Curry Proves to be Better Than Harden Yet Again

James Harden scored 45 points, an incredible total by any standard, but even more so in the playoffs. Still, even with that effort, it was clear that Stephen Curry was better than Harden.

When Curry jumped to block a shot, he flew up over Trevor Ariza. Ariza tried to duck him, but the impact took Curry’s legs out from under him, flipping him over. He landed hard on the court, breaking his fall only slightly with one arm and then hitting his head on the hardwoods. He left the game, returning after some time, but clearly being limited by the injury.

It’s important because all of that had to happen for James Harden to finally look like the James Harden who was considered for the MVP honors that ultimately went to Curry. Harden has been good in other games, but he’s made mistakes, even turning the ball over when the Rockets were down just one point, as time expired. He’s not been an MVP caliber player. Last night, he finally looked like he deserved the honor, scoring 45 and leading his team to its first win of the series.

Christian Broad feels that he could only do it, though, with Curry injured. If anything, this game showed just how great Curry is, as he’s both held Harden in check and been a scoring machine himself. The Warriors will have him back for the next game, which they’re expected to win.

Lakers Snatch Number 2 Pick In 2015 NBA Draft

The once mighty Los Angeles Lakers needed a bit of luck to start turning around the fortunes of the franchise during the 2015 NBA lottery and a bit of luck is just what they received. Despite having the fourth worst record in the NBA this season, the Lakers will move up two spots and will pick number two overall in the NBA draft. Bloomberg recently reported something that the guys at Madison Street Capital have known for a long time, that the last time the Lakers had a draft pick this high they picked James Worthy, who became a key element to the Laker’s championship run during the 1980s and 1990s. Picking number two is almost better than picking number one as the team will not have the pressure of wondering if they are in fact picking the best player in the draft and the baggage with picking number one. That fate fell on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers had their worst season that any Laker fan could remember and what is more concerning is that there are few building blocks that fans can look towards on the team to see Championship caliber team come out of Los Angeles anytime soon. The current laker roster has an aging Kobe Bryant who may have one or two years left before he retires. Many believe that the next NBA season will be Kobe’s last. Current forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love will be a free agent and him landing in Los Angeles is a distinct possibility. However, without another young super star, fans will have to be patient with this current Laker team.Lakers Land Number 2 Overall NBA Pick.

Reebok Deal is Hurting UFC Fighters

The UFC is a billion dollar corporation, but apparently, the fighters feel that they are not getting paid fairly. The UFC has been under scrutiny for years about this subject, and the president of the company has denied these claims for years. However, it cannot be denied that MMA fighters are paid far less than any other professional athlete in the world. A professional UFC fighter is sometimes only paid $6,000 dollars per fight, and that is downright despicable. How can someone feed their family with that amount of money? People have to remember that MMA fighters have to pay everyone around them, and the fighter is usually left with nothing.

A few people at Amen Clinics agree that having such a dangerous and life threatening job should result in a great reward. The UFC is supposed to be the place where the best fighters meet. Doesn’t that mean that everyone who is under contract with company deserves to get paid well for their service?

Aside from fighting, UFC fighters make money from their sponsorship deals. Everytime that a fighter goes into the octagon with a company’s name on his shorts, that fighter is paid for showing off the sponsor’s name. However, the UFC has made an exclusive sponsorship deal with clothing and apparel company Reebok. This means that UFC fighters will not be allowed to where other sponsorships, while in the octagon. BloodyElbow.com features an interview with Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar. Both of these elite fighters agree that the Reebok deal has caused everyone to lose money across the board. Also, UFC fans feel that the company is making the most amount of money from Reebok and not the fighters.

San Antonio Wants Duncan Back

The San Antonio Spurs are two years removed from a World Championship over the hated Miami Heat (at the time). San Antonio was unfortunately bounced after the first round in this last postseason against the tough Los Angeles Clippers, leaving many to ask the question: Did we just see Tim Duncan’s final game in the NBA? Tim Duncan, who seems ageless if only because of his attitude, has continued to show that he is one of the best big men in the league thanks to his fundamentals and honest work ethic. If Coach Pop and the Spurs have their way, he’ll be back for another run at a title.

Spurs fan Paul Mathieson’s biggest fear is that Tim Duncan will retire without a proper send off (more at ireport.cnn.com). After all, Duncan doesn’t need to stick around for any more rings or playoff series. Duncan has gotten his wins as the big man and he has made his case for the Hall of Fame. Yet many fans would like to see Duncan come back for one more year, if only to help transition the team onto Kawhii Leonard’s young but sturdy shoulders.

Leonard is about as close to a Duncan clone as you can get from the small forward position. Always serious, and always working, Leonard has quickly worked his way up to the second most important player on the entire team. Another year of tutelage from Tim Duncan could make all the difference in the world.

Atlanta Can Let LeBron Get His, Stop Other Cavs

The Atlanta Hawks earned the right to challenge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference Championship. The Hawks won 60 games during the regular season and they were routinely considered one of the best teams in the league. Of course none of that means anything when you have 2x Finals Champion and multiple MVP LeBron James standing in your way. Fortunately for Atlanta, the Hawks can win this game even if LeBron plays heroic ball. The key is just, simply, to go out and stop everyone else in a Cavs uniform.

While swingman Demarre Carroll is a plus defender on the court he is still no match up for LeBron James. James will be able to get to the rim at will against Carroll and the rest of the Hawks. Surprisingly enough, that’s fine. The Hawks were never going to shut LeBron down. So Atlanta needs to let LeBron get what he can get and instead focus on shutting down the rest of the Cavaliers.

LinkedIn said if Atlanta can seriously stymie the play of guys like Tristan Thompson, Kyrie Irving, and JR Smith then the team might find a way to win this series. LeBron can’t handle the burden of doing everything for a protracted series, so eventually fatigue will catch up with him. As it is James will likely have to play 40+ minutes every night, assuring the fact that he will wear down toward the end of the series.

Golden State Warriors Take Game One From Rockets

On May 19 the first game between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors took place and the number one seed, the Warriors, came out right on top as expected. With the help of Stephen Curry, the team really took control of the situation despite falling behind a little bit in the second half. According to an article found and written by Yahoo! Sports, the Rockets looked like they had a chance when James Harden really took a commanding role on the court. The Warriors fell behind the Rockets in the second half of the game, but the team worked together to recover really quickly.

This is only game number 1, though, between the two teams in this championship tournament. There could be a potential of six more games if the Rockets manage to step it up and take a win or two back from Golden State. In any case, fans over at Handy know things are getting exciting out there in the NBA world and it won’t be long until we get to the finals which will be a lot of fun. All of the basketball stars are going to be pushing themselves to the limit to get those wins, and it will likely be long, grueling and intense games for them. But, this is the moment that they work for each season in their career- to get to the championships, so it also feels very rewarding for them.

Matt Landis leads Notre Dame to semi finals of the NCAA tournament

Matt Landis ACC lacrosse

Number one seed Notre Dame made their way through a tough quarter final of the NCAA tournament against Albany on the back of a dominant defensive display, Inside Lacrosse reports. The Notre Dame defense was led by star player Matt Landis as they blunted the threat posed by Albany’s speedy and free scoring offense to advance to the semi finals and maintain their number one tournament ranking.

Notre Dame’s Matt Landis was identified as the star performer for the Irish as the defensive standout added to his growing reputation as one of the top college lacrosse players in the world.  Landis was a match for the movement and quick thinking of Albany offensive star Lyle Thompson as the pair matched up in a physical and hard fought encounter shaded by Landis as he blocked the majority of sights of goal given to Thompson. Matt Landis showed both the speed and strength his play has become known for as the Albany offense stalled when faced with the Notre Dame defense led by Matt Landis. His performance last weekend earned him the title of Epoch/LM Player of the Week.

matt landis player of the week

This low scoring game was won by a tactical choice made by Notre Dame Coach Kevin Corrigan who decided to place Matt Landis at the forefront of his game plan. Corrigan asked Landis to shadow Thompson throughout the game and worked throughout the practice sessions before the game week by pitting Landis against players mimicking the style and size of Thompson. Landis himself praised Notre Dame team member Kyle Trolley who took the brunt of the practice work playing in the style of Thompson. Matt Landis has already been nominated for the top college lacrosse player award and is hoping to add the NCAA tournament to his growing list of achievements at Notre Dame.

The full article is available at Inside Lacrosse.

Kyrie Irving to Play, X Factor in Atlanta Series

Kyrie Irving is probably one of the most under appreciated point guards in the entire NBA. There are a ton of reasons that he doesn’t get the respect that he deserves, despite his big shoe deals, All Star appearances, and commercial run as “Mr. Drew”. One of the biggest reasons is that Kyrie hasn’t led any team to the NBA playoffs during his career so far. Yeah, the guard is still young but many find that to be inexcusable for a player of his talent. Well, the blinders are off now. When the Cavaliers and Hawks begin their series this Wednesday, it will be Irving who keys the Cavaliers to victory or failure.

While LeBron James is the best active basketball player in the world he has struggled to get things done on his own so far this playoff run. James has put up gaudy numbers but his efficiency hasn’t been there and neither has his clutch shooting, outside of one big game against Chicago. James Dondero even says that Kyrie Irving has been in and out of the line up due to different injuries but it finally seems like he is going to get over that hump and gut it out in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks.

When Irving is on the court and playing at least 75% of his full speed, the Cavaliers are a fast and dangerous team. Irving will also be tasked with defensively slowing down another quick guard in Jeff Teague.

Missed No Hitter Shows Batters Are Trying

What could have been the last batter of the day turned out to be the only one to get a hit against Shelby Miller, taking away a potential no hitter. The team still was able to get the W, but Miller didn’t get to brag about his own accomplishment.

It’s easy to give up in sports. When a game is out of reach, one player can mail it in without feeling too bad. This game was 6-0 at the time and no one else had even hit the ball. It was the ninth inning, and two other batters were out when Justin Bour stepped up to the plate. If he’d decided not to try, no one could have blamed him. After all, getting on base wouldn’t even help his team that much. A home run would leave it as a five-run game and he’d likely lose. Why try for that hit?

But Bour didn’t care. Fans like Alexei Beltyukov know that he was there to hit and he was going to try to hit no matter what. He was not phased by the way that Miller had been playing or by the score. That outlook is what allowed him to rip the ball down the middle and get on base for the first time in the game.

It’s a good thing for the sport, because it shows that, when pitchers really do get no hitters, it actually matters. Those batters aren’t giving up.

Kyrie Irving: X-Factor in Hawks Series.

Up until this year Kyrie Irving had never made it past the first round of the NBA Playoffs. We’re pretty sure the electric guard hadn’t really won a single game in the playoffs, either. SO now to have LeBron James thrown onto your team, and with him the heaping responsibility of winning a title, things must have gotten crazy and quick for Irving.Fortunately the Australian native managed to answer questions immediately about how he’d come up under pressure: through 10 games Irving is averaging 20/3/3, and those include injury shortened games. With a series against Atlanta coming up in the ECF, Irving is the X factor and he might not even take the floor.

Since the postseason has begun, and probably a few weeks prior to that, Irving has been fighting healthy with his bum ankle. Irving, who relies so much on his lateral movement, hasn’t been able to play as his typical quick and efficient self and this has hurt Cleveland immensely. My friends at Freedompop think that right now Kyrie is questionable to take the court for Game 1 due to tendinitis in his knees.

The question we have for Head Coach David Blatt is this: Do you sit Irving in Game 1 even if he COULD play? Irving could definitely benefit from the extra couple of days off, but sitting him might concede a victory and those are precious and rare at this stage of the playoffs.