Old Man River

By James Gleason (@Gleasonavenue)

It was a mid warm spring in 2014, the NBA season was over and for the first time since 2007 the Toronto Raptors were in the NBA Playoffs. It was a year of surprise and promise, Kyle Lowry was becoming the leader and heart of the Raptors we all know now and Demar Derozan was just starting to show that he can be the guy for Toronto when they needed him. Everything was going the Raptors way,  and so I made my way to Maple Leaf Square, full of excitement and really not knowing what would happen. These Raptors have never been in the post-season, these Raps were not around when guys like Richard Jefferson and Dwight Howard were making it look like summer league against the Raps. That was a rough and uneasy time, because that team was suppose to be pretty good. A team with just getting really good Chris Bosh, tag teamed with suppose to be monster Jermaine O’neal was looked to be a dangerous team that choked when it got tough. So when they got almost swept by the Magic and a  monster of a man Dwight Howard, it turned into years of futility and uneasiness. Chris Bosh eventually left town in 2010-2011, Jermaine O’neal eventually led down the old player trying to keep his career afloat road, playing for teams like Miami, Pheonix, and eventually Boston where he would retire. It felt like a century when the Raptors returned in 2014, so you can see the buzz around the city and you can see that as much as the leafs took control of the Square then, as soon as the Raptors gave us a promising product on the floor, the rabid fan-base people know now started to appear. The Raptors first playoff appearance in 6 years deserved a family of fans to watch outside the ACC to support this new yet recognizable feeling.

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The SZN

By James Gleason  (@Gleasonavenue)

The NBA is a pretty star driven league, and has been for a good while. Yes there are 5 players on the court all with some level of amazing nba talent, but few teams have real star studded, no doubters superstars players on their teams that they can lean on. Players that can carry a team of role players and 10 day contracts to the top or near the top of their respective conferences. The Cavs have Lebron, the Pacers have Paul George ( though for how long who knows) The Spurs have Kawhi Leonard, the Celtics have Isiah Thomas and the OKC Thunder have this machine of destruction called Russel Westbrook. A man on a mission to prove doubters wrong and, although he won’t admit it, is on a revenge tour of the decade after his teammate Kevin Durant left him in the dust to join the megazord known as the Golden State Warriors. If this is what pissed of Russ looks like it is a  damn exciting thing to watch, even if his team struggles in the meantime.

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NBA Playoff Games I Would Love To See

By James Gleason (@Gleasonavenue)

We are still a bit far off from the start of the NBA Playoffs, and seeds could change in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. But if the playoffs did start today, there would be some interesting and some fun match-ups going on. The Bucks could return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, the Wizards could be a strong contender for second in the east a year after one of the more disappointing seasons for that franchise. The Cavs look good to lock up another top seed in the east, even if they are not as strong recently as they have been before. The West has a few interesting possible match up as well, and the Utah Jazz might be the most intriguing team to watch down the stretch. Here are some playoff games i would not mind seeing myself.

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Looking At The Big Winners Of The 2016-17 Trade Deadline

By James Gleason (@Gleasonavenue)

With the 2016-17 Trade Deadline here and gone, teams for the most part stayed pat despite numerous rumors across the nba. Paul George stayed in Indiana, despite shivering rumors of him going to Boston so Danny Ainge can unload on all of the picks he has. But that never happened, and if George is going to go anywhere it’s to LA in the off-season, that is if the Pacers are not contenders for the title. Which they probably won’t be, unless teams like Washington, Boston or Toronto start to slide real badly. Jimmy Butler stayed put in Chicago, even after everyone thought he would be moved and the Bulls would clear house.  Little happened on the actual Deadline day, but teams like Toronto, Dallas, and Houston got some good additions to either their future or current teams. The Raptors added a much-needed wing defender that can shoot in PJ Tucker, the Mavs got a young and promising center in Nerlens Noel, and the Rockets added another three-point shooter in Lou Williams, who scored 27 points in his debut.

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Philadelphia Trades Nerlens Noel to Dallas for Protected First Round Pick, Anderson and Bogut

By James Gleason (@Gleasonavenue)

The first deal of the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline was made, as the Philadelphia 76ers traded one of their young bigs in Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for Kyle Anderson, Andrew Bogut (who is expected to be bought out), and a 1-18 protected 1st round pick in Junes draft, this coming from a tweet by Yahoo reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.

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