Thunder defeat Cavs; Dodgers make move; Cards-Rams.
Thunder defeated the Cavs Thursday night in a potential preview of the NBA Finals. Cavs were without LeBron James, who sat out due to knee soreness and one could say that they needed the 4X MVP. WHile people expected a Bronny vs. KD matchup, I was excited to see Kyrie and Russell go at it. I would say Russell won the battle today, scoring 26 points with 8 dimes and 7 boards, while shooting 50% from the field. His counterpart, Irving, had less turnovers than Russell (1 to 4) but only 20 points, 6 dimes, and 3 boards and 33% from the field. I personally think Russell is a better PG than K.I. but both are very great scorers, so you can't lose with either star.
The Cavs shot a woeful 36% from the field as a team, not one player shooting at least 50%. Even K-Love, who finished with 18 points and 16 boards, was 5-13. The Cavs was actually up at the end of the 1st quarter but it was all Thunder from there on out. Thunder played great defense, finishing the night with 9 steals and 11 blocks as a team. The Thunder are currently 5-1 in their last 6 games, also since Russell and KD returned. Right now they are 9-13, 3 1/2 games out of 8th place, currently held by the Suns. I see this team making it to the playoffs as a 7th or 8th seed, which is dangerous for the top two seeds. This is not a team you want to play in the 1st round.
Dodgers have been making some big moves this week. They traded Matt Kemp to the Padres in a 5-man trade, signed Jimmy Rollins, traded Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, and Miguel Rojas to the Marlins, and acquired Howie Kendirck from the Angels. Not to mention they are still looking to deal Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier. I understand getting rid of Kemp because they were over populated in the outfield. I like the Dodgers moves because they got rid of people but did well replacing them. It will be interesting to see how they will make out next season.
The National League will be thick next season. The Cubs made the biggest splash by signing former Rays manager, Joe Maddon, and former Red Sox Ace, Jon Lester. I don't think they will make the postseason, but they are going into the right direction. I can see them being a contender but they are still inexperience which I think will cost them in come August-September. Marlins also made some moves to be a potential playoff contender, breaking the bank for Giancarlo Stanton, and making a trades to put talent around the future star.
I picked the Cardinals to lose this game just because I thought the Rams were going to play great defense at home, which they did. The Rams allowed only 274 yards and 0 TDs, unfortunately the Cardinals defense played better. Cardinals also allowed less than 300 total yards, 270, and 0 TDs. If you're a fan of high-scoring games and TDs than this was not the game for you. Defensively, it was enjoyable to watch but the dome atmosphere makes it boring. The Cardinals did something the Broncos and Seahawks couldn't do and that was win in the Edward Jones Dome. Cardinals still hold the best record in the NFC and first team to win 11 games. Things only get harder for the Cardinals from here on out though, as they are down to their 3rd string QB due to Drew Stanton suffering a knee injury in the 3rd quarter of this game. Depending on the severity of Stanton's injury, Ryan Lindley will be the starter. I wonder if Bruce Arians think he can win the Super Bowl with Lindley?