Ray Jr. on Sports

  1. 2017 NBA Draft-As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s not as popular as the NFL Draft, but the NBA Draft is just as critical to teams players and fans. I honestly think this draft may be even more critical because they only have 2 rounds, compared to the 7 Rounds in the NFL. This year’s Draft was held at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn NY, home of the Nets.
  2. With the First Pick of the NBA Draft, the Philadelphia (Traded from Boston) Select-Washington’s Markelle Fultz. His goal was to be the pick #1 and his mission was accomplished. Fultz played one season with the Huskies and averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists and he was even called a ‘James Harden Clone.’ That’s a heavy compliment. I hope he can help the Sixers turn things around.
  3. Lonzo Ball-Ah yes, there’s this young man, who left UCLA also after just one season. His father, the infamous Lavar Ball proclaimed that he was going to play for the LA Lakers, and with the #2 pick, it happened. Ball is a Laker and he continues to be compared to Jason Kidd. Despite the stoic comments by Lakers GM Magic Johnson, they apparently wanted this kid all along. I wish Lonzo the best.
  4. More on Lavar-He may be brash and very expressive, but I admit that my views towards the elder Ball may have changed a bit. I now see a man who it truly proud of his son and couldn’t stop smiling after he was drafted. He quoted to the NBA Commentator “Family First, baby.” which shows how much he loves Lonzo and his other 2 boys, whom he also predicts will be future Lakers.
  5. As for the Celtics-They swapped picks with the Sixers and had the #3 pick and selected G Jayson Tatum from Duke. In his lone season with the Blue Devils, Tatum averaged 16.8 points and many scouts like his all-around game. He can only make a team like the Celtics even better as they hope to dethrone Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland.
  6. Other NBA Picks-Kentucky made their presence in the draft when Sacramento grabbed G D’Aaron Fox and Charlotte selected G Malik Monk at #11. Chicago grabbed Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen. And NCAA Championship Runner-Up Gonzaga saw G Zach Collins get picked by Portland (via Sacramento)
  7. ACC Presence in the draft-There was plenty in the first round. Along with Tatum going to the Celtics, Detroit took Duke G Luke Kennard. Dallas took NC State’s Dennis Smith, Orlando took Florida State’s Jonathan Isaa, Utah took Louisville’s Donavan Mitchell, Sacramento took North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, and Atlanta took Wake Forest’s, John Collins. And that’s why they’re the best conference in College Basketball.
  8. NY Knicks-They are truly the NY Jets of the NBA: A franchise that makes zero And they proved it even more when they selected G Frank Ntilikina from France, yes, This pick reminds me of when the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted OL Jamain Stephens at #1 and he was a complete flop. Can’t see anything different with the Knicks scenario.
  9. Draft-Day trade-Many persons thought that Chicago’s Jimmy Butler was going to either go to Cleveland or stay with the Bulls, but I was shocked to hear that he was traded to Minnesota for 3 players. Butler will definitely make the Timberwolves better and will reunite him with former Bulls HC Tom Thibedeau.
  10. Paul George-Although NBA Free Agency doesn’t begin until July 1st, I won’t be surprised if the eventual former Indiana Pacer ends up with the Lakers. Yes, there are rumors about him going to the Cavs, but can they offer George a Max deal like the Lakers? I sincerely doubt it. I’m sure George wants to win, but he wants to get paid too.
  11. LA Clippers-I really feel like their window to win a championship has closed and they realize that too as they’re shopping C DeAndre Jordan around. You already know that G Chris Paul is gone and F Black Griffin is probably right behind him. They’re about to become the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NBA
  12. Steelers-Not much going on with the defending AFC North Champions as Training Camp nears. Several players made impressions in Mini-Camp such as rookie WR JuJu Smith-Shuster and CB Cameron Sutton. I like what Smith-Shuster brings as he’s truly secured a #3 WR spot, but the jury is still out of Sutton like all the other Steeler cornerbacks.
  13. Le’Veon Bell’s status-Well, in addition to him not signing his Franchise Tag of $12.1 million, the Steelers All-Pro RB is still recovering from groin surgery after injuring it in the AFC Championship Game. But since he hasn’t signed the tender, he’s not under contract and because of that, he can’t participate in the camp. He’s not a wise man if he officially holds out.
  14. Senquez Golson-This poor young man still hasn’t seen the NFL field because of being injured in practice the first 2 seasons after being the Steelers 2nd round pick in 2014. And now that Golson’s made it through two camps, many media persons say he doesn’t look impressive and will probably get cut. Plus, the Steelers CB situation is pretty crowded.
  15. Derek Carr gets paid-He’s been the key to bringing the Oakland Raiders back to success and now QB Derek Carr gets rewarded by signing a $125 million deal at $25 million a season. He’s easily the highest-paid player in the NFL right now.
  16. KC Extends Reid but fires GM-That’s a bit of an oxymoron. I can see the Chiefs extending HC Any Reid because he’s a pretty good coach, but I was shocked to hear that they fired GM Jim Dorsey. Apparently, it was ‘creative differences’ as the TV world would say. No mention of his replacement.
  17. Pirates split 4 game series vs. Milwaukee-Just when you thought things were looking up for the Pirates after taking the first 2 from the Milwaukee Brewers, they ended up losing the next 2 and are still looking like the team that’s basically done for 2017. Unfortunately, they’re still pretty inconsistent and will now face the St. Louis Cardinals for the weekend.
  18. Pirates Outlook-They are currently 33-40, but only 6 games out of 1st place, but they’re back in 6th place in the NL Central. Folks may say that this team still has a chance, but being 7 games under .500 is never impressive. I give OF Andrew McCutchen kudos for catching fire, but he can’t do it alone. The pitching needs to get better.
  19. Aaron Judge-My favorite current MLB Player is still tearing up Al pitching. Here’s his current stats: .331 average, 25 Hrs, 57 RBI as the Yankees hold onto their slim AL East lead at 39-31. Impressive stats by the young man.
  20. NHL Awards-In my opinion, Pittsburgh Penguins C Sidney Crosby got snubbed out of the Hart Trophy (MVP) Wednesday night. Instead it went to Edmonton Oilers C Connor McDavid who’s the next great star. The expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights have a team as they had their expansion draft and their new face of the franchise is former Penguins G Marc-Andre Fluery. So long Flower (his nickname) you’re a true class act.

 

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