Before the season started, I was given an idea for a blog topic from a friend of mine. The idea was to start a conversation of players I thought could be elite 2nd and 3rd options on championship teams but are currently a number one option on a meddling contender. Players like James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.
The Western Conference is Top heavy with the likes of Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard. Not to mention, Lebron looking to make a run at his 5th NBA Title. The East in comparison may look easier to play in for some. But treadmill contenders like Boston, Miami, and Milwaukee have improved in the offseason and may provide a real threat.
Following the Nets blockbuster trade, the main point of comparison I am going to focus on now is James Harden’s impact as a second/third option compared to Giannis’ & Joel’s impact as a number 1 option.
The last time Harden was a 3rd option he would 6th man of the year in 2011-2012. We can expect a little more out of his stat lines as a number 3 with the Nets. I think we see him get about 15-20 shots a game on avg and put up around 25 points 8 rebound 8 Assists.
With KD and Kyrie showing out as an elite 1&2 punch early on this season. Harden is the talent that the roster needed to take it over the top. They have a chance to always have the best player on the floor. A championship in year one would be nice but should not be their only measure of success. The Nets have this core locked down for at least one more year before having to worry about resigning James Harden. That should give them more than enough time to iron out the normal wrinkle or 2 that occurs following massive roster shake ups. IF The Lakers & Nets do meet in the finals, I got The Nets in 7 games.
Monster lines that came with an L
The Joker is his own worst enemy
Nba fantasy team owners would take this line night in and night out from Jokic if they could. 27 point 15 rebounds 14 ast and 3 blks. The only sore spot would be the 6 turnovers. The last of which led to the game winning tip in from the Kings Buddy Hield. The Nuggets came into this game as clear favorites and had the game in hand before it reached over time. In the extra frame on that last play, they were in a great position to win the game as well. The Joker’s partner in crime, Jamal Murray was nowhere to be found as he had fouled out of the game a couple possessions earlier. Jokic is a player to watch for the rest of the season. Known for starting slow. Maybe this quick turn around may help erase that from memory.
Do not Hate the Brodie but you might be able to blame him for this loss.
In true Russell Westbrook Fashion, he opened the 2020 season with a triple double. Doing so in only 3 quarters. Leading the Wizards to a 10-point lead over the 76ers heading into the 4th. But that is where the wheels fell off. The Wizards were outscored 40-24 in the quarter and ultimately ended up losing the game 113 to 107. Westbrook scored his last points with 4:02 left in the game. In what would be his last positive contribution to the Wizard winning efforts. With the game tied at 99 with 2:57 to go. The 76ers out scored the Wizards 14-9. For Westbrook and company although they were heavy underdogs coming into the game. I know this lost still stings as they had many chances to put this one away. This game has opened the door for Westbrook critics to push the stat padder narrative and after a lackluster closing effort like this I can not blame them.
Scary Terry stakes his claim to be the lead guard in Charlotte in a losing effort.
After coming out of the first quarter stuck 1 at 23-24, the Hornets allowed the Cavs to jump out to a 21-point lead at half. Losing the second Q 41-21. The Hornets completely controlled the pace of the game from that point on winning both the 3rd and 4th quarters by 8&6 points, respectively. If not for Terry’s 10 3 point makes and 42 points overall. This game would have gotten ugly fast. With Charlotte not making the playoffs last year and their only additions to their rotation being the 3rd overall Pick Lamelo Ball and former all-star Gordon Hayward. There is a clear battle for minutes, usage and shots at both the guard positions and as a result the small forward position as well. With 42-points, Scary Terry has marked his spot at the top of the ladder with Haywards 28 points and 120-million-dollar contract almost locked into second. Leaving the real battle to be had between 3rd year guard Devonte Graham and rookie Lamelo ball. Graham did not shoot the ball the best but was able to come away with a double-double (10 points & 10 Assists) in 37 minutes of action. Lamelo on the other hand was held scoreless but did come away with 2 stls that interestingly happened in the same sequence. A clear pecking order has started to form in Charlotte. Will be interesting to see if Lamelo and Graham can shake things up moving forward.
Monster Lines that came with a W
Brown Tatum and a bit of luck beat the Bucks.
The Celtics controlled the 2nd and 3rd quarters putting them in a spot to win late. Despite being out scored in the 4th 37-21. As a Bucks fan this one probably hurt to watch. Not only did Tatum take Giannis lunch money on the step back 3 to take the lead. When gifted a terrible foul by Tristan Thompson with .4 left. Giannis steps to the line and misses a free throw that would have sent the game to overtime. I doubt there will be many games this regular season where Giannas has 35 points 13 rebounds and 2 blks. Khris Middleton flirts with a triple double at 27 points 14 rebounds and 8 Assists. Then Jrue Holiday adds in 25 points and the Bucks go on to lose. The Celtics prized duo of Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown had other ideas. Scoring 63 points combined. With 30 points 7 rebounds 2 stls and a blk from Tatum. Then 33 points 5 rebounds 2stls and blk from brown. The Eastern Conference is going to be a bloodbath this season, with Kyrie and Hayward out of the picture in Boston it might be time for their 2 young stars to take that next step.
Will the Real Slim reaper please stand up!
Weathering the storm in the first half, Brandon Ingram came out like a man possessed to route the Toronto Raptors 113-99. Heading in the break stuck 7, B.I and company put on a shooting clinic and took Toronto to school. Being one rebound shy of a triple double, Ingram was a clear force to be reckoned with. Finding the open man with ease and their shooters; JJ reddick, Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball made them most of it. To the tune of 11 assists for Brandon and a combined 14 made 3pts from those 3 alone. Matching the team total of the Raptors on 20 less attempts from deep. As good as the Raptors D has been under Nick Nurse. It is clear the team lives and dies by their perimeter shooting and perimeter D. Both leaving much to be desired in the second half. The Pelicans are loaded with talent and should be an interesting team to watch in a stacked Western Conference.
Trae being Trae.
Not much to say about this one as the game was over by halftime. Trae Young came out of the gates on fire. Scoring 37 points on 12 shots. Supplemented by him going a perfect 14 for 14 from the free throw line in 26 minutes. It is unfortunate that this game was not closer as we could have been in store for an all-time great performance. Having retooled in the offseason as well as at the trade deadline last season. the Eastern Conference should be on notice of this year’s Hawks!
As of last night, the word went out that the Cleveland Baseball team will change their name and logo going forward. In 2020 this has been something of a hot button issue finally. with the Washington football team doing the same earlier this year. Once their top sponsors and merchandise distributors said they would cut ties if no actions were taken. I want to use this moment to take a deep dive into the history of both franchises. In my opinion, what should have been an incentive to change the names years ago is a silver lining for the front offices and owners who have gas lit the public into believing that their franchises have little to no ties to racism or bigotry at all.
Washington Football Team
Not much to say here, around 1937 the team changed its name to the Redskins, but it was not until 1961 that the owner reluctantly integrated his team with players of colour. Including Native Americans. So how can you expect us to believe that the name change was done out of admiration vs contempt. Also, it was not until Walmart said they would stop selling their merch and Fedex said they would strip their branding and support. Among many other scandals with the Football team’s front office that they conceded to a name change in June of 2020.
Since the change the ownership has since said they will not update their name from the Washington football team due to popularity. It is almost a sick joke to the people that fought so hard for this name change to happen but were told that there was nothing wrong with it or that it would be too hard to rebrand the franchise and all of its holdings.
In 1914 then owner Charles Somers put forward the idea to change the teams name from the Cleveland Naps. Following the departure of their First super star Napoleon Lajoie. After much discussion they locked in on the team name “Indians” in what they would call homage to the Cleveland Spiders who played in the city from 1898 -1899 and were given that nickname by fans due to having Native American player Louis Sockalexis,, who some say may have been the first Native American player to play in major league baseball. Although there are many conflicting reports. In the present day they will try to sell you on this idea but news publications from that day make no references to Sockalexis for the name change but rather say many derogatory statements about him and others of the same bloodline.
Fast forward to 1948 just months after Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier. Cleveland became the second team to integrate a black player on their team, Larry Doby. Also, they became the first team to add a second in Negro League super star Satchel Paige. Making him the oldest rookie in MLB history at 46. At the time many thought this may have been done in a public stunt as Cleveland was able to draw around 70-78k fans at home following these changes. Not to mention that the team went on to Win the World Series that year. Becoming the first team to win with a black player on its roster, The last such in the team’s history. Almost 10 years before Jackie Robinson was able to win with the Dodgers.
In 2014 ,Major league baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says he has never heard of any negative complaints about the logo , almost ignoring the court case that happened Right before he took the position in 1998. That had a group of Native American Protesters protest the name and logo of the team during the 1997 world series. Team Officials even went as far to say that their protest had nothing to do with the issues of the logo & team name and complained that they damaged a tree in the area the protest took place and had them arrested.
Regardless of all that is mentioned above, people that grew up sports fans of these teams are committed to these teams beyond their racist past because they love the sport and or the players that the team employees. The market to make a ton of money off these re brands have always been there. In moments that will follow this announcement, do not allow racist baseball historians to dilute this moment in history by saying we are removing black history from baseball with this name change. Because that is simply not true.
Many people have fought for this change and I am glad it is finally happening.
I know plenty of NFL fans are avid bettors. Whether it be daily fantasy, Proline or making picks through online websites.
My goal of writing this blog is to give you a way, you can make watching sports and betting on games fun for the person or people you are convincing to watch the games with you.
The premise is simple. Give the person the full slate of games.Let them choose the game winner off a random team fact for that week. I am using the NFL as an example, but this can be done with any sport.
This week I chose logos and had 6 of my friends that are not heavily invested in the NFL, pick 6 winners and I played 5 dollars on each ticket. With the promise to split the winnings.
Read more : Betting Basic
If any of the plays get to about $50-$60 in early cash out, I will take the money and run.
This can be done with out money, instead you can pit their picks against yours or a group. While putting something fun on the line for the winner. Such as cooking/paying for dinner, doing the dishes, or putting the kids to bed.
If you do play please play responsibly!
Read more : Who Let The Dogs Out ? : Week 8 NFL Parlay
If you are new to sports betting check out my betting basics blog.
Seahawks over 49ers
Bears over Saints
Raiders over Browns
Lions over Colts
Dolphins over Rams