After beating fellow one seed Gonzaga in an ugly championship game filled with fouls and missed calls, the North Carolina Tar Heels are your new college basketball National Champions. As usual, the NCAA Tournament was filled with a number of storylines, from NBA prospects to Cinderella stories to major upsets. However, during the Final four (and especially the championship game), word got out that North Carolina’s student section was not full, only for the NCAA to fill the remainder of the section with nearby Arizona State students. Why was the Carolina student section not full? Perhaps my own personal student Final Four experience can shed some light and disprove inaccuracies about the whole process.
What a weekend for the city of New Orleans. They hosted the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend festivities on short notice after the NBA moved it from Charlotte, but it’s what happened after the game that topped headlines Monday morning. Shortly after the game, the New Orleans Pelicans completed a the biggest heist of the past several years to give them the best front court in the NBA by acquiring DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. And boom goes the dynamite.
As I wrote this, my favorite NFL team, the Chicago Bears, was playing on national television against their fierce rivals the Green Bay Packers on a Thursday night. It’s one of the oldest rivalries in football and even though the Bears are bad this year, I still support them throughout the struggles. I’ve spent the majority of my life rooting for a team who mostly won 5-7 games each year, save a few. That’s what being a fan is all about. While I’ll always support and root for them, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to watch every game.
Instead of that game, I watched the Chicago Cubs face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the NLCS. So why did I choose that game over my favorite football team on national television? It seems like an increasing number of people are beginning to follow that trend.
The three point shot in the NBA seems to have taken over the game over the past few seasons. With the emergence and success of the playing style of the Golden State Warriors, many teams are looking to replicate their success in any way possible. Teams have always looked to sharpshooters, such as Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Steve Kerr, Kyle Korver, and plenty others. But now, NBA teams are looking to build a roster full of guys who are capable of shooting from distance, not just one or two shooters.
While the three point shot can be entertaining, it can be just the opposite when teams are overly inefficient with it and when players who can’t make the shot frequently enough still attempt it regularly. There is not much more frustrating in basketball than watching a team struggle to make threes, yet still attempt nearly 20 threes per game. It seems like a wasted possession every time, and in a way it is if you’re making less than 30% of your three point shots. What can the NBA do to ensure that the three point shot doesn’t envelop the game?
The 2016-17 NBA season is upon us already! With the help of the Olympics, the time spent without basketball seemed much shorter, and the NBA preseason is already underway.
As usual, the NBA offseason was not without its storylines. Players switch teams during free agency, and as a result, new rivalries form, old rivalries are rekindled, and established rivalries strengthen. Teams are heading into camps with a sense of optimism as the 82 game regular season approaches in just a matter of weeks, and they’re trying to get a feel for new faces in the locker room as well as new competition around the league.
Throughout the preseason I’ll break down each division, team by team, in the order in which I think they’ll finish. I’ll review their offseason and look ahead to the 2016-17 season and what may lie ahead, starting in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.