Tag Archives: Eastern Conference

Most wonderful time of the year?

Photo courtesy of thefastertimes.com. Amar'e Stoudemire (pictured above) and the New York Knicks will be a team looking to prove something come Christmas Day when they take on the team that knocked them out of last year's playoffs, the Boston Celtics.

By Josh Kramer

So we are not sure at this point if the NBA will have a season next year.  But we do know that the games scheduled for Christmas Day should be outstanding as usual.  It would be a dire shame if these games were not played and put a real dent in my Christmas Day plans.

Honestly though, my appetite would be left unquenched if there were no NBA games on Christmas.

Here is a closer look at the probable triple-header:

Boston Celtics versus New Yorks:  We all know that the Knicks will bust out their traditional festive green jerseys.  And this matchup should be a great one.  Boston is an aging squad that I feel has worn out its welcome as a contender in the East, while the Knicks are a rising squad, that is looking to become a contender.  Any time you get guys who can score like Amar’e, Carmelo, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen all on the floor together, you already know that there is going to be some fireworks. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Chris Bosh (pictured above) was masterful for Miami in Game 3. I fully expect Miami's Big Three to continue to conquer the East on their way to an appearance in the NBA Finals.

This past weekend was a wild one.  Great playoff action.  The start of Interleague Play.  More horse racing.  And of course the ongoing NFL disputes.  Have no fear, next week is here.  Lets take a look at what the big events for the upcoming week are.

5.  Ray Lewis says that crime will rise if the season is lost.  Look for more players to come out and speak their minds as the week continues.  Though it is not actual NFL action, it is the best we can get during this unfortunate strike.

4.  In the MLB, the first section of Interleague Play is complete.  It was fun to watch the Subway Series pick back up, the Battle of Ohio, and watching the Cubs head to Fenway.  Today we get back to reality.  Normal Intraleague Play.  There are many primetime matchups.  But there is one series that has really caught my eye. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 5-3-11”

Regardless of your opinion on Memphis power forward Zach Randolph (pictured above) off the court, you have to give the man props on his playoff performance thus far.

Over the past 24 hours, lots of news has happened both inside and outside of the sporting realm.  Here are the main sporting items that have been on my mind.

Zach Randolph:  Looking Like A Hall of Famer? Continue reading

“Get the Man a Cape”

Dwight Howard (pictured above) has put on 2 consecutive Superman like performances in the early going of the postseason. Can he continue on his recent tear and lead the Magic back to the NBA Finals?

It appears Superman has officially landed in Florida.  And no I am not talking about Clark Kent or any of the Miami Heat terrific trifecta.  I am talking about none other than the man people have referred to as “Superman” for years now. Continue reading

“Are the West’s 5-8 that Great?”

Allan Houston (pictured above) played a key role in helping lead the 8th seeded New York Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals. Do not expect the Memphis Grizzlies, despite a big time win today, to roll all the way to the Finals. But the Western Conferences 5 through 8 teams are pretty solid.

2 shockers already on this first Sunday of the NBA Playoffs.  The top 2 seeds in the Western Conference went down at home.  Could the Spurs and Lakers legitimately lose these series and turn the NBA Playoffs into April/May Madness?  It would be totally awesome with a capital A, but it will not happen. Continue reading

“NBA Playoff Preview”

As I predicted in the preseason, I am taking Kobe, Phil, and the Lakers to complete the 3-peat with another amazing playoff run. Will this be the end of the line for Phil Jackson?

The grueling 82 game regular season is finally over and playoff time is upon us.  Most casual fans do not invest a heavy interest in the regular season, but come playoff time, the NBA takes center stage.  There is no questioning the effort of these amazing basketball players at this time of year.  It is all or nothing.  This is where the men are separated from the boys.  As promised, I am going to provide my predictions on how this year’s postseason will play out. Continue reading

“NBA Night Tonight?”

The loss of San Antonio's leader, Tim Duncan (pictured above) could allow the Lakers to catch the Spurs for the 1 seed in the West. Either way, San Antonio will not make a deep run in the playoffs without the rock of their franchise at full strength.

Over the past couple of weeks, it has become very easy to forget about all other sports outside of NCAA Basketball.  This year’s version of March Madness has been absolutely phenomenal, and we are all extremely excited to see what happens in Houston this weekend.  Today though, Major League Baseball has opened up in a big way.  6 games will be played when all is said and done.  Granted the weather is still in the 30s in Cincinnati, where the Reds are currently taking on the Brewers.

People need to realize though that College Basketball is not the only game in town.  The NBA season is coming down to the final stretch before the playoffs, with much left to be decided.  Plus, tonight features two mega matchups.  So after you watch your respective MLB teams open up the season, tune in to one of the two insanely good matchups the NBA has this evening.  Sorry to my Giants and Dodgers fans.  As the only night game, you will have to make a decision, but for the rest of the country, watching the NBA Action is a no brainer. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 3-1-11”

Back on February 12th, Jacob Pullen (pictured above) and Kansas State appeared on their way to missing the big Dance in March. 5 games later they are back in the picture and are one of the hottest teams in America.

There is so much going on in the wide world of sports.  You got the NFL Combine, the NFL CBA soap opera, and MLB Spring Training.  It is March now though, and you all know what that means.  It is time for some Hoops Mayhem!

Here are some of the main thoughts that have been running through my head today.

When the East Returns to Prominence, so do the Chicago Bulls

-When was the last time the Eastern Conference was as good as or better than the Western Conference?  Lets go back to Michael Jordan era in Chicago.  It has been well over 10 years.  Hard to believe how fast time flies by.  Well the Eastern Conference has arrived, and appears ready to stay on top.  With the East back on a level playing field with the West, wouldn’t you know that the Windy City would have a great team for the first time since the Jordan days.  Chicago has had 2 winning seasons since Jordan helped the city rip out Utah’s heart for a 2nd consecutive year (1998).  The most wins they have had in a season is 49 back in the 06-07 campaign.  Want to know how many wins they have this year?   

Try 41 with 24 games remaining.  And this team only appears to be getting stronger as they get healthier.  Former Chicago Bull’s star Scottie Pippen has been blowing up the Twitter world with his tweets as of late.  The gist of Pippen’s message is that the Bulls are a contender and that they have the ability to bring back the title to Chicago.  Most of America thought Chicago lost big this off season in the epic “Free Agency Bonanza.”  In actuality, they won big with the pickups of Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver.  Two pieces that may have completed the puzzle.

People do not realize that this Bull’s team has gone 18 games without their best big man, Carlos Boozer, and 30 games without Joakim Noah, one of the scrappiest players in the League.  Yet they are still 3rd overall in the East, and just one game behind a Miami team that they are 2 and 0 against.  I will admit that Boston is still my pick to represent the East in the NBA Finals.  But the Bulls were my sleeper pick for a reason.  They have something that none of the other Eastern Conference contenders have.  A point guard who can do it all.

Sure the Celtics have Rajon Rondo, who is an elite PG.  But Rondo simply cannot shoot from the perimeter.  Rose can do it all.  He can fly all over the court.  He has tremendous vision.  He can score at will both by driving and shooting the jump shot.  Plus he is a leader who has a knack for hitting the big shot.  A point guard who can penetrate and shoot like Rose is capable of is nearly unstoppable.

Chicago has the perfect formula for a championship contender.  They have one superstar in Derrick Rose.  An All Star caliber big in Carlos Boozer and a possible future All Star in Joakim Noah.  A sharpshooter in Kyle Korver.  And a great talent on both ends of the floor in Luol Deng.  Maybe we should ask King James what he thinks of Mr. Deng. Each player on this team seems to know their role. Lastly, their effort level is tremendous.  They are currently 2nd in the League in both overall defense and rebounding.  Who says that guys in the NBA do not try.  Well that does not seem to be a problem in the Windy City. They could be scary come April/May and dare I say June.

Greg Jennings Who?

I am sure many of you have seen the infamous Greg Jennings YouTube video where he puts the team on his back with a broken leg.  Well Jacob Pullen has been doing his best Greg Jennings impression as of late in the College Basketball arena.  He has literally put Kansas State on his back.  And now has them sitting pretty for a tournament bid.  A little over 2 weeks ago this was far from the story in Manhattan, Kansas.

Lets rewind back to February 12th.  On this date, Kansas State lost a heartbreaker to a mediocre Colorado team and sat at 16 and 9, with a conference record of 4 and 6.  They appeared on their way to arguably the most disappointing season of any College Basketball team in the country outside of Michigan State.  These guys were highly touted preseason (ranked #3).  They had made it all the way to the Elite 8 last year.  This was not supposed to be the case.  Then something happened.  Something magical. 

The senior, Jacob Pullen, decided to put the team on his back.  First the Wildcats put a whooping on in state rival, and the number 1 team in the country at the time, Kansas.  Then the rest was history.  Kansas State has now won 5 straight games.  3 of those wins were against top 25 teams and last night’s victory over #8 ranked Texas on the road was the icing on the cake.  During this 5 game stretch, Jacob Pullen is averaging 27.2 PPG and shooting a remarkable 59% from the floor.  Want to know what is even more amazing?  He is 16 of 27 from 3 point range in this 5 game stretch.  This is also 59%.

Pullen has epitomized what a senior leader should be over these past two weeks.  I do not foresee Kansas State making a run to the Final Four this year.  But I do feel they are capable of going a few rounds deep, which is far better than not dancing at all.  Pullen has put Kansas State on his back.  The real question is how far can he lead them? I will tell you this much, I would not bet against Pullen at the end of a close game.

Just some “Food for Thought.”

Let me hear your thoughts though.  Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at contact@thesportskraze.com.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Food for Thought 1-18-11”

Reigning National League MVP Joey Votto just signed a 3 year extension with the Cincinnati Reds. Can he help bring Cincinnati their first World Series since 1990?

It’s another Tuesday, and you know what that means.  Another edition of “Food for Thought.”  There is just so much going on in the sporting world, that this gives me the opportunity to hit on multiple topics of interests and let you know how I feel regarding them.

Here are some of the main headlines today. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 12-21-2010”

UConn Head Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma (pictured above), looks to make history tonight with an 89th consecutive victory. Is he the greatest College Basketball Coach (Men's or Women's) of all time?

Today is another “Food for Thought” day.  There is just entirely too much going on in the sporting world to not at least touch on multiple items.  Being a sport’s fan at this time is good.

Lets take a look at some of the main storylines.

Bye Bye Brett

-Once again the media has been dominated by yet another storyline regarding the legendary #4.  I am not going to lie, I thought we would hear very little about Brett until the conclusion of the season when whispers of retirement came into the picture again.  Sadly, I was wrong.  Brett shocked America by suiting up and starting last evening’s Monday Night affair against the divisional rival and 1st place, Chicago Bears.  I will state, this was a mistake for Brett.  Not only did he hardly play, but he took another massive hit and suffered a concussion.  I know Brett’s legacy has been built on playing in big time Monday Night Games in the snow.  But the guy was not healthy, and had no business being on the field.  Will this be how Brett goes out?  He ended his career in Green Bay throwing an INT in the NFC Championship Game.  In addition, he ended on a sour note in New York (and still is dealing with the repercussions).  Now his Minnesota reign has appeared to end in a sad fashion.  The man just needs to retire already.  It is not worth permanent injuries.  He has nothing left to play for.

What is next for the TO Show?

-So Terrell Owens has suffered a major knee injury and appears to have played his last down in Cincinnati.  Does TO or Cincinnati really care?  Many thought TO was the final piece to the puzzle for the Who Deys.  Many thought that the Bengals were a Super Bowl contender.  Many were wrong.  I will state, Terrell has had his best year in some time.  He has quietly had a very strong year.  Until recently, he had even kept his mouth shut.  Amid all the losing, he finally opened up his mouth and his true colors showed.  Owens had 72 catches for 983 yards, and 9 TDs this season.  At 37, the guy can still play.  My question for you is who will pick him up?  His days in Cincy are without question over.  Who saw this Bengal’s team getting 7 or 8 games worse after the offseason they had?  Sadly, Cincinnati is very used to being disappointed by the Who Deys.  It is fact of life for the people who live in the 513.

Auriemma>Wooden?

-In less than an hour, Geno Auriemma leads his Lady Huskies into battle with a chance to rewrite history.  With a victory this evening, the Huskies will have one upped John Wooden and his legendary UCLA teams, with an 89th consecutive victory.  I do not care that this is women’s basketball.  89 wins in a row is an astounding feat.  Something that will probably never happen again.  Now my question for you.  Is Geno Auriemma in the class of the all time great coaches such as John Wooden, Coach K, Dean Smith, and Adolph Rupp?  Bobby Knight on ESPN coverage today stated that Auriemma should be the number 1 choice on any team’s list when looking for a new coach.  Is it that easy to go from coaching women to men?  I do not think so.  Sorry Bobby.  Geno is one of the best ever, but coaching women is far different from coaching men.

Coach K Satisfied?

-Coach K secured his 879th career victory last evening behind yet another stellar Kyle Singler performance.  The greatest Duke Coach of all time is now tied with UNC’s best, Dean Smith, for 2nd on the all time list.  Krzyzewski now sits just 23 wins behind the all time record, which is held by the legendary Bobby Knight.  The real question at this point is not if Coach K will catch Knight, but when, and by how much?  My money is on this year during another deep NCAA Tournament run. Is Coach K the greatest College Coach of all time if surpasses this milestone?  Is he even as good of a coach as Geno Auriemma?

Magic in Orlando

-So Orlando has been struggling.  They tried to change their luck by making the trade of the year thus far (LBJ’s decision was a free agency decision).  Following a trade that could really shake up the battle of the top of the East, the Magic ended up with Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and their former (now current) star, Hedo Turkoglu.  Now I realize the Magic lost again last evening to the Hawks.  But do not sleep on this team.  They are definitely a contender in the East and this trade will make them a better team in the long run.  Give them a couple of weeks to develop a chemistry.  The battle for supremacy in the Eastern Conference, much less the state of Florida will be exciting in the near future.  I still have the Magic going to the Conference Finals as I predicted in the preseason.

So there you have some of my insights on the major happenings going on in the sporting world on this particular day.  Obviously there are other things going on as well.  Feel free to ask about whatever is on your mind via commenting or emailing.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze