Tag Archive | "NBA"

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Legends Football League-Atlanta Steam @ Baltimore Charm (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Arena); WNBA: Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm Verizon Center), San Antonio Silver Stars @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm Verizon Center); MLL: Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Florida Launch (Saturday 7pm from Boca Raton, FL live on YouTube); Boxing: Tori Nelson vs. Nicole Williams (Saturday 6pm Du Burns Arena); Auto Racing: NASCAR Quaker State 400 (Saturday 7:30pm from Sparta, KY live on TNT); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Fight Night Nate Marquardt vs. James Te Huna (Saturday 5am from Auckland, New Zealand live on UFC Fight Pass), UFC Fight Night Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens (Saturday 10pm from San Antonio live on Fox Sports 1)

10. Great American Backyard Campout (Saturday 6pm Oregon Ridge); Transformers: Age of Extinction“, “Snowpiercer” and “They Came Together” out in theaters (Friday); 300: Rise of an Empire” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

None of this means much of anything for me-so instead I’ll post this new photo of Sofia Vergara that came out Monday. You can thank me later.

9. Thank You Festival feat. Tiesto (Thursday 4pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Katy Perry (Tuesday & Wednesday 7pm Verizon Center); OneRepublic/The Script (Friday 7pm Jiffy Luve Live), Toby Keith (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Avicii (Sunday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Ben Folds (Wednesday 8:15pm Wolf Trap); Ballyhoo! (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); Say Anything (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Drive-By Truckers (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live); Diana Ross (Saturday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Dr. John (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Air Supply (Friday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); Primus (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Lake Street Dive (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Jamestown Revival (Sunday 8:30pm Gypsy Sally’s); Rebirth Brass Band (Sunday 2pm DC Jazz Festival); Ed Sheeran “X”, Phish “Fuego” and Clutch “Earth Rocker Deluxe” available (Tuesday)

I’m including Katy Perry this week. Let’s just go ahead and move on so we don’t have to talk about it any further.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KSOMA3QBU0

Say hello to Kevin Van Valkenburg at the Truckers’ show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A8n4IVd308

Lake Street Dive is rather enjoyable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89Oc1UE7SS4

Someday I’ll be coming home…to see Jamestown Revival.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy9EzRP8tdc

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Brett & Barry Big Story Banter: NBA Lottery Mock Draft

Posted on 21 June 2014 by WNST Audio

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B&B Big Story Banter: NBA Lottery Mock Draft

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B&B Big Story Banter: NBA Lottery Mock Draft

Posted on 20 June 2014 by Brett Dickinson

As the NBA Draft is rapidly approaching (even though the season just ended last week), lots of news and rumors are swirling around the NBA.  Considered to be one of the deepest drafts in the past decade, there is still a lot to be answered on team needs and prospect fits.  The uncertainty on how things will shake out has grown with top overall player Kansas center Joel Embiid now needing foot surgery.  So here is our attempt to predict the picks in the NBA Lottery for 2014, as we alternate amongst the worst teams in the league.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins (Kansas Forward)- BRETT

Though they are still trying to entice LeBron James to return home and play the same position as Wiggins, his upside is too great to pass up.  He would give them the athletic wing that can take over games alongside point guard Kyrie Irving. He already has the defensive skill set to cover the likes of LeBron, Carmelo and Paul George in the Eastern Conference.

 

2. Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker (Duke Forward)- BARRY

Despite their bad luck in the NBA lottery, Milwaukee still lands the best all-around player in the draft. Parker’s body and offensive skillset are his most impressive assets, with his defensive abilities being a slight liability. Coupled with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have an uber-talented nucleus that could compete in the Eastern conference in a couple of years.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid (Kansas Center)- BRETT

Embiid now has major injury concerns, trying to bounce back after a balky back and now a foot injury.  But he has the greatest potential of anyone in the draft. The Sixers have already proven they are willing to wait an entire season for the top prospect in the draft to be healthy (i.e. selecting and resting Nerlens Noel last season). The possibility of pairing those two big men with Rookie of the Year Michael Carter Williams makes them a scary team in the future.

 

4. Orlando Magic: Aaron Gordon (Arizona Forward)- BARRY

Gordon is a strong kid with outstanding athleticism in the mold of a Blake Griffin. Magic F Tobias Harris played well towards the end of the year, meaning Gordon could be a spark off the bench early in the season while he continues to add weight to play the power forward position. With two picks in the top 12, the Magic will look to establish themselves as immediate playoff contenders, and Gordon can be the spark they need.

5. Utah Jazz: Julius Randle (Kentucky Forward)- BRETT

Randle is a plug and play prospect that has the physical tools to dominate the low post.  He has good footwork and  by adding some bulk could be Karl Malone 2.0 for Utah fans. He may have a limited upside, but should become an All-Star playing the pick and roll with last year’s first round pick Trey Burke.

 

6. Boston Celtics: Noah Vonleh (Indiana Forward)- BARRY

While his numbers at Indiana are nothing special, Vonleh’s frame and ability to be a stretch power forward intrigues a number of NBA teams. At the moment, the only other power forward on the Celtics is Brandon Bass, a stretch PF in his own right. A healthy Rajon Rondo could make all the difference for Vonleh and his development.

 

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Dante Exum (Australia Guard)- BRETT

The Lakers whole organization is still holding onto the hopes that Kobe Bryant can still carry them.  By selecting Exum, they get a distributor to run their offense, while having the ability to guard any of the wing positions. He has the potential to be a superstar, as he played well internationally against some top competition.

 

8. Sacramento Kings: Dario Saric (Croatia Forward)- BARRY

Finally…my first pick for a Western Conference team! As a 6’10” Croatian headed to Sacramento, the comparisons to Peja Stojakovic will be easy to make. However, Saric is a much better passer, and not much of an outside threat. Saric immediately becomes Sacramento’s starting power forward in a lineup that features score-first PG Isaiah Thomas and  the talented DeMarcus Cousins. Saric’s statistics won’t impress early, but they won’t have to.

9. Charlotte Bobcats: Doug McDermott (Creighton Forward)- BRETT

Michael Jordan has slowly been adding nice pieces to the Bobcats, getting them into the playoffs in 2014.  McDermott is a great shooter that could serve a huge role for a team looking for more scorers. McDermott is also a coaches son and brings in leadership qualities to help a young core grow into contenders.

 

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Nik Stauskas (Michigan Guard)- BARRY

As they look to the future with the Embiid pick to start, they select someone that can fill a need and help right away here. The backcourt of reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams and Stauskas, coupled with the debut of Nerlens Noel, makes Philadelphia one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA. Stauskas will be asked to do what he did at Michigan: bury three pointers and turn the team into a winner.

 

11. Denver Nuggetts: Rodney Hood (Duke Guard)- BRETT

The Nuggetts need a dynamic wing to play alongside Ty Lawson and some of their low post players. Hood has good length and the ability to score from anywhere on the court. Playing in the uptempo offense will help create lanes and open spots at the three point line for Hood.

 

12. Orlando Magic: Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State Guard)- BARRY

In what could be the steal of the draft, the Magic land a dynamic talent with the perfect situation. After drafting Gordon in the top 5, Orlando lands another top 5 talent in this slot. While MCW-Stauskas in Philadelphia sounds like a fun young backcourt, the idea of Smart and Oladipo together sounds dynamic. Add in the mentorship from PG Jameer Nelson, and Smart has no excuse to fail.

 

13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Zach LaVine (UCLA Guard)- BRETT

LaVine has been one of biggest risers during the draft process, displaying great athleticism.  Minnesota needs to find playmakers, especially if Kevin Love is traded and LaVine has the ability to create from either guard position. As a team looking for an identity, the need to look for as much potential as possible.

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Dorsey’s Dugout- The First Edition

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Dorsey’s Dugout- The First Edition

Posted on 20 June 2014 by Nick Dorsey

 

This is the very first edition of my new weekly column that tackles all sorts of topics in the sports world today. I have opinions on all different kinds of events or sports that are going, so the new weekly column called “Dorsey’s Dugout” is where you can find my latest take on any hot topic.

There has been so much going on lately, including two of the big four sports seasons concluded with another major sporting event that comes around once every four years. So much to write about so now let the first edition of the new column kick off starting with the NBA Finals reflection.

NBA Finals

The Spurs-Heat rematch was what everyone wanted to see after the Heat miraculously came back in game six and won the series in seven games last season. It was their second championship in a row and Miami looked like the favorite to repeat. Despite being the “2-seed” in the East, everyone knew who the beast from the East truly was and were ready to see if they could three-peat against the team with the top record in the NBA during the regular season.

Last year’s finals was one to never forget with so much going on, including Danny Green’s historic three point shooting performance throughout the series and Ray Allen’s season saving three pointer from the corner. There was a bad taste that resonated with the Spurs after the loss and Tim Duncan made no secret of that before the rematch began.

Once the first two games in San Antonio came to a close with the series tied at one heading to Miami for another two games, I thought the Heat were in full control and ready to run away with the third trophy in four years. Lesson learned here, never underestimate the power of revenge.

San Antonio looked like a different team when they hit the floor in south beach. Greg Popovich outcoached Erik Spoelstra for the remaining duration of the series and fundamental basketball was at its absolute peak of excellence.

Throughout the regular season, many fans of the NBA always made the comment about how boring the Spurs were to watch. They do not have an explosive player like a LeBron James and their style of play is not all up and down the floor with flash, but this series was a display of excellent basketball all around. It was not just one player trying to get it done; it was a team effort all around.

If I were a basketball coach trying to teach the game, I would make my team watch the Spurs play from games three through five. The way the ball was moved around unselfishly and how every teammate was willing to make that extra pass, it may have been boring for some who watch the NBA, but I found it to be a beautiful display of basketball.

The Finals were won due to basketball being played fundamentally spectacular led by the winningest trio in NBA postseason history. Duncan now has his fifth ring and solidified his place in basketball history once again. In my eyes, he is the greatest power forward of all time.

How sweet was this victory for Manu Ginobli? Manu was one of the scapegoats in last year’s Finals due to his poor play, but  this year was a different story. Manu was just being Manu scoring over double-digit points in four of the five games.

There are plenty of support players that surround the long-tenured trio such as Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills. There is not a player outside of that trio that had more of an impact on the series than Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

It was remarkable what the 22 year old out of San Diego State accomplished this post-season. For Leonard to be that young and not full of experience in the NBA with the responsibility of guarding LeBron James one on one, it was astonishing.

When the series was tied at one, coach Popovich made it known they needed more from Leonard to take the next step in the series. With a combined 18 points in the first two games, Kawhi answered his coach’s request with three straight 20+ point performances, including a 29 point-performance in game three. Once Leonard took his game to the next level, the Heat were unable to catch up.

What came as the biggest surprise from this series besides the rise of Kawhi Leonard was how lopsided the Finals were. After a tremendous finish last season, this year could not have been more of a blowout unless Miami never captured game two.

No one could have seen a 4-1 Spurs win before the Finals began, it would have almost been deemed impossible. What we learned most from this series going forward is “teams” win championships and the Heat were not a good enough team throughout the lineup.

The Spurs starters were clicking on all cylinders and the bench came out providing a spark. On the other side of the floor, some of the Heat starters were inconsistent and struggling.

So now the off-season begins in the NBA and there are many storylines that will unfold within the next few months. Will the Spurs veterans call it a career riding out on top of the world or come back for more? Will LeBron James opt out and force us to watch another national televised “Decision” to see where he ends up? My thoughts on the James off-season will be coming later in another column. For now, the Spurs are the champions of the NBA. They are the best overall team in every possible aspect and deserved it this season.

Stanley Cup Playoffs

The NBA Finals was not the only championship series that took place during the beginning portion of the summer time. The Stanley Cup was the other major series that went on during the nights the NBA had off.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are the cream of the crop when it comes to post-season play in professional sports. There is absolutely no other major sport that can compare to what playoff hockey provides throughout its entirety.

The best way to sum up the Stanley Cup Playoffs is the following phrase that I continuously say to those who aren’t the biggest of hockey fans. It is the best playoffs in sports, playing for the best trophy in sports and commentated by the best in all of sports.

It takes so much to win the Stanley Cup and the trophy itself is a trophy unlike any other in sports. Lord Stanley continues to grow in size each season as more teams and players names are inscribed onto the trophy after each season. As for the final part of the phrase in regards to the commentating, there is nothing better in viewing sports than listening to Mike “Doc” Emrick commentate a hockey game.

Doc Emrick is a legend in the commentating world and listening to him work throughout the playoffs is more than a gift. The enthusiasm and excitement he brings to the network every night is truly spectacular. When one team in a game is down one goal with an empty net and down to its last breath, Doc Emrick calling the last two minutes or so of a game sounds similar to a horse race. It is absolutely gripping and consistently has the fans on the edge of their seats in their living rooms.

Now for the Stanley Cup playoffs that took place just recently, the team that was handed Lord Stanley on their home ice, goes down in the history books. The 2014 Los Angeles Kings are a historic hockey team that displayed resiliency that I have never seen out of a team in maybe all of sports in my short lifetime.

The Kings were 4-1 losers to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals last season, so they had aspirations of getting back to that position to avenge their loss. The Kings hit a brick wall during the first round against one of their fiercest rivals.

Los Angeles was dead in the water round one to the San Jose Sharks, as they were down three games to none. After a game three loss in overtime on their home ice, the Kings were on the verge of getting swept. It was a devastating loss and their leader in goal Jonathan Quick had given up 17 goals in three games.

A moment that will forever stand out in the Kings history is Quick acknowledging his teammates on the ice telling them he will play better and everything will be ok. He was the last man off the ice for the Kings, which is unusual for a goaltender.

After giving up 17 goals in his first three games, Quick only gave up five in the next four, which gave the Kings a golden chance to recapture the series. Jonathan Quick looked like the same goaltender that won the Conn Smythe in 2012.

The rest of the team did its part and came back from a three-game deficit to win the series in game seven. The Kings became only the fourth team in the history of hockey to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win a series. This is just the first bit of history that the Kings made throughout the playoffs.

After a first series that had the Kings fans sitting uncomfortably, the second series was another roller-coaster ride. Round two Los Angeles faced their other California rival, Anaheim. It was the first time that these two had ever met in the playoffs ever.

The Kings won the first two games on the road, but then allowed the Ducks to steal both games at home. The series was at 2 all when they went back to Anaheim for game five. The Ducks won game five and the Kings went back home for game six on the verge of elimination.

Los Angeles was once again in a situation with their backs against the wall, but they did not let the pressure get to them. They went on to win the next two games to advance to the Western Conference finals. After just the first two series, the Kings were 6-0 when facing elimination. A team that kept its composure no matter the circumstance, had its chance at sweet revenge the next round against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks won Lord Stanley the season before and were coming into the Western conference finals with a bit more rest than the Kings. Los Angeles had their Cup hopes crushed by Chicago last season, so they wanted to return the favor.

A team that had been battle tested and always climbing their way back into series’ consistently, the Kings fought their way for a 3-1 lead over Chicago. The Kings had always had their backs against the wall, but now were in full control. They had their chances to move on, but were unable to capitalize on the golden opportunity.

Chicago had tied up the series at three a piece and had a chance to move on to the finals for a second straight season. LA was once again in a familiar situation, on the brink of elimination despite the 3-1 lead they had. Game seven of these conference finals was as good as it gets in hockey.

LA went into the third period down one goal and looked as if Chicago was on their way to another Finals appearance. With just over seven minutes left in the third frame, Marian Gaborik scored on a rebound to even the game up at four. With the game tied at four and all sixty minutes had passed, an overtime period was needed to conclude the western conference finals.

The last time a conference final needed an overtime period to decide a game seven was twenty years ago when the Rangers eliminated the New Jersey Devils. It did not take long for the series to end as Alec Martinez threw a puck to the net with traffic in front. The puck went over and in behind Corey Crawford to send the Kings to the Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup Finals had a similar 4-1 series victory that the NBA Finals presented us with, but the Cup finals were not lopsided like the NBA Finals was. Three out of the five games featured overtime periods, two of which were double overtimes. The Stanley cup playoffs were hard fought, but the team that deserved it the most ended up being the last team standing on the ice.

Alec Martinez scored the game winning goal that sent the Kings to the Stanley Cup and it was Martinez who ended the long journey at home in double overtime. Game five was as intense of a hockey game as there could have been with amazing performances between the pipes from both Lundqvist and Quick.

The Los Angeles Kings won on home ice and the ride was one of the most historic runs I have ever witnessed in sports. Some of the marks that the Kings made in the history book are the following: Fourth team to ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series, first team to ever win three game sevens on the road on the way to a Stanley Cup, their 26th game played in one post-season ties for the most ever and their 64 playoff games played in last three seasons is an NHL record.

Watching the Kings for the duration of this past playoff run was a historic portrayal of resiliency. A team that consistently had their back against the wall with deficits in series leads and in games never quit and overcame those deficits.

Two Stanley Cup titles in the past three years begins to raise the constant discussions on whether they are on the verge of being an NHL dynasty. They are close to doing so, but will need to capture another title. For this team, winning another Cup is not too far fetched.

They have the best goalie in the world with Jonathan Quick, the best defenseman in Drew Doughty and they are deep within the corps of their forwards. The acquisition of Marian Gaborik sparked the Kings run this post-season, as he led everyone in the playoffs in goals. What an acquisition that was at the deadline.

The resiliency that was on display for the roller-coaster ride that was the Los Angeles Kings proves that there is nothing in the same league as playoff hockey. It is the hardest fought journey for the most storied trophy in sports with the top guy in the business calling the dramatic finish. I cannot wait until hockey is back for the next season. This past year was an amazing portrayal of how dramatic the Stanley Cup playoffs are year in and year out.

The Rest of the Sports World

With the NBA and NHL seasons wrapped up, there is still plenty going on in sports. The World Cup is in full blast, the NFL mini camps are about finished and the off-seasons are ahead for the other major sports. Here are some of the topics I would like to cover and my thoughts on each.

USA over Ghana

What a game it was this past Monday when the American squad finally captured three points over the arch rival Ghana. Clint Dempsey is the face of USA soccer now that Donovan was not brought back on the team and Dempsey got the nation going from the get go.

Dempsey scored just over thirty seconds into the match giving USA the one goal lead. It was an inbounds play from the sidelines and could it have been a more pretty display of futbol?

Great inbound pass, touch pass to Dempsey and an incredible individual effort the finish the play. It got the nation rocking from the start and the rest of the game had the Americans on the edge of their seat.

Ghana tied the game up near the matches end, but that was long overdue. They had dominated the game as USA just sat back and played a defensive style of game. Klinsmann’s crew failed to establish possession in the offensive side of the field consistently throughout the match and it led to a plethora of chances for Ghana.

I wrote a major piece above talking about resiliency in regards to the Kings, but the Americans had their own version of it. After giving up a goal that you could feel the devastation countrywide, USA responded with a converted corner to win the match.

Coach Klinsmann got a major win to start off the World Cup for team USA and it is a step in the right direction if they hope to make it out of the group of death. I had been on the record for bashing Klinsmann due to some off the wall comments he has made leading up to the games in Brazil, but he did an excellent job game one.

Team USA’s next match is this Sunday against Portugal. Portugal is desperate as they lost in their first game to Germany, so the Americans are going to need to bring their best effort Sunday. If they play the same way they did against Ghana, they will be wiped off the field.

NBA Draft Chatter

Joel Embiid, arguably the top talent in the NBA Draft, suffered a foot fracture and will be undergoing surgery in the near future. This injury puts the draft in a frenzy now just six days away from the night the first card is drawn.

Before the foot injury, I would say that Embiid is the best player in this draft. His potential is through the roof, especially if you watched him play at Kansas. From his first game as a Jayhawk to his last, his improvement on the floor is a worlds of difference.

He has so much room to grow as a player still, it is potentially scary how great he could be. His back injury was a concern and now the concerns grow with the foot fracture.

If I am a GM in the top five, I cannot risk taking a chance on Embiid despite the potential. His injury problems scare me away and we have seen this same theme so many times in the draft. As a Jayhawk fan, I have strong opinions on the two stars that are in this draft.

Andrew Wiggins is perceived as the man to get this year, but I am not fully on his bandwagon. Its not because he did not live up to the hype he was given during the pre-season because that was astronomical. It is because what I saw on the hardwood floor.

Wiggins has serious potential just like Embiid in some ways because Wiggin’s athleticism is top tier. When it comes to actual basketball on the floor, I saw flaws on a consistent basis.

The way teams found a way to slow down Wiggins during the season was going to a zone defense. It prevented him from using his stellar athleticism to attack the paint and get to the rim. It forced him into becoming a jump shooter and a three-point shooter. Wiggins struggled when he was forced to take jump shots because he could never get into rhythm.

Even when Wiggins got to the rim, he struggled to finish good opportunities. Where Andrew succeeded throughout his freshman year was on the defensive end. He is a good defender one on one and is a great rebounder. He often used his rebounding ability to finish second chance opportunities in the paint.

Wiggins is still extremely young and has plenty of time to grow, but I do not take him at one. I would take Parker with the first selection. The perfect situation in my eyes for Wiggins is at the third overall selection with the Sixers.

This concludes my first edition of Dorsey’s Dugout. It is my new weekly column that brings you into my corner and allows me to give out all my opinions on anything going on in sports. There is still plenty to cover going forward and will be back next week with still more to write about. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back next week.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 09 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 6:30pm Gardens Ice House); WNBA: Phoenix Mercury @ Washington Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Chicago Sky @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); MLL: Boston Cannons @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7:30pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports Network); Boxing: Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Chris Algieri (Saturday 10pm from Brooklyn live on HBO)

10. Frank Caliendo (Friday & Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s); Nick Offerman (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Honfest (Saturday & Sunday Hampden); Ray’s Summer Days (Friday & Saturday various locations); 22 Jump Street” and “How To Train Your Dragon 2” out in theaters (Friday); Non-Stop” and “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Caliendo will never stop being funny. Ever.

You know what? Just some more of this.

9. Rebelution (Sunday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Brad Paisley (Thursday 5pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Willie Nelson/Alison Krauss & Union Station (Saturday 5pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Tim McGraw (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Ringo Starr (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap); Damon Albarn (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Playing For Change (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Rick Springfield (Thursday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head Center Stage); Lalah Hathaway/Ruben Studdard (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); MS MR (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Kelis (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bacon Brothers (Saturday-Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Buddy Guy (Tuesday 7pm State Theatre), Leon Russell (Thursday 8:30pm State Theatre); Morrissey (Tuesday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Jeff Tweedy (Tuesday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre); John Prine (Friday 8pm Strathmore); O.A.R. “The Rockville EP”, Jack White “Lazaretto” and Chrissie Hynde “Stockholm” available (Tuesday)

I would pay the same price of admission to see Willie Nelson OR Alison Krauss & Union Station.

This is perhaps the most significant song/video I’ve EVER HEARD/SEEN.

John Prine is better at making songs than Manny Machado is at throwing baseball bats.

Purchase O.A.R.’s new record with your cash or I.WILL.FIND.YOU.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 comes faster than a speeding “Bullet”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 comes faster than a speeding “Bullet”

Posted on 08 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

We certainly got some people fired up last week.

We’re 22 weeks into our #WNSTSweet16 celebration, and we’re a week removed from perhaps the most controversial list of the year. It’s going to be a hard act to follow. The rest of our staff is grateful Nestor Aparicio handled last week’s prep list so that we could avoid the heat-and the difficulty.

If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about (I mean…there’s always one), 2014 marks our 16th year of serving the Baltimore community as sports media leader here at WNST.net. We’re celebrating by taking a different “water cooler” topic every week and dissecting it before declaring an “official” list every Tuesday.

We then continue the celebration by yelling, screaming, name calling and then ultimately agreeing to hug it out. Well, most of us do anyway. Luke never really gets involved with the name-calling. Actually one time he did. He said “I have to be honest, I respectfully disagree” and then apologized for such an outburst.

If you’ve missed any of our #WNSTSweet16 lists thus far this year (including Nestor’s hotly debated list from a week ago), here’s your chance to catch up. (The #WNSTSweet16 is brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive!)

Week 22: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 all-time greatest local high athletes
Week 21: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest local lacrosse players of all time
Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

And in Week 23, we’ve got the NBA on our mind here at WNST.

I’m in the cockpit for this week’s #WNSTSweet16 for the second time in three weeks. We’re in the throws of the NBA Finals, with the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat offering a couple of classics to start the series.

With that in mind, we thought this week would be appropriate to look back on the area’s own professional basketball history. Our topic this week is the “Sweet 16 best ever Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Wizards”.

Sure, that sounds like a disjointed topic title, but we have to imagine you understand why. The pro franchise that currently plays down in DC’s Chinatown neighborhood once called Charm City home-beginning their existence playing games at the historic Baltimore Arena. We wanted to recognize Baltimore’s pro history (albeit brief) and then also recognize the players who played for the franchise in Washington since there are a number of Wizards fans in our area as well.

This means that not only are Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Wes Unseld eligible for our list, but so are John Wall and Bradley Beal-and everyone in between.

I’m struggling already with the list. There are a couple of Hall of Famers that immediately go to the top of the list-but how does the list shake out after that? There were a number of players during the Bullets/Wizards’ lean years in the District that were good for a short time, but not for an extended period of time. Where does Gilbert Arenas fit into this picture?

These aren’t easy determinations to make.

I want your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email me (glenn@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, I will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. I will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday with Nestor on “The Happy Hours”.

I need to hear from old Baltimore Bullets fans and (frankly) younger Washington Wizards fans alike for this one. Who are the greatest players in franchise history? Make your voice heard!

-G

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Big Story Banter: Duncan vs. LeBron

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Big Story Banter: Duncan vs. LeBron

Posted on 06 June 2014 by Brett Dickinson

As the NBA Finals are now underway, the debate will continue on the greatness of Miami Heat forward LeBron James.  But he is facing off against a familiar foe in the San Antonio Spurs, as well as their All-World forward Tim Duncan.  The Spurs took the first Finals matchup against “the best player in basketball” in 2007 (while with the Cleveland Cavaliers). LeBron achieved his redemption, as the Heat grasped victory from the jaws of defeat in the 2013 Finals.

Now this debate is “Who is the greater All-Time Player” between James and Duncan. Both have multiple titles and various awards throughout their careers, so the argument must be complex. Barry will take on LeBron’s side of the debate, while Brett tries to prove Duncan’s place in history.

LeBron James

LeBron James By: Barry Kamen 

I have a lot of respect for Tim Duncan, there is no debating who is the better player of all time. LeBron is the most physically gifted, well-rounded player in the NBA today. When the pride of Akron made his “decision” to sign with the Miami Heat, fans (myself included) were quick to turn their backs on the superstar for how he handled the free agent process. However, LeBron did what he had to do in order to win championships. There are three main categories where LeBron James holds a clear advantage over Tim Duncan.

As a Cavalier, James’ most talented teammate was Ricky Davis, with Zydrunas Ilgauskas as a close second. Neither of those players come close to the talent level of David Robinson, Tony Parker, or Manu Ginobili that surrounded Duncan for the majority of his career in San Antonio. James legitimately carried the Cavaliers all the way to the finals in 2007, only to be swept by Duncan’s Spurs. For the postseason, James averaged 25-8-8, a stat line that has never been seen before. Every year, the Spurs remind us that it takes a team to go deep into the playoffs and win championships. The reason that the Miami Heat are in the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year is because of the supporting cast surrounding LeBron. Mike Miller, Ray Allen, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, and Rashard Lewis are all seasoned veterans who have played important roles for the Heat during their streak.

Perhaps the biggest disparity between James and Duncan is versatility. At 6’8″ and roughly 255 lbs, James has the frame to post up and play power forward, and the dribbling and vision necessary to play point guard. James has guarded every position on the floor in his career, sometimes in the same game. While Duncan has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Team eight times in his career, LeBron has been named to five at a position that requires more athleticism. In last year’s Finals, LeBron’s versatility was on full display, as coach Erik Spoelstra often played him at power forward, with Chris Bosh shifting to center in an effort to spread San Antonio’s defense out and limit the opportunity for rebounds. Duncan is versatile for his size, but there is not another player in the NBA that can do what LeBron can on a nightly basis.

The debate between Duncan vs. LeBron really lies in the supporting cast. What if Tim Duncan didn’t have David Robinson at the beginning of his career? If Cleveland had any depth surrounding LeBron, would we be discussing a dynasty in Cleveland? Two great careers. Uber amount of championships. Both top ten players of all time.

Tim Duncan By: Brett Dickinson

First off, Tim Duncan in no way gets the credit he deserves as a player because honestly, he is the most boring superstar in NBA history.  He does not have the outgoing personality, does not give reporters bulletin board quotes, does not have off-court transgressions grabbing headlines.  Let alone he plays for a small market in the middle of the country for a former ABA franchise in the San Antonio Spurs.

Tim DuncanBut the realization is HE IS THE GREATEST POWER FORWARD  in NBA history, period! Karl Malone and Charles Barkley never won a ring, and the likes of Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki only have one, after getting beat up by Duncan for years. The Spurs big man has played in an era where a vast majority of the great players in the league play the power forward position. And he is head and shoulders above them all.  His two MVPs are equal to the combined total for his peers: Garnett, Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Pau Gasol. He also has the same total amount of championship rings as that entire group as well (Duncan-4, Garnett-1, Nowitzki-1, Gasol-2).

So it is easily established his standing amongst the power forwards, but comparing him to players of other positions is much tougher.  He has all the accolades, including multiple titles and MVPs, 14 time All-NBA and All-Defensive teams honors, three NBA Finals MVPs and a Rookie of the Year.  But LeBron’s career will likely stack up equally to all those fancy trophies as well.

So what sets Duncan apart? Well he plays a position where the ball is not in his hands; he has to be fed the ball down low.  He does not dribble up the court like James, yet he has put up the same dominant numbers. Add in the amount of double teams and physical play that is involved on the block, its just that more impressive to control a game from the low post.

While Duncan has also done all this while sticking with the San Antonio Spurs for the entirety of his career.  He didn’t have to team up with other superstars, the organization built around their big-man with key role players.  Though Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli are really good, they are significantly better by developing next to Duncan.  He was always the ire of defenses attention (and still is to this day), making life much easier out on the wing and in space.

Let’s just say if he finishes with a 2-1 record against LeBron in the Finals, finishes with a 5-1 record overall, there is no way that the Miami forward could catch him as an all-time talent.  But this series will play a major role if both players’ legacy.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 02 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour St. Jude Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Memphis), Manulife Financial LPGA Classic (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Waterloo, Canada live on Golf Channel); Boxing: Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez (Saturday 9pm from New York live on HBO Pay-Per-View); WNBA: Phoenix Mercury @ Washington Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Chicago Sky @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Chicago live on Comcast SportsNet), Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); MLL: Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Rochester Rattlers (Thursday 7:30pm from Rochester live on CBS Sports Network)

10. Erik Griffin (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Guy Torry (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival (Thursday-Sunday St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church); Annapolis Arts, Crafts and Wine Festival (Saturday & Sunday Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Edge of Tomorrow” and “The Fault in Our Stars” out in theaters (Friday); Lone Survivor” and “Robocop” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I love me some Montez. (Warning: Language NSFW. Unless you work in a lingerie shop. And if so, hit me up on Facebook.)

And if you happen to stop by the Greek Festival, bring me back some of these.

9. Ray LaMontagne/Jason Isbell (Wednesday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Jack Johnson/Amos Lee (Thursday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Capital Jazz Fest feat. Erykah Badu/John Legend (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); The Head and The Heart (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), The 1975/Bad Suns (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), Lucinda Williams (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Live); Meshell Ndegeocello (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Ludacris (Wednesday 7pm Howard Theatre), Dan Deacon (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Jamie Cullum (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Tyler, The Creator (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Lone Bellow (Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Smokey Robinson (Wednesday 7:30pm Strathmore); Los Lonely Boys (Thursday 7:30pm Canton Waterfront Park); Phoenix (Saturday 8pm Echostage); Jackie Greene (Sunday 7:30pm The Hamilton); Skrillex (Sunday 4pm Pimlico); Matisyahu “Akeda”, 50 Cent “Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire To Win”, Bob Mould “Beauty & Rain” available (Tuesday)

If you happen to be at Merriweather Wednesday night, make sure you say hello.

I hate to admit that I would be willing to go back Thursday night if someone offered me a ticket.

The 1975 are so sugary they’re practically chocolate. See what I did there?

I tried my best to tell you that you’d enjoy Bad Suns.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 26 May 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Los Angeles Sparks @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Golf: PGA Tour the Memorial Tournament (Thursday & Friday 2:30pm live on Golf Channel Saturday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS Sunday 12pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Dublin, OH), Champions Tour Principal Charity Classic (Friday 7pm Saturday & Sunday 5pm from Des Moines, IA on Golf Channel), ShopRite LPGA Classic (Friday 12pm Saturday 2:30pm Sunday 2pm from Galloway, NJ live on Golf Channel); Boxing: Carl Froch vs. George Groves (Saturday 4pm from London live on HBO)

10. Bruce Bruce (Tuesday 8pm & 10pm Rams Head on Stage); Tim Meadows (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Artie Lange (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Michael McDonald (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Maryland Craft Beer Festival (Saturday Carroll Creek Park); Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday Oregon Ridge Park); Taste of Three Cities (Saturday 11am M&T Bank Stadium); A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “Maleficent” out in theaters (Friday)

I never went and saw Tim Meadows’ “Ladies Man” movie because it looked terrible to me. I have to admit however this made me chuckle.

I’m not proud.

9. Luke Bryan (Friday & Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Journey & Steve Miller Band (Sunday 6:45pm Jiffy Lube Live); Foxy Shazam (Monday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Manchester Orchestra (Tuesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ballyhoo! (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Rusted Root and The Wailers (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Old 97′s (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); T-Pain (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Matisyahu (Sunday 7pm Lisner Auditorium); Neil Young “A Letter Home” available (Tuesday)

I know ZERO about Luke Bryan. So here’s Luke Bryan playing an Adele song. I have absolutely nothing else to say.

There are people whose opinions about music I respect and they enjoy Manchester Orchestra. That’s what I’ve got for you.

I consider Rhett Miller from the Old 97′s a close personal friend after we hung out in Dallas a few years ago. I have no idea how he feels about the whole thing.

Matisyahu’s show down in DC is acoustic. This might be really good.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Schedule set for Wizards/Pacers semifinal series

Posted on 04 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Here is the full schedule for the Washington Wizards/Indiana Pacers NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal series, courtesy of Monumental Network:

GAME 1: Monday – May 5 – Wizards @ Pacers – Bankers Life Fieldhouse – 7pm – TNT

GAME 2: Wednesday – May 7 – Wizards @ Pacers – Bankers Life Fieldhouse – 7pm – TNT

GAME 3: Friday – May 9 – Pacers @ Wizards – Verizon Center – 8pm – ESPN

GAME 4: Sunday – May 11 – Pacers @ Wizards – Verizon Center – 8pm – TNT

GAME 5*: Tuesday – May 13 – Wizards @ Pacers – Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Time TBD – TNT

GAME 6*: Thursday – May 15 – Pacers @ Wizards – Verizon Center – Time TBD – ESPN

GAME 7*: Sunday – May 18th – Wizards @ Pacers – Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Time TBD – TV TBD

*if necessary

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