Posts Tagged ‘NBA Playoffs’

City of Atlanta Top 5 Sports Meltdowns

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

by Gus Griffin

gus

 

 

 

 

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05:  Devonta Freeman #24 of the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Bosher #5 react after losing to the New England Patriots 34-28 during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Devonta Freeman #24 of the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Bosher #5 react after losing to the New England Patriots 34-28 during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Honorable mention: 1981 Falcons had a 2-touchdown, 4th quarter lead on the Cowboys at home in the NFC playoffs, only to give up 20 4th quarter points and lose 30-27.

 

Honorable mention: 2012 Falcons blow a 17-point lead at home in the NFC championship game, losing to the San Francisco 49ers

 

5) Twins outlast Braves in 7 games of the 1991 World Series on Jack Morris’ 10-inning, 1-0 shutout

ATL #5
4) 1996 Braves bring a 2-0 World Series lead over the “Stankees” back to Atlanta and proceed to lose 4 straight, as the defending champs

ATL #4

 

3) 1998 Falcons lose Super Bowl XXXIII to the Denver Broncos after their safety and NFL Man of the Year gets busted in a prostitution sting on South Beach in Miami, the night before the game

ATL #3

 

2) After winning game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semis in Boston, the 1988 Hawks bring a 3-2 lead back to Atlanta, only to lose in game 6 and then game 7 in Boston, overshadowing one of the greatest basketball duels ever, between Dominique Wilkins and Larry Bird

ATL #2

 

 

And the top Atlanta Sports meltdown of all time is……you know. LOL

 

Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

LEICESTER CITY, STEPH CURRY, AND THE ALL MADRID FINALS II

Monday, May 16th, 2016

by Nwaji Jibunoh

Nwaji Blog

 

 

 

 

As we get into the business end of the sports season, you find that times are changing with some intriguing accomplishments occurring.

Denver's stingy defense helps "The Sheriff" ride off into the sunset a champion. (Photo courtesy of FoxBusiness.com)

Denver’s stingy defense helps “The Sheriff” ride off into the sunset a champion.
(Photo courtesy of FoxBusiness.com)

In the 2015/2016 sports calendar year, we have already seen Peyton Manning and The Denver Broncos crowned Super Bowl Champions after an incredible defensive display against the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers.

In as much as the lead up to the Super Bowl was quite exciting and the emergence of Cam Newton as an elite Quarterback was something to note, special mention needs to go out to other fascinating accomplishments occurring in other sporting events.

EPL Champions - Leicester City

EPL Champions – Leicester City

Let us begin with the English Premiership. At the conclusion of the 2014/2015 season, a little known club located in the East Midland of England finished in 14th place in a league with only 20 clubs. A little known club that nobody truly ranked and were given a whopping 5000/1 Odds to win the title the following season. That little known club are currently the champions of England and that little known club is Leicester City. To put things in context, let us use a case study for the odds that the bookies put in play at the beginning of the season. A lifetime Leicester City supporter put a 50 pounds ($30) bet on those odds of 5000/1 to win the title. That lifetime supporter cashed out on a take home prize of 250,000 pounds ($166,000). What has been accomplished by this club who had a spending budget of 52m pounds ($32.5M) in comparison to the likes of Manchester City (411m – $274M), Manchester United (391m – $260M), and Chelsea (298m – $198M) is something that has never ever been witnessed in British football. Leicester City took advantage of a slow methodology of playing every single game to win and taking advantage of lackluster performances from the other big clubs. Credit goes out to their manager (Claudio Ranieri) and star players James Vardy (who only a few years ago was combining his playing time while working part-time as a technician making medical splints) and Riyad Mahrez (a relatively unknown Algerian now among the English Premier League elites).

As we talk about this great accomplishment in sports by Leicester City, we cannot go any further without mentioning what Wardell Stephen “Steph” Curry has done in the NBA this year. Let us look at some quick numbers to put things into perspective. In the 2014/2015 season where he was crowned MVP and also won the NBA championship, his numbers were as follows:

Regular Season – 23.8 ppg. Playoffs – 28.3 ppg. Total number of three pointers made – 286.

This season, his numbers are:

30 ppg and he made 402 three pointers. I will say that again….402. The only other player to come close was Ray Allen with 289 and we all know him to be a three point genius. Steph Curry has

Stephen Curry hoists his second consecutive MVP trophy prior to Game 5 of the second round of the Western Conference Semifinals vs. the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena.  (Photo courtesy of Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Stephen Curry hoists his second consecutive MVP trophy prior to Game 5 of the second round of the Western Conference Semifinals vs. the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena.
(Photo courtesy of Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

completely redefined basketball and the point guard position, and he makes shots from pretty much anywhere he wants to. He controls the tempo of the court and pulls out perimeter defenders, allowing other players such as Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to make significant contributions. The Conference Finals this year will see some exciting matchups with Golden State taking on Oklahoma City Thunder as perennial All-Stars (Curry, Thompson, Green, Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka) will dominate the highlights in the best of 7 series. On the East Coast, it looks like Cleveland with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, back at this stage of the competition healthy, will compliment the enigma that is LeBron James. We will most likely see the Cavs steamroll pass the Toronto Raptors to meet the best of the West.

UEFA Champions League Final - Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid - May 28th, 2016

UEFA Champions League Final – Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid – May 28th, 2016

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both finished in second and third positions in the Spanish La Liga. They were edged out by Barcelona but not before Barcelona suffered successive defeats to both clubs in the El Classcio and Champions League semifinals. These two clubs are Spanish power houses and are getting ready to battle it out in the Champions League Finals. This is not the first time we are going to have an “All Madrid Final”. In 2014, we saw these two clubs battle it out with Real Madrid emerging victorious. The Star man then and now and 3 time Ballon D’or (World Footballer of the Year) recipient, Cristiano Ronaldo is of course the centre of attraction. The last time these two teams met, Ronaldo was breaking records with an astonishing 51 goals. He has achieved that milestone again this season and goes into this final fully charged and poised to pick up his 3rd UEFA Champions League trophy. It will not be easy as Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid team, that play a high tempo coordinated style of Spanish football, will be looking to get revenge against their 2014 finalist fellow city rivals. These two teams have already met twice this season with Atletico winning one game and the other game ending in a tie. The UEFA Champions League Final which will be played at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy will be an explosive encounter come May 28th.

All in all, it has been an exciting year so far with so much more to play as we have the NBA Finals, UCL Finals, and the European Championships.

Sports fans, eat your heart out as the games will always continue to bring nothing but sheer entertainment and exhilarating excitement….

 

Nwaji Jibunoh, International Correspondent for War Room Sports

Located in Lagos, Nigeria, Nwaji Jibunoh is War Room Sports’ International Soccer Contributor.  Nwaji also contributes commentary on U.S. sports from an international perspective.  He’s an Atlanta Falcons fan, Howard University alum, and former tight end for the North Atlanta High School Warriors.

NBA Quick Takes: Should the NBA Scrap the Current Playoff Format?

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

by Kamal Hylton

Kamal Hylton Blog

 

 

 

 

Hello War Room Nation!

 

It’s Kamal Hylton of NBA Nation Australia and War Room Sports back with your weekly NBA Quick Takes, this week looking at the rise of Milwaukee Bucks small forward Khris Middleton, the Raptors upcoming tough stretch and why the NBA should consider scrapping the current playoff format to include the best 16 teams.

 

Is that Khris Middleton or Michael Redd?

 

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans

 

Khris Middleton was basically a throw-in as part of the Brandon Knight/Brandon Jennings trade between the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, but who would’ve thought he’d be a major player in who’s winning this trade so far? Giving credit where it’s due, Jennings was a key piece to the Pistons success this season (along with the dumping of Josh Smith) before going down with a season ending injury. However as we currently stand, it’s safe to say that the Bucks are winning the deal, due in large part to the former Pistons 2nd round pick (39th overall in 2012 NBA Draft). The principle part of the trade in Knight is leading this young squad and flourishing under the coaching of Jason Kidd (averaging 17.7 PPG and 5.3 APG), but the massive improvement Middleton has shown by picking up the slack through the team’s major injuries is nothing short of impressive.

 

Watching him at the ACC against the Raptors wearing the No. 22, he looked like a poor man’s Michael Redd in the way he played such an efficient game and took smart shots. Now I’m by no means saying he’ll turn into the caliber of player Redd was during his peak Buck years as a 20.0+ PPG scorer, but looking at his three point percentages and smooth stroke during his early days in Milwaukee (41.4% last season and 45.1% so far this season) and at only 23 years old, that’s a perfect player to pattern his game after.

 

Middleton is a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but with the way his game is growing, don’t be shocked if the South Carolina native is re-signed to a long-term deal.

 

It’s ‘Gut check time’ for the Raptors

 

KL

 

Currently sitting 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a 33-17 record, the Raptors can be more than happy with how the first half of the season has gone. There’ve been some bumps in the road and some areas of inconsistency, mainly on the defensive end of the floor, but they coped well while DeMar DeRozen was out with a lengthy injury, have Kyle Lowry representing the franchise as an All-Star starter, and is seeing a major improvement in its big Lithuanian, Jonas Valanciunas (averaging five double-doubles in his last nine games). However the REAL test comes during the next eight games, starting Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers (in an ESPN game) followed by games against the San Antonio Spurs at home, Washington Wizards away, Atlanta Hawks at home, Houston Rockets away, New Orleans Pelicans away, Dallas Mavericks away, and Golden State Warriors at home.

 

With the All-Star break right before that four game road trip there will be some time to get away, rest and refocus, but coach Dwayne Casey will have in the back of his mind the last big road trip the team was on that finished 2-4 and included three straight beatdowns from the Portland Trailblazers, Golden State Warriors, and Phoenix Suns.

 

Time for the Best to play the Best

 

NBA Con

 

Over the last number of seasons the trend of the Eastern Conference being so much weaker than the Western Conference has made some of the early round playoff games unwatchable, having teams qualify with losing records only to get swept aside 4-0 in uncompetitive series. I brought this question up as a recent guest on the AFTER FURTHER REVIEW radio show of whether it’s time to scrap the conferences and go with the best teams. I said on the show they should and I feel even stronger about it while writing this.

 

Just to give you a picture of how this would look, here’s what the current playoff match-ups would roughly look like in that format if it started today (didn’t factor in any tiebreakers etc…)

 

1st vs. 16th seed: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

2nd vs. 15th seed: Atlanta Hawks vs. New Orleans Pelicans

3rd vs. 14th seed: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Milwaukee Bucks

4th vs. 13th seed: Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns

5th vs. 12th seed: Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

6th vs. 11th seed: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Chicago Bulls

7th vs. 10th seed: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

8th vs. 9th seed: Dallas Mavericks vs. Washington Wizards

 

Just at a first glance, doesn’t that look WAY more interesting as an NBA fan than the current format? Going this way weeds out all the teams that would likely get run over in the first round, not like NCAA March Madness with kids playing and mistakes being made to cause “Upset Specials” or “Cinderella Stories”, but also would help motivate other teams to build a winning culture and possibly get rid of this current tanking phenomenon.

 

To catch all my NBA writing, photos and videos visit NBA Nation Australia or on Twitter @NBANationOz.

 

Kamal Hylton of NBA Nation Australia, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#505)

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

by Christopher Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog

 

 

 

 

After Further Review

 

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #505 SHOUTOUT to you GEORGE BRETT…((NBA)) ***PLAYOFFS*** GRIZZLIES 100 (miller 21) THUNDER 99 OT (westbrook 30/13a)—mem 3-2……..CLIPPERS 113 (jordan 25/18 ) WARRIORS 103 (thompson 21)—lac 3-2…….WIZARDS 75 (wall 24) BULLS 69 (henrich/butler 16)—WASHINGTON wins series 4-1……NBA did the right thing…sort of by banning that guy……but umm a much louder and stronger statement would have been made by sitting out the games..not the fans..the players…but oh well……((NHL)) ***PLAYOFFS*** FLYERS 5 RANGERS 2……wonder how many of “them” appreciated WAYNE SIMMONDS hat trick last night (3 goals)……((MLB)) winners include MARINERS…METS…RED SOX…REDS…MARLINS…ATHLETICS…TIGERS…ROYALS…NATIONALS…BREWERS(11)…ROCKIES…ANGELS…GIANTS…(pit/bal….lad/min…postponed)……ROBINSON CANO got the BRONX cheer just like we expected….and he did what he had to do for his career…..SALUTE !!!!…..((NCAAF)) college football playoff rankings will be released on tuesdays…the first one is OCTOBER 28…..AFTER FURTHER REVIEW day…..yoooooou know !!!!…..if you missed THE BIGGER SHOW last night….its okay..worse things have happened but we went in on a lot of topics….SHOUTOUT to CALLERS ((KIA…MR HOLLYWOOD…RODNEY C (double trouble/funky four + 1)….SLATE))……and SHOUT to LISTENERS we see you too !!!!……NBA GAME of the day MAVERICKS v SPURS (2-2) game 5/west….NHL GAMES of the day FLYERS v RANGERS…game 7…..WILD v AVALANCHE game 7….KINGS v SHARKS game 7….TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “DONT COST YOU NOTHIN”- ASHFORD & SIMPSON……its THURSDAY….its goin down outside ..dress for weather and don’t forgetcha umbrella-ella-ella-ella……the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!!……AFR !!!!!

 

Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of GeeQue Palace Sports, for War Room Sports

Takeaways from Game 6 of the NBA Finals

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

By Chris Price

B-ball fans, I didn’t get a chance to watch Heat-Spurs Game 6 the other night.  I was in the midst of a great camping trip with the wife, but we both caught the second half of the game on ESPN radio.  Just got a chance to watch the recorded game earlier, and I must say this was a good one.  The game made me mull over some things and I wanted to make a couple of observations.  Bear with me.

“Are you willing to go down the stretch of an elimination game with your second best player sitting on the bench to put more shooting around your best player? Tough decisions if you’re a coach.” – Jeff Van Gundy, when Dwyane Wade subbed in for Mike Miller at 3:48 left in the 4th quarter

The lineup that brought the Heat back from down 10 at the beginning of the 4th to up 3 later in the quarter was Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Mike Miller, LeBron, and Birdman.  JVG noted this was also the lineup that blew open Game 2 for them… Miami’s best lineup might contain only one member of their “Big 3”.  Take a minute to let that sink in. Miami’s best lineup might contain only one member of their Big 3.  When D Wade came back into the game, LeBron stopped being as aggressive, some chemistry seemed lost, and the Spurs eventually took the lead.

The Takeaways…

A. Been told y’all from the beginning “The Decision” was not a good look, on multiple levels.  The same people who were championing The Big 3 coming together are the same people now talking about trading Wade (a Top 5, 10, 15, 20 player, however you want to look at it) or bringing him off the bench so that he doesn’t bother LeBron’s rhythm… So that the Heat can be more effective… Because they are not as effective with both of them in the game.

B. The Cavs management were not as dumb we thought.  In Cleveland, LeBron had shooters to space the floor, post defenders, rebounders, and finishers. That’s all he needs, or seems to want to play with.  I don’t ever want to hear “LeBron needs help” again.  He doesn’t need the type of player you might naturally think he does to win with his current style of play.  He is playing with two perennial All-Stars and has yet to make either one of them better or find a workable chemistry with either.  Who he is “making better” and finding greater success with is his team’s role players.  He is playing at his best, and most comfortably, with a solid point guard, two shooters, and a rebounder/finisher.

C. Dwyane, LeBron, and Bosh have never had great offensive chemistry.  The only way they all worked was by them (primarily Dwyane and LeBron) creating havoc on defense, creating steals and getting out and running in transition.  When they are not creating turnovers, or when a team is able to stop their transition offense, they limit their effectiveness (at least in how they want to play).  This is how you have a Ray Allen looking like he’s possibly more effective than Dwyane Wade for any stretch of time.  Ray Allen has value just standing in a half-court set without the ball (he stretches the defense); Dwyane Wade does not.

D. The Heat will not be able to play their most effective lineups for the majority of Game 7 because there is no way Erik Spoelstra is going to bench Dwyane Wade. There is no way he is going to play Bosh for 20 or less minutes.  Conversely, there is no way he is going to bench LeBron for 10-15 minutes to let Wade work (also a slightly positive +/- against the Spurs without LeBron on the floor). Because of real life dynamics, the Heat will probably try to win Game 7 using less efficient lineups… They have more talent than the Spurs but worse chemistry. We’ll see which one wins out tonight.  The Heat still have a good chance because their talent is supreme and they are playing at home; We’ll see how it goes.

E. I only heard part of the 3rd and the 4th quarter of the game on the radio the other night, so I thought LeBron went into superhero mode in that 4th quarter. When I went back and watched the game though, I realized that he didn’t; he just played comfortable LeBron James basketball with that particular Chalmers, Allen, Birdman, Miller lineup.  Now some people think LeBron is a superhero anyway so this could all be semantics, but I didn’t see a guy taking over the game.  I saw a guy who was able to do what he does because of space, and knowing he was the 1st and 2nd best offensive option on the floor.  LeBron just “did him” in that 8 minute stretch before Wade came in, and the result was a 13 point swing in favor of Miami.

F. Oh yeah, and as far as him choking or almost choking at the end of regulation, I can’t even call what I saw choking.  Because I’m used to seeing LeBron tentative from time to time.  In the last couple minutes of the game, he went back to looking like he did in Games 2 and 3.  To me, “choking” refers to a guy being visibly shaken by the moment and nerves causing you to play at a level below what you are capable of. Choking to me is not missing shots or making bad passes.  For instance, vs. Indiana Game 2 where Lebron made two late turnovers, I did not consider that a choke.  LeBron was still being aggressive but just made two poor passes; it was poor execution.  In Game 6 though, the turnovers he made were because he was being tentative.  On the first turnover, he over-dribbled and on the second, I literally don’t know if he was trying to pass or shoot.  His reactions to both of those turnovers further let me know these weren’t just poor execution turnovers.  On the same hand though, I don’t know if you can “choke” and win the game.  And even though he shot those late 3-pointers with what looked liked 20% confidence, one of them joints went in.  If Ray Allen didn’t hit that corner three, it would have been a Cruel Summer, but I can’t say LeBron choked because his team won the game… AND LeBron did hit the three to cut it to 2 with 20 seconds left.  He’s got to get credit for that.  And after that he was very comfortable in the overtime and was key to helping his team win this game in that period.  In my opinion, no choke should be credited.

Y’all enjoy Game 7.

 

Green With Envy: Boston Celtics “What-if’s”

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

By Aquil Bayyan

Boston Celtics Defeated

I just want to take a minute to talk about some interesting observations I’ve made as the NBA playoffs come down to its final four teams.  Many people, including the War Room Generals, picked the Boston Celtics to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals this year.  Unfortunately for them, they were sent home in 5 games by the Miami Heat.  In noticing the manner of which the Celtics were easily bounced by the Miami Heat, I began to wonder, analyze, pontificate, cerebrate (which means to think, not celebrate), cogitate, evaluate, and even speculate, about what happened to the Boston Celtics this year.

Exhibit A:
Tom Thibodeau used to be an assistant coach and defensive mastermind for the Boston Celtics who went to 2 of the last 3 NBA finals, winning 1 and going pretty far in the playoffs without Kevin Garnett in 2009.  He is now coaching my Chicago Bulls and has led us to 62 wins, the best record in the NBA, and won the NBA Coach of the Year award in the process.  All I have to say is…Tom Thibodeau is still coaching right now.

NBA Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau

Exhibit B:
The NBA player we all know and love, and who probably gets way more attention than he should; Kendrick Perkins.  While we all agree that his skill set is weak and that he is not really as tough as advertised, he has helped his teams to 3 of the last 4 NBA Conference Finals and he still talks to Raon (I left the “J” out on purpose) Rondo every day, for what it’s worth.  All I have to say is…Kendrick is still playing right now.

The most important player in the NBA?

Exhibit C:
Nate Robinson; you all probably forgot that he was playing for the Thunder until you saw J.J. Barea cross his face off and fish-fry-bake “Lil Nate” in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.  I remember in last year’s playoffs when “Lil Nate” would come into the game and give the Celtics a lift off the bench, hitting key three pointers, finishing in the lane, all while jumping around, pounding his chest, and screaming while getting the fans fired up.  All I have to say is…Nate is still playing right now.

“Lil Nate”

Exhibit D:
Brian Scalabrine, now you may laugh and wonder why I am even talking about a player who averaged 1.5 points, 1 rebound, 0.5 assists, 0.2 blocks, and 0.2 steals for the Celtics last year, and followed that up with similar solid stats with my Bulls this year.  You can never underestimate the impact of an NBA player in a suit or warm up who has 0% chance of getting into the game, cheering his teammates on.  All I have to say is…Brian is still cheering right now.

The best dressed cheerleader in the league

All this thought has caused me to wonder if the Celtics would still be playing if this coach and these three players were still a part of the team.  I guess we will never know.

 

Aquil “Quil” Bayyan of The War Room, for War Room Sports

Brandon Roy: “Y’ALL MUSTA FORGOT!”

Friday, April 29th, 2011

In a time when athletes are more concerned with their global brand and market appeal than their craft…

In a time when athletes are just athletes…skill be damned…

In a time where “princess boyishness” is rewarded…

In a time where two grown men over 6’3” can walk down the tunnel of a basketball arena holding hands as a way to come out of the closet…I mean come off the court.

I salute Brandon Roy.  He wanted to play…wanted to compete…and when he couldn’t…he cried.  He cried in front of millions.  He shed a tear in a packed arena…because all he wanted to do was ball.  Now I’m probably going to roast him for it later.  I’m going to say to one of my Homies…”stop Roy’ing” (now short for crying, bitching, moaning, shedding a tear, etc.).

But in all seriousness, I applaud the love and passion…and why shouldn’t he cry if a dude named “Rudy” and another dude named “Patty” gets into the game in front of him?…former Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie Team (1st team) member, 3-time All-Star,  and 2-time All-NBA Team (2nd & 3rd team) member.

He humbled himself…apologizing for his tomfoolery…his “Amaechi-hood”…and then proceeded to go out and roast the Dallas Mavericks, scoring 18 points in a quarter…THE 4th QUARTER…OF A PLAYOFF GAME…with no knees…WITH NO KNEES!  And to all the detractors and those showering Brandon Roy with pity for his injuries, or hating on him for his actions…he looked y’all dead in the eye and said:

“Y’ALL MUSTA FORGOT!!!”

B. Austin of The War Room, for War Room Sports