Attention #Heat and #Pacers – 2 is better than 1, no #Bull

paul george dunks on lebronLast night we witnessed two elite NBA teams treat a meaningless regular season game like it was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Although no team was eliminated from title contention last night the intensity and rough play indicate that health not talent may go along way in determining who the next Eastern Conference Champion.

After being eliminated from the playoffs last year the Pacers were on a mission to beat the heat by securing home court. And with only a handful of games remaining they are very close to attaining their goal. Although being the top seed certainly has its advantage, there road to the title will a tad more difficult than two defending NBA Champions.

The Pacers clearly began this season with the end in mind, believing that the outcome ofbullsvspacers Game 7 would be different on their home court. However, it appears they may have forgotten that there is a Eastern Conference Semifinals and the team that may be waiting is the Joakim Noah and the Rose-less Chicago Bulls. Both the Heat and Pacers have struggled against the Bulls and their battles dwade kneeshas left its fare share of bumps and bruises. Although a win seems certain, whoever survives the seven game  battle royal with the Bulls will enter the Eastern Conference Finals wounded, scarred, and vulnerable due to exhaustion and fatigue.

Since both the Pacers and Heat are far too prideful to tank, ask yourself which road to the conference final would you prefer? Facing the rough andpacersvsheat tumble Bulls? Or making quick work of young and inexperienced Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors? Although the Pacers may have won the battle, did they compromise their title hopes along the way? It takes 16 wins to be crowned an NBA Champion, and this year the two seed may provide the better route. Did the Heat win in a losing effort? Only time will tell. Stay tuned…I know I will.


Kentucky Wildcats, kids no more?

uk pursuit of perfectionThe expectations for the Kentucky Wildcats at the start of the season was down right absurd. After the John Calipari welcomed another top recruiting class the bitter taste of disappointment from 2013 was replaced with talks of the young guns going 40-0.

Aspirations of an undefeated season ended on opening night with a loss to Michigan State and the slide from the number one ranking to be unranked happened rather quickly. As the loses began to mount everyone began to wonder if another first round exit in the NIT Tournament was on the horizon for a second consecutive year.

With their backs against the wall and with an invite to the Big Dance no longer coach cal and julius randleconsidered a lock Coach Cal finally got the 12 McDonald’s All-Americans to ignore their sliding NBA draft stock and stop playing me ball.

The Wildcats played a remarkably in spurts throughout the season, and the nation witnessed their true potential when they handed the Wichita State Shockers their first loss of the season.

We have witnessed the Wildcats grow before our very eyes, the team with an Harrison Twinsembarrassment of riches may have finally realized their potential. Although freshmen James Young and Julius Randle are the only first round locks in the 2014 NBA Draft, the growth and maturation of the Andrew and Aaron Harrison are why the Cardiac Cats are in the Sweet Sixteen.

UK Wildcats kids no moreThe Wildcats will win or lose based on the play of their guards. When the Harrison twins struggle the Cats struggle; when the Harrison twins thrive, the Cats are darn near unbeatable. The Wildcats may not be the favorite to win and advance but if the Harrison twins repeat their success against the Louisville Cardinals (combined 28 points 3 assists) and the once undefeated Wichita State Shockers ( combined 29 points 4 assists) then the rest of the nation will realize that these Kentucky Wildcats, are kids no more. – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)

Miami Heat 3-Peat? or Will the Heat be Beat?

dwade kneesThe road to a championship is a long and arduous journey filled with many pitfalls and obstacles along the way. Winning a championship is no easy task, winning two is even harder, and three titles in a row is damn near absurd to even fathom. However, when your franchise is led by three NBA All-Stars first winning three NBA championship is not as implausible as it may be for others.

After losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, led by Lebron James the Miami Heat have been on a mission to win titles, not one, not two, not three… The path to two championships was far from an easy one and certainly came with a few bumps and scrapes along the way. Two titles, 264 games, Lebron back spasms, and 35 missed games by Dwayne Wade later the Heat are far from a lock to win their third consecutive NBA Title and their bitter rivals the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls smell blood.

The Heat have lost seven of their last eleven and although they are not at risk ofAnthony Davis blocks Chris Bosh finishing worst that second in the Eastern Conference, the poor play has been unacceptable. James and Chris Bosh have vocalized their frustrations publicly and have addressed the team privately, but will that fix the problem? Since a playoff berth has already been secured, should there be reason to worry?

My belief is the Heat must figure out their line up, the Heat’s recent slide should make everyone realize how indispensable Mike Miller was to their team. Although Ray Allen is the NBA leader in 3 pointers made his age has begun to show and he has become a huge liability on the defensive side of the ball. The Greg Oden reclamation project has been a huge fail, and the Heat will again have a gaping hole in the paint.

lebron and dwadeDespite these glaring deficiencies the Heat title hopes will ultimately rest in the hands of the forgotten All-Star Chris Bosh, whose magnificent play has been largely overlooked and ignored and the chemistry of the Heat’s best and brightest. King James may go down as the greatest player of all time, but titles are not won alone. Although Wade has missed a plethora of regular season games, doubting him again would be a huge mistake.

Until James and Wade figure out their timing the Heat will remain vulnerable and the excuses and poor play will continue. Although the Heat certainly have problems now, only time will tell if they find the solutions in time for the playoffs and their quest for three. Stay tuned…I know I will – A. Denmark



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