NBA Playoffs: 10 Things That Make Us Grumpy

NBA Playoffs: 10 Things That Make Us Grumpy


Nothing beats the NBA postseason: Games virtually every night, intensity from tip-off to buzzer and the kind of pressure that separates the men from the boys.

Still, as great as the playoffs are, they could be better with just a little bit of tinkering. So, playing the role of hoops curmudgeon, here are 10 things I dont like about the 2009-10 playoffs:

Injuries: There are too many of them. Andrew Bogut, Andrei Kirilenko, Greg Oden, Mehmet Okur, Brandon Roy, etc. Yes, its the cost of an 82-game schedule, but it just stinks that some teams are playing their most meaningful game without their key players.

Real life: Bottom line is that, unfortunately, life gets in the way of the postseason. Too many games to watch with things like a job and family.

Stoppages: There are too many timeouts, and theyre too long to begin with.

Missing teams: The 16 best teams arent in the tourney. After watching some of Miami, Chicago and Charlotte, its obvious the league needs to change the format. Houston, Memphis and New Orleans should be in there.

Not enough Van Gundy: Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy is terrific, absolutely terrific as an analyst. Too bad he can only do one game per day.

No George Karl: Its just not the same seeing the Denver Nuggets without George Karl on the sidelines. Get well soon.

First-round formality: Theres just not enough opening-round intrigue, what with teams such as Chicago, Miami and Milwaukee, just to name a few, having no chance to win.

Enduring Kobe Bryant hate: Look you dont have to like him, but at least appreciate him as a player. Hes one of the greatest of all-time, no matter how many times you say he stinks.

No Steve Javie: Hes one of the NBAs best officials, and hes been out since December with a leg injury. This time of year, the league needs the best refs it can get.

The charge: Doesnt matter if its preseason, regular season or playoffs, too many charges are being called and it detracts from athleticism and quality. Lets quit rewarding non-athletes who slide under.

-- Matt Steinmetz

Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House


Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is celebrating the World Series champion Chicago Cubs before he leaves office.

On what usually is a sleepy federal holiday at the White House, Cubs players filed into the White House East Room on Martin Luther King Day for Obama's final ceremony for a championship sports team. Even sweeter for Obama is that the Cubs hail from his hometown.

The president has a home in Chicago and is a White Sox fan. He rooted for the Cubs after the Sox failed to reach the playoffs.

Obama invited the Cubs hours after they won the series in November, asking on Twitter if the team wanted to visit before his term ends on Friday.

The Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908 by defeating the Cleveland Indians.

NBA Gameday: Warriors welcome Cavaliers with vengeance in mind

NBA Gameday: Warriors welcome Cavaliers with vengeance in mind

OAKLAND -- With the Christmas Day Collapse lingering about the back of their minds, the Warriors are out for vengeance against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When the teams meet Monday for a late-afternoon Matinee on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Warriors will be trying to end a four-game losing streak to the Cavs, who came from behind for a 109-108 win on Christmas Day in Cleveland.

The Warriors (34-6) hope to benefit from the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, where they have been nearly invincible over the past two-plus seasons. They are 95-7 at home since coach Steve Kerr arrived before 2014-15 season.

The Cavaliers (29-10) are making the final stop of a six-game road trip that spanned 12 days in three different time zones.


Warriors by 7.5


Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving: Though they don’t always defend each other, each point guard is his team’s catalyst. Irving has been winning this battle of late, and the result is success for Cleveland. Curry is playing well of late, better than Irving. If that trend continues Monday, the Warriors will take their chances.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James: Durant was superb on Christmas Day, clearly outplaying James until the final quarter, when he melted down with his teammates, missing seven of his last nine shots. James seized the moment, leading his team to victory. Nothing would please the Warriors more than KD getting the best of James.


Warriors: No injuries listed.

Cavaliers: G J.R. Smith (R thumb fracture) and F/C Chris Andersen (R ACL surgery) are listed as out.


Warriors: 8-2. Cavaliers: 6-4.


The Warriors lost the previous meeting this season and, including the last three games of the 2016 NBA Finals, have lost four straight. They are 10-8 (including postseason) against Cleveland since James returned before the 2014-15 season.


THE START: In winning their last three games, all against sub-.500 teams, the Warriors cruised through the first half and didn’t get serious until the third quarter. That formula would be particularly dangerous against a defending champion. A faster start is called for, and the Warriors know it.

THE GLASS: What killed the Warriors in the Christmas Day Collapse, perhaps as much as turnovers, was Cleveland’s relentless work on the offensive glass. The Cavs piled up 18 offensive rebounds, leading to 17 additional shot attempts. If the Warriors can’t do a better job, it could be disastrous.

THE 3-BALL WAR: The Warriors rank fourth in 3-point shooting percentage; the Cavs are third. The Warriors rank fifth in attempts from beyond the arc; the Cavs are third. Cleveland put up more triples, with more accuracy, on Christmas Day. But . . . the Warriors are No. 1 in defense against triples, while the Cavs are 14th.