Did Vince Carter hang on too long

I think us fans know it is always very hard for any athlete to leave the game, knowing they are either too injury riddled, or just too old to play the game anymore. No one wants that feeling of being useless and having the game pass you by.
Vince Carter was the Toronto Raptors first superstar, back in 1998, he came in at 22 years old, and was netting 18 /game. Vince had one of the better post up games among shooting guards, using it in Toronto and really mastered it in New Jersey.  He had no problem with banging down low, he oftentimes had a much bigger advantage down in the box, being able to fade away, or drive to the basket. He was a powerful leaper with awe inspiring hops, he was a lethal scorer that would leave broken ankles all over the court back in the early 2000’s. Vince was one of the best dunkers to play in the NBA, and was a ton of fun to watch take it to the hole. When Carter dunked his elbow into the rim during the 2000 Dunk Contest, he was instantly immortalized, making kids try to emulate it on their lowered rims.
Many could say good players like Shawn Kemp, to HOFers like Kevin Garnett and Hakeem Olajuwon, all hung onto the game for too long, some sadly tarnishing their legacies. When Kemp was putting up single digits for his last 3 seasons, Garnett was scoring 3.2 /game at 39, and Olajuwon held on probably 3 years longer than he should have, Vince has been putting up 8 or less for the last 6 seasons. Many former stars often fail to come to grips with their fading talent having a problem letting go of the game, before the game lets go of them. A few rare guys leave with their legacy intact – who were all still useful on the court, and productive still. Tim Duncan was still making an impact for the Spurs during his last year – he was still a top level defender.  Vince is there for mentor-ship alone, he has become a liability, and would have been a smarter move if he retired after 36.
Carter is unquestionably athletically blessed, but, if we are being honest, he hasn’t been immune to aging, he has been putting up a sad average of 6.3 ppg since 2014. Many players seem to refuse to let go of the fact that NBA legends are never beating father time, staying around too long, holding on to their mythical reputation. They may be just good enough to play, but they should eventually be replaced by a younger guy who provides more production. Nobody wants to be the old guy being escorted out of the party for being too old.  With his obvious lack of explosiveness he finds it far more difficult against far younger and agile players, Vince is no longer breaking ankles, and lighting up scoreboards – we watch him waiting for him to break his own ankle when moving too fast.
It has gotten sad.
He is nothing more than a basic serviceable player on a team. No one has expectations from him going forward, and teams probably like him in the locker room, but, it is probably better to move to more youth, than have him. Vince Carter is no longer the showstopper, or an unstoppable force one on one, from a 25 ppg guy to barely 5 /game. He can’t accelerate anymore, like he was able to many years ago, and take off in the lane and bring it home on the rim on a big man waiting down low. At this point, it seems like he is living off of his legacy of “Vinsanity” – as he is one of my favorite and best dunkers of all time.

While I respect Vince Carter playing in his 40’s – and, of course, it is his own personal decision – but I think it is time to hang up the sneakers.
Vince loves basketball – and that’s ok. But it’s also ok to ride off into the sunset with dignity, not being asked to leave. I would prefer my memories of Vince Carter to be buzzer beaters, big three-balls, and high flying dunks – not a slow old guy who was having a problem scoring 5, and fighting to get off the bench.

The NBA return will be very interesting

There have been reports all over the news, that the NBA is looking at the possibility of picking up play relatively soon. Players are working out, getting ready for the next step, as they need to start getting mentally and physically ready for the final push of the NBA season. I would think that most players are ready to get back on the court and finish the season they started.
The NBA is targeting July 31st 2020 for a return to play, per Charania. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league office informed Board of Governors that July 31 is a target date for return of season, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
The NBA seems like they are going to be able to move forward with the season, including an interesting playoff format. There have been talks of having an expanded playoff, a notion that essentially would have teams that were on the brink of making it during the season to play in to get the final spots. The NBA could have “play in” playoffs for teams that were close to the 8th seed – this could be a ton of fun, and borderline brilliant. It would bring excitement to teams that were catching momentum late in the season, until stoppage, or banged up, and were thinking they were done. The NBA having essentially 2 sets of playoffs, one for the top tiered teams and another for the lower tiered teams trying to get in, would be awesome. With a compromised on court season, some teams were already packing it in – this could change that mindset – this breathes new life into them.
From what I have seen, and heard, there won’t be fans, and home court advantage will be nullified, as games will be played at a neutral court and our VegasTopDogs experts will be ready.
Things are going to be different in many ways. The season finishing and playoffs impending, can not only bring some closure to the league’s season, but also some much needed sports excitement. Of course, the playoffs popping up at this stage of the year, could very well lead to the Finals this year going into August, which would be very different. And obviously, the sooner the playoffs begin, then, the sooner the brass can start figuring out when next season can start, with some basis of a game-plan in place.
You cant get to step 2, until you get through step 1.
I think it would be unfair if the NBA went directly to the playoffs, like some have suggested. Especially, when there are teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans and the Sacramento Kings, who were all very much in striking distance of getting into the playoffs in that 8th slot, as the West is filled with teams that can make that jump in. Yes there are some teams altered in some way from the time off – like Philly and Portland, but in basketball, notably, I feel that the better team wins the series, probably 90% of the time. And if a team like the Lakers cannot handle the 8th seed, regardless of who it would be, then maybe there is something to be said there.
We miss the euphoric escape of sports. Sports is something that brings people alive and fills is with excitement. I feel society as a whole, need sports entertainment – we can watch flowers grow, only for so long. It’s good to feel that win as your team is on top at the end of the buzzer, and it is great fun to watch fast paced action with great athletes. These players are getting paid lots of money a year, these guys are young, hungry and competitors, although some are hesitant – I would believe the vast majority of the guys want to compete, at least I would hope so. Anything that brings back some keyhole semblance of basketball, and gets us back to normalcy is going to be accepted. Some may be excited and sit with their fingers crossed – others may not want the season back, under these circumstances – but I think, no – I know – regardless of which side of the fence you stand on, basketball fans will watch the games that return.

NBA season recap and what to look out for

One of the most exciting leagues each year, one of the most followed and that causes the loudest noise in general, the NBA, came to a forced stop a few weeks ago. Coronavirus, or Covid-19, has caused chaos in the sports world and some of the fans that have felt it the most are the true basketball fans, who were enjoying one of the best, most competitive seasons of the NBA in recent years.

This seemed to be like a good year for LeBron James to win his 4th NBA ring, backed up by the greatness of Anthony Davis and a greatly assembled LA Lakers team. LeBron was even leading the race to NBA MVP when the season stopped. The Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the league, according to numbers, and were showing off amazing strength and team play, lead by the “Greek Freak”, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Other teams like the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat or Boston Celtics, in the East, or the LA Clippers, the Denver Nuggets or Houston Rockets, in the West, were giving this season the extra ingredients we were all waiting for, while we got closer and closer to the playoffs.

The NBA has announced that they intend to finish the season, hopefully coming back to action in early June, and moving the NBA Finals to August, considering a probable format change. We all certainly hope this will happen, and we will get to watch the ending of a remarkable season, at least so far. In fact, former players and media have already commented that, if the season were to be completed, we might be in for the best playoff run ever, considering that all the superstars and best teams in the league are getting a 2 month rest, allowing them to get in shape, adjust details, work on the floor and get ready to fight for the ring. This hiatus will definitely help players return in top form and allow veterans like LeBron himself, to get to the playoffs 100% healthy.

These are the individual leaders so far in the 2019-2020 NBA season

          Points per game: James Harden, 34.4 – Houston Rockets

          Rebounds per game: Andre Drummond, 15.2 – Cleveland Cavaliers

          Assists per game: LeBron James, 10.6 – LA Lakers

          Blocks per game: Hassan Whiteside, 3.1 – Portland Trail Blazers

          Steals per game: Ben Simmons, 2.1 – Philadelphia 76’ers

          Field Goal percentage: Mitchell Robinson, 74.2 – New York Knicks

          Three Pointers made: James Harden, 271 – Houston Rockets

          Three Point percentage: George Hill, 48.0 – Milwaukee Bucks

These are the team leaders so far in the 2019-2020 NBA season

          Points per game: Milwaukee Bucks, 118.6

          Rebounds per game: Milwaukee Bucks, 51.7

          Assists per game: Phoenix Suns, 27.2

          Blocks per game: LA Lakers, 6.8

          Steals per game: Chicago Bulls, 10.0

          Field Goal percentage: LA Lakers, 48.5

          Three Pointers made: Dallas Mavericks, 1026

          Three Point percentage: Miami Heat, 38.3

          Free Throw percentage: Phoenix Suns, 82.6

If the NBA playoffs started today, just to have an idea of how things are currently in the league, in the East we would have Bucks vs. Magic, Raptors vs. Nets, Celtics vs. 76’ers and Heat vs. Pacers. In fact, Bucks, Raptors and Celtics had already clinched their playoff spot before the season stopped. In the West, we’d enjoy of Lakers vs. Grizzlies, Clippers vs. Mavericks, Nuggets vs. Rockets and Jazz vs. Thunder. Only the Lakers, so far, had clinched a playoff spot, their first since 2013.

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Paul George and Kawhi Leonard brought the Clippers to another level

The question after every off-season transactions always is the same. Are the teams better than it was last season? Obviously no team wants to sit stagnant, especially if one of the bottom tiered teams that is looking to generate a league buzz and get better, and compete.
Adding Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to LA brought some serious talent to a rusty team dynamic – that just wasn’t getting it done. Adding MVP-like player like Leonard is immediately going to help make any team better. And then LA also picked up a 9 year vet Paul George – who buried 39% from deep last year, as George hit big shots all season for OKC last season. The Clippers have thrived with him on the court since his arrival in LA. Kawhi Leonard’s stat lines don’t tell the full story with his play, he brings a quiet leadership and a cool calmness over anything. Kawhi is definitely an offensive upgrade to the SF position over Danilo Gallinari – and, with his ability to handle the ball and create his own shots, he brings more fluidity to the game for them. And Leonard – known around the league as “The Claw” – impacts the game at the defensive end as well, bringing a great instinct and quick hands, verified by his career 1.8spg and career 100 def rating.
Leonard knocked down 49% of his shots last year in Toronto, and led them to the championship – who could possibly complain about that? He has been their key roll man on the pick and roll during this season, and he has done excellently there as well. He gets himself involved all over the court, and when he is spotting up, he’s been hitting 46% of shots from the field this season. Kawhi also brings some post up opportunities – and defensively, we know he’s been more than pretty good as well.
Paul George is a superstar player who is often overlooked – and he is currently dominating from behind the arc for them – a spot that has produced 3+ three pointers /game, along with hitting 39% from deep. And despite all of his really sweet numbers – the biggest impact he brought to LA has been a massive impact on floor spacing – when George is on the floor, the Clippers 4th ranked offense runs like butter. To the point – where quite a bit of the teams offense runs through him, and that’s how it should be with PG13 landing on this team.
When Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the teams SG he made the Clippers young and they weren’t gelling as they should have been – that’s why LA decided to go in another direction. Not that he is a bad player by any means – and he is going to have a very good career – but he didn’t create the mismatches, and he also seemed to struggle against bigger defensive guards. Paul George is a very capable scorer against better players and is a defensive upgrade, as a plus.
LA has some talented young guys, like 22 yr old Landry Shamet – who will learn so much playing with great players like George and Leonard – these 2 superstars will handle the load and live up to their names and expectations. This has been a huge win for the Clippers. This team will only get better during the season, and as I expect them to, the Clippers are going to be a 55 or more win team. LA had a couple of things that needed to be worked on, and with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George – those things look like they have been fixed.

The 5 Best NBA players from each conference

At about 65% through the 2019 -20 NBA season – we have seen some exciting action on the court. We typically know who the star players are coming into the seasons – and who we expect to lead teams – and then we have some unique surprises.
Looking at players this year and their overall court impact – here, we bring you the best 5 NBA players from each conference running the courts this season.

= EAST =

Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers
23 ppg
12 rpg
3 apg

Joel Embiid is a perfect machine with a great scoring all over the court, with the ability to handle business around the rim and some decent three ball shooting as well. He has the the instinctive ability to play some strong defense as his defensive rating verifies and 1.3 blocks /game.

Embiid has answered the call for Philly with smooth shooting and power – all the while, having a pleasant scoring touch – he’s not going to light up the board for 35+ points on a nightly basis, but, let us be 100% honest – Embiid is without question, the most dangerous offensive weapon of the Philly offense – and will be for this team for quite some time.

Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards
31 ppg
4 rpg
6 apg

26 year old Bradley Beal is a very well rounded contributor for the Wizards and has been electric this season. His explosiveness with his scoring has been incredible to watch. Beal is dead-eye lethal with his shot off the dribble, hitting 46% of shots this year, and burying 35% from deep as well

The 6-3 SG has been superb with point production, as he has been a high volume producer for the Wizards, with 10 games of 40 or more this year so far. The SG takes what the defense gives him, and then if he doesn’t like what they give him – he goes out and takes it, with his dangerous jump shot, that is critically precise from all over.

Pascal Siakam
Toront Raptors
24 ppg
8 rpg
4 apg

The 25 year old Siakam is averaging 11 points per game higher this season, than his 4 year career average. He has taken full control of the team with fervor – after Leonard bailed on him after last season. The 6-9 SF is exceeding the high expectations the Raptors had on him entering the year with the team being handed to him as the leader.

He has been nothing short of stunning – hitting 36% of his deep balls in 35 minutes /game on the season, Pascal has taken the reigns, while leading the team, averaging 24 points, 4 assists, 8 rebounds.

Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks
30 ppg
4 rpg
9 apg

The only area Trae Young been shaky with has been his defense – but he certainly fills up the box score, majorly, with nuclear scoring ability and some exceptional ball handling. Bottom line, there is simply no team or player that can contain him on the court.

He has scored less than 25 pts in only 26% of his games played.
And remember, he is only 21 years old.
His ability to put the ball in the bucket, has been recognizably impressive.

Trae has been strikingly dangerous this season, with scoring explosiveness and he has only increased his efficiency throughout the year. Young is the only established and legit scoring option in the Atlanta Hawks lineup, there is without a doubt – no cause for anyone questioning of him being here.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks
30 ppg
14 rpg
6 apg

Giannis Antetokounmpo has shown no signs of slowing down and obviously popping up in MVP discussions, as he has been dominant. Giannis seems to always be 2 steps ahead of everyone else on the court. 30pts and 14 boards are nothing to ignore – obviously, and his presence with getting to the rack has been difficult to ignore on the court. He is a destructive scorer and has also become a very good passer for Milwaukee, especially when in the paint.

Antetokounmpo has been extraordinarily efficient – he has been hitting on over 54% of his field goal attempts, and granted, 53% of his shots come from within 5 feet of the cup – as he plays more of an old school mindset – get to the rim. He is still working on his deep ball hitting just 31% – but even with the fact that everyone knows he is looking to drive – he still gets 20 shots /game and hangs 30ppg.


= WEST =

James Harden
Houston Rockets
35 ppg
6 rpg
7 apg

James Harden actually appears to be improving as the season goes on – and that is going to problematic for anyone. Harden explodes when he needs to, with dribbling and a smooth stroke – and can get his shot off vs bigger defenders as well. He has put together high octane scoring displays over and over – many of his big scoring games are due to his ability to draw contact. Drawing contact from a defender and getting to the line are easy points.

He gets to the line an average of 12 times a game, his 6th consecutive season getting to the line over 10 times/game. His 87% from the line is outstanding – so his game has not only been about getting easy points /game – but also getting opposing players in foul trouble.

Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks
28 ppg
9 rpg
9 apg

Doncic has been beyond efficient on the court – contributing in every way possible for the Mavs across several statistical categories, leading Dallas every night. Through 51 games, Luka is putting up 28pts – 9 boards, 9 dimes and has added 14 triple doubles on top of that.

He is the unconditionally best all around player in the NBA right now. He also carries around a fantastic 27.6 player efficiency rating. Luka is very tough to guard, as he is bigger than most G’s and quicker than expected to many of the SFs that try to guard him. He has been spectacular, and he has a great future ahead, that is only going to get even better.

Anthony Davis
LA Lakers
27 ppg
10 rpg
3 apg

Anthony Davis’s scoring has been as effective and smooth as usual, and his overall production, both defensively and interior scoring has gotten better what he has done over past seasons, with LeBron, his game is just that much better, which in turn makes the team around him better. He has been a real treat to watch dominate on the court this year.

Davis has brought himself to a new level as a Laker this season – putting up 27 ppg along with his exemplary defensive presence on the court, stuffing 2.5 shots per game so far, tops in his career.  And the fact is – he’s converting shots from all over the court with steady aggressiveness, and knocking down 85% from the free throw line. He is a nightmare, and a seamlessly natural weapon for LA.

Kawhi Leonard
LA Clippers
27 ppg
8 rpg
5 apg

As long as Kawhi is on the court for the the Clippers – he’s always a threat to post great numbers. 41% of games this season he has put up 30 or more – the 28 year old wing has been rock-steady this season, and his free throw shooting has been exceptional – and is tops in his career at 89%.

He also gets a lot of time as the primary ball-handler for LA – as he has shown that with 5 assist /game that he can keep the game under control. He can find guys, and not make stupid decisions when getting a double team, or when the pressure is on.

Lebron James
LA Lakers
26 ppg
8 rpg
11 apg

It doesn’t matter who is trying to slow Lebron down – the King still scores his buckets with ease – and can still keep drilling 3balls over and over, as he hits 2.2 /game this season, a career best for the old timer. James has been excellent in all aspects of the game, as usual, including a respectful 35% from beyond the arc.

Lebron has put up better than 25 PPG in each of the last 16 seasons, this year, he has shown with age, he can still produce like the youngsters can – as he has actually gotten even better with his play making ability. He leads the the NBA at 11 assists /game. It is almost as if he is finally in his natural position on the court – finding guys for buckets, James has always been a pass first player, and this year he is really showing the NBA what he can still do.

New Orleans Pelicans the team to beat in 2 years

New Orleans surrounded Zion with some really good supporting talent, dropping Ball and Holiday in their backcourt, as they are 2 of the better wing defenders in the game, along with Zion, who himself is a strong defender. Then they added 6-9 Ingram as a 2nd scoring option and he has been awesome with his 25ppg and JJ Redick as their screen shooter. Plus Jaxson Hayes and his “oop” machine ability, the New Orleans Pelicans will be in the playoffs very quickly.
Zion is going to be the star for New Orleans, he is a middling shooter, a good defender, and strong rebounder, and an instinctive passer. Williamson struggled with a steady jump shot, hitting only 24 trey balls in 33 games in Duke, and players in the NBA aren’t going to leap out of his way like they did in college. It is going to be fun to see how his game style translates as the season goes on – he isn’t going to push everyone around in the paint anymore, at 6-6 and 285lbs. But already he has shown his exceptional basketball ability at the next level with 22ppg and 8 boards /game.
In the trade they made with the Lakers – the Pelicans in the long haul, will be better than the Lakers. Lonzo Ball is a great defender and passer, Ingram has more than shown his ability to light it up while waiting for Zion to get healthy – and will be a great 2nd scoring option to Zion, as his smooth touch and shooting off screens, has shown. And Hart will be a great 6th man with his shot selection and rebounding ability and Hayes will give them another solid player, especially on D.
This trade will go down as a Vikings – Cowboys Herschel Walker level – trade over time. Which we know made Dallas the team of the 90s. The Pelicans are going to be set up for a decade. This trade was all or nothing to get James a ring in LA, and he very well might get it this year. We all know, the fans, the management and certainly LeBron needs it. The biggest worry in the back of my brain I would have, if I am a Lakers fan, is Anthony Davis staying healthy. And if Davis is going to keep improving his production as he has, he has never played a full NBA season since coming in the league back in 2012 – which could be a huge concern for LA. If the Lakers don’t win a title in the next 2 years – we will all talk about how this trade destroyed the Lakers. Getting rid of everything they did is a lot to dish for just one guy – even if it’s a star like Anthony Davis.
So the true impact of the trade will remain to be seen, the Pelicans got some promising young players with their trio of 1st rd picks, and with their potential, and skills – I still feel they will win the trade in the long run. Their strength will be offense – New Orleans is going to eventually have one of the most feared frontcourts in the game, and the backcourt defense should get even better – as Lonzo and Holiday are both excellent. I like the Pelicans team really because of their system, and they’re going to run – which will be great for Lonzo’s game. With guards that can move the ball with speed, and Ingram and Zion both can run as well. A basketball team can be turned around with 1-2 guys who are top notch players – the Pelicans have their guys to go with. These guys all bring scoring and hope to New Orleans. This was a haul for the Pelicans and it sets them up better for down the road then the Lakers. With Ball, Holiday, Ingram, Zion, Hart and the 7-0 foot Hayes – who has great shot blocking ability and is going to be a supreme lane clogger for New Orleans in time. They will be ready in about 2-3 years time, right when the Lakers are going downhill.

Why is nobody concerned about the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder lineup is going to be a really tough guard if they can find a way to get into the playoffs. I know we are a long way from the tournament – but they have some heat on that team, and I think more should be keeping an eye on them. They have several guys who are all above average to top end shooters, with 3 guys who can knock down 46% or better from the floor who take 12 or more shots / game, and they don’t have anyone on the team who soaks up a ton of wasted possessions, chucking up bad shots. They have a handful of guys who can also put the ball on the floor, and make plays as well.
Dennis Schroder has compiled an impressive body of work statistically with 18ppg and 47% shooting – coming off the bench, and still amassing 31 minutes /game. Schroder was the teams best player vs 2 of the better teams in the conference, the Clippers and vs the Jazz during a 2 week stretch, when he netted 28 and 27 points on 49% shooting in those games, which shows he can get it done with ease. Schroder hasn’t had great postseason success – when playing with Atlanta for his first 4 years in the league, with just one strong run in 14-15 when he didn’t get a lot of shots and never saw the court much.
Chris Paul’s shot creation skills off ISO plays have been incredibly good for a guy of his age. Paul turned 34 years old and has been having his best shooting season since 16-17 season, at 47%. He is super effective, and still plays good defense, as well, as he is tops on the team in steals. At 34 years old – he is bringing the veteran leadership for this team, Paul has everything you could want from an offensive centerpiece, including, the veteran smarts to not force bad shots. Paul can fade off into the corner, not touching the ball, then suddenly has 4 quick possessions in a row where he is either scoring or assisting. Could you imagine what he could have done for this team in his prime?
Then there is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – who looks incredibly comfortable on the court with exceptional scoring skills. As a scorer, he’s the real deal – getting to the rim whenever he wants to, and he can drop shots from all over the court, he attacks with ease off the dribble going to the bucket, his 19.9 ppg is tops on the team. I actually think he is one of the better scoring jump shooters I’ve seen in awhile, and is showing more at a young age than many players. I also feel his quickness off the ball is very good, as he gets separation off the dribble and can drive to the rack. He isn’t an All-Star yet – but he is as close as it gets. His potential is sky high, as well at the fact that he is very athletic, and of course, he is just 21 years old.
If Paul can lead this Thunder team and sneak into the playoffs this year, as a potential 6th or 7th seed, they match up well vs a currently 2nd seeded Denver team, who they have played tough this year so far. Steven Adams is good for a double-double every night with points and rebounds. OKC is a good team, that could be a tough out if they make it to the NBA playoffs.

Who is the best NBA player under 25 yrs old

We have a young and exciting generation in the NBA right now. We have teams like the Phoenix Suns and Utah, with some great young players, like Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell – but are they the top of the top in the age bracket of under 25?
We can talk about who is great and who is going to be great, but it comes down to who is the tops of the young age bracket right now.
Lets take a deep look at some of the top 3 NBA players under 25 playing the game right now.
So we will look at 3 of the top young guys who are balling and are under 25.
We will start with a 2nd year PG.
Trae Young; Atlanta Hawks, PG, 21 years old
Trae Young has been very good for the Atlanta Hawks – he runs the machine, he is the guy for this team, and Atlanta has a legit scoring machine , with the 21 year old, Young, at 28ppg this year. Even though defense is the weak spot for Trae – the quality of opponents in the division, has a little bit to do with his lack of ability to make plays on defense. But, he has never been a shutdown guy.
Atlanta, on offense, plays a steady pick and roll game on their bottom ended offense, but he excels with scoring the ball, and he gets a shot off all the time, and is never shy about looking for his shot either. With 20 FGA in 66% of the games this season, as of this article. He is easy to play with due to his ability to hang pts on the board – but Atlanta is a team that has no other realistic scoring options or any likely chance of making the playoffs this year.
Oddly enough, Young has a problem with knocking down shots. Hitting just 44% of his shots on the season – and hitting just 42% over the last 2 seasons, this has been his glaring problem for some time. Young seems like he would rather defer to someone else to take it over when the chips are down. He seems to be passive at times – a guy who is afraid to take the big shot. This could be based on Young only playing 1 season in Oklahoma – he may have not have learned the cold hearted assassin thought for a leader for a team.
When the game becomes tighter and rolls into clutch time – teams can lay off him & force him, it seems he lacks confidence that is really needed in that area. Teams aren’t going to be afraid of his below 45% shooting percentage.
Luka Doncic; Dallas Mavericks, SG, 20 years old
Luka Doncic takes everyone he plays to school on the court and he has been lighting up the NBA for 29ppg and almost 9 assists /game for Dallas – he has been just outstanding. Luka has been in the league for just 2 years – and has shown he is something really, really special. His scoring has been amazing to watch and his overall game is just incredible.
The 20 year old has been outplaying seasoned players with 5, and 6 years behind them – Luka is the future of this league – hands down. He is still getting down shooting the trey ball – knocking down just 32% of his 3pt shots – but he has a spectacular mid range game and is a treat to watch with leaners, and sweet jump shots. The Slovenian SG is a pure shooter for sure – he doesn’t waste his shots with crazy double covered shots – he is fun to watch scoring. He scores when needed for the Mavs – and is virtually unguardable, scoring 26+ in 76% of his games this season, as of this article.
Brandon Ingram; New Orleans Pelicans, PF, 22 years old
Brandon Ingram has been injury prone over his 4 season career with 26.5 games missed/season since 2017. Which really sucks – no one wants a talented scoring option like him, to be absent for 32% of the year – and Ingram missing games seems to be clockwork every season. It is just waiting for the time, when he go absent. Again.
The former 2nd overall pick is a beast with his natural scoring ability. Obviously Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis are better overall at the PF position – but Ingram is just 22 years old and Antetokounmpo and Davis are older and more experienced – give it time, I think Ingram is going to be a long time superstar and could be in the same classroom on the court with either one.
Brandon is a great asset to the Pelicans and is only going to get better – especially when Zion Williamson arrives.  He has rebounding, at 7 rpg- and is improving his overall defense, and he has brought rock solid scoring over the season, each and every game.
If challenged to pick 2 guys to win a championship – it’s coming down to the slender Ingram and Doncic – as I would think many feel they are the top 2 playing under 25, right now.
Imagine how good Ingram is going to be in 2-3 years from now, he is guy that has sweet scoring and shooting ability, but needs to get better with his training, he needs to stay on the court.
I grasp what Ingram and Young are – but Doncic is better.  A better player, a better leader, and easily a better shooter. Luka is only 20 years old and putting up top of the league like numbers, people need to realize that he is a transitional historic player – one that ruins a games gameplan.
Numbers don’t lie.
29ppg, 10rpg, and 9apg are just ridiculous.
What other guys are doing – is nothing close to what Luka is doing. He can play the game of basketball – bottom line. He can play with the best of them in the league. Luka and his pure scoring ability has opponents asking what kind of sorcery is being unleashed when he is on the court.

Is Zion Williamson the next NBA Super Star

Zion was a beast and the best player in the nation in high school a few years ago – many former players have said he was a man playing with boys out on the court. And his play in college has been arguably some of the most impressive I have seen in years, and was the best player in college basketball. What I have watched, is a man ready to play the game vs other men. But, you obviously just never really know how good a player will be when entering the league.
LeBron  James never played college basketball, and came straight out of high school and many of the media already had him pegged as being better than most of the league, which in turn, I really think hindered some of his “like-ability.” But, when LeBron was coming out of high school – he probably was better than probably 50% of the NBA.
That is far from false.
And when he came into the league, and was faster and quicker than everyone over 6-6 despite being the size of PF, and put up 21-6-6 in his rookie year in 2003. So young players, the right young players, can make some impressive and ridiculous impacts on the court very quickly.
Zion is one of those players I think will make a fast impact.
Zion Williamson was a phenomenal college player, putting up 23ppg and 9 rpg – and he comes with a massive amount of potential. His drive to the hoop can be a little sloppy at times, but he has a savage knack to be able to still get his shot up. I don’t think Zion is going to dominate the NBA immediately when stepping on the court, and will need to improve his game, and he will need to continue to work on his shot. But, in the same sense, I think any player worth a lick of being a great – works on his shot and his game. He has mostly been muscling kids on the court – and hadn’t shown a steady and reliable shot. It took Blake Griffin several years before he became more than just a dunker, as he came out in 2009 from Oklahoma as a box player only and dominant PF. Griffin in college, was a wrecking ball who crushed teams with power and leaping ability. Now he has himself a very solid shot, and plays good D, as well.
Those who want to bang on Zion Williamson – let the 19 year old play his first NBA game before people start to “hate” on him. He has shown he has a tremendous work ethic, and he is only going to get stronger, and more explosive as he gets older and more learned. And as his body matures and he gets more acclimated to the NBA – I think it could be awesome and a lot of fun to watch. That’s what I find so intriguing about him- he has such an explosive part to his game that is really exciting and raw – and he isn’t anywhere close his prime yet.
I don’t understand how the thought of a young guys being considered a top tier player as a rookie is so incredibly unheard of. When KD came into the NBA in his first year, back in 2007 – he put up 20ppg and he was just 19, Karl-Anthony Towns at 20, grabbed 11rpg and scored 18/game. Luka Doncic is only 19 years old- and is putting up 21 / 8 / 6 in the NBA. All very young when playing the game at a frightening level. We can all look at guys like Kwame Brown and Greg Oden, and think how they just fell apart at the next level. But, I think Zion’s definitely a better prospect than either of them – so if he does what he is expected to do – he will be just fine.
Can we guarantee Zion is going to be that good? No.
Can he be? Absolutely.

NBA Finals Game 6 Preview – Toronto Raptors Vs. Golden State Warriors


Win or go home for the Warriors and they got what they wanted, hook or by crook, and at the expense of a top-three player in the NBA, their superstar, Kevin Durant. Game five was everything and more, it was what it was billed to be, a close contest that went back and forth and, in the end, guess who made their shots? The Champions. The Warriors held it together without Durant and proved their resiliency at least for one more game, one more shot to send this to a game seven in Toronto. The sports bettors wanted this, the bookies wanted it more. Vegas wanted and needed this. Make no mistake, the Warriors are the same team that swept Portland without their superstar but when he did make his appearance and his first shot was from downtown, he gave the spark that was needed to win game five. This team will be ready for game six tonight. The Line sits GS -2.5/ OU 211. This one is going to be fun, it will be another close one but maybe not as close as some would think.


NBA Championship Game Predictions & Betting Tips


The Raptors can’t close the deal! They had their chance and they blew it. They allowed the Warriors and the “splash brothers” a 9-2 run in the last 2-minutes, they had the ball with 15 seconds to go and down one, they couldn’t step on the Warriors neck and that will most-likely prove fatal.


Game one in Toronto was exciting, it was historic, it was a lot of fun even for those who have absolutely no interest in the Raptors. It was absolutely a thrill to see the Raptors play in their first NBA Championship and open at home to an amazing fan base. That was game one, this is game six and game seven, (if it goes) will be much different than game one. All the glory, all the hype, all of the focus on a 24-year franchise that had never been… that’s long over. Forget all of the noise. This is the Golden State Warriors that are going for a threepeat and they will be hard to beat, with or without Kevin Durant.


What’s worse for the Raptors, the Warriors have added motivation. After Durant coming into game five, and giving his squad the lift that he did, this group will be motivated tonight.


America’s Bookie – 10 Years of Providing Sports Bettors Great Bonuses and Fast Payouts


This is not about loving one team or hating another. What we must focus on is the value in the bet. Where lies the value? What about the over at 211, does that seem like value? In Oakland, it seems like somewhat of a valuable number. Remember, the Warriors averaged just over 117 points in the regular season while Toronto averaged over 106, however the total has been inconsistent and getting a good read on the total will be difficult without Durant in the lineup. One thing we know, Toronto is not Portland, this Raptors team can play some serious defense. It kills us to take Golden State under any total, so we will lay off the total… while saying “the game most likely goes over”.


NBA Prop Lines are a Great Way to Bet and win consistently


There is simply no need to break down performances, to look at individual play and to speak of what Lowry, or Kawhi, or Steph has done. All of these guys are fantastic, and they bring it nightly and when one doesn’t have big numbers, the other one will. Both teams have a squad full of consummate professionals that can beat each other on any given night.


Where we look for value is in experience and for at least one game; the home of the champions. This is in the Champions house, are they going to allow the Raptors a win in their own house, in an elimination game, as well as in the last Warriors game to ever be played in Oakland, at Oracle? Not a chance!


Prediction: Golden State wins this game, -2 ½ and Over 211, we’re playing the parlay card. (we changed our minds).