Cheat Sheet: Bulls Open 2013 Season Against Champion Miami Heat | SportsDivas Inc.

Banners will be raised, rings will be handed out and the Chicago Bulls hope to dent the egos of the two-time defending Champion Miami Heat on Tuesday night. The Bulls are hungry to prove themselves this year and what better way to get things going than to take on King James and company in South Beach in the first game of the season?

The rivalry between these Eastern Conference foes continues to grow each year and the Bulls have become more eager to put a stop on the Heat’s dominance within the East. The Heat’s confidence will be on high after receiving their lavish Championship display, the intensity of American Airlines Arena will heighten filled with ecstatic Heat fans, but the Bulls players feel they have the talent to beat the Heat.

What You Need to Know:

Reigning MVP Lebron James made it clear, these two teams do not like one another (last year’s brawls during the semi-finals of the NBA Playoffs can prove that). Expect a big game out of King James who’s looking to maintain his “Top NBA Player” status. James’ supporting cast is still in tact with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, and Udonis Haslem returning this season.

Derrick Rose will play in his first regular season game in over a year. Our excitement to see the star take the court in an official game can barely be contained. Rose sat on the sidelines while his team battled Miami in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. He’s ready to take his game to the next level and get this 82 game season started with a win.

Jimmy Butler came up big in the games against Miami with his tough defense and crazy offense. Why not start the 2013 season with a standout performance against the Heat?

Joakim Noah is questionable for the opening game with a groin injury. This puts the Bulls in a tough spot since Noah is so dominant under the basket and can provide a boost on offense as well. The Bulls have done it before when Noah was sidelined with plantar fasciitis – we’d just prefer our All-Star always be on the court.

The Bulls and Heat split the 2012-2013 season 2-2. No matter who’s healthy and on the floor, the Bulls always give the Heat a tough game. Defense will play a huge factor in the Bulls’ success. Keeping James under control is always your best bet when playing the Heat. The Heat have not forgotten that it was the Bulls who ended their 27-game winning streak last season. They will be looking for redemption tonight and this season.

murseMan-pri & Murse: If nothing else, you can expect some crazy post-game press conference ensembles from the fashionistas of Miami otherwise known as Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. Man-pris and murses galore!

Your Take Away Piece:

“Things may get ugly with all the hype of the ring ceremony and the historic intensity between these two teams. The Bulls and Heat are two of the most competitive teams in the league and they just happen to be each other’s biggest rivals. Hopefully the brawls from last season will be contained and a clean game of basketball will be played. It’s a new year – clean slate right?”

What’s Next:

Be sure to tune in at 7 PM on TNT to catch the conference battle between the Bulls and Heat. You may want to tune in a bit late to miss the ring ceremony theatrics for the diva-licious Heat. It might be the first game of the season, but expect both teams to pull out all the stops in this rivaled match-up.

Check out my whole post via Cheat Sheet: Bulls Open 2013 Season Against Champion Miami Heat | SportsDivas Inc..

Top 10 NBA Players Dispute for 2013-2014

hugs

Sports Illustrated recently released their list of Top 100 NBA Players for 2014 and I have to admit there have been some rocky reviews.

The most public of criticisms came from OKC’s Kevin Durant who came in at #2 in the rankings. During a recent interview KD was asked who he thought was missing from his top 10 players. Durant’s response was James Harden. He was then asked who should be moved so Harden could enter the top 10 and KD said Dwyane Wade. Wade had come in at No. 8 on the list and Harden at 11.

And the social media throwdown began. Wade came back with this photo of his personal “reminder” for Durant to make him respect his legacy.

Dwyane Wade Instagram

What exactly defines a top player in the NBA? Obviously stats are taken into consideration. Who has the highest shooting percentages? Who scores the most points, has the most assists, the most rebounds? Who plays the most minutes? Who has the best defense? But to be the BEST in a league of stars it’s more than just statistics. In my mind it’s the guy who single handily takes his team to the next level by being on the court. He’s THE guy who needs a strong supporting cast to win championships, but leads the way to greatness. He’s not only explosive on offense, but can shut you down on defense during the next possession.

Here are SI’s top 10 players:

top 10

In all honesty I agree with KD, DWade is not a top 10 player in 2014 – there’s no way. The guy’s knees are in BAD shape. He didn’t blow and ACL or an Achilles, but his knees are not what they used to be. Also, last time I checked Wade barely played during the conference finals as well as the nba finals and the Heat won their second consecutive championship title just fine.

Where’s Chicago’s main man Derrick Rose? He’s been off the court for a year and coming off an ACL injury, but reports state he’s stronger than ever. Is Russell Westbrook, who also blew his ACL last season, a better point guard than Derrick Rose? Hell no. Also, last time I checked Rose won himself a nice MVP title just a few short years ago something KD, Chris Paul and Westbrook have yet to achieve.

What about Kobe Bryant. He’s 35 and coming off of an achilles injury. Reports are glowing with the miraculous rehab Kobe’s had, but he’s still past his prime. I know better than to doubt Kobe, but I don’t think I’d put him before Derrick Rose at this very moment in time.

Dwight Howard is another ranking I disagree with. Last time I checked the guy had a healthy Kobe Bryant next to him all last season and didn’t do squat. He got shut DOWN by Nazr Mohammed when the Lakers played the Bulls. I’m not trash talking my man Nazi, but he’s not a candidate for defensive player of the year.

AGE FACTOR: Tim Duncan may have stoically made it into the NBA finals last season, but he will be another year older this season. Will Tim Duncan be a better player than James Harden and Derrick Rose. Nope, no way.

If I had to rank, here’s my top 10:

  1. Lebron James
  2. Kevin Durant
  3. Chris Paul
  4. Carmelo Anthony
  5. Derrick Rose
  6. James Harden
  7. Tony Parker
  8. Kobe Bryant
  9. Tim Duncan
  10. Dwight Howard

The farther you scroll through the list the more questions you have. Check out the full list here: http://nba.si.com/2013/09/20/top-100-players-of-2014-nos-10-1/2/

Who’s your top 10?

Biggest NBA Fashion Faux Pas

russell-westbrook-kevin-durant-lebron-james-dwyane-wade-glassesToday’s professional athletes are not only remarkably talented at their given sport, but have also become legitimate celebrities. They attend the best parties (on the off season of course) and eat at the finest restaurants, but these pros have also taken interest in their overall fashion sense and ultimately an extension of their personal “brand.”

Specifically, NBA players have snagged the spot of most “fashion forward” when it comes to professional athletes. Because the NBA playoffs are broadcast nationally, it is the time of year most eyes are on these players vying for the National Championship. The NBA playoffs have also become a time I like to refer to as “NBA Fashion Month.” This is where we get a true look at the boundaries these guys are willing to push.

Becoming a trend setter is something any fashionista strives to achieve, but sometimes these NBA fashion mavens push the envelope just a little too far. Here are some of the NBA’s biggest fashion misses.

Man-pris:

dwyane.wade_man pris

It’s the second round of the NBA playoffs and DWade comes strolling in to take on the Heat’s rivaled Chicago Bulls. The camera is zoomed in on his upper half where he’s looking casually cool, rocking some lightly shaded sunglasses and a stylish double breasted blazer. THEN the camera zooms and out we notice that Dwayne Wade is wearing capris and we have a solid look at the man’s ankles. Rule of thumb – Man-pris are not and will never be sexy.

Westbrook manpriI had thought DWade’s man-pri mania was just a phase or perhaps he had washed a pair of dry clean only pants, but then the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook shows up on Instagram with this number. I couldn’t contain myself. He wore this outfit to an actual event he attended with his mother.

Grandpa Sweaters:

LeBron-James-searches-for-answer-on-deplorable-sweater2-594x329There must be something in the water in Miami because this palm tree-type grandpa sweater Lebron wore for a post-game press conference is rough. The fitted sweater would be fine had it been a nice solid red, instead it has a very floral print on it.

Carmelo-Anthony-2013-nba-playoffs-fashion-game-4-round-2A little farther up the east coast, the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony rocked an equally grandpa sweater for a different post-game interview with the press. He even accessorized with a grandpa hat.

Eccentric Prints:

westbrook prints

Russell Westbrook LOVES prints. He loves print polos, print button ups, print pants – you name it and Westbrook wants it to have a print on it. Most of the time they’re not prints you’d want to find anywhere other than a shower curtain.

dwade floral printDWade strikes again and this time it looks like he’s wearing some type of curtain he found in a Cuban abuela’s house down in Miami. Aye dios mio.

Pleather:

Harden PleatherPleather may have made it’s way onto the runways this past spring season, but that doesn’t mean we want to see it on professional athletes. James Harden played like a monster in Houston last  season however the brown leather patches don’t work with the black frames and black beard. 

Justin BieberHonorable mention to “NBA Fan” Justin Bieber and his pleather shirt he wore on the sidelines of the playoffs this season – YIKES.

The Murse:

murseA man purse – more commonly known as a “murse” is not an easy accessory to pull off. Purses are highly feminine, but sometimes men have things they need to bring with them that won’t fit in their tightly fitted pants pockets. Unfortunately, Dwyane Wade’s red murse does not make the cut of acceptable man bags.

lebron-man-purseAs teammates on a championship basketball team, it’s only proper if King James also sports a murse when heading to the locker room before games. I don’t know if it’s because these guys are extra huge, but carrying a tiny little purse seems extra hysterical. I would invest in a designer gym-bag guys.

The Way to a Woman’s Heart:

GQ has the right idea for these extremely fit physiques – stick to the suits boys. There is nothing a woman loves more than a man in a fitted suit (the pocket squares don’t hurt either).

suits

Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers

If you stopped watching the NBA Playoffs when our depleted Bulls were bounced last week in round two, you may want to consider tuning back in starting tonight as the Eastern Conference Finals are about to get underway.

The post season is far from over as four teams remain (down from the original 16) and are looking to advance to the NBA Finals, the final round of the NBA Playoffs. In the Western Conference, the favored San Antonio Spurs are facing off against the underdog Memphis Grizzlies and already have a 2-0 lead in the series.

In the Eastern Conference, for the second year in a row the top seeded Miami Heat find themselves going head-to-head with the third seeded Indiana Pacers. That’s right, two of the Bulls biggest rivals will face-off to claim their throne as the biggest beasts of the East and continue their quest to an NBA title.

Let’s take a closer look at this interesting Eastern Conference matchup that is sure to keep Bulls fans tuning in just a little longer.

On one end of the court you’ll find the Pacers who have the league’s best defense led by big nasty Roy Hibbert and on the opposite side you have the defending Champion Miami Heat with the hottest commanding offense in the NBA led by four-time MVP Lebron James. Will the Pacers tough antics rattle Miami’s nearly perfect offense? We will soon find out. Here’s the need to know information for round 3.

Read the entire Eastern Finals Preview with Key Players, need to know facts and predictions at SportsDivasInc.com via Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers | SportsDivas Inc..

Heat Take Game 4 in the Finals; Thunder Need to Rally

It pains me to say this, but the Miami Heat are one game away from clinching the NBA Championship title. They lead the series 3-1 after they topped the OKC Thunder 104-98 in Game 4 and with the 2-3-2 format of the NBA Finals they have another home game for Game 5, all the odds are in their favor.

Here are some memorable moments from Game 4: 

  1. This little lady, Julia Dale, sang the National Anthem at last night’s game and man does she have some pipes for an 11-year-old. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t Julia’s first rodeo, she sang the anthem during the 2011 NBA Finals as well and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
  2. In general, people don’t like the Heat because of their attitudes and diva-like habits. Dwyane Wade embraced stereotypical Heat behavior when he “injured” his back on a nicely braced fall, hobbled off the court holding his back, and was back in the game bouncing around within seconds. FAKER. Wade finished with 25 points on 19 shots, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks.
  3. The West’s favorite fashion forward point guard has a brag and boo for Game 4. Russell Westbrook’s explosive 43-point performance in Game 4 ranks up there as one of the best in recent NBA Finals history (brag). Unfortunately, I think the majority of fans will remember his lapse of awareness in the finals seconds that cost the Thunder a chance to tie the game and sealed the deal for Miami (boo). Since 1985, only three players have scored more points in the finals and the list includes: Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal. That’s an elite bunch if you ask me.
  4. King James had a king cramp in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Why was Bron Bron so dehydrated? Can’t handle the Heat? Or was he out at the clubs partying too hard? Regardless, watching Lebron sit on his little blue mat to stretch at the end of the game gave me a chuckle. James led Miami with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
  5. The Heat’s Mario Chalmers had one of the best games of his career; coming up big when it mattered most. Chalmers had a post-season high scoring19 of his 25 points in the second half, 12 of them coming in the fourth quarter when Lebron was struggling with his man cramps.

It’s not very likely that the Thunder will come back from being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals to claim the crown, but hopefully they put up a decent fight in Game 5. I’d like to see at least one more game in Oklahoma City before this series is over. Make’em work!

Top Reasons to Tune into the NBA Finals

After months of playoff games, only the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder have survived to compete in the final battle to claim the 2012 NBA Championship title. Heat versus Thunder is very atmospheric. If you’re a diehard Chicago fan, the Thunder and Heat facing-off in the finals may not tickle your fancy, but here are some reasons to tune in:

The OKC Thunder and Miami Heat are one sexy matchup. Easily two of the most athletic teams in the NBA, this series will be an amazing display of basketball. The beasts of the East – Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – are taking on the best of the West – Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. The Heat are looking for redemption after blowing it in the finals last year to the Dallas Mavericks and the Thunder are young and eager to get their hands on the Championship trophy.

The “King” Lebron James. We love to hate “Bron Bron”, but he is the reigning MVP for a reason – he’s got game ladies, on the basketball court of course. Even if he makes your blood boil, it’s worth tuning in to cheer on the Thunder and keep King James from getting his paws on a Championship ring.

Kevin Durant’s Seamless Swagger. Durant is playing for his first NBA title at age 23 and just makes the game look so easy. If you’ve ever heard anything about fantasy basketball, you know Durant is a hot commodity because he is the top scorer in the NBA. The Durant-James matchup is perfection in the eyes of any basketball fan. Let the best player win.

The Bearded Warrior. James Harden has quite possibly the most impressive beard the NBA has ever seen. It doesn’t hurt that this sweet-shooting lefty can score some serious points from downtown or take it straight to the hoop. The Miami Heat should fear the beard because Harden could easily be the difference maker in this star studded matchup.

Fashion Forward Showdown. The duo of Lebron James and Dwyane Wade push the fashion limits in the East, but Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are demonstrating their fashion swagger in the West. Prepare yourself for some crazy fake-frames, some outrageously bright colors, and possibly something better than a Teddy Bear button up from Westbrook. If nothing else, you could be thoroughly entertained by the pre and post game ensembles.

What else is on TV? Other than the bachelorette on Monday nights, the summer TV lineup is a little lame, so why not watch some insanely ripped men run around the basketball court? If you’re a sports junkie, it’s still the best option since the LA Kings just won the Stanley Cup, baseball is too early to invest in just yet and football doesn’t start for a few more months.

What’s next: The madness deemed the NBA finals! Check out the schedule below, this isn’t basketball you’ll want to miss!

2012 NBA Finals Series Schedule (courtesy of NBA.com):

Game 1 – In OKC – Tuesday, June 12, 8:00 PM CT, ABC

Game 2 – In OKC -Thursday, June 14, 8:00 PM CT, ABC

Game 3 – In Miami – Sunday, June 17, 7:00 PM CT, ABC

Game 4 – In Miami – Tuesday, June 19, 8:00 PM CT, ABC

*Game 5 – In Miami – Thursday, June 21, 8:00 PM CT, ABC

*Game 6 – In OKC – Sunday, June 24, 7:00 PM CT, ABC

*Game 7 – In OKC – Tuesday, June 26, 8:00 PM CT, ABC

*if necessary

The NBA Playoffs Are Bringing Out All the NBA Divas

What’s been more captivating during the 2012 NBA playoffs: the fashion on display during press conferences or the actual play on the court? At this point, the answer may be a tough one! The NBA hotshots are really pulling out all the stops when it comes to pushing the limits and taking some serious fashion risks. I do appreciate a man with confidence in his fashion sense, but it may be time to call the fashion police on some of these gentlemen.

Westbrook (left) and Durant (right) show off their swagger in Game 5

The biggest fashion statements have been made in the Western Conference by two of the OKC Thunder’s star players. Who are the two fashion divas you ask? Point guard Russell Westbrook and All-Star forward Kevin Durant. These two have gotten real sassy for the cameras off the court. Durant has been a fashion forward athlete throughout his career and his beige-and-black stripes are fine and dandy, but Westbrook looks like he may have gotten caught in a kaleidoscope.

Westbrook’s Teddy-rific Ensemble

The talented and often criticized point gaurd has been on another fashion level this post season and his game-day outfits have become the talk of the NBA playoffs. I think the collared shirt above was taken out of the Berenstain Bears collection circa 1990. Not too sure the teddy bear button-up would be perceived as intimidating by his competitors? Below are some more outrageous patterns Westbrook has donned in front of the press: fishing bait, graffiti and technicolor scary .

 

Westbrook’s flare has been rubbing off on the younger fans too. Kendrick Perkins Jr. has been dressing like Russell Westbrook during the OKC Thunder games.

Durant and Westbrook have kept people buzzing in the West, but the East has its own fashion enthusiasts. The Miami Heat’s “dynamic duo” Lebron James and Dwyane Wade always dress to impress. The Celtic’s point guard Rajon Rondo, who has been an animal in the Eastern Conference finals, has been taking some crazy fashion leaps as well – sometimes he hits his mark and sometimes he’s way off (see photo at the top of the post…YIKES).

If you’ve found yourself watching the NBA conference finals with the men in your life even though the Bulls are long gone, at least the pre and post game fashions can keep you entertained. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the NBA finals.