What We Have Realized Through The First Two Weeks of the NBA Season

Going into this NBA season only a few things were certain, the Warriors will be good and Lebron will try his hardest to get Cleveland a championship. As a Knicks fan, I was anxious about Kristaps and Jerian Grant, losing Hardaway Jr. for an unproven rookie. In terms of being scary though, Anthony Davis worked on his 3-pt shot, making him even harder to cover, yay! I am here to talk about the realizations and revelations I have had in these opening weeks of the NBA season.

olyThe first thing I realized, as hard as it was to accept, the guys I grew up praising aren’t as good as they used to be. Lebron has been top 3 since entering the league in 2003, and has always had guys close on his tail. It seems like yesterday, people were comparing Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony to the King. It seems that attraction to small forwards is fading. If I went up to someone on the street right now and asked him to name the top 3 now, it would still have Lebron James, but he would be followed by Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis or James Harden give or take. There is a shift in the league. Kevin Durant isn’t the best player on the Thunder, he even said it himself, Westbrook has taken the OKC crown. I am eagerly waiting to see if anyone can claim the throne from King James himself.

Second realization, people need to stop ignoring the Hawks. The Hawks after losing their first game, have won 7 straight. Yeah the Hawks were good last year and were the 1st seed but the East is tarnished that no matter what team is good, people only talk about whatever team Lebron is on. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap are playing better than ever, Kyle Korver is still 100% deadly from behind the arch and the acquisition of Tim Hardaway is bound the pay off quite well.

Finally, I realized that the new wave of players are coming into their own. The “New Wave” as a statement is very broad but when I use it, I am referring to the players who are young and relatively new to the league (2009-Present Day). Andre Drummond, who showed his immense growth last season, is leading the league in rebounds per game, with 19.0 RPG. This new wave does involve Steph Curry who came really early to this party and is hosting okthis new wave event, already averaging 33.9 PPG, which can be summed it with “wow”. I have been a Duke fan since I was young so I am going to try to say this next statement as unbiased as I really can; Jahlil Okafor is REALLY good. Here is the problem though, the Sixers are REALLY bad. Okafor already leads the team in PPG and FG%; now that could either be that Okafor is that good or the Sixers are that bad. He is still second to Nerlens Noel in RPG and BPG.

I will finish this off with my prediction for the NBA Finals, Warriors vs. Bulls. Derrick Rose is back to the Derrick Rose we used to know and I strongly believe he will get the playoff monkey off his back. I also picked the Bulls because I didn’t want a repeat of last year’s finals. The Warriors are still in there simply because they are best team in the NBA, period, there is no argument against that.

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Immediate Reactions to Bills 33-17 Win

Today was a must win game for the Bills, and they handled their business. This win was sparked by the return of a couple of starters who missed the last game versus the Jaguars. Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins, and Karlos Williams all played a huge role in getting the Bills back to .500.

Here are a couple of quick hitters from today.

  1. Tyrod Taylor is the best quarterback the Bills have had since Jim Kelly. Not much competition from the others, but Taylor brings that little extra something that Kyle Orton, Fitzy, JP Losman, or Drew Bledsoe could not provide. We all saw it today. Hopefully this does not go unnoticed, but those scrambles for first downs in the first half were big plays that led to scoring drives. Also, Taylor’s touch on the deep ball is outstanding. He actually gives his wide receivers a chance to make a play on the ball.
  2. Jerry Hughes had his best game of the season. While he did earn his sixth penalty of 15 yards after his late hit out of bounds on Ryan Tannehill, Hughes did record two sacks, and forced a fumble and recovered it himself. Hughes only had one sack recorded through the first seven games of the season.
  3. The Bills may have the offensive and defensive rookie of the year in both Karlos Williams and Ronald Darby. In his first game since the home loss against the Giants, Williams had a monster game on the ground. Coming back from a concussion, the Florida State rookie gained 110 yards on the ground and found himself in the end zone twice. In his first 5 games, Williams has 336 yards on the ground and 6 total touchdowns with one coming through the air. Darby has been thrown in the fire since day one and has held his own ever since. Darby had a team high 10 tackles including one for a loss in the Bills win over Miami. The Bills second round pick in the 2015 NFL draft now had 48 tackles, 15 passes deflected, and two interceptions. These two former Seminoles have been very impressive thus far.
  4. Thursday nights game on the road against the Jets is another must win game. The Jets narrowly escaped against the Jaguars today with a 27-23 victory. Rex Ryan makes his first return back to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. You know Fireman Ed and company will be out in full force. The trip to New Jersey also means a match up against former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills trail the Jets by one game in the AFC East and a win on Thursday will have the Bills in the thick of the AFC East wild card race.

P.S. The Bills would be 5-3 if Tyrod Taylor was healthy enough to play in London against Jacksonville. Can’t look back on that now, but you can always imagine.

Check back later for our Bills Jets preview for the Thursday night matchup.

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Nothing Like a Full Court Buzzer Beater at a Japan Elementary School

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Action Packed Saturday of College Football

cfb

Do you have anything going on today? If not, we have you covered from 12pm EST till almost midnight with some must watch college football games. With the College Football Playoff rankings coming out this past Tuesday, things are getting even tighter and some teams cannot afford another loss. Here are six games today that you should definitely keep an eye on.

Vanderbilt at #10 Florida – 12pm EST (ESPN)

The Gators (7-1) can lock up the SEC East with a victory. Quite a job by their first-year coach, Jim McElwain.

Duke at North Carolina – 12pm EST (ESPN2)

Just imagine if the refs would have got the call right in that crazy ending between duke and Miami. Duke would still be ranked in the top 25 and both Duke and UNC would be sitting at 7-1. Who would have thought this football game could bring the same attention as between these two programs on the hardwood.  Despite Duke’s loss last week, the winner of this game is in a great position to win the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division.

#5 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh – 12pm EST (ABC)

This is a sneaky contest for the Fighting Irish who travel to Pittsburgh to take on the 6-2 Panthers.  Pitts last 6 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. For Notre Dame (7-1), they are averaging almost 500 yards of offense, and while the defense up front has been solid, it has been the secondary that has question marks surrounding this team. Some late interceptions have masked the issue. Brian Kelly and this Fighting Irish are still in playoff contention, but a loss today will end those hopes.

#16 Florida State at #1 Clemson – 3:30pm EST (ABC)

After earning the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings, the Clemson Tigers (8-0) have an interesting test as they host the one loss Florida State Seminoles. The Tigers have won 11 straight games, their longest streak since the 1981 season, the last time they won a national championship. A good outing by Deshaun Watson would improve his stock and into the thick of the Heisman race. The Seminoles will have running back Dalvin Cook and quarterback Everett Golson after injuries sidelined the two. A win today and rarer this season against Florida could put this FSU team right back into playoff contention.

#8 TCU at #14 Oklahoma State – 3:30pm EST (FOX)

The month of November promises to be quite the month for the Big12 conference. The four teams at the top of the conference have a combined record of 31-1, and they all play one another down the stretch. Neither of these two teams have faced a ranked opponent all season. Trevone Boykin is one of the most electrifying players in college football this season and has one of the best wide outs to throw to in Josh Doctson. The Cowboys have the second best defense in the conference, but had to lean on their offense last week against Texas Tech.

#2 LSU at #7 Alabama – 8pm EST (CBS)

In what many may call the “Grand daddy of them all” this has been the premier game in college football over the last decade. A lot of focus entering this game is on the running backs. L.S.U.’s Leonard Fournette is the Heisman Trophy front-runner and has been a seemingly unstoppable force, leading the Football Bowl Subdivision with 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns through seven games. Derrick Henry is right behind, with 1,044 yards and 14 scores, and he has carried much of the Crimson Tide’s offensive load this season.

The matchup at quarterback is likely to be the difference. L.S.U.’s Brandon Harris and Alabama’s Jake Coker have been steadily improving, but it remains to be seen how they will respond in such a big game. L.S.U. (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference West) is alone in first place in the division, and a win here would keep it near the top of the playoff rankings and move it a big step closer to the conference championship. A loss would all but eliminate Alabama (7-1, 4-1) from SEC West contention and most likely knock it out of the playoff conversation, too.

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Blue Jays Win ALDS In Dramatic Fashion

The Toronto Blue Jays have not won a playoff home game since 1993. That all changed tonight. The people of Toronto witnessed history tonight as their Jays came back from a 3-2 hole and overcame one of the craziest plays one has seen. The Rangers hired Cole Hamels for a game like this, and he came through. He came through until his defense let him down.

In the top of the 7th inning, with Shin-Soo Choo up to bat and and Rougend Odor on third base, Russell Martin was set to throw the ball back to relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez when the ball hit Choo’s hand and rolled down the third base line. Thanks to Odor’s heads up base running, the up and coming second basemen scored on the play. Home plate umpire Dale Scott raised his arms as to call a dead ball. Rangers manager Jeff Bannister came out and had a discussion with Scott who then awarded Odor home. That led to John Gibbons coming out and putting the game under protest.

What pursued during this moment should never ever happen at a sporting event. Blue Jays fans began throwing beer cans onto the field. Fans up in the 500 level began throwing their cans and were hitting fans sitting beneath them. Act like you have been there before….oh wait, they haven’t in a very long time.

In the bottom of the 7th inning after the Rangers made 3 errors which led to the exit of Hamels, Jose Bautista stepped up to bat and provided us fans with the best pimp job in quite some time. Bautista’s home run gave the Jays a 6-3 lead and they never looked back. 20 year old Roberto Osuna picked up the five out save, striking out four Rangers and pumping 97 consistently.

Did anyone see Drake at the game?

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Jack Eichel Scores Second Career Goal In Sabres 4-2 Victory

The Buffalo Sabres won their first contest of the 2015-16 campaign as they defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on this nice Columbus Day in the 716. Rookie sensation and savior Jack Eichel scored his second career goal, which turned out to be the game winner. First year head coach Dan Bylsma picked up his first victory as well and called Eichel’s goal “memorable”. Take a look at the 18 year old and his effort to keep the puck in the zone and then put it into the net.

The Sabres player their first game away from Buffalo when they travel to Florida on Thursday where they take on the Panthers, and then Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night before returning home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Bills Survive Late Scare In Tennessee

Tyrod Taylor scores on a 22 yard run.  (AP Photo/James Kenney)

Tyrod Taylor scores on a 22 yard run. (AP Photo/James Kenney)

The Buffalo Bills made a business trip down to Nashville, Tennessee with one thing in mind. That was to leave with a win. It was not pretty, but with some late game heroics from Tyrod Taylor and the Bills defense, they made it happen. The Bills now sit at 3-2 after a 14-13 victory over the Titans and rookie quarterback Marcus Mariotta.

After being penalized 17 times in week four against the Giants, Rex Ryan made push ups a punishment was a penalty was caused in practice during the week and even had a wrist band that said “Yes Sir”. The “Yes Sir” was what his players were supposed to tell the refs after they were flagged for a penalty. Ryan snapped his after the opening kickoff  after special teams star Marcus Easley was flagged for being offsides and the bills recovered a muffed return.

In the first half, the Bills defense was on the field for more than 20 minutes as the Bills offense was unable to get anything going. However that defense stood still allowing just a field goal and gave the team a chance. In the second half, it was Tyrod Taylor time as he took over the game in every aspect. Tyron threw the ball. Tyron ran the ball. Tyron caught the ball. Taylor finished with just 109 yards through the air, but did have 76 yards on the ground, including a 22 yard touchdown run down the sideline on a called quarterback draw. Taylor also was on the end of a Chris Hogan pass for a four yard gain.

Taylor returned the favor to Chris Hogan on the next play for a 2 yard touchdown after Taylor rolled out to the right. After punting the ball back and forth in the final four minutes, the Titans had the ball with under two minutes remaining. With the defense having played more than 35 minutes, they earned their pay with Dareus putting pressure on Mariotta forcing the rookie to throw a ball into triple coverage which Stephon Gilmore came down with.

We need two game balls for this performance with one going to Taylor for his outstanding play in the second half, and for the defense who played awesome the entire game and especially when it mattered most. We must also give credit to this coaching staff as the Bills only committed 7 penalties. They now need to work on not fumbling with the latest additions to the roster in Denarius Moore and Daniel Herron.

Tough challenge next Sunday as the Bills host the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals at the Ralph. The Bills have been consistent, with a win, loss, win, loss, win record. Hopefully they can change that pattern and show the rest of the league that they are for real. Sammy Watkins, are you out there? We will need you Sunday. Go earn that paycheck.

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