NBA Award Predictions

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Tomorrow is the 2017 NBA Awards Show! It’s in New York City, hosted by Drake with a performance from Nicki Minaj, and you can watch it all on TNT at 9 pm E.T. There will be 6 awards given to deserving players (one can certainly hope) and a coach. With the event less than 24 hours away, it seems appropriate to make some predictions on who will win each award. And AWAAAAAYYYY we go!…

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Defensive Player of the Year

Finalists:

I feel like Leonard is mostly in this discussion merely because he won the last two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. He averaged 0.7 blocks per game (BPG), and 1.8 steals per game (SPG) this season while playing in 74 of 82 games (G) this season. While those are impressive numbers for the NBA, they don’t quite stack up when compared to Green’s 1.4 BPG and 2 SPG playing in 76/82 G and Gobert’s 2.6 BPG and 0.6 SPG playing in 81/82 G. It’s a close call between Green and Gobert (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of those two names called tomorrow night), but I’m going with Gobert for two main reasons. The first reason is because I feel blocks are slightly more valuable than steals. Why? Blocks tend to be harder to forget as an offensive player. When you have the ball stolen from you, the simple answer is to be more careful with the ball and not get too fancy with dribbling or too careless with passing. When you have your shot blocked, it impacts your shooting motion because you feel like you need to do one or both of two things:

1) Shoot faster and/or

2) Shoot with a greater arc to get over defenders.

There are many players adept at changing their shots, but the majority of them still struggle to maintain their usual shooting percentage when they change their entire shooting motion. The second reason I’m picking Gobert over Green is that he played more games. I place a huge value on the players who stay injury and suspension free to be there for their teams as much as possible.

TheHaysWay Pick: Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz

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Most Improved Player

Finalists:

Two interesting things here:

1) All three of these guys don’t suit up for Team USA for the Olympics, they suit up for Greece, Serbia, and France, respectively.

2) Gobert is already making his second appearance as a finalist in the 2017 NBA Awards.

Due to number 2 there, I’m going to go ahead and remove Gobert from contention for this award because I already chalked up Defensive Player of the Year to his name. It’s another toss-up between two very talented and deserving players in Antetokounmpo and Jokic. I’m going with Antetokounmpo for 3 reasons:

1) The only statistical category that he has digressed in from last season is turnovers per game (TPG), where he averaged 0.3 more per game than he did last season. Everywhere else he has improved, including points per game (PPG) (+6), assists per game (APG) (+1.1), rebounds per game (RPG) (+1.1), SPG (+0.4), and BPG (+0.5). Jokic, on the other hand, averaged 1 more TPG this season as compared to last season, and he also digressed in SPG (-0.2) and fouls per game (FPG) (+0.3).

2) The “Greek Freak” has gone from impressive to a household name, while Jokic hasn’t quite reached household name status as of yet.

3) The Bucks made the playoffs and the Nuggets didn’t. I know the Western Conference is stronger than the Eastern Conference, so also consider this: The Greek Freak was the Bucks’ leader on offense and defense (he led the team in PPG, SPG, and BPG). If you look at those same three statistical categories for Jokic compared to the rest of the Nuggets, he finishes 2nd, T-2nd, and T-2nd, respectively. Now, I know statistics aren’t everything and I would personally argue that Jokic was still the Nuggets’ leader on defense, but I don’t believe there is any argument for Jokic being the Nuggets’ leader on offense. I saw Jokic play in person twice this season and, while I love his ability to hit threes as a center, I personally enjoyed watching offensive performances put on by the likes of Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried more because they were more explosive.

TheHaysWay Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks

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Coach of the Year

Finalists:

This is the easiest one thus far in my mind. I know Spoelstra did a great job with a very talent-less Heat team but frankly, they still missed the playoffs, so I can’t give him this award in good conscience. Popovich is a victim of his own talent: everyone is so used to seeing the Spurs in the playoffs that what he did this season wasn’t really special. D’Antoni made what many considered a risky move by allowing MVP finalist James Harden to play a lot of point guard for the Rockets this season. Did you notice it still says “MVP finalist” in front of James Harden’s name despite the change in role? That plus the Rockets solid playoff season will be plenty to give this award to D’Antoni.

TheHaysWay Pick: Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets

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6th Man of the Year

Finalists:

So, this is another great example of why Mike D’Antoni deserves to win the Coach of the Year award: He managed to get two players on his team nominated for the 6th Man of the Year award. Granted, Lou Williams was with the Los Angeles Lakers for a significant chunk (the majority) of the year. Many are picking Eric Gordon to win this award. If it were up to me, he wouldn’t even be eligible. For me, a true 6th Man is a guy who is coming off the bench. Eric Gordon started 15/75 G that he played in this season. I just feel that doesn’t count. Not enough bench time. True bench players should start a MAXIMUM of 9 G. Williams started 1/81 G he played in and Iguodala started 0/76 G he played in. I’m going with Williams:

1) Williams played in more games (I stated previously that I value players who remain injury and suspension free to actually be there for their team as much as possible)

2) Williams averaged fewer minutes per game (MPG) than Iguodala, but still averaged around 7 more PPG. Defensively, Iguodala was a fraction better in both SPG and BPG, but not enough to negate the point differential.

Now, you’re probably thinking about the roles they filled for their teams: the Rockets needed more points than the Warriors and the Warriors needed more defense than the Rockets. Even so, Williams was more proficient at his role than Iguodala was at his. The Rockets traded for Williams for a reason, and I believe this was that reason.

TheHaysWay Pick: Lou Williams, SG, Houston Rockets

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Rookie of the Year

Finalists:

Ok, Embiid is out because he was injured for most of the season. He only played in 31 G. Down to Brogdon (played in 75 G, started in 28 G) and Saric (played in 81 G, started in 36 G). Statistically, they were fairly similar with positions considered. Saric was better in RPG and BPG, Brogdon was better in APG and SPG. But, consider this: Saric ended up starring in a Philadelphia front court that was supposed to feature fellow rookies Embiid and Ben Simmons. He stepped up when those two were injured and he should be rewarded for it.

TheHaysWay Pick: Dario Saric, PF, Philadelphia 76ers

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Most Valuable Player

Finalists:

Westbrook was the first player to average a triple-double in a season since Oscar Robertson did so in 1962–55 years ago! Westbrook also carried possibly the weakest roster in the NBA this season to the playoffs. If he does not win MVP, go stock up on water and food because the apocalypse is starting.

TheHaysWay Pick: Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

A Couple More Things: Not NBA Awards Related

  1. For those of you who have been following me for a couple of years, you might be freaking out about the lack of Fantasy Football postings so far this year. I apologize if I caused alarm with that–with my new college schedule, my summer got off to a later start this year than it had with my high school schedule in the past. I promise, Fantasy Football rankings are in progress now and I hope to have them finished within the next couple of weeks.
  2. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have seen the quarrel I got into a couple of weeks ago with some Fresno State/Derek Carr fans. I plan on posting a statement about that in the near future. Of course, considering my recent lack of posting consistency I request that you don’t hold me too strictly to the “near” part of near future.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on NBA Awards and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much appreciated like. Feel free to give me respectful criticism, I appreciate the opportunity to make my blog better. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to be a MVP for my blog. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!

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NBA Finals: Warriors > Cavaliers, Positivity, Etc

Today was…a day. It was most certainly a day.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers were smashed by the Golden State Warriors which was not surprising, but definitely disappointing. If you are looking for something that will make you laugh (other than my humor in my post, of course 🙂 ), look no further than this play. I have been laughing about this ever since it happened. There are always guys that move out of the way because they don’t want to get trampled on someone’s rampage to the rim, but you rarely see someone try to play it off the way Cavaliers SG JR Smith did. There’s no shame in getting out of Kevin Durant‘s way. There is a LOT of shame to go around for pretending that you didn’t even see him coming. As ESPN would say, “C’Mon Son!”

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I absolutely had to put this quote in here to discuss how much I disagree with it. Obviously, the Warriors probably think this quote is gospel. However, I have a prime example of why it is the falsest quote of all time. I had a group project in my Physics class today. Well, the presentation was today, anyway. The group had decided on a topic about a month ago. Apparently, my group decided to change that topic yesterday (after I had done a significant amount of research and after I had written a paper on the original topic, mind you) but that’s not the part that pissed me off. No, the part that pissed me off was the fact that my group opted to tell me about the change of topic FIVE MINUTES before we presented it to the class. So, I looked like an unprepared idiot by trying to pass off as knowledgeable in a topic that I spent five minutes researching, even though I did a few hours of research on the original topic. Needless to say, which is to say I do feel a need to say this because it’s actually rather ridiculous to say needless to say and then say the thing that doesn’t need saying. Anyway, I’m not looking forward to seeing my grade on the project.

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Going off another thing that happened in class today (though, this one happened in my Writing class today), my class took several moments to reflect on our progress through the quarter because it was our last class. The quote says two years, but it’s amazing how much I’ve learned in ten weeks. A good teacher makes a huge difference, and I said as much in class. It’s not so often I have a class where my limits are pushed as much as they were in the writing class. I learned so much from pushing my limits. I also learned that I don’t push my limits as much as I should because I want to learn more.

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Challenge: Try not to break into the worst Disney song ever made.

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I’m really not sure what to make of this. I can think only of my constant debates I have internally between my mind and my heart. I suppose this quote is referring to denying what the mind wants so the heart can get what it wants, which will feed your soul, in turn. I definitely have come to realize that the mind and the heart WANT very different things. Well, maybe want isn’t the correct word. It’s not that they want different things, it’s just that…they have different priorities, I guess. I’ve found that chasing what the heart wants often ends poorly. As much as I would like to balance chasing what my mind and my heart want, I know that my mind wins out most of the time. The interesting thing is that the mind often denies the heart what it wants because the mind has greater foresight to understand that the heart can end up worse than it started off if it does chase what it wants. In my opinion, the heart is under the impression that it can be healed if it is hurt in pursuit of a desire. Unfortunately, whatever heals the heart must not be the mind, which is why it stops the heart from pursuing desires. The mind feels the heart’s pain and can do nothing to ease the pain.

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So, I oozed enthusiasm in my writing class. I also did so during high school. (Ask any of my classmates, I’m actually curious to know how much I irritated them) I oozed enthusiasm to the point where I actually irritated myself. That’s the only way I know how to do it. I just try to spread positivity everywhere, and as much as possible. The world could use more positivity, especially with all of the negativity that is going around constantly in politics and the media.

This quote gets me through anything difficult. If you lift your head up, you will get through. I know that life is tough and I know that it’s tough to fight back when life hits you. But, the reality is that everything in life is a mindset. As much as other people try to convince me otherwise, I truly believe that. What I’m about to say might ruffle a few feathers, so please know that is not my intention, I am just stating my point of view from the information I have available to me. Several of my former high school classmates had/have depression (I will not name any of them for confidentiality reasons, of course). I stated my point of view to one of them that they would be fine if they just thought happy thoughts and chose to be happy. Their natural response was to say, “It’s not that simple.” But, how do we know either way? Those with depression have no idea what the mindset of those without depression is, and those without depression have no idea what the mindset of those with depression is. Whose to say that it isn’t as simple as a thought process that puts a person in either state? Again, I apologize if this offends anybody, that is not my intention. I’m simply saying that so much of life is mental. My opinion, is that it’s up to you if you want to be happy. And you always have that choice.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on Game 1 of the NBA Finals and/or on any of the 5 quotes above and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to hop on my enthusiasm train. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

NBA Playoffs, Listen Don’t Speak

So, the NBA Playoffs are officially set! The bracket looks like this:

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Courtesy of Business Insider

And it will eventually look like this:

NBA Playoff Predictions 2017
Courtesy of Yours Truly

It’s not the rematch the world wants, but it’s the rematch the world deserves. This time, skill trumps heart, as the addition of F Kevin Durant leads the Golden State Warriors to the 4-1 NBA Finals victory they almost had last year over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who play A LOT LESS like a team this year as compared to last year.

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Which leads quite nicely into the following lesson…
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Amen
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True. We all construct our own reality through our vastly different perceptions.
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Quote of the Day

This Quote of the Day is one I know my mom will love, and it’s definitely one that belongs on a shirt! This quote is basically shouting, “Shut up and LISTEN!!!” That’s something very few people are actually capable of doing. I try to listen as frequently as possible (maybe that’s why I seem to have so many friends who won’t stop making noises with their face-holes).  Life is far more interesting if you spend more time listening than you spend speaking. If you listen, you’ll hear stories. Stories of happiness, sadness, love, catastrophe, etc. It’s amazing to hear so many different stories from so many different individuals, all sharing their highly unique version of reality based on what they perceive. If you ask a person to share ONE story with you, you can learn: their top priority in life, whether they are an optimist or a pessimist, how deeply they feel, how deeply they care, among so many other things. If you ask for many stories from many different individuals, you will be able to piece together your own, unique perception of reality by building off of the building blocks given to you by others. In fact, I’m challenging you: see how long you can go without speaking a single word while you’re awake. Just listen and think. I would venture to guess most people could not get past five hours, so that’s your goal (remember, the challenge only stands while you’re awake because you can’t really listen effectively if you’re asleep). Let me know how well you do.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the NBA Playoffs (specifically, your own prediction) and/or on the quotes and/or on listening instead of speaking and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to make me feel like I’ve won my own NBA Finals. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

 

Knowledge, Wisdom, Contemplation, Portland Trail Blazers

So, I’ve participated in both of the Wind Ensemble Rehearsals this week…Let’s just say I’m off to a rocky start (it just occurred to me: that phrase may very well come from the Colorado Rockies, because they suck). But, one of the pieces that the Ensemble is performing is from the Three Revelations from the Lotus Sutra composed by Alfred Reed. I looked up the Lotus Sutra and found out that it is one of the most popular and influential Mahayana sutras (thanks, Wikipedia). Then, I realized I had absolutely no idea what a sutra is, so I looked that up next and found out that a sutra is a Buddhist or Jain scripture (assist goes to Wikipedia, again). Anyway, that was kind of a random tangent. It is a beautiful piece. The Ensemble will be performing the second movement, which is called Contemplation. I like to contemplate a great deal of things very frequently, as well, so the title really spoke with me. Having played through the piece, I would say it is as majestic as my contemplation tends to be.

Alright, I have to talk about my Portland Trail Blazers. Two nights ago, they were tied with the Denver Nuggets for the 8th and final playoff spot in the NBA‘s Western Conference, going into a game against those very Nuggets (who, by the way, had been leading the Blazers in the standings for pretty much the whole season. Every time the Blazers got close, the Nuggets would win a few and the Blazers would lose a few). Long story short, the Blazers took down the Nuggets to take a 1 game lead for the 8th playoff spot. Tonight, they played the Houston Rockets on TNT, and they won again. It is VERY apparent that the Blazers want to be in the playoffs, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. My Denver friends always ask me, “Wouldn’t you prefer to have the Nuggets in the playoffs so we can go to a playoff game?” My answer is usually some version of…and this is a highly technical term…”Hell, no!” Go Blazers!

On a side note, but staying with the Portland Trail Blazers, I watched their game against the Houston Rockets this evening because TNT allowed me to stream it. Two major takeaways: 1) Maurice Harkless is slowly changing my mind about his ability to start. He played sensationally tonight. 2) Noah Vonleh is NOT changing my mind about his ability to start. I’m really confused about what he is bringing to the table. He can’t score (that’s left to Damian Lillard, CJ McCullom, and Jusuf Nurkic), he can’t rebound (the Rockets had a RIDICULOUS number of second chance points), and he can’t play defense (the Blazers consistently allow over 100 points per game). Seriously, it’s time to dig deep (and I mean REALLY deep) into anywhere (free agency, the draft, the bench) to find someone who will allow the Blazers to rid themselves of the parasite known as Noah Vonleh. He has been pissing me off to a very high degree.

Also, I think I’ve seen Mike D’Antoni in The Hunger Games

Mike DAntoni vs Philip Seymour Hoffman
…or maybe I’ve seen Philip Seymour Hoffman coaching the Houston Rockets.

Week 1 in the books. I officially start my weekend tomorrow because I get Fridays off this quarter! Yeah!

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If you’ve seen Get Out, you definitely understand that photographers can and should be valued for so much more than their cameras.
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Shout-out to Nash, the best friend anyone could ever ask for.
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I would have used this as the quote of the day, but I didn’t want to be hypocritical. I have yet to focus on any of my strengths because I don’t seem to enjoy any of my strengths.
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Quote of the Day

Knowledge and wisdom. They are often heard to be used interchangeably. I think the biggest difference I’ve ever heard about these two words is, “Wisdom is what old people have.” I’m not sure what five-year-old said that to me, but I think he or she meant that it sort of comes down to actual experience. You can have plenty of knowledge about anything if you Google it enough. To have wisdom, however, you have to go beyond Google and experience that which you are investigating, hands-on. I think this quote also puts those words in similar contexts. Knowledge is your overall awareness of your capabilities, while Wisdom is knowing when not to use your capabilities (which can only be obtained by having experience in moments when using your capabilities was not a good thing). It’s the difference between knowing and understanding. It’s the difference between understanding and practicing. It’s the difference between practicing and applying. It’s the difference between applying and making a difference. Each step is a subtle difference, but in the long run, the range of steps is hugely impactful. So, stop searching for knowledge and experience the acquisition of wisdom…

…It was at that moment that TheHaysWay realized that he was being hypocritical, even though he had chosen this quote specifically to AVOID being hypocritical…

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on contemplation and/or on the Portland Trail Blazers and/or on Mike D’Antoni and Philip Seymour Hoffman being long-lost siblings and/or on the quotes (specifically the quote of the day), along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower because, you never know, I may be your long-lost sibling just like Mike D’Antoni and Philip Seymour Hoffman. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Warriors, Speaking while Watching, Frisbee, Youth Substance Abuse Prevention, Strength in Kindness

Just to throw this out there: I hate the Golden State Warriors. They’ve become the New England Patriots of the NBA. You just know that they are going to win. It’s REALLY annoying. They just defeated the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio for the 2nd time in the teams’ last 3 meetings there, and the Warriors had lost 33 straight regular season games in San Antonio prior to that. AND, the Spurs were up double digits in the first half. Come on! In other NBA news: The Cleveland Cavaliers suck.

You know what else is annoying? When people speak during your favorite movies/TV shows. I was watching an episode of my favorite TV show, Psych, when one of my friends entered the room and started speaking. Another friend got sucked into the conversation because he was already in the room. Then another one of my friends entered the room and joined the conversation. Then my roommate entered the room and joined the conversation. SERIOUSLY!? I’m watching the greatest TV show of ALL TIME!!! I just want to watch it in peace. Is that too much to ask for? Those guys talk enough throughout the rest of the day, and they can’t give me 45 minutes of silence to watch ONE episode!?

On a more positive note, I was tossing the frisbee with a friend today, and my forehand throw looked really good! Here in Denver, there always seems to be wind when I’m trying to play frisbee, but today it was virtually nonexistent. Also, when I went home for Spring Break, one of my friends who is AMAZING at frisbee taught me how to throw a forehand pass. He’s apparently really good at teaching, too, because my forehand throw looked better than my friend’s did today, and my friend is on the DU Ultimate Frisbee Team.

So, I wrote this Wee Intro Paper yesterday (that was the name of the assignment) and refined it today to turn in for my Writing class this quarter. It’s not optimal because I hadn’t written a piece for school in a couple of weeks, but feel free to read it (and critique it) if you wish. My Writing class is all about Preventing Youth Substance Abuse, which is an issue that I care about due to my personal values. In fact, if it were up to me, weed and alcohol would BOTH be illegal. But, I recognize the in-feasibility of that for the economic aspects (alcohol and weed companies would DEMOLISH me in court). Still, it would be nice if our country was substance free, right?

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It’s sad that society is set up like this. We can change it if we all work together…
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This probably sounds like the quote of the day, but I actually found an even better quote about kindness.
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Don’t worry, I won’t do another quote of the day with “happiness” and “rain” today. I do like rainbows, though.
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Ever seen the movie Shallow Hal? it’s like that.
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This came in second in today’s quote of the day race. I wanted to inject some humor, but then I found…
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Quote of the Day

Who would have thought that a gangster would beat out two writers in Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain for the quote of the day? I think this quote is perfect for those out there who are afraid to show kindness for whatever reason. It honestly reminds me of my favorite rule, which I affectionately dub, “The Black Rule”: Do unto others as others have done unto you. I show kindness to people until they are unkind to me. When someone is unkind to me, I make them regret it. If you don’t believe me, ask the biggest douche on the DU campus (in my opinion), or my ex’s best friend. Showing kindness, caring, and compassion to someone should never be considered a weakness. In fact, it should be considered a strength because that is how you make friends (and maybe lovers? 😉 ) that last lifetimes. Those who are unkind are the truly weak in society. So be strong in two ways: 1) Show kindness to everyone and 2) Make those who are unkind to you realize they have made a grave mistake.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the Golden State Warriors and/or on the Cleveland Cavaliers and/or on Psych and/or on talking during movies and TV shows and/or on frisbee and/or on my piece about youth substance abuse programs in Colorado and/or on the various quotes and/or on the Quote of the Day and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to show your strength in kindness to me. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

 

Some Thoughts: John Ross, March Madness, Future vs Past vs Present

So, I realized that I have been SUPREMELY inconsistent with my posts ever since…a while. So, I wanted to release another post today. I was actually inspired by another friend, who posted on his blog for the first time in a month (for the record, it’s only been five days since my last post…which is…still too long…). He’s got some really cool NBA stuff, so I would HIGHLY recommend checking it out. Anyway, what will I talk about now?…

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Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

First of all, University of Washington WR John Ross broke the 40-yard dash record at the NFL Combine yesterday. The previous record (4.24 seconds) was set by RB Chris Johnson in 2008. John Ross’ new record is 4.22 seconds. So what exactly does this mean? Well, in 2008, Chris Johnson was projected as a 2nd-3rd round NFL Draft pick heading into the 2008 NFL Combine. After his record 40-yard dash, CJ2K ended up becoming a 1st round NFL Draft pick. John Ross was already projected as a 1st round NFL Draft pick going into the 2017 NFL Combine. So, my projection is that John Ross moves up in the 1st round, from the 14th-18th overall NFL Draft picks (as projected by NFL.com analysts) to the 3rd overall NFL Draft pick. Why? The 2017 3rd overall NFL Draft pick belongs to the Chicago Bears this season, who just so happen to be parting ways with WR Alshon Jeffrey this offseason. Oh, the Chicago Bears are getting rid of WR Eddie Royal, too. Somebody needs to fill those shoes, as long as they’re Nikes, of course. I bring up the Nike point because John Ross DID NOT win an island for his record-breaking 40-yard dash. John Ross wore Nike cleats, and the offer of the island was through Adidas, so he would’ve had to wear Adidas in order to have won the island. I get the feeling that being the fastest player EVER at the NFL Combine is far superior to winning an island, especially with all of the amazing athletes that have been there over the years.

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Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

I can’t believe Selection Sunday is only ONE WEEK AWAY! March Madness is almost OFFICIALLY here. Don’t worry, I will post my bracket here when I have filled one out. I’m waiting for the pool of 68 teams to become final, first. I’m not one of those guys that projects the bracket BEFORE it happens. So, you can expect it to come around next Monday. Anyway, while the bracket has yet to become finalized, the trickle of teams clinching spots to the Big Dance is starting to come in. Here are the teams who have already won their conference tournaments to clinch a spot in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament:

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Ben Okri is a Nigerian author. His is a phenomenal writer. I read The Famished Road during my IB years in high school, and it was one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read in school. It was remarkably surreal for one book, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. But, if you enjoy thinking when you read, I HIGHLY recommend it. Anyway, in regard to the quote: I like it. I think this quote is a statement about how what we do NOW is so much more important than what we have done in the past. Regardless of the mistakes that we have made in our lives in the past, we can move past them by making the right choices now to succeed in the future (the idea of choice in the past vs the present vs the future also comes up in The Famished Road). So, don’t let people hold define you by what you DID, including yourself. Force people to define you by what you’re DOING and WHERE you are GOING.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on John Ross and/or on the impending March Madness 2017 Edition and/or on the importance of the future vs the past vs the present and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to make your future greater and filled with my posts. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Serge Ibaka Trade, Kevin Love Injury, Charles Oakley Ban…

It’s been too long since I’ve gotten into some sports talk, so that’s where I’m headed today:

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The Toronto Raptors made news today by making a deal for Orlando Magic PF Serge Ibaka. The move was reportedly made in an effort to improve the Raptors defense. After all, the Raptors don’t need too much help on offense with a backcourt of PG Kyle Lowry and SG DeMar DeRozan. Ibaka has been a good defender for the majority of his NBA career, though he has gotten a little worse with age. He will join C Jonas Valanciunas in guarding the paint. The Orlando Magic received SF Terrence Ross and a 2017 1st round pick in return.

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Staying in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be without PF Kevin Love for the next 6 weeks, as Love had surgery on his left knee. Even without Love on Valentine’s Day, the Cavs came away with a 116-108 victory on the road, against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Speaking of Valentine’s Day, Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re like me, however, Happy Singles Awareness Day! As a side note, Valentine’s Day was way more fun back in Elementary School when I got a bunch of candy from everyone.

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Back to the NBA, the New York Knicks have lifted the ban on legend Charles Oakley. Of course, Oakley stated that he refuses to return to Madison Square Garden until he (and the fans) are issued a formal apology from Knicks owner James Dolan. Can’t people just let bygones be bygones, anymore?

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Staying in basketball, but moving to women’s college basketball, the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team won their 100th straight game yesterday in a 66-55 victory over the 6th-ranked University of South Carolina. 59 games of the 100 were decided by 40+ points. Only 2 were decided by single digits. Congrats to head coach Geno Auriemma and the lady Huskies!

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Moving to the NFL, ex-San Diego Chargers and ex-New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem was jailed today for owing $400,000 in child support. Another one of the NFL’s supreme role models. :\

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Also in the NFL, the New York Giants announced the releases of WR Victor Cruz and RB Rashad Jennings, yesterday. Cruz will forever be remembered by the Giants for his breakout to lead the team to a Super Bowl XLVI victory. (And for his salsa dancing, of course.) Jennings on the other hand, leaves no legacy behind in New York, and I was jumping for joy when I saw that he had been released. RB Paul Perkins controls the backfield until the Giants draft a RB in May. Cutting those two players saves the team $10 million in cap room, which will likely go toward paying DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who the team is, reportedly, emphasizing re-signing before he hits free agency in March.

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“Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else.” -Nicholas Sparks, Author

In honor of Valentine’s Day or National Singles Day. I don’t have a lot of experience (six months maximum, if that’s what you would call it) with romance. I will say this: it’s weird to think that last year on this day I thought I had found my Valentine, while this year I have no doubt in my mind that it’s National Singles Day to me. However, clearly this quote carries some validity to it. I’m still thinking about my former “significant other” when I should be focused on ANYTHING else, even if Valentine’s Day/National Singles Day is mostly responsible for the subject coming up. Also, last year at this time I was thinking about basing my college decision on my Valentine at the time. That, likely, could’ve been the worst decision of my life! Even though I still feel that my college decision wasn’t totally mine, I feel that I ended up with the right college decision by not following my then-Valentine. They say love is blind, but maybe it just makes YOU blind to everything else. Anyway, I hope you all find romance on this day, and on many days to come. I’m told it’s a wonderful feeling.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the Serge Ibaka trade and/or on the Kevin Love injury and/or on Valentine’s Day and/or on National Singles Day and/or on New York Knicks vs Charles Oakley and/or on the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team and/or on Robert Meachem and/or on the New York Giants releases and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower because I won’t ban you like Dolan banned Oakley. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

What to Watch: January 27, 2017

Thinking about what’s going on today, there are some good TV shows and sports games to watch. So, I have decided to take the liberty of putting them all into the following list for you. Enjoy!

  1. Grimm-NBC (8pm/7pm c): If you haven’t watched Grimm before, find a way to watch the whole series. Grimm is terrific, especially if you love dark fairy tale-style stories. Packed with monsters and action, Grimm is sure to make you jump once in a while, but it also features some dry humor. Grimm is in its sixth and final season right now, and it’s must-watch television due to the current dramatic story-line (that I won’t spoil), the brilliance of the show’s writers, and the spectacular performances from the majority of the cast.                                                                         
  2. Sleepy Hollow-FOX (9pm/8pm c): Sleepy Hollow is another quality TV show. Sleepy Hollow has demons for fantasy-lovers and plenty of the past for history-buffs (though, it tends to be modified history). Lots of dry humor makes Sleepy Hollow plenty entertaining even when the action gets thinner. Sleepy Hollow is currently in its fourth season and I would highly recommend watching the previous seasons, because the show has been slowing down a little, of late. Image result for sleepy hollow
  3. Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks (8pm ET): This is a potential playoff preview. I know there is a long way to go in the NBA season, but the Hawks and the Wizards currently hold the 4th and 5th seeds, respectively, in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings. This game could be the momentum swing that one of the Hawks or the Wizards needs to get home-court advantage for at least one round, come playoff time. Image result for washington wizards atlanta hawks
  4. Memphis Grizzlies @ Portland Trail Blazers (10pm ET): Though the Grizzlies (7th seed) and the Trail Blazers (9th) are seven games apart in the NBA’s Western Conference standings, the Trail Blazers are only one game behind the Denver Nuggets for the 8th and final seed in the West. Also, if the Grizzlies lose momentum with a loss and drop a few games in a row, they could suddenly find themselves fighting just to get the 8th seed. Grizzlies @ Trail Blazers also features three of the biggest snubs for the All-Star game this season: Trail Blazers PG Damian LillardTrail Blazers SG CJ McC0llum, and Grizzlies PG Mike ConleyImage result for memphis grizzlies portland trail blazers

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on Grimm and/or on Sleepy Hollow and/or on Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks and/or on Memphis Grizzlies @ Portland Trail Blazers and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to follow my must-read posts. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

#29: Team Management, Weekend, and More

Before I begin, a quick recap of my weekend:

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  1. I finished the weekend with a 3-2 record in NBA 2K13 against one of my friends here at DU. He beat me and another friend of ours in a game of 21 (real basketball, not video games), then I beat both of them in a game of PIG (again, real. Also, similar to HORSE, just fewer letters). So, a decent weekend for me in terms of my skills as an athlete and gamer.
  2. My brand new football is busted. I was playing with it on Friday, and it was perfectly fine. I picked it up on Sunday, and it was totally deflated. I pumped it up to 9 lbs of pressure, and a minute later, it was down to less than 1 lb of pressure. Somehow, someway, my football broke in between Friday and Sunday, without being used at all. I have no idea how it happened, but that’s not team management.
  3. Team management. That’s a thing for me now. All things have something to do with team management. My friend said those two words during a game of Madden, and they’ve stuck with me. I’ve taken them to a whole new level; It’s practically my catchphrase, even when it doesn’t make any sense. (ESPECIALLY when it doesn’t make any sense.)
  4. This weekend was a triple win weekend for me. On Thursday, the Boise State Broncos won (and the Houston Cougars lost!), so I will see the 7-0 #13 Boise State Broncos in Laramie, WY next weekend for an important matchup against the Wyoming Cowboys, that will essentially decide the Mountain division of the Mountain West conference. On Friday and Saturday night, the DU Hockey team took down the Michigan State Spartans. Congrats Pios!!! On Sunday morning (EARLY Sunday morning), the New York Giants took down the Los Angeles Rams in London. Despite another lackluster performance from the non-existent offense of the Giants, the defense came through with four interceptions of Rams QB Case Keenum, including a pick-six (courtesy of S Landon Collins), which ended up being the final point differential. So, the G-men head into their bye week with a winning, 4-3 record.
  5. Boise State grad and Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi became the fourth player in NFL history to record back-to-back 200+ yard rushing performances, today. This opens up a big opportunity for Boise State. With the success of both Ajayi and Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (also a former Boise State grad), they have the opportunity to recruit more, great RBs with the selling point of being a ‘RB University’. Furthermore, current Boise State RB Jeremy McNichols is having another great season in his illustrious Boise State career, and the successes of Ajayi and Martin could help his draft stock, as well. Congrats Ajayi!
  6. The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals tied in Arizona on Sunday Night Football, 6-6. Wow. I don’t like ties.
  7. Great weekend for my friends and family (in terms of football), as well. The New York Jets won (my mom’s team), the Detroit Lions won (my dad’s team), the Oakland Raiders won (my friend, Ben’s team), the Kansas City Chiefs won (my friend, George’s team), and the New England Patriots won (my friends, Connor’s, Brendan’s, and Michael’s team). Thanks world! You have done right by me this weekend!

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On to the highly-anticipated #29:

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The Song

’29’ is the title of an album by Ryan Adams. I have never heard of this album before, and the name Ryan Adams isn’t ringing any bells, either. So, I’ll be listening to a song from the album for the first time, immediately preceding this post being published.

NASA

I’m not entirely sure what this expedition was all about, and I’m tired. Let me know if you know what it’s about, or if you find out what it’s about.

Atlanta Falcons

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Founded: 1966

All-Time Winning Percentage: 43.7%

All-Time Record: (312-402-6)

Honestly, the Falcons team of recent years is probably their best in history. QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones have been having a magnificent season, along with RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, despite their loss to the San Diego Chargers, today. You might remember, the Falcons had QB Michael Vick prior to his issues with dogs. They might’ve had quite a few good seasons with him, had he been a good person. Nevertheless, it’s remarkable that the Falcons have the same all-time winning percentage as their biggest rival, the New Orleans Saints. Unlike the Saints, however, the Falcons have yet to win a Super Bowl. Their defense will need to improve significantly if they wish to change that.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the events of the weekend (mine or yours) and/or on the song ’29’ and/or on the NASA mission and/or on the Atlanta Falcons…

…I’m sorry, do you have a song (or songS) that make(s) you stop in your tracks to listen to? Well, I listen to a big Spotify playlist while I blog, and one of those songs came on for me. It’s called “New Year’s Day“, written and performed by the A Capella group, Pentatonix. It is a deep song for me. Most of my life’s regrets have come this year, so I can’t wait for New Year’s Day. It’s just over two months away, now. Anyway, that song makes me long for a New Year, a fresh start, because it currently reminds me of high school (ie my friends back home, my ex, an awkward and too uneventful summer, and many other goodbyes). That song takes me on a weird emotional roller coaster, and it’s only like 3 minutes long. Really weird…

…and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to witness my fresh start, coming January 1, 2017 (at least in my mind, though I know I’ve had multiple opportunities to start anew, already, and I will have many more before January 1, but that’s not the point!). 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

#30: ESPN, NBA, Forbes, and More

Before I begin, I’d like to point out that the New York Jets have declared QB Geno Smith, starter for their game on Sunday. [Insert laugh here].

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Also, of course the New York Giants end their losing streak when I decide to watch The Accountant instead of the second half of the game. By the way, if you haven’t seen that movie, I recommend it. Ben Affleck was great. Though, the movie was essentially a total waste of Anna Kendrick. She can act! Let her act without singing for once, PLEASE! (For the record, she doesn’t sing in this movie, she just doesn’t get much of a chance to act, either.)

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Anna Kendrick (left) and Ben Affleck (right) in The Accountant

 

30

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ESPN Films

Perhaps you have heard of ESPN’s films called, “30 For 30”. It started in October of 2009, seven years ago, the subject being Wayne Gretzky. Since then, the documentary series that has been following sports stories on and off the fields, courts, etc, has won Peabody and Emmy awards. If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend watching a few. They have some really inspirational stories. Here’s the link to the “30 For 30” homepage.

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NBA

So, the NBA has 30 teams. Due to this fact, NBA.com used the month of September (which has 30 days in it) to do a season preview for every NBA team, in worst-to-first fashion. Don’t worry, I won’t put all 30 team analyses in here, but I will encourage you to check them out for yourself (or at least check out your favorite NBA team). By the way, GO BLAZERS! RIP CITY ALL THE WAY!

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Forbes Summit

Well, Forbes had some Under 30 Summit. It’s supposed to have panels of young, influential celebrities, but some of the people listed as being part of the panels were DEFINITELY older than 30. So, I’ll let you guys figure out what this is, exactly. I DO know that it was in Boston, MA this year (or will be?).

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Jessica Alba is one of the youngest speakers on the panel and she’s 35. For those of you keeping track, that’s OVER 30.

Most Influential Teens of 2016

Okay, I give up on understanding these lists. The article is called, “The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016“, and there are only 29!!! WHAT THE…

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Simone Biles is 1 of 4 Olympians on the list of 29, not 30. Shout out to our US Olympians!

New Orleans Saints

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Founded: 1967

All-Time Winning Percentage: 43.7%

All-Time Record: (306-395-5)

I confess, there is another team tied with the Saints in all-time winning percentage, but that team is ahead of the Saints because that team has been around longer. Actually, when I announce that team tomorrow, it will be a nuclear bomb. Okay, not that big, but it’s pretty crazy (hint: it’s one of the Saints division rivals, and it’s not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because they’ve already been announced). The Saints have still only won one Super Bowl (SB 44) thanks to QB Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton (who are both still together in New Orleans, despite the fact that they haven’t even come close to getting back to the Super Bowl). QB Archie Manning apparently didn’t help them out too much during his tenure there a while ago. On the bright side, the Saints do have Verizon’s most reliable backup QB. 🙂

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the ESPN Films and/or on the NBA and/or on Forbes’ confusing Under 30 summit and/or on the even more confusing list of 30 most influential teens (WHICH ONLY CONSISTS OF 29 TEENS!!!!!!!!!) and/or on the New Orleans Saints and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Also, feel free to comment on interesting things to do with the #30 that I missed. Better yet, comment on interesting things to do with the #29, and I will include that in my next blog post! Also, this post has 8 pictures; If I’m getting too picture happy, let me know, and I’ll cut back. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to support 30 ACTUALLY MEANING 30, NOT 29!!!!!! 🙂 Be sure to tune in for my next blog post to find out which of the Saints division rivals is #29 in all-time NFL winning percentage. Have a pleasant tomorrow.