2017 1st-Rd Mock Draft

2017 1st-Rd Mock Draft

 

1 Markelle Fultz – 76ers
6’5″ PG, Washington
2 Lonzo Ball – Lakers
6’5″ PG, UCLA

 

3 Jayson Tatum – Celtics
6’8″ SF, Duke
4 Josh Jackson – Suns
6’8″ SF, Kansas

 

5 De’Aaron Fox – Kings
6’3″ PG, Kentucky
6 Malik Monk – Magic
6’3″ SG, Kentucky

 

7 Jonathan Isaac – Timberwolves
6’11” SF, Florida State
8 Lauri Markkanen – Knicks
7’0″ PF, Arizona

 

9 Frank Ntilikina – Mavericks
6’5″ PG, France
10 OG Anunoby – Kings
6’8″ SF, Indiana

 

11 Luke Kennard – Hornets
6’6″ SG, Duke
12 Donovan Mitchell – Pistons
6’3″ SG, Louisville

 

13 Dennis Smith – Nuggets
6’2″ PG, NC State
14 Harry Giles – Heat
6’11” PF, Duke

 

15 Zach Collins  – Trail Blazers
7’0″ C, Gonzaga
16 John Collins – Bulls
6’10” PF, Wake Forest

 

17 Terrance Ferguson – Bucks
6’7″ SG, Australia
18 Justin Jackson – Pacers
6’8″ SF, North Carolina

 

19 Justin Patton – Hawks
6’11” C, Creighton
20 Jonah Bolden – Trail Blazers
6’10” SF, Australia

 

21 Tony Bradley – Thunder
6’11” C, North Carolina
22 Anzejs Pasecniks  – Nets
7’1″ C, Latvia

 

23 Edrice Adebayo – Raptors
6’10” PF, Kentucky
24 TJ Leaf – Jazz
6’10” PF, UCLA

 

25 Jarrett Allen – Magic
6’10” C, Texas
26 Isaiah Hartenstein – Trail Blazers
6’11” PF, Germany

 

27 Josh Hart – Lakers
6’5″ SG, Villanova
28 Jordan Bell – Lakers
6’9″ PF, Oregon

 

29 Ivan Rabb – Spurs
6’10” PF, California
30 D.J. Wilson – Jazz
6’11” PF, Michigan
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NBA Finals Preview

NBA Finals Preview

For the third consecutive season, we will see the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers meet in the NBA Finals.

This is the first time in NBA history that the same two teams have met in the Finals for three consecutive seasons, but we are here for it.

Let’s all be thankful and take a look at this year’s matchup.

Predictions:

Tyler: Warriors in four

Let’s think about this for a second; the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead last year. Everybody knows that. Had Draymond Green played in Game 5, I still say the Warriors win that game and close out the series. He’s suspended, and they lose. Andrew Bogut also goes out for the remainder of the Finals in this game. Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry both are playing through injuries, and it takes the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead for LeBron and company to beat them.

The series before that, you might recall Kevin Durant and the Thunder, (my pick to win it all last year,) blew a 3-1 lead against the Warriors.

Fast forward to this season.

The Warriors acquire Kevin Durant. Many believe him to be the best scorer in league and one of the top three players in the world.

I don’t see a way the Cavaliers can beat this team. I just don’t.

The Warriors are quite possibly the greatest team we’ve ever seen assembled. It’s just that simple.

They are all unselfish, they have great scorers, and they have the best defense in the league. And while LeBron is the best player in the world, the Warriors are out for revenge this year. I do think the Cavs can win one, maybe two games, but I don’t think they can win four.

And with Kevin Durant still awaiting his first ring, he’s trying to get there in as few games as he possibly can, especially with LeBron on the other side.

Get the brooms out. Dubs in four.

Devin: Cavaliers in six

The Cavaliers quest for another championship is within reach. After steamrolling through the playoffs, they look ready to become the 12th team in NBA history to repeat as champions.

They’ve seemingly flipped the switch once the playoffs started and have looked like a completely different team; their defensive woes have vanished and the team is fully healthy.

LeBron is on a mission these playoffs coming in with the best playoff team he has had as a Cavalier as he is surrounded with better quality talent than what he had last season. They’ve added Kyle Korver and Deron Williams for these playoffs, and I believe those two will play a big factor in this series.

Korver is a premier 3-pt shooter and has to be respected on the offensive end, unlike last year having Matthew Dellevadova who made an impact defensively, but wasn’t a threat shooting. Williams can provide a veteran PG that’s not afraid of the big moment, along with keeping the offense moving when LeBron and Kyrie are on the bench.

Kevin Love is looking much more comfortable in his role with the team and is shooting 47% in the playoffs, while Kyrie is looking more like Uncle Drew as each game passes. Tristan Thompson has also looked like a man amongst boys on the boards.

LeBron is leading his team in every statistical category except for rebounds during this playoff run, and is averaging nearly a triple-double with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. The King is on his way to making history having the highest average ppg in the playoffs passing Michael Jordan.

Most people are going with the Warriors in this series for a multitude of reasons, but LeBron will once again prove everyone wrong as the Cavs take it in six games.

 

The Cleveland Show

cleveland_cavaliers

The reigning NBA champions have been off to a rough start in 2017, going 7-8 during the month of January. Eight of the games were on the road while seven of them were against Western Conference teams, which could lead to the slumping start having just been a result of the team’s heavy travel schedule.

LeBron James has not been shy about sharing his feelings during his team’s slump.

He has talked about the team’s hesitancy spending money, the need for another playmaker and the roster being too top heavy. The team has not made any improvements to its roster since the NBA Draft when they took Kay Felder who has not shown as much promise since his Summer League stint.

In this respect, LeBron has a point in stating that his team needs another playmaker. LeBron is one of the best playmakers to ever play the game, but his team has had to resort to using Iman Shumpert as the primary backup point guard, which will be cutting it close if the Cavs plan on making a return to the NBA Finals.

They’ve started to explore other options and have looked into acquiring a veteran via trade. They’ve held a large workout with veteran free agent point guards as they look for someone to come in and be a floor general for the second unit.

The team has also been playing subpar defense while losing or keeping in close games with the likes of some of the worst teams in the NBA over the past month, (Kings, Pelicans, Suns, Nets and Mavericks.)

It all comes back to LeBron, though. Whether or not the Cavs do acquire another playmaker should make no difference—LeBron James is the best playmaker in the league.

He has help all over the court. Kyrie Irving has proven time and time again to be one of the most clutch players in the game. Kevin Love has accepted his role as the third option on the team and is actually blossoming in that role; and with the shooters LeBron has around him, including the recent addition of Kyle Korver, and J.R. Smith who has been out with injury while the Cavs have struggled as of late, he has most of what he needs to get back to the NBA Finals.

NBA Finals – Game 7 Cage Match

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE—GAME 7 IS UPON US.

This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Tonight’s Game 7 is set to be one of the greatest Finals Game 7’s we’ve ever seen. Legacies are on the line—Golden State is chasing the best season ever while trying to go down as the greatest team of all-time. LeBron is trying to reclaim his throne, and the Cavs are trying to be the first team to ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. Here are our predictions of how tonight’s game will go.

T – I’m sticking with Golden State. In our first article, I picked Golden State to win this series in seven games, so now I’m predicting I’ll be right. Here’s why:

1) I don’t see Cleveland beating Golden State three games in a row. Beating any team three times in a row is hard enough in itself, let alone the greatest regular season team of all-time. The game is in Oakland, and it’s going to be extremely tough for the Cavs to pull this one out.

2) Stephen Curry is pissed. In Game 6, he picked up his sixth foul, chucked his mouthpiece at a fan, (don’t think he meant to hit the guy, but hey, he’s got a great shot,) got a technical and got tossed. Rightfully so, he had a reason to be mad. He stripped Kyrie clean for his fifth foul, and then tried to get out of LeBron’s way as LeBron barreled into him for his sixth. Before making his way off the court, he pointed at LeBron on the opposite end and said, “I’m coming.” LET’S GO BABY—LEBRON/STEPH HELL IN A CELL.

3) LeBron James has looked unstoppable thus far, and I really don’t expect tonight to be any different. I do, however, expect the Splash Brothers to go insane. I do expect Draymond Green to shoot the ball more than seven times like he did in Game 6. I do expect Harrison Barnes to not look like trash as he has in the last two games. I do expect the Warriors bench to be exactly what they are, the deepest bench in the league. And I pray that Iggy’s back can hold up, and he can be effective on both ends of the court. I know how back problems are, and they’re not fun.

I’m going with a score of GS 118 – CLE 105. Not very close, but every game in these Finals has been decided by double figures. I can see the game being close, but I can also see Golden State running away with it at the end, so I’m going with that. Steph is dropping 40+, and Draymond should have close to a triple-double.

D – Prime reason why the Cleveland Cavaliers will win Game 7—LeBron James.

1) LeBron has put up monster numbers throughout these NBA Finals. He’s leading the way in every major statistical category for both teams, and whether or not the Cavs take home the hardware, LeBron should take home some of his own. He deserves to win MVP regardless of the outcome.

He’s looking like the old Cleveland LeBron. He’s hitting jumpers. He’s going on massive scoring runs by himself. He’s D-ing up every player he comes up against. He’s unstoppable, and The King is bringing one to The Land.

2) Kyrie Irving a.k.a. Uncle Drew has been keeping the offense going no matter what. He keeps a pace to the game for the Cavs to be able to keep up with the Warriors, and at times it looks like he can’t miss. He looks like the sidekick LeBron has needed since he left Dwyane Wade to win another ring.

3) Tristan Thomspon is an energy machine. LeBron is the MVP, but this man is the real MVP. He should be able to out-rebound anybody on the Warriors easily. EAS-I-LY. With the departure of the Warriors best rim-protector, Andrew Bogut, nobody can hold Tristan Thompson. You got the flop machine in Anderson Varejao, which how has this dude not been fined yet? You have Festus Ezeli who looks like he doesn’t belong out there. And you have Draymond Green, who let’s face it—as good a defender as he is, he’s just too small. A double-double should be no problem for the big man.

I’m predicting a score of CLE 103 – GS 96. This will be the first close game this Finals has seen. Hopefully Lil’ Kev can drop some dimes, and LeBron is definitely going H.A.M. The King will have 35 pts – 11 reb – 6 ast – 2 blk – 2 stl to win the Finals MVP.

Final Thoughts

Regardless out the outcome, this game should be amazing. It has every reason to be. Will Golden State become the greatest team of all-time, or will LeBron reclaim his throne and prove once and for all that he is the most dominant force in basketball? Only time will tell, and we’re itching for this game to start.

NBA Finals – Game 4 keys to success

With Game 4 of the NBA Finals tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers look to even the series at two games a piece. Here are some things the teams can look to do to find success in tonight’s game.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The real question everybody is asking themselves right now is did the Warriors just have an off game in Game 3, or did the Cavs finally figure it out? With Kevin Love off the floor, things finally seem to have clicked. Richard Jefferson saw 33 minutes last game, and provided what was a very solid veteran performance. He shot 57% from the field, and had nine points and eight rebounds.

Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and J.R. Smith, (finally not looking like trash,) all got on track last game. LeBron went off for 32 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Kyrie had 30 points and eights assists, while J.R. chipped in 20 points.

Whether it was having the home crowd behind them or not, the ball seemed to move much better in Game 3 than the previous two. In the first two games, there was a lot more isolation ball. Whoever had the ball, it seemed like they were forcing the issue. It was like the Cavs said, “here you go, let’s see what you can do.” In Game 3, the Cavs only had 23 assists compared to the Warriors 21, but overall there seemed to be a lot less isolation ball. They finally played with pace. They finally ran up the court and started attacking the Warriors in transition. It looked like trying to keep pace with the Warriors finally played to the Cavs advantage. If the Cavs can continue to shoot with confidence and get up-and-down the floor, they should find themselves able to even the series.

 Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have not been great to say the least. Neither one of the pair has hit 20 points in a single game in the Finals. Klay is shooting 30% from 3, while Steph is shooting 40%. Forty percent isn’t bad, but it’s not what you expect from the two-time reigning MVP. If the Warriors hope to win tonight, the “Splash Brothers” will need to have big games.

Draymond Green had a monster Game 2, scoring 28 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. In Game 3 however, he only scored six points going 2-8 from the field. He contributed by adding seven points and seven assists, but overall he didn’t look like himself. Getting back to his brash, shit-talking ways is something I look forward to seeing tonight.

The Warriors bench was great in the first two games, and didn’t look bad in Game 3 either. Without Barbosa and Livingston, this series could look completely different. Barbosa at one point was 10-10 from the field in the first two games. If the bench can have a decent showing tonight, along with a big game from the Warriors Big 3, the Warriors can find themselves heading home looking to close out the series in Game 5.

Game 4 predictions

T – Warriors 105-Cavs 99. I’m predicting a big game from Steph Curry. Something like 35 points, nine assists and 8 rebounds. If the Warriors are gonna steal this game and try to close out in Game 5, Steph is going to have to show up and step up big time. Klay and Draymond also need to play much better than they did in Game 3, but that should be a given.

D – Cavs 103-Warriors 95. The Cavs should continue to run small ball and bring Kevin Love a.k.a. Lil’ Kev off the bench. Whether it was momentum or not, you just won by 30 points. I’m not saying don’t play Kevin Love, but ride the wave that worked for you in Game 3. It’ll be easier for Kevin Love to get back in rhythm going against the Warriors second unit, and not immediately matching up with Draymond Green.

Golden State vs. Cleveland – 2016 NBA Finals preview

The 2016 NBA Finals are now set. The Golden State Warriors will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at Oracle Arena in Game 1, and this series is set to be one for the ages. Here is our insight on this NBA Finals matchup.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Pros – LeBron James. He is the biggest pro the Cavs have against the Warriors. The Finals he had last year was spectacular to say the least. If he can replicate anything close to that performance, while bringing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love a.k.a. Lil’ Kev back into the mix, they should theoretically have an easier time scoring against the Warriors and being competitive as a team overall. Kyrie’s ability to have the ball in his hands as opposed to LeBron opens the floor for everybody. You have to respect him, LeBron, Love, and the entire supporting cast of the Cavs, as their shooting has been outstanding thus far in the post season. The Cavs have an advantage inside as well. If their bigs can replicate what the Thunder did during the Western Conference Finals, they shouldn’t have a hard time finding themselves with the upper hand in the paint. Tristan Thompson can find himself on the offensive glass on a consistent basis, and Kevin Love has a chance to look like the Kevin Love of the Minnesota days. The Cavs have seemed to figure it out so far in these playoffs. The only question is if they can figure it out against the greatest team in NBA regular season history.

Cons – The Cavs are going to find themselves with some problems when it comes to playing the Warriors. They have two star players who will have severe defensive matchup problems against their counterparts. Kyrie can’t guard Steph nor Klay, and Lil’ Kev can’t guard Draymond nor any potential matchup he might find himself in. If they try to run small-ball with the Warriors, a lot of their offense will disappear. It will be interesting to see the decisions coach Lue runs with.

Golden State Warriors

Pros – The first big thing that comes to mind is small-ball. When Draymond runs the five, who do you play if you’re the Cavs? Who can guard Draymond besides LeBron James? Where does that leave Kevin Love? The Cavs will have major matchup problems when it comes to running small-ball with the Warriors. The Warriors have the two best shooters in the world, (that are also great two-way players,) and are the best shooting team in the NBA. Being able to hit the three consistently should prove to be huge in these Finals. Every time Steph or Klay shoot what appears to be a reckless three, it seems to drop. Team defense, and chemistry for that matter, should also be to the Warriors advantage. The core group of the Warriors lineup all played in the Finals last year, while the Cavs were missing two of their offensive superstars. If they Warriors can continue this trend of great team defense and lights out shooting, they should be able to find themselves holding up the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy at the end of this series.

Cons – Draymond Green is one flagrant foul away from being suspended for one game. He should still be able to play aggressive, but how physical will he be? Falling behind to the Cavs like they did in the series with the Thunder is also something the Warriors can’t allow to happen. The Thunder gave up the most fourth quarter leads all season, and LeBron James won’t allow that to happen if the Cavs take a commanding lead.

Final Thoughts

This is the Finals everybody wanted to see. It’s what most of the experts predicted the Finals to be. The greatest team vs. the greatest player of our generation. Will LeBron finally bring home a championship for The Land, or will Steph Curry become the new face of the NBA?

Predictions

T – Warriors in seven.

X-Factor – Draymond Green – Draymond has the undeniable ability to get into his opponent’s head. Being able to play physical with LeBron James, Kevin Love and the entire Cavs team can be huge for the Warriors, but he needs to be careful to not pick up a flagrant foul as it could potentially cost the Warriors the series if he is suspended.

D – Cavs in six.

X-Factor – Richard Jefferson – Jefferson provides the Cavs with a veteran presence, and he should see more minutes if the Warriors run small-ball with his ability to guard multiple positions. He would be able to guard Harrison Barnes or Draymond Green with fewer issues, and he also has the ability to come in and knock down shots.