This offseason for Kevin Durant could be Thunderous

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The 7 time All-Star, Kevin Durant is going to be a highly sought after free agent this off season when the NBA Playoffs are completed. He made a little under 90 million during his time in Oklahoma City, while scoring 17,000+ points and snagging 4500+ rebounds in his 9 year career. He will also be garnishing a ton of expected attention from many other teams looking for the “final piece”, or “the big draw” to their teams to help them in their quest to become a world champion.

The “Durantula” has been nothing short of outstanding in his excellent career, doing everything he could do in his power to get his team to the next level, including getting them to the NBA Finals in 2011-2012. Where he was outstanding, but attention was drawn away from their truest star, by their shooting PG, Russell Westbrook. He was getting 4 less shots/game compared to his “point guard,” who Durant was shooting much better than, at 54-41%. And Westbrook, at times, took over considerably, with seemingly his own game plan entirely at times. Maybe a change would be in the best interest for Durant, at this point in his career, for the upcoming talented free agent.

Some teams that I feel would be definite landing pads for Durant to have a strong chance at going to in the summer are the Pelicans, the Celtics, the Raptors, or even the Clippers. I am going to break down the team I think would be the best fits for him to go to.

The Raptors should make a heavy push to get Durant. They already have some excellent players in DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and big boy rebounder, Jonas Valanciunas. If they were able to make a move ad get Durant, that could be an insane grab. They have some flexibility and could trade a producing veteran, like DeMarre Carroll or talented youngster, Terrence Ross and even a 1st rounder to get him. I also think they have a very real shot at doing such.

This last year has shown me that the Raptors have finally found a real identity and are going to be a contender for years to come. The East, on the whole, is a weaker conference, and the Raptors can make a very real run for the tittle, with a serous move like that.

Another team, I think would be a great fit would be the Boston Celtics. They would already have a fantastic supporting cast that would accommodate his style of play, and he’d at last have a good coach in Brad Stevens. If the C’s could land him, they would be the “Beast of the East” for several years down the road, that is a guarantee.

They have the complete package for him to join. They have a backcourt with Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, both who can score and both are not afraid to give up the ball when they are instructed to do so. They have a lock down defending guard, as well in Bradley, and an underrated shooter, and defender, in Jae Crowder. By adding Durant they get the explosive “superstar” that has the very real capabilities to drop 40-45 on any hot night. And on top of that, Boston has the cap space to make the moves necessary with over 50 million to spend. As well as they have a talented bench which is possibly one of the best in the NBA. If there is a Coach who can satisfy the needs of a Durant, Stevens is just that.

Cleveland is currently the only real contender in the Eastern Conference. They have packaged the team to beat across the board, for now, to make other teams very concerned when they come to their doorstep. They have beaten the Celtics, and the Raptors, 8-5 combined in their last 2 seasons’ matchups. With LeBron James, Kyrie and KLove they have a power squad every night. This is a pretty common agreement amongst the majority of fans. KD to Boston would definitely put them over the top. And Coach Stevens would coach circles around Tyronn Lue.

Beyond it simply being a great fit, system wise, the history in Boston is very rich and the fan support is top notch. He could ask legends, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen, when they went to Beantown. Durant could really build himself a mighty legacy and become immortalized as a Boston legend, to stand next to the other greats.

Things to consider, if Durant goes to a team, like the Clippers, I question if everyone will jump on him for it, just like they did with Lebron and when he went to the Heat. Taking off to a team that is already very good ( a top 2 finish in their division every year since 2011-2012 and 5 straight playoff appearance in the last 5 seasons )and make them just that much better, is often frowned upon in any sport, basketball in particular. Because it has been happening so much lately. Basketball is dictated by the players now, not by the teams themselves. It’s unfortunate, the times have changed. Loyalty to a team is only and oftentimes only as loyal as the dollar they put in your pocket, or the players you can join up with. Players in this generation simply don’t have the killer instinct to stick with a team, through thick and thin, defeating everyone in their path anymore, we have “witnessed it” before.

And it wold be essentially the same exact thing that LeBron did. Just that Durant would be leaving a much better supporting cast in Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. LeBron was dragged through the mud for leaving a team with Sebastian Telfair, Delonte West and Anthony Parker, and still got them through 5 Eastern conference semis, 2 Eastern conference finals, and a Championship game while carrying that well below average team, on his shoulders. So I really hope if he goes to a power contender, that his name is brought up in the same path as LeBron. Otherwise, it is bluntly biased and uncalled for.

Although, I feel the main reason LeBron has been hated so much for going to Miami, was the way he approached it. The outlandish TV special was just beyond ridiculous. Not condoning the idiocy of it, but I am sure if he had the chance to get a “do over” he would do it very differently. I think he was a young guy, with bad advice and counsel, and he has apologized for the renowned debacle numerous times.

Wherever Durant decides to go, if he leaves, he will make them for the better. I am hoping he goes to a team that is on the brink, like the Celtics, a place where he is gong to bring them to the next step. If the C’s could lure him to Boston they will win another NBA Championship, and could build another dynasty for the next 5+ years. Rumors also have the NY Knicks and Miami Heat very interested.

Written by Tony Karpinski of VegasTopDogs.com

The Race for the NBA MVP is heating up

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The battle for the leagues best player is seemingly getting underway in a very entertaining manner. It’s really starting to get interesting to say the least. It looks like we are going to see a very close finish between Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James of the Miami Heat. It is turning into a very good battle between them to see who gets the crown of being the leagues “Most Valuable Player.”

I think a lot on this subject matters what your opinions are on what an MVP is and should be. Firstly, I think both players are having great seasons, and both are easily the top 2 contenders hands down. I think that Durant feels he is done playing 2nd fiddle to Lebron. He has had amazing games this season, hanging 54 on Golden State.

Having a massive triple double game against the Sixers. He carried the Thunder when Westbrook was out. Scoring at will, and dominating the league, with media clambering all over the “Durantula.”

Now, if anyone deserves to knock the King from his throne it should be Durant, and if he wins it, I would be open with the decision. Durant leads the Thunder in most categories. With his sleek shot and quick release, his scoring has been beyond enjoyable. And with his speed and his offensive awareness, he has been unbelievably aggressive with his “taking over games” mentality. And teammates gain confidence from having that kind of player on your team. I have felt for years that Westbrook has held Durant back, and with Westbrook being out for awhile, it allowed KD to shine.

Now, on the other side, I also believe that LeBron is sick of hearing Kevin Durant is now the NBAs best player. He has more to prove to fans again this year. Anyone with a competing side, and a professional athlete in particular, would get real provoked with the fact that everyone is saying that “your time has come, you’re not the best in the NBA anymore.” Durant had a strong stretch this season, around 12 games where he was really playing excessively well. But does that mean he is the MVP of the league?

LeBron leads his team in basically every category as well. Which is the meaning of an MVP. Are you the best player not of just your team, but of the entire league? Let’s face facts here, LeBron is the best basketball player in the world in this era, and he has proven it many times over, no matter who dislikes the concept of it. He is a walking stat filler, across the board, each and every night is a potential triple double.

And let’s also take into consideration, LeBron is having a “down year” by many peoples standards. Only scoring 27 and 7 boards and 7 assists a night. Durant gets 4 more shots a night than LeBron, because of LeBrons sharing play, getting the team involved all the time. LeBron getting 21 shots a game, he would be scoring 33 a night, statistically speaking. And with that, Durant is now his equal?

Durant is a big scorer, not a great defender, where as LeBron is the teams best defender, as well as perhaps the leagues best defender. We all know about him being able to legitimately guard every position on the court by now. That’s a pretty ominous component as well.

For seasons upon seasons those who didn’t like LeBron, for whatever their reasons, have bashed and disrespected him for one reason or another. No one can argue that he has continued to silence the haters for some time now. And that makes them even more angry.

James could be among the game’s top players of all time by winning a 5th MVP crown. LeBron would become one of 4 players all time to reach that awe-inspiring mark. We shall see, Durant could win the MVP, but I always feel it should go to the games best player each year. And to me, it’s still LeBron James. Let’s hold off on taking the crown away from the King, just yet.

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com

Best Sporting Events Of The Week

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A little game called the Super Bowl will dominate the week’s action in your sportsbook. But don’t forget about the NBA and college hoops, as well as the NHL and UFC.

 

NFL

Super Bowl XLVIII will go down at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday as the big game is held in a cold-weather venue for the first time. Denver and Seattle both have experience playing in cold weather, so it isn’t supposed to play that big of a factor, but it is definitely something you should keep an eye out for.

NBA

Kevin Durant hasn’t stopped his relentless tear, even with an ailing shoulder, and he will lead Oklahoma City into Miami on Wednesday for a meeting with the two-time defending champs. The next night in the TNT nightcap, the Los Angeles Clippers take on Golden State.

NCAA Basketball

There will be a few college basketball matchups worth watching this week, but the marquee game will be on Saturday, as Syracuse hosts Duke for the first time since coming to the ACC. The Orangemen go into the week undefeated.

NHL

It is always fun when rivals go at it, and you will get your fill in the NHL this week, starting on Wednesday when Chicago visits Vancouver. On Thursday, Montreal and Boston clash in an Original Six rivalry where the temperature is always high.

UFC

The UFC always has a card on Super Bowl weekend, and Saturday’s UFC 169 features a pair of championship tilts for fight fans. Renan Barao will aim to defend his 135-pound title when he meets Urijah Faber for the second time; Barao beat Faber for the interim bantamweight belt at UFC 149. In the featherweight division, Jose Aldo aims to continue his reign when he takes on Ricardo Lamas.