Yes you heard it here the Astros are actually good this year they are in first place in the AL west with a 14-7 record. They are also 4 games ahead of the Angels who are 10-11. And they are the only team in their division that are above the 500 mark. This is very shocking since the last time the Astros were in first place in their division was in 2006 when they went to the playoffs and lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS. So they have had 9 seasons of finishing in last or second to last. Even though its early in the season you still have to give the Astros credit for doing this good, this is the best baseball they have played since 2006. How long will this last I don't know I'm not a fortune teller all I can say is that they are doing amazing. All I can say is that if they keep playing this well they could make the playoffs and if that happens that will be the first time since they went in 2006. I hope the best for the Astros I hope they continue on this pace it would be cool to see the Astros in the playoffs. A different face in their other then all the same teams that have been in their. But who knows how long this will last this is baseball any thing can happened. One day your destroying the competition and the next you can't win a game to save your life. We will have to wait and see how long this last.
By Nicklaus Guajardo
Since the end of the Mavericks postseason run against the Houston Rockets, there are a couple of things that the Mavericks needed coming into the postseason that would have gotten them past the first round. The first thing that the Mavericks need to get rid of is Rondo. Rondo seemed to be a bigger story than the Mavericks postseason run which definitely affected their play throughout the series. The drama was put to rest after game two when the organization put out an injury report about Rondo to try to lighten all the drama surrounding him and stay focused on the playoffs. They took a gamble with Rondo halfway through the season, in which they lost. The next thing that the Mavs need to get in this offseason is a good forward to come off of the bench. When the Mavericks took out Tyson Chandler, they had to go small which didn't help them on the defensive end trying to guard other giant forwards on the opponents team. An alternative to this is to pick up either DeAndre Jordan, who said that he would be extremely interested coming to Dallas, or LaMarcus Aldridge. In this way, the Mavs would be able to limit Dirk's minutes a lot easier and have two fantastic big guys in the starting front court. I would prefer to try to pick up a good bench player that can relieve Tyson of his defensive duties.
The Mavericks struggled with Chandler Parsons out with an injury that limited him to play one game in the postseason. The Mavs didn't have a guy that could spread the floor like Parsons could, which made it difficult for guys like Ellis to get into the lane. On the defensive end, Dirk could not hold his ground against Josh Smith. Josh just seemed too athletic and quick for him which created a mismatch for the Mavs. This is where a good forward would come into play and make the help defense a lot less tired. With these offseason additions, the Mavs will have at least a second round run into the playoffs next season.
After a 7-11 start to the season, the Texas Rangers are seeking alternative options to produce production in their lineup. On Friday April 24th, the Los Angeles Angels reportedly found a team to trade Hamilton to. That team happened to be the team he had his best years, the Texas Rangers. Yes, folks, Josh Hamilton is headed back to Texas & the deal could be finalized as soon as today.
The Angels' organization is looking to pay the majority of his remaining contract, which is $83M through '17, with an opt out in '16. Texas dealt with Hamilton from '08-12 & this is where Hamilton made his trademark. From an MVP season in 2010, to a 4-homer game against Baltimore in 2012, to finally "giving up" on Texas towards the end of the 2012 season. The disrespect from fans & the Rangers' organization led Hamilton to believe he wasn't wanted & he signed a 5-year deal with the Angels.
The question on everybody's mind is simply why? Why bring back a guy who quit on a team in a playoff run? Why bring back a guy who has a history of drug abuse throughout his career? Why bring a guy back that you know, as a GM (Jon Daniels), the fans dislike strongly due to his words towards the town's lack of support. Back from 2013: "There are true baseball fans in Texas, but it's not a true baseball town, they're supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time pretty quickly."
Now to answer those questions. The man did kind of quit on the team in 2012, but who didn't? In the month of September they lost 16 games, that is what got them knocked from 1st place to Wild Card spot. The Athletics were praying they could get in & fought for every single game & they swept us the final series of the season. So yea, the Rangers' dug their own grave at the end & it didn't help with the lack of offense & pitching.
Next, Hamilton had a couple relapses throughout his baseball career, his most recent in February. Texas was the most supportive throughout the ordeal, from the fan support to giving him a person who makes sure he doesn't abuse drugs or alcohol. So, the Rangers know exactly how to handle the outfielder.
Lastly, I am not a fan of Jon Daniels & what he does as a General Manager for Texas, but this move is THE move for him. This move decides whether he gets fired or becomes a genius. We only have to pay less than $7M for Hamilton, so he's not wasting money. Although, he's giving the fans a reason to come to the stadium, to cheer or jeer him. If he were to get fired, it wouldn't be immediate. It would likely be after he opts out of his contract in 2016.
This looks good for Texas as they add a left-handed bat to their lineup. Hamilton will probably bat behind Fielder/Beltre in the 5 hole and take over Jake Smolinski's spot in LF. Another option is to split time with Moreland at DH just in case Hamilton isn't there defensively anymore. Expect a bigger crowd at the stadium & a more interesting season for Texas.
By James Trietley
Everyone knows that the West is easily the best conference in the NBA. From top to bottom, not even a competition. But the more interesting race to the championship is probably the East. The East has 3 teams that are supposed to be competing: the Hawks, Cavs, and Bulls. When the season began, there were only two, but as the season went on, the Hawks sprouted as a power and the number 1 seed.
Who is going to prevail? The Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose is playing like Derrick Rose right now. He played like an MVP last night. Just to go along with one of the best PG's in the league, the Bulls have Jimmy Butler, the rising star SG, and 4 great "Big-Men" in Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson. Tom Thibodeau has made this team into a defensive power in the league, and you know what they say: Defense wins championships.
-Blake McBride, MHS
Only two Other players in the NBA Has won NBA Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in Back to Back Season, Those two players were Michael Jordan in 1987-1988 and Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon in 1993-1994. In 2014-2015 Spurs Small Forward Kwahi Leonard won Finals MVP in rout of the Heat in Last Years Finals. And then went on to Win DPOY beating out Draymond Green From the Golden State Warriors and Deandre Jordan From the Clippers. Leonard averaged 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals. He is the first perimeter player Since Ron Artest in 2004 to win the award. He did not even get the most first place votes Draymond Green did but Leonard got the most total amount of votes. The last player to win this prestigious award is David “The Admiral” Robinson in 1991-1992 Season. Kwahi is always humble and giving credit where it’s due. He was even giving credit when he first came out of San Diego State in 2011, Giving credit to his mother for her genes and his dad for his hands and even coaches for what they did at San Diego State. The man's Nickname is The Claw and he is 6’7 230 lbs. the man was destined for the award and now its good to see he got what he deserved Leonard hopes to help add a six Championships and his second Ring with the Spurs at the end of the 2015-2016 Season to his Collection of Accolades and Accomplishments.
-Kaleel Henderson SHS
Kris Bryant, the future star of the cubs, is already being put in an elite class with big named superstars. Why? Please explain this to me. The kid has only played 7 games and they are already saying he is in a class with elite players. Don't get me wrong, the kid is a stud and can flat out play but to say he is in an elite ball player is totally wrong. He hasn't established himself that status yet. He still has to prove himself. If the kid hits 40 home runs and drives in over 100 RBIs for 2 or three years in a row then yes he is considered elite, but right now he is nowhere close to that status. They are putting him on too high of a pedestal. Like I said earlier if he had been in the majors for more than 2 years then they can start saying this stuff but right now is way too early. I'm not calling the kid overrated, he is the real deal, he can play, but giving him this status is just not right since he hasn't done much. I mean they are putting him with names like Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Clayton Kershaw, ect. Lets be realistic now, he should be a front runner for ROY. But lets not get carried away by putting him in an elite class. He still has to mature and learn, the more he plays in the majors the more experienced he will be and the better he will be and then we can say he should be in that elite class and he is gonna struggle he might have a sophomore slump next year, witch I doubt that would happen, that will be the year he learns and becomes that elite athlete.
By Nicklaus Guajardo
After seven seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Scott Brooks was fired after just missing the playoffs when it came down to the last game. The Thunder would have had a chance at the Conference title this year if Durant was healthy. Most people debate whether Scott Brooks should have been fired after this season being with all the injuries they had, but they did have a MVP nominee in Russell Westbrook who I questioned his style of play even though he had 10 double doubles. The people that were behind the firing were obviously Sam Presti and star player Kevin Durant who has his contract ending next season. The main point of hiring a new coach for the Thunder was to try to entice him to stay with them.
The person that seems most suitable for the job in my eyes is Mark Jackson. The reason for this is because they need a winning season immediately. If they don't make it to the conference finals next year, I think that Durant will leave after the season. With Mark Jackson, he has an awesome NBA resume and he is a reliable coach that can get you the wins that they need. The thought of bringing in a college coach is a risky decision because even though they are considered great coaches, the NBA is a whole different game. Rumors are circling that Billy Donovan is a candidate for the job. Don't get me wrong, Billy Donovan is a great college coach but I'm not sure that he can coach one of the great players that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are. Mark Jackson has one of the great basketball minds which was overlooked seeing what the Warriors did this year with first year coach Steve Kerr. I would like to see KD leave next season for the Wizards or maybe even the Mavericks.
Dallas Mavericks’ mid-season acquisition Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a back injury. This report is coming less than 24 hours after he played a playoff career low 10 minutes in the Game 2 loss against the Houston Rockets. Coincidence? NO. This Rondo experiment has been a nightmare and it is not even a question. The Mavericks are a MUCH better team when Rondo is riding the bench. This “back injury” is just a cover up. Rondo doesn’t want to play. Although he hasn’t explicitly said that, it is obvious if you watch the game. He calmly walked up the court and got a 8-second violation. Merely seconds later, he let Jason Terry (the man he was supposed to guard) shoot a wide open three because he was just standing around on defense. He then played only 34 seconds in the second half. What happened in those 34 seconds? He picked up a technical and 3 personal fouls trying to guard James Harden. For a “star” point guard, he certainly hasn’t played like it the past 3-4 months.
Since the trade the Mavericks’ offense has been average and their defense has also been average. That is unacceptable for a team that had championship aspirations and expectations. The Mavericks were on pace to have the best offense in league history. Rondo’s presence on the team has destroyed their offense and only barely improved their defense. According to CBS Sports, “Rondo is done in Dallas ‘as long as the coach is back”. Rondo or Carlisle. Rondo has given the Mavericks an ultimatum that is, quite frankly, VERY easy to choose. #LetRondoGo. As a Mavericks fan, at the beginning of the season I had high hopes. I pegged the Mavericks as dark horse title contenders. Now, I can’t wait for the season to end and look forward to next year and attempt to once again give Dirk the team he deserves in his twilight years.
-Brian Nguyen (LRHS)
Anthony Davis is the starting PF/C for the New Orleans Pelicans. He put the Pelicans on his back and dragged them into the playoffs, posted a PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 31.0, and is averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. And he just turned 22 years old in March. Let that sink in for a second. Davis he is only a year removed from being able to drink alcohol legally, and he is making history. Statistically, he is on par with David “The Admiral” Robinson and Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. Those are two of arguably the greatest big men of all time. That’s some pretty rare company. Throw in how efficient Davis is (60% true shooting), and he is even better than “The Admiral” and “The Dream” were at the age of 22.
Anthony Davis is a marvel. Every season since coming into the NBA, he has come back with a new facet to his game. When he was a rookie, his scouting report was that he could only catch and score in the paint and he played average defense. He never took a dribble. During his sophomore season, he dribbled into the paint, had a post game, and play great defense. Now in his third and current season, he is taking jumpers, improved his handles, got even better than he already was on defense, and his passing is average. At this pace, he can become the most complete big man the NBa has ever see. Keep in mind, he is only 22 years old and he is already one of the league’s most versatile and best players. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that at the end of his career, he will have the shooting touch of Dirk Nowitzki, the strength of David Robinson, the longevity of Tim Duncan, the post game of Hakeem Olajuwon, the energy of Kevin Garnett, and the defense of Bill Russell. Anthony will be the face of the NBA in 5 years. Maybe less. In the meantime, let’s all just bask in Davis’s glory and watch him develop into the best player on the planet.
-Brian Nguyen (LRHS)
Eagles sign Tim Tebow back into the NFL monday! He hasn't played in the league in two years due to "growing pains" . The last team he was with were the New England Patriots, and the last team he actually played a season game with was the New York Jets in December of 2012. This off season has held some of the biggest moves by the Philadelphia Eagles in years. Lesean McCoy went to the Buffalo Bills, Nick Foles went to The Rams! The Eagles then in turn picked up Demarco Murry for a 40 million base salary carrying out for 5 years. They also picked up Sam Bradford was signed for 6 Year 78 Million dollar deal.
Nobody really knows Chip Kelley is going at, at this point. Even the Professionals are having trouble following his grand plan. Personally I feel that Chip Kelly is going down as one of the best, or one of the worst coaches in the history of NFL. This coming season will not be a average season. It will either be very good or very bad. Both Sam Bradford and Demarco murry a injury prone. I feel that Murry and Bradford won't play more then 5 games together. Someone will get hurt. Tim Tebow is more of a Jeresey seller then a football player. He's like Manziel. A Bad queterback but he merchandise will sell. I don't feel that Chip plans on tebow being a starter for the eagles. Not anytime soon at least. Bradford has 6 more years, so by that time if he doesn't sign again and Tebow stays, he will be 33.