The winner so far is…..

             Back in June, the Boston Celtics sent the top overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the 3rd overall pick. Those picks would turn into Markelle Fultz tatumdraftfor the 76ers and Jayson Tatum for the Celtics, forever linking the two young players. From now on, there will always be a debate, as there usually is when it comes to trading these high positioned draft picks, on who won the trade and who looks like the big fool. This would be the second time this decade that the Celtics are involved in a big trade, the other is the Nets trade. These kinds of trades usually cannot declare a winner until a few years down the road, but it looks like that now, Boston won the trade.

              Through the first three games of the season, Markelle Fultz has averaged 7.3 points per game on 34.8% shooting. He also has averaged 2.3 rebounds a game and 1.3 assists a game and his team has not yet won a game. For Tatum, he is averaging 12.3 points on 40.7% shooting and 9 rebounds and 1.7 assists a game. Yes, I know it isfultzdraft only 3 games into the season for those two, but the early numbers are pointing in favor of Jayson Tatum and the Celtics when it comes to who won the trade. A reason for the lower averages for Fultz compared to Tatum, could be that Tatum is starting for the Celtics and averaging more minutes, while Fultz has to come off the bench for the 76ers.

              In the first matchup between the two on October 20th, the Celtics would go on to win the game and Tatum would have 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Fultz had 6 points 3 assists and one rebound. So round one of many more rounds goes to Tatum and the Celtics.

              Unless something happens to Tatum, I believe that the Celtics have gotten the better end of this trade. The production for him is there and it is very evident that his hard work is paying off with the coaches since he is averaging 35.3 minutes a game. Which makes him one of the few rookies right now to average over 35 minutes. The next closest rookie in minutes to him would be Fultz’s teammate Ben Simmons at exactly 35 minutes per game. As for Fultz, he is only averaging 19.7 minutes a game, which is not bad for a rookie, but you would think that the top overall pick would be getting a little more playing time and possibly averaging better stats.

              Like I said earlier, it is only three games into the season and it is a long season, so who knows what could happen down the road for either team, but as of right now Boston is winning the debate on who won the trade and it’s a big margin in my mind.

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The DC postseason sports curse. Is it real or do we need something to blame the lack of success on?

           As many sports fans inside the DMV and around the country have seen, the big 4 sports teams in DC, the Nationals, the Redskins, the Caps, and the Wizards, have had a rough time advancing in the playoffs since the beginning of the century. Since 2000, any of those four teams have only made it past the first round of their respected playoffs only 6 times, with the Wizards and Capitals having the most recent trips. The Redskins have not been past the first round in over ten years. They have lost three straight first-round games. The Nationals, even though they are technically a young franchise, haven’t been able to get past the NLDS in the three trips that they took.

           The Redskins haven’t been deep into the playoffs, getting to the conference championship or Super Bowl, since the first go around of the Joe Gibbs era when sad redskinsthey won Super Bowl 26 back in 1992. Since they won that Super Bowl, their playoff record is 3-6 with more losing seasons (13) than playoff trips (6). The Redskins are just cursed in general since Dan Snyder bought the team in the offseason before 1999. The team has gone through 8 head coaches, with the longest tenure for a head coach being four years.

           Before 2005, baseball had not been in the District since 1971 when the then Washington Senators left to become the Texas Rangers. In 2005, the Montreal Expos moved to DC and became the Nationals, but for the next seven years they rarely saw sad nationalssuccess, claimed the top pick in the draft twice and never saw the postseason. In 2012, the young franchise won the NL East for the first time since 1981, when they were the Expos, and finally reached the postseason and were the top team in all of Major League Baseball with a record of 98-64, and would face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, but would fall 2 games to 3. It would not get any better as the team would make the playoffs in 2014,16, and 17. All were NLDS exits. This franchise has been picked to at least get to the World Series the last 4 years, but have disappointed.

               The Capitals have had the most success out of all D.C. sports teams with getting to the playoffs and getting to at least the second round. The Capitals also have the last league championship appearance of the four teams when they reached the Stanley Cup championship against the Red Wings in the 1997-98 season, but since then, they have sad capitalsonly gotten to the second round. In every second round appearance, the team managed to get into a winner take all game 7, and have lost every game 7.

               The Wizards have only 7 postseason appearances since 2000, with 3 of them coming in the last four years. The Wizards have not been passed the second round of the playoffs since the ’78-’79 season when they were the Washington Bullets when they got to the NBA Finals against the Seattle Supersonics, which was a rematch of the sad wizardsprevious, which the Bullets won and would be the only title that the franchise has to this day. Lately, the team looks like they are getting better and could potentially break the curse of not just getting past the second round for any DC team, but could potentially end the Districts championship drought.

          Whoever cursed the teams in the DC area, probably got the idea to curse the town from the Chicago Goat curse, which many believed that it was the reason for the 108 year drought for the Chicago Cubs or from when Bobby Layne, a QB for the Detroit Lions in the late 50’s, cursed the team when they traded him to the Steelers.

It’s time to end the burning of the jerseys!!

                   In the NBA mostly, there is a “tradition” going around that needs to stop. That tradition is when a player changes team, then the fans who have that players jersey, set it on fire!! The latest occurrence of this was this past month when Isaiah thomas jersey burningThomas was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Cleveland Cavaliers. What made it awkward for those fans who burned the jerseys, is that the trade almost did not happen due to a concern on the Cavaliers side regarding Isaiah’s hip that he injured in the playoffs. I strongly believe that this should stop happening due to it being immature on the fans part and just idiotic since the fans pay so much for those jerseys in the first place.

irving jersey burning

                  Most of the times, when a fan burns a jersey, they do it because the player whose jersey they have has left that team. What makes the situation with Isaiah’s jersey burning worse, is that he did not choose to leave the organization. Other examples of this happening would be, earlier this summer when Hayward would leave the Jazz to join his former college coach, Brad Stevens, in Boston in hopes of hayward jerseywinning a title, and one of the most infamous examples of this would be when Lebron left Cleveland the first time to join Wade and the Miami Heat back in 2010. This “tradition” needs to stop. It makes fans come off as disrespectful. We as fans of any team and the NBA, need to show more class when it comes to the players changing teams when they feel like it is best for their careers or their families. I bet the Cavs fans who burnt Lebron’s jersey wish they could go back to stop themselves from burning it like the Celtics fan did when the trade was almost vetoed.
james jersey burning

 

“Another cash grab for Danny Ainge”

            Over the past weekend, the Celtics and Danny Ainge traded the top overall pick in the upcoming draft to the 76ers for the 3rd overall pick and at least one future first round pick that the 76ers received from the Suns through the Lakers if that pick falls between pick number two and pick number five. If the pick is either the top pick or sixth or later than the Celtics will instead receive a pick that the 76ers received from Sacramento. With the pick that the 76ers will receive, they are predicted to pick fultzthe scoring threat out of the University of Washington in Markelle Fultz, a freshman point guard. The freshman scored 23.2 points this year to go along with 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists for the huskies. Per an article on New England Sports Net, it talks about how reports coming out saying that one of the reasons that the Celtics traded the pick was that they had serious concerns that Fultz is not a true winner since his team only won 9 games this past year.

                I believe that the Celtics made a good move with trading the pick away. This team is trying to acquire the services of a star in the league rather than drafting an unproven player. With them completing this trade with Philly, the Celtics have a bundle of first round picks that they can use to trade for a big-name star in the bosphillyleague. Following this trade, the Celtics now have seven first round picks for the next three years. Only time will tell if this trade works out for both teams, or will be another trade like the one the Celtics had with Brooklyn, when they sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to the Nets.

                In the history of the modern era of the NBA Draft, the top pick has only been traded seven times, before the pick has ever played for that team, including this trade between Boston and Philly, with the last time coming in 2014 when the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett to the Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love. The other times it happened were in 1950 when the Celtics traded Chuck Share to the Pistons for Bill Sharman, the next time was in 1957 when the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) sent Hot Rod Hundley to the Lakers for Clyde Lovelette, in 1980 Boston sent Joe Carrol to the Warriors for Robert Parish and a draft pick that would land them Kevin Mchale, Brad Daugherty was sent from Philly to Cleveland in 1986 and Chris Webber was sent to the Warriors from the Magic in exchange for Penny Hardaway in 1993.  I guess you could say that the Celtics are not new to trading the top pick.

       The only trade that backfired would be the 1986 trade that had the 76ers sending the top pick to the Cavaliers in exchange for Roy Hinson. This trade backed fired since with the Cavaliers, Daugherty would be a 5 time all star in his 8 year career and daughertywould never average lower than the 15.7 points he averaged his rookie year. For his career, Daugherty averaged 19 points 9 rebounds and 3 assists. On the other end of the trade, the 76ers received Roy Hinson, this trade is one sided due to the fact that Hinson was out of Philly after 1.5 years with the team.

              This trade is a win-win for both teams, because for the 76ers, they get another young player to help with “The Process”, and for the Celtics, they get more assets to try to acquire talent to overthrow the Cavaliers and Warriors as the top teams in the league.

 

The Trilogy is Completed

                 As we all know, Golden State and Cleveland in the NBA Finals for the third straight year. So, it’s now three straight years of Steph vs Kyrie, three years of Lebron vs Klay and three years of Love vs Green. The big difference is Kevin Durant who left Oklahoma City for Golden State in hopes of winning his first title. Golden State showed the sports world they were not playing around with the addition of Durant. So, this budding rivalry could become a mainstay in the Championship series the same way that the Celtics and Lakers were throughout the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

        cavsvswar2        This rivalry has already managed to do something that no other rivalry or match up in NBA Finals has done, and that is appear in three straight Finals against each other. Teams have met in back-to-back finals 13 times including the first two match ups of Cleveland and Golden State. In every back to back Finals match up, the team that lost the previous match-up is 7-6 in the next match up. If you take that serious then, history is more on Golden State’s side than it is Cleveland.

                After the 113-91 thrashing that the Warriors gave the Cavs in game 1 on Thursday night, it looks as if history is truly on the Warriors side and they may be cavsvswar4able to pull out a championship by the end of this. I know that its only one game, it’s too early to tell and anything could happen, but if you look at how the Cavs played, that was their worst game this postseason and their worst game since they lost to the Clippers 108-78 back on March 18th.

             canvsdet   From an article by USA Today, this is the fourth time in all major US sports leagues that a trilogy has happened and the first in more than sixty years. The last trilogy was in the NHL where the Canadiens and Red wings matched up in the Stanley Cup Finals in ’54, ’55, and ’56. Looking through the eras in basketball, it is really surprising that there nflhas never been a trilogy before today with how many dynasties and rivalries there were, from all of the legendary Celtics and Lakers match ups, to the Lakers and Pistons in the ‘80s, to every other star-studded match up.

                In the trilogy for the Canadiens and Red wings, the Red wings wound up winning two out of three against the Canadiens. In the MLB, it hasn’t happened since the babethe 1920’s when Babe Ruth was playing on the Yankees when they faced The New York Giants and Frankie Frisch from 1921-1923 with the Giants winning two out of three against the Yankees. In the NFL, it has not happened since the 50’s, before there was the Super Bowl, when the Cleveland Browns, led by Hall of Fame QB Otto Graham and Head Coach Paul Brown, faced off against the Detroit Lions, led by Hall of Famers Bobby Layne and Doak Walker, from 1952-54 with the Lions winning the first two match ups and becoming only the third team in league history at that point to repeat as champions.

 

 

A Bright Future for this Celtics Team

                As we all figured, the final two teams standing are the Cavaliers and Warriors for the third straight year. On Thursday night, Cleveland beat Boston to advance winning the series 4-1. Boston was the only team that the Lebron James led team did not sweep in the playoffs this year, while Golden State eased through each of their series to be the first team to go 12-0 in the playoffs. Even though this match up could be seen coming since after Cleveland won the title last year and especially after Kevin Durant signed with Golden State, I believe that some of the teams in both conferencesecf2 will step up to the challenge and get closer to the level that the Warriors and Cavs are playing on and be closer to ending this streak of Finals appearances for both teams. For the Boston Celtics, the future is so very bright in terms of what they can accomplish.

                This is just the beginning for the young Celtics team; they will be towards the top of the East again next year. This team seems primed to make another run at the Eastern Conference Finals next year with all the talent that they currently have and the opportunity to acquire more whether it is from the draft and using the top pick or by trading that pick for someone like Jimmy Butler or Paul George. They also have the advantage of having one of the best young coaches in the NBA in Brad Stevens.

                This franchise has come far from where it was just 4 years ago at the start of the Stevens era. This team had just come off a 41-40 year, the franchise sent their greatschampionship winning head coach to the Clippers, they had traded two of the greatest players of this generation to the Nets for a bunch of bench players and a few draft picks and were beginning the process to rebuild. No one expected Coach Stevens to succeed in the NBA since most college coaches struggle in the pros unless you have a team built to win now. In his first year, he led the team to a 25-57 record, the worse since 06’-07’, and would draft a scrappy guard from OK State in Marcus Smart with their first-round pick.

                   Going into the trade deadline in his second season, Coach Stevens had the team at 20-31 and in need of a boost somehow. Towards the final moments of the coach stevensdeadline, Danny Ainge would pull off one of the most one sided trades this decade, two years after he pulled of another one that did not seem like it at first; he would swap Marcus Thornton and a first rounder for the undersized guard in Isaiah Thomas. That season they would end with a record of 40-42 and get into the playoffs with the 7th seed.

     IT4     Since the acquisition of Thomas, the Celtics are 121-74. This team has been able to improve every year under Stevens. They have increased their win total each year from his first year and going 25-57 to this past year and winning 53 games and appearing in the Eastern Conference Finals. It also helped that they could lure one of the best big men in the league in Al Horford from Atlanta. With the amount of young talent and the stash of draft picks, I would certainly say that the future of the Celtics is very bright and that they are ahead of schedule in terms of finishing their rebuilding phase of the franchise last year and are able to win now.

Has this rivalry reached level of one of the greats or is it getting old?

                As of right now, it looks as if it would be the Golden State Warriors vs the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-peat in the NBA Finals. Some would love to see this happen since there has never been three straight NBA Finals with the same two teams.  The majority of people though, do not want to see this happen; they want to see new teams fighting for the lebronstephchampionship. Sure, it would be entertaining to see Lebron repeat with the Cavs, but the level that both the Warriors and the Cavalier are playing on is a level where it doesn’t have drama in it to the point where you know that they will win their games most nights. Both teams could have gone through the playoffs undefeated until the Celtics beat the Cavs in Game 3. Most people do not want to see Lebron in the Finals again, since he has been in it six straight years going back to his time with Miami. People want to see someone new get into the Finals, especially from the East.

               According to the CBS station in Cleveland, Tyronn Lue, Cavaliers Head Coach, stated that a third straight year of Cavs vs Warriortyronns in the finals would be a good thing for the league, by comparing this “rivalry” with the likes of the Celtics and Lakers, considering those teams met in the Finals twelve times. The difference between these two rivalries is that the Celtics and Lakers never met in three consecutive Finals. During the span of 51 years, between their first match and their last match up, the Celtics and Lakers have never met in three straight NBA Finals.  In NBA history, there has never been three straight NBA Finals with the same two teams. I can understand where he is coming from though, since he was on both sides of the Celtics Lakers rivalry, as a player with the Lakers and winning two titles with them and as a coach with the Celtics, but it will be a while before this rivalry that is forming with the Cavs and Warriors gets to that level.

             Having the same two teams in the championship for three straight years for any sport is not good for their league. Seeing the same teams can get boring for all but the fans of those teams.  They might not watch the game or series which would ultimately hurt the ratings for a league. I know that to make sure that the same teams do not face each other three straight times for the championship then the other teams must get better, the problem is that the two teams aiming for the title 3peathave a much higher level of talent and are more powerful than other teams in that league. There is an obvious disadvantage to the other teams when those two teams can get any top player they want in free agency and breeze through the season for the most part and the playoffs like Golden State did, going undefeated through the West playoffs. In the NFL, for example, their cap is set up where no one can spend big bucks every time and load up on big name talent like how it happens in the NBA, like how Golden State was able to sign Kevin Durant in free agency even though that team is already a powerhouse. The NBA should somehow make it so powerhouse teams cannot get even powerful and let the other teams get close to their level of playing.