Tag Archives: nba

ON BLAST PODCAST – BALL ON BLAST EP.1

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OnBlastPodcast.Wordpress.com for old episodes as well as video content. In this the debut episode of “Ball on Blast”, Sheldon and Andrew get you set for the upcoming NBA season #BallOnBlast

00 – The biggest moves of the off season
1:30 – Will the James Harden/Chris Paul backcourt work and are the Clippers dead?
6:13 – Eastern Conference preview and can the Sixers be a top 5 team?
17:59 – Western Conference preview and are the TWolves for real?
21:49 – Can Russ, PG and Melo be successful in OKC?
28:00 – Our Preseason pick for NBA MVP

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Let us know what you think and follow us on twitter
@ShelAlexander and @awebster84

#UnpolishedUnapologetic
Hope you enjoy the show and don’t forget to #TellYoFriends

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THE WINS AND LOSSES OF THE KYRIE IRVING TRADE

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It finally happened, the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah ThomasJae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets‘ 2018 unprotected first-round pick.  Every trade comes down to who won the deal.  But this one might be more complex than that. Right off the bat, I gotta say…not a bad haul for the new Cavs GM and I actually think my first instinct is the Cavs won this deal by a lot.  First off, they had no leverage.  Kyrie’s trade demand was made public and so naturally that lessens his trade value.  So if you’re the Cavs, you could be heading into next year’s off season with no Kyrie, no LeBron and no hope at all.  Instead, they flip Kyrie into IT who actually had better numbers than Kyrie did last year and in doing so they maintain this season’s title hopes:

                     IRVING                       THOMAS 

PPG                25.2                                28.9

APG                5.8                                  5.9

3-PT FG%      40%                               38%

PER                 23                                  26.5

Now, I’m not saying IT is better than Kyrie, but the gap between the two players isn’t as big as its perceived to be.  Also the Cavs add Crowder their rotation which is an immediate upgrade over last season’s Richard Jefferson minutes.  So the question needs to be asked, are the Cavs actually better than they were last season? ….And oh yeah they got a first round pick, but not just any first round pick, but THE NETS FIRST ROUND PICK!!!!  So they went from possibly having no Kyrie or LeBron, to possibly having the top pick in next year’s draft.  On top of that….I don’t know about you, but given the option, I’d rather have the Nets pick and Crowder (and his great contract) than one extra year of Kyrie Irving.

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Now don’t get me wrong, Kryie Irving is a very good player.  But I don’t think he’s the “franchise” player we think he is.  Can he be the best player on a championship team?  I don’t think so.  Irving, Hayward and Horford is a pretty good threesome, but I don’t think the Warriors are worried.  Heck, the Cavs made the trade, so clearly they’re not worried either.  For the Celtics, the pressure is now on their kids, Tatum and Brown who will have to contribute consistently if Boston is to compete for the East crown.  It sounds as if I’m down on this from the Celtics side of things and I’m not…well not really anyways.  I just think they could have gotten more out of the Nets picks.  Kyrie is great, but he’s only been great around LeBron.  When his trade demand was first announced, Tom Haberstroh of ESPN had a great break down of the “Kyrie-led” Cavs. (http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/20149584/does-kyrie-irving-kobe-bryant-lebron-james-problem-nba)

Lets just say the results aren’t flattering at all for Mr. Irving.  Here are some highlights

  • In the 17 games that James has sat the past three seasons with Irving starting, the Cavs’ record is a woeful 4-13 (.235).
  • When James played without Irving the past three seasons, the Cavs went 25-11 (.694).
  • With Irving off the court & James on the court, the LeBron-led Cavs outscored opponents by 585 pts in 3,074 mins, or plus-9.1 per 48 mins
  • With Irving on the court & James off the court, the Irving-led Cavs have been outscored by 94 pts in 2,000 mins, or minus-1.7 per 48 mins
  • The Irving-led Cavs would be on pace with a New Orleans Pelicans team that finished 14 games under .500 last season…
  • Irving ranks 12th among PG’s in real plus-minus, thanks to a def RPM that places him 440th among all players on that end of the floor.

Now of course, one could argue the Cavs roster is built to surround LeBron James more than it is to support Kyrie and his skill set.  But still the questions remain, are we sure Kyrie is as good as we think he is?  We know he’s a great scorer.  We know he can’t be guarded, but does he make anyone around him better?  A closer look at the last point listed above will probably shock you in terms of the PG’s ranked above Kyrie in terms of Real Plus Minus:

2016-17 Real Plus-Minus – Point Guards

RK NAME TEAM GP MPG ORPM DRPM RPM WINS
1 Chris Paul LAC 61 31.5 5.16 2.76 7.92 13.48
2 Stephen Curry GS 79 33.4 7.27 0.14 7.41 18.80
3 Russell Westbrook OKC 81 34.6 6.74 -0.47 6.27 17.34
4 Kyle Lowry TOR 60 37.4 4.70 1.18 5.88 12.67
5 Mike Conley MEM 69 33.2 4.67 -0.20 4.47 10.50
6 George Hill UTAH 49 31.5 2.64 1.11 3.75 6.28
7 Damian Lillard POR 75 35.9 4.63 -1.49 3.14 10.72
8 Kemba Walker CHA 79 34.7 3.93 -1.25 2.68 9.95
9 Ricky Rubio MIN 75 32.9 1.73 0.76 2.49 8.72
10 Patrick Beverley HOU 67 30.7 1.11 1.37 2.48 7.56
11 John Wall WSH 78 36.4 3.52 -1.26 2.26 9.90
12 Kyrie Irving CLE 72 35.1 4.35 -2.30 2.05 8.28
13 Isaiah Thomas BOS 76 33.8 5.72 -3.89 1.83 8.19

You’ll also notice that Kyrie ranks just above…..Isaiah Thomas.  Now again, this isn’t to shit on Kyrie, cause the kid has game.  He’s 25 years old and put up 25 points a night while having to share the ball with LeBron and Kevin Love.  But we’ll soon find out if his scoring prowess can translate into wins when he’s not playing beside LeBron James.  Even more so we’ll find out if Kyrie can take it to another level and be Russell Westbrook or James Harden and propel himself into the MVP candidate.  A wise man once said “there’s levels to this shit” and in this case, I’m not sure Kyrie is at that level.

With a ton of factors like Thomas’ health, how good the Nets will be and will Kyrie re-sign in Boston…  We may not find out who really won this trade for a couple years.  What we do know is, LeBron gets at least one more run at a championship in Cleveland, the Cavs trade Kyrie and will most likely get to eliminate him in the playoffs and Cleveland with the Nets pick is a lot more desirable for LeBron to stay, than they were about a week ago (WEEK AGOOOOO).  NBA fans won’t have to wait long to see the drama unfold on the court as the Celtics and Cavs square off on opening night in Cleveland.

I started this by asking who won this trade and even now after going through it…the answer is still complicated.  LeBron remains a top the east.  IT and Crowder have their best chance to compete for a ring and the Cavs get the coveted Nets pick.  While on the other side, the Celtics get their “star” and Kyrie gets to prove that he deserves that status. So while there’s still time to sort out all of the “Wins and Losses”…to me anyways, after all of the back and forth this summer on social media, one of LeBron’s workout videos might have summed things up perfectly.

Side note, check out that new Meek Mill album…straight FIRE!!!!

As always, just my thoughts.  Right or wrong, just how I’m feeling at the time.

@ShelAlexander

#OnBlast

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ON BLAST PODCAST S3 E10 – I MISS THE OLD NBA (FINALS RECAP)

Kevin Durant won finals MVP as the Golden State Warriors ran over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win another NBA Championship, but did the fans enjoy the NBA season, playoffs or finals? In this episode, Sheldon decides to try something new and “cold calls” his friends asking their opinions on the “New NBA”. Let us know what you think and whether you agree or disagree with the callers.

Let us know what you think and follow us on twitter
@ShelAlexander

#UnpolishedUnapologetic
Hope you enjoy the show and don’t forget to #TellYoFriends

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I WAS GOING TO WRITE ABOUT THE NBA FINALS, BUT THEN….

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My plan was to write about the NBA finals.  To preview the 3rd installment of the Cavs and Warriors.  To break down LeBron surpassing MJ or KD getting his first ring.  That was my plan.  I had it all figured out, I was going to give you all of the reasons why I thought LeBron James and the Cavs were going to upset the Warriors and repeat as NBA champs.  And then this came across my timeline:

Suddenly whoever puts a ball through a hoop more times than the other matters a whole lot less.  Now I’m sure some people read the exact same headline and brushed it off as hyperbole or insignificant because “He’s rich and famous, he should be used to haters” or “It was probably just some random idiot”.   I’m sure it might have been easy for some of you to scroll right on by…and I’m sorry to be this blunt, but…

YOU’RE FUCKING MISSING THE POINT.

If someone who is at the top of his game, at the highest level of success in not only his field, but in life in general…If someone like LeBron James at the end of the day is still looked at by some as simply a “Nigger”.  Then what chance do the rest of us have.  Seriously stop and think about that message for a second.

“Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coupe” – Kanye West (All Falls Down)

Those words from Mr. West have always stuck with me as a reminder that no matter what I do or what I accomplish, to some at the end of the day I will always just be different.  But not just different, different with a negative connotation.  We both can wear jeans and t-shirts, but my jeans and t-shirts will always be different.  The worst part about this is, we’ve been told all of our lives “that’s just the way it is.  There will always be racist people in the world” And I’m always forced to fire back with, WHY?  Why are we just supposed to accept that some people are just blatantly ignorant and that others are just as ignorant…but only behind closed doors?  Why is that something that we should still be “accepting” in 2017?  Some may not understand this, but again what chance do the rest of us honestly have if that’s how LeBron James is perceived?  Think about it, we talk more about his hairline than we do about the $41 Million that he spent to send over a 1000 kids to college.

Just a few months ago, LeBron starred in a Nike campaign that centered on the concept of “Equality”

It was a powerful ad to some and to others just another attempt to sell shoes.  Regardless of which side of that you fall on, the irony of watching that same man sit in front of a group of media and recite the story of Emmett Till’s open casket was heart wrenching to say the least.

Of course he’s an athlete in the spotlight, but he’s also a human being who no doubt has to be worried about the safety of his family.  On the flip side, he’s also a man that wants to be known for more than what he does on a basketball court.   He’s aware of the platform the sport brings and lately hasn’t been shy about using it to deliver a message.

Basketball and sports in general, are supposed to be an escape from the negativity that plagues us in the real world.  But over the past few years, it’s also been an important reminder of the stage it can bring when explaining social issues.  As much as we debate the role race plays in “Why PK Subban doesn’t fit into hockey culture”….we all know deep down that language is coded at best.  Same thing for LeBron and his “posse” or Colin Kaepernick “disrespecting” the anthem and obviously for Boston fans and their relationship with Adam Jones.   Many people confuse these things with having to be “uber-politically correct” in 2017.  But in reality it’s much more about being honest with ourselves about what’s really going on.  Words have meaning.  Maybe some of us have forgotten that elementary school lesson, but that’s why LeBron James’ words today were so important.

He’s arguably the greatest athlete of his generation and on the eve of one of the biggest games of his life, he’s forced to answer questions about some jack ass spray painting “Nigger” on his front gate.  Again, stop and think about the ridiculous nature of that sentence.  You can hear the pain in his voice and I honestly don’t know how he was able to keep it together, much less articulate so eloquently the importance of the role he now understands he plays, in terms of keeping this discussion in the main stream.  It would be so easy to give a “no comment” or to say something as generic as “the police are handling it”.  But that’s not LeBron James.  At least it’s not person we’ve watched mature into the man who stood on stage with his brothers at an award show last year, to deliver an extremely important message at a very delicate time in our history.

Some will always ask, what is he REALLY DOING?  Or question whether he could be doing more.  But how about we stop and appreciate what is actually being done.  You see, the simple act of acknowledging this pathetic act, forces the media worldwide to discuss the topic of racism, while they promote the biggest basketball games of year.  And that’s the part people often miss.  While racism continues to be a huge problem, the even bigger issue is the reluctance by many to acknowledge the fact of it being a problem in the first place.  Racism can’t go away until we all admit that it still exists.  That’s when we can all demand that it stops.  I know this all seems like a crazy concept, especially when you consider the campaign ran by the current leader of the free world.  But again, until we all understand that it’s a very real problem…nothing will ever change.

So as I said, I was going to write about who was going to win the NBA Finals and then racism reared its ugly head yet again.  Some of you might be thinking “why does race always have to be a thing, let’s just enjoy basketball” and others might be smart enough to realize that some don’t get the chance to have it “not be a thing”.  Of course I could have went ahead and written about the finals and focused on the positives of having basketball as an escape, but to be honest…I’m so tired of being told to “accept it” and that’s what we all do to a certain extent the longer we allow racism to exist in our society.   I don’t have much of a platform, but I’m going to use the little one that I do have to say that I’m fed up and sick and tired of having to explain racism.  But it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop, despite always being worried about how I will be received.  Imagine how fucked up our society is when a segment of the population is made to feel bad about discussing their insecurities.  Insecurities due to things far beyond their own control.  Yes people should be upset about the act of racial slurs being plastered on a black family’s front gate.  But shouldn’t the other people that live around the James’ LA home be even angrier that something of that nature took place in their neighborhood?  Shouldn’t Boston fans be more upset that someone felt they were in a safe enough space that they could yell “Nigger” at Adam Jones?  Do you see where I’m going here?  This isn’t just an issue about how black people deal with racism, it’s about how we as a society will eventually demand that it stops.  You see equality is an interesting concept that many don’t really understand.  It’s not about just having a “token black guy” in your office.  True equality would be getting to the point where someone is a “shitty worker” who just happens to be black….just as I’m sure there are shitty workers in your office who just happen to be white.  Maybe as you look up from your computer screen you’ll get a better understanding of what I’m trying to say…or maybe not.

Maybe a better example of inequality is like that Chris Rock bit where he talks about the rich neighbourhood he lives in….well I’ll let Mr. Rock tell the joke.

They say there’s some truth in every joke and maybe by now I hope I’m starting to make a little more sense to you in terms of opening up the dialogue. Or again…maybe not.  Maybe I’m rambling, because I’m frustrated.  Maybe you’ll just continue to complain about how long it’s taking for the NBA finals to start, so that we can all go back to talking about the games.  But maybe, just maybe… it’s time we all realize the need to start complaining about racism and how that’s the game that really needs to come to an end. Cause if that’s how “they” feel about LeBron….then what do “they” think of me.

“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough” – LeBron James 

As always, just my thoughts.  Right or wrong.  Just how I’m feeling at the time.

And oh yeah…Cavs in 6.

@ShelAlexander

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ON BLAST PODCAST S3 E5 – BROW AND BOOGIE

In this episode Sheldon and Webster tackle the DeMarcus Cousins deal that capped off NBA All Star Weekend.

00- Is Boogie Cousins worth the risk & WTF is going on with the Kings?
9:59 – Should the Raptors have traded for Boogie instead of Serge Ibaka?
20:17 – Can Buddy Hield be a star in the NBA?
24:30 – Examples of why the Kings traded Boogie
29:55 – Should the Lakers have traded Brandon Ingram from Cousins?
33:29 – Why the NBA stays winning…the storylines and THE DRAMA
38:40 – What other big names could be moved before the trade deadline?
39:50 – Could John Calipari leave Kentucky to join the Pelicans?

Let us know what you think and follow us on twitter
@ShelAlexander and @awebster84

#UnpolishedUnapologetic

Hope you enjoy the show and don’t forget to #TellYoFriends

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