Tag Archives: Anze Kopitar

Weekly Nickel 6-11-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will Rafael Nadal (pictured above) make history today and break Bjorn Borg’s record with a 7th French Open Championship?

By Josh Kramer

Thank you, may I have another?  So I’ll Have another was unable to compete in the Belmont Saturday.  As usual, the race did not disappoint nor did the entire week in sports.  The playoffs are all about the finals now as there are only two teams remaining in both the NBA and NHL playoffs.  Plus the French Open is not quite done yet.  Last week was great, but this one will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Rain, rain, go away.  Or keep the French Open going another day.  Maria Sharapova became the tenth woman to complete the career Grand Slam on Saturday.  Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are all looking to further stamp their imprint on history as the fourth set of the Men’s final continues this morning.  I would highly recommend waking up and checking this out now on NBC. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-5-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The two best bench players in the NBA put on quite a show last night. James Harden (left) hit the big shot in the end though to help the Thunder go up 3 to 2 in the Western Conference Finals

By Josh Kramer

We could quite possibly be watching history in the making in regards to NBA Playoff basketball.  94% of teams that have gone up 2 to 0 in best-of-seven NBA series have gone on to take the series.  Only 14 teams in NBA history have ever climbed out of a 2 to 0 hole to win a best-of-seven game series.  Both conference finals series began with the higher seed taking a 2 to 0 lead.  Things appeared to be over.  Then both lower seeded teams miraculously defended their home floors (and OKC won one on the road last night).

Can Boston and/or Oklahoma City pull off the unthinkable?  Oklahoma City can.  Yes, I am going to keep doubting San Antonio.  I wouldn’t count on it from Boston.  The Thunder have been the team to watch out West all year.  Despite a very slow start in the conference finals, their bigs (Ibaka namely) awoke in Game 4 and James Harden hit the shot of the year in Game 5.  Remember, Westbrook and Harden combined for a mere 18 points on Saturday.  OKC still won.  Last night, the OKC bigs, Ibaka and Perkins combined for just 13 points.  OKC still won.  The Thunder will knock off the Spurs and become team number 15 to climb out of a 2 to 0 hole. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-22-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. LeBron James (pictured above) put on a remarkable performance in Game 4. Sadly, it is ring or nothing for the King this year.

By Josh Kramer

40 points.  18 rebounds.  9 assists.  That was LeBron James stat line on Sunday.  Recognition was given for a good 24 hour period.  Come Game 5 (tonight), the remarkable performance will be a mere memory.  People are still far from satisfied with the King.  In taking his talents to Miami back on July 8, 2010, James chose a different life.  A life where the criticism never ends.  Where the expectations grow at an infinite rate.  A life where the word “satisfaction” does not exist.  And of course a life where returning home is more of a chore than a celebration.

You all are quite familiar with the story.  Not  1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7.  It is a quote on the same level of the classic Allen Iverson “We talking about practice” rant of ten years ago.  This season, LBJ put up arguably the greatest season of his already amazing career, helping him earn his third MVP Award in the past four years.  The amazing thing is nobody seems to care.  All anyone cares about are his missed free throws at the end of Game 2 against the Pacers.  Or the fact that he dished the ball to superstar teammate Dwyane Wade for the final shot in Game 2.

Watching LeBron play this season and during the early going of the playoffs has been a treat.  The guy is doing once in a lifetime type of things on both ends of the floor.  Sadly, the expectations are so high on the King, if he does not bring home a ring, it will all be nothing.  His remarkable 2011/2012 season will be thought of as a failure.  Will the Heat cut down the nets?  I am honestly not sure.  A lot hinges on when Bosh comes back and if he is at 100%.  Haslem did his best impersonation of the injured Chris Bosh on Sunday.  When push comes to shove though, Haslem is not nearly the caliber of player that Chris Bosh is.  Plus, OKC or San Antonio would be stiff competition if Miami were fortunate enough to get by Indiana and then the winner of the Boston/Philadelphia series.

I am by no means a LeBron James fan (I am not a hater either).  I never have been.  But I am a fan of the game of basketball.  The way James fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis deserves some praise.  What he did on Sunday was truly remarkable.  Sadly, if the Heat lose Game 5, it will all be forgotten.  Despite many saying Dwyane Wade is the leader of the Miami Heat, it is LeBron James who carries the team and the city on his shoulders.  It is LeBron James who took the brunt of the criticism when Miami came up empty-handed in 2011.  And it will be LeBron James who shoulders the majority of the criticism no matter how well he plays if the Heat do not capture a ring in June.  I guess that is the life of a King.  Things are great when you are winning.  Things are horrible when you are losing.  The life of a King is bittersweet. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Due to rain, we are getting some bonus tennis today. Can Novak Djokovic (pictured above) handle Nadal on the clay in Rome?

By Josh Kramer

Saturday was not the best of days for the city of  Los Angeles to say the least.  As I have said before, people will soon stop calling Los Angeles “Lob City,” and start calling it “Heartbreak City,” if they haven’t already.   On Saturday, both of their basketball teams blew double-digit point leads. At least they have the Dodgers and the Kings. The NBA and NHL playoffs have been outstanding and the best part is there is still plenty to go.  In addition, I’ll Have Another would love “another” win at the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.  Last week was great, but this week should be even better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Bonus tennis.  What could be better?  Due to massive amounts of rainfall, the Rome Masters final showdown between the world’s top two players (Djokovic/Nadal) was postponed today.  I by no means am complaining.  The clay-court season has been a bundle of fun as usual as we get ready to head down the home stretch. Roland Garros is just six days away.  Get excited. Continue reading

The Conn Smythe Trophy Frontrunners

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Dustin Brown (pictured above) is a major favorite to bring home the Conn Smythe Trophy.

By Nick Craddock

The 2012 NHL playoffs are coming to a crescendo.  Between a closely contested Eastern Conference Finals featuring the rival New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils and what has turned into a one-sided Western Conference Finals featuring the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes, the muddled playoff picture which began with 16 teams vying for Lord Stanley’s Cup is coming into focus.

Of all the players who have made their mark this postseason in helping their teams to this stage, these five look poised to have the best shot at capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the NHL playoffs’ Most Valuable Player.

1. Dustin Brown, right wing, Kings: Brown is proving why he wears the “C” on his jersey this spring. He leads his team in scoring with seven goals and eight assists, including three game-winning goals. He’s tied with teammate Anze Kopitar for the best plus/minus rating of any player in the playoffs. He delivers crushing hits. And even when he’s not making an incredible play, he influences the game to such a degree that it affects his opponent’s psyche (i.e.Phoenix’s Martin Hanzal cross-checking Brown from behind into the boards during Game 2, resulting in a one-game suspension).  All in all, Brown’s outstanding play makes it unfathomable to think the Kings contemplated trading Brown at the trading deadline. Simply put, the Kings’ stellar play through these playoffs thus far would not be possible without Brown. That description sounds like the embodiment of a Conn Smythe winner. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-8-2012

Photo coutesy of zimbio.com. Albert Pujols (pictured above) and the Los Angeles Angels have not had much to celebrate during the early going of the 2012 season. Will the Angels turn things around and begin to live up to expectations?

By Josh Kramer

Is it me or has the MLB been turned upside down?  Derek Jeter is batting over 400 at age 37.  Albert Pujols has one home run (he finally hit one on Sunday).  And Ryan Dempster leads the National League in ERA (all of these stats were heading into play yesterday).  How about the current standings though?

Cellar Dwellers:

-Philadelphia “We are the cream of the crop in the NL East” Phillies

-Chicago “We have fun at Wrigleyville” Cubs

-San Diego “This is not a shocker” Padres

-Boston “We are always a contender” Red Sox

-Minnesota “Ron Gardenhire is a savior” Twins

-Los Angeles “World Series Favorite” Angels

Divisional Leaders:

-Washington “Never gone over 500” Nationals

-St. Louis “Albert Pujols-less” Cardinals

-Los Angeles “Divorced” Dodgers

-Baltimore “We play in the same division as New York and Boston” Orioles

-Cleveland “We are more famous for a movie” Indians

-Texas “Going for a three-peat” Rangers Continue reading