Tag Archives: Scottie Pippen

Food for Thought 7-10-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andy Murray (pictured above) was brought to tears on Sunday. Just call him the “Heartbreak Kid.”

By Josh Kramer

Since the beginning of time, sports have been filled with loveable losers.  Sports are generally a zero-sum game.  There are winners and losers (occasional ties such as the 2002 All-Star Game ten years ago).  It is a part of life.  On Sunday, watching the tears stream down Andy Murray’s face and the heartbreak of an entire country got me thinking about some of the loveable losers in sports.

No I am not going to talk about the 86-year Curse of the Bambino and the rebels out of Beantown.  Also, don’t hold your breath in regards to Wrigleyville’s finest (the 105-year streak isn’t ending any time soon).  Today, is Andy Murray’s day.  God knows if this guy will ever take home a Grand Slam title.  As I have stated many times before, Andy Murray is quickly becoming the “Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)” to never win a Grand Slam.

Andy Murray has won over 375 professional matches.  He has won 22 tournaments.  Murray has been ranked in the top ten in the world for over five years and spent the majority of that time ranked in the top four.  And he has made four appearances in the finals of a Grand Slam tournament (Australian Open twice, Wimbledon, US Open).  If Murray can somehow get over the hump and avoid Rafael Nadal until the finals at Roland Garros next May, he will complete the career Grand Slam.  The career Grand Slam of finishing second that is.  Not exactly as good as the real thing I guess. Continue reading

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“A Solid Matchup in the East”

Dwyane Wade (left) and Lebron James (right) have been lights out in the playoffs thus far. I fully expect Miami's dynamic tandem to give the Bulls fits and advance to the NBA Finals.

So the NBA Playoffs have not gone exactly as many projected.  The majority of people across the country had a Lakers/Celtics rematch penciled in for June.  Or they at least expected the NBA’s 2 most storied franchises to advance to their respective conference finals.  I will admit that I was one of those people.  Well I, along with many others was wrong. Continue reading

“Friday Night Lights”

Friday Night Lights are back baby.  And I am not talking High School Football or referring to the hit television series.  What a night we have in store.  A trifecta of huge games with major playoff implications.

Lets take a look at tonight’s NBA version of “Friday Night Lights.” 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

“Weekly Nickel”

I got the 22-year-old scoring machine Kevin Durant (pictured above) bringing home the All Star Game MVP on Sunday.

It is yet another Monday in the sporting world.  And things are as good as ever. Basketball is at full blow in both the Collegiate and the Professional ranks.  The hockey ice is beginning to heat up.  And Spring Training is upon us!

Lets take a look at this week’s top 5. Continue reading

“Noah Injury, A Blessing in Disguise”

Chicago Bulls starting Center, Joakim Noah (pictured above), is suffering from a major thumb injury. What effects will this have on the Bull's playoff/title chances?

Our Chicago sports expert is back at it again folks.  See his thoughts below on the Joakim Noah “thumb situation.”

Will Runzel is an  entrepreneur and sports guru out of Chicago.  Follow Will on Twitter @WillRunzel

Joakim Noah will undergo surgery on his right (shooting hand) thumb. More information will be released at an 11 am CST press conference. Noah’s injury will knock him out 8-10 weeks or roughly 30 games. Battling through the injury for nearly ten games dating back to the Sacramento Kings match on November 27, Noah has posted nine points or better in nine of 10 games and has had double digits rebounds in six of those games. Analysts and fans alike are worried about how this will affect the Bulls this season, and I see it as a blessing in disguise. Here are some pro’s and con’s to Joakim’s injury

Cons:

-The Bulls are losing a double-double machine and the best defensive post presence for 30 or so games, more than 1/3 of their season

-Noah is the heart and soul of the team, the Scottie to Rose’s Jordan

-The Bulls will definitely win less games and could hurt their playoff seeding

-This stretch includes games against top tier teams with dominant big men, including (dare I say it) the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, and San Antonio Spurs

-This lowers the chances of the Bulls trading for a scoring two guard

Keep in mind the Bulls already went through the toughest stretch of the season sans Carlos Boozer.

Pros:

-The development of Omer Asik is crucial to the Bulls success this season and for the next five seasons. He has played well this season and will get another shot to develop

-Taj Gibson is already a fantastic 6th man/reserve big man and will continue his growth. This should give him so more time to polish his offensive skill set

-Noah will be rested for the playoffs and the Bulls should still finish fourth or better in the East maintaining home court advantage in the first round.

-Joakim may provide a similar boost to what Boozer just supplied upon his return; the Bulls will learn to compete with top teams without Jo, and when he returns they suddenly have an inside defensive presence

Will Runzel out of Chicago will continue to come out with his thoughts and incites regarding the Chicago sporting scene.  If you want information on the Bears or the Bulls, you want a Runzelism.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze