Take…, they’re bad for the NBA and he’s just not that good. You know what a hot take is? A hot take is finding something that is almost almost universally accepted or thought of as good and running the other way. Or, or, a hot take is finding something that is universally hated and treated with disdain and then putting yourself out there and saying, “Best thing ever!” Oh, no, that is great, that’s great, hot take, I will give you a hot take, OJ Simpson, good dude, good dude, just a good dude with a bad rap, hot take. I will give you another hot take, slamming your hand in a car door, it’s a good time. Makes you feel alive bro. Brother you are not alive until you have slammed your hand in your car door. Good times. There’s a hot take. Let me give you another hot take. A hot take like, Stephen Curry is not that good. That’s a hot take…stop hot taking it. I’ll give you a hot take, Toronto-Miami is the best series ever. There is your hot take.”

Steph Curry was just announced as the MVP of the NBA 2015-16 season. The big difference between this year and other years is that this is the first year that the MVP was unanimous. Before the announcement came, Russillo & Kanell on their radio show was hoping that a voter wouldn’t spoil it, when Curry is so obvious. There always is a contrarian and votes for a Penny Hardaway, instead of a Michael Jordan. Even the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, wasn’t a unanimous hall of fame candidate.

The fact that 131 basketball media members were able to agree, without one of them dissenting and voting for LeBron James or Kwahi Leonard was a relief. In the “hot take” sports world, we knew someone would take that position, this time it was Colin Cowherd.

Colin Cowherd’s Case

“I told you when Chris Paul got hurt the Clippers will not win another game. Season is over. Chris Paul is the heart and soul of the LA Clippers. To me the two most valuable players are LeBron 1 and Chris Paul. Think about this Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time. The Bulls went from 57 wins to 55 after he left. LeBron in Cleveland they won 61 games he leaves they win 19, then 21, then 24, then low 30’s, he comes back mid 50’s. That is valuable. This league doesn’t have, this league has never had a single player as valuable as LeBron James. Magic Johnson as great as he was, no question that he mattered, but the Lakers always get stars at the time Lakers they were still the mos glamorous franchise in the league, they would have won a lot of games and did before he got there. To me Magic is the 2nd best player that has ever played in the league, so to me Steph Curry is not the MVP in the league he may be among many things… If you take LeBron out of the Cavs I am not sure they would be favored in a game the rest of the year…College basketball has this right…they have player of the year. I would vote Steph Curry player of the year he has been the most talked about the most exhilarating and he really is changing the game with 3 pointers, that is all that we have now, look at Cleveland that is all they do is shoot 3 pointers. If you want to call it player of the year I will give it to Steph, but Most Valuable? Nope, he is not the most valuable player in the league.”

Colin’s appeals to word valuable, he says it should mean the player whose teammates need him the most. Sure the Warriors are deep so they miss any single individual less then teams with a roster of mediocrity. For example, LeBron last year during the playoffs is more valuable then the LeBron this year in the playoffs, for the mere fact that they have Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving healthy, according to the logic, LeBron is less valuable than last year. The MVP is supposed to go to the best player, not the best player with the worst team. The track record of the award has proved this for the entire history.

Here are two other National Radio guys, Cowherd’s peers, on him (essentially) who want to take an opinion that Steph Curry, doesn’t deserve the MVP.

Jim Rome’s Take:

“It is the epitome of the “Hot Take” It’s not that good Rome, overhyped and overrated hey and while we are at it they are really bad for the NBA that is a bad thing for the NBA nobody wants to see a team of incredibly skilled guys that play extremely well together and are unselfish and maybe have the best chemistry together that you are ever going to see and on top of that they are unbelievable guys…

…I think I can see the other side of almost anything.. I can pick either side of any argument and argue it on just about anything I don’t see the other side of this I don’t see the other side of Golden State is awesome, I don’t see the other side of Steph Curry is a brilliant player. I can’t make the argument the other way I can sit here and say, “You know what, I can see why you don’t like that guy, or I can see where maybe you think that guy is not that great or I can see why you’re not down with them or I can see why you think Golden state isn’ one of the best ever. I can’t see the other side of that I can’t make that other argument…and I can see the other side of almost everything but, not the other side of Golden State is a great team, I don’t see that, yet you hot takers keep coming in with it.”

Rome is basically calling Cowherd “Hot Take Guy”.

Ryan Russillo from ESPN Russillo and Kanell gave his opinion on Cowherd’s Hot Take:

“I get the, Hey, let me do something and people will have me on, but i still don’t understand what the real value of that is. You can play in the moment, “Well, Hey look I, uh 17 radio requests, I can tell you what, It doesn’t… you don’t get to cash those in for something, you don’t get a vacation property out of it. Your company doesn’t, go, “Hey, you know, you get a raise.” So even though we always do, “Hey man it was worth it look at all the attention you got”, tell me where that equates to real value later on in that persons career, you actually just become known as the guy that voted for somebody else”

The problem that I had is when the next day he doubled down and explained the reason his opinion was dissenting is because controversy makes you a big star. In order to stand out in a fragmented society, he needed to be controversial like Bryce Harper, The Kardashians, LeBron, and others. I want to hear opinions that are opinions because of how you believe, not because you want to be controversial. Here are the quotes that led me to believe that Colin went this way to be controversial.

“I am going to Double Down on ‘Steph Curry is not the MVP’ and this is how I am going to do it.”

“I don’t care what anyone says about Skip Bayless, he moves the needle, he is coming over here.”

“Steph is just unbelievably gifted offensively, another component of this is that LeBron James is not beloved. Steph Curry is non-threatening so people love Steph Curry, he is boyish, fun, cute, adorable, nobody hates Steph Curry, LeBron is more polarizing. “

“Kirt Herbstreit said to me once, “How do you deal with all the hate mail”, you don’t get much of it Kirk, I said secondly, who cares. Like, if you look at America, and say who are the biggest stars in America, Fox News, love and hate, Trump, Lebron, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Bryce Harper, Bill O’Reilly, Simon Cowell, the Kardashians, if you want to break through in a fragmented society some of the people that are going to consume you won’t like you and remember we are all, if you think about what you hate in America it is fear based, hate comes from fear. You fear what you can’t be, you fear what you can’t stop, you fear what you get what you can’t have, it is all psychology you can look it up. So to break through in society, our Bryce Harper is the most loved and hated. I had dinner last night with somebody that has worked at Fox News for 20 years, he said Bill O’Reilly gets a 1000x’s more negative and positive reactions, if you are going to break through you’re going to be polarizing.”

I completely agree with Rome and Russillo. Cowherd seems to be wanting the attention for going the opposite way and to create a little noise. Why be like everyone else? Think differently. Well, being right is more important that being different and if there was a compelling case that most people have missed the boat on, I am all ears. But, there isn’t. Jason Whitlock filled in for Colin the day after Kobe scored 60 and decided to take the day and rip Kobe all day. Colin came in the next day and defended Whitlock saying about how many podcasts were downloaded. Sure, I agree that controversy gets clicks, but it seems to be short term thinking, because you may get the spotlight, but it loses you respect.

Cowherd has enough goodwill in the tank and credibility to outlast any number of controversial opinions. The reason is because he has worked hard and has many smart opinions and is entertaining to listen to. He has earned this. A “Hot Take” for the sake of a hot take isn’t going to make me stop listening to him, but it is a withdrawal out of his bank account of respect as opposed to a deposit.

* Additional quotes supporting that Cowherd wants to be controversial:

“Steph is loved at this point in his career.”

“Remember what really got people upset when LeBron and Dwayne Wade and Bosh had their press conference saying they were going to win 7 championships. Nash won the MVP 2x’s even though he wasn’t the most talented guy, it was because without Nash the Suns were terrible. Golden State set an NBA record 3 point shooting record when Curry was hurt and that is what he does better than everyone else. Curry has 8 other guys that are great and needed less than LeBron. You will see most of Curry’s impact in 10 years when all the 9 year old boys who watch Curry and want to be able to shoot like him. Everyone now shoots three.”

“The two highest paid athletes in America are Floyd Meriweather and Lebron James. I would argue that American Tennis could use a villain. I could argue that Nascar could use a villain, most sports that are struggling don’t have a villain. College Football is great, Alabama is a villain, ND is a villain, USC is a villain. NFL has all sorts of villains, the Patriots, Cowboys, Cam Newton, Tom Brady villains. The NBA has one and LeBron is it. Lebron is the only villain in the NBA. The moment he went back to Cleveland you kind of lost the villain. The NBA was better when LeBron was in Miami,, the city loved him and the nation hated him. Curry got the MVP I don’t think he is top two MVP. “

“We love points. Wilt was an underachiever, Bill Russell was more consistent and won 11. Kobe Bryant only won 68% of games when he scored 40 or more. They won 76% with Shaq. When players go off they don’t win as much. Golden State is more vinable than anyone in the NBA. LeBron, Chris Paul aren’t as vinable as Westbrook, Griffin, and Steph. We get seduced by moments, points and vines. Draymont is the true best player in the series and is having an all time great series. Draymont is always ready to play. All we want to talk about is Stephs 17 point overtime.”

“We fell in love with Marbury, he won only 44% of his games. JJ Watt is great, but not as valuable. Andy Dalton has more of an effect than him. If you take Steph Curry off the Warriors and they are the 2nd best team in the East. Cavs wouldn’t even be a playoff team in the West. Curry’s shooting, ball handling, iq, feet. We fell in love with Derrick Rose as he won MVP and LeBron shut Rose down in the Heat/Bulls series. LeBron outplayed Steph in the finals last year. Steph is easy to love. He is the apple stock, LeBron is the freight train,, or exxon mobile. Kardashian is a bigger star than Jeremy Irons. LeBron will be known as the best and most important player for 15 years. Steph is amazing, most exciting player, LeBron is the MVP of the league.”

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