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2016 NBA Finals Preview: Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

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2016 NBA Finals Preview: Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Back-to-Back! Back to the NBA Finals. It’s the rematch! The Golden State Warriors versus the Cleveland Cavaliers all over again. The best-of-seven. First to four games. The winner gets Larry. The loser…jokes on Conan O’Brien. It’s all a case of history repeating, but will the Dubs go back-to-back again? Or will the King finally claim his Ohio throne in his sixth straight trip to the castle of champagne or commiseration? It all depends on what type of heat Chef Curry has coming out that kitchen.

Lets stir the pot…

Point Guard

Stephen Curry vs Kyrie Irving – Almost the most evenly sided match-up of this series…almost. When Australian born Kyrie Irving goes off he can put your team down under like opposing centre Andrew Bogut goes down low. But have you seen Steph Curry go off?

Advantage: Warriors

Shooting Guard

Klay Thompson vs J.R. Smith – Streaks in this series could be decided by the slashers with the daggers. Whether it’s Klay’s day or if everybody is shooting like J.R. in Dallas than who knows? Still Smith is streaky…Thompson makes it splash brother.

Advantage: Warriors

Small Forward

Andre Igudola vs LeBron James – Time to take last years surprise Finals MVP off the bench for this one. After all Golden State did it in Game 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder and look where that got them. Iggy can lock up ‘Bron for stretches and if ‘Dre double teams him with Dray it’ll be over. But then again at the end of the day, are you really going to stop the King? Especially an exiled one.

Advantage: Cavs

Power Forward

Draymond Green vs Kevin Love – Love lost last year for the Cavaliers was definitely a factor that hurt the King and all of LeBron’s men in their injury and insult plagued losing Finals. But hate all you want but do we really need to talk about Kevin here? If you think he’s going to get the better end of Draymond Green in the second most evenly matched head-to-head (almost) than you’re talking about as much crap as Dray does.

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Advantage: Warriors.

Centre

Andrew Bogut vs Tristan Thompson – Bogut may be the veteran and internationally like Washington’s Gortat the most underrated consistent force in his dying position. But pivot towards Cleveland on this one because Tristan Thompson is in the prime position to take over and have a breakout series. You always knew we were going to go with a Canadian. Advantage: Cavs.

Bench

Delly, Mo’, Shump, Channing, even Richard Jefferson. That’s nice but Golden State has Harrison Barnes, Shaun Livingston, Barbosa, Speights, Rush and even LeBron and the Cavs old friend Anderson Varejao. I don’t know between these two off the pine benches there may be nothing but splinters.

Advantage: Tie

Head Coach

Steve Kerr vs Tyrone Lue – Steve Kerr may still be a relatively new coach…but he already has a championship under his belt after his rookie season and another ring on his finger. Sure even new Lakers Head Coach took some of the shine off his Dub plate as an assistant this year during his injury interim, but fellow former Laker Lue won’t. Despite his one of a kind playoff run. Tyrone may have been tough enough to tell King James to shut the f### up…but expect Kerr to treat him like Iverson did. And there’s your answer. Both backup points were spark plugs on Phil Jackson championship teams off the bench as players…and that’s probably why they make such good coaches. But ask the greatest of all-time, Kerr always knew how to win in the clutch.

Advantage: Warriors

Game, set and match-up, Golden State.

Warriors in seven…almost!

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NBA

RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX

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RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX
What Time Is It...

Blazing!

Even two games down the Thunder bolt boys joked like the last laugh that was yet to be delivered, like this what’s the 4-1 punchline. Zero to zero for the best series of these NBA Playoffs so far, Russell Westbrook rocked the baby at Damian Lillard, before mocking his wrist watch celebration like he did Laker meme Lance Stephenson’s air guitar strumming one with D’Angelo Russell ice in his veins. All before Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired on a game that was already decided way before the horn blared.

“It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”

But then last night before posting that Sun Tzu quote on Instagram in this art of war. In the face of P.G. the PDX P.G. beat the buzzer as Dame Time struck from way downtown RIP City. With an Austin 3:16 bottom line to give OKC the history engraved tombstone and the Portland Trail Blazers a legendary storied, legacy making championship belt for this classic series in hardwood history.

Reminding us of that time Charles Barkley responded to a Nike barbershop ad featuring former Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell joking about dunking on him by putting all the points on them in the following game and running past them on the bench draped in dejected towels shouting, “put that in a f###### commercial!”

Colder than February. More ruthless than a convertible in Summer.

Damian Lillard 37 Footer Over Paul George
Damian Lillard buries series clinching 37-footer over Paul George – Photo Blazers

37 feet high and rising from deep. Deep as the halfcourt abyss. With the this time of season cherry blossoms blooming outside Portlandia’s Moda Center, the City of Roses was handing everyone from basketballs Oklahoma home funeral flowers. And leading the precession, hearse wrapping it up like his killer bars, Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money like exact change only please, waving goodbye. Even if Paul George walking off in defeat like LeBron James and getting his Vlade Divac on in a press conference more awkward than a blind date with an ex called it a “bad shot”. To which the great Dame simply replied with a tweeted “lol” (see also, laugh and last). He better Big Shot Bobby Horry check a newspaper or something. Dame Time didn’t just beat the buzzer. He took baby powder to it. As Dame had all the Louis Armstrong time in the world with ten on the clock and the last shot in this final frame to dribble drive or dish. But instead, toying with George like a cat does a mouse, as David beat Goliath like Jerry did Tom, Lillard had the sand to set up shop, his spot and his shot from what looked like a bunker. A hole in one, with the cocksure confidence of Tiger Woods putting for Masters glory in Augusta and embracing his kids, two decades after doing the same with his pops all for the green jacket.

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From this master, like a tap in putt with no Mulligan to carry, this was always going in. Nothing but net. All water like those Thunder tears. O.K. now that was a 3.

And to think I swore I wouldn’t go back on social media until after the new Avengers movie came out, but DAMN Dame Time! Spoiler alert, this is the new ‘Endgame’ now.

Cousy. Pettit. Sam Jones. Wilt. Chuck Barkley. M.J. And now the Dame train as the legendary Lillard goes hard to join this lineage as the only players to hit 50 in a playoff clinching game. And what a way to do it, fading away to clock out of the game and series 118-115 for the greatest Portland playoff moment since the G.O.A.T’s shrug. As mobbed by teammates on the floor he sank into, telling Russ to ‘Get Out’ his house. Peeling off like Jordan, Damian all on his own like a devil, GIF turned into an instant meme, as he turned the Thunder into a memory (you know the one were everyone loses their mind around that smirking kid with glasses in the raincoat? Well now guess which superheroes face is super imposed?). Staring into the camera with that look you know was for Russell Westbrook.

Blazers Win Damian Lillard Buries 37 Footer
Blazers Win. – Photo: Portland Trail Blazers

What a whole mood.

Whose left holding the baby now?

Dame didn’t even have to check his watch. Why? Him, her, them. They all knew what time it was. His. As Dame Lillard just did it in the Oregon home of Nike. Shoe dog like Phil Knight, running off victory for the courtside crowd, including legendary comedian Cedric the Entertainer for this last laugh lap. As this Gladiator hit one of the best and biggest shot fired in NBA history. Subliminal and literal.

Are you not entertained?

Why not?

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Two-time U Sports MVP Kadre Gray declares for NBA Draft

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Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Declares For Nba Draft
Photo: Laurentian Voyageurs

Two-time U Sports basketball player of the year Kadre Gray of the Laurentian Voyageurs has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Gray, a 6’1″, 190 lbs junior guard from Toronto, Ontario has been terrorizing Canadian university basketball since his freshman season — cementing his legacy as a two-time MVP and scoring champion with a ridiculous 26.3 points per game career average in three full-seasons with the Voyageurs.

The 2016-17 U Sports rookie of the year award winner took the league by storm — leading the country in scoring as a freshman with 23.2 points per game. He finished second in his sophomore season with 24.4 points per game and led the nation in assists total with 141.

He took his game to a different stratosphere in his junior season — increasing his league-leading output to the third highest scoring average in Canadian university hoops since 1981-1982 with 31 points per game.

Calgary Dinos’ all-time great’s Richard Bohn and Karl Tilleman both led the nation with higher and ironically, identical scoring averages.

Both Bohn and Tilleman averaged 32.8 points per game. Bohn doing it during the 1995-1996 season and Tilleman, a two-time Canadian Olympian and NBA draft pick dominating the league in 1981-82 — before Canada’s adoption of the three-point line.

Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Dribbling Declares For Nba Draft
U Sports MVP Kadre Gray dribbling against Ottawa Gee-Gees – Photo: Laurentian Voyageurs

Not a one-trick-pony, Gray averaged 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists, 1.6 steals in 34.1 minutes per game.

Gray erupted for a career-high 48 points in a 101-81 win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves — shooting 13-of-23 from the floor and burying 19-of-20 shots from the foul-line on November 3rd, 2018.

He delivered his third 40-plus point game of his career with another impressive performance — 16-of-29 shooting against the Ryerson Rams on February 9th, 2019 — his lowest scoring output of the season was 23 points on multiple occasions.

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Kadre Gray U Sports Basketball Highlights
Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Caree Conference Stats
Laurentian Voyageurs’ Kadre Gray Career Conference Stats
Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Caree Conference Stats Other Stats
Laurentian Voyageurs’ Kadre Gray Career Conference Stats
Kadre Gray FIBA Americas Qualifiers Against Brazil
Kadre Gray takes it to the rack during FIBA Americas Qualifiers Against Brazil – Photo: FIBA

Gray also represented Canada during the FIBA Basketball World Cup process playing in games against Venezuela and Brazil.

Prior to Laurentian, Gray honed his skills as a two-time athlete at Eastern Commerce Collegiate for three-years — leaving track and field (high jump, 100 meters) in the rear-view mirror and transferring to rival Oakwood Collegiate to conclude his high school career.

Ryerson’s seven-foot center Tanor Ngom also declared, making it the first time in the history of Canadian university basketball that two U Sports players have entered the draft.

Additionally, with a record number of Canadian players in the NCAA tossing their names in the draft process we should expect 2019 to be the biggest year for Canadian’s at the NBA Draft.

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