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: 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:


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.

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Sports |  Source: oregonlive.com

Western Conference Finals: Legacies on the Line

The winners, the losers, and everyone in between.

Monday night's win for the Warriors will have serious fallout for a number of NBA faces. With legacies on the line, lets check out some of our winners and losers.

The record is safe for a few more days. In fact this comeback could be a winning card for the 2016 Warriors in "greatest team ever" bar arguments for decades to come. The warriors still need to win the finals to ensure that unofficial asterisk never ends up next to their record.

The Splash Brothers
The MVP silenced haters tonight with a rock solid 31 points. The early series struggles will be forgotten or chalked up to lingering injury when the history books are written. The big winner here is Klay. Curry maintained his status quo, but Klay's ceiling gained another couple of floors. The splash brothers used to be Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Now they look like Magic Johnson and Kareem.

Draymond Green
Draymond started pretty close to the loser column in this one. The nut shots and takedowns gained more attention than his play in this series. Green has a rare opportunity to save face by impressing in the Finals. Even if he never plays another minute of professional basketball, his second career as a wrestling heel should pay the bills. In fact, Steven Adams should go along with it. This idea smells like money.

LeBron and the NBA
LeBron gets another run at the Warriors. This is great, but the better storyline is that LeBron now has the chance to end the Warriors' run as the greatest team ever and add to his legacy. Even a loss in the Finals looks better against the Warriors (record holders) than from the hands of OKC. The NBA also gets a nice storyline and bigger markets to exploit for the finals.

KD and Russ
It's a shame that depending on how this offseason shakes out, we may remember this dynamic duo as the odd couple who never came together.

Rather than the moments like this

The Thunder
OKC's feel good run transformed into a cringe worthy failure that may leave permanent scars. It's too early to tell, but this sour taste of defeat could be the final straw that leads to Westbrook and Kevin Durant to leaving in in their upcoming free agencies. For a small market team, that could prove detrimental for years to come.

The Spurs
The Spurs looked were about to save face after a short playoff runs, thanks to the rise of the Thunder. After OKC's collapse, San Antonio has fewer excuses and their age problems seem even more glaring.

The Thunder gave fans an entertaining semifinals, and their sacrifice will not be forgotten. However, now it's time to focus on the Finals. The Warriors and Cavaliers know this is what it's all about. Both teams have some serious storylines to fulfill, and with only one trophy that can do so. Should make for a pretty good show.

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Sports |  Source: twitter.com

James Harden Embarrasses A Small Child (Video)

No chill to be had here.

During the offseason, many NBA players hold camps for children in either their home cities, or the cities they play in. It's a nice way to give back the community, and is always good for some highlights.

We've seen Kevin Durant swat little kids at his camp, which is fun and all. But James Harden takes this to a new level. He absolutely embarrassed this kid. He had this kid doing the Riverdance with no idea where the ball actually was. And to finish with a flush? Viscious.

Regardless, it's nice to see superstars having a little fun with the kids who look up to them the most.

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Sports |  Source: sportingnews.com

Dion Waiters Pulled Some Schoolyard Bullshit (Video)

No shot that wasn't an offensive foul.

We knew the Spurs and Thunder would be in an all-out battle to see who gets to face the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. What we didn't know was just how much of a fiasco it would end up being.

After getting blown out in game one of the series, the Thunder were in good shape. They had the ball and the lead with less than 20 seconds remaining. Then, Dion Waiters, in typical Philly streetball fashion, went off the cuff and pushed Manu Ginobili while he was inbounding the ball.

No idea how the refs did not either see this or call a foul, but regardless, a shitshow of a final 10 seconds ensued and the Thunder came out victorious.

Now, this is something that happens on a playground, not an NBA Playoff series. Waiters must have forgotten he's not on the streets of South Philly (where he grew up) and reverted back to his pickup days.

He's lucky the refs didn't give the Spurs the ball, because the Thunder would likely be down 2-0. Now, the series is tied, and looks to be headed for either six or seven games (which is amazing for the basketball world).

This is going to be such a great series.