I Feel Badly For Enes Kanter
Sports |  Source: dailyhoops.nl

I Feel Badly For Enes Kanter

Look at this poor guy.

Pretend you're an MLB manager. It's Game 7 of the World Series and you're down 3-2 in the 9th. There's one out and a guy on third. All you need is a fly ball to the outfield. One problem: the pitcher's spot is due up in the order, so you look toward your bench.

For some reason, your General Manager decided it would be an awesome idea to sign a sixth grader to a multi-million dollar deal. He hasn't seen much time in the postseason thus far, but damn, you have faith in the kid to go out there and hit a sac fly of the opposing team's closer to knot the score in the ninth.

In an utterly shocking development, the 6th grader digs in, whiffs three times, and the ballgame is over.

Can we really blame the 6th grader?

Thunder PF Enes Kanter is the sixth grader.

Kanter is a gifted player offensively. He's got a decent midrange jumper, a ferocious desire on the offensive glass, and a knack for getting buckets with his back to the basket. That's the extent of Kanter's NBA capabilities.

His defense? If you've never seen Kanter play, you might think "Ok, well, that's James Harden, there's no way Kanter is always that bad!" You would be sadly mistaken. Kanter plays defense as if he was wearing a 75-pound military grade vest on his back. Kanter moves his feet as if they were buried in six inches of cement.

On that particular play above, Kanter recognizes his man is going to set a high screen on Harden's man. He sags in the paint, daring Harden to pull up and bury the jump-shot, which Harden could have done rather easily. Instead, Harden comes around the screen and sees Enes Kanter, defensive scarecrow, standing in the lane. Harden euros around the Turk so seamlessly that you'd think Kanter had never seen the euro-step (or a basketball, for that matter).

Here, do we really blame Kanter for his atrocious ball screen defense? Or do we blame his coaches for ever putting him in a position where he'd have to guard Harden with a full head of steam? Do we blame the 11-year-old for striking out, or do we fault the manager for pinch-hitting a 6th grader with the game on the line?

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Sports |  Source: sportswire.usatoday.com

Was Thursday The Last We'll See of Tim Duncan?

Nobody thought the Spurs would actually lose to the Thunder.

Raise your hand if you thought the Spurs were going to force a game seven against the Thunder.

My hand was raised, and I'm sure I wasn't alone.

It's the Spurs! The same team that went 67-15 in the regular season. Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Leonard, Aldridge- these names make a GM drool! These guys? Lose?

But oh yeah, the Spurs lost. And they lost badly.

The Thunder simply overpowered the Spurs. After losing the first game of the series by 32 points, the Thunder showed why they are one of the most dangerous and athletic teams in the NBA this season.

The game actually started pretty well for the Spurs. They went up 19-13 with about four minutes left in the first quarter.

Then it all went to shit.

The first quarter ended on a 12-0 run for OKC, and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich wasn't happy about it.

It got worse.

The Spurs made a comeback, sort of. They had the chance to bring the deficit to single digits with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder were simply too much, and managed to seal the game off with a 113-99 victory.

There are a lot of storylines here, but there are two worth mentioning.

One: this may have been the last time we saw Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili play in the NBA.

This is pure speculation, but Duncan is 40 years old. He's arguably the best power forward of all time, but no player is better than father time, and he might be calling for Duncan. Likewise for Ginobili. He's 38, and he's been playing with Duncan since 1999.

But again, I could be totally wrong on that and they could both be back next year.

The second story here is much more fascinating, and it's how lethal the Thunder are when they are firing on all cylinders.

Like I said earlier, they could possibly be the most athletic team in the NBA- not just this year, in a long time. Westbrook is a monster, Durant is a former MVP. And everyone else on the team hustles their butts off and it pays off.

The Thunder were more physical on the glass, outrebounding the Spurs 50-40. Led by Steven Adams, the Thunder's seven foot big man from New Zealand, the Thunder's role players outhustled, outworked out outplayed the Spurs.

On a side note, Adams is only 22.

With the Spurs out of the way, the Thunder now have to take on the seemingly unbeatable Golden State Warriors. But for now, the Thunder can celebrate a bit.

Raise your hand if you think the Thunder will lose to the Warriors.

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Sports |  Source: sportsworldnews.com

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook Have An Interesting Relationship

They're fun to watch, that's for sure.

The dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have been the cornerstone of the Oklahoma City Thunder since 2008-09. While their performances should merit a discussion for the NBA Hall of Fame, sometimes it seems they need to be taken to the timeout chair.

On the court, there are times when it seems that the two are fighting for shots. They go from Kobe Bryant to Rajon Rondo in a matter of possessions. Westbrook, as the team's point guard and primary ball handler, usually dictates the pace of the game. Durant, as the better and more consistent offensive player, provides a lot of the scoring. Because of that dynamic, the two can and has been at odds before on the court.

Sometimes it look like the Thunder have no other options than to watch Durant and Westbrook take the shots they want. It is almost like the two stars had a conversation and realized that it is hard enough to share the ball with each other, so just forget the rest of the supporting cast. Everyone but Steven Adams, because he looks like the main henchmen in any spy movie ever made.

That being said, the two have found a middle ground for each other to maximize their different offensive games, with Durant more slick and wiry and Westbrook more explosive and aggressive. Together, it makes a combination that rivals Lennon and McCarthy.

Their relationship can be much like that of college roommates. They can fight, threaten, and hate each other, but if anyone else talks trash about either of them, the other will step in. Just ask Mark Cuban when he was critical of Russell Westbrook. Better yet, ask Kevin Durant about Cuban's comments on his teammate.

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Sports |  Source: sportingnews.com

Steph Curry Went And Steph Curry-ed Again

That's the only way to put it at this point.

In an outcome everyone could have expected, the Warriors beat the Thunder to even the Western Conference Finals at one game a piece. But would a Warriors game really be a Warriors game if Steph Curry didn't do something crazy?

Let's run down another average night at the office for Steph Curry (LOL):

First, Curry tried to track down a ball and ended up in the stands...

...and Warriors fans reacted in a few different ways.

Everyone thought Steph was going to go out because of his ankles. But have no fear, Steph Curry came back. Just so everyone knew he was okay, he made some moves on the court:

But of course Steph's moves consist of more than just shooting. So he threw an assist off of a Oklahoma City player for this play:

Then things got a little rowdy. Steph got quiet. But Steph settled down and was Steph again. He went on his own 15-2 run in just under a two minute stretch of the third quarter:

He got a little excited...

...and so did Twitter:

This was his stat line:

The Warriors defeated OKC 118-91. Steph Curry scored 28 points. But it was just another normal game for him, as crazy as that might seem.

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Sports |  Source: o.canada.com

What To Watch For In Sports This Week (5/23)

Playoff sports are not something you should miss.

The NBA Playoffs got a little weird over the weekend, so trust me when I say you need to clear your evening schedule for the rest of the week (and then likely the first half of June as well).

Here are the can't-miss games and for Monday, May 23 and beyond:

Monday, May 23

NHL: San Jose at St. Louis, Game 5 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)
Locked up at an even 2-2, this pivotal Game 5 could likely determine the outcome of the series and ultimately decides which team gets to compete for the Stanley Cup next week.

Luckily for San Jose, they finished with the NHL's best road record (28-10-3) during the regular season. The Sharks will be hungry to take this one before for a potential clinch in front of the home crowd.

NBA: Cleveland at Toronto, Game 4 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
If you're like me, you had a feeling that Toronto was going to show out for their fans in what was the organization's first ever Eastern Conference Finals home game. It wasn't all too surprising that the Raptors were able to hold onto a late lead and capitalize on Cleveland's poor shooting.

However, unless they're able to repeat the same performance on Tuesday, this one will likely be wrapped up in five on the Cavs' court later this week.

Tuesday, May 24

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, Game 6 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)
Tampa's Nikita Kucherov scored the tying goal with 16:44 in the third period before Tyler Johnson put in the game-winning goal in overtime to help the Lightning steal Game 5 on the road Sunday evening. Now the Penguins must avoid elimination on the road, where Tampa is 6-2 this postseason.

Golden State at Oklahoma City, Game 4 (9 p.m. ET, TNT)
Yes, the best regular season team in NBA history now finds itself in a pretty difficult predicament heading into a vital, must-win Game 4 road matchup. In their two losses against the Thunder thus far (down 2-1), the Warriors went 21-of-63 (33.3 percent) from the 3-point line, which is well below their average of 41.6 percent from the regular season.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have averaged 58.0 combined points in both wins, including 33 and 30 in Game 3, respectively.

It's weird to say, but Golden State is in serious trouble of missing out on the NBA Finals. Losing here wouldn't guarantee that, but it's not ideal to go down 3-1.

Wednesday, May 25

Toronto at Cleveland, Game 5 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
If the Cavaliers are able to take Monday's game in Toronto, the train stops here. There's no way that they don't close this series out in five if they're already up 3-1.

St. Louis at San Jose, Game 6 (9 p.m. ET, NBC)
Depending on what the Cleveland Cavaliers do in Game 4, this might be what you want on your TV Wednesday night.

Thursday, May 26

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, Game 7 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)*

Oklahoma City at Golden State, Game 5 (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Keep this one circled on your calendar. Whether Golden State ties the series at 2-2 or digs itself deeper at 3-1, this should be on every TV in America. It would be a shock to see Oklahoma City vs. Cleveland (probably) in the NBA Finals, but the Thunder seem to be on a mission.

Friday, May 27

San Jose at St. Louis, Game 7 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)*

Cleveland at Toronto, Game 6 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)*

Saturday, May 28

Golden State at Oklahoma City, Game 6 (9 p.m. ET, TNT)*

Sunday, May 29

MLB: Los Angeles at NY Mets (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Clayton Kershaw against Bartolo Colon on Sunday night baseball? Yeah. Count me in.

Toronto at Cleveland, Game 7 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)*

*If necessary

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Sports |  Source: nzhoops.co.nz

Steven Adams Wins

Even if the Thunder lose.

Before you read what I'm about to write, read this article by ESPN's Brian Windhorst. It beautifully chronicles the journey of Oklahoma City big man Steven Adams from illiterate teenager to first-round draft pick. And trust me when I say it's a pretty crazy journey.

And while it can't live up to the story of his upbringing, Adams' journey during the 2016 playoffs has been pretty outstanding as well.

Now, don't get me wrong, Adams was a solid player for the Thunder during the regular season: he averaged 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game. And that's pretty good for a 7-foot center playing in a small-ball NBA dominated by run-and-gun offense.

However, had you asked any casual NBA fan for his/her opinion on Adams midway through the regular season, most answers would have probably sounded something like this:

"Who?"

And I would have been one of them. Actually, the only reason I knew Steven Adams existed was because of a short (and hilarious) article written by former Grantland writer and best-selling author Shea Serrano.

But now he's almost a household name. I'm not sure if it's his (overly) candid interviews, his caveman-like appearance, or simply his dominant style of play that's made him so popular with even the most casual of NBA fans, but I do know this:

This guy is a BEAST.

While his stats have shown a slight increase this postseason (10.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 31.0 minutes per game), what's really impressive is how tough he is.

He injured his thumb during the Spurs series, but he hasn't skipped a beat. And even though he says it's not that big of a deal, I don't buy it: you can literally see his swollen hand trembling on live TV during pre-game warmups.

It seems like every other play he either ends up getting hit in the face, knocked to the floor, or (in some cases) kicked in the groin (looking at you Draymond). And yet, nothing fazes this guy.

I don't know about you but I would be out for the rest of the playoffs, and most likely the start of next season too after a shot like that.

But not even a bloody nose can stop him! He just grabs some tissues and get's back out there.

And even when we thought that Adams had reached his highest level, blocking poor souls at the rim and bullying the Warriors on the boards like a man amongst children, he went and did this:

And everybody (rightfully) lost their damn minds!

So even if the Oklahoma City Thunder aren't able to do the impossible and beat one of the best teams in NBA history on their home court, one thing is for sure.

Steven Adams has won: the hearts of fans across the NBA, the respect of NBA experts and analysts, and most importantly, a pretty big contract a few years down the line.