Celtics Release 2014-’15 Schedule

The Boston Celtics released their schedule for the 2014-’15 season on Wednesday.  The Celtics will play only one nationally televised game on January 14th at home against the Atlanta Hawks. This means the Celtics are not a premier team in the NBA.

Their lone star (Rajon Rondo) is in the final year of his contract. Their roster is filled with either players who have been disappointments (Jeff Green, Evan Turner, and Tyler Zeller) and rookies like Marcus Smart and James Young.

The Celtics schedule in November looks to be daunting. They have to travel to Houston (Rockets), Dallas (Mavericks), and Chicago Bulls. The only game where they could be favored is on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then they have a six-game road trip through the Western Conference from January 19th through January 28th.

Here are some notable games for Celtics fans to look forward to.

-October 29th – The Celtics open the season versus the Brooklyn Nets at the Garden. Kevin Garnett could be back with the Nets. This might be Garnett’s final season in the NBA.

– November will be filled with home dates against the elite teams in the NBA. On November 12th, the Celtics will square off against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two nights later, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will visit Boston. Then on November 28th, the Bulls make their first appearance at TD Garden. On the last night of November, the Celtics will face the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.

– Paul Pierce, Kris Humphries, and the Washington Wizards play in Boston on December 7th in their only visit to Boston.

– The Celtics will not play on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. Boston sports fans will have a doubleheader with the Bruins and Celtics both playing at home on Black Friday (annual ritual except in the case of lockout) and New Year’s Eve. The Celtics will host the Bulls on Black Friday and they will see the Sacramento Kings on New Year’s Eve.

– In January, the Celtics begin their journey on the West Coast against Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers come to Boston on March 29th.

– The All-Star break is lengthy this year as the Celtics will be off from February 11th until the 20th. The Celtics last game before the All-Star break and trade deadline (February 19th) is against the Hawks at home. This could be Rondo’s final game with the Celtics among other veterans like Brandon Bass, Green, etc.

– Featured rookies: Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves will be in Boston on December 19th. The Milwaukee Bucks led by Jabari Parker play in Boston on April 3rd.

– The Celtics’ two meetings against the Los Angeles Lakers will be on December 5th (in Boston) and February 22nd (in Los Angeles).

This season appears to be another frustrating trek in the win-loss column. Though,there could be some interesting developments in the 2014-’15 season such as whether the Celtics will move Rondo and the development of Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Smart, and Young. Next summer, the Celtics will have money coming off their books, but Kevin Love is not walking through that door.

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Cleveland Cavaliers Smart to Have Agreement to Trade for Kevin Love

The Cleveland Cavaliers will become the clear favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2014-15 NBA Finals if their agreement to acquire Kevin Love in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves goes through.

According to Yahoo! Sports, the agreement is in principle because the actual trade cannot occur until Aug. 23 due to Andrew Wiggins not being able to be dealt until exactly one month after signing his rookie contract. The trade will send Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 first-round draft pick to the Timberwolves for Love. The agreement also states that Love will opt out of his contract and sign a five-year, $120 million contract extension with the Cavaliers.

With Kyrie Irving playing point guard and Love dominating the frontcourt, superstarLeBron James will have the necessary pieces in place to lead Cleveland on a legitimate postseason run that should end with a NBA Finals appearance. Even though James stated in his return essay that he believed it would take a couple years to reach the top of the mountain with the Cavaliers, the addition of Love will certainly speed up that process. In fact, if the Cavaliers do not reach the NBA Finals in the depleted Eastern Conference, the 2014-15 season is a major fail.

As far as the Timberwolves are concerned, they are definitely not getting the raw end of the deal. Minnesota had no shot of re-signing Love in free agency as he basically told the organization he would not return. Therefore, getting Wiggins, Bennett and a 2015 first-round pick is very good. Not to mention, pairing up Wiggins with fellow rookie Zach LaVine, who is by far the most athletic player among the 2014-15 rookie class, could mean that success is right around the corner for the Timberwolves.

It will be interesting to see if James, Love and Irving will be able to find the necessary chemistry this upcoming season to make the previous “Big Three” in Miami look like nothing.

2014 MLB All Star Game Recap & More

Tonight on Strictly Sports, we recap the 2014 Home Run Derby, the 2014 MLB All Star Game, Carmelo Anthony staying with the New York Knicks, an update on the Miami Heat after Lebron James goes home, Pam Oliver getting demoted from the NFL on FOX, Germany winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and we will recap the 2014 ESPY Awards in the main event of the show.

LeBron James is Returning to Cleveland

https://soundcloud.com/derek-ferreira/lebron-james-is-returning-to-cleveland

Well it actually happened, LeBron James is heading back to Northwest Ohio. Earlier today, Sports Illustrated broke the news with an exclusive letter from Mr. James to senior writer Lee Jenkins describing why it is time for him to go back to the team where it all began, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Four years and three days after “The Decision” turned James into a bit of a pariah in many circles, James could not have announced his decision more differently.

Kevin Durant Topples LeBron James, Crowned 2014 NBA MVP

The king has fallen.

Kevin Durant has officially been named the 2014 NBA MVP, ending LeBron James’ two-year reign at the league’s throne. It marks the first time since he entered the NBA in 2007 that Durant has come away with the prestigious honor.

Following his seventh – and best – season in the NBA, Durant was assumed to be crowned MVP of the 2013-14 campaign. As expected, the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s star captured 119 of 125 first-place votes after averaging 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

For years, fans have been lobbying for Durant to receive his first MVP award, but have watched him fall well short of James in the voting process. However, this season, Durant took his game to the next level, routinely putting up huge numbers and dominating his opponents in ways we’ve yet to see from the Thunder’s All-Star forward. Just look at his 14 games of 40-plus points as evidence of his elevated game and ability to carry his team.

James finished second in voting after winning the award in four out of the last five seasons. Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah and Houston Rockets’ James Harden rounded out the top five finishers.

Put simply, Durant absolutely deserves this latest recognition of his elite talents. While James will surely win another MVP or two before his playing days are over, it’s great to see that Durant has given the king a run for his money as the best player in the NBA. At least in 2013-14, he was the best player in the NBA.

Who knows? Maybe Durant will eclipse James in the next couple of years and quiet the critics once and for all. It seems unlikely, but crazier things have happened.

Miami Vice: The Heat Sign Michael Beasley

Michael Beasley is taking his talents to South Beach.

But the Miami Heat are hoping that he doesn’t also take his proclivity forCheech & Chong impressions.

By signing the former number-two pick—still only 24 years old—to a non-guaranteed, one-year contract, the Heat continued their offseason of low-risk, potentially high-reward moves.

Since arriving in the league in 2008, Beasley has shown that he can be a productive offensive player. Playing both forward positions, he has averaged 14.1 points and 5.2 boards per game in stints with the Heat, Timberwolves, and Suns.

Unfortunately, off-the-court drug issues have slowed his progress. (It’s not a coincidence that he has already played on 3 teams in only 5 years in the league.) A marijuana arrest on August 6th led to the Suns waiving him on September 3rd.

But Miami could be the ideal place for Beasley to resurrect his career. He returns to the team that originally drafted him and a coach with whom he already has a relationship. Furthermore, the team has a proven winning culture and strong veteran leadership that could help him develop the maturity he so clearly needs. And with a core of All-Stars, there won’t be much pressure to perform.

It makes on-court sense as well. Beasley’s ability to play small forward or power forward fits perfectly with the Heat’s position-less offense. Don’t be surprised if the 6’10″ Beasley occasionally steps in at center.

As two-time defending champions, the Heat have the luxury of not needing to make splashy roster moves—not that they could, given their huge salary obligations. Yet this is their second potentially high-reward signing of a top-two pick.

Last month, the Heat signed former number-one pick Greg Oden to a 2-year contract at the veteran minimum. Oden, though considered one of the best college prospects ever, has barely played due to repeated injuries.  (Which is a shame, because when healthy he is really good. Like,REALLY GOOD.) A healthy Oden—even if he only plays 10-15 minutes a game—could be a huge help against Roy Hibbert and other centers who victimized the Heat last year

With all of their key players returning—expect for Mike Miller and his one-shoed threes, who exited via the amnesty clause—the Heat enter the 2013-2014 season as clear favorites, regardless of whether they get anything from Beasley and Oden. But with Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all unrestricted free agents next summer, this could be the last hurrah for the “Big Three” era in Miami. If all goes according to plan, they’ll have three consecutive championships as well.