NBA Team Soundtracks – Warriors, Cavaliers, Hawks

With the off-season officially underway, the Shoot or Pass podcast crew name the soundtracks that best describe each NBA team’s 2019-20 season.

In their latest episode (OUT NOW), they name the NBA Team soundtracks for the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Atlanta Hawks.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

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GABE

“Here I Go Again” – Whitesnake

Off the top of my head, here’s what I came up with for the first of my NBA team soundtracks. I am taking it back to the year 1982 with “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. I feel like Golden State may have felt a little slighted before Kevin Durant arrived and more so now that he is gone. Was it all just a flash in the pan for the Warriors?

Chorus –

“And here I go again on my own,

Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,

Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone,

And I’ve made up my mind,

I ain’t wasting no more time,

But here I go again.”

The Golden State team returning next season will be playing with a chip on their shoulders, fighting to get back to the top of the West again the only way they know how. The lyrics in the chorus describe just that (in this context). In reality, this song is actually about the breakdown of Whitesnake’s lead singer David Cordell’s marriage.

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RHOBY

“Bounce Back” – Big Sean

The Golden State Warriors took a BIG L this season after losing Kevin Durant in a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets. Not to mention, they lost Klay Thompson for the season to a torn ACL, which he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. To add insult to injury, Steph Curry was also out for a while after breaking his hand. An aging Andre Iguodala was sent to Memphis, where he didn’t stick around for too long before bolting to paradise in Miami. Needless to say, the 2019-20 season was a wash for the Warriors. However, with the return of their star players and the second pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, the boys from the Bay are expected to “bounce back”.

Chorus –

“Last night took an L but tonight I bounce back”

First verse –

“Clique star-studded like the Paramount mountain,

Everything I do is righteous,

Betting on me is the right risk, even in a fucking crisis..”

Second verse –

“N**** I’m takin’ back control,

The under dog just turned into the wolf and the hunger steady grows,

Yeah, I call shots while you call off,

Never takin’ summer or fall off,

When you stay that committed to it, you just fall down and never fall off..”

The Warriors are looking to regain control of Western Conference, now as underdogs, to the Lakers. I think we can all agree that there will be many jumping on the bandwagon next season because that is the team they are betting on to dethrone LeBron James and the Lakers out West. Assuming they achieve this, then we can say that their 2019-20 season was just them falling down, but not falling off.

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CHEVY

“California Love” – Tupac

The Golden State Warriors are in need of some “California Love” after a long (and unexpected) losing season due to trades and injuries. Honestly, who the hell was starting for this team aside from Draymond Green? I don’t know.

I think the Warriors are getting a lot of love right now. For one, Stephen A. Smith decided to jump on TV right after the Lakers won the NBA Finals to warn the newly-crowned champs about this team next season. This song represents a state that is stacked with three competitive NBA teams with the Lakers, Clippers, and the team from the Bay who love to win and love to party. I mean, look at the last 5-6 seasons, all of whose NBA champions came from the state of California!

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

GABE

“1st of Tha Month” – Bone Thugs N Harmony

I’m sorry, but I am going to have hit you with Bone Thugs’ “1st of Tha Month” here. That was best I could come up with as far as NBA Team soundtracks for the Cleveland Cavaliers are concerned. The only thing I can correlate this to are three words: first-round picks. They are going to have to hit the jackpot with them to win again.

RHOBY

“Brand New Day” – Sting

Obviously, since the departure of LeBron James (again), the Cavaliers were expected to be in full rebuild mode for a while. They ended this season with a 19-46 record which is TECHNICALLY an improvement over the 19-63 record they had in the previous season (as they got to those 19 wins in 17 fewer games). Another positive for this season – Collin Sexton, who really progressed in his second year, averaging 20.8 ppg (up from 16.7 in his rookie season). Who knows? Maybe he and Darius Garland are the backcourt of the future for the Cavs!

They also got rid of John Beilein and replaced him with J.B. Bickerstaff for head coach, whose record stood at 5-6 before the hiatus. That record may not be a vast improvement, but it appears that the players are happier playing under him, so far at least. Andre Drummond has also been a good addition to this team. Perhaps, this will be enough for Kevin Love to stick around, as this team has some pieces that look promising.

First verse –

“How many of you people out there been hurt in some kind of love affair?

And how many times do you swear that you’ll never love again?

How many lonely, sleepless nights?

How many lies, how many fights?

“How could it be that what you need the most,

Can leave you feeling just like a ghost?”

Chorus –

Why don’t we turn the clock to zero, honey?

I’ll sell the stock, we’ll spend all the money,

We’re starting up a brand new day,

Turn the clock all the way back.

A lot of the lyrics in this song point to heartbreak from a loved one hurting and leaving one “feeling like a ghost” (thanks, LeBron). However, the chorus makes it clear – “We’re starting up a brand new day”. Cavaliers fans should look ahead, for there is hope.

CHEVY

“Memories” – Maroon 5

Hear me out, guys. This song right here gets me every time, I can only imagine what it does for Cavaliers fans (in this context)! I bet it brings back a lot of nostalgic memories. In case you missed it, there’s a man out there who just raised his fourth Larry O’ Brien trophy in one arm and his fourth NBA Finals MVP trophy in the other just four years after he left you for the second time! All the while, your team has done nothing more than sit around and watch. Undoubtedly so, LeBron James is sorely missed. MEMORIES are all the city of Cleveland has left.

ATLANTA HAWKS

GABE

“Welcome to Atlanta” – Ludacris featuring Jermaine Dupri

Once again, another lazy choice from me. I promise to do better in the next round. But hey, “if the shoe fits,” right?

Chorus-

Welcome to Atlanta, where the players play,

And we going for that dub like every day,

Big beats, hit streets, see gangsters roaming,

And parties don’t stop ’til eight in the morning..”

Let’s pretend for a moment that instead of rapping about the Falcons, Luda and J.D. are rapping about the Hawks. Trae Young is the guy leading this team to these “dubs like every day” with BIG plays and BIG shots, always striving for more. Maybe the “gangsters roaming” here can refer to the other teams making waves in the Eastern Conference (like, you know, those Goons from Dade-County, perhaps?)

RHOBY

“Glowed Up” – KAYTRANADA featuring Anderson .Paak

This was one was tough. I have to admit, I did not follow the Hawks much other than when they played against my HEAT this season. In my research for NBA team soundtracks, I just kept coming back to one name – Trae Young. This season, it was all about the leap he made to becoming an All-Star starter.

With the suspension of John Collins early on (and even after his return), the Hawks were relying heavily on Young to get them over the hump each night. Being the team’s biggest and most consistent weapon (offensively at least), it was easy for opponents to shut the team down. This was even more apparent when closing out games, as the Hawks struggled the most down the stretch.

Second Verse –

“Full power until we reach the maximum,

Gone are all my worries, I’m looney, absolutely out my dome,

Stackin’ my capital, while carving my legacy,

Now tell me, is you with me, with me, with me? Chaperone.”

That verse right there, is Trae putting his teammates, his peers, and the NBA world on notice!

CHEVY

“We Are Young” – F.U.N.

I also took the “Atlanta Hawks 2019-20 season was all about Trae Young” angle, choosing F.U.N.’s “We Are Young”. This is simple. The Hawks have a young core of Trae Young and John Collins leading the way. Maybe in this context, we can correlate the song title “We are (Trae) Young” to how this team should be describing themselves.

Honestly, I don’t really to watch anything Hawks-related unless it is involving him. I mean, they were figuratively “carried home” when the NBA season went on hiatus and didn’t even get an invitation to play in the NBA Bubble. Perhaps, that has them angry enough to “set the world on fire”? I guess we will find out next season!

Check back here for more NBA Team soundtracks throughout the off-season!

For more NBA content, listen to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every week!

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Anthony Davis’ Playoff Run: Better than KD’s 2017 run?

There is no doubt that Anthony Davis’ playoff run with the Los Angeles Lakers cemented his legacy as one of the greats. But, how does it stack up against Kevin Durant’s incredible 2017 playoff run with the Golden State Warriors? The Shoot or Pass crew break it down below.

Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby SHOOT if they agree or PASS if they disagree on the following statement:

Anthony Davis’ playoff run this season is not as great as Kevin Durant’s 2017 playoff run.

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GABE – SHOOT

When Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors – the dude was UNSTOPPABLE! I mean, he was all over the freaking court. It’s close, but Durant was shooting effectively from ANYWHERE on the court. To guard this guy, you either had to trap him half court or try to get the ball out of his hands.

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RHOBY – SHOOT

I have to shoot here for two simple reasons:

1) KD has one more ring and

2) I think you always have to lean more toward the better shot-creator and primary ball-handler, who in this case is happens to also be KD.

However, if you look at both of their stats in the playoffs, they are very similar. They are both playing 35-36 mins a game – with Davis averaging 27.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, and 3.4 apg vs. Durant’s 28.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, and 4.3 apg. Now that Anthony Davis has a ring, the debate definitely gets tougher, as you can certainly make a compelling argument on his behalf.

Ultimately, the success both of these guys have had comes down to how well they complemented their respective teams. It was easier for KD be a pure scorer on that Golden State team, and I saw a really good comment on Reddit that described AD on this Lakers team – “AD plays like Dirk on offense and Time Duncan on defense.”

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CHEVY – SHOOT

Kevin Durant is a special player, arguably one of the best when healthy. Everyone was picking on him when he made the choice to join the Golden State Warriors as him riding coattails and taking the easy way out.

But, let’s not forget – KD was absolutely, hands down, the best player on the court during the NBA Finals that year. Remember the go-ahead three pointer he hit over LeBron James to complete the comeback and get a win in Game 3 against the Cavaliers?

It settled the case for his NBA Finals MVP bid and rightfully so. The man was hard to beat. He might have his own thing going with burner accounts on social media and all that, but it is not hard to give him credit for his contributions to the game, particularly during his 2017 playoff run. It’s kind of funny how that works, because other guys (LeBron James), are still having to demand respect despite their accomplisments.


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Miami HEAT’s Playoff Run – NBA Bubble Eulogies

The Los Angeles Lakers hold Jimmy Butler and the Miami HEAT to just two wins in the 2020 NBA Finals, winning their 17th title on Sunday night.

Regardless of the end result, the Miami HEAT’s playoff run was nothing short of MAGICAL at Disney World. We send the last team eliminated from playoff contention home with a very heartfelt NBA Bubble Eulogy.

Describe the Miami HEAT’s playoff run in one word. MEMORABLE! REMARKABLE! INCREDIBLE! (I can keep going if you want).

A team with NO SUPERSTARS (though Jimmy Butler deserves some damn respect) who had no chance to win a game vs. LeBron and the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals won TWO.

Think I’m discrediting LeBron James? I’m not (sort of).

However, if you take a look at the players who had a big role in the HEAT’s playoff run, you’ll see a couple of late lottery picks in Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Jimmy Butler. You will also find some second-rounders (Jae Crowder and Goran Dragic) and of course, the diamonds in the rough – Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn who went UNDRAFTED.

While they were a shoo-in for the NBA Playoffs in the Eastern Conference, no one saw them getting too far. Sure enough, the “Goons from Dade-County” put T.J. Warren’s hot streak in the bubble on ice, sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round.

Up next for Jimmy Butler was the Milwaukee Bucks, who found themselves struggling in the bubble, but were still the top seed in the East. No way he could get past this season’s MVP and DPOY Giannis Antetokounmpo. The road should end here. Challenge accepted. Even when Khris Middleton lead a furious rally for a potential comeback by winning Game 4, the HEAT staved them off to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Up next, their toughest opponents yet – the Boston Celtics.

The HEAT were finding themselves in quite the scoring deficits early and with their Zone D unlocked by Gordon Hayward, but came back. EVERY. TIME. Even with a win in Game 5 that included a 41-point third quarter led by Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo finished the Celtics with a 32-point performance in Game 6. The 5th-seeded Miami HEAT were about to face the man they made an NBA Champion twice – LeBron James.

Walt Disney could not have written a better script for this team. Or perhaps, he could have because as the fairytale season continued, shit started getting real dark for this Cinderella team. Bam, Goran, and Jimmy all got knocked out in Game 1 and the HEAT found themselves completely over-matched by the Lakers. After falling 0-2, the series was practically over. But, HEAT Culture would not allow a sweep. This is a team with grit, heart, and hustle. A team who defied the odds all season and now that they got a taste of success, wanted to chug the entire bottle of it – Meyers Leonard style.

Enter JAMES BUTLER. The man who willingly came to Miami in a trade from Philadelphia to party in paradise but instead, put the team on his back, gifting us all with some iconic performances in Games 3 and 5. Granted, even that would not be enough, but the HEAT did push the Lakers further than any other opponent they faced in the playoffs this season.

No “good riddance’s”, only a celebration of the HISTORIC playoff run

With that said, this NBA Bubble Eulogy is a celebration, meant to highlight the accomplishments of the Miami HEAT’s playoff run. Nothing to be ashamed of here, a bright future awaits. Thank you, HEAT Nation. Can’t wait to be back in the NBA Finals next season!

MIAMI HEAT

We are here to celebrate a remarkable run by the Miami HEAT,

Who shouldn’t have made the Finals & after Game 1, should’ve gone up in flames,

But they swept the Pacers, beat the Bucks up, & sent the Celtics home crying,

Undersized, overmatched, short-handed, they managed to push the Lakers to 6 games.

So let us remember the men who defied all odds to make this happen,

Like the baby G.O.A.T. Tyler Herro, whose cojones grew three sizes with every shot he took,

& Duncan – who Miami still runs on when he shoots, but runs away from when he plays defense,

We will never forget the wrist-bending block by Bam that left the entire city of Boston damn near shook.

Shout out to the Dragon, whose contributions were instrumental with 20 ppg before he got hurt,

& to Kendrick Nunn, who played his best in the Finals and is hopefully back to being a top rookie,

Special thanks to the mid-season trade that brought us Jae Crowder, a washed-up Iggy,

& a Solomon Hill who looks like a homeless guy on the court but can still shoot that big threeeeeee!

What more can we say about JAMES BUTLER? Who should’ve been drowning in cocaine and strippers,

Instead, he embodied the HEAT culture, put the team on his back & faced LeBron with absolutely no fear,

Don’t be fooled by his tears, Coach Spo showed us all he is the commensurate mastermind,

Who will use this as motivation and lead the Miami HEAT back to the NBA Finals again next year!


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NBA Finals Player Rankings – STUDS and DUDS

We present the Shoot or Pass Podcast’s version of NBA Finals Player Rankings – STUDS and DUDS!

A new episode of the Shoot or Pass Podcast is out now! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby share their version of the NBA Finals Player Rankings with a segment called STUDS and DUDS. This time around, we are including players who are not currently contending for a ring, but continue to make headlines.

STUDS – THE LAKERS BENCH

I am personally picking the Lakers bench as my STUDS this week. Let’s start with the praise though, because somebody (Gabe) called them a bunch of “rag-tag” guys and they are proving to be the opposite.

It remains to be seen if their productivity will hold up throughout the rest of this NBA Finals series, however, they are complementing the play of LeBron and AD very well. They are averaging 41 points per game vs. the Miami HEAT’s zone defense and are scoring at an average of 44.9% from the field!

Guys like Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris, and even Kyle Kuzma are coming in and knocking down shots as necessary. With Anthony Davis down low and LeBron James swinging the pass, all they have to do is make the open shot. So far, this Lakers bench is executing perfectly.

This is saying a lot about a Lakers bench that often looked pedestrian throughout the season and earlier in their playoff run. It was so bad, I was willing to volunteer myself to get out on the court and knock down shots for less than half their salaries! We’ve alluded to this before, but I will say it again, this team’s ability to flip a switch under the brightest lights is what makes them special. The Lakers supporting cast has certainly come ready to compete in these NBA Finals. Collectively, they are at the top of the NBA Finals Player Rankings.

DUD – DANNY GREEN

I have a friend who made a bet on Danny Green being the first guy to make a three-pointer in Game 1 of this NBA Finals series. It was a good bet to make, given his history. But what do you know? He catches the ball in the corner, throws a brick and of course, the ball rims out. Instead, Jae Crowder came down the other end and ended up making that first shot from beyond the arch. My poor friend.

Beyond the lackluster three-point shooting, his contributions after being inserted into the starting line-up for the Lakers have been abysmal. In an average of 22 minutes, Green is hitting a measly 5.3 points per game. His shooting percentages are getting progressively worse too, going 1-8 in Game 2 and 0-6 in Game 3. Those are bench numbers. In my opinion, it appears he is riding some coattails to get another ring like he did with the Toronto Raptors last season.

STUD – JIMMY “JAMES” BUTLER

I have to go with the easy answer – James Butler. You know, the better James in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Losing the first two games the way the HEAT did seems to have only fueled this guy more. He came out and said they were going to figure it out and WIN the championship, after the team went down 0-2!

Some players fall in big moments, but this Jim-er I mean, James Butler does not back down. He went out there, talked right back to LeBron and LED his team to a big victory. The proof is in the stat line: 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, which puts him among the likes of Jerry West and the other James in this series as the only players to hit a 40-point triple double in NBA Finals history.

Butler won’t even count this as the best game he’s ever played in. His best performance went down against a bunch of 45-year-olds in a pick-up game at the age of 17. Needless to say, LeBron, you’re in trouble.

DUD – LEBRON JAMES

Even though he played well, I am picking LeBron James as my DUD. Before I have the entire internet jumping down my throat, let me point out that he failed to beat a HEAT team led by James Butler and a bunch of Junior Varsity guys!

I understand that Anthony Davis was essentially taken out of the game. However, LeBron knows that he can outperform any guy on the court. And yet, he loses to Solomon Hill (who shoots threes apparently), Andre Iguodala, who is a shell of the player he used to be with Golden State, and smaller rookies like Tyler Herro.

What is happening to the superstar that used to easily take over games and dominate in clutch moments? There was one point in the 4th quarter of Game 3 where “The King” hit an and-1 and I thought to myself, “This is it. The Miami HEAT are going to go down 0-3 in this series. They are done.” Instead, James is seen traveling and carelessly throwing the ball away down the stretch. He was talking some smack and ended up getting PUNKED by James Butler. It was his moment to lead, and he was found walking away from the spotlight. Literally.

STUD – MIAMI HEAT COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA

Indeed, Jimmy Butler is the easy pick for the STUD of the week, but no one has a tougher task at hand than Coach Spo in this NBA Finals series.

Put yourself in his shoes.

Game 1 you watch your 3 best players (Butler, Adebayo, Dragic) go down, with two of them unable to return for the foreseeable future. Your team is undersized, over-matched, and getting OBLITERATED to start. The media is coming to you with comments about people thinking this series is over. They are claiming your team will not be able to overcome the circumstances. Know what Coach Spo does? Finds a way to keep his team competitive and finds a way to win a game against all odds!

I recall seeing a GIF where Jimmy Butler’s head was photo-shopped onto Jon Snow’s body in that one scene during the Battle of the Bastards episode (Game of Thrones fans will know what I am talking about). Everyone is running toward him and he courageously stands alone and promptly pulls his sword out, ready to fight. No disrespectful to the STUD James, but I believe Spo’s head should be the one on Jon Snow’s body on that GIF instead. He is the true superstar for the Miami HEAT in this NBA Finals series.

DUD – KYRIE IRVING

My DUD pick goes to one of the leading men in the upcoming tragic telenovela that will be the 2020-21 Brooklyn Nets – Kyrie Irving.

The man has made the media rounds this week and boy, are these headlines alarming. First, he says that he doesn’t see the Nets having a head coach. Quite the wonderful welcome for your brand new first-time head coach, Steve Nash isn’t it, Nets fans?

Soon after, Irving joins teammate Kevin Durant as the first guest on the latter’s new podcast “The ETC’s”. In this episode, Kyrie talks about how exciting it will be to play alongside Durant, as it will be the first time he will have a teammate equally capable of making the final shot in a big game.

Evidently, his selective memory fails to remind him that:

1) The Brooklyn Nets do have a head coach.

2) He spent years playing alongside one of the greatest to ever play the game in LeBron James.

The jabs at his former teammate were so blatant that he found himself having to recant his comments on an Instagram Live. Does he not realize that there is power in shutting up and letting his game do the talking?

For more content and NBA Finals Player Rankings, listen to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every Monday!

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Fantasy Football Tips: Gabe’s Faves and Fades – Week 4

Last week, I went 6-4-1 with my picks. Unfortunately, a few of my picks are performing better than I thought (at least in the last week). Brees ended up better than I expected thanks to Alvin Kamara taking passes out the backfield for chunk yards. Kenyan Drake was a massive disappointment scoring only 8 FP while Carson suffered a minor ankle injury for the push. CeeDee Lamb was a victim of the “too many mouths to feed” syndrome as Hockenson just straight up flopped. I am hoping that in Week 4 we watch teams with more stability on the field so that I continue to be on the winning column with my fantasy football tips.

QUARTERBACK

Joe Burrow – Burrow is getting better with each game after two close losses and a tie which means he is due for a win. Enter the Jaguars! Jacksonville is ranked 24th in allowing 271.3 pass yards and 16% more fantasy points on the road. – FAVE

Ryan Fitzpatrick – The magic man takes on the Seahawks in what could potentially be the game of the week in terms of passing yards. There is potential for Fitzmagic to be the highest scoring QB on the slate. Seattle is ranked 32nd in allowing 306.8 pass yards while ranked 31st in attempts allowed at 36.8. The Dolphins tend to pass a whopping 50% more when underdogs. I’d be surprised if Fitmagic didn’t surpass the 30 point fantasy mark. – FAVE

Justin Herbert – The Bucs defense is on the rise and only getting better. Making matters worse for Herbert is that defenses tend to disorient rookie QBs. Tampa is ranked 6th in TD’s allows (0.7) and limits opposing QB’s to 15% less pass attempts over their last 9 games. – FADE

RUNNING BACKS

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – This is my guy! I thoguht he was going to be taking a step back going up against a Baltimore Ravens defense on the road. Evidently, the Chiefs have other plans. Involving him in all facets of the run and passing game is making him game-script proof. KC rushes the ball 13% more when favored while the Pats allow 12% more fantasy points to backs on the road. CEH has 112 rec yards this season and i’d expect that to continueFAVE

Darrell Hendersen – THE NEW YORK GIANTS!!! Hendersen is making a good impression over the last two weeks, averaging 21 fantasy points. The Giants are a mess right now ranked 22nd in points allowed to backs. If we are following the game script, the Rams should be ahead early and often which means pounding the rock at will. – FAVE

Washington Football Backs – The back situation here is cloudy as they welcome the presumably pissed off Ravens to town. Gibson in particular has been disappointing after taking the head RB role. The Ravens are 5th ranked in rush TD’s (0.2) and allow 37% less fantasy points to RBs away. – FADE

WIDE RECEIVERS

Tyler Boyd – Makes sense to pair Boyd up with Burrow. Through 3 weeks he is the best slot receiver this season. Boyd has been targeted 20 times in the slot catching 17 balls. He is going up against DJ Hayden whom in which Boyd has the advantage. I can see him scoring between 15-18 fantasy points against the tanking Jags. – FAVE

Hunter Renfrow – Who? Yes Hunter Renfrow! He is basically the last man standing for a receiving corps dealing with injuries. Buffalo allows more passing attempts on the road, second most receiving yards, and the fourth most receptions. To add, Renfrow averages 17 fantasy points per game across 5 games in which his team is the underdog. Hoping this underrated picks bodes well for my fantasy football tips this week! – FAVE

Mike Williams – Read Justin Herbert – FADE

TIGHT ENDS

TJ Hockenson – I’m going back to the well with Hockenson after laying an egg vs. the Cards last week. Coming up are the Saints in Detroit who hemorrhage points to Tight Ends. Tonyan, Waller and Howard all scored above 13 fantasy points against the Saints this season. Furthermore, they are ranked 27th in yards allowed to the position (61.1) while giving up 54% more fantasy points to TE’s when favored. Lock him in. – FAVE

D/ST

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – We always target defenses against rookie quarterbacks and this is no exception. The Chargers are throwing 1.2 INT’s a game and we can expect them to get after Herbert for a few sacks in this one. – FAVE

See my previous Fantasy Football Tips below, and be sure to check back here next week for more FAVES and FADES!


Fantasy Football Picks: Gabe Lloyd’s Faves & Fades – Week 3

Fantasy Football Picks: Gabe Lloyd’s Faves & Fades – Week 2

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Clash of Employment

With WWE forcing its Superstars to sign new employment contracts, is the company overstepping its bounds again?

Heels! It’s your hosts Markus X. Murden and Jose Miranda back this NXT Takeover weekend with a lengthy talk about wrestling this week. WWE produced a surprisingly great show with Clash of Champions this past Sunday. But they then poorly followed it with again trying to blur the lines between employment and being an independent contractor with their Superstars.

AEW celebrates its first anniversary, and we go over some of our favorite details of their tremendous run so far. Shout out to AEW and NJPW for letting their talent breathe.

Check out the show.

Heels of Wrestling is brought to you by co-hosts Markus X. Murden, Esq. and Jose Miranda. Follow us on our social media pages, and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes when they drop.

If you can’t wait until our next episode, head over to our Heels of Wrestling archives or rewind some of our old events on our Soundcloud, iTunes, or any other podcast stations. Peace.

1st & 10 – Episode 6: NFL 2020 – Week 2 Preview

Adam & Mitch go over their picks for the second week of the NFL starting this Thursday with the battle for Ohio. Will your team be picked to win it’s matchup? Tune in and find out!


NBA teams eliminated First Round Playoffs – NBA Bubble Eulogies

NBA teams eliminated from the first round of the playoffs left the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, after their final games.

To commemorate their seasons, the Shoot or Pass podcast crew serve as NBA team Departure Coordinators. They send the teams on their way with heartfelt NBA Bubble Eulogies.

UTAH JAZZ

One of the two final NBA teams eliminated from the first round of the playoffs was the Utah Jazz. After falling to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1, the Jazz took charge, going up 3-1. Two of those victories were blowouts – by 19 points and a whopping 37 points respectively. No one could get enough of watching the duel between Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray. Both were scoring lights out! Mitchell joined elite company after scoring one of the highest point totals in NBA playoff history. Unfortunately, the Nuggets started to turn their fate around, ultimately winning a close and thrilling Game 7 to advance.

The Utah Jazz had championship aspirations,

Without Bojan, they were flying under the radar with their game plan,

Thanks to Rudy Gobert’s ignorance regarding COVID-19,

The league shut down before the playoffs ever began.

A valiant performance by Spida was doomed by an 8-second violation to start,

We were all witnesses to an incredible duel between him and Jamal Murray – second to none,

Following 19 point and 37 point blowouts against a pitiful Nuggets defense,

It was hard to believe the Jazz would not advance once they were up 3-1.

Mike Conley returned with some offensive firepower after having a baby,

Jordan Clarkson proved he can be the next quintessential 6th man kind of fella,

Unfortunately, a crazy sequence of events led to the Jazz’s final shot in Game 7 going in and out,

It was heartbreaking to watch their season end with #45 looking like the star of a tragic telenovela. 

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

The Oklahoma City should not have made it to the playoffs. However, it turns out that Chris Paul can still perform to his nickname – The Point God! His leadership proved to be crucial in pushing the Houston Rockets to Game 7. But, it was the efforts of younger players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and an emerging defensive stalwart, Luguentz Dort, that really stood out. For this reason, the Thunder SHOULD be able to build on their unexpected success but there a couple of key factors to keep an eye out for. For one, they will need to find a good successor to Billy Donovan, who parted ways with the team earlier this week. Furthermore, they will need to either find a way keep Chris Paul or get good value out of him in a trade.

It was an emotional rollercoaster ride for the Oklahoma City Thunder,

Ignited by the exchange of Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul,

While many predicted he would be the team’s tanking commander,

The Thunder found themselves back in the playoffs because the Point God can still ball.

An unsuspecting Houston defense suffocated their shooters,

After an 0-2 start, it was clear they would need some more support,

Brodie was about to come back, Harden needed to be contained,

It seemed like all of their prayers were answered with a man named Luguentz Dort.

Fast forward to Game 7 where Schroder hits a 23-footer for the lead late in the 4th,

Will this be the year? Is it time to prepare the Rockets’ casket?

The answer would be no to both questions after the last couple of seconds in the game,

Can someone please tell us why the FUCK didn’t Steven Adams cut to the basket?!

For more NBA content, listen to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every Monday!

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Views from The Baseline – Episode 17: The Last Dance Review Ep. 7 & 8

Chevall Kanhai is joined by stand-in co-host Chris Thompson to review episodes 7 & 8 of the The Last Dance documentary. The two give their thoughts on the darkest times of Michael Jordan’s career and share what they never knew prior to these episodes. Was Michael’s second three-peat more valuable than his first? Tune into find out what they dissect in Jordan’s motives for his second three-peat.

WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Preview and Predictions

WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Previews and Predictions

Roman and Braun Hell in a Cell

It has been a mixed bag of sorts heading into this PPV. On the one hand, it’s a Hell in a Cell PPV with only one title match in a cell. And then arguably the match that arguably needs it the second most, Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte isn’t scheduled to be inside the cell. Oh WWE your booking never ceases to amaze us. Here are our previews and predictions for Hell in a Cell 2018.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship — New Day (c) vs. Rusev Day (Kickoff Show)

Rusev’s Day has smoldered off of popularity as, much like so many others, WWE never took advantage while they were over. Rusev will likely survive to lose this series, but Aiden English on his current projection will likely flounder if they break up after this. New Day don’t need this win, and it would be nice to see the underdogs pull one out when it matters. But WWE is going to WWE, and because this is on the pre-show, I can’t see it having any critical impact.

Predicted Winners: Markus: New Day, Adam: New Day

Raw Tag Team Championship — Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose

I don’t think WWE will give The Shield all of Monday Night’s gold. However, Seth Rollins is carrying the IC belt and doesn’t even need to defend it on a PPV. Doing the hot potato with titles between Seth and Ziggler would be pretty stale booking for the past few months. I’d like to see Ziggler and McIntyre have a nice reign outside of having to go against The Shield. I know Raw’s Tag Team division has been booked into oblivion, so now’s the time to rehab a new team for them to go against.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Ziggler and McIntyre

Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

If Bryan and Brie don’t win, I’ll be shocked. You have to keep the feud going until at least the Rumble, so here we go.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell Match)

Jeff is going to Swanton Bomb off the cage. I’m not sure if Randy can RKO him out of it because of physics, but if they can find a way, they’ll do it. And I’m all for seeing it as well.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Randy Orton

Raw Women’s Championship — Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexa Bliss

Squash match. Anything else would probably ruin the mystique of Rousey too soon. Maybe some interference or backstabbing by Natalya may give Bliss the win, but no way it’s a clean win for Bliss tonight.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Ronda Rousey

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch

Ahh, WWE when will you sometimes learn to allow the fans to dictate the web and flows of stories.  You tried to paint Becky as a heel, and now you’re trying to slap the Stone Cold mantle on her? Yikes. There hasn’t been a consistent build for Becky heading into this. I think Becky needs this because her last year has been mostly forgettable. Charlotte should have to chase a title for a while, but with Evolution coming up this is probably a huge tossup.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Becky Lynch

WWE Championship — AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe

WENDY! Samoa Joe has been cutting some great promos lately, and I’d like to see him leave tonight with the belt. They’ve been playing AJ’s title run up recently, which may mean he could be dropping it soon. Samoa Joe needs a title run on the main roster, and this more psychotic character would be an excellent precursor to a strong heel run.

Predictions: Markus: Samoa Joe, Adam: AJ Styles

WWE Universal Championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman (Hell in a Cell Match)

If WWE spent three years propping up WWE to give Roman a belt just for him to lose it in a month, then I don’t know what this company is anymore. There may be some shenanigans to put Braun over in this match, but I think Reigns needs a christening match. Beating the Monster in a cage after slaying The Beast would be a potent 1-2 punch start to a title reign. If only WWE’s endgame wasn’t so obviously written on the wall.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Roman Reigns

We’ll catch you guys tonight on Twitter @TheHowPod. We hope WWE can deliver a good post-Summer Slam PPV. They’ve been slacking these last couple years. Peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor and Host of The Heels of Wrestling Podcast. Follow me @MXMurden and @TheHowPod

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