NBA Awards 2017-18

On Wednesday evening, the 2017-18 NBA regular season came to an end. And what a season it was. This campaign was riddled with injuries, a new concept to the All-Star game, and an overtime game 82 which went into overtime and gave us the 8 seeded Timberwolves. With the season now wrapped up, it is time to give out some awards.

Most Valuable Player: James Harden

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The Beard was on a mission this year after finishing  second to former teammate Russell Westbrook in the MVP race last season. Even with all the flopping and grabbing on defense, Harden balled out and with the help of point guard Chris Paul, the Rockets clinched the number one seed in the Western Conference. Harden finished the season averaging 30.4\5.4\8.8, the first time in his career eclipsing the 30 points per game clip.

While Harden seemed to have the award locked up by the All-Star game, there were some late pushes by other deserving candidates. Obviously what LeBron James did cannot go unnoticed. In his 15th season in the Association, The King did some of his best work. LeBron dealt with IT and then sent his ass out West, and had to adjust playing with four new players on the court at the same time. Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard deserve some love as well. Davis put the Pelicans on his back after DeMarcus Cousins went down for the year. Now the Pelicans and Blazers are facing off against each other in the first round.

Most Improved Players: Victor Oladipo

With the departure of Paul George, this award was pretty much a given. Oldaipo came in and put his name on the map leading the Pacers to the playoffs. Oladpio has finally developed into the two way player many NBA scouts from him during his time at Indiana. With the addition of Oldaipo, Indiana now has a strong young nucleus including Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis Oladpio. The one is a no brainer.

Rookie of The Year: Donovan Mitchell

Ya I said it. Donovan mother fucking Mitchell. This race will be as close as the MVP race between Harden and LeBron. Why Mitchell over second year player Ben Simmons? Mitchell is the Jazz leading scorer and led this team to the playoffs with a roster including Joe Ingles, Rudy Gobert, and Ricky Rubio. There was no Gordon Hayward, and Rodney Hood was dealt at the trade deadline. Mitchell averaged 20.5/3.7/3.7. Sure the assists and rebounds do not compare to those of Simmons, but look at the talent around Simmons. Mitchell has every aspect of the game, he can drive, dish, and oh yes, he can shoot.

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert

“The French Rejection” or “The Stifle Tower” has been the glue that has held this jazz team together, and is the main reason why the Jazz have the second best defensive rating  in the league. Rudy finished the regular season averaging 2.3 blocks per game . The big man missed some time during the regular season, and why he was out, the Jazz struggled. With his return, and the Donovan Mitchell’s offensive game, the Jazz made their way to the 5th seed out west. So much for battling for a lottery pick. While Mitchell receives most of the headlines for the Jazz success, don’t forget about Gobert.

Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens

celtics

This award could have easily gone to Quinn Snyder, but what Brad Stevens did this season is nothing short of amazing. To lose one of their two superstars in Gordon Hayward on opening night, most teams would have struggled the rest of the 81 games. Instead Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown stepped up their game in a way most people could not see. They developed faster than they needed to and with the assistance of Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and Marcus Smart, the Celtics were battling for the number 1 seed in the East all season long. Stevens did it at Butler and he is doing it again in Boston. Stevens gets the best out of his players day in and day out. Watch out next year when both Kyrie and Gordon are back.

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Fail Of The Week

Eric Hosmer was paid $144 million dollars over the summer when he signed with the San Diego Padres. The Padres are not expected to be contenders this season, and they will not be after plays like this.

Sheesh. That is bad. Poor Robbie Erlin picks up the loss because Hosmer doesn’t know how to catch a pop up. Maybe Hosmer should throw him a mil since Erlin only makes $516,400 this year.

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Leonard Hamilton Should Be Fired ASAP

Leonard Hamilton must have never been involved in a big game where his team could advance to the Final Four. Down by 4 with 13 seconds left, the Seminoles let Michigan run out the clock and advance to next weekends Final Four in San Antonio. 13 seconds and down by four should have lasted 3 more minutes, but instead it only lasted 13 seconds. Do you not want to advance or do you want to go home? Apparently Leonard and his squad wanted to go home.

Leonard also must not have done his homework as the Wolverines are ranked 326 in Division I basketball when it comes to free throw shooting percentage. Michigan was 16 of 24 from the line on Saturday night.

Mich

While a majority of this should be thrown in the direction of Hamilton, his assistant coaches and players should be blamed as well. Did they not know the score of the game, or how much time was left on the clock. 13 seconds in basketball can be a lifetime with fouls and timeouts.

Maybe Florida State should hire Seth Greenberg. Some valid points made by the former coach, saving the best for last, mentioning the Virginia comeback against Louisville at the buzzer. You just never know, especially in college basketball.

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Bush League Or What?

Are you charging the mound here?

A post shared by Starting Nine (@starting9) on

Wow, wow, wow. Looks like some high school action, and some pure bull shit by the pitcher. The hitter clearly called time before the pitcher started his motion but the ump did not grant it. Luckily for the hitter, it looks like the pitch came in at 65mph. The ump looks to old to realize what was going on, as he should have immediately tossed the pitcher. Props to the hitter for keeping his cool, but like I mentioned earlier, 65mph to the helmet probably doesn’t hurt that bad. Now if it was 90+, then it’s a different story.

Would you have charged the mound?

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The All White NCAA Tourney Team

white

With March Madness upon us, there will be plenty of articles floating around the inter webs. Cinderella stories, best players from Mid Major schools to watch, and whether or not Duke will win another National Championship. Now we could copy all those ideas, but why not come up with something better. During the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship game, Lipscomb had 5 white guys on the floor at the same time. Crazy I know. When was the last time you saw that? A grammar catholic school in the burbs? Having witnessed the rare occurrence, it dawned on me that there is some solid talent in the tourney with the same skin color as I. Here is my starting five and some bench players that will have an impact.

PG – Grayson Allen (Duke)

The love him or hate him senior from Duke had to make the list. Allen has been a staple in the college basketball world the last four years. From winning an NCAA title his freshman year, to being a potential lottery pick after his sophomore season, to becoming the most hated player of all time his junior year, to a leader his final season. Allen is averaging 15.5 ppg and is averaging a career best 4.5 assists per game and is shooting 85% from the free throw line. Allen knows he is the leader of this young Duke squad and will be leaned on by Coach K if the blue Devils hope to make another deep NCAA run.

SG – Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Kansas)

The Ukranian known as Svi throughout Lawrence, Kansas, is another senior on the roster who really stepped up his game in his final season under coach Bill Self. After averaging just 6 ppg in his first three seasons, Svi is averaging just over 15 a game and is shooting just a hair over 45% from deep. Don’t let his range fool you though. The Ukraine can throw it down on you if you are not paying attention.

SF – Mike Daum (South Dakota St)

If you are not a college basketball junkie, this is a name you should follow right away. The junior from Nebraska has earned plenty of accolades through just three seasons. He earned Summit League Freshman of the Year and 6th man of the years. He has been named conference POY the last two seasons, and was named Conference Tourney MVP all three seasons. If he comes back for his senior year, he has the opportunity to score over 3,000 points in his career. The 6’9″ stretch forward has shot over 41% from beyond the arc in all three seasons, and has increased his rebounding by 2 boards a game, averaging a double double this season (23.8 ppg/10.4 rpg). Trust me, this is a name to watch.

PF – Moritz Wagner (Michigan)

The 6’11” Junior from Germany is a fun watch. He plays with his emotions on his sleeves and is not afraid to show it. “Mo” has adapted to the John Beilein school of basketball and has thrived in his system. Wagner is averaging 14.5 ppg to go along with a 39% from deep. Just another big white guy with range. Not surprising. Wagner entered his name in last years NBA draft but pulled out, and it was probably in his best interest. A projected 2nd round pick in the 2018 NBA draft, the German has some things to work on (passing ability, rebounding, and being consistent).

C – Isaac Haas (Purdue)

Gene Keady would have LOVED coaching Isaac Hayes. Who wouldn’t love a 7’2″ 290lb center on their roster? Big Country earned Third Team All Big Ten accolades after a senior campaign which saw him average almost 15 ppg and 5.6 rebounds. As imagined, Haas is a presence in the middle averaging just a shade under a black and a half per game, and after playing behind Caleb Swanigan last season, Haas will look to take his game to the next level. Haas is a projected late second rounder, to being undrafted in the upcoming draft. His biggest issue may be his lack of athleticism and mobility. He would have a tough time keeping up with DeAndre Jordan.

F – Killian Tillie (Gonzaga) *Sixth man

The Sophomore from France has increased his average scoring by nearly 10 points a game, raising it to 13.4 ppg. Over the course of three games in the WCC Conference Tourney, Tillie scored 24, 26, and 22 points going 28 of 36 from the field. Not too bad. The big man has a huge upside being an energetic big who can score in a variety of ways. Tillie paid his dues, playing sparingly in 2017 on a team that lost in the championship game. Now he is making a name for himself and looking to make even more noise come tourney time.

 

G – Matt MacDonald (University of Pennsylvania)

Matt most likely will not have much of an impact during the tourney, but he is a western New York native (Canisius High School ’13) so I figured I would show him some love and add him to the list. The former Fairleigh Dickinson ball players transferred to Penn after his sophomore season. At FDU, MacDonald was named to the Northeast Conference All-Rookie Team and averaged 8.6 ppg. During his sophomore season, he averaged 9 ppg and the numbers have gone down ever since. Lets go Quakers!

G – Jon Elmore (Marshall)

The West Virginia native balled out on Saturday in the Conference USA Championship game going 7-13 from deep, way deep, for 27 points. In his last five contests, Elmore is averaging just under 24 points per game. Just a junior, Elmore should surpass 2,500 during his final season. The victory on Saturday gives the Thundering Herd their first conference championship in 31 seasons. The former Virginia Military Institute commit plays for Dan D’Antoni, brother of Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni.

Honorable Mention

Kyle Guy from Virginia would have made the squad if he was still rocking the man bun. Now he is dealing with an MCL sprain. If the Badgers would have made the NCAA tourney, then both Ethan Happ and Brad Davison would have found a spot on the bench. Happy brings that energy you need and Davison plays through injuries and hits big shots. Luke Maye would probably make anyone else starting squad but he plays for the Tar Heels, so he is only Honorable Mention worthy.

 

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Nursing Home Attendant About To Get It

I know this is not sports related but I came across this on twitter and just became furious. Who wants to get mad on a Sunday? Come home from the gym after some cardio, put my feet up and turn on college hoops and I scroll upon this tweet on my timeline. Autumnwood Nursing Home in Livonia, Michigan is FUCKED! No doubt this takes place a lot more often than one would hope, but this family got smart and put in a camera. Oh technology is such a great thing! The worker has since been fired, thank god. Maybe these nursing homes should install their own cameras in each residents room. Might go against their privacy, but would be the only way to see how their employees work.

It takes a lot to make me mad, and this video did it. If I was the son of this elderly man, that fat bitch wouldn’t know what was about to hit her.

 

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Thank You Tyrod

Not Drew Bledsoe. Not J.P. Losman. Not Trent Edwards. Not Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not EJ Manuel. Not Kyle Orton. Those six quarterbacks amongst other scrubs on the Bills roster could not lead the team from Buffalo into the playoffs. Tyrod Taylor did though. Sure the numbers weren’t always pretty, and the passes were not always on point, but he did it. Tyrod Taylor helped end a 17 year drought.

You can’t question his work ethic, his toughness, and most importantly his character. Not once during his tenure with the Bills did you read about Tyrod being arrested, choking a women, or packing heat at a night club. Tyrod adapted the Buffalo culture and worked for everything he earned.

Was this the right move? Some will say yes, and some will say no. For those that are happy with this move, they have plenty to be excited about. The Bills acquired the Browns 65th overall pick, giving the Bills two picks in the first three rounds in this years draft. They also cleared just over $10 million in cap space for the 2018 season. All signs point to the Bills now trading up in the draft and selecting that franchise quarterback.

Oh so those fans that weren’t happy with the trade, try selling them that any of these quarterbacks are “franchise” quarterbacks. In 11 games, Josh Allen threw just 1,812 passing yards and just 16 touchdowns at Wyoming. Josh Rosen put up some decent numbers at UCLA, and for Sam Darnold, any quarterback that comes out of USC recently struggles at the next level. That leaves us with Baker Mayfield. The six foot quarterback brings that moxy and that grit that Bills fans would gravitate towards.

But back to Tyrod. Thank you for ending this 17 year drought and giving us Bills fans true hope again. Thank you for being a stand out in the community and everything else you did during your time in the 716. It will never be forgotten.

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