Welcome back to Who to Watch. Congratulations to LeBron James, who passed Michael Jordan to move up to 4th overall on the all-time scoring list on Wednesday. He is now 1,333 points away from passing Kobe Bryant for 3rd, 4,618 points points away from passing Karl Malone for 2nd, and 6,077 away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for 1st, and with the way he keeps his body in shape, he could be the all-time leading scorer in the NBA before it’s all said and done; too bad he won’t make the playoffs anytime soon (sorry Kerm). In other news, the Celtics look like they came back to life this week, the Rockets look SCARY good (sitting pretty in the third seed out West), the Trail Blazers are pretty good themselves good (don’t tell Fredy) and Trae Young has been phenomenal. There are some great playoff races in the NBA, such as the battle for seeds 3 through 5 in the East, the battle for the final three playoff spots in the East taking place between five teams, and the mess in the West for seeds 3 through 8, where only three and a half games separate all teams involved. Oh, and Antonio Brown was a Buffalo Bill for a few hours.
Upcoming we have a match between the Lakers and Celtics tomorrow night, college basketball conference tournaments will kick into high gear, and NFL free agency will begin next Wednesday. Keep an eye out for all of that!
Here’s who you should be watching over the next week:
The Celtics have been under the microscope in the East ever since they emerged as potential contenders again under Brad Stevens. They were obviously in a rebuilding stage when the Celtics parted ways with long time coach Doc Rivers, who saw only one championship with them in 2008. It did not come as a surprise when Brad Stevens, the former Butler head coach that brought the team to their first Final Four in school history, went 25-57 in his first year. The actual surprise was the Celtics never missing the playoffs every season after that.Brad Stevens is remarkable at utilizing the players he has and setting them up to succeed through well-crafted play calling. As his roster grew each year with more and more talent, he was able to improve their playoff success. With the All-Star break over and the playoff push in full effect, I wanted to see how the Celtics have fared in the past five years during this time; the pattern is surprising.Continue reading “Celtics Post All-Star Break History”
This past week we saw Steph Curry make an amazing bounce pass to Giannis, as well as D-Wade lob it up to LeBron James one last time. Jayson Tatum threw up a half court heave to steal the Skills Challenge from Trae Young; Joe Harris won a competitive three-point contest, and Hamidou Diallo won the dunk contest with a great performance that included dunking over Shaq and jamming the ball (and his elbow) in the hoop. In baseball, we FINALLY saw some action, as Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres (more on that shortly). Barack Obama went to see UNC-Duke, and the Bruins continue to be on a torrid point streak, having won 7 straight games. And finally… Robert Kraft finds himself in a sticky situation.
With basketball back, hockey in full swing, and baseball and March Madness around the corner, things are about to pick up… soon my friends.
Alright, this may get a lot of scrutiny, but this is a friendly space; I am just brainstorming. When I saw the Celtics take on the Knicks this past Saturday, early on, they reminded me of the Celtics of last season. The starting lineup was Irving-Brown-Tatum-Horford-Baynes, and they were up 26-10. Obviously the game ended a bit closer (103-101), but it made me think of something discussed during the offseason: should Gordon Hayward come off the bench?
Well, lets compare Hayward’s current situation to Andre Iguodala in 2014.