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Frankly Frankel: May 17, 2014

17 May

The Nets outplay the Heat, and still lose, Paul Pierce chokes, Deron Williams reportedly wants out of Brooklyn, Donald Sterling should never speak again, Michael Sam makes a wise decision, and the Yankees have a phenom brewing in the bullpen. This is the 3rd edition of Frankly Frankel coming to you on May 17, 2014.

  • The Brooklyn Nets season came to a close on Wednesday night, with one of the worst losses I’ve ever seen. The Nets had the game won, up 91-83 with under 3 minutes to play, only to suffer an epic collapse. After Joe Johnson scored at the 4:48 mark of the 4th, the Nets were held scoreless over the next 4:37, missing 9 straight shots. The Heat meanwhile, went on a 12-0 run to take the lead. The worst part about the loss may have been that Brooklyn could not even get a shot up during its last possession. (Are you kidding me!!!)
  • Miami was the better, more talented team, there’s no debating that. But the Nets had the Heat exactly where they wanted them. In game 2, the Nets were down 79-77 with under 6 minutes to play, only to be outscored 15-5 the rest of the way. Brooklyn won game 3, and should have won games 4 and 5. Game 4 was a game the Nets had to have. With 2:30 to play, the game was tied at 94. Instead of closing the deal, Brooklyn did not score again until there were 7 seconds left and by then, it was too late.
  • Now comes the time where I rip the team. Paul Pierce said after game one of the Nets first round series, “(Being clutch) is in my DNA. There’s nothing I can do to let it go.” Well I guess his DNA mutated because his performance against the Heat was far from clutch, especially down the stretch of games 2, 4, and 5. He was non-existent at the end of games 2 and 4, and in game 5, he missed 3 huge shots that could have extended the series.
  • Pierce is a hall-of-fame player, but for him to say that “being clutch is in his DNA” is comical. Yes, he won one championship, but he would have never gotten close if Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen didn’t come aboard in 2008 (Get at me Boston fans). Also, remember game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against Miami with Boston up 3-2 and a chance to go to the NBA Finals? How did Pierce do that night? He scored 9 points on 4/18 shooting at home in TD Garden. Miami won the game by 19. What a clutch performance from “The Truth”!! Game 7 was a little better, but not much. Pierce shot 7/18 (38%) from the field, scoring 19 points in Boston’s 101-88 loss. The Heat went on to win the title.
  • Onto Deron Williams who’s supposed to be the franchise player. Reports surfaced yesterday that D-Will wants out of Brooklyn. In the words of Adam Schein, “I’ll drive him to the airport”. For Deron to reportedly say he wants out may be the most arrogant thing I’ve ever heard. It’s like everyone is the problem but him. Maybe if he actually played like something close to a max-contract player, the Nets would be getting ready to play in the Eastern Conference Finals. During his entire time in the league, all he’s done is complain and he hasn’t won anything. Deron seriously needs to look in the mirror, and see that he’s the reason why his teams always come up short. Saying that, I hope he gets traded and never plays for the Nets again.
  • We all know LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. His 49-point game 4 performance against Brooklyn was one of the most dominating performances I’ve ever seen. LeBron did whatever he wanted, and no one was going to stop him. I just wish the refs wouldn’t call a foul every time LeBron drives to the basket and doesn’t score, because if LeBron James drives to the basket and doesn’t score, it has to be a foul.
  • Off-season Nets predictions: Deron Williams gets traded (hopefully to Houston), Andray Blatche signs on with another team, Shaun Livingston re-signs, and Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett give it another shot. People forget that Brook Lopez is the best player on the Nets, and with him back, along with Pierce, Garnett, and Joe Johnson, next year’s Nets team could make another deep playoff run.
  • NBA Conference Final Predictions: Even without Serge Ibaka, I see Kevin Durant‘s magical run continuing. I like the Thunder to beat the Spurs in 6 games. In the East, I think the Pacers and Heat go 7 games now that Roy Hibbert finally has his head screwed on properly, and I would not be shocked to see Indy pull this one out. Miami has no answer for Hibbert on the boards.
  • If you haven’t seen Donald Sterling’s interview with Anderson Cooper, do so now. Sterling says some of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard come out of someone’s mouth during a on-camera interview. The way he talked about Magic Johnson having AIDS was asinine. Everyone knows Magic is HIV-positive, but he does not by any means have AIDS. The way he talked about how Magic went to every city in America, and slept with every woman, and then got AIDS was pure gold. and how he criticized Magic for doing no charitable work was money as well. I can’t wait to see what SNL has in store for him.
  • This week, Sterling said that he would not pay the $2.5 million dollar fine handed down to him by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and all indications point to him taking his case to court. I have to say, I am truly excited to see this war between Sterling, and the entire NBA play out in our justice system.
  • Magic Johnson followed Sterling’s interview with Anderson Cooper with his own. For someone who wants to get into the sports media business, the way Cooper handled himself in his interview with Magic was disturbing. The whole time, Cooper was blatantly kissing up to Magic, making him sound like a god-like figure, and the greatest thing to walk this Earth. I like Magic, but Anderson Cooper has to have a lot more balance.
  • Steve Kerr spurned Phil Jackson and the Knicks this week by signing on to be the new coach of the Golden State Warriors. Honestly, you can’t blame Kerr here at all. First of all, Golden State offered him 5-years, the Knicks were reportedly reluctant to offer 4. Kerr is from California, the Warriors talent is vastly superior to that of the Knicks, and most importantly for Kerr, he will not have to deal with James Dolan.
  • I find it very fascinating that the hottest names to be coaches in pro-sports always seem to be the announcers. In football, every time a coach gets fired, Jon Gruden is the first name everyone talks about. In basketball, the name that always comes up is Jeff Van Gundy. Steve Kerr gained national recognition for his work with TNT, as did Mark Jackson with ABC/ESPN. Jackson by the way just signed a contract to re-join ESPN. He will be announcing the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals along with Van Gundy and Mike Breen. ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose was hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning for his work with ESPN.
  • I was ready to rip-apart Michael Sam in this very space all week for him planning his own reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). In a very wise move, OWN and Sam decided to put off the plans for the show at least for now. Reports originally came out that Sam waited until after he was drafted to announce his plans for the show because he was afraid no one would take him. It’s a good thing Sam came to the realization that this is supposed to be about football, and not about his sexual orientation.
  • The New York Yankees continue to be hammered by injuries: Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Shawn Kelly, Ichiro, Carlos Beltran, the list seemingly goes on and on. I was always against the Yankees signing Beltran, and I’m surprised it took this long for him to land on the disabled list. He is so slow, plays a well below average right field, and he hasn’t exactly been killing the ball based on his under-whelming .234 average. Who’s excited for the 2-years and $30 million left on his deal?!?!
  • There have been several pleasant surprises this season. Yangervis Solarte currently leads the Yankees in batting average, RBIs, and OPS. His .325 average is 2nd in the AL only to Victor Martinez, and his defense has been gold-glove good at 3rd base. Solarte’s emergence has been absolutely stunning. I would have bet $1,000,000 that Solarte would never, at any point, lead the Yankees in average or RBIs this season before it started. I was shocked when Joe Girardi picked him over Eduardo Nunez, but clearly Joe knows something.
  • Masahiro Tanaka continues to dazzle. He made the Mets hitters look like little leaguers’ in his complete game shutout on Wednesday night. So far this season, Tanaka is 6-0, the only pitcher in the AL to have 4 or more wins and no losses, he leads the AL in WHIP, he’s 4th in ERA, and tied for 4th in strikeouts. Forget out rookie of the year, Tanaka is well in the running for the Cy Young award.
  • If you don’t know who Dellin Betances is yet, you will very soon. Betances was once a “Killer B” who failed as a starter. His transition to the bullpen did not go smoothly at first, but he’s finally figured it out and his emergence is equivalent, if not better than Joba Chamberlain’s in 2007. Betances struck out 6 consecutive Mets on Thursday, he has 39 strikeouts in 22.1 innings (an absurd ratio), and his stuff is flat-out disgusting.
  • Whenever a Major League Baseball shift fails, I smile, and it failed the Mets on Thursday night. With a runner on first and 1-out in the 7th inning, Brian McCann was at the plate and the Mets shifted. McCann hit a tailor made ground ball between first and 2nd, meaning David Wright had to cover 2nd and make a throw he’s not used to making. The result: Wright threw the ball away, McCann was safe, and Alfonso Soriano knocked him in with a double which ended up being the games deciding run.
  • NHL Predictions: Canadiens over the Rangers in 6 games (Back-t0-back series going 7 games will doom New York). In the West, when Jonathan Quick is on, you can’t beat him, and right now, he’s on. I like LA to dispatch the Blackhawks in a classic 7 gamer.
  • Make sure to tune back next Saturday, same time, same place. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.
 
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Posted by on 05/17/2014 in Frankly Frankel

 

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