Archives for the month of: April, 2015

This week we missed so much I can’t cover it all in one article. We missed so much because I was out of town and we recorded our draft preview a week prior to it being released. I’m not going to try and cover everything that we missed but instead focus on the two aspects of the NBA Playoffs that I found the most interesting.

First congratulations to the Golden State Warriors.  They advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans. The series changed drastically in game three. It went from a competitive series, with the Warriors being able to scratch out some tough wins at home, to a series over before game four. The Warriors were able to come back from down 20 in the fourth quarter to win in game three and ultimately break the will of the Pelicans. The comeback was fueled by seven offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, and completed by one of the most ridiculous shots ever made in the history of the game by Stephen Curry. To add to the difficulty of the shot Curry was also trucked into the first row by the 6 foot 11 inch Anthony Davis. After that shot tied it up the Warriors ended the game by putting on a clinic in overtime. Now the Warriors get to sit back and watch the other teams play, and start to prepare for what looks like a matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies. The only worry now is the long layoff leading to potential rust, but I’m sure the Warriors coaching staff will figure out a way to keep the team challenged during this break.

On Sunday I sat down to watch the Cavaliers sweep the Celtics and an MMA card broke out, complete with an armbar and a spinning backfist. First, Kelly Olynyk, the awkward canadian, grabbed Kevin Love’s arm to try and aid his teammate in retrieving a rebound.  Love pulled away as Olynyk held on to his arm, which caused a dislocated shoulder. Love now looks to be out for the remainder of the playoffs which severely hampers the Cavs title chances. Then, whether in retaliation for the Love injury or for comments prior in the week calling into questions the Cavs physicality, Jae Crowder became the target of multiple hit jobs. Kendrick Perkins set a hard screen where he sent a forearm high on Crowder sending him to the floor. In the ensuing scuffle he went and pushed Crowder in the face over the shoulder of the referee. Now both these plays were very common occurrences in the NBA. People jostle for rebounds, set hard screens, and act tough as they get held back by teammates all the time. The penalties for these incidents should be minor and limited to fines in my opinion, as they were. Really however they simply were the undercard for the main event that was to follow.

J.R. Smith threw as spinning back fist to the jaw of Crowder causing a flash knockout in which Crowder awkwardly fell backward torquing his knee in a potentially damaging way. Ultimately Crowder was lucky and sustained only minor injuries. His leg crumpling awkwardly prevented him from falling straight back and slamming the back of his head on the parkade floor. That could have been an ugly scene resulting in a head injury for Crowder. Crowder also avoided damage to his knee which originally seemed to have an inevitable tear of something important. I’m happy that Crowder will be able to hit free agency unhampered and his career won’t be negatively affected by this punch, and J.R. Smith should be happy as well . Not because I think he feels any empathy for another person, his repeated cheapshots throughout the years on the basketball court proves he doesn’t, but because Crowder’s lack of an injury allowed for the NBA to only suspend him for 2 games, which is woefully inadequate for a player who has shown repeated violent behavior. His highlight reel of dirty plays includes elbowing Jason Terry in the face for playing tight defense on him, dangerously undercutting Goran Dragic on a fast break, and throwing an elbow to the back of Thabo Sefolosha’s head that just missed ending him before the NYPD could do the job. Adam Silver has so far done a very good job as commissioner of the NBA but Smith should not be allowed to play again in the playoffs. I now hope the Cavs lose those first two games to whomever they play in the next round and get eliminated from the playoffs. That way Smith may be pressured by his teammates he let down to alter his behavior, before he ends another player’s career. I hope it happens because then he may be held accountable by his teammates as it is clear that he won’t be held accountable by the league.

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The Bay Area Brothers discuss the upcoming draft and what we think both Bay Area teams should do with their picks. We also discuss the offseason moves by both teams.

This week there was a lot of things that happened right after we recorded. The first has to do with one of the most interesting personalities in the NFL. The famous, or infamous depending on how you look at it, Tim Tebow signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. An interesting signing that gives the Eagles another quarterback to add to their already long list of clearly below average quarterbacks. Sam Bradford the oft injured Oklahoma product has never lived up to his monstrosity of a contract. Mark Sanchez is best known for running headlong into his lineman’s derriere leading to a fumble. Matt Barkley seems to be headed the way of another recent Matt who played QB at USC. And now they add Tim Tebow. The signing is interesting because I think Chip Kelly’s offense has the chance to get him back into the league. He will have one or two reads to make, maybe pump fake every once and a while, and if his man isn’t open he can run. He will also have a full stable of three running backs to help carry the load if he were to win a relatively wide open quarterback competition. The biggest question is can his mechanics get better, will all the camps and offseason work with QB gurus pay off. I hope they do, because even though his religious antics are annoying at times, Tim Tebow is a very exciting football player.

The next thing that I want to talk about is a local football story. In an interview that will air on Tuesday’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”, Alex Boone said some interesting things about former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. He said, “I think he just pushed guys too far”. This is a really interesting notion because it is very well known that all football players are pushed really hard by coaches, and to say that Harbaugh pushes players past that to where it is too much is a little scary. The most interesting thing that I thought came out of the interview was when Boone said, “[Y]ou’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy’”. Now I do not condone joking about a mental illness but his words speak to why Jim Harbaugh is no longer a coach with the 49ers. This is a complete 180 degree turn from the end of the season where Boone and most of the players wanted Harbaugh to return.This story has more twists and turns than is possible to do justice here, but it is clear that this was a weird situation for all involved.

Lastly it was announced the Todd McClellan and the Sharks have “mutually agreed to part ways”. Sometimes a team gets to a point where a coaches message stops being able to reach a team. The front office of the Sharks believed they were in this situation. Todd McClellan is a fantastic coach, and if he wants, he will be a coach next year. The Sharks now need to make a big splash with a hot coach so they can try and reverse the persistent narrative of them as perennial underachievers.

Devin

This week the Bay Area Brothers look at a hodgepodge of sports happenings around the bay and discuss All NBA teams as well as the 2 Weeks that have been the 2015 baseball season.

This week we missed a couple of things that we failed to mention in our podcast. First, the Giants rotation. During the first week of the season there injury issues that have plagued the Giants. The biggest one, in my opinion, is the loss of Matt Cain, but there has been a saving grace. Chris “Don’t call me Charlton” Heston. Heston pitched in the third game of the season, and he was sensational as a rookie in his first career start. He pitched six innings, gave up three hits and two unearned runs, while getting the win. He pitched like a seasoned vet, and for a player who was making his first career start in the major leagues he was spectacular. At 27 years old I think that he is going to make sending him back down to the minors a very difficult thing. I know that I am routing for Heston to stay around with the big league club.

This weekend concluded The Masters. I know that we touched on the golf tournament a little bit during the podcast but I want to bring up a couple more points. Jordan Spieth seems like the real deal, and I think that he will continue to build on this impressive performance. Watching him and some of the other young golfers, like Rory McIlroy, in the years to come will make golf more interesting. Hopefully they will start to draw the numbers that Tiger would back in his prime. Speaking of Tiger Woods, he actually fared better than I expected during this tournament. After his first round of golf he settled down and started to hit really good shots. His long game was not the best it has ever been but his short game finally looked close to vintage. Ever since his life and his knee fell apart he has not had a good short game, but this Masters tournament was different. Hopefully he can continue his improvement and was can see some old versus the new for the next few years. Watching Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods go at it on the fourth day of a major championship would be a treat for any golf fan.

Lastly some weird news out of the NBA. Indiana Pacer’s forward Chris Copeland was hospitalized this past week because he was stabbed outside a New York nightclub at 4:00 AM, after a verbal altercation with his fiancee. Now that alone is enough is enough to raise some eyebrows but there is more to this story. With Chris Copeland were Atlanta Hawks, Thabo Sefolosha, and Pero Antic. So you have a Pacer, and two Hawks in a nightclub at 4:00 AM, to me that sounds like the beginning to a very bad joke. This story is so weird for many reasons, first off none of these players actually play in New York where the incident happened. The Hawks had played in Atlanta that night and had gotten to New York at about 2:00 AM. So naturally the first thing Thabo and Pero decide to do at the early hours of the morning is to go clubbing. To top it all off Thabo Sefolosha broke his ankle trying to keep people away from the injured Chris Copeland, so he is out for the season. This whole story just proves that nothing good happens after 2 AM.

This week the Bay Area Brothers preview the Warriors upcoming playoff run.

Listen here:

This week on the Podcast we missed a few things that happened shortly after we recorded.

First, congratulations to Duke. They beat Wisconsin to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  At the end of the year the best team ended up winning. I know there were some questionable calls that went in Duke’s favor at the end, but I think they were playing the best basketball in the country at the end of the season. Duke this year showed it had the perfect combination of experienced leadership as well as young talent to capture the title. Duke looks to have 2 of the top 5 picks in the upcoming draft and I could see as many as 4 starters getting drafted.  Coach Krzyzewski has now won 5 NCAA championships and guided his teams to 12 final fours.  He is starting to make a case that he is in the conversation, along with Coach John Wooden, for the best college basketball coach of all time.

Second, after recording the podcast on Sunday the Padres closed out the offseason making a last second blockbuster trade. They strengthened their bullpen by getting Craig Kimbrel from the Braves and set up a back-end that could rival the Giants and Royals. They also reunited the Upton brothers, having been forced to take on the horrendous contract of Melvin “the player formerly known as BJ” Upton. The Padres are all-in this year but still have serious defensive questions and may set a record for strikeouts in a season. The Braves probably came out ahead in this trade considering how finicky pitchers arms are and the fact that they are clearly in rebuild mode. The Padres, however, are serious contenders but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a move for Kate at the deadline.

Finally, it came out Sunday that Hall-of-Fame announcer Lon Simmons had passed away. The long time voice of the Giants, A’s and 49ers was a fixture on the radio for years. The Ford C. Frick award winner joins other bay area greats Russ Hodges and Bill King in the great announcing booth in the sky. Baseball is a sport that I like to think of as an old friend.  Its there for you every year, day in and day out throughout the summer when you turn on the radio.  For years Lon Simmons was the voice of that long-time friend. It saddens me to say one last time “tell it goodbye.”

Today’s Podcast on the upcoming baseball season and our thoughts on both the Giants and A’s