In the wake of the surprise firing of David Blatt and the promotion of Ty Lue to Head Coach by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jim Bearor and Evan Sally give their rapid reactions to the news; how we got to this point and how LeBron and Cavs will go forward.
Tyronn Lue (right) will get the chance to pilot LeBron’s Cavs to a championship, while David Blatt gets left behind. (Getty Images)
– Evan Sally
The timing of David Blatt getting fired in January, the year after a NBA Finals appearance and compiling a 30-11 record this season, is very surprising.
The decision to fire David Blatt is not. Continue reading
This past week of sports has reminded us why we devote so much time and money into it. We saw history made before our very eyes. After this busy week in sports, here’s my quick takes on the top news of the week.
American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 after winning the Belmont Stakes on June 6th. Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
American Pharoah won the Triple Crown and was the first horse to do so since Affirmed in 1978. I’m not into horse racing and I find it farfetched to think that your average sports fan really cares about horse racing. Gamblers care about horse racing, and if you like gambling this was kind of a wash out for you for the big three races this year. American Pharoah came into the Kentucky derby at 13-5, which isn’t very risky odds and from there on out he remained the heavy favorite, so for the gamblers looking to make a quick buck it was kind of a throw away year. Congratulations to the group behind American Pharoah; they put together a very historic run together, but don’t expect me to care about it.
Posted in Miscellaneous, zackelsharif
Tagged alexrodriguez, arod, baseball, belmontstakes, benbishop, bigpapi, blackhawks, bostonredsox, cavs, chicago, chicagoblackhawks, chipkelly, cleveland, clevelandcavaliers, davidortiz, eagles, evanmathis, goldenstate, goldenstatewarriors, hardfoulsports, hfs, horseracing, horses, lightning, mathis, mlb, nba, nbafinals, NHL, philadelphia, philadelphiaeagles, tampabay, triplecrown, Warriors
– By Evan Sally and Jim Bearor
Photo: Associated Press/Tony Dejak
The first three games of Warriors vs. Cavs have ranged from unexpected to downright bizarre. We saw back-to-back overtime games for the first time in Finals history. We saw Golden State, the best team in the league statistically, never lead at the end of any quarter except for the end of overtime of Game 1. We saw Matthew Dellavedova become a household name because of his inexplicable ability to frustrate the MVP Steph Curry, and more bizarrely, score a career high 20 points in Game 3. We saw Golden State miss a ton of open shots. We saw the league’s best shooter shoot a career worst 2 for 15 from 3 in Game 2. We saw LeBron James torch the league’s best defense for 41 points per game. And as great as LeBron James is, no one saw that coming.
Then the Warriors woke up.
Game 4 represented a return to normalcy. Finally, we saw the series we expected to see. Role players like Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala finally hit some open shots. Especially in the case of Barnes and Green, who had looked rattled previously, this is a huge development. LeBron finally had an off game, and the rest of the Cavs weren’t able to keep up the scoring slack. Add it all up, and it’s the recipe for a Golden State blowout victory. With the series tied at 2-2 headed back to the Bay Area to start a best of 3 for the championship, Jim Bearor and I try to figure out how we got to this point and examine where the series is going from here. Continue reading
Posted in evansally, jimbearor, NBA
Tagged basketball, cavs, cleveland, clevelandcavaliers, clevelandcavs, evansally, goldenstate, goldenstatewarriors, hardfoulsports, hfs, jimbearor, lebron, lebronjames, nba, nbafinals, nbaplayoffs, playoffs, stephcurry, stephencurry, thefinals, Warriors
LeBron James and Steph Curry fight for a loose ball. Photo Credit: Ibtimes.com
– Jim Bearor
The Cavaliers have taken control of the NBA Finals, and it goes deeper than the 2-1 lead they have over the Warriors.
Matthew Dellavedova has won over fans everywhere by filling Kyrie Irving’s shoes and putting the clamps on Curry, the regular season MVP. The Cavaliers that remain aren’t “The Big Three” or “The Splash Bros”, they’re six pretty average or mediocre guys led by LeBron James, who is on pace to break every NBA Finals record there is. James is two wins away from Akron, Ohio building a statue of him, and he knows it.
As he confirmed in his interview with Dwyane Wade following Game 3, his concentration and determination to win are at an all-time high. This mindset has spread through the locker room, and it’s evident in the play of guys like Mozgov, Thompson, and Dellavedova. The team embodies the blue collar culture of Cleveland, and with LeBron’s “homecoming” narrative coming to a head, this is the perfect storm to make America fall in love with them.
Posted in jimbearor, NBA
Tagged cavs, cleveland, clevelandcavaliers, game4, goldenstatewarriors, hardfoulsports, hfs, kingjames, lebronjames, mvp, nba, nbafinals, stephcurry, Warriors
– Evan Sally
Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals are over, and there’s a lot to digest. What just happened? Both games have been overtime thrillers. If you’re a neutral viewer, you have to be enjoying the hell out of the Finals so far. If you’re a fan of either team, which I am, Games 1 and 2 have been about as nerve wracking and heart pounding as it gets.
In Game 1 as a Cavs fan, it was a pleasant surprise to see Cleveland be able to keep up with Golden State. You never want to your team to lose, but I was pleased to see Cleveland be able to compete with Golden State, not only because I obviously would love to see LeBron win another title, but purely as a basketball
Lebron James driving to the hoop against Harrison Barnes (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
fan, I want to see a good, long series. Win or lose, I was happy with their performance. That is until we saw Kyrie Irving go hobbling off the court in overtime. The news of him being out for 3 to 4 months with a broken kneecap, compounded with a disaster of an overtime, turned an encouraging game into a gut punch. How does Cleveland recover from something like that? With Love and Irving gone, I was dreading the rest of the series. Counting the LeBron factor or not, beating a team like the Warriors with the skeleton crew Cleveland would be forced to put on the court would be a near impossibility. The Warriors were in the driver’s seat, with nothing but smooth road to the championship.
Posted in evansally, NBA
Tagged basketball, cavs, clevelandcavaliers, curry, evansally, goldenstatewarriors, hardfoulsports, hfs, lebron, nba, nbafinals, stephcurry, Warriors
By Evan Sally and Jim Bearor
This NBA Finals match up is a weird one. This series is highly anticipated. More people that aren’t big NBA fans are into this series than any Finals series in recent memory. Conventional wisdom says the series that would excite fans the most is the one that features the competitive match up. People hate blowouts. And yet, when you look at the details of this series, the Warriors seem to have a pretty big advantage over the Cavaliers.
The Warriors are the 14th team to reach the Finals with 65 wins or more. The previous 13 teams have all won the title. The Cavaliers are the sixth team since 1978 to reach the NBA Finals with a below-average defense. Four out of the other five all lost in the finals. And that fifth team was the 2001 Lakers that featured Kobe, Shaq and the league’s best offense. Even putting the stats aside for a moment, the Warriors have clearly had the tougher test getting to this point. In beating Houston and Memphis, the Warriors have already beat two teams with better records than Cleveland. In comparison, the Cavaliers have had a relatively easy road to the Finals beating a sub .500 Celtics team, an inconsistent and disappointing Bulls team, and a Hawks team that was battered by injuries. On top of all that, their third best player, Kevin Love, is out for the Finals, and their second best player, Kyrie Irving, is dealing with several injuries. The stage seems to be set for the Warriors to roll to a championship.
So what are we talking about then? If this should be a blowout as all the stats and the eye tests show, then why the hype? Why the excitement? Well, in the NBA, star power reigns over everything else, and the chance to watch the world’s greatest player face off against the league’s MVP with everything on the line is about as tantalizing as it gets. As it’s safe to say the fate of the Cavs and the Warriors rest on the backs of LeBron James and Steph Curry respectively, the most important question for each team is: how the hell do we stop these guys? One of Hardfoulsports.com’s great writers Jim Bearor joins me to discuss this question and many more about the NBA Finals. Continue reading
Posted in evansally, jimbearor, NBA
Tagged basketball, cavs, cleveland, clevelandcavaliers, clevelandcavs, CLEvsGSW, curry, evansally, finals, goldenstate, goldenstatewarriors, hardfoulsports, hfs, jimbearor, lebron, lebronjames, nba, nbafinals, nbaplayoffs, playoffs, stephcurry
– The Hard Foul Sports Team
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
This has the potential to steal the show of the two final series in the NHL and NBA. That’s right, the NHL actually may be able to steal the show. Now, granted there won’t be any dueling television nights, but the bottom line is this series will have sports fans buzzing. The Hawks have the star power. We all know what Toews and Kane brings on the front end and what Keith and Seabrook will provide the back end. Look for Patrick Sharp to try and continue to raise his trade stock (the Hawks are in serious cap trouble come this offseason) and Marian Hossa to show he still has gas left in the tank. Tampa is extremely skilled, but if Steven Stamkos doesn’t show up for a game or two, you are now relying on too much youth and inexperience to lead this team.
Who wins: Chicago in 6 Continue reading
Posted in angelanicholas, cruzserrano, evansally, jimbearor, miketolsma, NBA, NHL, stevestich, zachsnyder, zackelsharif
Tagged angelanicholas, basketball, blackhawks, cavs, chicago, chicagoblackhawks, clevelandcavaliers, clevelandcavs, cruzserrano, evansally, goldenstate, goldenstatewarriors, hardfoulsports, hfs, hockey, jimbearor, kane, lebron, lebronjames, miketolsma, nba, nbaplayoffs, NHL, nhlplayoffs, playoffs, stamkos, stephcurry, stevestich, tampa, tampabay, tampabaylightning, toews, zachsnyder, zackelsharif
– Evan Sally
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
As we transition from late May into June, the familiar signs that summer is coming are all around us. Flowers are blooming. The days get longer and hotter. Sweatpants and jeans get traded out for shorts and dresses. Convertibles are driving around with their tops down. And LeBron James is playing in the NBA Finals.
Posted in evansally, NBA
Tagged basketball, cavs, clevelandcavaliers, clevelandcavs, evansally, hardfoulsports, hfs, lebron, lebronjames, nba, nbaplayoffs, playoffs
Hard Foul Sports co-founder Evan Sally previews the highly anticipated match up between the number 1 seed Atlanta Hawks and the 2 seed Cleveland Cavaliers with the 5 questions he’s thinking about as we await the start of the series on Wednesday.
Posted in evansally, NBA
Tagged atlanta, atlantahawks, basketball, cavs, cleveland, clevelandcavaliers, clevelandcavs, easternconference, evansally, hardfoulsports, hfs, korver, kylekorver, lebron, lebronjames, nba, nbaplayoffs, playoffs, sports