• As NBA season nears, the offseason has already given plenty of excitement

    This NBA off-season has been the most intriguing since the “decision” in 2010. 

     

    Ironically enough, this off-season was once again centered on LeBron James. This decision however, featured King James announcing he will be “coming home” to Cleveland. But more drama brewed as  the Cavaliers maneuvered a way to land Kevin Love, the Bulls got back a healthy Derrick Rose and added veteran Pau Gasol, and the Clippers are poised for a run.

     

    When LeBron decided to sign with the Cavaliers, the dominoes began to take place. Wade and Bosh decided to resign with Miami while Melo also gave the Knicks another chance. The drama continued when Lance Stephenson wasn’t impressed with the Paces offer and signed with a young Charlotte Hornets team. All these big headlines overshadow one big story, the defending champion Spurs have brought back the entire championship roster to defend their title

    The San Antonio Spurs started off by giving Gregg Popovich an extension. And then slowly the pieces began to come together; Tim Duncan  decided to stay one more season, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw were both resigned, and then drafted Kyle Anderson who is the perfect fit for this franchise. And not mention, Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, and Tiago Splitter are back and ready to repeat.

    So the always loaded West will pack all the heat we are used to. The Spurs, Thunder, and Clippers seem to be at a higher level than the rest, but that gap may be decreasing as the Warriors, Blazers, and Rockets will be in the mix. The Mavs also reloaded by signing Parsons and trading for fan favorite Tyson Chandler, who anchored their championship run back in 2011. And then there are the teams fighting for the last playoff spot, the Grizzlies, Suns, Nuggets, Lakers and Pelicans. But even the bottom tier teams, Kings, Jazz, and Wolves are intriguing because of the young unproven talent they consist of.

    In the East, the obvious clash of the titans, Cleveland and Chicago, is almost too perfect of a battle for the conference finals, but it is way too soon to pencil that in. The Wizards added a much needed veteran Paul Pierce to an already talented roster, Lance Stephenson bolted for Charlotte, and the Raptors are getting better with experience. The devastating injury to Paul George and the departure of Stephenson leave the Pacers fighting for a lower playoff seeding. And then the always drama filled Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks will be vying for a playoff spot. All in all, the East seems like it’ll be a collision course between the Bulls and Cavaliers barring any major injury or upset.

     

    As if all this wasn't enough to pack into one off-season, this rookie class added another dimension. This draft class was said to be the most talented since the 2003 draft which included LeBron, Wade, Bosh, and Carmelo. Unfortunately, the way the league is powered right now, these talented rookies were placed on teams that are all rebuilding. Wiggins was traded to the Wolves, Parker drafted to the Bucks, Embiid to the 76ers. None of these teams seem positioned to make a playoff run. But rookies such as Doug McDermott, Noah Vonleh, and Kyle Anderson have chances to help their teams make a deep playoff push.

     

    With all this being said, the offseason is all just speculation, stats, and evaluations. The NBA season is a grueling 82 games where anything goes.

  • Europe claims third straight Ryder Cup over the Americans

    As the United States headed into the final round for the Ryder Cup today, it trailed Europe, 10-6.

    However, despite a push from the Americans, Europe came out with its third straight Ryder Cup win.

    Friday morning marked first matchup occurred between U.S. rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth as they were paired up against Gallacher and Ian Poulter.  Though, it came as a shock, that the rookies upset the Europeans.  For Poulter, this was the worst loss of his Ryder Cup career. 

    Also for the Americans, veterans Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley went out and beat Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.

    Things were looking good for the U.S. as it led after the morning, 2.5-1.5.  However, U.S. captain Tom Watson decided to sit the hot young stars and put his trust in Mickelson and Bradley. 

    That afternoon, the U.S. could not slow down the Europeans as they won 3.5-.5, ending the day with a 5-3 lead.

    The U.S. led Saturday morning 2.5-1.5, cutting the European lead, 6.5-5.5.  Europe, once again, gained control in the afternoon, leading 3.5-.5. And, on Sunday, Watson put the trust in the rookies and Rickie Fowler sidelining Mickelson, Bradley, and Webb Simpson.

    However, Sunday marked another win for Europe.  McIlroy earned the first point for Europe as he defeated Fowler to extend the lead 11-6.  After that, the Europeans cruised to victory.  Graeme McDowell came back to defeat Spieth, while Martin Kaymer beat Bubba Watson. 

    The final blow to the U.S. came when Jamie Donaldson hit a 9-iron just 2 feet short on the 15th hole.  Europe finished with a score of 16.5-11.5.  Not only did Europe win its third straight Ryder Cup, they also won it for the 8th time out of the last 10 events.