Archive for cleveland cavaliers

Peter Vecsey Goes “N The Zone”

Posted in Basketball, nba, Podcast, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2017 by A-Train

In this 2-part interview, Peter Vecsey, long-time sports columnist of the NY Post joins “N The Zone” and shows off his rap skills.

In Part 1, he talks about his career and how he got the analyst job on the “NBA on NBC.” Plus gives a colorful story on his relationship with Pat Riley while on NBC and when he coached the Lakers, Knicks and Heat.

In Part 2, with Peter Vecsey as he talks about his unfiltered thoughts about Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks. Also, a impromptu with Michael Jordan on Jackson’s and Tex Winter’s triangle offense. Along with his thoughts on the if Cavs-Warriors for a third time, is good for the NBA.

NOTE: The following segments contain language that some may find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

N The Zone – Peter Vecsey (Part 1) 05-21-17

N The Zone – Peter Vecsey (Part 2) 05-21-17

The View From Mt. Airy: NBA Finals Thoughts 06-02-2016

Posted in Basketball, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by MtAiryPhil

Larry_O'Brien_trophy

@MtAiryPhil

PHILADELPHIA, PA

This could be the most compelling NBA Finals in recent history. It certainly sets up that way. Look at the components and you’ve got more storylines than a desperate pool reporter at a SUPER BOWL Media Day. The ARMY of King James advancing westward to finally acquire the one parcel they have not owned. Standing between them and the GRAIL they so desperately desire? Only the anointed one,  Stephen Curry, who seems to many, to have already snatched the torch and set up shop in the office of the NBA’s very best player and the most talented aggregate of players since the San Antonio Spurs of the late 90’s. Deep, smart and athletic as anyone could want this Warriors team can excel in so many facets of the game that they win when not running on “all pistons” simply because the ones are functioning to their expectations and limits are just that much more efficient and lethal than anywhere else in the National Basketball Association.

The Finals have though seemingly gone the way of the World Series and Super Bowl. It has become such a big show that the games seem tertiary to the spectacle around them….it seems that just as in Major League Baseball, the conference finals have become the battles to survive and you can almost see the two teams exhale when they accomplish their trip to the Finals.

Like it or not if you’re LeBron James and you’ve now been in the NBA Finals 6 consecutive years, win or lose, how much damage can a loss do to his legacy…..there are always going be people like me who will pile on simply any reason but NOTHING he can do will change that. We just don’t, for a myriad of reasons like LeBron James. He could fly to Mars and back we all would still have something critical to say.

Having said all of that, flip the script.

The Warrriors come into these 2016 NBA FINALS with a mandate to win. We’ve all listened (me with total disbelief) and watched as the regular season became a marchilto “all time” greatness ceremony for Curry as his team obliterated opponents with what is simply, the deepest, most talented roster in the league. After rebounding from a seemingly fatal 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals, are they emotionally prepared to hit the reset button against a healthier Cavaliers team then they’ve ever faced off against? A Cleveland squad that is most definitely on a crusade to cap and validate the return of their basketball child and savior. Do the Warriors have to win to avoid having their historic 73 win season invalidated and used as an asterisk and a tavern joke? What becomes of their legacy and is this record breaking season forever tarnished beyond repair is the question? I believe that answer is yes, yes and of course they have to win. Problem is? I don’t think they have the gas and if the Cavaliers get a split at Golden State this series is in over in 5……either way, I believe the Cavaliers win a game 7 leaving the Warriors damaged but respected for their fortitude under fire. LeBron wins. Cleveland dances. #Finally

P.S. Congratulations to my Philadelphia 76ers on the acquisition of the #1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA DRAFT. Don’t do anything silly. You have picks 1 and then both 24 and 26…..don’t screw it up. Take Ben Simmons. Combine those two late picks and move up if necessary to grab Thon Maker. Finally, the next “fan” who suggests signing Derozan to a max deal of 107 million dollars I promise you’re getting the West Philly Lariat and a BrainBuster. You’ve been warned.

THE KING HAS SPOKEN…OF MT. AIRY THAT IS.

Follow me on Twitter: @MtAiryPhil

Follow @NTheZoneShow as well

 

Let’s Hoop – NBA First Round Playoff Preview

Posted in Basketball, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2016 by A-Train

The A-Train here…I want to bring on our NBA contributor Robyn Browning and she has your preview for the upcoming first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Robyn, the floor is yours.Larry O'Brien Trophy

ROBYN:

The regular season ended on a historic and spectacular note with Golden State setting the record for most wins in the season (73) and Kobe Bryant ending his career with a 60 point effort to defeat the Utah Jazz, thus securing his name as a basketball legend. Now, the playoffs are here and hopefully the NBA will build off the energy of Wednesday night and extend it through the playoffs. Here are my predictions for the first-round series in order of seeding.

Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Houston Rockets (8)

Golden State wins if they keep applying pressure on offense with quick ball movement, pressure defense with closeout double teams, and aggressive rebounding.

Houston wins if they take the red pill from the Matrix and become the team in an alternate reality in which Harden plays defense, more plays are run for Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard becomes a 70% free throw shooter.

Players to Watch: Harrison Barnes and Trevor Ariza

My Pick: Golden State in 4

Cleveland Cavaliers (1) vs. Detroit Pistons (8)

Cleveland wins if they become the playoff team we expect them to be. LeBron James will run the point, be efficient from the field, and open up spot-up shooters. Kyrie Irving must contain Reggie Jackson in pick and roll situations.

Detroit wins if they wear down Cleveland through offensive rebounding and pick and roll play with Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. They must play with the same confidence and fire that led them to defeat Cleveland during the regular season.

Players to Watch: Andre Drummond and Cleveland’s three-point shooters (JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Kevin Love)

My Pick: Cleveland in 5

San Antonio Spurs (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)

San Antonio wins if they control the tempo and no one gets hurt.

Memphis wins if they transform into the Monstars from Space Jam.

Players to Watch: Danny Green, Spurs bench, and Jordan Farmar vs. Spurs point guards

My pick: San Antonio in 5

Toronto Raptors (2) vs. Indiana Pacers (7)

Toronto wins if they shoot well from the perimeter, drive to the basket, and get to the foul line a lot.

Indiana wins if they win Game 1 and fluster Toronto’s confidence. Indiana’s front court must get Luis Scola and Jonas Valaciunas in foul trouble.

Players to Watch: Toronto’s backcourt vs. Indiana’s frontcourt and DeMarre Carroll (Is he healthy?)

My Pick: Toronto in 5

Oklahoma City Thunder (3) vs. Dallas Mavericks (6)

Oklahoma City wins on talent alone. Russell Westbrook is too much for Deron Williams to handle and Kevin Durant can pour in points by the handful.

Dallas wins if they can contain the Thunder—not outright stop them defensively, outscore them, and coach Rick Carlisle changes the lineup so much that the Thunder stay off balance.

Players to Watch: Wesley Matthews (Can he keep up with Kevin Durant?) and Russell Westbrook (watch for a triple-double game or two)

My Pick: Oklahoma City in 5

Miami Heat (3) vs. Charlotte Hornets (6)

Miami wins if their veterans will use their post-season experience to their advantage and Hassan Whiteside can defend the rim, keep fouls to under control, and wear down Al Jefferson.

Charlotte wins if they forget about the 2013-2014 playoffs when they were swept by the Heat, Kemba Walker’s mid-range game stays great, and Jefferson, Nick Batum, and Marvin Williams lock down Miami defensively.

Players to Watch: Charlotte’s defense and Jeremy Lin and his hair

My Pick: Miami in 6

Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs. Portland Trailblazers (5)

Los Angeles wins if they continue to play with confidence and overpower the Blazers in the post.

Portland wins if Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum break down the Clippers defensively to score inside and outside the paint and set up their teammates for easy shots.

Players to Watch: Lillard vs. Chris Paul (top-notch NBA point guard play) and Clippers bench

My Pick: Clippers in 6

Atlanta Hawks (4) vs. Boston Celtics (5)

Atlanta wins if Paul Millsap takes advantage of the Celtic’s frontcourt, especially on pick and roll plays and make the Celtics run half-court offense.

Boston wins if Isaiah Thomas continues to score as he has for over a month, get Atlanta to turn the ball over, and have more points in transition than half-court.

Players to Watch: Isaiah Thomas vs. Jeff Teague/Dennis Schroder (Teague/Schroder turnover-prone & Thomas can capitalize in a major way)

My Pick: Atlanta in 7

 

You can follow Robyn on Twitter. Her handle is @robynbirdfly.

The A-Train Rant 21.0!!

Posted in Basketball, Football, Hockey, NFL, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2015 by A-Train

Ranting-Homer

Happy New Year one and all, it’s time for the 1st rant of 2015…

  1. Stuart Scott is Mr. SportsCenter, I can care less what you think. Not being biased either.
  2. Pau Gasol is a blessing to Chicago. Thank you Jim Buss.
  3. Jimmy Butler is not only an All-Star, he’s playing like an MVP.
  4. Stephen Curry is amazing…maybe he should be the MVP.
  5. I dislike Steve Kerr still; that Warriors team will forever be Mark Jackson’s.
  6. The Atlanta Hawks will not go to the Eastern Conference Finals this season. I don’t give a damn how good they’re doing right now.
  7. Stan Kroenke gave the NFL the finger and was straight gangster with it.
  8. The Cleveland Cavaliers added two cancers to the team after trading one of them (Dion Waiters traded, received J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert)
  9. There’s no need for a committee for the College Football Playoff, just call it the BCS College Football Playoff and let the computers decide.
  10. Oregon will win the national championship; screw you Buckeye fans.
  11. I’m cheering for the Cowboys this weekend…just like you…I can’t believe it either.
  12. I’m not watching hockey until March/April…that’s when the real fun begins just like the NBA.
  13. I feel sorry for Marvin Lewis and Jim Caldwell…only of these men will get the short end of the stick.
  14. So when does baseball season start?
  15. Dirk Nowitzki is better than Larry Bird. (Became 7th all-time leading scorer in NBA history)
  16. “BOOYAH!”
  17. “Cool as the other side of the pillow.”
  18. “I ain’t gone say nothing, but that ain’t right.”
  19. Rich Eisen is awesome. Never forget your colleague and friend. Classy move.
  20. Shoutout to every sports team that honored Stuart Scott.

MORE TO COME…I THINK. STAY TUNED.

The A-Train

Follow the Train @thealaneii

Twitter: @nthezonesports

Facebook: N The Zone Sports

 

Why LeBron Why?

Posted in Basketball, Sports with tags , , on July 15, 2014 by A-Train

Lebron-James2

Why LeBron, why?

(NOTE: This is a short commentary and the answers are opinions and not facts, yet they could be)

Why did LeBron go back to the team in which its owner got so bitter that he decided to post a disrespectful letter on his team’s website?

Because this was a full-fledged PR move and pretty much pimped us fans and the media. I understand righting a wrong, but I wouldn’t fool with a disrespectful person such as Dan Gilbert. Then come crawling out and acting like he loves LeBron and wishes this never happened. It did. It was childish and very bitter. If I was LeBron, I would have been like a TRUE villain to Gilbert. I would have him bend down and kiss my rings or my feet. He would have to worship me for my services. It’s sounds sadistic but that’s the price he would have to pay for the crap that he decided to pull.

It also sounds like another case of the player having control of the team. That’s a pure self move. I should be a fan of LeBron because…I love villains. But he (in my mind only) rubbed me the wrong way and he was being too passive about it. Crazy as it seems, those are the best of villains. Because as calm as he is in interviews, behind closed doors he’s a narcissist. I love that. That also mean I should be a fan of Kobe Bryant. I’ll let your minds wander.

Why did LeBron leave the Miami Heat?

You can thank Pat Riley for that. As many speculated (including myself) that they would not be anywhere near the Finals next year, I can’t say that anymore.  It will depend on the new signings (Deng, McRoberts, etc) and re-signings of Bosh and Wade. The latter hopefully being healthy next season.

Why did LeBron go to SI.com and write a personal essay on his return?

The Decision Part 1 effected him, he knows it did. So, he chose to do an essay (he didn’t actually write it) for Decision Part 2. Plus, he knows that the whole sports world is paying attention to him, no matter how much of us love him or hate him, he has our attention. That’s why he took the time off he needed to even though it shouldn’t have taken that long to do it in the first place. He has that control and that’s what drive the media and fans crazy. How can such a player have that much control?

Why is LeBron being the villain, again?

Because he’s LeBron. Way to tick off Miami fans, Dwyane Wade AND Udonis Haslem. If Adam Silver is listening, have Cavs/Heat on Christmas Day. It’s a PR’s dream.

The A-Train

The A-Train Rant 10.0!!!

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Football, NFL, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2013 by A-Train

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Just before Thanksgiving, I want to give one big sports rant and say what I’m thinking on this blog before you enjoy your turkey and stuffing.

Ladies and gentlemen,

THE A-TRAIN RANT 10.0!

  1. Jameis Winston should be the Heisman Trophy winner regardless of the outcome on if he’s charged with sexual assault. A.J. McCarron is good  The Heisman Trophy award is for accomplishments done ON THE FIELD, not off of it. Now, I can see a person saying something like…”Well, what about Pete Rose?” Pete Rose STILL SHOULD NOT be in the Hall Of Fame. Why? Because the dirt he did was in baseball and during baseball. I hope this doesn’t become a race issue. I hope not.
  2. As much as I dislike Kobe Bryant, he put some truth on his social media followers about his “selfishness.” I hate to say it, but he’s the most loyal athlete. One team…17 seasons (although injured this season). He was right about the billions that the front office receives more than the players/athletes receive. Everybody wants a piece of the pie. Remember that. EVERYONE! He really is trying to be better than Jordan though, something about passing him in scoring is all he wants to do. He got the rings, MVPs, what else does he need to do?
  3. Chicago Bulls DO NOT NEED to tank for Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins…I wish people would stop saying that. Even if they did, the chances of them getting one of those guys are 1 in 4. Don’t believe me, look up the 2008 NBA Draft or check out the 1993 NBA Draft, and then read the 1985 NBA Draft when this whole lottery crap got started. Damn ping-pong balls. That’s why I hate David Stern. Come on February 1st (Stern’s last day as commissioner).
  4. LeBron James, as much as I dislike him too, should not go back to Cleveland. Anderson Varejao needs to shut his trap. What for? The fans dissed him, burned his jerseys and now they so desperate to win again, they want him back. If I’m LeBron, I’d tell ’em, “Kiss my ass. I love Miami.” Hypocrites.
  5. Alex Rodriguez is a jerk and I love it. The reason for that is because the good guy image (he’s been bad before this) in front of the camera is going south. From him going crazy in judicial hearings to him speaking out Mike Francesa’s radio show…where have you been crazy A-Rod? Let the madness continue. Trust me, it will. Definitely before 2014 spring training.
  6. After seeing some Monday Night Football and seeing Robert Griffin III get decimated by the 49ers…it’s still not a clear indicator that he should be the guy for the Redskins. Usually with 2nd year QBs, they get a 3rd year to indicate that. Same goes for Russell Wilson (even though he’s winning), Andrew Luck, and I’ll even be nice and say Brandon Weeden. The hell with that, Weeden stinks. Even on a good team, his best would be a backup role. Don’t like it, take it to the judge.
  7. Speaking of 1st-round QBs, Sam Bradford as a franchise QB has me wondering for the life of me…do the Rams really want to put their chips in him or find another potential franchise player but in a different round. I know it’s his 4th season and this was supposed to be THE YEAR for him. He got hurt against Carolina and ended all the dreams. Kellen Clemens is definitely NOT the answer but over the past couple of weeks has been solid enough to get quality wins. Still pissed about that Seattle game though, it was a clear game-changing moment wasted.
  8. The Missouri Tigers could be the greatest underdog to make the national championship. Yes, I understand they have a test this week in Texas A&M and a much bigger test in Alabama (if they make it to the SEC championship). We’ll see what happens come Saturday.
  9. I can’t see why Lee Smith and Jack Morris are NOT in the Hall of Fame. They were by far the most dominant at their positions in the 1980s and early ’90s (closer and starter, respectively). What is the problem here? Next year’s class will have Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine headlining the class for sure. Lee Smith had 478 saves in his career and Morris had 254 wins in his career. But guys like Bruce Sutter and Jim Palmer are in the Hall of Fame. Sutter had 300 saves but Palmer had more wins than Morris at 268. WHAT IS THE FIGURE TO MAKE THE HALL OF FAME? I don’t get it.
  10. Jason Kidd should have never been a head coach in the NBA.
  11. What the hell is a clean tackle in the NFL? I’ll leave it at that.

After all of this, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims that were lost in the construction of the new stadium being built for the 2014 World Cup of soccer.

The A-Train

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