Monday, April 27, 2015

You Live to Fight Another Day (Dallas Mavericks)

Last night, the Dallas Mavericks were on the brink of getting swept by the Houston Rockets. Thank goodness J.J. Barea kept the Mavs' energy level up the entire night to move on to Game 5.
You would think the Mavericks would shut it down after being down 3 games, riddled with the injury of Chandler Parsons, and the sudden absence of Rajon Rondo from the Mavericks lineup. However, Dallas put all the pressure on their back and rose to the challenge.
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Coach Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo

I, personally, believe the Rockets took it easy on the Mavericks in order to close out the series in their hometown of Houston this Tuesday. One thing for certain is that Mavs fans can breathe a sigh of relief after avoiding being a victim of the dreaded, playoff series sweep.
A major part of the Mavericks' new energy level can be attributed to the dismissal of Rajon Rondo. Bad blood between Coach Rick Carlisle and Rondo has affected the chemistry of the Mavericks' success. Due to both individuals possessing an NBA championship, this most likely created a "proud" energy among the two. Although Rondo is a champion on the player level, he has found it very difficult to buy into Carlisle's "championship-formula" on the coaching level.
"Mavs fans can breathe a sigh of relief..."
From the outside-looking-in, the Mavericks still have a chance with Rondo out of the picture. The only problem is our matchups. Dwight Howard has outplayed Tyson Chandler every night of this series. James Harden will always be an issue against our guards; although, Al-Farouq Aminu did a great job on defense last night. Lastly, Corey Brewer and Josh Smith are willing to be the X-factor in this series.
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Al-Farouq Aminu
Dallas has met a Houston team that can go toe-to-toe with them in every position. If this series extends to Game 6 or 7, Houston may need to close this out as soon as possible. Dallas is playing desperate, which is bad news for the Rockets.
Go Mavs!
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Chris Paul: The Time is Now (NBA)



The 2015 NBA Playoffs will be one of the most defining postseason years for Chris Paul. He's probably the only player with more to gain and even more to lose. Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Kobe Bryant missed the playoffs, but their absence doesn't take away from what they've contributed to the game. Although Wade and Bryant have rings, Carmelo is still in his grace period with New York as he returns from his surgery.

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"Clippers basketball is at a level many people my age have never seen. Seriously, never."
As for Chris Paul, the time is now to distinguish himself among the greats who win, instead of those who don’t. Paul’s legacy hangs before his eyes as he presses toward the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Clippers. His singular, extraordinary career offers no protection from a legacy of "what-ifs". Only what he does from this point forward will matter. From the nature of Paul's mature, "floor general" attitude, it seems his interest in individual awards has long dissipated.

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The pain from 2014’s untimely playoff exit at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder still burns. This year’s Clippers team has a decidedly more serious edge. The team has been successful in allowing the title of "Lob City" to slowly wither away. Also, this season has been free of last year’s Donald Sterling drama.

Clippers basketball is at a level many people my age have never seen. Seriously, never. The focus of the 2015 Clippers can mainly be attributed to the intensity and drive of Chris Paul. We are all too familiar with the rage of Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant, but Chris Paul's rage is somewhat different.
aul is one of the few players in the game who can offer empathy, as well as ferocity on the court. In order to win championships, you need players like this. Especially players who hold the position of the floor general.

This past March, Paul’s fire scorched Deandre Jordan several minutes later in a moment that will live in Vine forever. With the score tied at 87 (against the Portland Trailblazers) and 1.7 seconds remaining on the shot clock—2.8 on the game clock—Paul got off a shot, and Jordan grabbed the rebound under the basket with a second to spare. Jordan thought the game buzzer had sounded, sending the teams to overtime, so he didn’t shoot the ball.

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He was wrong. Paul was livid.

"Shoot the ------- ball!" Paul screamed, flailing as he jumped up and down. On the way back to the huddle, Paul shouted at Jordan, who had no response. After the game, Paul clarified that he was angered about the situation, not towards Deandre Jordan.
"The crowd roared, but come on, Chris Paul has always performed on this level."
With a captain such as Paul on your team, there is no excuse but to enjoy playing with this guy. I am a Chris Paul fan and will gladly say he's been my favorite player since his rookie year in the NBA. If he ever wins a championship, his ring will be the most deserved for a player of his skill and character. Chris Paul had an admirable season, but it was overshadowed by Curry, Harden, and Westbrook (which is understandable).

I can also point out that Chris Paul's elite play has become the norm for spectators everywhere. Recently, Paul performed a dribble move—a one-handed fake bounce pass tossed several feet in front that spins back to him. The crowd roared, but come on, Chris Paul has always performed on this level.

Los Angeles Clippers v New Jersey Nets


I'm sure Paul doesn't fret over the MVP Award noise. His eyes are focused on something greater. Something which people will always remember when they bring up the Los Angeles Clippers during Paul's era. A championship.

The time is now for Chris Paul and the Clippers. They'll have their hands full against the seasoned, San Antonio Spurs.

'Til next time.

Re-Fueling the I-45 Rivalry (NBA)


A couple of days after the Dallas Mavericks acquired Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets last summer, I submitted a blog post titled Fueling the I-45 Rivalry. Months later, here we are. Dallas versus Houston in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

I've never been more relieved for the Mavs to play Houston instead of San Antonio, because the Spurs are on a mission to repeat. This well-oiled machine would have chewed-and-spit back out the Mavericks before Dallas fans could realize what happened. But, Mavericks fans everywhere can breathe now that we're taking on the Rockets.


Before you throw jabs or anything about Dallas, I want you to know I do not have a problem with the Rockets. I just think they're beatable. Well, especially beatable by the Mavericks.

Dallas has had a rocky season, barely finishing with a 50-win record. Suffering from the injuries of Devin Harris and Chandler Parsons will affect the Mavs, but this series will come down to whether or not the Mavericks stop James Harden. I'm pretty sure everyone knows Harden is in the MVP race, so I'm expecting him to "enhance his resume" versus Dallas.This year is very reminiscent of Houston's dominance in the '94-'95 NBA champion seasons. Houston is not going to back down.

This series is calling all Dallasites and Houstonians everywhere to side with their city's respective teams.

The matchup begins this Saturday.



Thursday, April 2, 2015

ATTENTION READERS

I have officially moved my blog over to: twoonefourmanuscript.wordpress.com

The same content will be there, and I will continually update the blog on a regular basis.

For more updates, subscribe to the blog at twoonefourmanuscript.wordpress.com and/or follow the blog at twitter.com/214_Manuscript

Thanks in advance!

Brian

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Making Moves (Dallas Cowboys)

Before the surprising departure of DeMarco Murray, I mentioned two choices the Cowboys could make in regards to Murray's future with Dallas.

Well, if you haven't been hiding under a rock for the month of March...Murray is now a Philadelphia Eagle. In addition, the Cowboys have picked up Darren McFadden to secure the RB position for now.

Darren McFadden and Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones


Do you really think the Dallas Cowboys are going to ride themselves into the playoffs with Darren McFadden? He's a decent running back, but we really need consistency in our backfield. Murray was a fumble machine this past year. I guess his season performance in yards was enough to blind us from really focusing on his fumbling tendencies. McFadden's potential seems to pick up where DeMarco's fumble-itis left off.

Today (and this is not an April Fool's joke), the Dallas Cowboys announced they will restructure Tony Romo's contract. You know, I expected his contract to be restructured before Murray left. This makes me focus on Brandon Carr refusing to take a pay cut. I understand guys may not want to accept a pay cut; but when it's for the greater good, it may turn out to be a great decision in the long run.
Florida State QB Jameis Winston

Since Romo has helped increase the salary cap, Cowboys fans can have high hopes for the front office picking up a decent rookie running back, quarterback, or even cornerback. I've always voiced my preference for Jameis Winston in the Cowboys lineup one day, but it may be impossible due to the Cowboys' high-numbered draft picks.

I'm glad the Cowboys front office is really turning this organization around for the better. We should expect to see more of this positive energy within the Cowboys organization as the season approaches.

Go Cowboys!

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